Brilliance on a Napkin

How often have you been in conversation over lunch with business associates and watched as they reached for a napkin to sketch a concept?

Not often I bet unless you are lucky enough to enjoy a meal with a “thought leader.”

Amygdala hijack

Concepts are hard to come by and harder to present in a way that is understandable. Often, years of experience and research come to frustration as the paper blotches and smears you’re carefully contrived graph or sketch. Even when all involved share similar experiences and background it can prove to be truly challenging.

The effort is what Laurie Buxton, the Neuro-humorist describes as an amygdala hijacking. That’s a surge of neurons in your vestigial lizard brain that brings you joy, frustration and sometimes laughter.

Sketchy but beautiful

These ideas when drawn on the porous paper bleed every which way. The lines may be ragged but the intent is quickly obvious from the accompanying explanation. Positive ROI follows when you put them to work. That’s because the narrative is so rich in the vocabulary of first-hand experience.

Brilliance on a napkin

I’ve been lucky enough to be exposed to a powerful concept illustrated on a napkin a number of times:

  • The Brand/Direct Scale, invented by a former client and his partner to show the difference in ROI dependent on the percentage of direct marketing versus Brand use in ads.
  • The Consultant Value Jump developed by the Alan Weiss Community and shaped like a ski jump seen from the side that portrays how fees can be increased as engagement time decreases.
  • The Promotional Whirl from the heart of my own Brand Gyro that uses over-lapping circles to make both the new Trust tools and traditional Spin Tools understandable.
  • The Brand Introduction Curve a Marketing director and I put together for a training session with the divisional directors of a Fortune 500 company. The major difference we incorporated was using a full cross-hairs X-Y axis and showing all the time and costs in development before the product was introduced and began (with luck) to generate ROI
  • The Brand Disruption Curve used by a management consultant friend from Toronto to convince clients to begin considering the mortality of their brands and how to be prepared for the shift.

Less is more

Using a napkin as your art board means you must strip away all the extras and get to the heart of your concept. Space can be a concern. Multi-faceted symbols can prove difficult to render. Writing can yield pathetic results. Less is more in napkin conditions.

Radiance

I was rattling on about this over Thai food with a friend. She put down her chop sticks, picked up her purse, searched out a pen and then picked up a paper napkin. The waiter removed our dishes and she put the napkin in the middle of the table between us saying, “All those things about presenting an idea on a napkin you said are true but it also gives you one thing that is less expected.  It makes your imagination a part of the concept. Let me show you.

With that she drew a small box about a quarter inch square to one side of the napkin. Three inches to the right of it she drew another. This one she filled in. Then she said, “Most people see decisions this way…black or white. A few have been taught that there are many greys that separate them.

But I tell my clients to imagine the colors of the rainbow filling that space in the middle. Not only do we have more than two ways to go we have infinite choices, all of which can bring new light into our lives.”

Imagine your rainbow.


Jerry Fletcher­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Jerry Fletcher is a sought-after International Speaker, a beBee ambassador, founder and Grand Poobah of www.BrandBrainTrust.com

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for Trust-based Brand development, Positioning and business development for independent professionals on and off-line.

Consulting: www.JerryFletcher.com
Speaking: www.NetworkingNinja.com
DIY Training: www.ingomu.com

Brand is Trust, Not Just Celebrity

Brand betrayed

Why is it that so many folks want to be famous? Why do they crave celebrity? Why do they chase after the figment of Personal Brand?

Blinders.

Counterfeits have been around since the first Brand evolved. Fakes follow in the footsteps of innovators today as they have down the centuries. But even those are more acceptable than the so-called Personal Brand.

Some people believe that hype can replace product or service development. They believe in faking it until you make it. They believe that fame is all there is to brand.

They can’t see the problem of living a lie. They are victims of an over-active imagination that overlooks the key element of Brand: Trust in a product or service delivered.

Brand, initially.

In the beginning, in the really old west (the Middle East) the term brand stood for a symbol burned into the hide of critter owned by a particular person. It was used on slaves as well as animals. Later it was burned into wooden packaging like barrels.

