The more Arcbound works with authors, business leaders, and CEOs to market their products, the more we realize the importance of starting with a strong brand promise.
At the outset of creating a brand, little thought is usually given to shaping the brand’s identity. CEOs, entrepreneurs, and authors tend to look at the product they want to sell first, not their brand identity. While taking short-term measures overlooking details like purpose, problem, promise, and communication style is easier, it becomes cost-ineffective in the long run.
Companies can have the best designers, coders, salespeople, and products in the world, but if their foundations are weak, it costs them millions in restructuring and rebranding down the line.
Thankfully, it is possible to get it all right the first time.
Connecting Your Brand and Your Product
At its core, a brand has a message—a promise—that draws and attracts people to its products. Typically, the brand’s promise is intrinsically tied to the founder’s story, which drives revenue and impact.
Many authors, founders, investors, and CEOs have their products fully formed but no brand promise. Both are necessary.
Think about Nike. Who identifies with Nike’s values? Who wants to be a part of their mission? Driven, motivated, successful everyday athletes.
Why? Because Nike’s brand promise is to inspire athletes to find moments of greatness.
When people buy from Nike, they aren’t just buying shoes, heart monitors, and shirts. They’re also purchasing the moments of greatness Nike promises when someone uses their products.
Many entrepreneurs fail before they start simply because they don’t know what makes up a solid brand promise; it’s more than a good product or service, a catchy tagline, and a fancy logo.
A strong brand promise can hold many different products as long as they each contribute to driving the brand’s overall message.
How Personal Brands Become Winning Brands
What we’ve seen over the past two years is that many CEOs and entrepreneurs treat each product as a separate entity. When somebody comes to Arcbound with a book or podcast they want to launch or a speaking tour they want to go on, they treat it as separate from the company they are running today, and thus devoid of an overall brand promise.
Products that exist by themselves aren’t glued to each other—or the brand.
Not packaging products under one foundational brand promise means each of them requires individual communication and marketing. It is financially inefficient to constantly create a new marketing initiative for every product.
That’s why we work with clients to create a foundational brand promise. It’s not only cost-effective but ensures the longevity of your brand and its products.
When founders, authors, and CEOs are focused solely on their products, consumers only buy them to fulfill a physical need, not to receive an emotional payoff. This inherently shortens your products’ life expectancy.
As brand expert Rich Keller puts it, “If Nike was just about apparel, it would be unsustainable. Competition can easily take down a company with lower-priced apparel—it’s much harder to lose a customer when they’ve been directly impacted on an emotional level.”
Nike doesn’t sell apparel. Nike sells greatness.
Simply put: Having a great product by itself is not sustainable long-term. But when you build products that drive your brand promise and compete on an emotional level, you win people’s hearts forever.
Take BlackBerry, a company that became known for a product that delivered your email. Their message was purely functional. As of January 2022, their operating system no longer runs. People stopped using BlackBerrys.
Now think about Apple. Every iPhone conveys the Apple message: effortless technology that makes your life simple. Every iPhone also comes with a price tag in the $800-$1,000 range. But iPhones aren’t going anywhere.
The consumer doesn’t bat an eye when they see the exorbitant price tag because they bought into the Apple promise. That’s what makes Apple a multi-billion dollar iconic brand. The products drive their message.
You create a multi-billion dollar brand when your products drive your brand promise and benefit your consumers emotionally.
You create a fast-fading brand when a singular-focused product is swept off the radar because consumers get their emotional impact elsewhere.
As the personal branding space becomes more in demand, it will become more critical to understand how to marry your brand promise with your business venture to drive a long-term emotional impact.
Buying Our Own Brand Promise
Arcbound was built four years ago from the results of a core value exercise where our founder worked with Rich Keller to distill his life events down to One Word – Pathfinder.
Bryan felt like he never fit in and needed to stand out, despite trying to conform at every level to different jobs, college institutions, and more.
But when Bryan sought out his own path (Arc) on his own terms, he could truly stand out and belong to himself without compromising parts of himself to please a crowd.
This story is part of Arcbound’s DNA.
Our Brand Promise is to give our clients a path forward so they can show up in authentic alignment in the world that they create. It’s not functionally about sharing content, building community, and developing a service line. It’s about ensuring we connect to them emotionally first, understand who they are and where they are trying to go, and leverage the service line we’ve built to give them a path forward in line with their vision.
Over time, we can help shape our clients’ path, which becomes the Arc we are proud to help them share with the world.
Growing the product arm for Arcbound will always be rooted in how we’re giving a path to others. And it won’t just be our products; this will be embedded in our content, client service delivery, and every aspect of our business so we can move in lockstep as an organization.
After an exercise with our Executive Coach, Mark Green, this past fall, we have big aspirations too: To accelerate 25,000+ arcs by 2035.
How? By developing scalable product lines that integrate with our brand message.
At Arcbound, we know how to marry the personal brand to the business venture to create a long-term winning brand promise.
When the brand foundation process is complete, product innovation becomes easier, content ideas flow naturally, and a successful community can be easily cultivated. Everything drives to communicating a clear and compelling brand promise.
If you have more questions about the relationship between products and brands, you can connect with our CEO, Bryan Wish, at firstname.lastname@example.org.