Monday, April 16, 2018

Defining "Leadership Brand" and More Insights from Mark Herbert

It's time to feature one of my favorite leadership experts on my blog again. Mark Herbert and I met back in 2011 as a result of our social media activities, and I was immediately impressed by Mark's insights gained by more than 30 years of experience as an HR executive, author, and management consultant in a variety of organizational settings ranging from entrepreneurial to Fortune 100. Currently, Mark is Principal for New Paradigms, a management consulting firm in Oregon that helps companies embrace change to engage their employees. Check out the highlights of our conversation about leadership below.

[1] QUESTION: How do you differentiate between management and leadership?
MARK HERBERT: This the age-old question isn’t it? In the simplest terms, I see management as a role and leadership as a relationship. An organization can appoint you to a role as manager and give you authority to instruct me, set expectations, and make other decisions about staff and their work. It is best when we have provided you with an appropriate skills framework to make you effective in that role. Leadership as a relationship is when people place their trust in you. They follow your direction not because of the authority that you possess, but rather because of the trust that you have earned. In another way, I have often said that leadership is not something you can demand, it is a gift that others bestow upon you. It is also an awesome responsibility. The trust that comes with leadership is something to be cultivated and tended very carefully.

[2] QUESTION: On your website (http://www.newparadigmsllc.com), you welcome visitors with one of my favorite quotes, "Your culture is your brand." As a brand marketing professional, I applaud you for sharing that statement, but how do you define it?
MARK HERBERT: We often forget that the most important thing in relationships with our stakeholders is where our customer or stakeholder connects with our employees. That is where your brand “lives.” You can have a great product, wonderful marketing, and other tactics, but that human-to-human contact is what transcends a transaction and makes it a relationship. When an organization states one thing and acts in another, people look at the actions. Look at the impact of Uber’s culture on the Uber “brand.” As a polarity look at Richard Branson.

[3] QUESTION: You've written about something called a "leadership brand." What is it, and what are some examples of leadership brands?
MARK HERBERT: Leadership brand is another way of saying your leadership culture. First of all, it starts at the top of the organization. The leadership style demonstrated by top leadership is typically replicated throughout the organization. You get the behavior you reinforce. Leadership brands are also different, and one isn’t better or worse than the other. Steve Jobs was a brilliant man and a tough leader. He could be extremely difficult and demanding. Jack Welch led GE successfully with a style that would likely not be tolerated by many millennials today. Both those organizations enjoyed tremendous success in their times. An excellent example of leadership brand is described in Simon Sinek’s brilliant book, Why Leaders Eat Last, where he describes the leadership paradigm of the Navy Seals, arguably the elite of our U.S. Military. The key is defining your leadership brand either current or aspirational and demanding that it is the standard of performance.

[4] QUESTION: You've written extensively about why employees are disengaged, but if you could write the most-widely read personnel manual, what three activities would you include to create inspiring workplaces?
MARK HERBERT: At its most basic, I try to teach my clients to hire hard and manage easy. What I mean by that is, first of all, you hire people whose values and commitment to your “Why” are clear. When people face a values incongruency at any level with their role or company, engagement isn’t going to happen.
Second, I tell my clients they need to embrace Stephen M. Covey’s trust model. There are three distinct levels of trust: statutory, knowledge based, and identity based. Identity based trust is the goal. That is where you have alignment. It is a difficult hurdle to achieve. It doesn’t come with degrees or certifications. It comes from shared experiences.
Third, is hire the right leadership team. When I say leadership team, I mean from the C-suite to front line leaders. The best leaders possess the following in my experience:
• Technical Competence.
• Understanding and embracing the trust and congruency models.
• Emotional and Social Intelligence.
• Emotional Awareness.
• Emotional Balance.
You will notice that the “technical” skills are only one dimension, that isn’t accidental. People don’t trust and follow you for competence and intellect alone.

