• Rick Julian

You Don’t Have a Brand

I’ve helped my clients sell over $1 billion of products and services during my 20 year career––everyone from Coca-Cola to start-ups selling leadership training, and everything in between. The biggest problem most of my clients have faced is not having their brand improved, but actually having a brand to begin with.

“But I have a brand–look at my logo, my tagline, my website, my Style Guide, my Brand Standards, my ads. . . what are you talking about!?”

Let me put it this way: I have an expensive set of golf clubs, a great putter, a nice pair of shoes, gloves . . . I’ve played on some world class courses, taken a few lessons, watched a lot of tournaments  . . . but I lack the most important ingredient of all: a game. I have all the tools a golfer needs, but I’m not a golfer.

That’s why I rarely break 100. That’s why I routinely get my tail kicked. That’s why I would never bet on myself unless I was playing against Stephen Hawking.

Smell what I’m cooking? Having all the assets great brands have doesn’t mean you have a brand.

Companies that have effective brands have a game–the conceptual framework that connects all of those tools together–and they know how to play it. In fact, they know how to play it so well people flock to them, and will leave competitor brands and pay to be a part of their brand.

They know who they are–their strengths and weaknesses, and know how to work with them to maximum and consistent effectiveness.They know how to put themselves in positions to win with intelligent strategies and tactics, and how to extract themselves from trouble.They don’t play against their competitors–they make their competitors play against them.

These traits describe the very best golfers. Do they describe your brand? If yes, outstanding. If no, they should.

Be bold and prosper.

–Rick Julian

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