How can we expect to be individuals when every pringle in the can is the same?
In a world where every Pringle in a can is identical, and every big mac looks the same how on earth is an individualism meant to survive.
With branding becoming a dominant force within most successful companies it feels like there is this newfound obsession with everything being perfect and symmetrical and clean-cut.
Every pringle is cut to perfection to be ‘on brand’.
Every big mac includes the same perfectly cut ingredients to be ‘on brand’
Everyone dressed in the same uniform at school to be ‘on brand’.
There is obviously a reason for it because it works.
We like to see consistency, it gives us something memorable to hold onto that identifies a company we enjoy.
But, how can you try to be your own unique self when everyone is pushed to try and fit in the same box to be ‘on brand’.
But it’s now cool to be an outsider.
People are starting to want to be different.
It’s the rebellion against the status quo.
This could just be me reaching but the other day I was on the tube to East London and noticed a few things.
I’m sitting there on the dusty seats.
Soundcloud on shuffle, with the background noise of the tracks clacking and people chatting.
I look up to check the tube map.
The ad next to it catches my attention.
The golden gates stood behind a perfectly photographed burger.
I look down and across from me to see someone eating the same picture-perfect burger.
I don’t take much notice and get off the train at my stop.
I’m walking down the stairs from the platform and I reach into my can of Sour Cream Pringles and pull out a few that couldn’t be cut to more perfect copies of each other.
Confirmation bias kicks in.
I start to see it in the phones people are holding as they brush past me on the stairs.
The design of the adverts on the tunnel walls.
Then the estate blocks that tower over me as I walk out of the station.
Everything is trying desperately to make you feel identical and want to fit in.
It got me thinking back to the 17-year-old version of me growing up in London.
All this did for him was cause anxiety as he tried to fit in at all costs.
He moulded and shaped himself around what he thought people wanted.
But the more comfortable I became with being my weird self and not hiding any of my self-proclaimed flaws.
The pressure to fit in was gone.
Because that is ultimately what makes you unique, being yourself.
I also saw this in the brand I was building.
I followed the model of how other brands had become successful and tried too hard to be like them.
But it was only when I took myself into my own category and identified the unique qualities the brand could offer, did I start to see a change.
Take notice of the trends and fads everyone is following.
The attempts to stay relevant.
Identify them and run in the opposite direction.
Nothing will get you noticed more.
Be your own, weird, unique self.
Sometimes the path that everyone seems to be taking isn’t the right one for you.
I know it wasn’t for me.