Understanding Success and How it Impacts Your Brand



Success is a word that’s used often, but poorly defined. Everyone wants to “be successful,” but success has a different definition to every person on Earth. We talk about success as if it is a concrete entity we can attain with enough time and effort, but it goes much deeper than most of us recognize.


There will never come a point in our lives when we attain success in the way that we often describe. We may have a picture of success means to us in our minds, but that idea is not something we can buy and sell like products on a shelf. No matter how long we follow the rules and play the game, we will never reach a point in our lives where we feel successful in the way that we have been led to believe. 


Once we realize we aren’t feeling this pre-defined idea of success, we begin to place blame. We may blame our job, our income, our position in life, but in the end we have only one person to blame: ourselves. 


We treat success like a product that can be bought and sold. We act as if a great salary and a beautiful home will buy us a feeling of success, but in many cases these achievements and belongings do little to improve our confidence. Why? Because we’re looking at success from the wrong angle, which sets us up for failure from the very beginning. 


The biggest many of us have is mis-defining success for ourselves. Financial security, secure employment, and a home make up only part of our needs as individuals. Achieving financial security fulfills our need for safety, but our needs go above and beyond this. As individuals, we must become self-actualized to truly experience a feeling of success. We don’t often aim for self-actualization when we outline our goals, which gives us a poor target to shoot for. A career we love, a beautiful home, and a family are only a small portion of what we need to experience fulfillment; in addition to these basic needs, we also have a need for spontaneity, morality, and acceptance of facts.



We must have an understanding of success not only for ourselves, but for our customers. When we market our products and services, we often paint a picture of success that is unachievable based on our needs as individuals. This plays an important role in how we build our brand, because it defines how our audience perceives us when they see the name of our company. Are we selling overnight success, or are we selling a lifestyle and set of ideals that others can get on board with?


Building a brand in today’s market goes beyond selling success as a commodity – it’s about selling a lifestyle. Brands that market a lifestyle of spontaneity and morality are more successful than brands that sell overnight success, which can be seen in companies like Apple and Nike. Ultimately, having a complex understanding of success will help your brand better resonate with your audience, allowing you to stand out among the crowd in today’s market. 


How do you see success? How does your brand market success to your customers? Tell us in the comments below!


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Steve has entrepreneurship in his DNA. Starting in the early 2000s, Steve achieved eBay Power Seller status which propelled him to become a founding partner of VisionPros.com, a contact lens and eyewear retailer. Four years later through a successful exit from that startup, he embarked on his next journey into digital strategy for direct-to-consumer brands.

Currently, Steve is a Senior Merchant Success Manager at Shopify, where he helps brands to identify, navigate and accelerate growth online and in-store.

To maintain his competitive edge, Steve also hosts the top-rated twice-weekly podcast eCommerce Fastlane. He interviews Shopify Partners and subject matter experts who share the latest marketing strategy, tactics, platforms, and must-have apps, that assist Shopify-powered brands to improve efficiencies, profitably grow revenue and to build lifetime customer loyalty.

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