[5] QUESTION: You are responsible for one of my all-time favorite leadership quotes. "Leadership doesn't require you to be the smartest person in the room. It requires you to block and tackle for others." What led up to the quote?
MARK HERBERT: I have watched too many emerging leaders and entrepreneurs making the transition be overly concerned with being the “expert” on everything. Spending my early career in large companies taught me that there are many facets that make up a successful strategy. One person is typically incapable of mastering all of them. The best leaders recognize the elements that need to be represented in a complete strategy and they integrate them. They don’t try to be the first chair to use a musical analogy, they conduct the orchestra. I have watched people step up and do amazing things when they were given permission and freedom to make mistakes without fear of failing. The other is being sure that credit and success are in abundance rather than scarcity. Use recognition proactively rather than reactively.

My gratitude to Mark for sharing his timeless leadership insights. I invite you to check out Mark's previous guest appearances on the Debbie Laskey Blog at the links below:

Tips to Engage Your Workforce (June 1, 2011)

http://debbielaskey.blogspot.com/2011/06/tips-to-engage-your-workforce.html

Workforce Engagement and Motivational Secrets (January 11, 2013)

http://debbielaskey.blogspot.com/2013/01/workforce-engagement-and-motivational.html

Why Brand Advocacy Is Closely Tied to Employee Engagement (May 7, 2014) 

http://debbielaskey.blogspot.com/2014/05/why-brand-advocacy-is-closely-tied-to.html

Why Janitors May Be Your Best Brand Advocates (March 7, 2016) 

http://debbielaskey.blogspot.com/2016/03/why-janitors-may-be-your-best-brand.html

Monday, April 2, 2018

Want Your Brand to Soar Above the Competition? Learn from 5 Amazing #BrandExperiences

Brand experiences can be good, and they can be bad. When they're good, customers are happy and go on with their lives. But when they're bad, the upset customer tells anyone who will listen including family members, friends, co-workers, and anyone in the individual's social media circles. And while Bill Gates has been quoted as saying, "Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning," some brands don't take advantage of the opportunity. Here are five amazing brand experiences including some take-away lessons for all brands.

[1] PLACE EMPHASIS ON CORPORATE CULTURE
A man went to a hospital in Texas because he wanted to meet a famous heart surgeon. As the man left the hospital, he met an elderly janitor who was mopping the floor. The man asked, “What do you do here at the hospital?” The elderly man replied, “Dr. DeBakey and I save lives together.” The elderly man explained that Dr. DeBakey had told all employees that hospital infections kill more patients than disease, so the elderly janitor was doing his part to keep the hospital clean.

TAKE-AWAY: 

Have all the employees in your company jumped on the bandwagon to support each other and work toward the same goal?

My thanks to Mark Herbert (@NewParadigmer on Twitter) for sharing this story in his book, Managing Whole People, One Man's Journey.

[2] SHOW GRATITUDE FOR EMPLOYEES
In 1989, Gary Comer, the founder of Lands’ End, built a state-of-the-art gym for his employees. At the pool’s unveiling and once all employees had assembled near the pool, he asked them to look at the tiled wall near the pool, where the names of all employees had been added to the wall.

TAKE-AWAY: 

How many companies show their gratitude for their employees in such a visible manner? Moreover, how many companies truly realize that, in order to create satisfied customers, they must FIRST create satisfied employees?

My thanks to Jeanne Bliss (@JeanneBliss on Twitter) for sharing this story in her book, I Love You More Than My Dog – Five Decisions That Drive Extreme Customer Loyalty in Good Times and Bad.

[3] UNDERSTAND THAT EMPLOYEE ONBOARDING STARTS EARLIER THAN YOU THINK
When your brand is Singapore Airlines, a cup of tea is much, much more than just a cup of tea during the interview process. A group of potential hires was led into a conference room and asked to wait. Hiring managers watched from an adjoining room through one-way glass. In the conference room, chairs were placed against the walls, but there was a table in the middle of the room with a tea pot and cups. The hiring managers wanted to see who would start conversations and serve tea to others, because those were the people who demonstrated a commitment to service that Singapore Airlines expects of its employees.

