A personal brand is a powerful tool to attract business opportunities to you and position yourself or your organization as a leader in the industry. All too often, business professionals start thinking about their personal brand when they need something – new clients, a new job or a favor. Smart business professionals are proactively building and growing their personal brand to attract the opportunities that they want in their career.
Over 13 years ago I started thinking about my personal brand. Not because I was forward thinking, but because I had a Myspace Page (yes, that long ago) and started getting friend requests from industry professional contacts. While I didn’t mind sharing my personal side, I also felt it was important to have a professional presence. This was before LinkedIn, so I created a blog and started to share what I was doing with social media marketing. I quickly became a recognized thought leader and generated clients, job offers (that I didn’t even think I was qualified for), and other opportunities.
Since then, I’ve become even more proactive about my personal brand and have a deliberate presence online and in-person. My efforts in personal branding have resulted in two book deals (a Dummies book and a textbook), media appearances on CNN, NYT, and the Wall Street Journal, job offers, speaking gigs, and clients. I’ve continuously been amazed by the opportunities that my personal brand attracted. I wanted to help others have the same success, and for the last five years I’ve been working on Launch Yourself! Define, Design, and Deliver a Powerful Personal Brand, my 6th book!
Many people think that online personal branding is about a good LinkedIn profile, or a big network. But in reality a strong personal brand is about crafting and delivering a consistent and memorable impression. There are three vital steps to do this: Define, Design and Deliver.
Step 1: Defining Your Personal Brand
Before you even start building a presence, think about your goals and objectives for your personal brand. What do you want from it? Who do you need to reach? Then think about yourself – what are your strengths and opportunities in the industry that you can feature. How do you benefit the people that you work with? At the end of this you should have a clear idea of your personal brand statement that summarizes your goal, your professional description, your personality, your professional solution, and the benefit that you provide.
Step 2: Designing Your Personal Brand
Designing your brand is where you start to think strategically about the elements of yourself that you want to highlight. The biggest brands in the world like Apple, Starbucks, and Tide use specific elements to design their brands so that people choose them. These same principles can be used to design a personal brand. Your personal brand should be Memorable, Authentic, Distinctive, and Credible. You’ll want to bring your brand to life as consistently as possible, so doing some work upfront to design your brand is vital to your execution.
Step 3: Deliver Your Personal Brand
Finally, deliver a powerful personal brand by bringing your brand to life online and in-person. In-person focus on being consistent and refining your brand over time based on feedback. Online, LinkedIn is a powerful channel to start with by increasing your activity there. In addition, a personal website sets the stage for your online presence, and using less formal channels like Facebook or Instagram strategically can further increase your presence.
To learn more about Personal Branding check out our Personal Branding Webinar taking place on August 22, 2019.
Photo by Jia Ye on Unsplash
There are 5 ways in which blockchain is disrupting the advertising industry. Marketers who recognize this will have a lucrative opportunity in front of them and an edge over others. Hence for salespeople and marketers, it is worth spending some time to understand the trends happening in this arena. Following are the 5 blockchain trends disrupting the advertisement sector.
1) Digitises touch points
Blockchain digitalize any asset by coding every customer transaction data and laws into it. That way there is verifiable proof of each transaction identity, and that transaction can be a product. Therefore, customer attention at every touch point would become a prized commodity, without any intermediaries.
2) Makes digital micropayments
In the future, advertisers will have to pay people a small fraction of a cent to get their attention. Such micropayments can only work with a digitally native currency. Tracking these types of payments is precisely one of the strengths of blockchains.
3) Creates meaningful value
Identifying and differentiating every product means the ability to add significant benefit. These blockchain identifiers tell a sales story in an innovative way about how they make the item and where it came from, appealing the customers on an emotional level. Another company is Goodwill that takes one person’s unwanted clothes and sells them to another using blockchain platform.
4) Builds great trust
Blockchain technology makes it extremely difficult to manipulate the data and rip the system off. It makes groups of data anonymous, thereby turning all brand data into something like a census. Essentially, this gives detailed information about the network, but not which person is in love with which brand. This added layer of privacy would allay customers’ fears and assure them that advertisers are not manipulating them or taking undue advantage of them.
5) Decentralises advertising concepts
Traditional advertising is based on the idea that the ad reaches a consumer, after which if the message is good enough the customer acts. And marketers take it for granted that this comes without any cost. But this paradigm is already changing in the blockchain world through decentralization. By decentralizing networks, blockchain offers a better way of verifying the advertising system.
Blockchain transforms not only sectors such as security, health, and finance but also many basic tenets of marketing. However, not much thought has gone into how the role of advertising is going to get upended due to the blockchain. Nevertheless, advertising industry will be one among the first to be disrupted by blockchain technology.
Think of the most successful companies in the world, what do so many of them have in common? Great branding.
