Branding is an ongoing process that cannot be produced in an afternoon of decisions regarding your logo, corporate colors and website design. Rather, we all know that a successful brand is built from a multitude of coherent decisions that grow out of one powerful corporate and brand strategy. If owning and managing a leading brand is a goal of yours here are 10 simple rules on how to become, well, a brand leader:
1. Share all of your best ideas with everyone. Don’t hold back! People respond generously to the most generous people so you will be rewarded by your open-sharing policy.
2. Be prepared for heavy competition but lightly change strategy to adjust to a new reality and do it with so much grace everyone will think you planned it that way.
3. Be a better listener than a talker! In fact, be more interested in learning about your customer’s needs than explaining your services. Remember, people are interested in telling their story, not necessarily listening to yours, at least not until they’ve told theirs first.
4. Realize that you need to be a team of one. Be confident and proactive.
5. Use research but trust your instincts, as they will usually be right if you have been in your industry for some time.
6. As a very close friend told me recently, “Be better each day so you can help others do better.” This is a baseline way to conduct your life and it will never let you down professionally or personally, for that matter.
7. Pursue your dreams and big ideas. Don’t let them sit on a shelf year after year. Try them out and see if you can make something of them. You’ll never know if you don’t try.
8. Try and be the industry imaginer. Steve Jobs was always out in front of his competition and customers and offered something new and different. This capacity of coming out with something new serves Apple well today.
9. Be a detail person. Follow through on every single drop of opportunity that comes your way and finish every item you start, regardless of how large or small.
10. Don’t sit by the phone waiting for it to ring with an idea or opportunity. Instead, pick up the phone and make something happen!