Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Bill on Branding

It is a Wednesday morning at the City Place III lobby level café. John, Mary Jo, Tom, Will, Ken Debora, Charlie, Jane and I are joined by our guest speaker Bill Ellis. Bill is a friend of mine. He agreed to present to this informal but regular networking group. He is a pro. As a speaker and coach Bill works with individuals and companies to help them discover and deliver their Fearless Brand. His perspective has been gained, in part, from twenty-five years of corporate marketing experience at Anheuser-Busch. He has fine tuned his own personal brand as a presenter at venues, large and small and has become somewhat of a polished public speaker.

Bill speaks to our group without notes and without audio visual support. “I want you to think about becoming a fearless brand. When you think of a brand like NIKE it isn’t the swoosh logo as much as it is what that mark represents. Each of you may have a slightly different impression of that brand. You might think of athletes, or celebrities or running or golf but the point is, on some level, that brand stands for something.” Bill connects with the cross-section of people here with the assurance that branding is not just for big budget consumer products. “Your business and even your personal brand must be authentic,” he says. “It has to be relevant. If you sell automobile insurance and I don’t drive, well that isn’t going to be of interest to me...” Skillfully, Bill moves to what he calls his five C’s of branding. It’s easy to see that Bill has delivered this presentation many times. He is able to condense and present Clarity, Control, Connections, Communication, Conversion, Conviction, Consistency…each with Clarity.”  Clarity he suggests is his favorite C, “Don’t tell the other Cs” he jokes.  
Bill knew he didn’t have a lot of time but without being rushed he delivered. He even managed to plug three books by Bob Burg and John David Mann: The Go-Giver, Go-Givers Sell More and It’s Not About You. “I’m a certified Go-Giver coach,” he remarks “and each of these books offer something of value. In particular the first in this series gives you keys to stratospheric success.”
Finally with a flourish Bill transitions to a graceful conclusion of our meeting. Bill is meeting with a college professor and presenting at a small business expo in the afternoon. If the rest of his day goes as it started, I’m betting it will be a productive and authentic day for Bill.     

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