Are you Making the Team?

OnDemand television brings me to places I’ve never been before. I was show surfing and came across Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team 8.  I’m not the cheerleader sort. Although I did get ‘most school spirit’ in high school, grace is not my middle name. I have always envied the musicality, cheerfulness and strength of cheerleaders, so I tuned in to an episode and found admiration for the organization’s commitment to their brand.

Whether or not you agree with what the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders (DCC) stands for, there are some lessons to be learned in the way this team’s brand has been protected over the years. There are rules about the look, character and behavior of the cheerleaders and the team is expected to follow them. There are standards for the type of events for which they will perform. The team has a mission and vision and all decisions are business- not personal- decisions based on the mission and vision. This is branding at its best!

I am amazed at the level of detail put into the brand of this entity. Right down to the rhinestone stars on the vest. The mission and vision seem to have stayed the same since the beginning and the uniform itself has had only a few major changes over the years. Despite the rigor of the program, the harsh protection of the brand, and the pathetically small compensation received by the team, positions on the DCC are highly sought! Women literally line up to be a part of this prestigious organization and some feel like making the DCC team is the highest honor of their cheering career. Now that is brand loyalty.

Here are some take-aways for small business owners…

  • Determine what your business stands for and stick to it.
  • Set rules/standards for how you will conduct your business and hold yourself, your employees and your vendors accountable for them.
  • Make decisions based on what’s right for your business, it’s not personal.
  • Determine a visual identity- logo, color, fonts, uniforms- that fits with your image and use the elements on all business communications.