TAKE-AWAY: 

When you place an advertisement for an open position, you begin the onboarding process. Applicants should realize that the process begins immediately. Employers and/or people within the personnel department should move forward through the process with respect for all applicants. That said, some businesses, based on their industries, will want to see how applicants act in appropriate scenarios.

My thanks to Marilyn Suttle and Lori Jo Vest (@MarilynSuttle and @LoriJoVest on Twitter) for sharing this story in their book, Who's Your Gladys, How to Turn Even the Most Difficult Customer Into Your Biggest Fan.

[4] KNOW YOUR CUSTOMERS BETTER THAN YOUR PRODUCTS OR SERVICES
In 1975, a customer walked into an Alaskan Nordstrom outpost and asked to return a set of worn-down tires. Even though Nordstrom did not sell the man the tires – and did not sell tires at all – Nordstrom honored the request. This story has become the standard for Nordstrom customer service.

TAKE-AWAY:
Consider the tire customer: Was he a regular customer at Nordstrom? How often did he shop there? How much did he spend? Was he a brand loyal Nordstrom shopper? Should Nordstrom have taken back the tires? And now, for your business, how well do you know your customers?

My thanks to Peter Fader (@faderp on Twitter) for sharing this story in his book, Customer Centricity, Focus on the Right Customers for Strategic Advantage.

[5] STAND APART FROM THE COMPETITION - FAR APART

When a brand loyal customer used Twitter and joked that he was on an airplane and would love to eat a steak, he was surprised beyond belief when he arrived at his destination. He was met by a man in a tuxedo holding a Morton's bag with a full dinner including a 24-ounce Porterhouse steak, an order of shrimp, a side of potatoes, one of Morton's famous rolls of bread, napkins, and silverware.

TAKE-AWAY: 

While Peter Shankman thinks his large Twitter following was not the reason for this unbelievable story, the fact that he was a brand loyal customer was significant. How in tune is your brand with your customers’ behaviors? Do they use social media to engage with your brand? Do you use social media to engage with your customers? Think outside the box to stand apart from your competition, and you may end up far apart.

My thanks to Peter Shankman (@petershankman on Twitter) for sharing this story. Read the entire story (and it’s well worth it) at Peter's website at https://www.shankman.com/the-greatest-customer-service-story-ever-told-starring-mortons-steakhouse/.

These five brand experiences have remained with me over the years. What are your most memorable brand experiences? I invite you to chime in and share.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Add Value & Make a Difference With or Without a Grand Title


Those of us who spend a great deal of time in social media have the opportunity to meet fabulous people. I’ve met many amazing people from all over the world and am honored to learn from them, share content, and engage on a regular basis. Recently, I “met” Janice Kobelsky on Twitter, and based on similar interests, invited her to appear on my blog. Highlights of our conversation follow below her bio and links.

Enriching lives fuels Janice Kobelsky, FCPA, FCMA’s leadership development work. Janice offers custom workshops, online programs, and her 'Think Anew' blog. She is a UCalgary Continuing Education instructor, independent consultant, speaker, and coach; and her focus includes high performance leadership, personal excellence, and building the skills and confidence needed to add value and make a difference. You can connect with Janice on Twitter @JaniceKobelsky and Facebook /JaniceKobelsky.Leaders. Her site is https://janicekobelsky.mykajabi.com, and she can be found on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/janicekobelsky.

QUESTION: What three traits define a good leader?
JANICE KOBELSKY: As I think of good leaders I know, they all share a common denominator. It’s the ability to gain the respect and inspired accountability of those who choose – and want – to ‘follow.’ It’s influence that’s earned because of who you are. That applies whether you’re a ‘leader-with-title’/position or a leader who just is, because you need to be.

