Discover why you should rethink your Organization's Image and how you can build a stronger business brand that will help you connect with your existing customers, sell to new ones, and encourage loyalty and recognition.
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Additional Voice: Charles The Voice
Music: Have a Smoke by Crowander (CC BY 4.0)
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Welcome to Jon Michail’s Personal Branding Masterclass. Jon is the founder and CEO of Image Group International and an award-winning image consulting and personal branding pioneer established in 1989. This podcast will bring you old-school wisdom, inspiring ideas, strategies, and hacks for the new tech world. Here you will learn everything about personal branding: the system, the techniques, and the right mindset to have a successful personal brand, image, and reputation.
Hi, everybody, and thank you for being here with me today. This episode is the last of our image month, we already discussed personal image, career image and political image. And today, we will talk about the last topic being business image. While after listening to the recent episodes, I'm sure you reflect on your own personal image. And now it's time to take a good look at your organization's image. Now, I'm not talking about you know, changing your employee's uniforms too, for instance, corporate polo shirts, or updating your website or posting on your website. You know, these are all specifics, definitely part of business image, but today's session is going to be mostly on the human side. And I'm talking about rethinking to build a stronger business brand that will help you connect with your existing clients attract and sell to new ones, and inspire loyalty and recognition. Definitely within your team. And of course, within your industry, you're a respected player in the marketplace. And what I mean by that is the aspects of being recognized, okay, and being respected out there have to be linked to something beyond your products and services. And of course, you know, merely been in existence just for the sake of profits, it has to be beyond that, you know because anyone that has been in business for a long time has done well out there, you know, cares a little bit more than just a sort of ramping up the bank accounts every week, it's beyond that, hopefully, you can make a difference. Certainly, it is, you know, from our perspective and a lot of the companies that we work together with. So in today's marketplace, the reality is that many customers are looking at a company's reputation before deciding to do business with them yes or no. And you know, if you really think about that, think about yourself, you know, don't you do similar? And I think it's normal to do that. But, of course, from a digital perspective, now, from an online perspective, that's really ramped up. Because business is virtually online today. And you know, is not going to any other aspect and more online digital is obviously the future. And of course, you're going to learn how to do that effectively. In addition, now to also wanting to do business with successful companies, as I noted earlier, the people are also interested in the company's purpose, you know, what do they stand for? You know, why do they exist? You know, how do they make a difference out there. And this is only going to get more and more important, certainly, from a CSR point of view, community social responsibility point of view, this is, you know, this has been invoked actually for quite a while, but that's only going to increase because people are looking for something beyond, as I mentioned, products, just service, you know, from the perspective you're offering, but also they're looking, what makes you different out there, how are you helping the community? How are you helping your local community, how you're trying to impact, for instance, the environment, you know, and the planet for that matter, people are looking for something beyond. And I'm sure you've already seen this with a lot of successful companies out there that have got great corporate brands. You know, when it comes to his Katmandu, for instance, it's a great brand and a company that certainly lives its values. But also, you know, like any other business task, you need to carefully develop a smart strategy to improve your business image. Everything starts from your vision to your strategy, then to your tactics. What we get is, of course, a lot of times clients come to us and you know, that vision is their strategy, certainly not but they want to go straight into tactics. And that's a dangerous way of operating. Because obviously, it's the strategy that leads everything that it's the driver and tactics are really more the secondary to the big picture. So because tactics will be many, the strategy is normally one in this case. So I have a few good tips for you today. Like always, I gather, hopefully, we'll get your list on the right track. And the first one is to do values check your values check is something you can do with your team. Right. But certainly, the leadership has to play a big part here because Why do you exist is a values check. That's one of the first questions Why do we exist? You know to do what You know, to deal with what pain for instance, if, if I can use that word that's become so cliche today, but you know, what are people looking for from us, okay want to do business with us. And of course, that also then is congruent with our personal values, and it has to be your values have to be first, as opposed to your customer's values, right? So you got to get really clear, what are your values? You know, what, what do you stand for is that basically around making a difference to people's lives and be very specific around that is around giving them