BE Something: The Importance of Brand Influence

Lee Ziebarth

January 9, 2014

What’s the most important thing for your business? Revenue. Peter Drucker, famous management consultant, said, “A business exists to create a customer.” If you don’t have customer base—or any sort of consumer base for that matter—base, then what is the point of your company’s existence?

However, revenue is not the most important thing to a business for the long haul. Retention is. Are you keeping the customers you bring on? This is vital.

Sam Walton, founder of Walmart, the most successful retailer in history, once said, “There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.

Any average business can succeed with a sales strategy that wins new customers (although this alone can be very difficult), however, it does take a great business to keep customers spending their money with you.

How is this done? It’s obvious that revenue will follow retention–revealing that revenue may not be the most important. However, retention may not be either. You see, the most important question is how do we obtain AND retain new customers? The answer rests on the power of influence.

What will take your business from a company that transacts to a brand that has influence?

The answer is easy, but can be difficult to discover.

Can you measure what you are? Not in easily-defined ways.

Can you measure what you do? Yes, very easily.

The way to influence is to BE, not just DO. You decide to do many things based on core values without any regard to their measurement.

  • Your customer service team treats people with kindness as the foundation of their training, not just efficiency
  • Your sales team gives something of value with no strings attached
  • Your marketing team creates a charity event more because of the good it will do than for the exposure they hope to receive
  • Your research and development team seek to create the next best thing to improve lives not just be cutting edge

These are simple things that reflect who the company–and leadership–IS. When a business focuses on doing what they do because of who they are, and hope to be, instead of what will bring in the most revenue, they begin to exert brand influence.

Influence is the greatest attainment of any business. A successful and admired brand is remembered, sought after, and looked up to. They influence trends, behaviors, and buying patterns. But most importantly, they influence people–people who will keep coming back again and again and again.

BONUS: Click here to view brands that built their influence without advertising.