If you know about Les Brown, then you’ve heard him ask, “Are ya hunnngry?”
Les has been my friend for over 25 years, he’s is a fellow faculty member at CEO Space, and he’s such an inspiration to so many… “Are ya hunnngry?”
My questions to you are similar, “Are ya hunnngry to build your business? If so, what’s the level of appetite you have for creating a truly sustainable and profitable business?”
It’s been my experience that branding yourself and your business is essential. It ranks right up there with how awesome the quality is of an outstanding service you provide; all of which are essential components to a successful company.
I’d like to assume, that as a business owner you already know this, aaand I’m suggesting that it’s just the beginning.
Having a brand is one thing, living the brand is another thing all together, and that’s precisely where I want to hang out with you for this blog; living the brand.
Have you ever seen, a highly technical person get confused with how to perform a basic operation? Or how about a customer service representative who treats people like crap? Or how about this one….the health pundit caught wolfing down a couple Big Macs and a Supersized Coke? You know where I’m going with this… We see, all too often, HYPOCRISY in action. BLATENT HYPOCRISY. And we laugh, snarl and sometimes even go into our egotistical ‘holier-than- thou’ mode. I mean, oh my gosh, we’d never do anything like thaaaaaat!
Guess what? We humans have been known to be inconsistent with our image, our values and our brand promise. Yes… sad, but true.
So what can you do to avoid this embarrassment?
Well first, it’s not about embarrassment. It’s about the crime. A crime? Yep… and here’s what I mean…
Your brand and reputation have a value; and a financial one at that. It’s an intangible asset of your business.
My friend and client (and a CEO Space faculty member) Michelle Seiler-Tucker is a master at selling businesses – She’s sold like over 300 to date. So needless to say, Michelle knows a thing or two about business assets. The one thing she reminds us of constantly is that, “Your brand is a measurable and valuable asset of your business and is always factored in the valuation and sale price.”
So, what would you call it when someone intentionally or accidentally destroys a company asset? Could be criminal. Could be incompetence.
Let me put it this way, you’re either building your brand or you’re killing your brand, and nothing about that is neutral. The fact of the matter is that you’re either engaged in brand integrity (building brand value) or engaged in brand slaughter (killing your brand).
So, part of the how to actually prevent brand slaughter is this: Teach each and every team member to get real with the brand promise, and get serious about living the brand with all of their daily responsibilities and activities.
The best way to go about this is to imagine that the brand is a delicate and valuable, million dollar Faberge egg. Wouldn’t it make sense to teach each employee how to carry it properly so it won’t get damaged or destroyed?
The years of experience and insight I gained from hosting a lot of mentoring meal tables at CEO Space, has helped to feed my inspiration to write my latest book, Preventing BrandSlaughter: How to Preserve, Build and Support Your Brand Asset Value. I wrote this book with the mission to keep business owners and their businesses out of harm’s way.
One way of doing that is to understand the value of knowing how to orientate around the topic of brand value. It’s valuable to know how to hire, train, coach, and manage each of their unique personalities. In BrandSlaughter, I share how to build brand value by fostering brand supportive behaviors as a core job function of every leader, manager, supervisor and employee.
Every action you or your team members make in the day-to-day core functions of the business, will either build brand value, or kill brand value.
BrandSlaughter is a business narrative about a hospital. An engaging, touching story in which one of the characters teaches the staff about a process they called an ABI, (pronounced Abbey) or what he referred to as an Audit of Brand Integrity.
He suggested that each employee take an inventory of their activities with others, such as prospects, customers, vendors, co-workers, etc. Then, they are advised to consider how their brand is ‘at play’ in each of these interactions, and ask themselves, “What does brand integrity look like in this situation and what does BrandSlaughter look like? What’s the best way to build the brand in this interaction?”
I’ve listed the six-step process so you too can take an inventory of your company’s activities, and define what brand integrity and brand slaughter look like for you, so that you and your teams can leverage these situations to build your brand value every time.
Six Steps To Building Brand Value
1 Introspect whether you resonate with the brand. If not, get out now; life’s too short
2 Create a three-column list with these headings: Situation/Interaction | Brand Integrity | BrandSlaughter
3 In column one (Situation) jot down at least 20 various situations
4 Imagine yourself in the first situation, think about how you can enhance the brand with ‘brand integrity’ and jot it down.
5 Imagine yourself in the first situation again, but this time think about how you or someone has undermined the brand with ‘brandslaughter’ and jot it down.
6 When you complete the list of 20, think creatively on how you can build brand value through accentuating the positive and illuminating/eliminating the negative in each situation.
As I emphasize at the CEO Space Forums during my classes, and during the mentoring meal tables, “ideas don’t work until you put them into action” so I invite you to begin your ABI now. Take action first on yourself and then on your business. Your future self will thank you later.
To your success!