I am walking out of the famous Balogun market in the beautiful city of Lagos on a sunny Saturday afternoon after finally purchasing my dream Patek Philippe wrist watch, suddenly I hear a noise and multiple footsteps rapidly approaching, I look up and see everyone ahead running at me! What did I do? story for another day, let’s concentrate on what I did next, what do you think? You guessed right…of course I put on my running shoes! No questions asked, not much situation processing but my brain tells me that is the right thing to do.
I was wrong.
Everyone is wearing torn jeans, so I decided to tear one of mine because I told myself its trendy, I need to stay abreast of fashion, move with the crowd.
I was wrong.
Most of my Twitter and Instagram followers are now online salesmen making some good money (I don’t know, but I think so), so I join them. I consider it a second source of income, at least that is what my brain tells me.
ABX telecommunication company just signed 7 new brand ambassadors and did a music ad, BDV signed 11 ambassadors and did 2 music ads, I have to sign 7 + 11 / 2 ambassadors and do a music ad too!
The only thing moving with the crowd offers you is company; the path is never lonely, there is always someone to look down on to elevate yourself, someone to compare number of Instagram followers with. In my opinion (what do I really know), everything we do must have a deep rooted meaning, strike a chord, leave a mark and ultimately be purposeful.
More importantly, as a business person why are you in business? (The true answer to this question lies within you but can be perceived or experienced by your clients/customers when they interact with you).
- When they purchase a good/service, they see the why.
- Even in client-owner disagreements, they see why you are in business!
The biggest brands are not those driven by profits, they serve a need, fill a void, create excitement. They are purpose driven hence they last the test of time. Anything else falls into the bandwagon category. Most competitors are interested in doing something different, or want to appear new – I think those are completely the wrong goals. A product has to be genuinely better. This requires real discipline, and that’s what should
drives us – a sincere, genuine appetite to do something that is better.
I like to look at Apple as the biggest/best man made brand (and they are according to Interbrand.com ranking ). Every Apple product has a genuine story and none is built on the need to get money, they have a brand promise that they try hard to maintain.This applies to all top companies today.
Below I have highlighted a few companies that have been true to their promise and it is evident for all to see.
- Nike, whose mission is ‘To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.’
- Coca-Cola who aim, ‘To inspire moments of optimism and happiness.’
- Mercedes Benz launched a new ‘brand claim’ in 2012, The Best or Nothing.
Tim Cook summarizes Apple’s existence in one paragraph
“The DNA of the company, the thing that makes our heart beat, is a maniacal focus on making the best products in the world. Not good products or a lot of products, but the absolute best products in the world. We’ll only do things where we can make a significant contribution. I do not mean financially. I mean some significant contribution to the society. You know, we want to really enrich people’s lives at the end of the day, not just make money. Making money might be a byproduct, but it’s not our North Star.”
Every one wants to be successful, but the road to success is the opposite of the crowd’s path….completely opposite!
If you are in the majority, you are wrong! Why? Success is not common – Obaro Obiuwevbi