Martha Spelman Male.Female Business Superhero

Superheroes use their superpowers to fight crime, battle evil, save people from dangerous situations, do good and accomplish the impossible.

Superheroes come to the rescue of those in need.

I recently listened to a classic NPR podcast by author, actor and humorist, John Kellogg Hodgman. Hodgman conducted a study, asking those he came in contact with, “Given the choice, which superpower would you possess – flight or invisibility?”

It got me to thinking: if we could each identify and exploit our special business superpower (aka Branding), what kind of business superhero would we be?

Which power do you possess that you feel makes you stronger, better at solving a problem, able to fill a need or superior at seeing and resolving issues?

Comic superheroes have powers including the ability to fly or be invisible, morph into another form, have x-ray vision or superhuman strength, leap tall buildings or control energy, stretch or shrink, travel through time. The superpowers list is long.

Amazingly, comic superheroes come in contact with situations requiring their superpower on a regular basis.

Like comic superheroes, successful business people usually possess business superpowers. Exceptionally successful business people have identified their business superpower and can communicate their strengths to those in need.

We all understand the importance of differentiating our brand from our competitor — of defining our Unique Selling Proposition (USP): that “special something” that only we, or our business, offers. Think about your Business Superpower: What is the trait, skill or talent that you could promote as “something special” that would assure customers will flock to you?

In order for superheroes to “get the call” (think Bat Signal and Bat Phone), superheroes need to promote their abilities. How do they do that? Citizens see them in action and tell others (Word of Mouth). Their adventures are promoted in the media (Public Relations). Their stories appear in comic books (Content Marketing). Their exploits are broadcast on radio, television and the internet. Their marketing describes both their superhero features and the benefits of having them arrive on the scene.

Similarly, customers hire us and buy our products because we come to the rescue.

In order for us to “get the call,” we need to identify our business superpower…and communicate our abilities to potential customers. Unless your power is telepathy, you probably need to broadcast your abilities through various branding, marketing and promotional actions.

How do you identify your Business Superpower?

Identifying your business superpower could give you insight as to what you’re lacking or what you’re better at compared to others. Either way, it could allow you to focus on a differentiator. What you want is others aware of and appreciative of your specific superpower. You become the “go to” expert for your particular ability.

Try to discern your particular superpower: you’re the ultimate salesperson and deliver on all your promises; you’re a financial genius and can make fiscal projections that Einstein would be proud of, you’re a logistics maven with a vision like no other or the Sultan of Strategy who, seemingly, can predict the future; your design abilities engage and convince in a beautiful way.

How can you ascertain your superpower? It may be obvious — something you’re passionate about or get asked “to do” on a regular basis. If not, you may need to question those who know you and have worked with you – what is it about your talents and skills that stand out to them? There are online tests and courses that could help steer you to your superpower. Try writing…putting your thoughts to paper often helps clarify and give direction. This “Fun With Branding” exercise could reveal your brand.

As part of your “discovery,” you should also consider things you don’t want to do…ever.

Of course, in reality, it’s far-fetched to think that any one person would be singular in their ability. But those who are successful in business have figured out their personal superpower — that passion that people will gravitate towards — and their outstanding success can be traced to a recognition of, emphasis on and ongoing promotion of the “special something” they possess.

When you think of Business Superheroes like the following, what are the Business Superpowers that come to mind?

  • Steve Jobs
  • Bill Gates
  • Warren Buffett
  • Richard Branson
  • Oprah Winfrey
  • Sheryl Sandburg
  • Seth Godin

And last but not least, Robin, there’s one more ingredient that a great Superhero has: TRUST. Bottom line, people trust the superhero to deliver on their superpower.

Like the personalities listed above, people who have discovered, exploited and promoted their superpowers are so confident in and so skilled at conveying their passion that people can’t help but believe them, trust them and ultimately, invest in them.

That’s what you want. Now go save the day!

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