Most people understand and implement the concept of branding in their business every day. It is also most people that only associate branding with a product or business. While this is certainly one aspect to branding, what most fail to realize is that the most important brand you have control of is yourself.
But what does that mean? It means that when you go out and do your day-to-day duties, the rest of the world will view you either positively or a negatively depending on how you treat people. You are constantly forming your own brand based upon your actions.
For example, if you act consistently like a jerk to people, whether at work, school, recreation, etc, then you develop a reputation (brand) of being an unpleasant person to be around and that reputation will often precede you. Even if you do recognize this character flaw and make efforts to change your behavior, it will take a very long time to repair that trust with the people that you hurt. For better or worse, your brand is more a constant that it is a variable.
To translate into business terms, if you are the CEO of a large company, how you treat your employees and clients on a daily basis determines the perception the world develops about your company and whether they support your business.
Take this real-life example: Sir Richard Branson turned the Virgin Group into one of the most recognizable brands in the world. They have over 300 products ranging from cell phones to airlines. Branson first started this enterprise as Virgin Records in 1970 with successful music acts that made the company millions of dollars. With this capital, he then started Virgin Atlantic with the first transatlantic flight from London to Newark in the 1980’s. When the airline began to struggle as the result of a “dirty tricks” campaign by their competitor, British Airways, Branson sold his record company in order to save the airline. The decision made him realize that he was the Virgin brand that ultimately influenced and determined the fate of the company and whatever he put his mind to, he had the control to make happen. With the realization of the power of his personal brand, he has since turned Virgin Atlantic into the second largest airline in the United Kingdom.
The lesson from Branson’s story is that if you make the effort to form a strong, positive brand and learn how to harness this power, you have the ability to take your business to level far beyond just a product or a service.
Cheval D. John started “Vallano Media” on February 6, 2012. Previously, it was a blog called “What’s The Word?” and it remains vital to the website. In addition to running the site, Cheval is a freelance reporter for The Huntsville Item, a daily newspaper in Huntsville, Texas and a team member of Priority One Public Relations, an on-campus public relations firm. Please support Cheval by “Liking” this post, leaving a comment below and visiting his personal blog: http://vallanomedia.com/.