You’re probably wondering, what on earth does market branding have to do with Brother Polight? Well, he’s selling something to certain people out there who have made him a millionaire, according to several sources. Despite the fact that, according to other sources, he has a criminal background in either drug sales or use, he has managed to influence many to believe in what he has to offer, and they were willing to pay for it.
Therefore, Brother Polight is a marketed brand, not just a name. Anytime you present yourself to the public in such a way as to gain their trust to sell things to them, you become a brand. This is a lesson on business strategy.
Now, how you MANAGE that brand to make profits over the long term is based on how you execute your business plan, and how you manage your brand during good times and bad. In this case, it seems that this brotha has had a lot of bad times, including the absolute worst PR damage to his image that might be hard to come back from: alleged child abuse. Whether or not he’s guilty means nothing in the court of public opinion. And his response to the allegation so far has led to more damaging questions than answers, which further destroys his brand.
On top of that, there are several allegations of fraud, with a few people allegedly losing thousands of dollars. As I always say, image is everything in business. And so is ethics.
The millionaire author of over 90 books also has a few better business bureau complaints. So…having this criminal allegation added to that, might just be the straw that broke the camel’s back. There will likely be those in his inner circle who will continue to support him, no matter what, as he seems to have a cult like following. This loyal fan base can possibly help maintain a dying business brand on life support. That’s perhaps the best thing he has going right now.
So why is Brother Polight’s public relations failure important to learn from? Pay careful attention and take notes, my people. According to the well-respected Nielsen media trust study, the public learns about, and eventually forms a trust for, your brand and image through various media such as social media, websites, blogs, TV, radio, magazines, and word of mouth. Often, businesses use press releases to build more interest in their brand, where the brand represents the company’s, and person’s, image. When people trust the brand, they respond favorably.
But a quick way to lose that trust is by having what I call an “anti Press Release,” which is negative press that competes against your positive press. For example, let’s say you just spent half your monthly rent or mortgage money on advertising to promote your hair styling business. You get a favorable response, resulting in future appointments worth more than the money you paid for advertising. Life is great. But then, one of your past clients was so upset with your work on their hair, that they put you on blast all over YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and Tik Tok. Your potential new clients come across these negative reviews, and all of a sudden—BAM!!—your future appointments start cancelling, resulting in you losing more money than you paid for advertising.
So how do you respond? This is where a good, simple PR damage control strategy comes in handy. You certainly don’t want to overreact out of emotion, cussing out that unhappy client. I’ve seen some small business owners do this, and it backfired. Instead, you have to be HUMBLE! You’ll have to do two things at the same time: reach out to the customer and offer a settlement without getting angry. And also, reply to each negative review, thanking the client for being a customer and offer to resolve the matter amicably, even if it means doing the hair over again for free. This tactic is mostly to let the public know that you do respond to both positive and negative reviews, and that you are quick to offer a resolution without getting defensive.
NOW… in the case of Brother Polight, given the extremely serious criminal accusation, he needs to either say something like, “I’m innocent and look forward to having my day in court”—if he is truly innocent. But if he is NOT innocent, he should instead defer to his attorneys, and focus on doing whatever he can to salvage his business brand, in order to keep that money coming in. Again, his brand is his name and image, which has resulted in him selling books and consultations online, which have made him a millionaire. Apparently, people trust him enough to pay him, and more people view him in a favorable light than those who don’t. So that has kept him paid so far. BUT…time will tell if his brand and image can survive this category 5 PR hurricane that might well wipe him out if managed incorrectly.
Until the next video, my business warriors. War and peace.