Knock Your Socks Off

“The keys to brand success are self-definition, transparency, authenticity, and accountability.”   Simon Mainwaring, (social media consultant)

My wife Carol and I started Hackbarth Delivery Service (HDS) with a complete dedication to exceptional service. The strategy was successful. Many years later, our company branded that original concept and named it Knock Your Socks Off service. Today, the huge customer response to this brand has verified the value.

Branding is an important business marketing concept. Many companies can attribute much of their success to having a brand and then living up to that vision.  Great branding examples include:

‘It’s the Real Thing,’  Coco-Cola Bottling Company

Nike says, ‘Just Do It!’

McDonalds believes you ‘deserve a break today’

Use Federal Express ‘when it absolutely has to be there’

‘Big Brown’ is UPS.

All of these companies, HDS included, must back up their brands with real service. Just saying you are something is not enough. You have to bethat something.

Branding is not limited to business. It applies also to personal lives. You have a brand, even if you do not want one. Even if you have not declared it. Even if you have not advertised . . . well . . . you have advertised, even if not on purpose.  Branding guru Tom Peters said it well: “We are CEO’s of our own companies: Me, Inc. . . . our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You.”

After asking Carol to help me create the above list of well-known business brands, I continued with one more question. I asked, “What is your brand?”  A long pause followed, which is not normal in conversations with Carol. Finally, after some thought, she said: ‘Sweet Carol,’and laughed immediately afterward. Fortunately for me, she was getting into the car to go to her hair appointment, when she answered this question, so she did not hear my reply.

Instead of saying something that would get me in big trouble, I was left to think about it. My first thought was ‘Sweet Caroline,’ our granddaughter, already has taken that family brand. That’s better than saying to Carol that her own description does not fit. Some family members have weighed in on Carol’s brand after I published my newsletter edition titled A Contrarian View.The real truth is that Carol is sweet, at times, but sweet is not her brand. Not her mission or purpose.

If you had to brand yourself, what would it be?

Entrepreneur extraordinaire accepting no defeat

Bridge maker connecting people

Challenger, improving and enriching lives through innovation

Problem solver who can  figure out how to make things work

Or . . . fill in the blank . . .

Do you have a single sentence that describes your personal mission? Is there a single word that defines you?

How would you describe yourself? Do you have a personal mission sentence?

How would others describe you? Ask, if you do not know.

How do you want to be remembered? What is your legacy?

What are you doing today to create your brand?

Is your brand a work in progress? Maybe, a brand in transition.

What would you like your brand to be?

What actions do you need to take today?

Hackbarth Delivery Service’s brand is Knock Your Socks Off service.

My newsletter brand is actually found in the title: Mondays are Great! My newsletter mission is to help you succeed, being and becoming your best, by using tools and best practices based on timeless principles. How am I doing?

What is your brand?

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