This topic became front-of-mind for me this week as I taught my seven and six-year-old sons how their own reputation is built over time.
Our CEO calls these the 5 Elements of Branding which clearly refers to how a brand or business is perceived in the clients’ mind.
- How I look.
Like it or not, we pass judgment immediately on appearances. Smiles are free and most effective. Clothes and hairstyles matter. Cleanliness and shape of business vehicles affect your look.
- What I do.
The actions we take often speak louder than words. The choices of actions communicate our priorities. Responding to concerns of clients clearly applies here.
- How I do it.
Even my 1-year old can tell if I’m joyful or not. Certainly clients are able to discern if our service delivery is done with passion and intent or out of obligation. Body language will always influence your reputation and mine.
- What I say.
Even though the words we choose to use only communicate seven percent of a message (the rest being tone of voice and body language), what we say is crucial. Speaking in terms that are consistent with our mission statement, praising good deeds and standing up for the wrong we see are all part of this element.
- How I say it.
Enthusiasm, tone of voice, body language, passion all are powerful elements of how we communicate. The greatest personal and business brands fare well on the how.
It’s not difficult to see that over time, reputation and brand-building is like compound interest. The key is to ensure the trending is consistently in the positive direction, and when blips occur, they are healed and recovered fairly quickly.
How do you/we measure up on these five fronts?