February 11, 2019

Do you know Juan Valdez?

Do you identify his brand immediately when you see him?

To be a successful independent meeting planner you need to establish yourself in the marketplace by developing your brand.

Are you having trouble defining your brand and determining how your brand will set you apart from your competition, while strategically aligning you with your clients?

What will your clients remember you for?

Let me share with you the following story…

A few years back, I had the honor of working with Café de Columbia at the Lausanne Palace in Lausanne, Switzerland.

I had the “distinct honor” to meet “Juan Valdez.” As “Juan Valdez” and I was walking thru the lobby, an older woman came up to both of us, she was very excited to see “Juan Valdez,” she yelled, “JUAN VALDEZ!!! JUAN VALDEZ!!!” She was so excited to see “him” in the lobby.

That’s when I realized how famous “Juan Valdez” actually was!

Here’s a bit of a history lesson and what makes the above story funny, yet tells an essential lesson about branding:

You see “Juan Valdez” was a fictitious character created in 1958 by the National Federation of Coffee Growers of Colombia.

“Juan Valdez” was created to help advertise 100% Columbian Coffee and set it apart from other coffees around the world. People always associated “Juan Valdez” with Columbian coffee.

Juan Valdez” was the face behind Café de Columbia, customers recognized and resonated with him. This fictional character represented Café de Columbia’s brand well!

Talk about brand awareness…when you saw “Juan Valdez,” you thought of Columbia and their coffee! What a brilliant advertising campaign!

Even though this campaign started over 60 years ago, people today still associate “Juan Valdez” with Columbian coffee.

So my questions to you are:

  • What is your brand?
  • What does your brand represent?
  • Where do your customers see your branding at?
  • What do your clients know you for?
  • What are the different attributes of your brand?
  • Does your brand stand out in a crowd?
  • How do you convey your brand to others?
  • How does your brand align with your company’s strategies?
  • How does your brand align with your client’s strategies?

With these questions in mind, how can your brand make you uniquely different?

Will you be known for your service, going the extra mile, always being available, helping your client, going above and beyond what your client is expecting or giving your client 150%?

While word of mouth is the easiest and most efficient way to develop sales and referrals, your brand will be what your clients know you for and what they will talk about with others.

Please share in the comments below how are you becoming the Juan Valdez of your brand?

About the author 

Eric Rozenberg

For two decades, Eric Rozenberg has consulted with Fortune 500 companies and produced conferences in more than 50 countries across diverse industries. His focus is creating meetings that are not only breathtakingly memorable but which bring corporate strategies to life and amplify team motivation/performance.

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