The Stephen Covey Brand Changed My Life?

By Patrick Nycz

Yeah, I think he did.

Stephen Covey passed away recently and it made me stop and consider him and his work. I came to the conclusion that the Franklin Covey brand was a game changer in my life.

How many brands are game changers in your life?

The internet is full of stories of the greatness of beloved brands. Apple, Google, Coca-Cola, Nike, and Facebook all top the lists. I would agree that they are all game changers in that they pushed the boundaries in their categories. All made our life better in work, play, and overall coolness factor.

But has Apple changed my life? I have been in love with the products, software, and user experience since my first Mac in ’85. But I am not sure it has changed my life. I would certainly be able to develop and execute creative marketing for clients and create new products without my Mac. It just might not be as fun. Or as cool.

The same goes for Google, Coke, and Nike. Before Google, I used to search the internet with HotBot and DogPile. I didn’t know the difference, plus it was all we had back in the day. I prefer Diet Pepsi over Diet Coke and I run every morning in Adidas running shoes (my knees made that choice for me).

Like Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, and other social media outlets, Facebook is both a business and personal platform so it’s very integrated into my life on many levels. All are about communication, engagement and connection. Not yet changing my life.

But in this case, the title is true. Mr. Covey, representing the Franklin Covey system, was one of a few influential branded programs I have gone through in my professional life that spilled over into my personal life. And changed everything.

That is because the Franklin Covey program asks that you engage fully with the branded process. Not just buying or using the brand.

I engaged with the process the way they teach you in the class and not only learned how to organize, prioritize and set goals for my professional life, I did the same thing for my personal life.

For about a decade I became one of the millions of Franklin Covey people. I carried around a little black planner with my daily priorities in the front section and my life/personal goals listed and prioritized in the back.

There are tons of other branded processes out there that can (or claim to) do the same thing: drink Kool-Aid and your world will change. The issue becomes this: which is a fit for you? Which has the most compelling process or product that you think will really help? That is the power of the brand story positioned for you at the moment you are looking for help.

I learned about Franklin Covey in a boutique branding and marketing firm I worked at in Northfield, IL in ’96.  I worked in an office where the top execs all carried the Franklin planners. I felt left out so I asked for a planner and was sent to the class.

Two years later I was headed to idc in beautiful downtown Lafayette, Indiana and on my way to business ownership and realizing some pretty awesome professional and personal goals.

Franklin Covey worked for me because I bought into it. It does help that Franklin Covey is a well-defined brand with awesome marketing communications to support it. Already going to appeal to a marketing guy.

Even though I no longer carry the binder, the brand affinity I feel for Stephen Covey and his work is complex and ingrained in my work and life. I still sit each morning to plan and prioritize the day for me, my company, and my clients.

What about those life goals I put down all those years ago? They have changed and expanded along with my life. Just the way I learned all those years ago in that game changing Franklin Covey class.


About the Author: Patrick Nycz is the president and owner of idc, an integrated marketing firm. He is currently standing quietly at his desk (no need for chairs here) planning, prioritizing and executing his company’s and his clients’ goals. He spends his days, among other things, as a business owner, marketing strategist, account exec, cheerleader, salesman and excitable creative. Get connected to Patrick at LinkedIn, follow him on Twitter at @PatrickNycz or email him at
(special thanks to Vera for sending me to that Franklin Covey class!)
This entry was published on July 23, 2012 at 4:57 pm. It’s filed under advertising, blog, brand, brand affinity, context, creativity, Google, marketing, Patrick Nycz, personal brand, positioning, retail, strategy and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

One thought on “The Stephen Covey Brand Changed My Life?

  1. Bill McCrea on said:

    Hi Patrick – Very nice commentary on Covey and how you put his system to work – Interesting observations on the value of creating a brand that provides ongoing value to followers and customers – Bill

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