DO take this personally…

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DO take this personally…

i was only half way watching when I hear the roar erupt.

my eyes shot up to catch the last millisecond of the most notable play that will ultimately send the Seattle Seahawks to the XLVIII Superbowl…and unleash a tidal wave of critics towards their smack talkin’ defensive back, Richard Sherman.

i’m sure that Skip Bayless’ heart must’ve dropped to the tip of his toes as soon as the game clock hit 00:00.  i’m sure that we are all enjoying the field day social media is having with this content.  and, i’m sure that viewers chuckled at Erin Andrews facial expression when she asked the question, “well, who was talking about you?”

but, what is so great about this moment in sports history is that if you asked Mr. Sherman the same question today, “who was talking about you?”…you have to admit, the answer is EVERYONE!

Forbes recently published two great articles by two respected industry experts about branding.  one was about personal branding.  the other, organizational branding.  what was intriguing was that both writers mentioned the need for successful brands to be focused and consistent.

“strong brands are known for something- not a hundred things.”  –William Arruda

“keeping your promises – is at the core of building expert brand experiences.”  –My Say

even as Richard Sherman dodges the onslaught of disapproving darts, he meticulously focuses on three (3) qualities that are necessary for any strong BRAND:

1) CONSISTENCY  “tell ‘em what you’re gonna tell them.  tell ‘em.  then, tell ‘em what you told them.”  It is that simple.  you don’t need to be as verbose as Sherman, but you do need to be confident in what your brand stands for.  that means confident enough to withstand the critics that don’t share your vision.

2) DELIVERY  once you consistently assert your brand position, you must follow through.  in the branding industry it is called “delivering on a brand promise”.  Richard Sherman works on his craft day in and day out to be prepared for that moment when he needs to deliver.  this holds true for any brand in any industry.  it must be a daily exercise to ensure that your actual product or service meets or surpasses your brand promise.  if you are able to do this consistently, you will inevitably increase your brand value.

3) VALUE  perceived value is a component of branding that can easily be compromised. the biggest contributing factors to the demise of perceived value is inconsistency and lack of delivering on the brand promise.  however, maintaining your integrity as a brand on these two fronts will not only increase your perceived value, but also make your brand valuable.  when your brand becomes valuable to your consumers, it not only translates into increased revenue, it also translates into brand loyalty.  brand loyalty is the “go juice” to a brand’s confidence when innovating to become better.

right now, Richard Sherman may be solely focused on the immediate task at hand taking place in a few weeks.  but, don’t underestimate one man’s example of having the foresight to lay the foundation now for a BRAND empire later.

are you making every drop count…?

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