The word “brand” is a tricky one. For most folks, they equate brand with products, as in cars, detergents, and bottled water. If you search for a definition, you’ll find plenty and very few of them match one another.
Lately, I’ve heard of a lot of people using the word brand, especially folks in politics, but when they say “brand” what they’re actually saying is “reputation.” (Deputy U.S. Attorney General Rod Rosenstein once said, “The most important job I have is protecting the brand” of the Department of Justice.)
People have reputations and so do companies, but that is only one part of brand. What they really mean is brand sentiment, which is how others perceive your company. Do you have a good reputation or a bad reputation?
Analyzing your brand sentiment is an important process of building, defining, or redefining your brand. When I speak to business groups, I explain that there are only three kinds of brands — brands you know and love, brands you know and don’t love, and brands you’ve never heard of.
People want to buy products and services from brands that they know and that they love. For brands they don’t love, they avoid. Unfortunately for most companies, they fall into category No. 3 — You’ve never heard of them. You cannot form an opinion as to their reputation if you’ve never heard of them, right? Companies like these tread water in the sea of sameness, never getting anywhere, always fighting for margin, and sometimes fighting for survival.
Yes, it’s important to protect the brand, but most companies should be thinking about creating a brand first. That’s part of what we mean when we say #BoldBrandsWin
Part of our brand is “fun,” so I’m on my way to OBX to go fishing.
Monday, June 19: Welcome Back, Molly!
On Monday, we got our office mom back! Madison+Main’s VP of Operations Molly Whitfieldhas been on maternity leave (for what feels like a decade) after the birth of her daughter Emily, and I’m so happy she is back. Molly really does make sure all the trains run on time (and in the right direction) and we couldn’t be more thankful. Welcome back, Molly!
Tuesday, June 20: Socially Speaking
On Tuesday, Senior Account Manager Kaitlin Riddle and I headed east hold a social media training session for our friends at New Kent Winery. I know I’ve said this a million times (and more than once in the WeeklyReport) but Joe and Jo Anna Dombroski really have created a top-notch winery. The wines are wonderful, the view is amazing, and the venue is very welcoming. Seriously folks, check it out!
Wednesday, June 21: Makin’ It A 10
Keeping the Main-iacs happy is one of my favorite things to do. So during Wednesday morning’s creative check-in meeting, I asked everyone, “What can I do to make today a 10 for you?” Kaitlin said, “Cheesesteaks,” so we ordered a whole mess of Philly’s finest from Mojo’s for lunch. Project Manager Matt Ong said, “Knock it out of the park at our logo presentation today,” so I obliged and the client was ecstatic. Account Executive Meredith “Honey Badger” Mason said, “Margaritas,” so later that afternoon we fired up the blender and I serenaded everyone with my favorite Jimmy Buffett tunes.
Sometimes, it’s the little things that can make the biggest difference in someone’s day.
A little tequila doesn’t hurt either.
Thursday, June 22: And the winner is…
On Thursday, I got some great news from our JJ White at Dale Carnegie Training. Communications Manager Kent Brockwell received the Outstanding Performance award during the second session of his eight-week training course. Apparently, Kent told a rousing story of a defining moment in his life that involved his first time on stage as a stand up comedian in 2014 and the horribly honest, insanely uncensored joke he told about his wife…with his wife in the audience…and this in-laws.
I don’t know what the joke was but Kent is still happily married to/unmurdered by Sarah, so it must have been truly outstanding.
Friday, June 23: What’ll You Have?
Earlier today, several of the Main-iacs met with our pals at Worth Higgins & Associates to check out some cool menu layout options for Pop’s Bar & Grill, which will be the home of Virginia Online Fantasy Sports.
I also have a menu on my mind, today. As you read this, I’m headed down to grab a late lunch at Howard’s Pub, my favorite spot in Okracoke, N.C. Afterwards, I’m looking forward to an epic weekend of fishing and relaxation with my son, Jack. #OldDaveAndTheSea
“A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well.“
– Jeff Bezos