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      Brand Marketing Strategy

      Brand Marketing Strategy

      Brand Marketing Strategy

      Strategies and Services to Expand Your Reach, Reputation and Top-Line Revenue

      Are Your Looking for a Brand Marketing Firm to Help You Build A Brand Marketing Strategy?

      SMG is a brand marketing firm that specializes in personal, team, and business branding and implementation for thought and industry leadership, reputation management, CEO branding, and business brand marketing strategy and positioning.

      Through our proprietary Brand Mapping©, Modern Marketing Pyramid©, and Branding from The Inside Out© processes, we work with our clients to create the awareness, develop the vision, and implement a brand marketing strategy by which they can move their personal, team, and business brands to the next level. The individuals and businesses who come to SMG share some common attributes:

      • Our clients are looking for a brand marketing firm to help them build a brand marketing strategy that expands their current reach to a larger audience. They know they need to be head and shoulders above the crowd, sought after, and seen as having high value—but they are not always sure of how to navigate the branding, PR, and marketing waters to get there.

      • