Renowned Branding Expert David Brier shares what rules you need to break when building your personal brand.
Too many entrepreneurs and startups think it’s their talent that will result in amazing growth—that, somehow, telepathy will come into play and people will “just know” what you have to offer.
But as my buddy and Shark Tank investor Daymond John has said, “We all have the same 24 hours each day. How will yours be different?”
This is what inspired my new book, Brand Intervention: 33 Steps to Transform the Brand You Have into the Brand You Need.
3 Rules to Break Immediately
With all the lists and rules out there, I wanted to share with the NewTheory community some instant takeaways that will give any brand an immediate lift (and if continued over a long time to become part of your culture, you will become unstoppable).
1. Unplug Everyday
We are all more “plugged in than ever” but as a result, we’re much more out of touch. The opportunity then is to add a more human factor into your brand.
For entrepreneurs, I tell them, “Speak to a minimum of 2 new people everyday” (minimum) who you and your business can help and add value to you. For brands with a sales force, make each salesperson contact 2 new people everyday. That’s a minimum. 7 days a week.
I don’t care if you’re trying to sell them or not.
But you must speak to them and achieve this: have them feel that you added something to their day, their business, and their potential for success.
This works whether you’re B2C or B2B.
Do this everyday and get ready for what will happen next in terms of growth and relevance to others.
2. Kill the Cliche
Trust me: 98% of the messages out there merely add to the noise. Chances you’re doing it too.
Are you talking? Yes. Are you actually communicating? Odds are, no.
One of the key reasons is you’re using cliches: those same promises and pitches that group you into your industry (have you ever run into somehow and just by the way they spoke and said everything like a sales pitch, you thought, “Oh, you’re a car salesman.”) are lifting your brand.
It comes down to this law: If you’re using cliches, you’re promoting your category, not your brand.
That is the kiss of death.
Avoid cliches. And to be 100% clear: avoid doing, saying, dressing, looking, walking, and talking like your competition.
In their place, find something unique that you do that helps eliminate a pain, or accelerate a gain for your customer.
You don’t have time to clear up the, “Oh but I thought you were the same as…” By then, it’s too late.
3. Never Meet Expectations
Losers meet expectations. Expectations are a low bar.
Winners exceed expectations at every opportunity, not merely when it’s
Henry Ford avoided meeting expectations (who were using horses as their primary mode of transportation before cars took over) in this way, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”
Instead, he understood they wanted to get places with greater speed and efficiency, but all the public could think of was “faster horses.”
As brands, we must usher in the future.
The future doesn’t just show up with innovations.
It’s the entrepreneur who initiates a new standard, and who refuses to “meet expectations.”
In everything you do, exceed expectations. For some, this will be easy. For others, this will be harder, but this exercise will help you:
When writing out your daily plan, next to each item, write down what is the “acceptable standard that meets expectations” and then, next to that, write down what you can (and will do) to raise the level and make it extraordinary.
Applying these three points will give an edge that will empower all that you are already doing.
Guest Post by Renowned Branding Expert David Brier