Branding Lessons from My Dad

My dad was a marine biologist, so he’d probably tell you he doesn’t know much about branding. But¬†he had plenty of fatherly advice for me as I was growing up, and much of that advice is sound for brand building as well.

In honor of Father’s Day, I thought I’d share some branding lessons my father taught me without even trying:

1) Reputation is Paramount. Dad always told me that my reputation was everything. Once tarnished, a reputation is hard to repair. No only that, it’s a reflection on your parents, family and friends (or your company and staff if you’re a brand). Be vigilant and protect your reputation.

2) Honesty Matters. Lying gets you nowhere. People will see right through it. Trust will be destroyed, and your reputation (see above) will be damaged.

3) Be the Best at What You Do. If you’re going to do something, do your best. Give it your all. Commit or quit. Otherwise, you’re just wasting time and money. (Customers hate that.)

4) Do What You Say You’ll Do. People need to know they can count on you, so stick to your word. If you can’t do something, don’t promise that you can. Deliver on your brand promise. Again, refer to #1.

5) Loyalty is Important. Good friends always remember what you were like when you first met. They will be your advocate, and help you stay true to your core values. Listen to their advice. Loyal customers are worth their weight in gold (which is pretty pricey these days).

6) You Can’t Please Everyone. No matter what you do and how good you are, some people just won’t like you. And that’s OK. You can’t please everyone. Don’t dilute your brand by trying too hard to be popular.

7) Maintain High Standards. Expect the best and don’t settle for less. When you let your standards slide, someone is going to be disappointed, and that’s not good. Set the bar high. Customers love to know they can count on quality.

If your Dad taught you valuable life lessons that you’ve applied to business, I’d love to hear about them. Please share your comments. And thanks to all the Dads out there sharing your wisdom. Happy Father’s Day!

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