Is the brand dead?
I think it is, and here’s why.
Stay with me for a minute.
“Brand” is an outdated word. It’s as outdated as “the customer is always right.”
I tell my team that the customer is not always right. We are.
Whoooaaaaa!… You may be thinking, did I read that right? Yes. Yes, you did. When you set values to operate from, such as integrity or respect – your core focus is integrity and respect. Why be flexible with your core values?
Not everyone has the same values. If you have a customer who is demeaning to your team, for example, you’re allowing someone who has no regard for integrity or respect to infiltrate your culture. Again, why compromise?
Set your core values and live by them.
Hire, fire, and release employees and customers who don’t fit with your specific core values. This is the path to authenticity. Fire toxic clients the same way you’d fire toxic friends or employees. It’s the only way to protect your influence and authenticity.
Brand is the same way.
When someone builds a brand they choose a logo and colors and their “image” and do everything possible to stay within it. For a brand to be influential, it must be authentic.
Know who you are, but be flexible enough to color outside the lines of a predetermined brand. I like the word influence instead.
Anyone can have a brand. Influence is an asset. Build your influence equity. How? Invest time and energy in growing your relationships. Your relationships drive your influence, which ultimately powers your brand.
Tammy Kling is a best-selling author, TED Speaker, CEO of OnFire Books, and Ghostwriter of 251 books and counting, including: The Compass, Freedom, andThere’s More to Life than the Corner Office. Tammy’s latest book, WORDS is being used by the Ritz Carlton in their leadership training.