Is my brand swallowing me whole? …

Creating a brand from scratch is a wonderful thing, like birthing your very own little creation! Like a child, it has all the best bits of you, and you recognise yourself in your brand. You nurture it as you would your child, you guard it from all who would harm it, and you treasure it like a precious jewel! We don’t all have opportunities to build a brand every day, so it is such a special thing and a wonderful opportunity to be grabbed with both hands and held on to. This is the positive side of brand building…

Our little boudoir boutique was born in November 2007 and my business partners and I have lived our brand, we decided to use my name and my “face” for the business, as we were proud of our business and delighted to be associated with such a fantastic, upmarket sensual store, etc., etc… We have been very successful brand builders as a lot of people know us even though we have had a very limited marketing budget.

The problem arises a year and 5 months down the line when suddenly you start feeling like you are loosing your personal identity and in fact you business persona or business brand is simply swallowing you! Sorry for you chick, but Chanteuse actually doesn’t exist anymore!

Gone are the days when I could wonder around unknown and not worry about what I was doing or saying or the image I was portraying… suddenly I am known!!! … a persona!!! … rolling eyes … for heaven’s sake people I just own a shop, I’m not special, but people feel (bless them!!!), because my business is unusual and because they share such intimate things with me, that I’m some sort of celebrity. I’ll give you a few examples…

  1. About 2 months ago I head over to Billy the Bums with Funny Girl, and as we walk in, a woman jumps up at the other end of the bar and SCREAMS out, “Oh my God, it’s Chanteuse from The Boudoir Boutique!” Like really! Of course the whole evening then revolved around talking about my business.
  2. On Valentines night, I’m partying up a storm with Bond Girl and the rest of the girls and the DJ announces, “Welcome to Chanteuse from The Boudoir Boutique!” and we all screamed and waved. But suddenly I wasn’t just some chick jolling, I was that chick!
  3. Last night, I’m visiting poor Dreamer in hospital and the oke in the bed next to him says, “Hey, aren’t you that chick with that business in that centre?!”.

Bliksem! We have created a monster here! I don’t feel like I can slope out the house on Sunday morning, sans makeup and dressed disgustingly and pop into Woolies Foods for some Butter Chicken anymore, there are eyes everywhere and a lot of them know me! It’s kinda freaky! And those eyes, they’re attached to mouths that speak … gulp!

Am I always gonna be known as ‘that chick’ with ‘that shop’?

Boobalicious, our wonderful, Catholic – yes you read right – long suffering assistant here at the store, says she gets the same thing from moms at school when she’s doing the kids pickup, etc. She said earlier, she reckons they see us as some form of Demi Gods, because the information we’re sharing is so life changing and special. I reckon she’s right there.

Still, will I ever just be Chanteuse again? Anonymous, un-special, normal, but lovely (hee hee) Chanteuse? Sigh!