The great thing about good friends, you seldom have to worry about image, personal brand, selling yourself. We did all that 20 years ago when we became friends, and the funny thing is that that first impression, that first “personal brand” has held it’s ground. He still thinks of me as the same guy, and I him. Yes we both have changed, and yes we both have taken differnt paths in life, but for some reason, the roots of our friendship are as strong as they were years ago. We just pick up where we left off.
Why is that?
Because friendships demand hard work no matter how old or new. You establish a rapport, commonalities, features and flaws. You go through good times and bad, times apart, and times together. You have certain expectations that need to be met, and as long as you meet or even exceed those expectations no matter how big or small, friendships stand the test of time. Your personal brand stands the test of time.
The same hold true for marketing. Successful companies have established a brand, and expectation that “friends” want to have met. The top 10 global brands all share this characteristic. Sure companies can re-invent themselves, as much as people do, but why do they do so? Largely because they are losing “friends” or have come to the conclusion that they have the wrong friends, and want to make new ones. The most powerful brands keep the friends they have, while making new ones. Coca Cola and Microsoft are two brands I have stuck with through setbacks like “Windows Me, Vista, (insert your least favorite MS product here) and “The New Coke“. They have always come back to meet / exceed my expectations.
For me, I am happy my brand is intact, and no matter the mistakes I make (there have been several), I will always have the friends I have made…and vice versa. As long as I keep earning them.