By Scott Costa, Publisher, tED magazine
You know when you have that “moment of clarity”? I had it this morning when thinking about branding and coming across this.
While I know it’s sad, the truth is, like my obsession with Nike, Apple, Coca-Cola, and Amazon, I am also constantly changing and then re-changing the definition of branding, because it just keeps bouncing around in my head.
Here is the back-story on my moment of clarity:
Joel Embiid is a professional basketball player from Cameroon. I wouldn’t care about him, except he went to school for one year (and played really great basketball) at Kansas University, which is where I went to school and it will always be my favorite team. You can walk around my office at any time and find at least 10 Kansas products. It’s safe to say I am a brand ambassador for the university.
When Embiid was in Cameroon, he didn’t start playing basketball until he was 15 (kids in the U.S. start at around 4) so he is one of those people who didn’t know a lot about the game when he was playing on a huge stage in major college basketball games.
While he might not know as much about the game as LeBron James, he’s now 23 years old, and knows a ton about branding. He plays for one of the worst teams in the NBA (the Philadelphia 76ers). A few years ago, the team started a branding campaign called “The Process” which was a way to say “We have a plan, it’s going to take a little bit of time, but you will be rewarded of you just “Trust the Process”.
So what did Embiid do? He gave himself his own nickname, which I know sounds ridiculous. He now calls himself “The Process.”
Talk about buy-in!
If you go to his Twitter page, twitter.com/JoelEmbiid right there at the top you will see “The Process.” And, as an employee of a company/NBA team with a branding campaign, he knows the definition of the brand. And, he can recite it if asked, which he was asked to do last week.
The point is, while you are the owner of a “BRAND” where you are working, you also need to make sure everyone connected with the brand knows it, too. And they live it. And they can recite it. And they put it on display whenever they think its necessary. And, if they want, maybe they can use that brand for their own nickname.
Joel Embiid is going to be a great basketball player. He’s an interesting character who happens to have a great, TV-friendly personality and is very funny at times. But equally important, he’s very intense when it comes to being a successful part of a (currently) very unsuccessful company. He’s also a great “brand ambassador.” Something our members and the employees of all of our distributors should follow.
So check him out and think about your brand. Maybe it will help with your moment of clarity when it comes to what you want to be to your customers. How do you want your employees to live that brand with every phone call, every sale, every e-commerce transaction, every delivery, and every follow up to every order? How do you set yourself apart from being just another company that your customers need to get a job done? It’s going to take some time to figure out. It’s going to take some effort to keep everyone on board.
Go ask your employees if they can recite the brand. If they can’t, it’s no big deal. But you have some work to do.
It’s a process. So trust it.
Tagged with brand, branding, tED