arte & negócio

when in doubt, change a brand for a story

marcela monteiro
July 2, 2020
arte & negócios
mercado da arte
empreendedorismo feminino

[ leia o texto em português, aqui :) ]

I have two scars in my body: the first one, a fine line that is hidden under my hair, was acquired when I was still a toddler, thanks to a glass shelf in my parents’ bathroom; the second one, a spot on my knee, was a gift from the beginning of my twenties when I worked for a law firm and had to use high heels that once made me trip and fall in the middle of the street. Those are the ones I can see with the naked eye, but I'm sure there are more. Every situation I experienced, the people I loved, all the fights, relationships, and revelations, each hangover and victory, everything is branded on my skin. Last week, Kaju posted a video where she said: "each one of us is a unique human" and, precisely for that, I think is possible to say that each one of us has a unique brand that can be used in our favor.

In Portuguese, the word for "brand" is "marca", and "marca" can be used to describe several things. More than a product or a company, "marca" is what makes something stand out in the crowd. "Marca" is a distinctive feature, something that makes your existence unique. In this sense, "marca" and brand are the same thing. A "marca" or a brand is nothing more than your story, the narrative of your body, of your life, told in a compelling way. Your brand is you.

When I realized that, some doubts and misunderstandings disappeared, but others emerged. After a few years in advertising, my notion of branding was deeply attached to the idea of understanding consumer behavior and market trends. Three years ago, I set down with a designer to build a visual identity and start creating my brand:  I did a benchmarking, analyzed market and consumer trends, used a SWOT framework, but nothing came out of that. Today, I'm able to see that I had a very limited notion of what constitutes a brand, and that led me to a dead end. Instead of looking outside, I should have spent more time contemplating my scars. They were the ones holding the secrets I wanted to tell.

In other words, what I found out in the last couple of years, is that when we change "brand" for "story", our mind expands. A story does not depend on anybody's approval, it is interesting by nature and does not need acceptance or niche markets to exist, because when a story is honestly told, a circle of people will naturally be formed. The challenge of finding your story, though, remains and, when one looks at oneself, insecurity, fear of being judged, comparison and so many other feelings may get in the way. I know.

But, until now, the only answer I found for that is doing. Doing stuff. Lots of stuff. The more I write, the more I understand the kind of writer I wanna be. The more I tell my story, the more I find out what's special about it. The more I create, the more I discover the elements that permeate everything I make. By doing that, I've been understanding that I'm not creating a personal brand, but rather finding ways to tell the world about something that is already inside of me: my brand, my story, me.

This article is part of "profession: artist", a content series about assuming sensibility, art, and creativity as your work.


written by Marcela Monteiro, a writer who creates narratives in multiple formats and platforms. Her production stands out for a very sensitive point of view that frequently gravitates around everyday sensations and feelings with which everyone can identify. Graduated in Law and Mastered in Communication Sciences, with emphasis on Internet and New Media, Marcela has already worked for advertising, content and public relations agencies, producing articles, scripts, and integrated campaigns for several clients. In addition to that, her work has already been published by Glamour Magazine, Casa VOGUE, and the Portuguese newspaper Público.

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