Are Person-to-Person Brands the Most Important? I Say “Yes” Thanks to My Dad.

by Debra Andrews | August 17, 2020

As a strategic marketer, I mostly write about B2B brands. In one of my last posts, I focused on the Washington Football Team (formerly known as the Redskins) which is a B2C brand. Today, I’m sharing my thoughts and heart regarding the Person-2-Person (P2P) brand of Michael A. Collins. He was my dad. As I celebrate his life one year after his passing, I realize what a profound effect his brand has had on mine.

I know, it’s a bit strange to be talking about human relationships as brands. But, at their essence, brands are promises made and kept. And my dad sure did honor his. When I think of the classic Dad-like attributes, mine checked all the boxes: steady, brave, strong, engaged, and a solid provider. He worked for the National Security Agency for 35 years and never once took a sick day. Doesn’t that take “steady” to a whole new level?

My blissfully routine childhood was steady, too. From that strong foundation, I found my wings and felt free and safe to explore my life and passions knowing he was always there. Today, even without his physical presence on this earth, I feel forever loved and supported.

You may think that steady meant dull, but that was not my dad. In fact, he was “cool.” An accomplished athlete, my dad played in the minor leagues for the Milwaukee Braves, and he was an amazing dancer. (Like World of Dance good.) He also loved Thailand and traveled often to see friends in faraway places. There was a confidence and fearlessness about him, but he was never, ever reckless.

His attributes inspired and are instilled in me. Marketri was founded because I knew I could grow a business from nothing. And boy, he was sure proud of that. Even when his memory played tricks on him later in life, he always clearly remembered that his daughter owned a business.

Person-2-Person brands are not often spoken about but, honestly, they are the most important. The promises made by family and friends either directly or indirectly have a profound and lasting impact. People who have positive attributes help to lift those around them and make the world a better place. Unfortunately, the opposite is also true. The saying “choose your friends wisely” has everything to do with selective personal brand association.

With 2020 being the year of COVID, social and political unrest, and a tumultuous economy, I’ve needed to draw upon my Dad’s steadiness, confidence, and fearlessness. He’s more than in my heart. Michael A. Collins is every ounce of who I am. His brand is pristine and lives on through all the people he touched. Thank you for keeping all your promises, Dad.