Your personal, team, and business brand changes over time and will require periodic adjustments. But how do you know when it’s time to invest the time, effort, and resources it takes to create a new brand marketing strategy? Your decision to embark on a rebrand is most often precipitated by one of the following scenarios:
• Your message has moved on, and your focus has changed. The way you used to describe who you are, what you do, or what you offer has shifted. Old language no longer conveys the new you. Your audience has moved on, and their focus has changed. Markets shift, trends come and go, technologies have made your brand old and obsolete. If your brand is speaking to an old way of working, it’s time to take on an update of your strategy by building a personal brand or rebranding your business.
• You are preemptively apologizing for your brand collateral. I often meet people who, within the first few seconds of discussing their brand, say, “Oh, please don’t look at my website. It’s horribly out of date. It’s embarrassing.” Websites and other collateral materials (including logos, colors, and fonts) that at best don’t accurately reflect who you are today and at worst are a source of shame scream out for a new brand marketing strategy.
• You have identified a new niche, audience, or opportunity. Whether building a personal brand or updating a business brand, if the market you are going after has shifted, the way you express your visual, intellectual, and emotional capital may need to be adjusted to come into alignment with your desired audience or opportunity.
• Your audience is not responding to your offers. Even if you think your personal brand is being clearly communicated, if your desired audience just does not seem to be responding, you either have an outdated, unclear, weakened, or undifferentiated brand. Regardless of the reason, you’re in need of a rebrand.
• Your brand reputation has been damaged beyond repair. Whether due to your own actions or circumstances beyond your control, a brand that has been linked by association to a highly negative event or attribute may not be recoverable in its current state. For example, an entrepreneur whose consulting business bore the same name as a group that had just carried out a major terrorist attack contacted me to help her create a new nomenclature. Despite the fact that her organization clearly had nothing to do with the terrorists, the association was always going to be there in the public’s mind, so that was that. A rebrand was the only way out.
• You have undergone a personal transformation. Often when an individual goes through an “eye of the needle” experience (such as a divorce, illness, or death), they find that they’re simply not the same person. Newly informed by their recent ordeal, building a personal brand redo is almost a rite of passage.
People who refuse to update their personal, team, or business brand when appropriate and get stuck presenting themselves exactly the same way decade after decade run the risk of becoming obsolete and disconnected. Your brand marketing strategy is an organic process—not a fixed entity. Allowing room for growth, change, adjustments, and even transformations is the stuff that relevancy is made of.
2017 was jam packed with a variety of new methods, theories and tools for spreading the word about a business. With the plethora of social sites, new apps and expert suggestions, I had my hands full. Especially since I make it a policy to never recommend anything to my clients I have not tried out myself. But there was one experiment I tried this year that produced better results than any social media campaign or speech I gave. It’s not a new theory, hot app or magical software. Rather, it’s a good old-fashioned core principle of business development that I have taught my clients for years. Click here to read it: This article originally appeared on Inc.com.
Google Campus. Image courtesy of Google.
“Carefully listening to and responding to your customers’ complaints builds loyalty and yields valuable information about how service can be improved.” This is the customer experience mantra that almost every business person can recite from memory.
While most companies know these words, they often forget to focus on these “hidden gems” of feedback. Even when they do, they sometimes fall short when trying to create the best customer experience. Recently at a conference lunch, I sat next to Dutta Satadip, Director of Customer Success in Americas for Google. Not only did I meet a customer care soulmate, but I recognized that his words of wisdom and approach had many small business applications. When I asked him to share his thoughts on how to create a happy customer using the Google method, he was happy to share. Here’s what he had to say.
This article originally appeared on Inc.com. Finish reading the article here.
Between business meetings, calls, teleclasses and speeches, I talk a lot, forcing me to keep my vocal cords in shape. So, when I feel the ice-cold draft of air-conditioning on a long flight or the seasonal sniffles coming on, the panic rises in my throat.
The average cold can wreak havoc on your vocal cords causing inflammation, soreness and a croaky sound that I imagine is what a frog playing a kazoo might sound like. Which just won’t do when you’re facing an upcoming public presentation or performance.
I interviewed Christina Hager, a professional opera singer for ten years and current presentation coach. She had some great tips for keeping your voice in tip top shape. Click the below link to find out how.
This article originally appeared on Inc.com.
Every time I go to sleep in a hotel room, I have a ritual I perform.Since I find the blue light emanating from the devise disturbing to my sleep, I take a towel from the bathroom and place it over the bedside digital clock. My previous husband always found my clock-covering behavior strange. He questioned the impact such a small colored light could have on the quality of my sleep. Thanks to some new research from the University of Haifa and Assuta Sleep Clinic, I have been vindicated. To get quality sleep, check out the full article that originally appeared on Inc.com.
I returned home last night from seeing a play to a slew of texts from friends commenting on the viral “me too” campaign that has hit Facebook in the past 24 hours. Honestly, I had not been paying it much attention, so I went on my site and began to scroll.
Page after page, I saw friends I had known for years who had posted two simple words: “me too.” Then it hit me like a ton of bricks. With more than 25 years in the workforce, of course I have encountered inappropriate sexual advances at work, and so have most of the women I know, and more than a few of the men as well. In short, “me too.”
And the harassment is not always sexual. As has been written in numerous articles about Harvey Weinstein recently, he was known for using abusive language and having screaming tirades.