The symbol itself became a roughshod form of a trade mark. That’s how this whole brand thing got started. It was a way to show who owned something.

Maker’s mark

A Trademark was and is a symbol cut or etched, printed or woven into an object made by an artisan. Today, it may appear on or be part of the packaging of an object or idea. You’ll find them on ceramics, glass, metal work, furniture, food and sundries, you name it. Always it is a way to identify the work of an individual, a group or organization. It identifies products for sale.

It crosses all cultures. The Chinese used to call it a Chop. Americans call them Trademarks and Service Marks and they are legally registered. Independent professionals from early civilizations to yesterday across the world, used such symbols for signs and on the seals of documents when that was a “thing.” It was a way to have a coat of arms much like the nobles served.

Brand evolved

Brand became important to makers, buyers and the merchants that connected them. It celebrated the esteem of the buyer for the maker providing a real mark of the quality conveyed.  It simplified the contract between merchant and buyer by presenting the buyer with a known proof of the quality of the item. It gave the merchant confidence when trading for the goods that they were the “real thing.” The merchant enjoyed greater credibility with the buyer because of this simple device.

At the heart of all that social interaction was Trust. It was trust for a product made by a person who took pride in their work and applied a mark to witness that pride. It was a symbol of trust between maker, merchant and buyer.

Personal Brand seekers suffer from not having that pride. They, in most cases, do not craft goods or services. Instead, they concentrate on their image. Sooner or later the deception will catch up with them.

When that happens, it ain’t pretty.


­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Jerry Fletcher ThinkinigJerry Fletcher is a sought-after International Speaker, a beBee ambassador, founder and Grand Poobah of www.BrandBrainTrust.com

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for Trust-based Brand development, Positioning and business development for independent professionals on and off-line.

Consulting: www.JerryFletcher.com
Speaking: www.NetworkingNinja.com
DIY Training: www.ingomu.com

 

 

 

 

Brand is Built on Moving Parts

I finished the on-line training for 30-Second Marketing TM and posted it on Ingomu. It is just one element of the four in Secrets of a Networking Ninja.

Brand is trickier

The second element I’m adding is called No Budget Branding TM but I’m combining parts of other products developed earlier to make this one as complete as I can. Some of the things I’ve learned over the years get in the way. This is a DIY (Do It Yourself) product and so I’m working my way through some of the expertise I bring to a one-on-one session and finding ways to incorporate the benefits without a physical presence.

I believe Brand can refer to a company, product or service. Sorry, I don’t include Personal as the only time, in my view, that Personal enters the equation is when it is linked to a company product or service offered by an independent professional. In other words, John Q. Public is not a brand. John Q. Public Accounting could be.

Trust keeps it spun up

Funny how teaching can help you see things you hadn’t before. As this video explains. Brand is an expression of Trust. But, building this program has confirmed that once you’ve set out to build a brand and spun up the promotional whirl, the thing that holds it all together is the Circle of Trust. Without it, it all comes crashing down. With it and judicious inputs to influence it you can keep it building. Trust allows you to influence Brand but you can never completely control it.

A flywheel instead of a funnel

Jon Dick, in a blog for Hubspot, explained how a new model, the flywheel replaces the familiar funnel putting a new spin on customer acquisition and retention. Jon relates the strength of the flywheel to how it maintains and increases trust as well as the momentum you need to keep things spun up.

A flywheel approach forces you to align all your marketing and sales efforts because any friction can slow the flywheel and wear trust down. In Jon’s words: “…your flywheel produces more growth as your customer count increases. If you can add ‘density’ to those customers, by getting them to adopt more of your products or be more ‘sticky’ even more momentum and growth can be achieved.”

