NASHVILLE MARKETING BLOG: Insights on strategic branding, marketing management, general business and Nashville marketing topics. By Monica Powers, Vanderbilt MBA and marketing consultant in Nashville, TN.

Friday, June 02, 2006

A Naive Sense of Entitlement

I typically don't watch Donny Deutsch. With Donald Trump's show, there's enough rampant egotism on the airwaves to last me for a while. But this week I caught a glimpse of a new call-in segment on The Big Idea, and it spoke to me.

Viewers phone in their burning questions on career development and entrepreneurship, and the Donny doles out his best advice. I'm paraphrasing here:

"I'm a photographer," says one eager caller, "How can I differentiate myself and brand my services to movers and shakers like you?"

"Forget about branding," says Donny. "Are you the best at what you do? Focus on being the best, and your work will speak for itself." He's on to something--branding without substance is useless.

On what sets winners apart, Donny says, "I've met the most successful people, Fortune 50 CEOs, presidents of the United States...and the one thing they had in common was this naive sense of entitlement. They all said, Why not me? Why can't I do that? That's just like me--why do I have a talk show? I'm an ad guy!! But I said to myself: Why not me? I can be the best talk show host."

Your business and brand can benefit from this naive sense of entitlement. Choose to be the expert in your field. Naiveté keeps this confidence from turning into arrogance. Claim your space, determine what it is that you do better than anyone else, and ask youself "Why not me?" If you believe your own brand proposition, your target audience may have reason to believe it as well.


Anonymous Michael Wagner said...

I'm with you, Donny Deutsch is a bit too much for me at times. And when he tries to play the intellectual I really get amused. So, I guess there is entertainment value.

But, like you, I connect with his advice. In fact, in part, that is why I am redefining branding for myself and others. What branding has come to mean for many is either to subjective to be of value or too shallow to be interesting.

Your postings are really good reads. Thanks for enlarging the conversation.

June 02, 2006 1:24 PM

Blogger argos said...

Great subject Monica. I'm not a DD fan either but I would venture to say that he and most every other television talk person most definately suffers highly from this sense of entitlement. More than most.

On the other hand, we all do, I think. My own sense of entitlement if you will is born of an imagination and dreaming of a future that I can control in some way and, one that I can participate in with some form of contribution to my fellow man. Then, through observation, study, taking action, etc., one moves on to what he believes is an "informed sense of entitlement." I know this can be done sans arrogance, but the greatest people (to me) seem to be the ones who are always admitting they know to little. Gosh, do you think that naivete then must always play a part? To stay in that space is where things continue to be born.

I have always simply referred to it as belief. One must believe she is entitled to attempt to change the world in some way. When I meet people who are struggling, It seems what they are missing is this sense of entitlement. No one is withholding it from them, they simply haven't given themselves permission to beieve in it. I always encourage young people in this manner-"those things you are interested in...go toward them, the people who are commanding them now will be dead soon."

When it comes to the recipe of a brand, it cannot survive without this belief and conviction. Those that have it, certainly don't need a DD to tell them anything. Its funny to me that he refers to Fortune 50 CEO's and presidents as the "most" successful. I know of artists who are every bit as enlightened as these types. More so in my opinion. Good post. Thanks.

June 03, 2006 7:29 AM


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