Brand Yourself

“Pragmatic Sales Psychology” short episode series, writing #8”    

How important is a brand? How important is the public’s perception of a company or a product? What emotions do they emit and how important are those feelings to the buying process?

Interbrand ranks the top ten brands, globally, like this: Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Samsung (we’re all techy up to this point), then Coca-Cola,Toyota, Mercedes-Benz, McDonalds and Disney. 

ReadyArtWorks cites these as the top ten, most powerfully recognizable logos: Starbucks, McDonalds, Apple, FedEx, Mercedes, (some of these are repeats, you’ll notice) Pepsi, Nike, Coca-Cola, Chanel and Mickey Mouse. 

Depending on how much interaction with these companies you’ve had, good or bad, and how much a part of your life they are, each one is psychologically assigned a ranking in your own mind. They all, on a personal, consumer level, evoke an emotion even if it is apathy. BUT to be on this list, it stands to reason that they evoke less apathy than most others. Their products, servicing and advertisement have brought them to the pinnacle of consumer awareness. “What does that have to do with me?”, you ask. Allow me… 

These are big fish on a global scale; most of us aspire to be a big fish in a smaller pond therefore, the market area definition dramatically changes. The reason for the above references are simply to solidify the fact that branding is important and a standard achievement among the world’s most successful companies. The answer to the first questions posed, “How important is a brand?”, based upon the above, seems to be VERY. Mirroring what the most successful of the successful do seems like good practice.  

The second question, “How important is the public’s perception of a company or a product?”, in my estimation is the answer to the first one. Why? Because “people (80/20 rule invoked) buy on an emotion and back it up with logic.” The public’s perception is HUGE in how they feel about you. A positive attitude on a buyer’s part, going in, can be a salesperson’s best initial ally. 

And what about question number three, What emotions do they emit and how important are those feelings to the buying process?” Some brands make people feel better about themselves from a status-symbol standpoint. It is a main benefit of buying any particular brand or experience. One’s self-esteem can be bolstered by being an owner of, or being associated with a particular brand.

Up until this point, all we’ve done in this article is espouse the power in the sales process of positive branding, yet, here is where we expand our thinking and apply that principle in a new way. In what way? To us. To us on an individual level…to our personal reputation, to our reputation as the market’s most knowledgeable and successful __________ specialist. It could be hardware, appliances, remodeling, hearth and grill, insurance, pest control, instrument sales… actually any vocation at which you have chosen to excel. Branding yourself, in addition to a good company and/or product brand, is the path to being a superstar performer in your niche. 

Allow me to ask a few questions:                                                                                                                                                       

Do you have a great picture of yourself on your email sign-off?                                                         
Do you have your own slogan?                                                                                                             
Do you post informational items and info (not sales) on social media platforms to out-position your competition?             
Do you do blogs or podcasts?                                                                                                             
Do you have a charity or higher good that you serve that makes you feel like a philanthropic being and not just another run of the mill capitalist to the buying public?                                                 
Does the public have any personal knowledge of, or feel for, who you are vs. the others in your arena who sell the same thing?
Is there any reason you shouldn’t have your own website showing off your knowledge and interactions with happy clients that you can use as a credibility tool – an obvious reason for new customers to like you after checking it out?
A YouTube channel for videos where you offer advice would be very helpful to your social media and web presence. You could also interview some happy customers and use it as a “testimonials” tool.   

You get the jest. Your personal competitive advantage can be gained by out-promoting the others who do what you do. If you simply do what everyone else does, you will most likely experience similar results. BUT, if you do more, it stands to reason that YOU will do more! Inference recognized, I trust. Yes it takes work, yes it takes planning and interactions you haven’t typically been investing in, but the payoff? In a month, year, later in your career? Simply imagine the possible results.

In summary-companies of all sizes are historical proof that branding works. There is no reason it can’t also work on a personal level. I’ll leave you with a story and a quote. 

Here’s the quick story: A car salesman in Tucson sold me a car. It was a fair deal and the car has been a good one, but that is not the memorable thing about the experience. He has called me for the past three years on my birthday to ask me how my car has been running and thank me for doing business with him. The result? The next time I buy or refer anyone to a car salesman, he’ll get the nod. Think about it… he branded himself as a more caring individual than anyone I’ve ever purchased anything from, a job of self promotion well done.

All of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEO’s of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You – Tom Peters 

Jack Klinefelter
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