Standing Under the Umbrella And Still Getting Wet

Standing Under the Umbrella And Still Getting Wet

Make More Money Making a Name for Yourself

Calling all realtors, financial planners, insurance brokers,

multi-level & network marketers, and anyone else who

works in the precarious and often misunderstood position

of operating under a large company brand umbrella yet

operating as a separate business unto itself. You may find

that you’re standing under the umbrella and you’re still

getting wet– not enjoying the unlimited personal and

financial rewards that business opportunity offers.

Do you have trouble distinguishing yourself from another

person working under the same umbrella brand? Do you

feel the sting of this coming from the cubicle right next to


Do you sometimes feel that you don’t get the support that

you thought you would from the umbrella brand? Or, find

your requests to the corporate office ignored?

Do you experience the pinch that comes from needing to

tow the corporate line and the expectation to create your

financial success as if you were operating your business as

your own?

You can stop looking around. I’m not in your office. Really.

You can stop looking around and you need to stop relying

on the brand umbrella that you thought would provide you so

much. Staying under there will only cause you more

discomfort and take you further from fulfilling the dreams

you had when you first started.

Don’t look so dejected all is not lost. There’s something you

can do to turn the entire lose-lose situation around, but you

have to be committed to being really successful and

devoted to being truly happy. Not everyone is cut out for that.

Are you?

Often, I have been hired to distinguish top-performing

realtors from other realtors –their competition. Ninety-eight

percent of time, the first thing my job calls for is to open the

grip they have on their brokerage firm. You read it right, their

grip on, not the grip the firm has on them. Once their clutch

is relaxed, I can then successfully guide a real estate

professional (or any type of broker or salesperson) to

develop their own business as a brand; all the while

honoring the larger umbrella brand that provides them the

credibility and product value they need to cultivate their

business. Working with an umbrella brand is a blessing,

but it is not a crutch!

This applies to financial planners and insurance brokers as

well with added attention given to the sensitive legal

requirements of the larger institution. While a financial

planner or insurance broker may drive everyday to an office

building, park in the garage, walk past a receptionist sitting

under the big brokerage logo, they eventually walk into their

office or cubicle, sit at the desk of their own business and

are responsible for getting their own clients and generating

their own financial success.

Multi-level marketers and network marketers need to take a

good step back from the brand they are selling because the

umbrella brand’s grasp is often even tighter. This keeps the

majority of MLM participants from ever really hitting the

marks that were promised as possible. The problem is not

that the promised marks aren’t possible. They’re just so

much more difficult to hit coming from the perspective at

which most MLM salespersons operate.

When it comes to creating the business success you want

in any of these or similar situations, it’s not about distancing

yourself from the umbrella brand’s identity… it’s about

creating one of your own.

You need to take into your awareness that people don’t just

buy a product or service, they buy an experience. They buy

something they believe in. They buy a feeling they can count

on– over and over and over. This is where you actually have

an edge over the ‘umbrella.’

The brand conglomerates find it very difficult to meet the

experiential and emotional needs of the customers. They

are just too big. You have the edge because you have what

they don’t; the individual customer and you connect with

them on a daily basis.

It’s what you do with that connection and how you

communicate it that makes all the difference. This can be

broken down into four important key factors:


Realize that the umbrella brand is not a job, it’s a tool that

you’ve invested in to assist you in offering a top-quality

product or service. It’s an instrument that both the public and

yourself recognize as of value in your specific field. If you

think of it as one of many possible tools, even if you never

employ another one, you will put your brand umbrella in the

proper perspective and actually be able to use it more fully.


Connect your own power to your business, after all, it is

YOUR business. You are responsible for getting clients.

You are responsible for keeping them. At the end of the day,

you have to answer to your own disappointment or success.

Remember, the power in any business is not the image of a

business, it’s not even the idea of the business, its the

connection to the customer. They always will be yours.


Establish your own brand voice through all your business

communications. Design your own look and feel to your

materials. Don’t just rely on what the umbrella brand

provides you. Everyone else in your situation is doing that.

Depending solely on the big brand’s voice will not only hurt

you, your customers will find it impossible to separate you

from your competition.

Note: When developing your own materials, you do need to

take into consideration the large brand logo, colors and

even language. After all, not only did you choose that

umbrella brand for a reason, your brand will need to work

along side with it.


Know that your umbrella brand may be wary of your

independence but they will most certainly love your financial

success. They may buck some when you begin to deviate,

but remember, going along with their plan is probably

perpetuating your indistinguishable situation in the first

place. Plain and simple… when you look great they look

great. When you make money, they make money. When you

make a lot more, they make a lot more. Period.

It’s quite simple. You can make more money and

experience greater enjoyment doing exactly what you’re

doing and working with the same umbrella brand, if you

simply change your perspective.

By shifting your understanding from working under to

working with your umbrella, you will find yourself using the

‘the big brand umbrella’ as a tool, staying dry AND basking

in the bright sunlight of success.

Kim A. Castle, Co-founder BrandU(TM), Co-Author of Why

BrandU: Big Business Success No Matter Your Size, and

the BrandU(TM) Bible, the only step-by-step workbook for

developing your business as a brand.

© 2004 Castle Montone, Limited Reprinted with