Some things in life build upon themselves. Wealth is one of those things. It has always fascinated me that once a person acquires a certain amount of wealth or fame, they then become a virtual magnet for more wealth.
I like to use the Food Network cable television channel to illustrate this point. I can remember when this network first began. In fact, I vividly remember making jokes about the kind of people who would sit around watching food shows. Now I’m one of those people. And I’m not alone.
In a relatively short period of time, the Food Network has gone from a start-up to a great success. Chefs and personalities who a very small percentage of people had ever heard of before are now rich and famous. I’m sure that these people have worked very hard refining their skills and working on their careers. I’m also sure they worked extremely hard for the first million dollars they made.
But I’m also sure that their first million was the hardest. And one of the reasons that earning those additional millions was easier is because these individuals have done an excellent job of promoting their “Brand”.
After someone reaches a certain level of fame, a sort of “snowball” effect kicks in. Think about the most famous of the Food Network celebrities, Emeril Lagasse. There are Emeril branded food products such as sausage and spices. There are Emeril branded pots and pans. There are Emeril branded cookbooks. There are Emeril branded restaurants.
Once Emeril reached a certain level of fame, he didn’t need to go looking for all these business deals. These deals went looking for him. He probably receives new business propositions every single week.
Rachel Ray has also achieved a certain level of fame. I’ve seen her on Burger King commercials. I’ve seen Rachel Ray branded cookbooks and knife sets. Now, she even has her own daytime talk show. And once again, it’s all because of the level of fame she achieved by appearing on the Food Network. Prior to that, who had ever heard of her?
So what does all this have to do with you and your business? Well, first it means that you have something to look forward to. If you are able to make your first million, then the next million should be much easier based on the principle of wealth attracting wealth.
More importantly from a strategic business perspective, it clearly illustrates the power of branding. These celebrities have successfully created a brand of themselves. You probably won’t be able to create a brand out of yourself, but what about your business?
Many businesses do not examine the strength of their brand relative to opportunities that may exist to further monetize it. That is a big mistake. If your business already has a strong brand within its’ industry and geographic location, then you should consider ways in which you can leverage that brand to make your business more successful.
For example, if you operate a regionally famous Bar-B-Q restaurant, why not consider selling bottles of your famous Bar-B-Q sauce at regional grocery stores? If you are a Veterinarian, then why not branch out into the pet hotel (kennel) business? If a pet owner trusts you with their animal’s health, then they will certainly feel good about having your kennel board their pet for a few days.
One important point to keep in mind is that you don’t have to actually operate the complementary business. If appropriate, you can just create an agreement with another business to use your brand. After all, Emeril isn’t laboring away in a kitchen cooking all those sausages with his name on them. And Rachel Ray isn’t personally manufacturing knives in her garage.
Naturally, you will have to be careful about the types and quality of products and services you associate your business with, but leveraging your brand can be one of the best ways to increase your revenue. I encourage you to begin thinking about how you can successfully use this potentially highly profitable strategy in your business. Good luck!