by John Scherer
Carma’s Note: When I saw this article pop up in my email, I knew it was speaking to me and my tribe. It’s taken me a long time to develop a brand that is in alignment with my core values and really speaks to my soul. Now that I’ve uncovered it, I’m in the process of stepping into, owning and becoming that brand. When you are an entrepreneur, you are the face of your brand. The tips in this article provide good advice, so read on and check out my annotations.
5 Ways to Become the Brand
by John Scherer
To help other business leaders become indelibly connected to their own company or product brand, John Scherer, formerly of Video Professor Fame, imparts this business and marketing methodology wisdom:
1. Ignite a Personal Passion for Your Brand.
If you don’t have a fiery passion for your own brand, if you don’t believe in what you are selling, and if you don’t feel excited about what you are doing, no one else will either. Exude that enthusiasm and energy for what you are offering and others will feel that excitement. Once ignited, that passion will burn in others and fuel a marketplace reverence for you as the figurehead.
Carma’s Note: Build your entrepreneurial business around something you love and believe in. I’ve tried many times to build businesses that were successful for others but not for me because they focused on something I didn’t care about. For example, I’ve been a Mary Kay rep (I don’t really wear much makeup), a Primerica rep (the financial services industry doesn’t excite me), and, when I was young, I even tried getting a job as a cleaning woman at a hotel (I was allergic to all the products they used to clean the room!). Bottom line, if you are not motivated by what you have to offer, you’ll procrastinate and clients will fall away like feathers off a molting bird!
2. Define and Shape You as the Brand.
Becoming a brand is all about your image and how you can actually personify a brand and the company image at large. This might be cool, innovative, daring or even cut-throat. Think about how Steve Jobs, Donald Trump, and Richard Branson have defined their image and framed them in the marketplace. Now, you need to do the same for yourself by defining and shaping that image. Think about what makes you different than the crowd in terms of your overall attributes, including strengths, unique talents, skills, values, leadership style, personality and philosophy.
Carma’s Note: If your brand were a person (you) what would it look like? How would it behave? As I move forward with my “Own Your Awesome” brand I ask myself all the time, “What would I do if I were owning my awesome in this situation?” It has helped me avoid pitfalls and is continuously pushing me to become a better version of myself. What a great brand! What do you need to do to embody your brand?
3. Create Brand Messages to Build a Following.
Creating an image is more than looking the part. Nowadays, authenticity and what is inside is more important to customers and your audience. To become the brand, you must talk about your brand in an effective and consistent way. Clearly communicate what you stand for and why you are the best at what you do.
Consistency is also important because this builds confidence and credibility. Customers also need to be reminded repeatedly since they are constantly bombarded by other information and tend to get distracted.
Carma’s Note: I mention consistency in my book 57 Secrets for Branding Yourself Online and work diligently at modeling it in the marketplace. Everytime I tweak my message, perfecting it until it sings, I make an effort to update it everywhere it lives. Are you being consistent in your message throughout social media, physical collateral and when you talk about your business?
4. Saturate the Market.
With so many others trying to get noticed, your image has to shine above the rest as well as reach the most people. That’s why you must take the megaphone approach with your messaging and saturate the market through as many channels as possible. The more people that hear about you, the more likely you are to become the brand in their eyes. Go visual with your brand through a range of media based on your budget and your image style. This might include online ads, social networking channels, traditional media, direct mail, or as a quoted expert on a print or video news story. This visual representation of your image will resonate with people and help them feel connected to what you represent.
Carma’s Note: The Geico gecko is a great example of this. He shows up in print ads, online ads, TV commercials (which end up on YouTube, as well), and even as plush give aways and someone in a gecko suit at live events. The gecko has become synonymous with Geico … you don’t even need to see the company’s name to know that’s what the gecko is talking about.
5. Invest in Your Brand to Enhance its Worth.
Beyond just becoming the brand through the image you create, you must also carefully manage it to increase its worth rather than have it become devalued through one seemingly small misstep. Personal interaction makes the brand stick in the minds of your intended audience because you have made an impression and offered a visual image of what the brand represents. Also, by delivering a strong value proposition, clients and prospective customers realize that you can provide what they want and need. Lastly, since corporate social responsibility has become so important after so many years of big business misbehaving, your ethics and integrity can significantly reinforce your image and reputation.
Carma’s Note: This tip is all about walking the talk and providing excellent customer service. You not only need to promise value, you need to deliver more value than the customer was expecting from your promise.
About the Author
Internationally renowned entrepreneur John Scherer, formerly of Video Professor Fame, is CEO of Canless Air System, makers of the O2 Hurricane–an innovative canless air device that’s an Earth-friendly, safe, non-toxic, reusable, portable and affordable alternative to traditional canned air dusters. He may be reached online at www.canlessair.com.
Now its your turn
How are you embodying your brand? Have you had to make tweaks to your brand to move it more in alignment with who you are and what you stand for? How did you go through that process? Please share your stories, tips and wisdom in a comment below.