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Category Archives: Brand Leadership

What Is Your “Brand”?

As a small business owner, you might think that "branding" is all about big businesses. But that's probably because when you think of a company's brand, you think of its logo. In fact, a company's brand is a lot more than a logo. It is all about what your business stands for, and how you portray it to the world as you do business - buying, selling, hiring, growing. For example, Apple's "brand" is not just their logo or even their device designs. The Apple brand includes all that you feel as soon as you hear of the name - their designs aim to make tech look like art, they aim to simplify, to combine, they "think different", they make the release of new products art, you expect them to say "and one more thing" as made famous by Steve Jobs. When you think of "big businesses" and their brands, you will actually see that everything about their business aligns with the brand - the way they act in the market, how they appear to customers, their public values represented by the way they do business, their business model, the messages they give out in advertising and even the look and feel of their...
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Why “The Customer Is Always Right” Is Wrong

The founder of the department store Selfridge's in London was the one who said: "The customer is always right." Apparently, he started using the phrase, and included it in his advertising, to show customers that they would always get good service at his department store, that his store would bend over backwards to provide customer service no matter what. It was also used in-house to "train" employees to give good customer service. Unfortunately, he was wrong. (more…)...
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Outsource for Efficiency

Once upon a time, running a small business was relatively uncomplicated. Not easy, but uncomplicated. You were good at something. You saved or borrowed some capital. You set up procedures that focused on doing what you were good at, which was what drove the business, and then you hired people who could do the supporting functions like keeping the books. As you progressed, you hired some contract specialists like tax accountants, or you hired contractors to do things you didn't want to do like clean the office every night. (more…)...
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Create A Feedback Culture In Your Business

One of the consulting assignments I most enjoy is working with all the people in a client's business. Often, when I am helping Directors prepare a strategic plan, or Managers work on their business plans, I only work with these Directors and Managers, or sometimes owners and other stakeholders. Rarely do I get to work with the company as a whole unless I am working on a change management assignment involving restructuring, systems, people and culture. But of course, even when I don't work with people below management level, I meet and interact with the other employees, and see a vast range of cultural phenomena. Even in driven and well-led companies, I sometimes see an underground layer of tension. Leaders need to recognise that some people feel intimidated by strong leadership and despite being invited to, do not voice their opinions. They have to be invited to do so and be given the opportunity to see that feedback from them is welcome and positive. (more…)...
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