A $25 Genuine Ferrari!?

A $25 Genuine Ferrari

I have a confession. I’ve wanted a Ferrari my whole adult life, I mean who wouldn’t?  The marque, the styling, the passion, and overall performance… If you’re a petrolhead like I am, then a Ferrari is basically the same as a religious relic. Unless you’re Australian then it’s a Maloo or the Toohey’s museum. So imagine my surprise when I discovered one online for $25. I couldn’t help myself. When it arrived, I was rapt! However since enjoying all it has to offer I have formed some mixed opinions on the brand.

I’ll let you down now, my Ferrari is actually a pair of headphones. Genuine branded mind you, nice cord cable, snug fit and it actually has a really well rounded sound. I’m pretty chuffed with this purchase. Goes equally well with my 2010 Lamborghini Campoleone. Haven’t heard of this one? Well perhaps you wouldn’t have, it’s a wine. At $47 a pop, it represents pretty poor value over my Ferrari. I’m not sure how many people get to say that!

Both of these fine products have lead me to ponder the problem of mixed branding messages. Everybody knows Lamborghini makes tractors and Ferrari makes shoes, I mean watches, I mean shirts. You get what I mean. You don’t find a Porsche truck (well maybe the Cayenne first generation diesel) or an Apple car (Not yet anyway). What I don’t get is why take the risk of muddying your brand in the name of a few dollars? I imagine neither of these companies were struggling when they made these decisions, unlike we were when we made a similar gaffe in 2009, with the GFC in full swing. Having had a great coaching capability and facing negative revenue growth, we decided to package coaching up into a series of standalone programs to be sold independently.

Great idea we all thought. Turns out no one agreed with us. For all our investment and promotion, the uptake was nominal. Turns out people don’t want to buy coaching from a recruitment company, or at least not the way we were trying to sell it (it did reek a bit of desperation). Plus it led to confusion amongst our clientele: “so, what exactly is it that you’re trying to sell me?” I recall one IT leader saying to me.

Which leads me onto my point. And it’s about you – specifically your personal brand. Are you wanting to position yourself as something different? Either you have had a bit of a generalist background or are wanting to move into something new? Mixing up your brand is completely do-able but needs to be approached somewhat delicately and with a plan.

Some simple steps that may be of use to you;

Get clear on what it is that you want to achieve – conceive of the future brand state
Build a skills/knowledge/experience inventory – i.e. what’s the current state
Understand what’s in the gap identified above
Do a cost-benefit analysis once you understand the gap
Construct a plan to alleviate the three areas
Go ahead and pursue the plan
Sounds simple? Well it is on paper, but a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. So go on, put those loafers on.