What is your company BRAND type?

By Jernavis Draughn

Jeff Bezos once said your brand is what everyone says about you when you’re NOT in the room. Over the last year and a half, our company “Athletes Global” has become more focused on what we want our brand to stand for. We want to align our “what”, with our “why” and our “how”. So our teammates echo and behave consistently with our mission and culture. Your brand is your BUSINESS. The operations of a company will impact the culture, by shaping how people work. The culture also impacts operations by making it work effectively and efficiently. Your culture defines your leadership. It actually affects how you provide your services, even down to the packaging of your products. It also affects customer service, how you win, and how you respond to failure and conflict. All of this defines your BRAND.

In the book “Fusion”, by Denise Lee Yohn, it introduces how integrating brand and culture powers the world’s greatest companies. Here’s nine different brand types that companies are defined by.

  1. Disruptive Brands. Completely changes the entire industry. Examples: Tesla, Apple, Amazon, Walmart
  2. Conscious Brands. Mission to make a positive impact on society. Examples:  American Red Cross, Melinda & Bill Gates Foundation, and LinkedIn
  3. Service Brands. Deliver high quality customer care and service. Examples: Chic-fil-A, Trader Joe’s and BMW
  4. Value Brands. Offer low prices for basic quality products or services. Examples: Walmart, Subway, Amazon
  5. Innovative Brands. Consistently introducing advanced and breakthrough products and services. Examples: Tesla, Disney, Apple
  6. Performance Brands. Produce and deliver superior performance and dependability. Examples: Proctor & Gamble, Toyota, Cisco
  7. Luxury Brands. Higher quality at higher prices. Examples: Mercedes, Hermes, Louis Vutton
  8. Style Brands. Differentiated by the products or services look and feel. Examples: Nike, Airbnb, Starbucks
  9. Experience Brands. Differentiated by the experience they provide. Examples: Disney, AMC, Hilton, Apple, Amazon, Starbucks

What is your company brand type? What is your employee and customer experiences? How would they rate them? Your organizational culture is largely shaped by its purpose and values. Becoming clear on how you want you’re Brand to be defined, will help build a clear vision, mission and a company culture that is committed to success.

Quote of the Day: “Products are made in the factory, but brands are created in the mind.”-Walter Landor

The Shoe Dog BILLIONAIRE

By Jernavis Draughn

The Shoe Dog Billionaire, by Phil Knight is a remarkable story that explains the honest path to business success. From running track at the University of Oregon to meeting his first business partner Bill Bowerman who coached him in college. Bowerman, the mastermind behind the first designs and implementation of improving the experience for every athlete performing in Nikes. The book takes you through a roller coaster ride of how Knight started Blue Ribbon Sports and changed the name to Nike in 1971. Winning law a suit from one of the biggest Japanese shoe companies that he partnered up with to create shoes for his company Blue Ribbon Sports, to owing $25 million to the United States Custom Service.

Knight had a unique leadership style of giving autonomy without affirming you of your success. Knight would push you to never rest on your laurels, but to build a hunger for more. Knight was an athlete at heart with a competitive spirit to always find a way to WIN. His leadership style pushed you to discover your unique gifts and to maximize them to your best ability. What Warren Buffet calls, defining your circle of competence. By the 90s Nike had finally overcame there achilles hill, “Adidas” as the number one shoe company in the world.

The Nike swoosh logo that Knight paid Carolyn Davidson only $35 to own, changed the brand to what people now know worldwide. The growth of Nike skyrocketed after the change of their logo and helped expand nationally. Despite the growth, Knight was constantly looking for ways to be mentally present and balance family life with his wife Penny and two sons. Success demands sacrifice. Knight believed, “Hard work is critical, a good team is essential, brains and determination are invaluable, but luck may decide the outcome.”

From signing the likes of Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, Bo Jackson, and Andre Agassi, Nike has recreated the shoe and sports apparel industry. With over 1.152 retail stores today and a networth of 34.8 billion. Nike employs over 73,100 people worldwide. They consistently pivot and innovate on all levels within there company. I will leave you with the last passage from the book She Dog Billionaire that defines who Phil Knight is and what compelled him to keep going through the storms he endured. “Have faith in yourself but have faith in FAITH. Not faith as others define it. Faith as you define it. Faith as faith defines itself in your heart.

Quote of your Day: “Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.”-Benjamin Franklin

BRANDING is your BUSINESS!

By Jernavis Draughn

Nothing clarifies like clarity. What does your brand echo to your clients or new prospects? What are your core values? Do your clients or teammates know what your brand stands for? In business today, your brand can build your business faster than your service or product will. The power of social media has created millions of what we call overnight successes directly from the impact of branding. I’m not saying all of these social media influencers are merely talented or skilled in a particular craft. I’m saying they have mastered consistency and the art of branding themselves in an area where people have bought in on their talents. Consistency creates credibility in building your brand or business.

Here’s the top five most valuable brands in the world, according to Brand Finance consultancy firm.

1. Amazon

2. Apple

3. Google

4. Samsung

5. Facebook

These companies have a history of value creation with a powerful brand awareness. These brands can be identified anywhere and defined by their services they provide. What separates these brands from others? First, these companies’ product and services provide consistent value where they have created raving fans as clients. Second, they all have created their own lane and have been labeled as the best at what they do or provide. I believe the character of the company will outweigh the credentials it receives. Only purposeful achievement is ultimately sustainable.

In the book Simply Brilliant by William C. Taylor, he explains there’s four pillars to creating a strategic and strong brand presence in your industry.

1. Point of view. They have a particular take on how they see the world. You believe your services or products will change the world in some capacity for the better.

2. Intensity. They offer an intense projection of who they are in everything they do. The company as a whole leads with their life, by living what they believe in.

3. Salience. They are highly intrusive. You cannot notice their activity even if not actively looking in their direction. The brand is intentionally impactful on all platforms.

4. Built on a Rock. They assert a compelling conviction that the stance they are taking is one that is uniquely theirs.

Here’s the question you should ask yourself if you’re in business now. “If you weren’t you would you do business with YOU?” What discerns if a business will go from average too good to great is the vision the company has and the purpose behind what drives the vision forward. If I can pass anything along to anyone currently in business or wants to start a business would be, start with your “WHY”. I’ve learned if your why is powerful the how is easy. That will be your driving force when you’re faced with adversity. Lastly, you must believe that your product or service will make the world a better place. Our behaviors are belief driven, so if you don’t believe in something strong enough, you will quit before you even start. Your brand breathes life into your business. Focus on the purpose of your brand and business will thrive in the essence of clarity.

Quote of the Day: “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” – Warren Buffett