I have lived for quite a few years in a building that is full of sports stars, business leaders and semi famous faces.
One of the penthouses is owned by Lleyton and Bec Hewitt and quite often when they are in town, I see them in the lifts or in the car park as do many of the other residents.
They and their extended family are very polite, often chatty and seem to be fairly well rounded given their circumstances. They use the facilities with all the other people in the building and are pretty much left alone most of the time.
I always marvel at the fact that I rarely see Lleyton without a tennis racket or training apparel in his arms and typically, no matter what time of day I go in and out of the building, I see their car leaving or arriving presumably from some form of training.
It’s of course, Australian Open season and their visibility is at an all time high in Melbourne.
Yesterday, as I was leaving my building just before midday, I saw Bec Hewitt driving out in her Black ML500 4-wheel drive Mercedes. With her window down, her hair and makeup absolutely perfect, I began to think about how hard life must be for this beautiful young lady.
Here I was with no makeup, my sweat pants on and an old daggy shirt that wasn’t in the best condition after a run in the park. I am quite comfortable in this attire and could bump into anyone without thinking twice about how I look. As I get older, I am far more comfortable in how I look and as long as I can dress up when I have to, I am pretty much fine with dressing down.
Then you have Bec. Now it is mid morning and here she is, hair and makeup perfectly done – for what? To do the shopping? To catch up with girlfriends?
No, for a photo opportunity. As I picked up the Daily Telegraph (Syd) and the Herald Sun today, there she was… front page news! Lleyton’s family outing to watch his warm up for the Australian Open.
Looking after brand Hewitt must be a very tough job and looking your best for every photo opportunity obviously is paying off. I don’t recall seeing a bad photo of Bec ever and fortunately she doesn’t look like many of those young things with bee stung lips and botox. If she has either of these things, she obviously has a very good surgeon! Her fresh face is really quite stunning and girl-next-door-ish.
Brands are funny things. You can’t ever let your guard down not even in your own time. Each entrepreneur and employee of an organisation are all part of the overall picture a brand gives. Brand ambassadors are as important as the work that a company does, but often are forgotten when companies are thinking about their brands performance.
Whether it is at work or socialising, re-inforcing your brand and position in the market is a 24/7 job and every single person who works for you holds that same responsibility.
On Friday I was at a very trendy bar/restaurant in Prahran and within an extended group of people that I was socialising with was a sales rep for a liquor company. She was delightful. Her personality as you would expect was full of life and excitement. I remember thinking to myself how apt it was that she was in this particular field of work.
Then, she did something that made me cringe. I can’t say what, because it isn’t right to put this type of thing in a blog, but it did make me reflect her actions with that of the brands she represents. They are good quality brands. The best. Yet, this little part of me thought less of the brands because of her actions. When I decided to leave and let the young ones enjoy the night the way that they do, I thought about the impact my staff have on my brand in their own social time. I see a pep talk coming up at 8.30am Monday morning!
The impact people have on their brands cannot be disregarded. Think about when someone gets bad publicity – instantly you resonate this with the brand they represent.
Likewise, when someone keeps on getting good publicity, their brands get more kudos and we tend to have a better affinity with it.
How do entrepreneurs protect their brands on weekends? The answer isn’t simple. The best you can do is hire people that depict the values of your brand and that come naturally in doing so.
Educate your employees on the after hours branding no-nos. Explain to them examples of bad and good after hours branding.
Whilst you can’t control what people do outside of the work place, you certainly can educate and promote better behaviours.