Perhaps you’ve heard the question “What percentage of people who bought a 1/4 inch drill bit last year wanted one?” The answer? Zero. Every one of those buyers wanted a 1/4″ hole. The same can be said about branding. Very few people truly care about branding, but ALL of us care about the results which are achieved from effective branding.
Having published well over 100 Friday’s Fearless Brand posts, I’ve often been asked why? “What’s your purpose Bill?” Simple. I want everyone to create their brand’s greatest value in order to achieve their goals, their dreams. Your brand – simply put – is your value. That makes your brand your greatest asset, which is true whether it’s your personal brand, your company or your products and services.
There is a widely held belief that one’s brand is their logo, their name, slogan, colors and collateral materials. These elements are the tangible components of a brand and they are critical to delivering your brand message. However, they are essentially useless if they don’t communicate the true essence of your brand – and that essence is your value.
Your value is determined by the sum of your intangible assets. Key components of your brand are quality, reliability, customer service, trust, authenticity and most importantly – relevance. If your brand doesn’t satisfy what your customers need or want, there is no value… to them.
There is an old adage in branding which says “If you don’t manage your own brand – someone else will.” We need to understand our brand, our value proposition, and create effective messaging to communicate that value. That being said, none of us can control our brand.
Brands are defined by customers, prospects – those who you would serve. It is their thoughts, impressions, reactions and actions that define your brand – to them. If they don’t see your value, they likely won’t be your customers.
Branding for Results –
Clarity – Clarity is power. It allows you to know your value and determine the ideal customer. Clarity allows those you would serve to understand how your brand fulfills their needs.
Marketplace differentiation – An effective brand – a fearless brand – is one which stands out in the marketplace. There is a distinct point of difference which will appeal to the customers you wish to serve.
Selling on value vs selling on price – “Price is what you pay, value is what you get.” Delivering tremendous value allows you to maintain a fair – yet higher – price. If your value isn’t clear, or if it’s below customers expectations, they will demand a lower price – and if you get business on price, you’ll lose business on price.
Focused marketing and sales efforts – Building a truly fearless brand allows you to focus your efforts – and your expenditures – with greater effectiveness.
Emotional connections – It is human nature that we act on emotion – at least to some degree. That is why your brand is your most important asset – because it’s your brand which creates an emotional connection with those you would serve. Positive emotional connections yield loyalty, satisfaction, referrals and more business.
Fearless brands achieve powerful results
No matter how powerful or effective a brand is – or is perceived to be – it can be upgraded. That is why I write my weekly Friday’s Fearless Brand series. It’s a great way for me to learn more about branding from incredibly successful brands. It’s a great way for me to pass on branding knowledge to people who want to achieve greater results.
Here is a sampling of those Friday’s Fearless Brands – people and companies which have taught such great lessons through the years.
Clay Mathile rose from a boy on a modest farm to the man who negotiated the largest acquisition ever made by Proctor & Gamble. He used that revenue to provide for his employees future and to create Aileron, a center for entrepreneurship. Learn It, Do It, Give It Away
Bob Burg grew up in a wonderful family. He began his career as a television announcer in Oklahoma and then by selling door to door. He found his calling in sales and, determined to be highly successful, became a student of Zig Ziglar. Successful he is having written several books including Endless Referrals and what is perhaps his best known work (with John David Mann) The Go-Giver. Bob Burg – Fearless Branding
At a time when females weren’t supposed to be in business outside of administrative or secretarial roles, Judy Sheindlin would not be deterred. She went to law school, became a New York judge and ultimately parlayed that experience into the longest running courtroom show on television. In so doing, she also fulfilled her childhood dreams of becoming an entertainer. From Dreamer to Judge – The Evolution of a Brand
A humble boy from Argentina earned a chemical technician certification and went to work in a food laboratory. However, he quite unexpectedly found his calling in the church and rose to become the Bishop of Rome, commonly known as the Pope. Pope Francis has never thought of himself as a brand – much less a fearless one, but he is exactly that. He has had a significant impact not just on Catholicism worldwide but with governments and businesses alike. Pope Francis’ Keys to Personal Branding – Be Humble, Be Bold, Be Kind
A master carpenter began making wooden toys in the 1930’s with a motto of ‘only the best is good enough’. By 1940 the company made a bold decision and converted production to plastic. While seemingly a radical change, the company remained true to their primary purpose of creating fun and educational toys with a committment to quality. Lego has become a powerful brand, expanding their line to capitalize on contemporary trends, to appeal more directly to females and by integrating technology into their business. Building Fearless Brands – With Plastic?
One thing that is critically important about fearless branding is that celebrity and success on a worldwide scale is not a requirement. A great example of that is my brother David. He had a warm and loving childhood and settled in New Orleans with the rest of the family when our father, retired from the Army. David found a career in the retail food industry, met and married a wonderful woman, became a father and was highly successful in his business. His life changed when he was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, but his values did not change. David Ellis – Fearless Branding
I hope you read every blog I’ve written 🙂 – or at least a few of the ones listed here. It is my commitment to help you to upgrade your brand, build more value and achieve the results you desire. To become a fearless brand you don’t have to be famous, nor rich, nor world renowned. Learn from Friday’s Fearless Brands, take the right actions, enlist the help of a professional – whatever it takes, build your fearless brand and enjoy the powerful results.