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Yesterday I was speaking to a friend and something very interesting came up.

My friend is a long-time smoker.

One of those guys who’s willing to endure standing outside of a club at 2 am in freezing cold just to smoke his cigarette.

Yesterday marked his 9 months of not picking up one.

How did that happen?

According to him, nothing worked apart from the simple fact of deciding he didn’t want to be a smoker anymore.

Sounds simple, but it’s not.

It’s all about identity.

The fact is, even when he tried stopping for a week or two, even a month, in his mind, he was still a smoker.

All he needed to stop, was to change that view of himself.

To change his identity.

Now he’s not a smoker.

Here lies one of the most powerful insights you can get when you start thinking about your brand.

Your brand is not just your colors, your image, your messaging and your product(s).

Your brand is your identity.

It’s how you describe and define yourself and how you want everybody to see you/think of you.

Brand identity is so powerful you can even change how an entire country is perceived.

Ask David Ogilvy.

He worked with Ted Moscoso, “the architect of Operation Bootstrap” to change the economy of Puerto Rico into an industrial and developed one:

“We must substitute a lovely image of Puerto Rico for the squalid image which now exists in the minds of most mainlanders. This is of cardinal importance to your industrial development, your rum industry, your tourism and your political evolution.

What is Puerto Rico? What is the personality of this island? What face shall Puerto Rico show to the world?”

These and more questions are what anyone who’s willing to change their self-identity should ask themselves.

It’s easy to see how, if the concept of identity works for deeply ingrained habits like smoking, it should and can work to change your business when you’re in a rut.

How you do that is not easy though.

It requires carefully studying your audience, your market and competition. And it requires you to be clear on what your goals are.

Do you want to serve customers better than anyone? Do you just want to dominate and destroy the competition? Are you product-led? And so on…

The point of this is, yes you can hire a copywriter or a coach, but until you’re clear on the identity you and your brand want to have, you have work to do.

Need help? Get in touch.

P.S. A new testimonial just came in from a client, if you’re curious:

“We wanted a UX designer who *understood* SaaS & eCommerce, nailed copywriting AND that was technical… This was Chris! 100% would work together again.” – Rodolphe, Founder @ Remotive.com

brain dump?

Every week I write about what I’m learning at my copywriting/UX desk ,with fun, insightful and quirky stories.

Let’s nerd about decision making, persuasion, habits, and conversion optimization.