Two things this week made me realize the power of our personal or agency brand.

But first what is a brand?

Entrepreneur Magazine says it is “your promise” to your customer.  It is also how you are identified and what you are known for.  It is sometimes a symbol that stands for more than the artwork.

Really powerful brands become such a standard that they become the very name of the product.  This is even true, or maybe especially true, for a commodity. 

Think Kleenex.

So, yesterday I was having lunch with a member who is, shall we say, a very experienced agent and his youthful new producer.  The younger man kept talking about their brand.  Frankly, I didn’t know they had one.  And I kept thinking to myself that their “brand” probably wasn’t particularly important to their success.

Then, this morning, I read a friend of mine’s name being used as the gold standard of knowledge, expertise and service in the Beechcraft pilot community.  Someone was asking for a “Paul McCracken” in another area.  I realized Paul had gone beyond himself and was now a definition for aviation service quality.  

He not only has a brand but it’s very powerful!

This made me realize that my thinking on branding is out of touch with reality.  We all have a brand whether we realize it or not. Its power – or lack of it – is very much in our hands. 

It also struck me that this branding, and the market power it can represent, may be a tremendous tool to use to grow an independent insurance agency in the age of commoditization that many predict is upon us.

Think Kleenex!

Perhaps all is not lost after all… Give some serious thought to your brand,  your “promise” to your customer. How can you become a “Paul McCracken”?

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