Brands come and go, there is an ebb and flow to the consumer confidence and in the ability of a company or individual to influence and command…but what is it about a brand like Google, Apple, MacDonald’s or AT&T that has them command the top values in the world? How can individuals or small businesses take the $158 Million Dollar Brand Value of Google and translate it to themselves?
When I was in the heart of building my Personal Brand and focused on nothing but my career as a Sales Guy I did a lot of studying on what goes into building a Personal Brand and how to communicate value like the big guys (without a massive marketing budget or a team of professionals to support me).
For every person, corporation or product…success did not come over night. It did not come without hard work and an application of a strategy that took them from zero to hero…and very few brands have been able to maintain success for ever. Probably one of the few companies that have continued on a positive note is IBM.
IBM is a company that at its heart is all about Technology, but has been around since the 1880’s…long before the world of Computers and the Internet…but this company has been able to whether some of the most turbulent times and still come out on top. They were there for the birth of the Typewriter, the Mainframe Computer, the Personal Computer, the Internet and the Cloud…and all the while they have maintained a respect and dominance that is not only rare but incredibly hard to accomplish.
I look at this company as the chameleon of the Corporate World. They seem to be able to transform just in time to be able to still reinvent who and what they are to remain at the top of their game. When the world started to give up on the world of Personal Computers…they moved on and sold their Laptop and Desktop Empire to Lenovo.
So, how is it that a company of more than 350,000 people can make course altering decisions that keep the company moving and maintain that leading (if not bleeding) edge focus?
The way I see it, the entire culture of IBM is about change. Knowing and believing at its core that the world is a very fickle place and the consumer trends of today will not be the consumer trends of tomorrow so they focus on helping other companies set the trends of tomorrow. Providing the technology and the insights to be ready for the “next big thing” has enabled IBM to ride the waves of global change and remain strong…despite seeing other bastions of Technology fold and collapse (think Nortel, Blackberry/RIM, Kodak).
The concept of change being at the heart of any given strategy is tough…I hate change…but change is about refreshing the old into something new.
Embrace that, find the change in you and your company. Where to start? Stay tuned.