Oceanside, CA – Gary Sain, former CEO of Visit Orlando, was a legend in his time. He held a variety of leadership positions within the tourism/trade show sectors and is widely credited with putting his visionary branding principals to work to make Orlando a major trade show destination. But he never believed that accomplishments alone defined an individual.
Instead, he believed individual branding was as important to people as to businesses. His vision and dedication to these principles extended his influence far and wide. More than a decade ago, he began to write about them under a concept he dubbed iBrand(SM) while he was senior vp of sales and marketing for Premier Cruise Lines.
“If great brands are about relationships, then individuals have the greatest opportunity to brand themselves,” he said in an early essay on the topic.
Some of the pillars of iBranding include:
- Differentiating yourself from others
- Being relevant to those you deal with in personal and business relationships
- Being credible in a manner that builds personal and professional respect and trust
- Building one-to-one relationships–because customers ‘buy’ people before they buy products.
- Asking others how you are perceived in the business arena and what they think are elements of your personal brand.
“Anyone can identify problems; personal brands that stand out are those who offer solutions,” he said in that essay.
Sain’s untimely death in 2012 didn’t bring an end to the philosophy, which he preached to his family as well as business associates. Now, his wife Pam and their daughter Olivia have decided to keep that philosophy top of mind for individuals and businesses alike with a book titled ‘iBrand: the Next Generation.’
“I was always encouraging Gary to write a book,” Pam Sain told Trade Show Executive in an interview. “That was going to be his next project when he retired,” she said. She was encouraged even more by all the people who have told her that when they met him he asked, ‘what’s your brand?’” So she intends to work at keeping the idea alive.
The book will strive to extend the principles Sain touted, but it also will strive to carry those ideas forth to the next generation. Pam Sain said Gary considered iBrand a “work in progress” and that will be reflected in the book she and Olivia will produce.
Their plan is to gather stories from co-workers and industry people about how they were inspired by the iBrand philosophy. But it also will address Next Gen challenges with a workbook that will ask people to think about how they will accomplish personal and professional goals and how they want to be remembered once they are gone. It also will include a chapter about social media as it pertains to the importance of thinking about what you do and how it will be perceived.
Pam said it was important to Gary to be part of a team in every aspect of his life. She recalled how he would attend nearly every event he was invited to when he joined Visit Orlando. “I’d tell him he didn’t need to go to the opening of a letter,” she joked. But she learned what those efforts meant to his circle of professional people after he passed. The book will endeavor to extend that impact.
Daughter Olivia hopes the book will help her generation better understand the importance of building relationships, networking and having good communication skills both for personal and professional growth. She said it’s the message she and her sister Vanessa grew up with. “Now, we are his voice,” she said.
Reach Pam Sain at (407) 599-5456 or Pamela.Sain@gmail.com