Success in business is not simply a function of how good you are or how great your product is or how terrific your services are. It’s more about your ability to effectively seize control over how people perceive you. This is the power of a big brand. Welcome to the Big Brand Formula podcast with Gerry Foster. Also known as the Branding Evangelist, Gerry believes that the road to wild success in any small business starts with replicating some of the big brand principles, methods, approaches, and strategies that are used by branding giants. Join Gerry as he gets into what it means to really big brand what you have.
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Welcome To The Big Brand Formula Podcast
I’m so excited. This is my first show, my maiden voyage and we’re going to talk about this thing called big branding and the power of it. Here’s the thing, when you decide that you’re going to put something out into the world, that’s going to be looked upon as a big brand instead of an ordinary brand, it means doing what’s called real branding. Real branding means having more than the logo attached and a website, which means standing for something that matters, that’s special and that’s important to the customer because it means that you’re different than your competition. It means that you can then have a platform for unstoppable growth, making lots of money, being happier, being more well-off, having a better lifestyle and the whole nine yards because you are now rocking it with a rock star brand. That’s what this show is about.
The Big Brand Formula
Let me tell you a little bit about what the Big Brand Formula is. I’m going to share a few why I’m so passionate about big branding and how I got started in this whole field, which is a pretty cool story, to begin with. I’m also going to share with you why I’m excited about this show and why you should continue to read this. There are a whole lot of people out there who say they do branding. There are branding people all over the place. It seems like everybody knows somebody who does branding, has done branding, things they do branding or whatever. What makes the Big Brand Formula different is that it offers the world the first three-step guided system for small business owners across the globe who want to organically create a big brand. It offers a strong message that sells so you can excite, delight and ignite your market and make it easier to get new customers.
As you get to know me, you should know right off the bat that I stand against the belief that in order to have a wildly successful brand, you’ve got to have a Fortune 500 company budget or thousands of dollars to spend each month on marketing. No. Instead, I believe that the road to wild success in any small business starts with replicating some of what I call the big brand principles, the methods, approaches and strategies that are used by branding giants like Procter & Gamble, P&G, where I used to work. That’s where I carved my branding teeth. You take those approaches, principles, methods and whatnot and you combine that with the best in entrepreneurial branding.
It doesn’t mean that you have to have a lot of money and so therefore, it also doesn’t mean that you cannot brand anything. If you want to big brand your business, a product, a service, a nonprofit or even yourself as a personal brand, just about anything or anyone can be highly differentiated and big branded no matter the perceived similarities that may exist in your space, industry, category or field of expertise. You could say that big branding is about being authentically different and having a lucratively advantageous and meaningful brand that surprises, connects and appear somewhat magical to your consumer. That ends up being the true north upward that will fuel the trajectory of your business for years to come.
It’s all about your brand and not being the same as everyone else. When I use the word, small business owner, I’m including the entrepreneur, solopreneur, the independent professional, contractor, online company, home-based business, mom and pop business and the like. The small business community, these are my people, my why. Don’t feel excluded because there are all types of small businesses out there as we all know. If you’ve got something along for the world and you want to ramp it up, if you want to pump it up, it’s all about making sure that you are rocking it.
A Little Bit About Myself
Let me tell you a little bit about myself if I may and it’s interesting how I even got into this business because it’s why I preach and teach big branding the way that I do has to do with something called Motown music. I grew up in Detroit, Michigan during the golden age of what was known as the Motown sound. The Motown sound has been called the music that changed America and the world beyond it. Unlike anything that listeners had ever heard, the Motown sound originated from and jumped out of an independent record label, a hit factory in Detroit, Michigan called Motown Records. It was started by a man named Berry Gordy. He’s a big brander for sure.
Big Brand Formula: Big branding is about being authentically different and having a lucratively advantageous and meaningful brand that surprises, connects, and appear somewhat magical to your consumer.
The Motown sound and the Motown brand, which was the first brand that I was ever exposed to in my life, became known as this iconic genuine sound of 1960s pop, R&B and soul music that defined American pop music as we know it now. Not only did the Motown sound helped define the ‘60s, but it’s also considered as perhaps the most influential culture change in the music of the 20th century. I grew up in the long shadow of the Motown era. As I was growing up in Detroit, its impact and influence were profound. The Motown brand, whether you are black or white, seemingly reflected the hard work and dedication of the so-called common man. For some reason, I’ve always enjoyed songs and music about overcoming adversity, hard times, challenges and being able to persevere.
When I was a kid, the distinctive, irresistible and melodic sounds from Motown artists were always playing on my transistor radio or record player. I know that some of you may not know what those two things are, but that’s how we listened to music back in the day. I grew up listening to music from what is called the up and coming music legends as we know them now. I used to listen to a Motown group called The Miracles, for example, that was led by the multi-talented Smokey Robinson. There were The Supremes, which featured Diana Ross. There was the legendary Little Stevie Wonder, not Stevie Wonder. He was Little Stevie Wonder because he was a child prodigy back then and that’s how he was known. I can’t forget my all-time favorite group, which was The Temptations. For those of you who may not be familiar with The Temptations, just think about the song My Girl. There were a lot of other artists as well. I can’t leave out Marvin Gaye. How can I forget Michael Jackson, Gladys Knight and The Pips, then in later years, Lionel Richie, Rick James and Boyz II Men?
I’m sharing all of this to make a point. Motown music was passionate, romantic, grooving and moving music. It was a music that made me fantasize about being a pop star. The bottom line is this. Some people like rock music, some like country, some like classical but what we all have in common is that we all love great music. It doesn’t matter what your musical preference means, because this is about tying in this story with this thing called big branding because to have a big brand means to put something out into the world that has an impact. When I think about the Motown brand, that first brand that I was exposed to, if I had to choose three words to describe it as a brand, the three words that I would use are upbeat, uplifting and unmistakable.
You’ve got to do the same thing. You’ve got to think about the three words that you want to be associated with your brand. You’re going to be learning all that stuff as you tune into my show on a regular basis. Going back to Motown, the Motown sound, the Motown brand and the Motown music was vital in unifying cross-cultural music that brought soul and pop together like never before. You’ve got to get what the times were back then. Whites and Blacks were united in a racially divided country. In a segregated society, the old and the young are united. It became a blend of soul and pop that many people call the voice of hope and it certainly was for me, as it was for millions of other people. The personal effect that the Motown brand had on me was inevitable and inescapable. I suppose that’s why I decided to become a professional speaker, trainer and coach on big branding.
Now, from San Diego to Dubai, with great pride I have dedicated my life to help small business owners around the world, people like yourself, find the rhythm of your brand. I’m known as The Branding Evangelist because of my passion, my enthusiasm and my inspirational messages around this thing called big branding. This has allowed me to effortlessly and authentically connect with diverse audience. I don’t care what age you are, what color you are, what sex you are, what side of town you may be from, what your story has been, your challenges or whatever. We are going to connect because to big brand means to make a big difference. It means to put something out into the marketplace that people cannot ignore. My own big brand if I had to describe it, I would say that it’s entertaining, engaging, it’s fun and it’s informative.
Here’s the other thing you should know about me. I was at this event years ago. There are 300 people in the room and the guy who put the event on said, “Stand up if you’re in the same field that you majored in college.” I stood up with two other people. My point is that when I was in college at USC, University of Southern California, I majored in marketing with deep study in branding, undergraduate school as well as graduate school where I got my MBA. I graduated with two degrees of honors. I went to work for P&G, then I went into my own business with a brand development and training company. Strategic branding, the kind of work that I do now is the only work I’ve done my entire adult life.
Big Brand Formula: To big brand means to make a big difference. It means to put something out into the marketplace that people cannot ignore.
I wrote an article once that said that the average American changes their job something like ten to fifteen times during a lifetime, and I’ve never done anything else but branding. I live and breathe branding. I love everything about branding, especially big branding. I get to do what I love and I love what I do. It’s been my honor and my privilege since I started my company way back in 1985 to have assisted over 100,000 small businesses from over 600 different industries with their branding. People regard me as a true bona fide branding guy, the real deal. It was nice to meet you. I’m glad you’re here.
What Real Branding Means
Let’s shift gears and talk about what I shared at the beginning. That big branding means real branding and that real branding means having more than a logo, a tagline, a website, a name and so on and so forth. Here’s the thing, unless you brand yourself, someone else will and that may not be something you like. Branding in a big picture sense is so important now and it’s considered to be the number one business building tool for any kind of business, company, organization around the world, especially in America, not to mention North America or across the pond and into other countries. The reason why that is so is that it allows you to seize control over how others perceive you. Which translates into you being able to stand for something that not only is powerful and appealing to the people that you wish to market and sell your goods or services to. It allows you in a world where people are very indifferent to who you are and what you had to offer. It enables you to convey that you are different, that you are superior and that you can demonstrate that you have incredible value to offer someone that they cannot find anywhere else.
The reality is that success in business is not simply a function of how good you are, how great your product is, how terrific your services are or how skilled you are. It’s more about your ability to effectively seize control over how people perceive you. It is about influencing people around how they think about you or think about your company and then grabbing that customer by the hand, connecting through their heart, letting them know that you care about their satisfaction and that what you have to offer is essential to their life. It’s about big branding and this goes against the grain of what many of us had been taught as to the keys to success in life. I know certainly it was for me when I was growing up because I was told by my parents that all I had to do was do the right thing. Go to school, be a good little boy, do my work in class, study, get good grades, work hard, go on to college, earn a degree and then I could be somebody. I could have whatever it was that I wanted in life and we see for many of us that that hasn’t been the case.
For those of us who have been around long enough, we’ve discovered that what often is key to us being successful is being able to influence how people see us. It’s being able to get someone to see that we’ve got some amazing things to offer them. I get the importance of making connections, knowing what you know, making sure that what you know and who you know is part of your success. I understand that, but who knows you and how favorably they perceive you is a whole different conversation. In this global marketplace, you need an extraordinarily high number of people to know who you are, what you do and how well you do it so they see you as offering the best choice for them to make, to meet the needs that they have. That goes beyond simply telling people what it is that you do.
In this show, throughout our time together as the show progresses, we’re going to be getting what it means to big brand what you have. It’s all about declaring satisfaction and excellence to your customer. It’s all about you making a pledge about what you feel you can be counted on to deliver. It’s about expressing your uniqueness in such a way that you not only distinguish yourself, but you affirm your greatness, you highlight your uniqueness, you establish your reputation and you set yourself apart from the rest of the world in such a manner that allows you to accomplish what you are supposed to accomplish while you are on this Earth. The conclusion from any potential customer that you come across is, “I’d be off my natural mind not to do business with you,” because of the power of your big brand. Thanks, and we’ll connect again on our next episode. Take care.
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