You know that your brand has become an established one when it is used as a verb. When I was growing up my mother never said she was going to vacuum the house, instead she said she was going to “Hoover” it. Now we say we are going to “Google”, not search the internet for information.
I regularly travel to Johannesburg on business. Whilst I love the energy and pace of the city, I don’t really like having to drive an unfamiliar hired car around the streets, frantically following the sound of the GPS girl who insists on telling me what to do and then changes her mind! All trips have been stressful for this navigationally-challenged Capetonian, but, last week when moving with speed and simplicity from meeting to meeting with Uber, it was different. I contemplated how this topical brand has managed in such a short space of time to ensure that users don’t talk about taking a trip with Uber, they simply say “let’s Uber!” The brand has become a verb, an action word. The emphasis is on talkability. Instead of concentrating on traditional media advertising, they have ensured that people try the ride, and also at ensuring that then users enjoy the ride.
I proceeded to interrogate my unsuspecting drivers as I was whisked seamlessly from meeting to meeting. They regaled tales of how they have used the system to start driving for someone else, then purchasing their own vehicles. Moms, with young children wanting flexibility, choose the hours that they want, and simply switch off the software when they wish to be unavailable, eg when fetching children from school.
But that’s enough about moving around, let’s stand still for a moment and ask ourselves some questions about establishing a good brand.
- What are you doing to establish yours?
- Are you known for speed, flexibility, reliability and professionalism?
- Are you a passenger or a driver?
If you wait for opportunity, you may wait forever. Instead, make things happen. If you are not happy in your job, then plan to move to another. So many people sit in the back seat and never make the move, but are happy to complain whilst they wait. Create talkability for your personal brand. Make sure that people are saying the right things – how do you get that right? By doing the right things, all of the time, not just when your software is switched on!