When you think of Nike or Cadillac, the first thing that comes to mind is the impression of a best-in-class brand that innovates in its space and offers a high quality owning experience. Both companies have built exceptional quality products that stand the test of time, and because of their consistent value proposition, are able to demand a premium price. Conversely, you might think very differently about discount brands like LA Gear or Daewoo (remember them?) who consistently delivered on their brand promise but are no longer in business.
So what does your brand represent?
I am not referring to the corporate logo you might wear on your shirt but rather something you have more direct control over. Your personal brand. Do you represent quality, trust, innovation and compassion in the eyes of your customers (clients, bosses, wives, kids and friends) or are you seen as having similar quality issues as Daewoo?
If you have never thought about yourself as a brand before, now is the time to start. In today’s quick moving, online-based world our personal brand is constantly being put out into the universe for all to see. It is important to control your brand image and make sure you are projecting the right statement to your potential “buyers.”
Is your brand that ultra sleek, high-tech startup with modern design or are you focused on delivering consistent quality every time without exception like Coca-Cola has done for the past 100 years (with the possible exception of the new Coke but we are all allowed one mulligan).
I challenge you to think of yourself as a brand and to begin to invest in your personal stock the same way Coca-Cola has invested in itself. Start by managing your customers better, communicating consistently, becoming a trusted source for everyone you encounter, providing exceptional quality every day and delivering a little happiness along the way.
After listening to an amazing podcast on this topic, I am excited to explore it further. In future blogs, I will discuss the evolution of this thought process and ask you to start thinking of yourself as not only a brand but also a media company.
So before I go, I will ask the question again… What does your brand represent?