The most effective tool we have to build our own brands is literally how we lead our life. 

So, I believe it was Gandhi who said, “My life is my message.”  Our life is our message.  So, what we do with our time and our energy, how credible our own purpose seems, how we tell others about that credibility and that purpose.  How we insight and you know, enthusiasm and energy of others for what we are up to, those are all the building blocks of a great brand whether you’re selling coffee or tea or Facebook. They’re the great building blocks of our own distinctiveness and the use of that distinctiveness.  

I think the more transparent that the world gets, enabled largely by technology, the more important it is that you are what you appear to be.  So brands suffer the biggest falls when the promises they have made, I’m thinking about company brands.  When the promises that they made turn out to be very much at odds with how they are doing business or what their product really is.  I mean, think about Nike many years ago and Child Labor Laws. That was a huge tumble for that brand and in some ways, they never quite recovered.

Or Ford and Firestone in the whole debacle about who was responsible for accidents in the Explorer.  Companies and individuals, in an age when we all live in glass houses, have to understand that people are looking to individuals and institutions that are clean and effective and doing something that they regard as important and are worthwhile.  

In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think's studio.

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