Brand. It is a term we hear thrown around on a day-to-day basis. “You have to build your brand!” is a statement you hear from start up companies through any of the top companies in the world. Brand recognition is crucial for the growth, and continued success of a company. What does your brand represent? What is the value of your brand? But what is a brand and how do you create one? We all know it is more than just a logo, but how do you get your logo to have meaning? How do you separate your brand from other companies?

If you are starting a new business and trying to compete with previously established brands, creating a clear concise identity right off the bat is key. When we opened this new chapter of SMARTER Team Training (STT) nearly two years ago, these were questions that came up in nearly all of the conversations we had. We wanted to build a brand that had meaning and significance. Not saying we have done it perfect at STT as perfection is never truly attainable, but the brand we wanted to create was based on professionalism top to bottom. We started with appearance; we are always wearing khakis or long pants with a belt, a button down shirt with collar that is tucked in, athletic shoes, and a clean cut face. We don’t cuss on the floor, or at our athletes. We use positive coaching cues instead of negative ones. We don’t have a board of favorites, or a board of kids who need to try harder, in our office. How we shake hands is important. Eye contact was a must. Giving and receiving feedback graciously was required. Responding to phone calls, email, text messages, social media interactions, and the like in a timely manner and with a personal touch. There were nearly 100 items that we said we would use to determine our professional standard.

Our goal, and ultimately the commitment we make to each client, is to hold every individual whether they are an Olympic athlete, a middle-schooler, or a business owner, to the same standard of expectations. Ultimately in life you get what you work for, not what you wish for. Given that we aren’t even two years deep into this chapter of STT’s life, our brand may evolve as the business grows and time passes, but the foundation of our brand will always be based around professionalism.

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Our brand at STT continues to evolve to this day. Everyone should be building a brand that fits their identity. To hear that Under Armour emphasizes building their brand on a regular basis from Kip Fulks, Co-Founder of Under Armour, is more than encouraging. Watch the video below to learn how UA went about building a brand, and how they stayed true to themselves as they enter their 20th year.

Learning what has worked for others is always invaluable. Seeing it first hand is priceless. Learn from incredible professionals from around the country at the professional development clinics and our annual conference on

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Please remember to order your STT shirts now from Proceeds from the Fight Strong and Sara Strong shirts will be anonymously donated to cancer research and a Lyme Disease Center respectively.

Thank you to all of our sponsors! Rogers Athletic, Iron Grip, Pit Shark, VersaClimber, Recovery Pump, Elite Form, Eleiko, Rumble Roller, Human Kinetics, Fat Gripz, Lock Jaw Collars, Hand Armor Liquid Chalk, and the many others that have all been supportive throughout our journey. Please connect with them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.