Extra Points: Branding Your Path to Success

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40Arnold Palmer died at the age of 87 just over a week ago. His passing not only impacted the golf and sports world, but the business community, too. Arnie was not only a legend in golf; he was an iconic business leader and entrepreneur.

The most Arnold Palmer ever won for any one golf tournament was $50,000, yet he was worth in excess of $650M at his death. During his playing days, Arnie created a true persona of the “every man;” bringing golf out of the country club and engaging everyone. His charisma, style, and genuine love of people spawned “Arnie’s Army,” followed by gobs of endorsements. He actually paved the way for all athletes to earn income outside of their playing contracts through endorsements. He also was highly astute in business, forming corporations, starting The Golf Channel and Champions Tour, and countless other endeavors. He understood that you are your own brand. That who you are, how you treat others, and being authentically unique would lead to archetypal business success. Heck, he even has his own beverage named after him!

What about you and your business or career?

How would others define you? Are you recognizable? Does the value you provide resonate because of your skills, knowledge, and charisma?

While you may face competition in industry, no one can be you. You’re uniquely brand-able, and you’d better understand the power of it. Without maximizing your unique value to others, you’ll be emblematically leaving putts short for birdie much too often. However, if you unleash your brand through strategic marketing, planning, and delivery, then you’ll be hitting greens and sinking birdie putts on the way to becoming legendary.

Quote of the Week:

The road to success is always under construction.

~ Arnold Palmer

shrimptanklogoNext Seattle Shrimp Tank podcast is October 4th at 4 pm PST. Our guest will be Rusty George of Rusty George Creative. Catch the recorded podcast from September 27th and our gust Matthew “Griff” Griffin from Combat Flip Flops. WEBSITE

© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

A Tribute to Arnold Palmer

thIf only we had cell phone cameras in 1987…

The GTE Northwest Classic was being played at Inglewood Country Club outside of Seattle. The GTE was the senior tour where all the legends of golf (over 50 years old) played. My brother-in-law worked for GTE at the time and got me passage into the tournament to watch. I followed Arnold Palmer for 18 holes.

I started playing golf at 13 years old in 1978. Jack Nicklaus and Seve Ballesteros were my first golf heroes. Mr. Palmer by that time was nearing 50 years old and wasn’t a regular on the PGA Tour anymore. However, if you golfed, you knew Arnold Palmer and I was no different.

So when I had a chance to watch The King in person, I devoted the entire round to him. I followed tee to green for all 18 holes, stopping at every shot behind him to eagerly watch him in action. Had I only had my iPhone, you’d have seen a few selfies!

My favorite story of him came midway through that round. Mr. Palmer had hooked a ball a little to the left and found himself stymied by a tree. He stood behind the ball and pensively considered his options. The crowd was hushed in anticipation. Then suddenly breaking the silence, a woman exclaimed, “But Arnie, I’ve seen you hit these in your videos all the time…” The crowd nervously chuckled. Mr. Palmer turned around, made eye contact with the woman, then reached out his club to her and replied, “Okay then. Here, you hit it for me!” He smiled and the crowd erupted. He then on cue hit a beautiful shot right at the green.

Arnold Palmer – like Muhammad Ali who passed earlier this year – transcended his own sport. His dedication to fans, to the game, and to people was an unmistakable hallmark of the man. He touched everybody in the game in some way; and his list of accomplishments and awards outside of golf is impressive, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Medal of Honor. I even noted in reading his biography today that he’s a Rotary Paul Harris Fellow, which adds a common bond with me.

Arnold Palmer was a brilliant businessman, basing his entrepreneurship and philanthropy on helping improve the lives of people. He will be sorely missed, however it’s clear his legacy will continue and help others though what he’s made sure to leave behind. The game of golf, the business and philanthropic community, and the world will miss him.

I’m thinking a toast in his honor, lifting a cold Arnold Palmer, is in order…

© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

 

Branding Iron Hot

TWoodsTiger Woods has not been the best golfer in the world for about half a decade now. For a period of about 8 to 9 years, Woods was the game of golf. He owned it. He was being hailed as the greatest ever, and for the period of time he ruled the sport, he probably was. When you consider the global talent that has come on the scene, it’s arguable that he did what nobody else ever did in golf, and perhaps all of sports.

However over the past 5 years, age, injury, and scandal have taken their toll on Tiger. Not only isn’t he a factor in the game right now, he literally can’t seem to make it through a tournament because of injury or poor play. Yet in spite of all of that, his brand is still strong. So strong, that he doesn’t even own his own name.

Woods is building a restaurant in Florida near his home of Jupiter. The restaurant will be called The Woods Jupiter: Sports and Dining Club because apparently Nike owns the rights to the words “Tiger Woods” as relates to business property. Don’t feel bad for Tiger; he did it to himself and probably pocketed a gazillion dollars from it. This isn’t the point of my article; so let’s get to it.

Athletes like Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan have become so powerful within their own name, that they’ve become a brand themselves. Arnold Palmer (at 84 years old) made more from endorsements in 2013 – $40,000,000 – than the great soccer stars Renaldo and Messi. That’s brand!

I have two questions for you – what’s your personal brand worth and is built to be sustainable?

How do you build your own personal brand if you’re an individual? You create an intellectual property empire with words (books, articles, blogs, etc) and voice (speaking). You deliver such incredible value that your name will soon precede you. You build “armies” like Arnie did by being charismatic, engaging, and the ultimate object of interest. You continually evolve, invent, create, and grow.

How does your company or organization build a brand? The same way, except that it is manifested through your employees and by your leadership. You create a culture of “playing for each other;” you encourage ideas; you build leaders within your organization; you collaborate; and you never stop growing and developing yourself.

Here’s the deal. Regardless of whether you are a brand of 1 person or a million employees, “branding” has become the most important business strategy you must focus on. It projects your reputation and your value to others; and it is what will protect you from any economic crisis or the winds of change. Tiger Woods has kept his brand strong even has is golf game withers. Michael Jordan hasn’t suited up for an NBA basketball game in nearly two decades, yet sales of his shoes are monstrous. The majority of golf fans in the world never saw Arnold Palmer play; yet his brand is still legendary. What about you? What do you need to accomplish to be branding iron hot with yours?

© 2015 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Extra Points – Conviction

Conviction.

Fathers Day for me is spent watching the final round of United Stated Open golf championship. As an avid golfer, I just love the U.S. Open and my kids love watching with me, and my wife is kind enough to tolerate it. As I was watching another dramatic finish, one of the commentators made a statement as a golfer was attempting an important short putt. He said, “He just needs to hit it with conviction.” The golfer did and the ball disappeared in the hole.

The champion of the tournament, Webb Simpson won because he played the round with the best conviction. Some players faltered down the stretch and allowed Simpson to be victorious by only one stroke. Here are the business and life lessons for you…

First, play life with conviction. Confidence, fearlessness, and passion win out more often than not. Being scared, cautious, and displaying lack of trust in yourself will leave you looking up at the “champion.” Second, you can win by the slimmest of margins and still be a champion. One stroke, a nose, an inch, a millisecond – all those are the margins that mean the difference between life altering success and anonymity. You don’t have to blow away the competition, you merely need to win by a stroke.

Be bold. Play hard. Do your best every day. Have conviction….

This week’s quote –I never rooted against an opponent, but I never rooted for him, either.” ~ Arnold Palmer

© 2012 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved