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David Corbin

Professional Speaker, Mentor to Mentors and Business Advisor.
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Six Steps to Building Brand Value

January 31, 2017 / Leave a comment / by David Corbin


If you know about Les Brown, then you’ve heard him ask, “Are ya hunnngry?”

Les has been my friend for over 25 years, he’s is a fellow faculty member at CEO Space, and he’s such an inspiration to so many... “Are ya hunnngry?”  

My questions to you are similar, “Are ya hunnngry to build your business? If so, what’s the level of appetite you have for creating a truly sustainable and profitable business?”  

It’s been my experience that branding yourself and your business is essential. It ranks right up there with how awesome the quality is of an outstanding service you provide; all of which are essential components to a successful company.

I’d like to assume, that as a business owner you already know this, aaand I’m suggesting that it’s just the beginning.

Having a brand is one thing, living the brand is another thing all together, and that’s precisely where I want to hang out with you for this blog; living the brand.

Have you ever seen, a highly technical person get confused with how to perform a basic operation? Or how about a customer service representative who treats people like crap? Or how about this one….the health pundit caught wolfing down a couple Big Macs and a Supersized Coke? You know where I’m going with this… We see, all too often, HYPOCRISY in action. BLATENT HYPOCRISY. And we laugh, snarl and sometimes even go into our egotistical ‘holier-than- thou’ mode. I mean, oh my gosh, we’d never do anything like thaaaaaat!

Guess what? We humans have been known to be inconsistent with our image, our values and our brand promise. Yes… sad, but true.

So what can you do to avoid this embarrassment?

Well first, it’s not about embarrassment. It’s about the crime. A crime? Yep… and here’s what I mean…

Your brand and reputation have a value; and a financial one at that. It’s an intangible asset of your business.

My friend and client (and a CEO Space faculty member) Michelle Seiler-Tucker is a master at selling businesses – She’s sold like over 300 to date. So needless to say, Michelle knows a thing or two about business assets. The one thing she reminds us of constantly is that, “Your brand is a measurable and valuable asset of your business and is always factored in the valuation and sale price.”

So, what would you call it when someone intentionally or accidentally destroys a company asset? Could be criminal. Could be incompetence.

Let me put it this way, you’re either building your brand or you’re killing your brand, and nothing about that is neutral. The fact of the matter is that you’re either engaged in brand integrity (building brand value) or engaged in brand slaughter (killing your brand).  

So, part of the how to actually prevent brand slaughter is this: Teach each and every team member to get real with the brand promise, and get serious about living the brand with all of their daily responsibilities and activities.

The best way to go about this is to imagine that the brand is a delicate and valuable, million dollar Faberge egg. Wouldn’t it make sense to teach each employee how to carry it properly so it won’t get damaged or destroyed?

The years of experience and insight I gained from hosting a lot of mentoring meal tables at CEO Space, has helped to feed my inspiration to write my latest book, Preventing BrandSlaughter: How to Preserve, Build and Support Your Brand Asset Value. I wrote this book with the mission to keep business owners and their businesses out of harm’s way.

One way of doing that is to understand the value of knowing how to orientate around the topic of brand value. It’s valuable to know how to hire, train, coach, and manage each of their unique personalities. In BrandSlaughter, I share how to build brand value by fostering brand supportive behaviors as a core job function of every leader, manager, supervisor and employee.

Every action you or your team members make in the day-to-day core functions of the business, will either build brand value, or kill brand value.

BrandSlaughter is a business narrative about a hospital. An engaging, touching story in which one of the characters teaches the staff about a process they called an ABI, (pronounced Abbey) or what he referred to as an Audit of Brand Integrity.

He suggested that each employee take an inventory of their activities with others, such as prospects, customers, vendors, co-workers, etc. Then, they are advised to consider how their brand is ‘at play’ in each of these interactions, and ask themselves, “What does brand integrity look like in this situation and what does BrandSlaughter look like? What’s the best way to build the brand in this interaction?"

I’ve listed the six-step process so you too can take an inventory of your company’s activities, and define what brand integrity and brand slaughter look like for you, so that you and your teams can leverage these situations to build your brand value every time. 


Six Steps To Building Brand Value

1 Introspect whether you resonate with the brand. If not, get out now; life’s too short

2 Create a three-column list with these headings: Situation/Interaction | Brand Integrity | BrandSlaughter

3 In column one (Situation) jot down at least 20 various situations

4 Imagine yourself in the first situation, think about how you can enhance the brand with 'brand integrity' and jot it down. 

5 Imagine yourself in the first situation again, but this time think about how you or someone has undermined the brand with 'brandslaughter' and jot it down.

6 When you complete the list of 20, think creatively on how you can build brand value through accentuating the positive and illuminating/eliminating the negative in each situation.

As I emphasize at the CEO Space Forums during my classes, and during the mentoring meal tables, “ideas don’t work until you put them into action” so I invite you to begin your ABI now. Take action first on yourself and then on your business. Your future self will thank you later.

To your success! 


David M. Corbin has been a member of the CEO Space Faculty for over 5 years. His consulting, speaking and mentoring business has, for over 29 years, been serving businesses from Fortune 10 to Solopreneurs. Known as the “Mentor To Mentors”, David is also an award winning inventor and Hall of Fame Keynote Speaker.


The Master Key Entrepreneurial Skill: Accentuate The Positive and Illuminate The Negative

October 01, 2015 / Leave a comment / by David Corbin

An entrepreneur never likes surprises that can upset or damage their business or life. Yet, surprises show up, and sometimes they’re pretty lousy game changers.

The good news is that these challenges can be predicted, mitigated or eliminated.  

Accentuate The Positive and Illuminate The Negative. These are actually two separate concepts: Accentuate The Positive and Illuminate The Negative. Placed together, we call this the Illuminate Model; an entrepreneurial skill used to stave off many painful ‘surprises’ and achieve greater results.  

Take a look at the bookshelves at the major book stores –  There are literally thousands of books and chapters on the subject of Positive Mental Attitude (PMA) and for good reason; there's a high correlation between a PMA and happiness, success and achievement. It’s a no brainer.

Now look at Illuminate The Negative. Why on earth would anyone want to do that? There certainly aren’t volumes of books and chapters on that concept.  What could this possibly mean and what’s the value to the business professional?

Let's face it, negatives pop up in life and that’s a fact. Like weeds, they need no watering to grow, no care and attention to thrive, they just pop up and take on a life of their own. So, what do we do?

If you are like most people you probably try to avoid them like the plague. But nowhere in the PMA literature does it suggest that we ignore, suppress or eliminate the negatives. 

Fact is the more you keep the negatives in the dark, the more likely they grow. Like mushrooms they seem to multiply faster in dark environments. And that’s the breeding ground for issues and challenges to grow up large enough to jump up and bite you where it hurts. And that’s where many of these ‘negative surprises’ come from.

Yet when we illuminate these issues as they come up, we’ve found that, like a Vampire, they often disappear when illuminated in the light of day.

Hence the name - ILLUMINATE!  Shine the light on the negative situation or issue and confront it head on. Rather than turning your back on it, point your nose at it and face it- literally.

In life, in business, in relationships, chances are that ‘we can’t solve everything we face and we can’t solve anything unless we face it”.

Since time immemorial a common thread running between those who succeed, innovate and achieve their dreams is one word: courage.

The courage to face fears as well as the courage to face the unknown. And why do people shy away from addressing these negative issues? Having worked with thousands of people over the years, we’ve observed that most seem to shy away from negatives because they just don’t have the resources to ‘solve them’, ‘cure them’ or ‘make them go away’.

The Illuminate The Negative Model has three simple steps; simple but not always easy. Your effectiveness with these steps is a function of your courage, confidence and comfort with vulnerability… especially if you don't immediately have the resources of time, money or knowledge.

Illuminate the Negative is a three step model for entrepreneurial success.


1. Face It

When confronted with a negative situation, challenge or threat, take note of it and assume that it’s real. It might not be… but that’s for you to decide after serious consideration because it’s data. And it’s always dangerous to dismiss this information without consideration. The risk/reward equation here is enormous.

If you manage or supervise others who bring a ‘negative’ issue to you, you're strongly advised to take it seriously. Face it. Acknowledge it and give thanks to the bearer of this information. Be open with yourself and others. If you don’t agree, for example, that the negative observation is valid, be honest and say so. Then, commit to following up and considering it care-fully… and, for goodness sake, do it! There is no greater way to demoralize and disenfranchise an employee than to placate them.

One creative entrepreneur we worked with created and memorized the following statement for this situation, “…and while I don’t see it that way right now I hereby commit to considering your viewpoint very carefully because I really respect your opinion. So let’s regroup on this on…..”

Create a habit in your life to allow for and even ‘celebrate’ the realization, recognition and awareness of these seemingly negatives issues because they can be the starting point of a significant breakthrough.


2. Follow it

Play a game of investigator and follow clues as to what caused it, what and who it effects, what’s keeping it alive and whether it’s worth the deployment of time, attention and other resources to mitigate.


3. Fix it

Here you want to put in the systems that address the issue, to reduce or eliminate its impact and influence. And it’s not always a ‘fix’ per se, it’s often a calibration of the impact. Either way, it’s a significant improvement as you go on your way.


Start right now. What are you in need of illuminating? What might be holding you back right now? Ask yourself. Ask your confidants. What is it that might be a sticking point for your desired result right now?

So now when you or one of your confidants discovers an area where there may be some avoidance or denial in your life…. situate yourself in a quiet place, get out a notepad, break out your new entrepreneurial skill and Illuminate away; Face It, Follow It and Fix It.

The Master Key to Entrepreneurial Success? Maybe it’s an overstatement. But count on this; when you put this model to use…Illuminate the Negative in a Positive light, and do it courageously, honestly and with vulnerability, you will expand in all areas of your business.