Wednesday, September 16, 2009

13 Strategies for Creating an Aura of Superiority around Your Brand - Without Looking Like an Arrogant Ass

The word “superior” comes from the Latin superus, which means, “situated above.”

So, for your brand to be superior, you don’t have to be arrogant – you just have to be awesome. Plus, a lot of people have to agree with you. That’s the formula.

What about you? How do you demonstrate superior expertise? And are you turning out work that has a genuine superiority?

If not, today you’re going to learn a list of thirteen strategies for creating an aura of superiority around your brand – without looking like an arrogant ass:

1. Adopt a preeminent mindset. This is the first step in building awareness and exposure to become the default in your space. Mohammad Ali is the perfect reminder. Four words: “I am the greatest.” He said this phrase often enough that (not only) did he convince himself that he was the greatest, but he convinced the world he was the greatest too.

Now, certainly Ali was able to support his assertion with unparalleled fighting skill. He really DID float like a butterfly. He really DID sting like a bee. The question is: If Ali never declared that he was the greatest over and over, would he (still) have become the greatest?

Doubtful. Similarly, if you don’t believe in your own preeminence – in a non-arrogant way – nobody else will either. What are you the world heavyweight champion of?

2. Repeatedly articulate your EST. That’s not an acronym; it’s a suffix. As in: Craziest. Dizziest. Fanciest. Gutsiest. Heaviest. Juiciest. Knottiest. Laziest. Purest. Quietest. Rarest. Got it? Essentially, EST is a stronger, more specific version of the superlative best. And customers can’t help but be attracted to that. Your challenge is to answer the following three questions:

*What’s the ONE THING your company does that nobody else can touch?
*How could you reframe, repurpose or reposition that uniqueness in the form of an EST?
*How many different ways could you leverage that EST in your marketing so you become KNOWN for it?

Remember: Everyone possesses inherent, unique superiority, but not everyone articulates it. How much longer can you continue winking in the dark?

3. Be a recognized innovator. That means you have to be the FIRST at something. Doesn’t matter what it is. As long as it’s relevant and you did it before anybody else. Example: Do you think anyone remembers the second woman to fly across the Atlantic?

Nope. Earhart was the recognized innovator. Everyone else fell to the wayside. Therefore: Your mission is to become the first to do, say or be SOMETHING. What are you recognized as being the FIRST at?

4. Be a shortcut. In Scott Halford’s awesome book of the same name, he wrote, “If you’re not a shortcut, you’re taking up too much space.” Great point. Your challenge is to answer these three questions:

*What are you a shortcut for?
*What are you a shortcut to?
*For whom are you that shortcut?

Remember: We live in a fast paced, instant gratification, A.D.D. hyperspeed culture. Be quicker or be deader. Which one are you?

5. Be a statement of action. The simplest solution for solidifying a position of superiority is to just DO stuff. Every day. Action is the engine of credibility, the conduit of character and the stamp of superiority.

That’s the difference: Creating an aura of inferiority is nothing but a landfill of idea CREATION. Creating an aura of superiority is a like trophy case of idea EXECUTION. The choice is yours. Will you talk or DO?

6. Be proprietary. “Spend a lot of money making it yours. Otherwise you become a victim,” remarked bestselling author Jeffrey Gitomer. “You can’t trust your business to someone who might not BE in business.”

Good advice. Remember: The moment you use something that anybody could use, you are no longer unique. What percentage of the technology you’re using is YOURS?

7. Be the first, not the best. If people don’t think of your name first, they may never get a chance to see if you really are the best. That’s the reality of Google, and it might be hurting your business. In the words of the wise philosopher, Ricky Bobby, “If you ain’t first, you’re last!”

Now, obviously if you recall Talladega Nights, you know that mantra is clearly insane.

Or is it? After all, when presented with an infinite amount of choices, customers are just going to pick the best. Which, on Google means “the first.” So maybe Ricky was right. Maybe creating an aura of superiority starts with a little shake and bake. What are you recognized as being the first at?

8. Convince people that you’re doing something important. In the world of fundraising, here’s the big secret: Stop asking for money and start making such a passionate, compelling case, that people ask for the opportunity to contribute to your cause. See? That’s the difference between selling and enabling people to buy. Which one are YOU doing?

9. Don’t be smart – be an intellectual. Here’s the difference: Smart is for students who study content for the purpose of memorization. Which means information comes in one ear and out the other.

Intellectuals are people who absorb ideas for the purpose of democratization. Which means people are extracting truth and redelivering it in a way that’s applicable and actionable across the board.

That’s why intellectuals are superior – because anyone can be smart. Which word would your customers use to describe you?

10. Go name something. In Seth Godin’s The Big Moo, he explains, “Isaac Newton created a word that described something that was already there, something that affected everyone, all the time. By naming gravity, he gave us power over it. He gave us a handle, which permitted both scientists and lay people to talk about and interact with this mysterious force.”

Lesson learned: When you name something, you can gain power over that something. You can do something about that something. You can get people to talk about that something. And you can become the superior voice on that something. Me? I started wearing a nametag everyday and ended up naming approachability. What could you make into a household word?

11. Position yourself as an aggregator of valuable content. Nobody wants to sift through the entire forty-seven-year catalog of The Rolling Stones’ library. They just want to buy Forty Licks and get on with their life. The cool part is: YOU could be that album. You could be the summary. The chronicle. The Cliffs notes. People will think you’re a genius. All because you aggregated.

The secret is learning to see to the heart of the matter quickly. Then, making the effort to uncover the essence of a system, distilling it and then deploying it to people in a simple, actionable way. Do this, and I promise your customers will LOVE this for three simple reasons: They’re busy, they’re lazy and they’re impatient. Thank God for your superior content aggregation. Are you a broker of information and wisdom?

12. Three words: And nowhere else. That means your company is The Only. The One. The unsurpassed stop. THEE go-to place. Fortunately, you may have already accomplished this. Here’s the test. Imagine a new customer calls tomorrow morning. He needs your help bad.

The question is: Has your company earned the right to say, “Mr. Jackson, you didn’t just come to the RIGHT place – you came to the ONLY place”? If so, congrats. You’ve passed the “And Nowhere Else Test.” If not, it’s time to get moving on deploying your matchlessness. What industry or niche are you the standard-bearer of?

13. Raise your thought frequency. Ultimately, that’s what drives your ability to engineer a continuous flow of superior breakthroughs. The cool part is, when you become known as an elegant thinker, people will pay money to watch you do it in action. Better yet, they will bring their friends with them.

As advertising legend Joey Riemann explained in his book, Thinking for a Living, ““Profits go to the prophets. Big thinkers are the most valuable human beings on Earth. And grey matter is real estate –what grows out of it will be your net worth.” How much is seeing the light worth to a company or person in the dark?

REMEMBER: It IS possible to become clearly superior – and to PRESERVE your superiority – without looking like an arrogant ass.

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How will you create an aura of superiority around your brand?

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Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

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