more freedom, you know, giving them more choices is basically something that really has a human connection to it, as opposed to just a tick the box exercise, you see, you can look good. And of course, you know, the more real it is, the more powerful it is for you and everybody else. My second tip is also to be true to your values, but from a strike authentic perspective, not just for marketing reasons, because if it's for marketing reasons, okay, people will find out eventually, and more importantly, your team is going to know it's only for marketing as well. And eventually, you'll be exposed, okay, you'll be exposed, really, you know, you don't have to do that. It doesn't have to be like save the world type of values. But certainly, it could be something that at least, you know, binds the team together and gets everybody on board. And you've got a great message to share with the world. And of course, the clients that will at least know, you know, what you stand for. And I think this is important. The next one is to improve your company's culture. And this is a big one that I want to share with you today is offered superior customer service, it must be your number one goal online and offline. You see, contrary to what they tell us out there, I will never replace imaginative human beings, no matter what big tech is telling us, I guess superior customer service has said is essential. And if you've experienced, of course, a lot of tech companies today with AI and so on, some of the service has gone down, like dramatically down. And through that also, of course, it's really interesting. And I see a correlation with bad manners, I see a correlation with lack of etiquette and respect, I see all this intertwine with bad customer service. So imagine if you do the opposite, you know, imagine if you do offer superior customer service. Like, of course, some tech companies do. You know, for instance, you know, Amazon, for instance, you know, they've taken a lot of business, of course, from, you know, SMEs and so on. But the reality is they do offer great service. So we got to also acknowledge what's true with some other companies, Facebook, for instance, this service is atrocious, atrocious, especially in reference to customer service, so and others, but I'm not going to go into what I've mentioned today I've mentioned at least a positive and a negative, you know, and I think all this is relative, today, because if you're not going to offer superior customer service, then why are you in business are you just, you know, ripping customers off, because you've got a lot of brand power in the marketplace. And I think that's cool. And I think eventually people wake up to that. Finally, my next tip is to make your brand human. And this fits in with everything that I've been sharing with you today. Make it real show empathy, you don't care. And again, beyond pure profits, you know, Elon Musk, buying Twitter is a good example of that, you know, he bought Twitter, you know, if it's true, exactly, as per his statements, you know, his profits are going to be very secondary right now, to what he hopes to do with Twitter. And I think that's a good example, if it's proven to be true, okay, great values in action, you know, you know, and of course, we're not all in our masks, you know, being the richest man in the world. But we can certainly, you know, use that as an example of what we can do in our own small part of the world, and hopefully, make a difference, like, you know, he hopes to, and lastly, you know, get some outside feedback from people you respect, and more importantly, trust, you know, including if, if that means branding experts, you know, people have got the runs on the board, people have had the lived experience, ask people definitely don't be shy around them, you know, and don't allow the ego to get in the way. It's okay. You know, it's like, you know, and the way I do it, constantly, is always say, look, there are no upsets here, it just please give me some honest feedback, wherever we can improve. I'm up for it. I'm willing to, you know, do whatever it takes. And of course, over the years, it's actually proved to be very effective and very, very fruitful. Finally, yes, your company's reputation counts a lot. Especially if you want to be recognized in your industry. And you remember what recognition is interbank positioning, you know, you will have a platform that specifically gets you to be seen as you know, let's say the number one of the leading, etcetera. So this is the key to why you need to put some effort into this and don't take this for granted. When reassessing what needs to change in order to improve your corporate image. Start with some of the simple steps, you know, follow these steps. Follow some of these tips that I've already shared with you. Okay, and if you need help with the last one, don't hesitate to contact me or actually, if you need help with any of them, don't hesitate to contact me. It would be my pleasure as always to help you and your business. If we're a good fit. My email is on the description of the episode. If you liked that chat, please share it with friends, family and colleagues. You can also share it on social media. You can follow me on Twitter at Jon_Michail on LinkedIn as Jon Michail and on Facebook as Image Group International. Thank you and looking forward to sharing with you again next week. Cheers
Jon Michail’s Personal Branding Masterclass" Podcast is sponsored by Image Group International, a global team of practical, digitally savvy personal brand and image strategists, based in Australia, committed to maximizing your impact, influence and authority in the business world. To learn more and apply for your personal coaching, seminars and group workshops please visit imagegroup.com.au or call 1800 631 311.