I hear a lot about “Branding” today. I regularly get emails about the corporate brand, your personal brand, defining your brand, building your brand, brand nauseum!!!
Much branding information focuses on a logo or a positioning statement.
- BMW — The Ultimate Driving Machine
- Kentucky Fried Chicken — Finger Lick’n Good!
Thus, you change the logo or positioning statement to change the brand.
I have a different concept of branding.
In the American West — in the time of cowboys, open ranges and cattle drives — in order to tell one rancher’s cattle from another, ranchers would burn a mark into their livestock’s hide. When other ranchers saw the mark, they knew who owned the cattle. When rustlers stole the cattle, they knew whose cattle they were stealing. The “brand” is the mark that the rancher left on the cattle.
Thus, a business’s brand is simply the mark the business leaves on its customers.
BMW — The Ultimate Driving Machine
only works if a BMW actually is the ultimate driving machine. It’s the car and its performance that leaves the mark on the driver and makes the brand.
Starbucks brand is not a green and white mermaid. Starbucks brand is my grande Veranda with no room for cream, or it is a venti pumpkin spice latte with eight shots of espresso, seven pumps of pumpkin sauce, and one pump of maple pecan sauce, as the case may be. It also is a comfortable place to meet with a variety of chairs and tables where you can stay for hours and not get hassled, clean restrooms and free Wifi.
Our personal brand is the mark we leave on the people we meet and touch each day. We each leave a mark on everyone we touch. Some of us leave others feeling better every time we see them. Some of us make others happy every time we leave. I am sure we all have friends who are always late or don’t seem care if they upset us. We also have friends who aware and concerned about our well being.
Our personal brand is the mark we leave on the people we meet.
Let’s be sure not to burn them!
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