Reputation and Clichés
“With experience comes wisdom, and with wisdom comes experience”. “It’s better to have loved and lost, then to have never loved at all”, etc. are clichés that many of us may not agree with, but one thing is certain, clichés are a part of life-support systems in our everyday communications. God only knows what we would have done without them. There is nothing wrong with clichés except their overuse. They are strong and positive thoughts that impacted the society when they were first coined.
Their abuse and overuse, primarily used as crutches to communicate something that would have been hard otherwise, are not the faults of thoughts themselves. Something of a lesson while building reputations too. Guard against the abuse and overuse of your idea or thoughts. Most of the reputations are built on the idea or thoughts that one propagates.
There is something that is negative about clichés. They are used by lazy, weak or boring people. The arguments using clichés lack originality, are less credible and give a sense of not being supported by actual evidence. Again, a lesson while building reputations.
Positivity as its integral part should never be compromised while building any reputation. Be it for an individual, a corporate, an IPO or an event. Many times, the negativity crops in by the turn of events without much fault of the brand. What an Idea, Sirji was a strong thought from Idea Mobile till the company was merged with Vodafone. The consumers of Idea Mobile were left the feeling that their idea of choosing Idea Mobile may not have been great, after all. A reputation that could not be sustained.
Business leaders who describe themselves as thought leaders or influencers in their LinkedIn profile is likely to be considered as people too full of themselves and just love the sound of their own voice. It is important to stay away from clichés.
The routes to forming clichés and reputations are same though: strong thoughts. Guess the little difference is that clichés are born out of very strong and universal thoughts whereas thoughts are absolutely focussed while forming reputations. The exclusivity or proprietary content in thoughts is another difference. Clichés are the easiest shortcuts, but at best they help you build the category. Not your brand. While attempting to create a stronger reputation, it is important to be careful in promising only those things that can be supported at all times. Any overstepping may lead to a situation where the brand is unable to stand for its own promise.
As an example, Tata Group is very high on ethical standards while doing business. That is their reputation. That is at the core of their differentiation. “Parsees are high on Ethical Standards in life” may be a cliché.