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What's in a Brand?

Updated: Apr 13, 2023

“That which we call a Brand, by any other word would sound as convoluted.”

The irony of technical language is that it is often approached more like a religious text than, let us say, a Webster’s Dictionary. There is hidden power in the gritty specifics typical of a certain field and in the enigma of what information is actually discussed. Even among specialists, reading new scientific articles requires judicious study as roaming eyes pour over meticulously kept methods and results. The conclusion? Perhaps less concrete than we admit. As one might say about a room full of judges, you wind up with more opinions than people.

Although I joke often about the gap between scientific knowledge and the general public, there is another gap I often find myself filling:

Explaining the importance and fundamentals of persona building to scientists and life science executives, from corporate brand identity to personal brand.

You see, as scientists we’re often led to believe that the devil is in the details. Provide enough significant data and you have a convincing call to action. Although this may work well in academia and behind closed doors [i.e. the lab], scientists may find it far harder to convince non-scientific minds of a potential impact than say, Reviewer 2.

Honestly, we shouldn’t be so surprised. Critical thinking requires us to be skeptical, and many of us across any career landscape have found this skill essential to our success. This exemplifies why it is vital that we approach the dissemination of scientific themes in ways that cultivate trust and also meet our audience on their level.

To do this, an agency (it can be either an individual or an organization) must develop a Brand to interface with the public. But explaining what a Brand really is to scientific minds often makes me smile. Suddenly the tables have turned and I’m speaking a language they’re not familiar with.

Suddenly, they realize in real time the intrigue and confusion that comes with technical language, especially one they don’t readily use.

However, my job isn’t to judge: it’s to educate, bridge the divide, and cultivate relationships

I help STEM-based companies and individuals evaluate their strengths and weaknesses and present themselves in an authentic way to the surprising number of people just waiting to hear from them. That is what a ‘Brand’ is. It’s pulling out their unique human traits and sharing them in a way that resonates with their audience.

What it isn’t about, is creating a farce of an idea, becoming an idol, or developing dominion over a topic. Building a Brand, whether that is in an individual persona for one specific person or developing a complex and unique personal identity for a company, is as much a part of humanizing the potential of science as it is becoming an engaging and trustworthy leader in a space.

It may feel - at first - like an uncomfortable and unnecessary task, but I assure you nothing could be further from the truth. I would argue it may be the most important investment you can make in yourself or in your company.

Some things will always require a human touch

As we dive further into the world of generative AI that is leading many conversations across the world, I’m reminded of how incredible technology can be - but how much of our lives are dependent on human characteristics like intuition, creativity, and personality.

Although we may continue to see the rise of fascinating and impressive tools and advancements that could quite possibly skyrocket many fields, I remain optimistic that this will only strengthen our need for human-generated and human-originated relationships.

While it may feel counterintuitive to dedicate time and resources to creating a public persona during this pivotal moment in technology, it’s actually your brand that is the most powerful tool only you can unlock.

So what are you waiting for?

Now is the time to get your voice out.

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