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,Â however, I was taken aback by theÂ succinctÂ and powerful branding perspective offered by Will Smith.
Will Smith started his career as a rapper in the late 1980â€™s, later starred on the television seriesÂ TheÂ Fresh Prince ofÂ Bel-Air,Â and went on to a blockbuster movie career with films likeÂ Independence DayÂ andÂ Men in Black. He has been nominated for five Golden Globe, two Academy awards and has won four Grammy Awards.Â ForbesÂ magazine hasÂ labeledÂ him the â€śmost bankable starâ€ť and as of 2014 his movies alone had grossed $6.6 billion.
Enough about our teacher, on to the lessonâ€¦
RecentlyÂ Ad AgeÂ captured an interview with Will Smith in which he gave three principles for brand success. While they might not make you, the most â€śbankable starâ€ť 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:
1Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Start with a meaningful and profound idea
2Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â The product should always be the core of what you do
3Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 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 weÂ deliverÂ those products and services to them. Finally, if our intention is self-focused (e.g. profit-taking) and not â€śother focused (mission-based andÂ committedÂ to enhancing the lives of those we serve) customers will churn.
Brands (be they individuals like Will Smith or corporate entities)Â dependÂ upon ideas, products and purpose. Thanks Will for being a brand thatÂ notÂ 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.