It was a morning that would change everything for Dr. Richard Mayoyo. “Bang! Bang!” Two gunshots rang out. He’d been shot!
Dr. Mayoyo was driving his blue Volkswagen Jetta on a Johannesburg road in South Africa. He had just dropped off his seven-year old son at school for an athletics event.
Growing up, Dr. Mayoyo had a gruelling childhood. His father left them when he was two. At nine, his mother died in a road accident. He would experience death again at 17. As he visited a friend in hospital, a woman in the next bed stopped crying… and died. One of the attending doctors said, “She didn’t have any money anyway.”
His life’s goal was born there and then. He would become a doctor. His objective… to provide an answer such suffering for poor people. He scraped through with a tiny government bursary, hard work and a dream. Seven years later, he earned a place as a neurosurgery registrar at Johannesburg General Hospital.
Richard soon won respect and admiration of the staff. It was his skill and gentle manner that was clearly evident. His objective was to provide an answer such suffering for poor people.
However, the shooting left Richard’s legs paralyzed. It nearly robbed him of what he loved most, neurosurgery.
When Richard was taken to Johannesburg General Hospital to began his recovery, it was as if the whole hospital came to a stand-still. Doctors, nurses, administrative staff, even patients, lined the corridors as he was wheeled to the neurosurgery ward… Many had tears in their eyes, some wept openly.”
Such is the power of an authentic brand. The objectives of your branding should go beyond visibility. They provide points of meaningful impact those who interact with them.
That is what, I believe, Richard’s brand objective did. When he was down and doubtful of his health and career, people rallied to prop up his brand.
His occupational therapist went far beyond her call of duty. When two wheelchair companies said it was impossible to build one that would allow Richard to practice surgery, she continued looking. She found one.
Richard went on to continue with neurosurgery… on a wheelchair! His quest was successful because his brand invested and connected with people in an authentic way.
- Your brand objectives – both personal and organizational – form a critical asset of why you exist. They should answer two basic questions:
- What is it that you want your brand to do for you [your company]?
What do you want others to know and say about your character, products or services?
Consider the following brands…
- Nike Inc.: To inspire every athlete to reach their full potential. The belief is that if you have a body, you are an athlete.
- Acumen: The radical idea of creating hope in a cynical world. Changing the way the world tackles poverty and building a world based on dignity.
- LeadByChoice: An audacious belief in the potential of people to become authentic leaders. It all starts with a radical shift in mindset, not skill-base.
For your brand to have any meaningful impact, it has to have a cause beyond you. It focuses on people and doesn’t exist in and for you only.
Effective brands concentrate on their ability to deliver an experience or a relationship. They home in on people’s hearts, emotions and feelings. These brands lead a transformation.
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