Describe your brand in ten words or less. Can you do it? Brand matters. It sticks with you. It takes up something known as “mindshare”. It is about your value proposition to the organization. People remember, people talk, so what they say should be of concern to you. If you cannot describe what you want people to think of you in ten words or less, you need to start working on it. Think about great commercial brands out there, why are they great? Why do they stick and what allows them to capture mindshare?
One of my favorite brand tag lines is “milk’s favorite cookie” from Oreo. It sticks with us because over the years many of us have had a very intimate relationship with that cookie. To be honest, there was a time when I would eat a whole sleeve of cookies a night, but only with the trusted glass of milk next to me. I miss those days. But I digress … the point is that the brand for me was about an experience. It sticks with me because it takes me to a place I enjoy. It brings back feelings, emotions and it has a lasting impact on me.
So when we talk about brand in the talent management space, we are talking about what feelings, emotions and impact you leave on others. What stories will people tell when they hear your name? Are they what you want people to say? Are they consistent? Or, are they about how you do not always show up, or that you do not care? These are the experiences that get burned into people’s minds. These are the images that people don’t forget. Which makes it even more difficult to overcome.
Think about GM, and the massive rebranding campaign that’s underway for them right now. There’s some nostalgia for many still when they think about GM, but there’s also the reality that they lost their way. They crashed and are trying to regroup. It’s not an easy task to come back from the brink, so do yourself a favor and stay away from the edge.
Take the time to write your brand tag line today. Draft your brand in 10 words or less, and then vet it with folks close to you. Get their feedback, see if it sticks, if not then it is time to reposition yourself.