With the exception of Madonna, all of us in the world need to be “saming.” We will talk more about Madonna in a minute. But, for now, let's talk about you.

For you to build and maintain a strong brand, you must be consistent. Strong brands don't change their promise of value. They communicate their unique promise of value through all that they do. This is an important thread that links all of the world's most successful brands.

When you have incongruous experiences with a brand, your desire to remain loyal to that brand wanes.

For example, one of McDonalds' promises is speed. It is the world's eighth strongest brand and the de facto leader in fast food. If you go to a McDonalds and wait in line for half an hour, you become frustrated because you have bought into their promise of fast food. If you continued to have this kind of experience, you would consider changing brands to Burger King, Wendy's or another fast-food restaurant.

The strongest brands in the world recognize the role of consistency in their success. Cartier never deviates from its classic, sophisticated style even when adding new products to its line. Apple Computers remains creative, from the unique design of its hardware to its commitment to the creative publishing and media industries. And BMW consistently builds sporty, high-performance, German-engineered “driving machines.”

Strong people brands are equally consistent.

Richard Branson is a risk-taker in all that he undertakes—from signing the Sex Pistols to his record label to launching Virgin Cola to compete against Coca Cola, the world's strongest brand.

Oprah is the human brand of entertainment, and you can see that in the films she chooses to be in, the books she selects for her book club and the messages she communicates through her talk show.

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image of William Arruda

William Arruda is a personal branding pioneer, the founder and CEO of Reach Personal Branding, and the author of Ditch. Dare. Do! 3D Personal Branding for Executives.

Twitter: @williamarruda

LinkedIn: William Arruda