Standing Under the Umbrella And Still Getting Wet
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Calling all realtors, financial planners, insurance brokers,
multi-level & network marketers, and anyone else who works in
the precarious and often misunderstood position of operating under
a large company brand umbrella yet operating as a separate business
unto itself. You may find that you're standing under the umbrella
and you're still getting wet-- not enjoying the unlimited personal
and financial rewards that business opportunity offers.
Do you have trouble distinguishing yourself from another person
working under the same umbrella brand? Do you feel the sting of
this coming from the cubicle right next to you?
Do you sometimes feel that you don't get the support that you
thought you would from the umbrella brand? Or, find your requests
to the corporate office ignored?
Do you experience the pinch that comes from needing to tow the
corporate line and the expectation to create your financial success
as if you were operating your business as your own?
You can stop looking around. I'm not in your office. Really. You
can stop looking around and you need to stop relying on the brand
umbrella that you thought would provide you so much. Staying under
there will only cause you more discomfort and take you further from
fulfilling the dreams you had when you first started.
Don't look so dejected all is not lost. There's something you
can do to turn the entire lose-lose situation around, but you have
to be committed to being really successful and devoted to being
truly happy. Not everyone is cut out for that. Are you?
Often, I have been hired to distinguish top-performing realtors
from other realtors --their competition. Ninety-eight percent of
time, the first thing my job calls for is to open the grip they
have on their brokerage firm. You read it right, their grip on, not
the grip the firm has on them. Once their clutch is
relaxed, I can then successfully guide a real estate professional
(or any type of broker or salesperson) to develop their own
business as a brand; all the while honoring the larger umbrella
brand that provides them the credibility and product value they
need to cultivate their business. Working with an umbrella
brand is a blessing, but it is not a crutch!
This applies to financial planners and insurance brokers as well
with added attention given to the sensitive legal requirements of
the larger institution. While a financial planner or insurance
broker may drive everyday to an office building, park in the
garage, walk past a receptionist sitting under the big brokerage
logo, they eventually walk into their office or cubicle, sit at the
desk of their own business and are responsible for getting their
own clients and generating their own financial success.
Multi-level marketers and network marketers need to take a good
step back from the brand they are selling because the umbrella
brand's grasp is often even tighter. This keeps the majority
of MLM participants from ever really hitting the marks that were
promised as possible. The problem is not that the promised marks
aren't possible. They're just so much more difficult to hit
coming from the perspective at which most MLM salespersons
When it comes to creating the business success you want in any
of these or similar situations, it's not about distancing
yourself from the umbrella brand's identity... it's about
creating one of your own.
You need to take into your awareness that people don't just buy
a product or service, they buy an experience. They buy something
they believe in. They buy a feeling they can count on-- over and
over and over. This is where you actually have an edge over the
The brand conglomerates find it very difficult to meet the
experiential and emotional needs of the customers. They are just
too big. You have the edge because you have what they don't; the
individual customer and your connect with them on a daily
It's what you do with that connection and how you communicate it
that makes all the difference. This can be broken down into four
important key factors:
Realize that the umbrella brand is not a job, it's a tool
that you've invested in to assist you in offering a top-quality
product or service. It's an instrument that both the public and
yourself recognize as of value in your specific field. If you think
of it as one of many possible tools, even if you never employ
another one, you will put your brand umbrella in the proper
perspective and actually be able to use it more fully.
Connect your own power to your business, after all, it is
YOUR business. You are responsible for getting clients. You are
responsible for keeping them. At the end of the day, you have to
answer to your own disappointment or success. Remember, the power
in any business is not the image of a business, it's not even the
idea of the business, its the connection to the customer. They
always will be yours.
Establish your own brand voice through all your business
communications. Design your own look and feel to your
materials. Don't just rely on what the umbrella brand provides you.
Everyone else in your situation is doing that. Depending solely on
the big brand's voice will not only hurt you, your customers will
find it impossible to separate you from your competition.
Note: When developing your own materials, you do
need to take into consideration the large brand logo, colors and
even language. After all, not only did you choose that umbrella
brand for a reason, your brand will need to work along side with
Know that your umbrella brand may be wary of your
independence but they will most certainly love your financial
success. They may buck some when you begin to deviate, but
remember, going along with their plan is probably perpetuating your
indistinguishable situation in the first place. Plain and simple...
when you look great they look great. When you make money, they make
money. When you make a lot more, they make a lot more. Period.
It's quite simple. You can make more money and
experience greater enjoyment doing exactly what you're doing and
working with the same umbrella brand, if you simply change your
By shifting your understanding from working under
to working with your umbrella, you will find yourself using the
'the big brand umbrella' as a tool, staying dry AND basking in the
bright sunlight of success.
About the AuthorKim A. Castle, Co-founder BrandU, Co-Author of
Why BrandU: Big Business Success No Matter Your Size, and the
BrandU Bible, the only step-by-step workbook for developing your
business as a brand.
2004 Castle Montone, Limited Reprinted with Permission.
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2006-06-06 21:02:31 in Business Articles