On our HBC Whatsapp group (by the way, you should join if you’ve attended our classes), Wednesdays are termed #ReflectionWednesday and our theme for the week happens to be on Dealing With Failure And Failing Forward. So connecting both dots, here are my thoughts.
People fail, brands fail. I remember a conversation I once had with a great mind I know, Charles’O’Tudor during my college days. He once made me realize that Brands Rise and Fall like Empires. I’ve always had that in mind and it helps me not over feel myself while in flight. Success is unending and failure is never final. Everyday stars are born and they replace the old ones. In the cycle of life, people, products and brands rise and fall like empires. Deal with it.
Sometimes i’m out at night, say at a social event and I see celebrities who have fallen off their cart, people that used to be hot. Now, they walk in to the club, or the ball room and no one even notices. Even the bouncers will ask for their IVs. I spoke at an event where I sat next to one, no one was really talking to him or asking for his autograph like they did years ago. The fans and all those groupies had moved on, simply because they had stopped making hits. In Chris Brown’s voice, “These girls aren’t loyal”. It is scary.
On a serious note, I’m reflecting on how people fail and people just leave them and they are almost forgotten. I hear people talk about how the world has turned their back on them, I say, it’s you that turned your back on the world. You stopped being what you were. My dear, the world is such a selfish place, with selfish people always in a hurry to move on. Loyalty is relative. People really are not loyal to you, they are only loyal to their needs that has to do with you. Knowing and confronting this brutal fact, we can prepare better.
As I grow, I’ve come to be very friendly but only having few friends. Most people know I at times can be hard to reach due to my schedules; my apologies. But I’m not really sorry, I’ll return the calls when I can, if it’s urgent or an emergency, grace will show His face. If the call doesn’t connect and it’s urgent, people can send a text. My phone is, and needs to be on permanent silence for me to work without distractions. If I miss a call I’ll try to return it, you’ve got to accept me for that. There’s a difference between “urgent” and “important”. These calls are important, but you need focus urgently for the calls to keep coming. After all, in the words of 50Cents in the song Many Men, it says “if you fall off, these phones will stop ringing all of a sudden anyway”.
From people who came before, I’ve seen a trend, when you get on top, then stop shining and then start failing, people and things show their real faces. So maybe they didn’t change, their masks only fell off. Take for example, where are people like GEJ and his town criers that acted like they could die for him. Some of them have decamped to a winning team. Welcome to life.
Inline with #ReflectionWednesday, my reflection today thinks about someone like a GEJ and I’m wondering how often his phone rings now. I wish I could meet him just to ask him how often people walk into that fancy large room with the sycophants all over the place. As a business and management consultant who thinks about brands, I’m thinking of his brand. He must be wondering how people have changed on him. But then, sometimes, it’s not people who change; it’s just their mask that falls off. It’s just there true brands that are showing now.
Let me take out the jargon of brand strategy to school us on what a personal brand truly is:
Your personal brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.
Every interaction is like an entry into a room.
Once you walk into that room (whether it’s a business boardroom or someone’s life), you would be greeted with 3 moments of truth :
- What people feel when they first see you
- What you portray (as they interact with you/your business or proposition)
- What you will be remembered for (after you leave). Brands, Branding and Brand Strategy is about how to influence those 3 Moments of Truth.. //Master them// anybody can build a brand. It starts from being your best. And to stay away from failure, keep getting better at that best. And then building a brand (fulfiling the variable that says you must be unique, easy to identify, and consistent) on being the best at that thing you are known for, so well, that they will talk about it when you’re not in the room.
A brand to me isn’t aesthetics, it should be a graphical representation of something deeper. I have a covenant with my creator to be at my best and to add value, and our slogan says “to go further ahead”, Hexavia as a brand, is just a graphical representation of that covenant. Once you can keep up with that covenant, you will stay relevant.
Written By Eizu Uwaoma,
Brand. Mgt Consulting. Training.
About Eizu Uwaoma
Eizu Uwaoma is the founder & lead strategist of Hexavia, a business, brand, training & management consulting firm. Through his weekly features nationwide on radio, he connects with more than 5 million professionals, personally interacting with over 500 top executives & has intervened in over 50 businesses. He has a proficient gift, skill and experience in enterprise development. He is an authority in brand, human capital and business training as well as project consultancy.
He runs the Decoded, a monthly hangout for professionals in all major Nigerian cities facilitates at the Hexavian Masterclass and is the founder of the Hexavian Business Club.
To attend the Masterclass, click on http://www.hbc.org.ng/masterclass/