Golf Magazine just named Phil Mickelson Player of the Year. His brand has become “The Peoples Champion” and I belive that it was not by accident. Like Arnie (Palmer) and his Army from the 60’s, Phil has created a base of Raving Fans. Announcer Gary McCord said he said he was going to be everything Tiger Woods was not. That is an interesting branding philosophy. Who is your biggest competitor? What are they not?
For Phil it was basics like being friendly with the galleries, taking extra amounts of time to sign 100’s of autographs and bring his family with him often. With Tiger’s transgressions it was easy to position against him with his long marriage to Amy and his three adorable kids. Seeing Tiger now with one of his kids at a tourney actually seems kind of strange to me.
Early in Phil’s career he was said to be kind of aloof and did not embrace the fans. He made a conscious decision to spend the time with fans because he knows that few moments of interaction can lock them in forever as being a supporter.
I have also made that decision in my career to be different. Almost all speakers use PowerPoint. I never have. Most speakers stay on stage. I get out and engage the audience. Almost no speakers create a customized handout for every event. I do every time regardless of how many are in the audience. My style is more like a interactive workshop not a “traditional one way keynote”. It makes for a more enjoyable sticky experience for the audience.
Research your competition and find out what you can do differently that will make a difference.