#118 The three "be's"

Happy Sunday, everyone.

One aspect of business we’re working on across the portfolio is branding. It’s important for each business to know what it wants its brand to represent and how its customers should perceive it.

Before we talk about branding, let’s define “brand”.

A brand is composed of the memories, stories, expectations and relationships baked into the consumer’s mind. The total of these pull a consumer to choose your product or service over another. It’s the perception of a business in customers’ minds. It’s what they think about when you enter their thoughts.

In Marty Neumeier’s book, The Brand Gap, he says it this way, “A brand is a person’s gut feeling about a product, service, or company. It’s not what you say it is. It’s what they say it is.”

Of course, this topic of branding or doing branding is complex, so here is a simple framework we’re using that I call the “Three Be’s”.

Please note.

Branding is not marketing.

Marketing produces change (new behaviors or a choice of something over another). Branding is the story of your company the customer holds in their mind.

Both are needed.

Ok, back to the “be’s” of branding.

First, Be consistent.

Know what you’re about and never deviate from it. And if you don’t know what you’re about, start with what you’re NOT about.

Bobby Hundreds calls this your “response” to what the culture and your industry is putting out there. This response is your way of planting your flag in the ground.

Once you do, hold your ground.

Second, Be Honest.

Great brands are built on trust. When a customer’s trust in your company is high enough, competition ceases to exist.

Every interaction either builds or erodes trust.

Third, Be interesting.

This one may be cliché, but it’s still true. There is a fight for the attention of your audience.

“Every interaction, in any form, is branding.” Seth Godin

Three Things to Ponder

  1. “There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow men. True nobility lies in being superior to your former self. - Ernest Hemingway
  2. There are generations yet unborn, whose very lives will be shifted and shaped by the moves you make and the actions you take.” - Andy Andrews
  3. We learn to read until we read to learn - The Hustle, Shower Thoughts

Three Things to Enjoy

  1. I’m working my way through Ken Burn’s Hemingway documentary. I’m always amazed at how deep he can go on a topic.
  2. My friends, Mark and Andy, have launched high quality newsletters in the last few weeks.
  3. More than 1 million businesses are incorporated in Delaware. Ever wonder why? Check out this article to find out.

Until next time, friends.


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