By Nick Manning, President

We hear about “building brands” literally every day. Magazines have devoted forests of paper and rivers of ink to talk about brand building. There are brand building “gurus” all over LinkedIn, Twitter and other social networking sites. In fact, a quick Twitter search returned an endless list of links to ‘Rules of Brand Building’ and ‘5 Easy Steps to Building a Brand.’ 

We hear about the wonderful, strong brands in our marketplace today. Some brands I think about immediately are Apple and Google, Sprint and Garmin here in Kansas City and Kohler and Delta in our industry. Those names immediately put some type of thought in your head; some may be good, some not so good. These companies have spent years and millions of dollars achieving their household name. However, brand building can be devastated quickly. 

Once popular brands like Radio Shack, AOL, Kodak and Woolworth are virtually gone. Some brands are even struggling to stay prominent. Chipotle has had some food quality issues lately, Tylenol has slowly recovered from some horrible publicity they received when people tampered with their product in the 1980’s and Blackberry is fighting a tough battle to stay afloat. Unfortunately, some brand failures are simply due to the markets changing or errors that the brands made, whether they be legal, ethical or moral failings, or sabotage.

My challenge today is what is YOUR brand?  What are you doing to build it, nurture it, grow it and preserve it? As a growing company, PRIER hires people all the time. Our best hires have come from referrals from people who work at PRIER or, our friends.  If someone is referring you for a job, they have assessed YOUR brand and decided if it is acceptable to them. 

Whether you like it or not, YOUR brand is being written each day. If we talk to your friends, teachers, co-workers or parents, we can determine a lot about you. Are you trustworthy? Are you ethical? Are you detailed? Do you get along well with others? Social media is allowing the world to shrink each day and chances are, someone who works at PRIER is connected to you some way, and we can find out about you…YOUR brand!

Don’t let YOUR brand be written by someone else, write it yourself. Nobody is perfect and we don’t expect anyone to be. When you make a mistake, take responsibility, learn from it and get past it. PRIER will like that brand a lot better than we like the brand of someone who denies responsibility. YOUR brand is being defined by your actions, discipline, morale, ethic, fortitude, standards and who you call your friends. Literally every interaction you have helps to define YOUR brand. 

I don’t have any desire to have MY brand be an easily recognized name such as Steve Jobs, Winston Churchill or Herb Kohler. I do, however, have the desire to have a positive impact on those whom I am fortunate enough to come in contact with, and hopefully have a greater impact than I have taken…..but I’m not there yet. I am still working on MY brand.

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