Brand is Built on Moving Parts

Brand is the sum total of perceptions about your company, product or service from all the publics that are aware of you. It is an expression of trust built on a complex set of factors that must be considered. Here are the elements that will make up the program I’m preparing:

  • Vision (from Lightning in a Bottle)
  • Mission (from Lightning in a Bottle)
  • Prospect Viewpoint
  • Value Proposition
  • Profitable Niche
  • Position
  • Persona (a core of Trust wrapped around with Product, Price and Passage (Distribution) encased in a Name
  • Promotional Whirl (Trust Tools and Spin Tools)
  • Performance
  • Perception
  • Prospect Feedback
  • The Circle of Trust

You can see my dilemma. But I’m doing my best. In a week or two this program will be available. Will it be easy? No. Will it work? Yes, as well as the user wants it to. The key here is that I’ll be right beside you in spirit and the program will be changed over time as we find the difficult parts that need more elucidation. And, if you get really hung up the folks at Ingomu will make it easy to contact me direct.


Jerry Fletcher ThinkinigJerry Fletcher is a sought-after International Speaker, a beBee ambassador, founder and Grand Poobah of www.BrandBrainTrust.com

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for Trust-based Brand development, Positioning and business development for independent professionals on and off-line.

Consulting: www.JerryFletcher.com
Speaking: www.NetworkingNinja.com

Brand is an Opinion

Elephant in the room--social media

A tempest in teapot dome

An op-ed in the New York Times generated multiple Tweets and comments from the President.

The piece, authored by an anonymous person claiming to be a senior white house official said: “Although he was elected as a Republican, the president shows little affinity for ideals long espoused by conservatives: free minds, free markets, and free people. At best he has invoked these ideals in scripted settings. At worst he has attacked them outright.”

The President was incensed saying in a tweet:  “,,,if the gutless anonymous person, does indeed exist, the Times must, for national Security Purposes, turn him/her over to government at once!” Later he tweeted one word: Treason.

An opinion is not treason

I’ve long held that Brand is the sum of all the perceptions about a company, product, service or, in this case person. Successful brands listen to what their customers, prospects and all the other publics think, feel and believe about them. Why is it that people of a Fascist bent identify any opinion different from their own as treachery? The self-centered believe that their viewpoint is reality and all others are fake, phony and in the old days would call for the phrase, “off with their heads!”  That, in part, is why the United States was founded.

Make America Great Again

That singular phrase uttered over and over to this day is the Brand that got the President elected. It is the one he is spewing in support of his minions for the mid-term elections and no doubt will carry into the next presidential election.

Take a hard look at that phraseology. On the surface it is just a slogan. I urge you to look deeper.

The assumption is that America is not what it used to be. That is true. Once we were heralded as a nation governed by law who welcomed “the huddled masses yearning to be free.” No more. Now we imprison children with little hope of them ever being returned to their families. We turn hunted people away sending them to their deaths. There are claims that they are all criminals. Sorry, the facts don’t support that allegation made in the highest office in the land.

The slogan seems like a positive harkening for a more idyllic time. But if you’re a racist, sexist or convinced your religion is the “right one” it means that the office seeker is one of you. You may call yourself a conservative but the real conservative in my opinion believes in Free minds, Free markets and Free people.

I’m at liberty 

So are you. You are at liberty to try to build a brand. You are at liberty to judge other’s labors in that regard. No one has the right to seek legal action against you for your opinion.  Just as clearly, no one can disagree with the President for stating his opinion. But if he seeks government action against anyone on his opinion alone he needs to be stopped. Legally.

The once and future brand

There are some that say this country was never one that was the brand some people believe in.  That, in part, is true. Even after the Civil War we still had segregation. Even in the second world war antisemitism  was rampant. Today we refuse to acknowledge the migrant farm workers that come into the country across the southern border. Those that claim these people are taking their jobs regularly refuse to work in the fields.

There are those that still believe the doors should have been closed after their ancestors immigrated here seeking a better life. That way lies disaster. When we close the door we shut off the power to maintain what makes America Great.

It is not a time in the past. It is not when we turn our back on the world. It is not when we meet desire with enmity.

What makes America Great is free minds, free markets and free people.


Jerry Fletcher Keynote in ColombiaJerry Fletcher is a sought-after International Speaker, a beBee ambassador, founder and Grand Poobah of www.BrandBrainTrust.com

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for Trust-based Brand development, Positioning and business development for independent professionals on and off-line.

Consulting: www.JerryFletcher.com
Speaking: www.NetworkingNinja.com

Brand, Trust & Blockchain

Unknown is unbranded.
Brand is, in my view, an expression of Trust. If I haven’t heard of you or your product or service, you are a commodity. Nothing separates you from the pack. But, introducing yourself to me appropriately can give you instant panache.

That won’t happen with every prospect. More frequently in today’s world they are going to look you up on-line. They will Google you and run down the items that pop up on the first page of the search. Try it on yourself. Just type in your name and look at what comes up.

You are not invisible
I have a large body of work that has been published on the internet now but there was a time that a Mel Gibson movie called Conspiracy Theory where he played a character with my name was just about everything on that first page.  That I didn’t mind.

Comments are currency
There is a tendency to review businesses, sometimes with scathing comments. That goes with the territory. It can be helpful or devastating depending on the level of acid. The problem is that you have no real control over these entries in the debit column and no way to add credits that directly connect.

You need to put solid testimonials on your web site as a partial counter. You need to correct the fault mentioned in the review. You need to find a way to assure you are trusted.

Can you find a way to get back to the one-to-one level of confidence you once enjoyed with ever customer? We are getting closer. The answer is called Blockchain Technology.

It started with cryptocurrency.
The Cyberpunk reaction to Wall Street’s control of banking and subsequent disastrous consequences on world finances was to continuously search for a way to take the control of the double entry accounts out of the bank’s hands and put them on a digital platform.  Bitcoin, although it did not meet the developer’s criteria did introduce the idea of Blockchain.

Technology for trusting strangers.
Like a lot of brilliant ideas the concept is simple. Implementation ain’t so easy. Those ledgers that keep track of who owns what have been around in principle since the Medici Bank was set up in 1397. Blockchain removes them from a central location and puts them in shared distributed digital files. The files are shared on a worldwide peer-to-peer network so there is no central authority. Once a record is updated, the change cannot be reversed, falsified or erased. It is permanent. Every person in the network has their own copy of the shared ledger and those copies remain the same.

Why is that important?  For the first time in history it may be possible to create a public record of who owns what that is not managed by a third party and cannot be changed by a single individual or organization. In other words, you could sell your intellectual property or a product to someone you’ve never met with complete trust on both sides of the deal. You could write a contract that executes based on an outcome you and that stranger had endorsed before the fact.

There’s an app for that
An underlying program called Ethereum has become the darling of the Blockchain enthusiasts. Essentially it allows blockchain developers to decentralized applications on top of it. Current offerings are being developed in three areas I know of : Asset transfer, Supply chain proof and smart contracts.

Yes, it is early days. Yes, it is a huge promise. Yes, the digital world is never as direct and obvious as we expect. But consider these simple facts:

  • 1969 The first message was sent and received over Arpanet the predecessor to the Internet.
  • 1978 marked the first test of Cell phones in Chicago.
  • 1985 The Well, a dialup chat and networking site, was established. This is the grand-daddy of all social networking sites.
  • 1988 Eudora, the first user-friendly e-mail program was released.
  • Google was founded in 1998
  • Linked In (now owned by Microsoft) launched in 2003
  • YouTube launched in 2005 (Google paid $1.65 Billion for it in 2006.)
  • In the last 30 years we have gone from zero to more than a half of the world’s population being on the internet

Are you ready for the next 30 years?


­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Jerry Fletcher ThinkinigJerry Fletcher is a sought-after International Speaker, a beBee ambassador, founder and Grand Poobah of www.BrandBrainTrust.com 

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for Trust-based Brand development, Positioning and business development for independent professionals on and off-line.

Consulting: www.JerryFletcher.com
Speaking:
www.NetworkingNinja.com

Personal Brand: To Be Remembered

We are tribal.

Family. Extended family. Clan. Others who have married in.

Each of us, at our core, wants one thing: To Be Remembered.

Whether we get there via fame or infamy, we care not. For some is it is good enough just to be recognized by the clan. Others need the affirmation and admiration of a larger group. I suspect it is in their genes.

No matter the reason, we now have the techno gee-whiz abilities of the internet to boost our “personal brand.”

But that technology comes at a cost. To be truly, deeply remembered you still must engage in person with other human beings.

  • Your blog won’t get you there.
  • Your attempts to go viral on YouTube won’t get you there.
  • All the picture posts and notes on FaceBook will not get you there.

Your fond hope of having new visitors to the mummified digital files you leave behind is probably not going to happen. As much as the internet provides quick easy access to a lot more people, there is no connection in that connection.

Connection

In 20 years of investigating and speaking on social networking I’ve found that the road to brand runs through the junction of connection to Trust. Meeting a host of people, we find just a few that we want to continue the dialogue with. They are the ones we find interesting as potential customers or referral sources and some that are just fascinating in and of themselves.

Fascination

That attraction doesn’t always go both ways. It can but it is not required. For them to find you spell-binding, you may have to work at it. You may consider gilding the lily, spiffing up your personal brand by trying to appear as something you are not.

Not a good idea.

Engagement

You are better off being yourself and letting them know you are interested by asking questions to learn more about them. Engage them in conversation instead of doing that “elevator pitch” commercial.

Ask them:

  • How did you come to be in this business?
  • If you weren’t doing this what would you do?
  • Business is only part of life, what do you do for fun?

Trust

If they return the interest you are on the highway to Trust and a real “personal brand.” But you have to stay on the high road. On line and in person you shouldn’t try to enhance your value. Be who you are. Stick with honest, consistent information. That might change a little over time with education and experience but at the core you need to stay the same.

What’s at your core?


Jerry Fletcher is a sought-after International Speaker, a beBee ambassador, founder and Grand Poobah of www.BrandBrainTrust.com

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for Trust-based Brand development, Positioning and business development for independent professionals on and off-line.

Consulting: www.JerryFletcher.com
Speaking: www.NetworkingNinja.com

 

Is Your Brand “Strangely Familiar?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Connecting

There is a point in time when your product is not a known quantity. People may not have an idea what it is and what it does. They need a way to wrap their mind around it. They need something familiar to connect to the strange. Here are some examples:

  • Horseless carriage
  • Digital camera
  • Flat Screen TV
  • Big box store
  • Electric car
  • Selfie stick
  • Virtual reality

That is the way to get hordes of people to comprehend what you offer. Those descriptions came from multiple directions. “Horseless Carriage” was first heard on the streets as the first automobiles were introduced. The” Digital Camera” dates back to the 1950s and is a spin-off of video camera design! The electric car was “invented” by multiple people starting in 1828. Today’s versions tend to be “hybrids” a combination of gas and electric but if fueling and range can be corrected an “all-electric” could be the coming thing.

This just in (sort of)

More recent additions to the above list might be:

  • Self-driving car.
  • Rollerblades
  • 3-D Printer

In every case, the familiar is combined with the strange to forge connections in our minds. Without such verbal equations we don’t have a shorthand term for the unknown product or service.  We don’t have a way to remember an offering.

It is all timing

There is a time in your life and that of the product or service you market that it needs to be strangely familiar and cited as “The.” The Selfie Stick, The rollerblades. The snowboard. If you’re lucky that yields a brand.  Later on you may have to add another word in order to protect your panache. Then you become “The original” as in The Original Pancake house,  The Original denim jacket and The Original Networking Ninja .

Factoring the familiar

Sometimes you need to add a little strange to make the familiar more powerful. That’s where Instant Brand and 30-Second Marketing come into play. Memorability can be added to anyone’s response to the question, “What do you do?”

Over the years I’ve used these responses:

  • Marketing Rainmaker (my original consulting title)
  • Networking Ninja (I’ve been speaking under that sobriquet and owned the URL since 1990)
  • Brand Poobah has been one of my titles for the last couple years as people kept asking me to help them with their Brand

Marketing, Networking and Brand are descriptive but not words that will tickle your little grey cells. Rainmaker says I can change your marketing and your life. Networking Ninja has a marvelous consonance and infuses expertise. Brand Poobah says expert but with a bit of tongue in cheek fun. All three are much more unforgettable than they were before the strange was added.

Want to make yourself “Strangely Familiar?”

Call me. 503 957-7901


Jerry Fletcher is a sought-after International Speaker, a beBee ambassador, founder and Grand Poobah of www.BrandBrainTrust.com

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for Trust-based Brand development, Positioning and business development for independent professionals on and off-line.

Consulting: www.JerryFletcher.com
Speaking: www.NetworkingNinja.com

 

Brand is Bias, Big Time

Nothing controls how you feel about things, right?

Guess again.

Decisions are not logical

Right down there in the bottom of your brain in the part called the amygdala is where all your emotions slosh around to make the decisions you can’t believe you made. As much as we wish the economists were right, humans do not make logical decisions. We decide based on feelings and then attempt to rationalize what we’ve done.

Bad ass biases

Is there something under those emotions that pushes us one direction or another?

You bet. It is called bias. All of us have them. Some are so accepted that we rarely notice them.

Smell      I’ve read that smell is the most primitive of our senses, the one most directly linked to our unwitting biases. Ever noticed how the smell of a bakery can lure you into the store? Does the smell of fresh mown grass make you think of a picnic by the lake? It’s hard to imagine being in the lobby of a movie theater without smelling fresh popped popcorn. Right?

Sight  We are a visual culture. Color alone can create a bias. It can have different meanings in different cultures. Red, in the west means stop or danger. But in China it is the color of life celebration worn on New Years, weddings and funerals. Yellow is a joyous color except in France, where yellow signifies jealously, betrayal, weakness, and contradiction. Blue holds more connotations than any other color around the world extending from depression to elation. Green is generally associated with earth, plants and new life. But be careful. In some South American cultures it is the color of death. Purple, early on, was a symbol of wealth but as the dye was more readily available it came to have other meanings. Now it is the color for funerals is common across Europe and South America.

Be sure the colors you use have the meaning you want in the culture where the brand will be sold. A bias against the color you choose could torpedo your product introduction.

Sound  it is easy to think that songs sung in English using western instrumentation and notation are the world standard. As ubiquitous as that sort of music is, it is not all that is out there. There is still tremendous pride and emotional linkage to native approaches around the world. And that power is possible to put to work for a brand. Think about how often melodies crafted in Vienna in another century set the mood for a perfume or high-end jewelry. Can you resist the rhythms of dance from Celtic to Flamenco to Argentine Tango?

The sound of a child crying gets attention in every culture. Even in the backwater of the third world, the sound of a jet taking off, a car being started or a soft drink pour are recognized. The sound that is familiar and fits with your brand can help build the bias you want.

Touch  this sense is the first to develop in the human fetus. Differences in the perception of touch around the globe are a minefield but gestures and body positions that do not involve touch can be just as dangerous. Have a native of the culture check touching, gesturing or body positions in every photo, video or other visual representation you intend to use.

In Korea, the touch of a woman’s skin is how great beauty is described. Each culture describes skin and the results of skin treatments differently Can you use the terms the natives are biased toward?

Taste There are some common denominators and some that can be found mystifying. Most of us can sense sweet, salty, sour, bitter, hot and cold. But what is described as good or tasty, delicious or disgusting is completely variable by culture.

Do not even think of taking a food product from one country to another without first checking with specialists in the target company. Chees is not big on China’s idea of great imports. Hamburgers will not go over with the general populace of India.

Bias goes beyond the senses.

All of us use biases to explain why we like a specific brand. The experience we have with the organization that sells it may generate the bias we call preference. Starbucks is a good example of a bias like that. A brand that gives us a rationale for being part of a group that uses it can turn fandom into fantastic profits. Examples include Porsche, Rolex, Apple and Canondale.

