Let me introduce you to the very best squash player in the world today. Known as "the Beast of Alexandria", he is a tall, skinny 25-year-old Egyptian by the name of Mohamed El Shorbagy.
During the two-minute breaks between championship games, "the beast" catches his breath and listens very carefully to the advice of someone who has never picked up a squash racket-- Basma El Shorbagy -- who also happens to be his mom (they were recently profiled by The New York Times).
Here is mom's advice to her son when he was behind two games to none during the finals of a recent championship, "Don't think about winning or losing. Just, every time you finish a point, think about fighting for the next point. Fight."
"The beast" went on to win the next three games and the championship
In the world of business, could it be that becoming a "beast" of branding, that is, a real brand champion, requires this same type of intense, focused mental discipline?
Let me ask the question in a different way: are you so intently focused on the notion of your brand winning or losing in the marketplace that you are not fighting for the next point?
The true "beast" of branding fights for the next point in the following three ways:
#1. Fight to connect with your customer hour-by-hour starting right now: Do you have a finger on the pulse of your customer's life? Have you separated what you believe about your customer from what you really know?
#2. Fight to create what your customer needs and wants tomorrow: Do your brand's promises have enough fluidity and elasticity? Is your team using its intelligence and flexibility to adapt?
#3. Fight to make it easy for your customer to understand and use your products: Are your competitors stealing away your customers with products that function at a higher level and are easier to use? Are you fighting against the myths inside your organization that reward the status quo?
Photo Credit: Hilary Swift for The New York Times