What does brand loyalty really mean: Discipline (Part 2 of 2)?
When you hear or read the word discipline, what does it mean to you?
What does the term brand discipline mean to you?
I believe that before you can look for discipline in others you have to find it within yourself. What do I mean by finding it in yourself before you can find it in others?
When I was growing up, like most kids, I was addicted to watching certain kid programs. I would without fail, rush home every day from school and claim my spot in front of the TV, making sure to get there before my brothers so that they didn’t get the chance to change the channel. In other words, I had the discipline regardless of what was happening after school, to be home at the same time each and every day to watch my favorite show. I was in effect loyal to the TV show or brand because it made me laugh and kept my interest. The producers of the show were able to inspire this level of loyalty because they were committed to understanding their audience and consistently deliver a program that was entertaining. I was never disappointed.
If you think of your boss or client as being your audience, do you have the discipline that is necessary to understand what it takes to stand out and be recognized as a favored or favorite brand? As the producer of your own successful present and future, are you captivating and gaining the loyalty of those whom you seek to serve?
In the video I used to launch my book The Future of You! I talked about the fact that in today’s world it is hard to stand out and be noticed. This is especially true if you are not seen as being a relevant presence and meaningful contributor in terms of helping others to realize their goals.
Of course to be a relevant presence and meaningful contributor, you have to have discipline in a number of key areas; areas which are not the same for everyone.
For example, two years ago I was coaching a client who believed that his work should speak for itself. While there was no question that he did great work, he unfortunately had a reputation for being unpredictable in meetings. He would have meltdowns if he didn’t like directives from Senior Management. He also refused to listen as soon as he saw the conversation going in a different direction than he thought it should.
For this particular individual having discipline meant disciplining his mouth. While it took time, he did eventually learn how to curb his tongue and learn that it isn’t so much of what you say, but how you say it. Even though he lost a few years relative to advancing his career, he managed to recreate his brand in a more positive and influential light. His efforts reflect what I call brand discipline.
As I had indicated earlier, discipline (or the need for discipline) shows up in some parts of our lives but not in others.
Do you have the discipline to tell the truth? Are you willing to persevere and see a challenging project through to the end with little complaint? Do you have the discipline to celebrate the success of others?
Are you disciplined when it comes to showing up on time, being polite and making others comfortable? While you may, similar many of the clients with whom I work, have a certain degree of discomfort when it comes to networking, do you have the discipline to build a rapport with people. After all, you can’t build a fan club or audience base without connecting. In this context, what do you do to demonstrate to others that you care about how they feel?
How about listening? Steven Covey once said that “Most people listen, not with the intent to understand but with the intent to reply.” Do you have the discipline to really hear what someone else is saying with the intention of truly understanding their concerns and needs?
Above all, to be trusted and seen as disciplined, you need to be transparent. Transparency has different meanings but in the business world, it’s about showing the best of who you are, your personality, engaging people (regardless of title), your expertise and your willingness to be a team player.
In the end, knowing how to keep the audience on your channel will depend on your ability to manage your personal brand with . . . you guessed it ̶ DISCIPLINE!