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

 

 

 

 

Three Little Words

Heart in sightsNo, not those three.

The three I have in mind are

  • what,
  • how
    and
  • do.

Putting together a DIY (Do-It-Yourself) program called No Budget Branding over the last few weeks made me think about decisions I’ve made over time and how much I’m like other people.

What

Back in the days when I was up to my eyeballs in a pheromone fog “What” started rattling around my skull. I was lucky. I selected my parents well so the decision for me was delayed until after those halcyon high school days. Friends and acquaintances had to choose due to financial and social situations long before I did. They followed their fathers into the construction trades and the military and their mothers into the careers reserved for women at that time…homemakers, cooks, waitresses and nurses.

Some of us were lucky enough to put that decision off until we went to college. It was called selecting a major. I had my choice between Business, Engineering and Advertising. I took one look at the business school types wearing ties and blazers, the engineers with huge slide rules hanging off their belts and said, “Madison Avenue, here I come!”

It ain’t pretty but that’s how I decided what I was going to do with my life. I could have changed but I stuck with it. I’m still sticking with it a full career later. Yes, I was one of the Mad Men. That TV show was accurate, sort of.

How

I learned a lot in College—mostly that I had a lot to learn.  You see, making a profit on what you do is dependent on knowing how to get it done. If you are working in a trade, your knowledge is what lifts you to a position of expertise. Understanding the how will get you into management, assure you better pay, and sometimes ownership.

What is the way people are intrigued with information on the internet. How is what they are willing to buy.

You can tell people all day long what they need.

You can get them to click on the offer because they want to know how.

Think about that offer which you ”bit on.”  The video on the web site told you how the seller was now making seven figures. The clock on the webpage kept ticking showing how little time was left for you to jump in. The testimonials talked about instant results. The key elements of the formula, what makes it work, were revealed and even offered as part of a downloadable note. Some organizations even showed you how they were improving society as well.

Do

You clicked the orange button, plunked down your credit card, signed up and downloaded the “goodies” to include the promised bonuses. Wow! Talk about instant gratification!

Did you notice the admonition that was the first thing out of the chute? It was something like this:

Step away from your limiting beliefs.

You can do this. Focus on it.

Dedicate your life for the next x weeks to this formula.

Focused action will allow you to accomplish your goals

You will be SUCCESSFUL

That’s because the seller knows a secret.

Most people will not act. Many will not even open the packet of information, digital or traditional.  They are telling you the truth.  They decided or were forced to decide what to do. They learned how (sometimes the hard way). They learned that the only way to make something happen is to do and stick to it.

Will you act?


­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­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 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

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

 

Marketing: The Edge to Late Entry

I’m running late today. Usually my Saturday morning posts are in your e-mail box by 3:00 AM

Not today.

Gone but not forgotten

Yesterday, the Toys R Us stores across the USA closed.

At its height it had 1,690 locations around the world. Ownership of the stores changed hands multiple times but it dominated toy sales pushing out smaller, local toy stores wherever it opened.

Toys R Us first lost is market dominance to Walmart in 1998. It struggled unsuccessfully to maintain, it’s position. The last time it had an annual profit was 2013.

The lesson learned

Smaller toy stores simply could not match the variety, volume and pricing of the larger Toys R Us that used the big box strategy to build an iconic brand. Big box based companies can easily supplant a single category competitor. You can have a competitive edge when you are late into the market but that edge needs to be honed continually.

Tilting toward the internet of things

Looked into Best Buy lately? Just about any electronic gadget you need can be found on their shelves including a lot of the items that qualify for the soubriquet: Internet Of Things. The sales force is being trained to understand buyers versus final users and to optimize their Geek Squad brand for completing the sale.

I heard through the grapevine that their Geek Squad has been trained in installing and servicing scads of new household gadgets. More importantly, they are being trained in how to deal with seniors.

The moral of the story

Someone in the marketing department has realized where the biggest market for these digital goodies is, how they get sold and the skills required to build a trusted brand. A friend tells me that a sensor that detects whether an aging relative is in bed, accessible across the net, is sold to a son or daughter as a way to check in on Mom or Dad. It is one of the items the Geek Squad is ready to install! Staying on top of market shifts can extend the life of your organization even if you are late to the party.

Better late than never

I spent most of the last week doing an inventory. A couple new Strategic Partnerships caused me to dust off productizing plans for the intellectual property I’ve developed over the years as a consultant and professional speaker.

My partners and I have looked at the offerings for independent professionals and small businesses and found them generally wanting. Most are rehashes with little or no relevant statistical support. Proven processes, tips and techniques are hard to come by.

The edge to late entry

Marketing Without Money TM products we deliver (learn more) will be thoroughly tested and adapted to the life style of the owners of professional practices and small business. What that means is that they will be available in Video, Audio and PDFs. It will be a subscription service with small cohorts. Regular webinars that are heavy on Q&A will highlight program keys and provide bonus materials. The programs will be continuously refined with new additions available to all subscribers.


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

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

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

 

 

The Lunch Bunch Brand

Those of you who have been reading my blogs for a while know about the “Lunch Bunch.”

I’ll introduce them again so that you don’t have to rely on memory and so those that are making their acquaintance for the first time are a little less confused.

The Dialogue Blog

I was looking for a different format. The ones known to work based on the analytics, chief among them readers responding to a call to action, were my guidelines but I wanted something different. The format that appealed to me was based on detective short stories by Isaac Asimov and Spider Robinson, both science fiction writers.

They shifted the finding of a solution to a group gathered together over a meal to respond to a guest’s mystery. Asimov placed them at dinner with a waiter who solved the case after the others had blithered over it. Robinson varied it by story allowing just about anyone in his cast of zanies to be the one or two that “figured it out.”

I’ve been away from this rowdy crowd too long. Visitors to the lunches often were generated by folks asking questions after I delivered a presentation. I’ll be relaying to you the groups  sassy but sure advice once again as I go back to speaking professionally and the questions mount up.

The avatars of a brand.

It has been many moons since I celebrated working with this crew. Each of them is based on a real-life expert. Most of them are physically close to the descriptions offered. Okay, a couple of them are way different. But all of them exhibit the mental acuity you would hope to have in this kind of gathering.

The Core group:

Rick, is a swarthy Jewish outdoorsman comfortable in a kayak or on a Ducati who moved to Oregon to indulge those interests. He is our master of direct marketing and one of the few people I have ever met that is a natural at networking. He can meet someone in a rental car line and the next week be presenting to their Fortune 500 company.

Kate, our dusky mistress of sales earned her spurs the old-fashioned way—cold calling floor by floor in downtown business-packed high rises. She has the chops to go on sales calls with newbies and tell a CEO when the Sales VP has been over-promoted. Tough lady. Now retired but always up for lunch with this bunch

 

Bubba, Rob to some of us, is a slow drawl southern talking older gentleman that at times claims to be “Dumber than a bag o’ rocks” BUT (there is always a BUT) he has a genius for the psychological alchemy known as brand. The real Bubba presides as the creative director of an Ad Agency in Atlanta.

 

Chris is third generation Chinese American now the proud young father of a boy and a girl. He is an entrepreneur that has made his way through the wild west of the internet doing web sites, seo and you name it for the last ten years. He has just founded an on-line business that scales and now can give up the part-time consulting gigs that supported his entrepreneurial habit.

 

Gail, is a woman who has told me she teaches people to think because they must learn that skill before they can write. She is always a writer but has ridden that talent far and wide running an ad agency and as an on-air talent as well as a freelancer and consultant. Her quiet grandmotherly demeanor veils a strength built from dignity and laughter facing life without fear.

Jerry FletcherMe, the ringleader. Yes. All these folks exist. No they don’t gather each week except in my mind. Their views, expressed in these dialogue blogs are usually their own sometimes shaded by the filter of my digitizing them.

Cameos, from time to time another professional joins the group when our visitor/client has a problem that falls in the expert’s bailiwick: PR, Customer Service, Distribution, etc.

Here are some of the previous Lunch Bunch Blogs you might enjoy:

http://jerryfletcher.net/2017/05/deja-vu-testing-for-on-line-success/

http://jerryfletcher.net/2017/03/positioning-versus-branding-2/

http://jerryfletcher.net/2016/01/brand-aint-digital/

___________________________________________________________________

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

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

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

 

Chutes & Ladders To Build Your Brand.

 

They didn’t have the game when I was a kid.

We got it for my daughter when she was in grade school. It is a counting game where you move from the bottom of the board to the top. Where you land determines your progress toward the goal. A Chute, like a playground slide takes you down while ladders take you up.

It is all about mindset.

Yours. Others. Whether we go along or not is dependent on the convictions in place both before and after individuals engage. Chutes are pre-engagement. Ladders are once we begin attempts to influence another.

Chutes, in the real world turn out to be positive or negative according to Robert Cialdini in his new book Pre-Suasion. His first book, published 20 years ago, (Influence) was about the six key “ladders” that marketers, advertisers and sales professionals use to convince and persuade.

A chute is my way to describe Pre-Suasion.

It occurs:

  • Before you are in a position or situation to be sold.
  • Before the discussion of features and benefits.
  • Before the emotional appeals.

It happens when you or your prospect are in a frame of mind that will color your reaction to all the ladders. You are on the chute and what you feel, think and believe in that moment is predictably what will make the difference in your reaction.

This is behavioral psychology finally exploring the complexity of factors that control acceptance of advertising, marketing and sales techniques.

Too often we use a Ladder approach, stacking up all the features and benefits of going our way and at times yielding to the hard-won knowledge that decisions are emotionally, not logically based. Yet we fail because the chute our prospect was perched upon ran counter to our approach.

The power of setting the stage.

Shakespeare noted that “All the worlds a stage” Before you, as a player, utter a single line, consider the stage. Is it conducive to the outcome you hope to produce? If you can control them, how would you change the trappings? Could you change the speech that precedes yours? Is there a musical or sound note that could be injected to change an attitude? Is there a lighting or art effect that can change the mood?

30-Second Marketing TM, the technique I teach for self-introductions is a powerful example of how the elements revealed in Cialdini’s book set the stage.

Why 30-Second Marketing TM works.

  1. You wait until they ask, “What do you do?” that shows focus on you.
  2. You hook ‘em. You respond with something memorable like, “I’m a Networking Ninja.” That generates curiosity and puts them on a chute because they want to solve the mystery of the title.
  3. Next you hold ‘em with a statement like, “You know how you, like most people, are really uncomfortable introducing yourself…” A nod or other positive response will tell you that they are with you and that you have now personalized this conversation to them.
  4. Then you pitch ‘em. You say something like, “What we do is teach you how to have a conversation instead of doing a commercial. We help you mothball that elevator pitch and use a technique that is a shortcut to Trust that you can do in 30-Seconds or less.
  5. You close ‘em on a date and time to sit down in their office to work out the details of how you can work with each other. You set the stage.

______________________________________________________________________

Jerry Fletcher Keynote in ColombiaJerry Fletcher, Networking Ninja, is a sought after International Speaker, 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 on and off-line.

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

 

 

 

Your Personal Brand as a Eulogy

I hadn’t intended to be there.

My daughter and I had agreed to fly in for weekend meeting with Mom to make sure we were handling her finances as she wished as she moved to long term care. We wound up at Mom’s funeral.

There was a small turnout.

Some family, a few from the neighborhood but the greatest attendance was the ladies of the sewing circle. They are a group of women that sew quilts for infants and children at the local Children’s hospital. Mom was a founder of the group and a member for 55 years.

Kelly, my daughter, led off.

She began the eulogizing by telling us how her Grandma responded when she had told her that she could only visit once a month. Mom just looked over her glasses and said, “Honey, you’ve got a life and a career out there in D.C. That’s where you need to be.”

What single word describes you?

The minister asked the crowd to describe Mom in a word or two. The ones that stuck with me are: Feisty, Kind, Ornery, Caring, Live Wire, Listener, Direct, Open

In every case, the initial zinger was followed with a modifier: Feisty but Kind, Ornery but Caring, Live wire but willing to Listen, Always Direct but Open to other views.

What my feisty Mom taught me about building a brand.

  • Speak your mind…gently. You need to have opinions and you need to voice them. But even if you differ from everyone around you, your manner can be respectful. And it is okay to change your mind if it makes sense to do so.
  • To challenge social stupidity, ping pong ‘em. Find a partner that shares your viewpoint preferably for different reasons. Team up and come at the numbskulls from two directions. Use both emotion and logic to argue your case. Stay with it until you win.
  • Walk your talk. Though she spent most of her life as a homemaker, Mom thought women should be independent. She may have been the neighborhood, “cookie lady” but she could and did lead the charge for social changes she believed in. She lived alone after Dad died until she was 95. She surprised her sewing circle members by purchasing a new car when she was 94!

You can be frank and beloved.

You can’t convince or persuade if you are inconsistent. You can’t be seen as on top of it if you aren’t. You can’t build lasting relationships if you don’t really care.

You can be feisty but gentle. You can be a little ornery if you soften it by caring. You can be the live wire of the group but also be the one that gets even the most reticent involved.

Your personal brand is the considered perception of you and all your actions.

What are the words they will use in your eulogy?


Jerry Fletcher ThinkinigJerry Fletcher, Networking Ninja, is a sought after International Speaker, 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 on and off-line.

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

 

Do you Look Your Brand?

Your logo is the least of it.

Part of my job as a consultant and speaker is to help independent professionals and small businesses see how important every graphic, photo and video is to their brand.

Adults relate to people not symbols.

It is easier for grocery shoppers to pick Newman’s over a host of competitors. Which do you lean toward, General Mills or Betty Crocker? Given the choice so you opt for coffee grown, picked and shipped by Juan or one of the raft of others on the shelves?

Animals come in second.

Can you believe a Super Bowl with no commercials featuring the Budweiser Clydesdales? When it comes to batteries do you want the Energizer Bunny ones or the other guys.

Cartoon Personalities come next, particularly with kids.

Four out of the top five cereals are hyped by a cartoon character (Frosted Flakes, Lucky Charms, Captain Crunch and Fruity Pebbles). Ever wonder the King Kong of movie production in the last few years is Marvel?

Here’s how that impacts you and your business.

  • If you are an independent professional, your name and your image should be part of every way you promote your brand. For example, recently I decided to do more speaking. My new card reflects that in the visual which is a photo taken during a keynote. If you’ve ever been to a conference the impression is that this is a keynoter.If you can manage it, use a photo that allows the person viewing to make eye contact with you. Spend the money to have a professional photographer capture your essence. Selfie’s just don’t get it!
  • If your business is a separate entity providing a product or service not tied to your name or professional capabilities consider using an animal. I’ve known a very successful writing instructor that built her identity around her Newfoundland Retriever. At one point one of the most successful speakers I know had a blog “written” by his dog.

Be careful how you choose. Not everyone likes insects, or snakes or a mélange of other critters. Usually you need to stay away from the scary ones but sometimes the fear factor can make you more memorable. Or, you can do a switch up by using a comforting story or image. One of the highest readership blogs I’ve ever written was about a Mama Raccoon.

  • If you like cartoons, consider the expense. There are a lot of low cost logos that are cartoons. The problem is we are trained very carefully from youth to expect cartoons to be animated. Full scale animation is costly in terms of both time and money. Some amazing things have been done recently in software that may help you overcome this difficulty. Check into it before you walk away from the potential.

