I am just home from back to back trips to Istanbul, Palma de Mallorca and Basel. The trip has rekindled my passion for travel. In Palma I got talking to a couple from Yorkshire about favourite hotels. Theirs is The Peninsular in Hong Kong and mine is The Mandarin Oriental in the same place. The Mandarin Oriental’s legendary customer service is based on an outstanding management philosophy – “my staff never need permission to say yes to a guest. If they are thinking of saying no they must ask come and see me first.”
A UK hotel chain tried to copy the proposition whilst clearly not understanding it. They placed notices and cards all around hotels proclaiming “we never say no”. Besides being an impossible claim the commitment to it did not extend to explaining the concept to their staff. During my stay – my only stay – I overheard guests saying “they haven’t said anything else to me yet” and “I know how they do that – they don’t say anything”.
When considering your personal brand I suggest there are three lessons to be learned from the difference between one outstandingly successful brand and the other failed copy.
1 Be yourself. Your combination of talents, experience, and knowledge make you unique. Your personal brand should reflect the special value you bring to others.
2 In developing your proposition, credibility and consistency are upper most considerations. “It does what it says on the tin” is a memorable and valuable guide.
3 Self-confident people who regularly tell themselves they are fabulous are attractive to others. Egotistical people go around telling others they are fabulous and are not attractive to anyone. A brand speaks for itself through what it delivers not what it claims.