The true Barry Bonds legacy and the message for us all

I know he's not the only one who juiced.  I know part of why people came down on him so hard wasn't the steroids….but his attitude.

But, when I think about Barry Bonds and his impact on baseball, I think asterisk.

A while back, I wrote about Bonds and the danger we all face — if we're not authentic.  The fact that the idea of "being an asterisk" is already become part of our culture's vernacular (as evidenced by the TV spot below — e-mail and feed readers click on the headline to view) is incredibly telling of how fast a reputation can be destroyed.

While it's a different aspect of authenticity — we all run the risk of falling into the same trap.  And the damage that we can do to our company, to our online reputation, to how our employees view us, to how our customers perceive us — is all very real. 

Branding, when done in a meaningful way, isn't about selling more stuff.  It's about identity.  It's about values.  It's about who you are when no one is looking.  It's about decisions made in the heat of the moment  when you don't have time to spin it.

Sure…when you get it all right and you exude your brand's promise — you will sell more stuff.  But it's much more important than that.

It's about never being an asterisk.

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5 comments on “The true Barry Bonds legacy and the message for us all

  1. Home Décor says:

    Agree.
    Branding becomes significant when you focus on who you really are? What do you want to give to your clients? Your employees?
    Thanks for the article. Made me think how to improve.

  2. Joe Grant says:

    Drew, good piece. Branding relationships (personal ones, too) are like buckets of water composed of zillions of individual drops. 1 or 2 bad molecules and the whole thing gets polluted. So guard your brand’s rep with drawn swords at all times – it’s the glue, the connector, with customers & clients – and your most valuable possession. Joe Grant

  3. Home,

    Glad we got your thinking. What is one thing you’re going to either improve, change or add to your efforts?

    Drew

  4. Joe,

    Your analogy is right on. Unfortunately, one or two missteps can cost a great deal. Now…if you’ve been diligent about building your brand — that does buy you some protection.

    But not forever. So protecting your brand and truly walking your talk become very critical in today’s world of many choices.

    Drew

  5. Drew,

    Reading your post I am reminded of the age old adage “winners never cheat and cheaters never win.”

    Well so far this cheater (Bonds) has won. Not in the court of public opinion I assure you but in the record books. At least for now… hopefully his records will be stricken or at the very least have the asterisk next to it.

    So the crossover into branding is easy.

    Does your brand currently or will it ever have an asterisk?

    Does the Michael Phelps “brand” now have an asterisk? Ask anyone on Madison Ave and they will tell you absolutely it does.

    Did the Tylenol brand have an asterisk? Sure did. No fault of their own mind you but we didn’t care. We just knew not to buy it.

    Do ALL peanut growers/manufacturers have an asterisk on them? Yup. Is it fair? Hell no. One bad apple, er peanut, should not spoil the bunch. But again, we don’t care. We just know not to eat any peanut-related foods.

    Can that asterisk be erased? Sure, ours is a forgiving society. BUT, Mr. Phelps, like all others in the public spotlight who wish to be asterisk-less, need to provide the obligatory mea culpa.

    Sorry to go off a little on different paths!

    All the best Drew!! You da man!!
    Steve O

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