Branded packaging can say a lot about your company; from the words on the product, to the colour scheme and font, all the way down to the materials used to make it. For this reason, it is important to make sure that the message you’re sending out is the right one.
Over the last few decades, companies have had to show more environmental and cultural responsibility when it comes to their branding and packaging, and with the internet providing a swift and brutal response when companies get it wrong, it is now more important than ever for companies to stay up to date and aware.
Let’s look at some of the biggest brands in the world – including the ones that didn’t always get it right.
The holy grail in branding is to be instantly recognizable, and one key way to achieve this is through a statement colour. A prime example of this is Tiffany – where the Pantone shade itself instantly becomes associated with the label. This is particularly true with Tiffany’s, to the point at which the robin egg blue shade is now more commonly known as Tiffany Blue. The trademark for this shade is also exclusively owned by Tiffany’s and is not publicly available, therefore protecting the brand’s identity and image.
To achieve this level of recognition is no easy feat and many brands such as the mobile network Orange and EasyJet have tried and failed to trademark a colour.
Some companies use their packaging as a vehicle into the mainstream world through fashion, and turning the package into an accessory instead of just another bag in the drawer, or box at the bottom of the wardrobe. The most striking example of this is Bloomingdale’s shopping bags, which first appeared in 1973. The bags have since become such a popular commodity that the store now stocks long lasting PVC replicas in an ever-expanding range that now includes the ‘little pink bag’, ‘little brown cosmetic’, and ‘little brown case’.
Sometimes, however, companies miss the mark with the branding, leading to the alienation of consumers and, especially in recent years, becoming the target of online ridicule or resentment. In 2017, Dove promoted it’s ‘Real Beauty’ message by creating a series of contoured bottles said to represent the fact ‘just like women…our iconic bottle can come in all shapes and sizes, too’.
However, this was met with backlash for missing the point of the very message it was trying to send. Many found the bottles to be patronizing, whilst others found them insulting or just plain ridiculous, and the vast majority of the online community responded with a resounding ‘why?’. Whilst these bottles were never made available to purchase, the damage was already done. From a brand with an image built on body positivity and awareness, many took the figures to be more mocking than moving, and Dove was accused of betraying their own previous messages of ‘it doesn’t matter what you look like’.
Other brands that have become subject to online scrutiny litter the internet’s ‘biggest fails’ lists, many of which are focused around a brandslack of cultural sensitivity, awareness, or just sending the wrong message. Examples of this include Sony’s white PSP ad, Budweiser’s ‘removing no from your vocabulary’ slogan, and Dr Pepper’s 2011 ‘Not For Women’ campaign. From Bic and Pritt’s stationary ‘for her’ to Kleenex’s ‘Mansize’ tissues, the importance of cultural awareness in branding is becoming increasingly important. A great example of brands taking note of this can be seen with Yorkie.
The Yorkie bar was introduced in 1976 as a chocolate bar for men, this was shown with a series of lorries on its design, and advertising featuring lorry drivers. In 2001, Yorkie went a
step further and introduced the now-famous slogan ‘It’s not for girls’, followed by a special edition bar wrapped in pink, ‘for girls’, in 2006. 5 years later, the slogan was eventually dropped. This could be said to have been due to the mounting focus on women’s rights, however whilst Yorkie have dropped the slogan, it is still a brand which is aimed at men, with more recent adverts including the line ‘man fuel for man stuff’.
Whilst many brands may be accused of ‘ugly’ packaging, much of this is subjective. However, there is one industry that is forced to make its packaging off-putting to deter consumers from buying. This industry is tobacco.
In the past, cigarettes have received their fair share of promotion; from cigarette cards, to celebrity and physician endorsements, and the Marlborough Man, tobacco spent 400 years in the hands and mouths of the public. However, in 1962, the Royal College of Physicians had enough evidence to prove a link between smoking and lung cancer, and pushed for a ban. The first came in 1965 with the ban of television advertising, and smoking adverts were finally banned completely in 2005.
In 1991 the EU introduced health warnings on packets, and in 2003 added that cigarettes could no longer be branded with the terms ‘mild’ or ‘light’, also adding an increase in the size of warnings. However, it wasn’t until 2008 when the packaging became truly ‘ugly’. To add to the written warnings, graphic images of the effects of smoking were printed onto packets. These included pictures of black lungs, rotting teeth, and suffering children as visual representations of the effects of smoking.
In 2012, cigarette packaging was hidden behind closed doors with a requirement that they be concealed from the public to discourage purchases, and in 2016 the UK followed Australia’s lead and prohibited company branding on packaging and introducing standardized packaging.
This therefore leaves cigarette packaging with no branding characteristics, visceral images, and large warning text, a true example of ugly packaging.
Inspiration for this post by UK Packaging. If you’re not already a member of SMEI join us here today and get the tools and information you need to advance your marketing career today.
Photo by Patrik Michalicka on Unsplash