Are you leading a business? If you are a CEO, founder, owner or manager for a company, organization, corporation, family office, or nonprofit, ask yourself if you are leading with
“Nose on the grindstone”?
Or “Eyes on the North Star”?
What difference does it make?
Either your company is going nowhere except mere survival, as one of the 80-95% of “grinders”, or “hamster-wheelers”,
Or you are empowering your company to grow with shared vision, values and strategies, by elevating your teams and your customers to be a better version of themselves. A true “unicorn” or a “power brand.” The top 5%.
The “hamster-wheelers” have their minds fixated on the bottom line. They primarily focus on the endless day-to-day business operations. They react to every issue and put out fires wherever they occur while struggling to meet monthly sales targets. The workplace can be either a machine-like environment at best, or a stressful, demoralizing and toxic place with a high turn-over rate, at worst.
The “power brands” proactively align people’s intrinsic aspirations with what their brands stand for. The navigation and movement (operations, marketing and sales) of products and services always follow a brand’s True North (brand DNA™), consistently deliver on brand promise, satisfaction and inspiration.
Power brands or wanna-be-s are extremely meticulous with hiring the right people who truly share their brands’ value and persona.
Then they equip them to carry the brands’ DNA, adding value to their individual careers along the same trajectory of growth as the companies’ brands and customer value. This enhances and expands the company’s brand power collectively – customer, company, employee – with each contribution in harmony and in sync.
New leaders emerge to lead and train expanded workforce of truly inspired, empowered and enthused employees and staff who each (and collectively) transfer the company’s brand power to inspire, empower and enthuse loyal followers (rather than mere purchasers or customers.)
Examples: Tesla. Apple. (Google? Does its monopoly power disqualify it as a star brand?)
Great brands are influencers that create passionate followers. They create and sustain relationships of long term loyalty rather than merely sales transactions.
You don’t have to be a giant to be a power brand, thanks to the internet that offers unparalleled and unprecedented opportunity for branding, even for solo professionals.
A small or mid sized organization has the same access as giant brands to websites, social media, and the same digital marketing avenues. Then why are they not taking advantage of the internet to grow their brands? Why are some brands getting stale and going nowhere?
It’s the mindset.
The urge to keep doing the same is powerful and addictive. It fools you into believing that being busy is good enough. But are you activities really productive? How relevant are your activities to your brand and your brand’s growth?
You cannot expect different results by doing the same thing. If you cannot get off the hamster wheel or voluntarily take your nose off the grindstone, retain an expert consultant’s help to give you a mental break and kick start you off into the desired path.
I always tell CEO that they are so deep working IN their business and know so much about all the intricate parts of their business that it can blind them from gaining a different perspective ON their business. Since I am outside the “forest”, so to speak, I help these CEO command a bird’s eye view of the business, over and above daily operations, with clarity and insight into the development of a valuable brand.
It is like a married couple retaking their vows in the church they got married 30 years ago: by reevaluating current state of your business – how close or how far from your brand’s DNA and your target audience, leadership can recalibrate the organization’s structures, realign its goals with its vision, mission and brand value, and readjust performance to consistently deliver a brand’s promise in a competitive world.
My company’s tagline says it all: ‘Top line lifts bottom line.”
By how much?
Upon exit, an established and recognized brand is worth about three times more than a no-name in value.
– A lot.
I myself switched from Windows to Mac after using Windows for 20 years. Windows, with its remarkable consistency, is always just a “computer”. But Mac can be an emotionally attachable “pet”. No wonder why Apple changed its name years ago from “Apple Computer” to just “Apple.” (One can argue if the Apple Watch is a computer or not.)
Since I am hands-on with video editing for my company’s visual branding clients, Mac has a leg up for me. Many non-designers who use Apple products willingly pay a premium for a BRAND that is always elegant internally and externally in functionality and design.
Some of our clients saw as much as 35-40% increase in business volume after a full 10Plus branding AND brand-marketing campaign.
Too often, CEO with intention to hire branding experts regard the cost as a “luxury” item rather than a necessary investment, which is part of a strategy with a clear business ROI.
Inevitably, by de-prioritizing investment into their own brands, CEO find themselves among the 95% of “grinders” and “hamster-wheelers”, with their nose on the grindstone and eyes off their North Star.
Like contributing to one’s IRA, without a fiscal commitment based on strategic vision, growing a business brand will forever remain a dream. Too many seniors find themselves at retirement age without any savings, and too many businesses have missed the opportunities and TIME, the best friend of a brand, to establish, build and grow their brands.
We refresh and rebuild existing brands, and grow new ones, with brand DNA™ mapping, verbal messaging, videos, websites, social media and digital marketing. We transform mere businesses into power brands and legacies.
Written and copyright by Joanne Tan, © 2019. All rights reserved.
Edited by Glenn Perkins.