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.
A couple of weeks ago, I seduced many of you into opening my blog only to find out that I’ve not read Fifty Shades of Gray yet but did read Magic of Impromptu Speaking, by Andrill Sedniev, while taking some time off of work. I promised a review on the book, so here goes. The book caught my attention as its subtitle states: Create a speech that can be remembered for years in under 30 seconds. The fact is, I and gazillions of other book buyers gravitate to titles that promise fast and almost immediate results. A good formula to remember when you are writing product copy or selling a book. So was he telling the truth or committing a marketing sin and telling a big white lie? It’s a gray area. Maybe not fifty shades but at least three. The book is excellent, filled with wisdom that can be applied to formal speeches and varied other opportunities of attention, like when doing a media interview, interviewing for a job or taking a stance in a board meeting. All good stuff for building a brand.
This past weekend, I traveled to Columbus, Ohio, to attend the Ohio State University versus Penn State football game. I had a fabulous time and picked up some great brand building ideas that can apply to many businesses.
Here’s the recap on my adventure and eight branding building ideas. 1) Southwest Airline’s identity is in transition. Brands change. The quirky, casual carrier has evolved. Their frequent flyer program still works and is one of the best for rewarding loyalty. My plane ticket was free. Their once low-cost pricing strategy is just a memory and bags fly free soon may be too. Their uniforms have also evolved. The khaki shorts and t-shirts are in the closet and a more formal garb is being sported, maybe to align better with the more upscale pricing. The seats are getting smaller and the people are getting fatter.
NOTE TO ALL READERS - Starting next week my blog updates ezine will hit your mail box every Wednesday. Instead of 3-4 posts in one mailer, it will only have one blog post per week, but will be on a regular schedule.
Call me crazy. Yes, I did. I said no to a luxury vacation in the mountains of North Carolina in a $2.6 million dollar, 5,000 square foot, McLodge just off Cedar Cliff Lake. My boyfriend and his family rented this gorgeous place and invited me to join them and I opted out in the eleventh hour, even losing a $300.00 plane ticket. Why? Because the past 6 months, I have been super busy, and have not had my ample "just me" time, to think, write and create beyond my obligations, including my blogging. And as a creative, highly sensitive (HS) person this is like cutting off my oxygen. I’m not complaining, I am grateful my life has been filled with giving keynote speeches on branding, working on a very exciting global brand transformation, enjoying two great relationships, one with a smart guy and the other with a very cute dog.
If you covered up your logo on your Website, your brochure or one of your important marketing tools, would the market know it was your brand? Do you stand out from the pack or do you blend in and reflect the same concepts, visuals, copy points and features as your competition? As outlined in my recent book, Brand Turnaround, through which I tell the stories of more than 75 brands, Game Changers are key concepts to brand transformation. If you've been following my article series on turnaround, you will recall that I've introduced you to six Game Changers: Take Responsibility, Never Give Up, Lead Strong, Stay Relevant, Keep Improving and Build Equity. In addition to these six, there is one last Game Changer—Own Your Distinction. And, for many brands, this is one of the most important strategies of them all.
Now that I’ve got your attention, I love metaphors and feeling naked is a common one for entrepreneurs and small businesses. The naked pitch and how to appear fully garbed. Since the early days of my professional career I’ve been naked and unequipped many times with industry knowledge, experience and even skill sets, but that did not stop me from scoring new business and ultimately contributing to a client's success. In fact, the first piece of business I landed over 30 years ago that launched my career in marketing and branding was when I was totally naked of qualifications, credentials or formal education.
Creativity is the fuel for all progress in life and business. And the good news, CREATIVITY is within everyone's reach. While some people are born with a stronger creative twist to their thinking, creativity is a skill that can be learned. Developing a deeper creative mind is one of my favorite passions in life. I'm always looking for new resources and thought leaders that can help me produce more creative juice so I can enjoy my journey and achieve my goals. Here are three books on the subject of creative thinking and enhancement methods that have helped me be more creative thus adding more value to what I offer the world, my clients, followers and friends. If you are looking to boost your creative power, I highly-recommend you check these out.
I know first hand social media can be a valuable, income generating tool. My social media efforts have landed me business (a million dollar contract in 2008), sold books and products, aided my international media presence and hooked me to important resources and new friends. Social media can provide a garden of goods that are aligned to your goals, or it can make you feel like your endless efforts produce no more than a crop of crappy connections that suck time and don't produce a worthy return on your investment. Follow these tips and your odds of success will increase.
My friends and business colleagues often ask me, "How do you constantly produce so much stuff, ideas, stories, images, books, products and speeches?!". The answer is simple. I consume this delicious cocktail, straight up daily, which let's me get more done and have more fun! Start with ample sleep, for me it's 8 hours. + Eat often, at least five small meals with protein daily. + Set accountable goals, daily (one or two are fine). + Meditate and do deep breathing, even if it's 5 minutes. + Pay attention to what you experience...