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In yesterday’s episode, we talked about outward bounds vs. inward values. We’re talking about defining your brand and what you stand for.

It’s really easy to think in limited terms by defining the outward bounds of what our companies are, but if we look inward to our values and what we stand for, you might find that you’re about more than whatever you may be doing now. There could be room to grow and there could be room to scale.

To scale purposefully and to take the greatest advantage of the name you’ve built, you first want to establish what will become your umbrella brand.

That umbrella brand is what will cover other sub-brands that will come later. When you have a really good umbrella brand, there’s a reason you attach weight to it.

Give Your Brand Meaning

When you see a movie is associated with Disney, you give that some weight. You give it more weight than you would some other studio you’ve never heard of before. You may be more inclined to see a movie that’s associated with the name Disney than you are some other studio, and that’s the power of an empire. Why are you more inclined to see a movie that’s associated with Disney? What does Disney mean?

If you want to build a brand empire, you first have to start with defining what the brand name means and what it stands for. You have to define that first, before you scale.

  1. Invest in the quality, meaning, and story behind your umbrella brand.
  2. Scale.

If you scale your business and brand, and you start creating an umbrella brand before you’ve invested in the quality, meaning, and the definition of that brand, it’s not going to work.

You have to instill meaning in the core brand in order for it to serve as a functional parent brand, or umbrella brand. The core brand is essentially the vehicle to all of your other pursuits. It breathes life into those other pursuits and in order for it to do that, you first have to invest in it.

Invest in Quality

This is why I’m so big on quality. Everything we do here at seanwes is top-notch quality, whether it’s audio production, video production, our writing, our design, our websites, or the little details on the packaging.

Everything is all about quality and a lot of times it’s hard to quantify that investment. If we spend a bunch of extra time on the featured images for the dozens of shows we put out every month, when all other podcast networks aren’t doing featured images at all, how does that really give us a return? Those are hard questions to answer.

If you over-concern yourself with quantifying every single investment you make into your brand, you could miss out on a bigger picture.

That bigger picture is what your brand stands for and what it could be in the future. It’s all of the things that the brand can enable if you invest in it now.

Investing hurts. Investing is hard because you’re not always going to see that return immediately and we like that instant gratification.

Even if you can’t quantify all of the little micro-investments in quality, eventually they add up. All of the imperceptible details add up to something great.

It’s the reason people think seanwes and they think quality. It’s not always on a conscious level, but subconsciously, people think seanwes equals quality.

Once I’ve defined that brand, it enables me to branch out and do even more bigger and better things.

For instance, let’s say there was a seanwes films. What would you think of a movie that was produced by seanwes films? Well, you would know that it was going to be a quality production. No corners are cut. The videos are going to be great, the audio is going to be great, the lighting is going to be great, and the story is going to be great. You know all of that without knowing anything about how we produce films.

You know because the name seanwes is associated with it. You get where I’m going here: we can have seanwes studios, seanwes publishing, etc. All of these, by the way, are real examples.

These things are coming and they already have expectations along with them. They already have a brand perception because it’s tied to that name. It has seanwes next to it so you have certain expectations. You know it’s going to be quality.

It’s taken over five years to do this. I’ve had to invest in the name for five years, but now I’m able to expand. Now, we can literally do anything that everyone else is already doing and people will buy from us because it has seanwes attached to it. That’s powerful. That is the power of a strong brand.

Define your core brand. Invest in it. Give it life. Give it meaning. Give it definition. Then, allow that to become your umbrella brand. If you do things in this order, any sub-brands you do in the future will take on meaning by association.