Here are 3 traits that define a good leader:
#1: COURAGE
From the Latin word ‘cor’ – meaning heart – courage starts with bold willingness. Daring. Desire and commitment so strong that you ‘cannot not.’ It’s an attitude that reminds us not to wait for someone else. To be willing to be the one, take the risk, and rise to the challenge. Courage summons the inner strength to choose action.
#2: CARE
A good leader cares. You care about what happens while you’re there, and what lasts after you’re gone. Because of that, you earn the trust and commitment of those who follow you. When we care, we become purposeful. Deliberate about the effect we have on others, our communities, environment, and workplaces. Our world.
#3: CURIOSITY
The point of good leadership is not command and control. Our VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) environments demand more. We need to bring people together to explore, discover, create, and collaborate. This doesn’t happen by accident. It takes deliberate and genuine curiosity – to embrace diversity and cultivate openness. It’s curiosity that evokes new and fresh solutions and ways forward. Courage. Care. Curiosity. Those are, I believe, three essential traits to bring out our best as leaders. Good leaders, whose leadership matters. Leaders whose presence inspires and whose actions make a difference.

QUESTION: You talk a lot on your social platforms about making a difference. How do you recommend people who aren’t in a leadership position, or don’t have a leadership title, make a difference?
JANICE KOBELSKY: Sometimes leaders without titles are in the best position to make a difference. They’re unconstrained by role and responsibility, with more personal freedom to act. They make a difference through their influence, not authority. It’s leading from wherever you are versus from the front.

Entrepreneur. Parent. Teacher. Student. Colleague. Manager. Teammate. Friend. Volunteer. Influencer. A leader/difference-maker is one who sees a need, takes up a cause, or seizes an opportunity. In other words, at different times and in various ways, it could be any, or all, of us.

A colleague of mine years ago called it being able to “push people with a rope.” In other words, there is no push and no pulling, either. There is no visible tether of any kind. Instead, it’s the power of influence.

It’s having the courage, care and curiosity to see potential and possibilities. Then, being willing to lead in a way that you, and those around you, do their best.

It’s also knowing that there is no small act. Nothing too insignificant. Dr. Peter Senge (American systems scientist; leader in the development of ‘learning organizations’) said it best: “Becoming a force of nature doesn’t mean that all our aspirations must be ‘grand.’ First steps are often small. What matters is engagement in the service of a larger purpose rather than lofty aspirations that paralyze action.”

In short, how does a leader-without-title make a difference? By adopting a ‘just do it’ willingness to instigate and create powerful results. Choices; not position. It’s leadership with a focus on purpose. What is the cause, issue, challenge or opportunity? Will you rally the right people to create a sort of collective leadership? Then, create a dynamic where recognition and performance pivot on others. On their deeds. Not on you, the ‘leader.’

QUESTION: What’s your favorite leadership book and why?
JANICE KOBELSKY: I have a library filled with favorite leadership books. My new favorite is one released in January 2018 by Kimberly Davis (@OnStageKimberly on Twitter) entitled, BRAVE Leadership. The book rolls up the three core traits that define a good leader – courage, care, and curiosity – into one powerful word: BRAVE. Not fearless, but BRAVE. It’s a practical guide to tap into our own potential and get better at leadership. This is true no matter our current position, circumstance, or level of skill. And, Kimberly’s messages strike a chord every time. She reaches out from the page with stories that make sense. Methods that ignite possibilities. It’s an empowering and practical must-read.

QUESTION: What’s your favorite leadership quote and why?
JANICE KOBELSKY: I have so many! A great favorite is this from Jim Gentile: “A big part of leadership is recognizing that your fruit often grows on other people’s trees.” It reminds us that being a leader is about results. It is about performance and productivity. It is about people. It is about nurturing and energizing their potential. Helping them grow. It is about making a difference: for – with – and through others. For this generation, and those to come. So it is about us – because to be a good leader, you’ve got to be willing to listen and learn, grow, and adapt. But, at the same time, it is not about us. It is not about the titles or positions we hold. It is not hinged on authority. And, it is not for the indifferent or ego. It is about active courage, deep care, and authentic curiosity.

