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Sally Hogshead Quotes

Sally Hogshead

Sally Hogshead quotes: on branding, fascinating, and winning with personality.

“If you want to increase perceived value for you and your work, you need to focus on who you are, rather than what you do.”

“When you stop trying to be all things to all people, you can stop worrying about being liked and start building relationships that allow you to be loved. If you are not creating a negative response from somebody, you’re probably not very fascinating to anybody.”

“The reality is, strengths can be copied. It’s true for your company, and also for you. Products can be replicated. Benefits can be improved upon, secret formulas uncovered, winning systems beaten. People can outdo your strengths. But nobody can outdo who you are. Your personality is the only aspect of your work that nobody can copy. People can copy your product, your pricing, your actions, your recipe or program or formula. But they can never replicate who you are. Who you are is the greatest differentiator you’ve ever had.”

“Throughout your career, you will compete against people who are more established, more famous, more connected, more specialized. But they can’t be you. They can’t capture your highest distinct value. Only you have you.”

“As Maya Angelou said, ‘I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.'”

“Instead of trying to outdo your competition, focus on what makes you different. The goal is to find where you and your product diverge from standard expectations.”

“Different is better than better. Different doesn’t try to turn you into something else. Different allows you to highlight the singular traits you already have within you. You aren’t necessarily better than your competition. But you are already different.”

“Don’t focus on how you are similar to others, but how you are different. Leading brands stand out by sharpening their points of difference. The more clearly and distinctly a brand can pinpoint its differences, the more valuable it becomes. If a brand can carve out a very clear spot in people’s minds, the product or service ceases to be a commodity.”

“People don’t want to connect with brands. They want to connect with each other. Fascinating companies create more opportunities for people to connect with each other, through the brand.”

“Your differences can be very small and simple. The reality is, most products are virtually indistinguishable from their competitors. Yet a leading brand can build a strong competitive edge around very minor differences. Similarly, you don’t need to be dramatically different than everyone else—your difference can be minute, as long as it is clearly defined. The more competitive the market, the more crucial this becomes.”

Forbes describes how Daniel Kahneman, a Nobel Prize-winning psychologist, discovered that ‘people would rather do business with a person they like and trust rather than someone they don’t, even if the likable person is offering a lower quality product or service at a higher price.'”

“Once you ‘own’ a difference, you can charge more money. People pay more for products and people who add distinct value in some way. And just as customers pay more for fascinating brands, employers pay higher salaries for employees who stand out with a specific benefit. If you are an entrepreneur or small business owner, your clients and customers will have a higher perceived value of your time and services if they can clearly understand why you are different than your competitors. The more crowded the environment, the more crucial these lessons become.”

“When you speak the language of creativity, you can transform a dull commodity into something magical. Rather than charging just for the generic value of the product, you can charge for the experience.”

“Develop your own compelling way of attracting business, and getting results.”

“You will not win by being quiet. You will win by being heard.”

“The reality, however, is that ‘better’ is not better. Better is a mirage. It keeps you chained to the same way of working as your competition. Better is temporary. Better is a flimsy edge that can be toppled in a millisecond by someone with a bigger following, a lower price, a more convenient location, a fancier degree, a shinier award, a newer technology, a more skillful skill. Better is not always better. Sometimes, it’s worse.”

“It’s not enough to manufacture the best product if nobody buys them. It’s not enough to be the most worthy politician if nobody votes for you. It’s not enough to be the best leader if nobody follows you. Being the best isn’t enough, if nobody notices or cares.”

“Here’s your choice: spend a lot of time and money in pursuit of better; or find what makes you different, and then do it on purpose.”

“Today, every piece of your communication faces three enemies: distraction, competition and commoditization.”

“Your personality is your natural weapon against distraction, competition and commoditization. The more value you add, the less you have to compete on price, and the less likely you are to become a commodity.”

“To get people to ‘fall in love’ with your ideas, don’t solely rely on numbers and data. People can tune out this type of input relatively easily. But if you communicate with a story or experience, you create an emotion. Start your next meeting with a story instead of a spreadsheet. Make your audience feel as well as think. Connect emotionally with them by telling a personal anecdote that reinforces the point of your presentation. Or draw upon a nostalgic shared memory. Once you inspire emotion, your listener will be less likely to disengage, and more likely to remember and respond to your message.”

“Your influence is determined by your ability to get people to take action.”

“If you don’t have the biggest budget, then be the most fascinating.”

“You don’t have to learn to be fascinating, you have to learn to be unboring. But over time, people can lose their innate ability to fascinate. They acquire layers of boring.”

“Messages that fail to fascinate will become irrelevant.”

“A million generations after our reptilian brains retreated to the base of our brain stems, fascination continues to be our most basic form of attention. Why? Because fascination, at some level, is based upon survival. And to survive, you must fascinate.”

“To become more fascinating, you don’t have to change who you are. You have to become more of who you are.”

“I call these ingredients ‘fascination badges’ because they’re emblematic of what you represent. So how, exactly, are you fascinating? Seven potential areas: (1) Purpose: your reason for being; your function as a brand; (2) Core beliefs: the code of values and principles that guide you; what you stand for; (3) Heritage: your reputation and history; the ‘backstory’ of how you came to be; (4) Products: the goods, services, or information you produce; (5) Benefits: the promises of reward for purchasing the product, both tangible and abstract, overt and implied; (6) Actions: how you conduct yourself; (7) Culture: all the characteristics of your identity, including personality, executional style, and mindset.”

“It’s about your product, and brand, and you, and whether or not you will win the battle for attention. Every time you market, you are offering either the orange ticket, or the green. You’re either captivating, or a commodity. You’re fascinating, or forgotten.”

“You will never rise to your greatest potential by being all things to all people.”

“Competition might motivate you at first, urging you to expend more dollars and energy to win. But if competition leads you down the wrong path, you’ll be stuck playing someone else’s game.”

“It’s one thing to tell a client that they need to take risks, it’s another thing to do it yourself.”

“For marketers, it’s not about marketing a message—it’s about getting the market to create messages about you.”

“Marketing your own life is something that may be overlooked a bit too frequently, but if you can harness the power of story, the possibilities of your personal growth are endless.”

“With a bit of narrative, you’ll stand out above the rest, whether it be a job interview, making a big sale or just gaining a positive reputation in your community.”

“The best idea can’t win, just like the best person can’t win, if they fail to earn any attention in the first place. If you can identify your personality’s advantage, and harness it, and apply it, you will not only achieve the best, but also your best. The good news is, you can compete. You can be the best in a competitive environment—if you use your natural personality advantages to attract the attention you need to succeed.”

“You don’t need to find the light, you are the light; and when you let your personality shine you can light up the world.”

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