Vision boards – get what you want I recently attended the National Speaker Association’s mid-year conference. I took away many awesome ideas about branding, presentation skills and new technology. My biggest takeaway was to accelerate your success, get a vision board. In the early 1990s, I always had a vision board, in my office, at my branding agency in Houston. A large black bulletin covered with pictures of situations, places and things I wanted to experience, share or own. When I made something happen or achieved a milestone, I removed the item from the board. By the late 90s, my vision board was empty and I had manifested a bunch of amazing stuff. I credit that board of pictures as an important tool that kept me laser focused on my goals.
That’s right. Unless you have a written transfer of copyrights from the creator, whether an artist, copywriter, video producer, web designer etc., you don’t own squat. I recently had the pleasure of working with Julee L. Milham an intellectual property attorney, on a song copyright issue. In upcoming blog posts, I will share more about this branding dilemma I faced and the advice Julee provided. My experience with Julee was excellent. I was very impressed with her knowledge and her level of client service. For a reasonable fee, she quickly provided me counsel and insight on my matter.
Great brands connect to customers in emotional ways. They surprise them, delight them and make them feel special. This past week I took my mother to her first Tampa Bay Lightning game. I go often, and as always the experience was blast. The Lightning hospitality team is world-class. I’ve blogged about them before. Every staffer treats you like you are the most important customer. As my mom and I were headed to our seats, we asked the usher for assistance. I mentioned to him this was my mom’s first time to a Tampa Bay Lightning game. Acting like we were the most important fans in the house, he introduced himself as Tom. We small talked with him for a few minutes. He told us how much he loved his job and that he had worked for the Lightning for ten seasons.
Over the past few months, I’ve been giving my brand, Karen Post, The Branding Diva® some deep pondering and exploration time. Thinking through where I’ve been and where I want to go. Most importantly, what do I need to do to further separate myself from other speakers, consultants and writers whose expertise is branding or marketing too. The photo posted here will give you a sneak preview of what I’m doing. I’ll be showing you more in the coming blogs. Brands are a work in progress (W.I.P). They evolve and the best ones continue to improve their distinction, story telling, and they freshen up their communications to reflect their essence, standout and stay relevant.
The past few weeks you have likely seen the CEO of Target trying to manage the aftermath of the massive credit card hacking scandal. Not a fun situation for any brand leader. One recent interview on CNBC caught my eye. While Gregg Steinhafel was assuring customers that the company was taking the right steps to deal with the mess, a beautiful logo-patterned, red Target vase was perched on the stage behind him. Was his intention to communicate, yes this is bad, but you can still expect great design and a style edge that the big blue retailer just can't do? Using logo marks well in non traditional touch points is a great opportunity for any brand. I read an interesting story in the Wall Street Journal about the return of wearing branded apparel. The story was titled, “The Return of the Fashion Logo”. Full story click here.
All right, maybe not everyone who reads my blog or gets my ezine is guilty of this brand-busting sin but a bunch of you are. Your voice mail message, on your office phone or cell phone, is an important brand touch point. And it cost nothing more to sound impressive. This is free branding. Often those messages are the first impressions you give to a prospective client, a business colleague, a strategic partner, or a new friend. So don't even think about using the non personalized recording that comes with your phone. That's LAME with a capital 'L". So, is your message giving the best first impression? Give yourself a call. If your message is not on brand, re-record it using these tips
This past year, I had the privilege of working with a chemistry company called Celanese. The assignment was to re-energize a business to business brand that helps manufacturers of all kinds create innovative products. The mission was accomplished. In collaboration with a team spanning 26 countries, the company’s brand evolved into an even stronger persona; one that reflected ingenuity, creativity, forward thinking and a united spirit of over 7,000 global employees. The 12-month brand transformation centered around the core values of the organization and required serious alignment with the company’s vision, business practices, communications and the internal culture.
Imagine this guy showing up at your office for a job interview. It’s likely your judgment filter would kick in in less than 30 seconds, and you will conclude the applicant is severely out of touch and may have been living in a cave for the last 30 years. Not a good first impression. This week I was working with a trade association that has engaged me to speak to 5 of their chapters in 2014 on branding. During our negotiations, I mentioned to my contact that the trade association’s current logo needed a facelift. In addition to the logo mark being too busy, a major part of the design was the state of Florida. Lose the “So last decade” logos. Yikes! Someone call the brand police, Using the state as art is passé, just like a blue leisure. The light blue leisure suit is a great metaphor for branding that is outdated and reflects a tired or should be retired elements.