QUESTION: One of your recent blog posts talked about leadership, trust, and arches. Can you explain the highlights of that inspiring post? (Read the full post here: http://janicekobelsky.mykajabi.com/blog/the-best-way-to-earn-trust-stand-under-your-own-arches)
JANICE KOBELSKY: The Roman arch is one of the most difficult architectural feats. They’re amazing in their strength – and endurance. Many are centuries old. They’re witness to the courage, care and, curiosity it takes to build something so bold and beautiful. Folklore has it that they were even a life-or-death test of commitment and quality. Those who built them had to stand under them as the scaffolding was removed! So they're a powerful and poignant metaphor for leadership and earning trust. They remind us to be all in. Inspired accountability – in ourselves and with and from others. The post is a short read with some meaningful questions. Questions that I hope help us fall in love with our lives and our work by ‘standing under our own arches.’

QUESTION: Lastly, one of my favorite quotes about leadership is from author and consultant Mark Herbert (@NewParadigmer on Twitter): “Leadership is a gift, not a position. It doesn’t require you to be the smartest person in the room. It requires you to trust and be trusted – and block and tackle for others.” What does this quote mean to you?
JANICE KOBELSKY: I think I’ve found a new favorite quote in this one! To me, it sums up this discussion beautifully. Leadership is a gift. It’s a gift that is given to us, when others entrust us with their aspirations. When we facilitate their contribution and possibilities. When they gift us with their work, time, vision, and focus. Their lives, under our arches. That’s a privilege. It’s a responsibility. And, it’s a gift. It’s also a gift that we give to others. When we have the courage, care, and curiosity to do what it takes to energize their potential. It means we’re willing to go to the mat – to “block and tackle” – for others.

As leaders, that doesn’t just mean removing external obstacles. It’s also being fiercely protective of others’ well-being. Willing to do what it takes to help dissolve whatever holds them back from showing up at their best. Helping them see themselves in light of their strengths. Inspiring greatness. Because we realize that everyone we lead has something amazing to contribute. You, a good leader, ease that into fruition. You ignite that possibility. Being a contribution. Making a difference. Thriving. Together.


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My gratitude and appreciation to Janice for appearing on my blog and sharing her incredible leadership insights, and thanks, of course, to Twitter for the introduction! 

Image Credit: Janice Kobelsky.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Why Are Brand and Culture Aligned?

There is an internal business component that is critical to success. Denise Lee Yohn analyzes how the alignment of branding and culture leads to business success in her new book entitled, FUSION: How Integrating Brand and Culture Powers the World’s Greatest Companies. According to Adam Grant, “Leaders everywhere are trying to build great brands, but few realize how powerfully brands are shaped by the cultures of their organizations.” So, leaders everywhere, ask yourselves, how closely aligned are your brands with your corporate cultures?

Corporate culture refers to the beliefs and behaviors that determine how a company's employees and management interact and handle outside business transactions. Often, corporate culture is implied, not expressly defined, and develops organically over time from the cumulative traits of the people the company hires. A company's culture will be reflected in its dress code, business hours, office setup, employee benefits, turnover, hiring decisions, treatment of clients, client satisfaction and every other aspect of operations. (Investopedia.com)

According to Yohn, Amazon is a perfect example of what she calls a “brand-culture fusion,” which is the full integration and alignment of external brand identity and internal organization culture.” This is because all employees are singularly focused on one thing: excellence on behalf of the customer. “Amazon’s distinctive organizational culture fosters a performance-driven environment that fires up employees to innovate in pursuit of an outstanding, continuously-improving customer experience.”

TWEET THIS: Culture involves so much more than perks and parties, and brands are built by so much more than ads and public relations. ~@DeniseLeeYohn

Yohn explained that “Culture involves so much more than perks and parties, and brands are built by so much more than ads and public relations.” When you think of culture, you may think about a mission statement, a vision statement, or corporate ethics statements. But culture is much more. A leader can walk around the office and talk to employees and know everyone’s pets’ names. Employees can wear nametags with their first names. Company-wide meetings can take place monthly. The alternative can also exist: a culture can be totally nonexistent.

