What Starbucks can teach us about career security & succe

What is the greatest brand in the world, Starbucks, McDonald’s, Lexus, Apple or Facebook? In my opinion they are all terrific brands but I think the greatest brand is you! This week’s podcast is with Mitch Joel. Mitch is one of Canada’s most respected digital marketing experts. Mitch started his career as a journalist; one of his first interviews was with Tommy Lee from Motley Crew. Let’s just say that Mitch doesn’t lack confidence. His career evolved in the digital media space, he is now a partner with Twist Image where he works with the likes of TELUS and other great companies helping them to build their online and off-line brands. You may be thinking what does this have to do with my career? Well, consumers and companies ask the same question every single day.

Why you?

When you are walking down the street and suddenly have an urge for a caffeine fix, your stomach sends your mind a signal that a coffee would be great. Your mind does a search. Tim Horton’s? Timothy’s? Second Cup? No, I feel like a Starbucks. Your eyes and your legs take over. Five minutes later, you are picking up your tall, ½ decaf, ½ Ethiopian, 1% soya milk, extra hot, sugar free coffee. Why did the company you currently work for choose you and not the person that came in second? Why You? The same reason you choose Starbucks over Second Cup. The brand! Stay with me on this one. According to Mitch, "The brand is the experience that we have related to what the company has created".

Here is what your career and Starbucks have in common:

You have a name.

You have a reputation.

You have qualifications.

You have competition.

You have to market yourself.

You provide a service for a price.

You are as good as your last customer.

Often a brand is understood as its name, logo or motto however, it incorporates a sophisticated mix of a variety elements to be successful. The great brands have a true sense of authenticity and integrity. My experience has shown that many professionals struggle with the concepts of what their brand is. Some of the ways this shows up , lack of direction, difficulty in choosing alternative options , resume and job search frustration In an interview the core question that the hiring manager is asking is, "Why you?"

If we rewind a few years back, there once was this great brand called Eaton’s. Eaton’s for decades did really well, and then over time with success they got bloated and confused. The leadership got fuzzy about who they were. As a result, they lost their way and we, as consumers, didn’t choose them. The brand died and thousands of bright, talented professionals lost their jobs. This also happens to professionals. You may lack clarity about what you have to offer the market. You may not continue to market and network inside and outside of your company.

To have sustainable success, here are 5 things we can learn from brands:

  1. They are very clear about who they are.
  2. They know who their target market is.
  3. They understand how to market themselves and do this with discipline.
  4. They deliver consistently and with excellence to their market.
  5. They evolve their brand with the market.

Don’t let your career devolve and lose its way like Eaton’s. As Mitch said, "Acknowledge your brand and improve it, make yourself invaluable to your company". Work diligently on understanding your career brand. Know what kinds of companies are well-suited for you. Package your resumé and make sure you know how to interview well. Above all, do what you do with excellence. As Mitch commented, "Job security comes from your ability to be masterful at what you do".

Struggling with developing your brand? We offer a program called The Career Identity Program, an 8-step process to help you have a great career. Put your order in for a better future. Book an initial consultation today.

Along the road with you!

Alan