I also thought about how, with all my training, even I am sometimes at a loss for what to say when I feel impinged upon so I asked some experts to give their best bets for phrases to halt harassment in its tracks. Here’s what they had to say:
X is harassment.
Stephany Zoo is the executive director of Phoenix Risen, a World Economic Forum-supported nonprofit that brings men and women together to talk about sexual harassment. She says that it’s all about setting clear boundaries at the start of the situation. “Make sure that you are explicit that what the perpetrator is doing is harassment,” says Zoo.
Alternative phrase: “Do not X; that’s harassment.”
Those types of comments or jokes that you’re making don’t belong in the workplace. Let’s keep things professional.
Barbara Mitchell and Cornelia Gamlem, authors of The Conflict Resolution Phrase Book, say that when disruptive behavior evolves into bullying and harassment, it can be disastrous. The key is to have a respectful confrontation by pointing out inequity, setting boundaries and responding to disruptive behaviors.
Alternative phrase: “You may intend the jokes and comments to be funny, but they aren’t. They’re insulting.”
Thank you very much, but could you go back to the point you were making about X?
Attorney M. Reese Everson, author of The B.A.B.E.’s Guide to Winning in the Workplace, says that comments about your appearance (you have nice hair; your dress matches your eyes) can be meant as genuine compliments. However, if they make you feel uncomfortable or begin to cross the line, Everson says the key is to redirect the conversation back to the matter at hand.
Alternative phrase: “That was a very interesting point, and I want to be sure to put that in the report.”
Don’t touch my hair, arm, shoulder, etc.
Susan Harrow who teaches the True Shield™ verbal self-defense for girls says in addition to stopping the behavior on the spot, it’s important to tell the other person what you expect their future behavior to be.
Alternative phrase: “In the future, please ask my permission to touch me for anything other than a handshake.”
I feel threatened by this.
And leave it at that. Dr. Judi Cineas, a psychotherapist, says that when it comes to defending yourself or your space, it’s important to be definitive and not leave room for alternate interpretations of what you mean.
“Perpetrators of all kinds are good at using interpretation to cover their tracks. They will claim to not have understood what you meant or that their actions were not intended as you received,” says Cineas.
Alternative phrase: “I am not interested in…” or “I do not want…”
This is making me feel uncomfortable.
While some experts believe that telling the harasser your feelings is not the way to go, this phrase has gotten me out of many a sticky situation. In my experience, many people are not even aware that what they are doing is having an impact on others. Letting them know in a straightforward way is often enough to stop the behavior.
Alternative phrase: “I feel uncomfortable with this conversation, what you’re doing, how you’re talking to me.”
While curbing harassment is a problem that needs to be addressed at a larger societal level, in company policy, and more, as individuals, we all (men and women) need to learn how to stand up for ourselves when faced with situations that make us feel uncomfortable.
In short, we need to learn to just say no.
This article originally appeared on Inc.com.
Thanksgiving and Christmas may be just around the corner, but there are dozens of other holidays that take place in November and December that you may never have heard of.
Chase’s Calendar of Events helps businesses host those special days, weeks and months that have been created to celebrate everything from living a gluten free lifestyle to family reunions to National Hot Dog Day.
Whether philosophical or playful, your business can create its own holiday as a launching pad for a newsworthy brand-building campaign. Remember though and industry leaders don’t just report or comment on the news, and other people’s content – they create it.
Generating a holiday that ties in with your business, book, product or cause is one way to gain attention for your brand. For example: I had a client who was an expert in business etiquette.
She created Cell Phone Courtesy month and like magic, every year she gets a whole 30 days to promote her message (and her company).
She sends out press releases on the topic, gives radio interviews and has even appeared on television – all to promote, celebrate and give great tips on, you guessed it – cell phone courtesy.
Here are the three steps you can take to make your own brand building holiday.
1. Create a holiday event that relates to your business, book or product.
National Cell Phone Courtesy Month, Get Organized Month, National Hot Dog Day: If you can think of a topic, there is probably a holiday someone has created to celebrate it.
And many have used these events as a springboard for promoting their message to the media. Some of the events my clients have created and placed in Chase’s have garnered them coverage in USA Today, CNET, The Huffington Post and hundreds of other newspapers, radio shows and blogs. To create your own holiday, think about the following:
- What topic relates to our business, book, product or cause that we could create a credible holiday around?
- Is there a specific date, month or time of year when it would be most natural for our holiday to occur?
- What can we name this holiday to easily showcase the thing we want to celebrate and promote?
2. Submit your holiday idea to Chase’s Calendar of Events.
In order to be officially included in Chase’s yearly book and Web site, you need to apply to have your event accepted. It’s free to submit, but there are a few things to keep in mind.
- Check the current Chase’s calendar to insure that the holiday you want to create has not already been claimed by someone else.
- Create a Web site for the holiday or put a page on your existing Web site dedicated to it.
- Mind the deadlines for submission. Chase’s works in advance, so be certain that you submit your holiday or event early.
3. Build buzz for your holiday event.
About 30 to 45 days before your holiday is due to debut, write and distribute a press release about the upcoming event. Include some background on why you decided to sponsor the holiday and how it is relevant in today’s world.
If the topic permits, offer five to ten tips that the media can easily pick up and integrate into a feature story or news item.
The beauty of creating your own holiday is that while it only takes one time to set it up, once established, it gives you a yearly platform to promote.
This article originally appeared on Inc.com.