We can be biased toward any product that solves the problem we have If it meets our resolution criteria and understands the emotions we feel about a solution. What brand comes to mind for you?


Jerry at Cafe in Venice

Jerry at a cafe along a canal in Venice.

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Jerry Fletcher is a sought-after International Speaker, a beBee ambassador, founder and Grand Poobah of www.BrandBrainTrust.com

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for Trust-based Brand development, Positioning and business development for independent professionals on and off-line.

Consulting: www.JerryFletcher.com
Speaking: www.NetworkingNinja.com

Trust, Brand and How to Get There

Brand is based on perceptions.

The greatest of these is trust.

If there is no trust, there is no positive brand. (Video Link) BUT there can be negative brand. Seldom if ever does a brand exist that is trusted by 100% of the populace. Even within the target audience for the product or service there will always be some that don’t get the message. There will be group that is not on board for many reasons chief of those being a negative experience.

Consider the current approval ratings of the Trump administration. More importantly, consider the desperate straits of leadership in the departments of the federal government where A and B list candidates are scorning appointments and refusing to serve.

When less than 50% of the population trusts you, you have a brand problem.

Trust and consequently Brand are dynamic.

Trust can change as quickly as new information becomes available and in today’s world that is just a tweet away. It doesn’t matter who tweets as we have seen over and over since Trump took office.

More importantly Brand can be impacted by any information presented to the audience whether it is “fair and balanced” or more blatant false news. The problem is that the same information causes diametrically opposed reactions depending on which part of the audience you poll. The level of Trust can shift just by which side presents the information.

Trust and Brand are situation specific

Either side, with privileged information, might have an advantage over the other. New information can reverse the situation. Sometimes the data can overlap. Whatever the truth may be, when the populace is divided and polarized the two sides will both claim victory and cite their perception of brand as righteous.

Even when one side is forced to retract their actions they will continue to claim their deeds were justified. Look at the comments that followed a judge’s ruling that the children of families seeking asylum here in the USA had to be returned to their parents.

Even the Trump oriented news organizations rightfully called it a backlash. What they aren’t mentioning is the backlash about treating asylum seekers as criminals. The most descriptive phrase for that is “anti-American.”

Trust and Brand are social or relational constructs.

That means that win or lose you have to play the game. If one side or the other refuse to engage the game is over. Only one brand will continue. If one side does not stand up for what it believes the other will slowly become dominant. Both sides need to be heard. Both need to listen. And both need to consider their actions as well as their words.

Trump advocates continue to say, “He’s doing what he said he would do.” That is true. How he is doing it is another matter. That is not going unnoticed. His loyalty to long term associates is being called into question now daily. Breeches of long-term American values are being noticed by everyone.

Getting to Trust and Brand is based on maintaining certain attributes over time.

The most important part of those components is credibility. People have to believe that your word is your bond. They want to believe they can believe you. To establish credibility you have to be real. you have to be trustworthy. And you need to be the same over time.

But being those things are dependent on how the audience perceives you. Right now, there are friends and neighbors of yours that will say that the current man in office meets all these qualifications. He is authentic. There are few if any like him. But he is not consistent. He is anything but. And when it comes to integrity, I would rather be his enemy than his friend. In short, I cannot trust him and for me that generates a negative brand.

Trust generates positive Brand.

You will have a Brand whether you want one or not.

A negative Brand will spawn terrorists that will do everything in their power to bring you and your organization/government/business down.

Yes, you can have a positive Brand and that will pay you dividends.

Positive Brand advocates will stay with you through the tough times refusing to buy in to another product or service or ideology. They will stay with you until you can match or beat the opposition as long as you don’t betray their Trust.

What is your stand on Trust and Brand?


Jerry Fletcher is a sought-after International Speaker, a beBee ambassador, founder and Grand Poobah of www.BrandBrainTrust.com

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for Trust-based Brand development, Positioning and business development for independent professionals on and off-line.

Consulting: www.JerryFletcher.com
Speaking: www.NetworkingNinja.com