The key is to keep it consistent.

Every time you produce anything that will be seen by your customers, prospects, connections and referral sources make sure the visual reflects the image you want to present to them. That includes looking in the mirror as you leave your lair. Even if you are just running out to get an item at your local grocery, you need to look your brand.

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Jerry SpeakingJerry Fletcher, Networking Ninja, is a sought after International Speaker, 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 on and off-line.

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

Is Your Brand Singular?

UniqueAre you:

  • Focused
  • Unique
  • New
  • First
  • Defining

Successful brands are at least one of those.

Focused

The problem with most entrepreneurs is that in their rush to please customers they keep adding products or services and confuse people. Big companies are notorious for making this mistake. Automobile companies may be the best example of the worst behavior. Can you even begin to name the cars that Chevrolet manufactures today?

However, if you stick to one thing, then people identify you with that singular product or service or category. Examples: Starbucks, H&R Block, Subway.

Unique

There is only one Alan Weiss or Taylor Swift, or, for that matter, you. There is something unique in every individual. What is it about you that identifies you in other’s minds? One of my clients, a management Consultant is known for his ability to bring clarity to leadership of mid-size companies. He is known as “the Defogger.” Another is branded by her ability to help you see the psychological reasons you get tangled up in with managing money. When it comes to money knots, she is known as “the Untangler.”

If you are a professional or consultant your brand is a mixture of your skill set, your personality and how well you succeed in getting to trust. Ask your clients or patients or customers how you are different in their eyes. Use what you find out to let new connections have a better picture of you in their minds.

New

Brand spanking new, never seen before is not common. More often, yours is a new entry in an existing category. Every Salon that opens is new to the neighborhood but not to the category. Every young man or woman that passes the bar is a new lawyer but does not yet have a brand. Just because you are certified as one kind of professional or another doesn’t mean you have cachet. It may take years.

New is easier with products or services or even how people pay for your services. A former client (WingVentures) trained people to become pilots. The standard pricing in the industry is an hourly rate payment for the instructor plus an hourly rate payment for the aircraft plus the fuel cost for the aircraft each time you take a lesson. When he offered an all-inclusive price to go from novice to a pilot’s license he was not sure it would work until the first time he tried it and the client handed him a check for the full amount. The new approach netted him executive clients from not only his local area but from across the USA and Europe.

First

Don’t confuse being first with being first, ever. You can be first in your geographic area, first in your category or first to jump from one prospect audience to another.

Being first ever means you have to have a completely new product or product implementation. For example, false fingernails have been around since ancient times but Acrylic finger nails were invented in 1954. Fred Slack, a dentist, broke his fingernail at work, and created an artificial nail as a realistic-looking temporary replacement. After experiments with different materials to perfect his invention, he and his brother, Tom, patented a successful version and started the company Patti Nails.

Today, acrylic nails come in do-it-yourself kits. Professionals continue to offer them along with other kinds of false nails.

You will definitely not be the first to offer false nails but you could be the first to offer your own designs in your neighborhood.

You could be first to offer the service in the local barber shop with special nail designs just for men. Just thinking.

Defining

Sometimes a brand becomes the definition of product or service. Ever ask for a Kleenex or a Xerox? Ever specify a brand because they own the word that defines the solution to your problem? For instance, if it absolutely positively has to be there overnight you would probably call FedEx. Have a small cut? Sounds to me like you need a BandAid.

Remember my client the flight instructor? He offered Executive Flight Training. We oriented all discussion of the service and ancillary services to busy executives that wanted to get licensed on their schedule. There was a Private Pilot’s package, an Instrument Rating package and even a Jet Transition package. We even put together special deals for lodging for out of towners to come in for up to 21 days of training.

You can define your Brand with a word. It is best if it is a name but just hooking your brand to a specific word in the prospect’s mind can make you singular.


Jerry SpeakingJerry Fletcher is 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 on and off-line. He is also a sought-after International Speaker.

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