‘Brand Leadership‘ and ‘Leadership Brand‘ appear to be two different yet related concepts. Dave Ulrich and Norm Smallwood defined Leadership Brand as a reputation for developing exceptional managers with a distinct set of talents that are uniquely geared to fulfill customers’ and investors’ expectations. Thus by extension, Leadership Brand is based on marketplace expectations for the behavior of a company’s representatives. Brand Leadership entails having the most widely sold and recognized product in a particular market segment. Also called the market leader, a brand leader usually also commands the largest profit margins. For the purpose of this post, these concepts are treated as the same.
In order to establish your brand as a leader you need to answer the following questions.
- What would you like to be known for?
Present a consistent image of who you want to be. Self-image is a largely a result of the internal conversation that every human being has going on in their head. You speak to yourself the way you see yourself. As a brand, who do you see yourself as? What do you say to yourself in those moments of self-assessment and analysis? This is a fundamental portion of what you want to be known for.
TCOATH is a learning and design firm that I run. What we do is centered upon personal and corporate capacity development, as well as brand development and communication.
When the name TCOATH is mentioned, the image that we want to come to mind encompasses thought leadership in the training space. Additionally, the word design for us incorporates both internal and external perception and activity. Internally, we fine tune business processes to achieve greater efficiency and by extension profits for our clients. Externally, we aim to be the go-to people for branding related matters. Ambitious plans and goals, yet well-defined and achievable.
2. What do people experience when they come in contact with you?
Consider the following brand positions:
Coca Cola – Taste the feeling.
Apple – The hub of your lifestyle through the use of our iDevices.
Zappos – Powered by Service.
Alder Consulting – Ideas, Strategy and Brand Experience.
Forbes – Information for the world’s business leaders.
Is water wet? Maybe not, but most things it comes in contact with, become damp and eventually wet. When people come around your brand, the experience they get is critical to your recognition as a leader in that space. No one wants to be described as incompetent or lacking savvy to execute on any project their company works on. Personal reputations and brands are on the line here, not just the corporate one. It is therefore imperative that as we work we are not just perceived to but are seen to have delivered. Your brand experience is first perceived, then becomes actual. It is your choice which direction you want it to go.
For TCOATH, a training client should see marked improvement between the before state of their employees / organization and the after state, upon engaging our services. A client in need of brand exposure, should likewise be able to beat their corporate chest on our humble behalf as the vehicle that put them on the map and further enhanced if not totally solidified their position in their chosen market. A client, recognizing the need of streamlining their business processes, should be able to contact us and we deliver on ensuring internal efficiency for them. The ultimate goal for every engagement is to deliver immersive experiences that further the personal or corporate cause of every client.
3. What is your personal or corporate vision?
As a company, two individuals operating in the same branding and coaching space, who we consider to be role models are Leke Alder and Fela Durotoye. These men in their respective roles have contributed greatly to the reshaping of global perception of our nation Nigeria on so many fronts. Alder Consulting worked extensively on the Nigeria Image Project a.k.a Heart of Africa Project while Gemstone under Fela Durotoye is working tirelessly to reshape the minds of Nigerians both home and abroad, on the viability of the Nigeria project and the clear possibility of our nation being a most desirable nation to live in by December 31, 2025. With every interaction, they totally espouse the aforementioned ideas. Their personal life visions have been meshed into ensuring their nation is regarded as great again, on the world stage.
At TCOATH our Vision statement is to be the leading brand in personal and corporate capacity development across Nigeria. We are doing this, one client, one engagement at a time. This vision is reviewed every five years to ensure we are heading in the right direction as individuals and as a corporate body.
A while back, I read about the brand Dannijo, jeweler to the stars. They started their craft as children tinkering with their cardiologist father’s surgical kits. On the journey to this point in their story, they stayed true, persevering through different challenges like both of them losing their jobs and dealing with people who didn’t entirely believe in them but they answered the 3 questions this post asks: What would you like to be known for? What do people experience when they come in contact with you? What is your personal or corporate vision?
Your answer to these same questions is your brand, the story the world will know and tell about you. Personally, I am a teacher at heart working daily to hone my communication and leadership skills. These skills tie into being an excellent coach, a great husband, a fantastic father and a loyal friend. This is my brand. What is yours?