So how can a brand shine as a result of an inspiring culture? Think of Southwest Airlines, the low-cost, no-frills airline. Founder and former CEO Herb Kelleher explained what made Southwest stand apart, “Our competitors can get all the hardware. I mean, Boeing will sell them the planes. But it’s the software, so to speak – the people – that’s hard to imitate.” Southwest’s employees wear colorful uniforms, feature smiles as an important piece of their uniforms, and make every effort to make flying a fun experience. It doesn’t hurt that Southwest’s ads are funny too, “Bags fly free.” Can every airline brand be Southwest? The answer is a resounding NO.

According to Yohn, there are five strategies for aligning brand and culture:
(1) Organize and Operate On-Brand.
(2) Create Culture-Changing Employee Experiences.
(3) Sweat the Small Stuff.
(4) Ignite Your Transformation.
(5) Build Your Brand from the Inside Out.

If those five strategies are implemented, you will have a culture that:
(1) Creates continuity and consistency.
(2) Reduces uncertainty and confusion.
(3) Creates social meaning and order.
(4) Builds a collective identity and commitment that binds employees together.
(5) Produces the capability for customer experience excellence.
(6) Makes possible your vision for the future by energizing your organization and moving it toward your goals.

Since many business experts talk about the customer experience as the key differentiator for the future, an aligned brand and culture will help to improve the overall customer experience. This will lead to an overall positive brand experience.

TWEET THIS: Employee brand engagement is achieved when employees are aligned and involved with the organization’s brand. ~@DeniseLeeYohn

So, “Do you want to align your organization with a single goal so that it is not just productive and efficient but operates with excellence? Do you want to have a truly authentic brand?” If yes, embrace the concept of brand-culture fusion and make alignment your key priority!


Click to take Denise Lee Yohn’s Brand Culture Fusion Assessment:

http://deniseleeyohn.com/fusion-assessment/

Click to read more about corporate culture from Inc:
https://www.inc.com/encyclopedia/corporate-culture.html

Click to read six components of a great corporate culture from Harvard Business Review:
https://hbr.org/2013/05/six-components-of-culture

Friday, March 2, 2018

One Secret to Employee Engagement: The Stay Interview

There's an old saying in business that people don't leave companies, they leave managers or bosses. So how does a company keep quality people? How do you motivate and inspire employees when they tune out or mentally check out? Author and business retention expert Richard P. Finnegan believes the answer is the stay interview, a periodic meeting with individual employees to shed light on any problems while there's still time to address them.

In Finnegan's book entitled, THE STAY INTERVIEW, A MANAGER'S GUIDE TO KEEPING THE BEST AND THE BRIGHTEST, Finnegan explained, "As one-on-one meetings between leaders and both newly hired and continuing employees, stay interviews reinforce good relationships, forge new ones, and help repair those that are strained. On that small foundation, great companies are built."

What are stay interviews? They are NOT the following:
(1) Team meetings.
(2) Focus groups.
(3) Meetings led by human resources staff.
(4) Annual job performance review meetings.
(5) Haphazardly-scheduled meetings.

"As managers, we get only so many positions, so many "chairs" to fill with people, including ourselves, to produce all the assignments that constitute our jobs. Great managers place total value on all chairs and the people who occupy them to ensure that they perform at their very best...Stay interviews provide the insight to know rather than have to assume if each employee fits correctly, is motivated to give 100 percent, and has intentions to stick around."
Intrigued by the concept of stay interviews? If yes, keep reading. Here are the five questions to ask when conducting stay interviews:

(1) When you come to work each day, what things do you look forward to?
(2) What are you learning here? What would you like to learn?
(3) Why do you stay here?
(4) When was the last time you thought about leaving? What prompted it?
(5) What can I do (as your boss, manager, leader) to make your experience at work better?

There's one more thing you can add to the stay interview template. As a leader, can you make the following request at the end of each stay interview? If yes, you'll have happy, satisfied, long-term employees:

"(Add name of employee here), you're going to have some tough days here because I might be difficult, our team will have conflicts, or management will run us in circles. When those days happen, you might decide to look for another job. So here is my offer. If you ever decide to start looking, I want you to promise that you will come tell me on that day. And my promise to you is I will make every effort to make our company a place where you want to stay. But if you ever place an envelope on my desk that tells me you're leaving and we haven't talked about it before, you've broken the deal."
Employees will always search for new horizons, but wouldn't you like to decrease the number of employees that leave? Especially the really great ones? Try using the stay interview, and you'll see a difference.



