Helping people to understand the power of branding is at the core of my own brand – my value proposition – and I began writing my Friday’s Fearless Brand series to do exactly that. In my opinion, any effective learning requires repetition. With that in mind I have listed five key elements of a fearless brand with a summary statement and links to Friday’s Fearless Brands who best demonstrate each trait.
YOUR BRAND IS YOUR VALUE
To begin with, my definition of a brand is any quantifiable person or entity with a definable value proposition. A fearless brand is one whose value integrates their competencies and passion delivered in a relevant way to those they serve. To put it simply – your brand is your value. There is one Friday’s Fearless Brand which I will use to demonstrate the role of value.
The Go-Giver – Fearless brands focus on providing maximum value to those they serve. This fearless brand is the Go-Giver philosophy which is built on the premise that consistently providing value is not just a nice way to live but also a financially profitable way to live.
Absolutely critical to any effective and successful brand – of all fearless brands is authenticity. It is a brand’s authenticity which leads to its unique value proposition. Any brand which is less than genuine is destined to eventual failure. Three of my Friday’s Fearless Brands demonstrate key elements of authenticity.
Bob Burg – A fearless brand is consistently authentic – and authentically consistent. My friend and mentor Bob Burg is a model example of being authentic in all of his endeavors. What you see and read and hear from Bob is all Bob.
David Ellis – You don’t have to be famous or wealthy or powerful to be a fearless brand. David is my brother – but more than that, he is my hero. There is no person I know who better exemplifies a fearless brand without any fame or pretense.
Donald Trump – Popularity is not a requirement to be a fearless brand. ‘The Donald’ is someone who I have come to admire although I’m not certain that I like him. His story shows that being liked is not a requirement (but it is a plus for most).
Clarity is power. Simple. It gives us power because we know our value proposition, who we are to serve and how to do so. It opens up the path to our contented future. Clarity is also power in that those we serve clearly understand the benefits we deliver. The fearless brands I used to demonstrate clarity were perhaps some of the most unexpected.
Elmo – Fearless brands have achieved great clarity – and clarity is power. Yes, that Elmo. For years he was a misunderstood bit player on Sesame Street but once he found his purpose and value he became an international star.
United Arab Emirates – Fearless brands seek and embrace a vision which creates their greatest value and results in stratospheric success. A country a brand? Absolutely…and this very special country is built on clarity of purpose.
Creating a positive emotional connection is at the core of branding in that all human decisions are predicated on some element of emotion. Not surprisingly the Friday’s Fearless Brands which best exemplify passion and emotion are both world leaders. These men not only tapped into their own passion but in turn used it to ignite that passion throughout the world.
JFK – Fearless brands create an emotional connection built on authenticity and relevance. This year marked the fiftieth anniversary of the assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy. The emotion and hope and dreams his passion helped ignite are as evident today as they were in the Camelot years of his presidency.
Nelson Mandela – A fearless brand will focus on what they can control – they will manage their own brand. The realization that he could only control his own actions and emotions allowed ‘Madiba’ to use his passion to fuel his efforts to bring unity and understanding and brotherhood to his country – and in turn the world. The love and respect shown on the occasion of his death very robustly reinforce the emotion and passion he ignited.
The intersection of your competency and passion is your value proposition…but that proposition has to pass the ‘so what’ test.
Target – Fearless brands stay relevant to their customers needs, wants and expectations. Target has become the fearless brand it is today because the company was determined to be relevant from its inception.
Halloween – A fearless brands’ value proposition is relevant to those they serve. This film series lays claim to being perhaps the most successful horror film franchise in Hollywood history because it has remained consistently relevant to its fans.
Each of the Friday Fearless Brands demonstrate the benefit of consistency but none better than a retired Yankee.
Mariano Rivera – Fearless brands demonstrate consistency which in turn builds the key attributes of trust and respect. The ‘sandman’ was the same talented, committed, fun-loving and likable person every year, in every ballpark to every person.
If you have questions or want to discuss fearless branding I invite you to leave a comment or contact me directly. I would also love to hear your thoughts as to fearless brands you have encountered in your experience.
As we head into the new year with all of its hope and promise and opportunity, it is my hope that you focus on building your greatest value. Focus on the key elements of a successful brand. Become a fearless brand.