Which are your authentic qualities?

I spend a lot of any given week helping others look at their brand, whether that be when I am consulting with a company or coaching individuals. Yes, even individuals can have a brand. Branding is not so much about a snazzy logo as it is about what you stand for, and I help people leverage their values to find their authentic brand. I say authentic because being otherwise just doesn’t work, people want to be in relationship with the real deal. To outline some of the qualities we tend look for in a brand here are a few of the results and comments from the recent Brandchannel brandjunkie awards, which look at brand performance for the prior year.

What was the most inspiring brand?
Top Five Answers: Apple, Obama, Nike, Coca-Cola, Google

Brandchannel says “Strong brands are inspirational and represent not only products, but also systems of beliefs and values. Weak brands misrepresent themselves in an effort to gain popularity and sell products—greenwashing, for instance. Yet the brands mentioned above stand for creativity, imagination, health, and sustainable development. According to the pedestrian definition of branding – “Branding is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” ”

Which brand was best able to rebound from a crisis?
Top Five Answers: Apple, McDonald’s, Ford, Maple Leaf Foods, Goldman Sachs

Brandchannel says ” At a time when many families and individual consumers are facing crisis, they—now perhaps more than ever—are looking for sacrifice, honor and heroism from wherever they can find it—even in their brands. Brands that have chosen to keep cool, deny government bailouts, face economic challenges with creativity, rise from disaster by looking consumers in the eyes and accepting both blame and responsibility or openly restructure ineffective business paradigms will reap the benefits of their stoicism, imagination and competence.”

Which brand was the most controversial?
The Top Five: General Motors, Benetton, Pepsi, Apple, Facebook

Brandchannel says”According to brandjunkies, the following qualities can mark brands with controversy: aloofness, arrogance, unchecked opportunism, unmitigated edge, mortality, illness, presumption and lack of conviction. Branding industry experts accept that problems and controversies are inevitable, but how brands react to crisis is crucial. All too often brands become insular when they should focus on transparency—which is a commitment to honesty. And on their way to being transparent, they should leave the private jet at home.”

What brand orchestrated the most effective rebrand?
Top Five Answers: Pepsi, Walmart, Thomson Reuters, Xerox, Woolworths (Australia)

Brandchannel says “Successful brands, just like successful people, can find themselves lost, in need of spiritual and physical rejuvenation, or just a more clearly defined sense of self. Change often brings controversy, but it also brings opportunity—both to succeed and fail. Executing an effective rebrand begins with diligent research to fully understand the hearts and minds of brand loyal consumers. The fate of every rebrand is not a matter of logos, color schemes or taglines, but human desire.”

Which brand provided the best retail environment?
The Top Five: Apple, Target, Walmart, Starbucks, Ikea

Brandchannel says “Retailers—remember the fundamentals! Our survey respondents have clearly stated that consumers value maneuverability, cleanliness, customer service, interactivity and—of course—affordability. Stores designed around customer navigation, brand-consistent aesthetics and entertainment—all while offering savings—scored highly. And despite a troubled year, Starbucks still receives praise for being part of the neighborhood.”

For the full results check out Brand Channel.com

Now having read this you could indeed collect each of the qualities that appear to make a great brand, but do they represent a unique combination of your authentic values and qualities? Will they differentiate you from the competition, create interest and loyalty? I would argue that before you can be authentically inspirational, transparent, and honorable you do need to have an astute awareness around your ‘sense of self’.

Which of your unique and authentic values would you like others to talk about?

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A Red Barn Coaching initiative www.redbarncoaching.com

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