14/10/2011

By Alexia Leachman, Personal Branding Coach at Blossoming Brands

Do you know what it is about you that helps set you apart? And does this have anything to do with the success of your business? Probably. No matter how small or big the company, at its core will be a set of values that dictate how it does business and what its brand stands for. If the company was created by an entrepreneur with a vision, it’s quite probable that these values are values that resonated with the founding entrepreneur. Whatever drives an entrepreneur in the early days is what’s going to drive the company today.

Steve Jobs was very clear, for him the values behind the brand was what was going to define it and help them to stand out. This is what he said to Apple staff during his comeback in 1997

"To me, marketing is about values. This is a very complicated world, it's a very noisy world. And we're not going to get the chance to get people to remember much about us. No company is. So we have to be really clear on what we want them to know about us."

And what was that? He went on to add;

"We believe people with passion can change the world for the better....and that those people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who actually do."

When he shared this he was trying to reconnect Apple back to it’s values. In the years that he was absent, Apple had lost its way and he was back to put that right. He then went on to share the now famous Think Different ad that began Apple’s turnaround. Apple are now being petitioned to re-run this ad in honour of Steve Jobs. Why? Because everyone believes that it’s talking about him. Here’s what it said.

Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.
~ Apple Inc.

It’s easy to see how the line is very blurred between Steve Jobs and Apple. But the same can be said of other well-known entrepreneurs and businesses such as Richard Branson and Virgin or Anita Roddick and The Body Shop. Both of these businesses are defined very clearly in terms of the values of their founding father (or mother!).

So being clear on who you are and what’s important to you could be the defining factor in your success as an entrepreneur or business leader. Whether or not you choose to implant those into your business is another matter.


Read the next article: When Two Reputations Become One


Alexia Leachman is a Personal Brand Coach and Head Trash Liberator at Blossoming Brands. She helps entrepreneurs find their mojo by helping them to tell their story, raise their profile, build their digital presence and manage their reputation. You can find out more at www.blossomingbrands.com; www.headtrash.co.uk And you can follow her on Twitter at @AlexiaL and @BBrands