very well thought-out process—which is, of course,
a big fat lie,” Stanley says. “My brand just evolved
over time. I tried to concentrate on what I thought
was important and aligned my values with companies I thought I could work
with and who liked the way I did
Over the course of several years,
Stanley has been able to do just
that. It’s been the real-world experiences she and her company have
endured that have created the
brand. So today, she can sum up
the company’s credo—its brand
identity— succinctly: “We strive to
be ‘the real deal, and real smart.’ That’s what we are.
We brand our services as down-home conversation
with really sharp business acumen.”
It’s proven to be a winning formula.
But not without a whole lot of work, Stanley
says. Branding is something she and her staff work
on every single day, striving to drive home the ‘real
deal, real smart,’ message. But she’s quick to add
that the efforts aren’t just
Far from it.
At the end of the day,
Stanley says, her brand
is about results. There is
a catch-phrase, yes. But
more important, Stanley
says, there is a record of
success that backs up the
catch-phrase. Her brand,
she says, is built on her
“I’ve worked for nonbranded companies that
have had success because
they do good marketing
and they do good work,”
Stanley says. “Sometimes,
in other cases, we’ll see that the brand opens the door
rather than the quality of the salesperson. It would be
nice to have a brand like IBM or 3M that just opens
doors for you. But you don’t need that kind brand to
get in the door.”
Stanley says entrepreneurs who
are struggling to find their brand
need not worry. The brand will
come. As she points out, it took at
least two years after she launched
Sales Leadership for the company’s
brand to develop.
are struggling to find
their brand need
not worry. The
brand will come.
A “Big” Breakthrough
Jill Konrath didn’t have to wait quite
as long. In fact, her brand arrived the moment her
company did. And she says it was plain dumb luck.
“Just getting my business going at the time was
much more important to me than getting a ‘brand,’”
says Konrath. “And in terms of naming my company, it just turned out that I chose a name that happened to be very good for branding. I didn’t consider it a branding decision, though. Honestly, I
Jill Konrath named her business SellingtoBigCompanies.
com because it clearly identifies
what she does.