Years ago, I used to produce all the Meineke muffler commercials. And for those that remember, George Foreman was in those commercials for a while. A lot of fun. I would go down to Houston and shoot for five days in a row and put a whole bunch of commercials in the can and then we’re set for the year. And then do it again. So… one day, I’m sitting on the back of a production truck with Mr. Foreman. We’re waiting for the next setup. And I asked him the question that everybody wanted to know.
Why does he call all his kids George, George-etta, Georgina, etc.
So, I waited for the answer. I was ready to duck his impressive right cross… And all he said was “because that’s all I have to give them.” It took me aback for a second and finally, I said, “Well, fathers… that’s what we have… we give our name to our children, I get that”. He politely interrupts and says, “No, it’s all I have to give meaning I’ve worked really hard on my name. Its’ character, integrity, AND it’s now worth quite a bit of money. And ironically, on that day, the George Foreman grill had come to fruition. And you would not believe the amount of money he was handed just to give the rights to his name?… It was $135 million dollars. Yes, that’s right, just to say, “hey, you can use my name.” We should all be that fortunate. That man worked very hard in his life. He was smart with what he did and how he used his money. He didn’t listen to the wrong people that are very rampant in that industry. I greatly respect him, and this story stayed with me, over the years.
So, what’s the point of all this?
Well, Mr. Foreman, understood the value of his brand and he used it very well. He built a career on that name. It wasn’t just about the sport. It was about HIS brand. If you’re reading between the lines as to where I’m going here… I am attesting to the “brand equity” of a given brand. It takes time to build a foundation of any brand and can become a cornerstone of something much bigger than anything you probably ever thought could occur. When positioned correctly & marketed well, a company can increase its brand equity over time. What it is worth today will not be what it’s worth in 5 years IF the brand is built up over time.
Let’s apply it this to your business.
Over time, I’ve learned that there is a cause and effect in everything that we do.
In a world where consumers are so much more demanding, it’s at a time where businesses must conduct themselves ethically and with integrity. Some businesses don’t heed this advice and reap the consequences. Our last recession, the big one, back in 2008, changed people, and made us think differently and now make us much more accountable as business owners.
Bad marketing offends me like you have no idea. It takes just a little bit of foresight and a little bit of effort to make a brand decent. Do it better. Do it with intention, make it count… Make your brand great! Every single thing you put out there, people are watching and your brand matters. If you don’t make it matter & don’t care… no one else will.
Why is your brand more (or less) important than your competition?
You need to be able to understand who your consumer is, specifically, as well as your value differentiator. What sets you apart? What’s your value? Why you versus the competition? These are all common questions that marketers probably ask and they’re asking for good reason. If you don’t have answers to these simple questions, then the only differentiator you have comes down to money. And then whoever is cheaper is where consumers will buy. Once you’re in that pit, your brand will not achieve real brand equity success as you will always be chasing “today’s dollar” vs building a brand to secure “tomorrow’s dollars”.
How successful can your business be?
It can be as successful as you want it to be. You must make different decisions. You must surround yourself with people that know more than you do in their categories, you’re probably great at what you do. Most entrepreneurs came from a bigger industry, they’re good at what they do. And then they get in a little over their head in business because they don’t know all the other things that it takes to make a business successful. No clue. I am just a good marketer. I need other professionals to assist my business regarding the services i don’t know. So, whatever you’re good at… all the other things should really be let go and allow people to come in and help you. It’ll make your business stronger.
I want to tell you that I’ve been in my industry for so long. I love it. I’m passionate about it.
I never stop learning and every day I find something new and exciting. Always moving forward. The idea here is we all can do that. We all keep taking a step forward and moving in a direction toward improving our craft & our business. Take steps toward building your brand equity. You will be glad you did!