Three Lessons in Branding from Will Smith

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Three Lessons
Image courtesy: Red Romero Ramos via Flickr

While I have many mentors when it comes to business success, branding, and customer experience delivery, seldom do I look to actors or actresses to give me wisdom in these areas. Recently, however, I was taken aback by the succinct and powerful branding perspective offered by Will Smith.

Will Smith started his career as a rapper in the late 1980‚Äôs, later starred on the television series¬†The¬†Fresh Prince of¬†Bel-Air,¬†and went on to a blockbuster movie career with films like¬†Independence Day¬†and¬†Men in Black. He has been nominated for five Golden Globe, two Academy awards and has won four Grammy Awards.¬†Forbes¬†magazine has¬†labeled¬†him the ‚Äúmost bankable star‚ÄĚ and as of 2014 his movies alone had grossed $6.6 billion.

Enough about our teacher, on to the lesson…

Recently¬†Ad Age¬†captured an interview with Will Smith in which he gave three principles for brand success. While they might not make you, the most ‚Äúbankable star‚ÄĚ or guarantee $6.6 billion in revenue, they will assure brand sustainability. As per Will Smith, here are three components essential to a great brand:

1        Start with a meaningful and profound idea

2        The product should always be the core of what you do

3        Try to improve lives

In a general sense, Will Smith understands that no amount of marketing can sustain success for a concept that fails to connect with its audience. Additionally, customers expect that a product or service will meet their needs and demand operational excellence when we deliver those products and services to them. Finally, if our intention is self-focused (e.g. profit-taking) and not “other focused (mission-based and committed to enhancing the lives of those we serve) customers will churn.

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Brands (be they individuals like Will Smith or corporate entities) depend upon ideas, products and purpose. Thanks Will for being a brand that not only entertains but transforms!

This article is authored by Joseph A. Michelli, Ph.D., an internationally sought-after speaker, author, and organizationalconsultant. Dr.Michelli is a Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, Nielson Bookscan and New York Times #1 bestselling author.

To book Joseph Michelli for a speaking assignment for your next business event, workshop or corporate training program, click here

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