The closest I’ve ever come to actually playing hockey is the occasional pick-up game with the neighborhood kids every winter.
Still, thanks to my famous-sounding name, people often ask if I’m related to Hall of Famer Chris Chelios, the Blackhawks superstar who also helped Team USA win the very first World Cup of Hockey in 1996.
No complaints, of course. I’m happy to be associated with such an amazing leader. It doesn’t hurt that many of my ALitho colleagues are hockey guys, having played in their younger years. Many are coaching and cheering as their sons pursue competitive careers in college and the USHL.
Here are 4 principles I believe all hockey greats live by, on and off the ice. These same principles can help you build your brand, even when the competition’s fierce.
- Your reputation is your #1 asset. Top athletes know that their good name – essentially, their brand – speaks for them before they even say a word. It works exactly the same way for your brand. Wide, positive awareness of what you stand for will speak well of you in every situation, giving added momentum to your core message.
- Relationships matter. Watch any athlete you admire in action. Most are masters at capturing both the hearts and minds of their fans. Research shows that customers do business with companies they like, selecting brands that align with their values. Integrated marketing strategies that connect prospects and customers to all the good within your brand will win every time.
- Breakaways score goals. It comes down to being better, faster and stronger than the competition. Focus on shaping your product offer so that it’s impossible to overlook. Build your mailings, catalogs, e-publications and more around that unique edge. For example, create offers that appeal directly to customers based on what you already know about their preferences – then dazzle them with 4-color personalized messages.
- Trust is everything. Strong brands reflect a long history of promises made and kept. Think of athletes who shine on the field of play but let us down in other ways. We find it hard to give them our full support, and the same principle applies in marketing. Give customers every reason to love, trust and recommend you and chances are they’ll do just that.
A strong brand will work for you like a great advance team. It will draw attention and create appeal, confidence, preference, and purchase motivation in a customer’s mind before your product ever enters the arena.
Joel Quenneville, head coach for the Blackhawks, may have said it best: “My goal is to make sure that all [our] guys achieve theirs.”
Well said, Coach. You’ve summed up the one goal we have here at ALitho: to help you score the business goals you’ve got your sights on this year.
Let us know how we can add value to your brand-building plans for 2015.
Glenn Chelius isn’t related to Chris Chelios, but he’ll gladly accept the best table from a waiter who assumes he’s on Cheli’s team. In real life, Glenn is a senior account executive with the ALitho sales staff, bringing more than 25 years of experience to the challenge of helping you build your brand. Reach him through our Contact Us page.