I know he's not the only one who juiced. I know part of why people came down on him so hard wasn't the steroids….but his attitude.
But, when I think about Barry Bonds and his impact on baseball, I think asterisk.
A while back, I wrote about Bonds and the danger we all face — if we're not authentic. The fact that the idea of "being an asterisk" is already become part of our culture's vernacular (as evidenced by the TV spot below — e-mail and feed readers click on the headline to view) is incredibly telling of how fast a reputation can be destroyed.
While it's a different aspect of authenticity — we all run the risk of falling into the same trap. And the damage that we can do to our company, to our online reputation, to how our employees view us, to how our customers perceive us — is all very real.
Branding, when done in a meaningful way, isn't about selling more stuff. It's about identity. It's about values. It's about who you are when no one is looking. It's about decisions made in the heat of the moment when you don't have time to spin it.
Sure…when you get it all right and you exude your brand's promise — you will sell more stuff. But it's much more important than that.
It's about never being an asterisk.