The theme for this month’s newsletter is strength and stability. The professionals at KeNako address these fundamentals from a technical and mental perspective, so it is perhaps opportune to discuss these elements relative to the individual that is representative of a brand. Let’s not forget that as one achieves success, and especially in a sporting field, so does one’s name and persona become a more visible brand. A brand is in reality a living entity that lives and dies by its ingredients and its actions. The better the brand the greater the respect and the more likely one is to gain rewards beyond simply the chosen profession. Rather than think golf and a Tiger Woods or a Jack Nicklaus, relate this thought to the recent Olympics and Chad la Clos or Cameron van der Berg who each won a gold medal. How did each individual react and engage with their audience after their immense achievements and success. What then can be regarded as critical ingredients with respect to engaging with one’s audience, effectively one’s target market?
Perhaps we can start with ‘Understanding’. How does one best engage on an emotional level? How can one build momentum for their brand? Can one do things differently? Think of Chad la Clos’ father after his son’s victory in London – he added so much positive energy to his son’s achievements by being so proud but also so humble. He added value to the Chad la Clos brand. Can one come up with ideas that allow one to stand out from the crowd? Think of Usain Bolt – he came up with his ‘arrow’ move before the 100m Olympic Final in Beijing. He had the courage, the belief and the audacity to do this before he had won the race. It was certainly something different and then he backed it up with his performance. Fantastic! Why was Natalie du Toit chosen as the athlete of the Commonwealth Games after she made her first appearance at the able-bodied event? Think of the attention that Oscar Pistorius gets. Both of these athletes have achieved fame and fortune despite their limitations. They understand their brand and they engage positively, striking an emotional chord with their audience.
Another key ingredient is ‘Integrity’. It’s all good and well coming up with something unique, but one then has to be able to deliver on their promise. It took Tiger Woods over a decade to build his brand into one that was incredibly respected around the world, but it took just a short time for him to destroy the image that he and his advisors had created. Reality is that actions speak louder than words. Think of the situation relating to Kevin Pietersen and England. Confidence and some arrogance go hand-in-hand with Kevin Pietersen. He started his international career with a white flash in his hair; he projected an air of self-belief that others in the England team lacked. Then he delivered amazing results on the cricket pitch. But somewhere along the road he overstepped the mark and the result has been hugely negative for his brand.
Other crucial elements that relate to the strength and stability of a brand include things like “Connecting’ with one’s audience, but in a sporting discipline also with one’s peers and competitors. The brand needs to have an identity; it needs to be personal and it needs to be relevant. Then there is ‘Passion’ and self-assurance. One needs to be truly committed and to enjoy what one is doing. One needs to be able to react in a similar fashion during the good times but also during the tough times. One needs to be loyal – to one’s mentors, management, peers and ultimately to oneself. One needs to be willing to share; it could be the knowledge that one has or it could be about learning together with others.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. There are many other facets relating to the strength and stability of a brand – and of life.
Enjoy the month of spring and take the opportunity to improve your strength and stability!