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Playbook

The 4 New Rules of Branding

April 11, 2013

How do you create a magnetic brand in an age where people are naturally skeptical? You follow the new rules of influence.  Based on what works for influential people, Real  Influence presents a model for mastering connected influence, distilled into four steps:

  1. Go for great outcomes. Inspire people by going “beyond the business case” and focusing on three fundamental “R”s: Results, Reputation, and Relationships. If your branding is all business all the time you will be dismissed as advertising. You need to think about all of the R’s—make sure your product gets results, is high-quality, and you need to build relationships with your customers.
  2. Listen. Customers want a relationship to their brand, and that implies a two-way street. Make sure you are listening to customer complaints and to what people say about your brand on social media. Just as important, make sure you respond to them; make sure they know you are listening.
  3. Engage others. Engage the customer through asking their opinion. What new styles do they want to see? What do they value? What do they want to see from you as a brand? Give them opportunities to give you feedback and when they do acknowledge that and respond. Offer contests where customers get to choose the products that you’ll put out. Let them vote on commercials. Let them select the charities you support.
  4. Do more than others expect. Add value before, during, and after interactions.  Continually over-deliver to become unforgettable. Seek creative ways for other people to join great outcomes and want to do more too.

As Mark Goulston says: “To have the influence on others that keeps on influencing, create a ‘win win win’ for both of you.”

Adapted with permission from Real Influence by Mark Goulston, Dr. John Ullmen (Amacom Books). Hear more on their webcast.

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About The Author

Mark Goulston is a psychiatrist, business consultant, executive coach, and former FBI and police hostage negotiation trainer. Trained as a clinical psychiatrist, he helps people increase their ability to get through to anyone. He presents many of these skills in his book, JUST LISTEN: Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone (AMACOM 2009). Goulston is a member of the International Leadership Association. He has provided training, executive coaching, and consultation to many companies and organizations, including GE, IBM, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, Xerox, Deutsche Bank, Hyatt, Accenture, ADP, State Farm Insurance, Astra Zenica, Bristol Myers Squibb, Kaiser Permanente, Kodak, Federal Express, FBI, Los Angeles District Attorney, White & Case, Seyfarth Shaw, UCLA, USC, and Pepperdine University.

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