Look down at your feet. Do your shoes have a recognizable brand? Perhaps the all-familiar Nike swoosh, or the comfortable Hush Puppies imprint?
Check out your shirt. Do you see the embroidered emblem articulating the quality?
How about your jeans, any recognizable Levis’ studs or premium tags on the outside for all to see? Does your car or watch scream “I’ve made it” to your friends.
And at work, are do you wear a company shirt for company social events and casual Fridays? And are you given a branded notepad to carry to appointments with your trusty company brochure?
Are you branded?
Lets face it, we are the branding generation. Everywhere you look, brands permeate our psyche, influencing our values, decision making and judgements, offering credibility and accentuating success.
Businesses “get” branding. They know they have to be remembered, recognized, and valued for the standard of product or service that they offer. They create easily-remembered emblems, taglines and ditties that deliver their messages memorably.
Even professional services businesses, at the top end of the world, understand the important commercial benefits of having a premium brand. Many of the biggest services firms in the world have no assets at all. All they have is smart, motivated, talented people; leased premises and a professional reputation, yet they make enormous revenues, and astounding profits.
They also have a very clear culture, strategy and expectations of their staff. Staff in a professional services business start out when they are hired by coming to work, joining a team and delivering value to customers. They learn stuff, get better at what they do, build a few relationships and deliver more and more projects. Each of the people look the same as each other, work the same as each other and deliver the same results as each other. They are almost interchangeable — except for a dynamic few. The really smart ones work out how to differentiate themselves from the same-crowd. They create a distinctive role for themselves in an industry or niche that they can stand out in, and build the relationships, connections, intelligence and strategy that they need to promote themselves as more valuable within their companies, and to their industry of choice. They promote their “personal brand."Continued on the next page