In my upcoming book (coming out sometimes in the next millennium according to the traditional publishing world), I introduce a group of concepts I call the Three Cs of Evergreen Organizations.

They are Character, Community, and Content.

In the span of the few hundred words that make up this blog post, I wanted to give you a brief introduction to on ONE of the concepts that can allow any business, of any type, and any size to dominate its marketplace and industry.

Let’s talk about The Principle of Character.

Character is the first thing that comes to customers’ minds when they think about your business. It’s analogous to a person. It’s your brand personality. It’s “who” your customers think you are.

Think of the concept of positioning, only think of Character like positioning on steroids.

In Evergreen, I walk people through a step-by-step process for crafting your Character. It’s the same process I’ve used with clients to achieve some incredible results and dramatic growth.

Here’s a link to an article I wrote for Fast Company Magazine on how Amazon uses the concept of Character.

When a company can match how it see itself with how it sees the customer, and with how the customer sees it, an awesome synergy occurs.

THIS is the power of character—and where customer loyalty starts.

Companies that recognize this—and that spend their time, money, and resources focused on improving this—waste very little money on how they communicate with or market to prospective and existing customers.

They waste far less money on customer acquisition adventures. And when a company defines its character, it has a simple, one-question diagnostic tool it can use to measure any outward communication with prospective or existing customers:

Does this [fill in the blank: advertisement, email, tweet, letter, etc.] match how we want to be seen and understood by our customers or prospective customers?

The Principle of Character is the first step towards moving away from generating lousy transactions and moving closer to creating profitable longterm relationships.

You want customers to accept who you are quickly, instantly, and permanently. And in so doing, you want to be able to influence them and their decisions.

Every company has a personality, just like every person does. But if you don’t want your company to come across like a stamp collecting accountant at a heavy metal concert, then you need actively to shape that personality…

The Principle of Character is about defining that in very specific terms.

Today’s Key Question: Does how you communicate with the marketplace match how you want to be perceived and understood by your customers and prospective customers, or do you need to develop a better understanding of who you really are?