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Content

Sorry, You Have a Brand

WORDS BY TRACY LE
PHOTOGRAPHY BY EMARI TRAFFIE

It’s important to know who you are. Unfortunately it’s not the easiest to communicate such an accomplishment.

Knowing yourself is a big deal, yet I think a lot of the time, there’s an overflow of glamorous static (social media, social pressures, society itself) that distracts us from the very thing we are all about. It can feel disheartening. So we fend for our identity and we brand ourselves right? We try to somehow establish some semblance of a foundation. And it’s through today’s accessibility to the interweb that this branding concept has become more magnified, and thusly judged.

Everyone is watching. What are you saying with “your brand?” Personal, or non-personal.

Working as a writer, a managing editor for a quarterly print, and even as a singer and song-writer, I have the privilege to curate a voice for both myself and the public. Whether it’s through creating content, writing a caption, singing a chorus, posting an image, or having a random conversation at a media event, what I embody and display is EVERYTHING. The dramaticism to imprinting yourself is my favorite thing in the world. Mainly because it’s a daily challenge that refines who you are. Personally and professionally.

We all have fears of not being the most impressive—of procuring zero jaw drops as we make our way through life.

The trick with this challenge is that we all have fears of not being the most impressive—of procuring zero jaw drops as we make our way through life. And that negativity is ingrained in branding. If you’re not competitive, you likely don’t care. But in the same vein, comparison will always creep in too. After all, each of us are building something from something. Which is a reality and not a bummer. The trick is, to always count your accomplishments. Always focus what you are good at and always note at what areas you lack. Be it the imagery to the business mode to your trademark. The problem with labeling something is that there is always something to work on, but if it’s worth it, you’re able to see the feats clearly and to be your brand proudly. Even though it’s a work in progress.

IT’S NOT OKAY TO BE BORING.

If you’re familiar with Darling Magazine, you’ll be familiar with our (this word that all the creatives use) aesthetic. Yes, it’s pretty darling, but therein lies what I find to be one of our biggest accomplishment to date: turning a company’s title into a household name. When your brand becomes an adjective, it feels like golden trophies raining from the sky or imagine a far off distant dull roar from a crowd flashing signs to you saying, “You’re 100%.” It’s a great accomplishment to get everyone on the same page as you. Which reminds me, I want to share three aspects of curating your name I feel are foolproof. And by foolproof, I mainly mean interesting and worth not forgetting.

CONCISE.

The big picture is important, but the inner workings and details give a path to your big picture. Be detailed when you’re communicating what you’re about. Think of the “elevator pitch.” Know what you and your product are about and be able to describe it in two sentence—or in 15 seconds. Crazy, but necessary. 

CREATIVE.

It’s OKAY not to be the most original thing on the block, but its not OKAY to sound like everyone else. And we continue this downslope of not okay’s, IT’S NOT OKAY TO BE BORING. To be creative means to be captivating. And whether it’s a pre-nuptial law firm or a fashion design house in Paris, both are separate but essentially equal. Be creative and cool about your “product.” It will show others that there’s something about you they need to know (or buy, or listen to, or read). 

CONFIDENT.

I had a hard time picking a third point. But three feels better than four. I want to say, confidence is key in anything. If you’re confident about your brand, you are three things: knowledgeable, assured and unlike most of everyone else. A lot of time the masses get caught up on hype. Though necessary and helpful at times, confidence ensures that hype isn’t fuel that moves the engine of your brand. Having confidence says you’re different and that you are doing something that won’t waste people’s time. And that’s what it comes down to—none of us “have time” and we don’t want to be distracted by things that won’t pour into us in a life-giving and necessary sense. Or at least I hope we don’t.

JESSI NOEL

ART DIRECTOR

 

EMARI TRAFFIE

PHOTOGRAPHER

 

RAYNEUTRON

PHOTO CHIEF

 

GENEE MONIQUE

MODEL

 

JANAH DEGILLO

HAIR & MAKEUP

 

DIMEPIECE

CLOTHING

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