Image Credit: Scotland's National Center for Languages/Bigstock

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Is Gold Important When Branding During the Olympics?

With the Olympic Games now history, how did your brand integrate the international competition into your brand strategy, marketing campaigns, or email communications?

Two brands that stand out can be found in a unique product unveiled on February 22, toward the end of the athletic events that took place in South Korea. Krispy Kreme Doughnuts collaborated with Hershey’s chocolate and created a new doughnut called the “Hershey’s Gold” doughnut, which will be available at participating Krispy Kreme Doughnuts stores throughout the United States and Canada. A list of participating locations can be found at http://krispykreme.com/hersheysgold.

“One of the ways we bring joy to our customers is by innovating to create unique doughnuts that only Krispy Kreme Doughnuts can deliver. [This new doughnut is a] delicious pairing of Krispy Kreme’s iconic Original Glazed Doughnut, topped with pieces of the new Hershey’s GOLD bar and a salted caramel icing. This salty sweet doughnut flavor will surprise taste buds with every bite.” explained Jackie Woodward, Chief Marketing Officer of Krispy Kreme.

As a fan of Krispy Kreme sweets, I sampled the new doughnut in celebration of the Olympics and was happy with the taste.

As a brand marketer, I was surprised by the line that nearly went out the door of the Krispy Kreme store I visited in Southern California. Had this long line of consumers heard about the new Hershey’s Gold doughnut on the TV news, as I had, or were they simply buying doughnuts?

As a marketing professional, I noticed that nearly every person left the Krispy Kreme store with a box of a dozen doughnuts. I have to admit that I had entered the store with the intention of only buying four of the new Hershey’s Gold doughnut, but I too, left with Krispy Kreme’s signature box of a dozen.

So, was the tie-in to Olympic gold the reason for this doughnut’s attraction, or was the reference to Olympic gold not important? Only those who’ve sampled Krispy Kreme’s Hershey’s Gold can be the judge.


Image credit: Krispy Kreme Doughnuts.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Top 10 Branding Quotes

When someone asks a marketing professional to explain branding, brand management, or brand-building, are there easy answers? In lieu of directing someone to Google or Wikipedia, or even the online dictionary of marketing terms presented by the American Marketing Association, there are some excellent quotes by famous people that succinctly explain branding’s importance when creating products or services for either the B2C, B2B, or nonprofit sectors. 

Do you have a favorite branding quote that you’ve taped to your wall? Here are MY top ten branding quotes.

[1] A brand is a living entity – and is enriched or undermined cumulatively over time – the product of a thousand small gestures.
-Michael Eisner, former CEO of the Walt Disney Company

[2] Products are made in the factory, but brands are created in the mind.
-Walter Landor, Founder of Landor Associates

[3] Your brand is what other people say about you when you're not in the room.
-Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon.com

[4] A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer's decision to choose one product or service over another.
-Seth Godin, author and entrepreneur

[5] Within every brand is a product, but not every product is a brand.
-David Ogilvy, Founder of Ogilvy & Mather

[6] It's not the customer's job to know what they want. In order for a brand to be truly successful, it has to know how to anticipate need. Think different.
-Steve Jobs, Founder of Apple

[7] A great brand is a story that's never completely told.
-Scott Bedbury, CEO of Brandstream

[8] Brand is the sum total of how someone perceives a particular organization. Branding is about shaping that perception.
-Ashley Friedlein, Founder of Econsultancy

[9] If people believe they share values with a company, they will stay loyal to the brand.
-Howard Schultz, Founder of Starbucks

[10] The art of marketing is the art of brand building. If you are not a brand, you are a commodity.

-Philip Kotler, Marketing professor and author

What’s your fave? Please chime in and share.