4 Ways to Kill Your Brand Fast

Leadership

In most markets, where 10% pretax margins represent solid financial performance, a 5-20% brand pricing premium can generate nearly all of a company’s profitability! Successful brands build a major defense against price competition, enabling a company to either sell more at the prevailing price, or charge a premium price at a given volume.

As Christians, our brand management must align with our identity, meaning that it should be distinctive in its integrity, stewardship of God-given resources, and excellence in serving those we touch. We’re to transparently “walk in the light,” “ let our ‘yes’ be ‘yes,’” work with excellence “as unto the Lord,” and conduct business consistent with our stated vision and purpose as His ambassadors. In branding, it’s still true that what we do is greater than what we say. One C12 motto is, “Priorities are what we do. Everything else is just talk.”

Given that mindset, here are four ways Christian business owners and executives can damage their brand message.

You are starting the day all wrong. When you label yourself as a Christian CEO or business owner, you place a target on your back. Customers and the community you serve will watch carefully to see how you conduct business. Therefore, pointing people to Christ through our business should begin at the start of our day, not with a healthy breakfast, but with a healthy connection to the Lord. Check out the popular C12 blog post, “The Most Important Hour of the Day,” for more information on how to incorporate this into your daily routine.

You are living up to the Christian stereotype. Along with being being judgmental, maybe the number one charge against Christians is hypocrisy. During a typical day, we open our mouths to speak 700 times using between 7,000 – 30,000 words. While your company isn’t a person, it does have a voice. Whether through personal conversations, sales calls, or advertising, you are setting expectations and offering promises regarding your product or service. When your actions don’t back up your words, you are reinforcing the perception that Christians are hypocrites. When your actions back up your words, you build credibility, and your brand. Good brands are initially built by publicity and advertising, but ultimately maintained by actual performance.

You are hyper focused on profit margins. Too often, we leverage excellence as a pathway to greater profit margins, rather than just focusing on excellence itself. Colossians 3:23 tells us to work with excellence “as unto the Lord.” That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t care about our profit margins, however we mix up our priorities when profit becomes the main focus. Work as unto the Lord and let the profits be a by product of excellence in your work.

You are trying to fulfill your own vision. Your title may be CEO or business owner, but your true position as a Christian leader is Chief Steward. When we act on this truth, we are able to conduct business that is consistent with the stated vision and purpose He has given us as his ambassadors. When we do business the way He wants us to do business, and support the causes and ministries that He cares about, we build a brand that reflects the true owner.

A large part of any brand strategy is properly communicating your products and services. As you continue to build your brand, download our free Marketing Self-Assessment to determine your strenghts and opportunities in this area.{{cta(‘eb3dd853-f157-4bad-9be0-21ac81971e69’)}}

 

  • Kevin Miller Bio

    With over a decade of experience in marketing leadership, brand management, and business development, Kevin has helped numerous companies refine and implement plans to create exponential growth.

    Prior to joining C12, Kevin led a successful Florida-based brand strategy consulting business focused on growing small and medium-sized businesses. Entrepreneurial in spirit, Kevin also has a diverse background in launching start-ups as well as helping struggling or stagnant businesses develop a new course of action. His experience incorporates knowledge from multiple industries including textile manufacturing and design, medicine, real estate, technology, web development, and the creative arts.

    After attending the University of Central Florida where he studied Music Performance, Kevin became involved in worship arts and youth ministries, serving for several years in various leadership roles. He and his wife Beth, an elementary school administrator, have been married since 2000. Together with two sons Kyle and Kamden, they enjoy a wide variety of outdoor activities including hiking, hunting, fishing, and backpacking.

  • Troy Blackmon Bio

    Troy came to The C12 Group in 2008, with a diverse background in executive leadership, sales development, team building, and operations. Through his role as VP of Field Operations, he is committed to serve, equip and encourage CEOs and business owners to lead thriving companies that honor the Lord and serve people.

    During his tenure at Chick-fil-A, Inc. Troy learned that business excellence and glorifying God in the marketplace go hand in hand. Troy managed a P&L of $35+ million in revenue and coached business owners in operational excellence and improving financial results.

    In addition, Troy has been involved in leading small group ministry, including planting a church in Seattle, WA. Troy was formerly Partner at OneAccord, a management-consulting firm focused on accelerating revenue for mid-market companies. While at OneAccord, Troy was privileged to work with numerous technology companies in senior leadership positions, managing sales, marketing, and business development activities. Troy most recently served as the President of a technology private equity group, where he led the management teams of 4 portfolio businesses.

    Troy is married to his high school sweetheart, Shanna, and has been blessed with 4 children. He enjoys golf, cycling, and mountain biking with his family.

  • Mike Sharrow Bio

    Mike joined C12 as a member in 2010 while serving as an executive pastor for a large church in Texas and owner of a healthcare strategy consulting group.  Prior to that, he had served in a variety of leadership roles in both operations and sales corporately for the Walgreen Company, financial services as well as strategic development work with Health by Design.  In 2011 he exited his commitments to join the local C12 practice in San Antonio as an associate chair serving CEOs across that market.  In 2013 he and a partner acquired the greater Central Texas region and stewarded it as it grew to a team of 8 full-time chairmen serving nearly 150 leaders.  Mike is passionate about collaboration, strategic planning, Gospel initiatives and BHAG endeavors.

    With a background spanning Fortune 50 corporate settings, startups, non-profit and local church, Mike has been discipled into an integrated life perspective around the calling all believers share to be disciple-making disciples and ambassadors of Christ across all vocations and contexts.  It was in 2005 when God revealed to Mike the perils of a “sacred versus secular” duality in life and since then he’s been on the adventure of living one life in Christ, with work as worship, business as ministry and life as mission.

    Mike grew up in Alaska, graduated from Trinity International University and the Loyola Graduate School of Business.  He married his bijou of an Iowa farmers daughter, Jacqui, in 2002 and they have 2 girls, Elayna and Sophia.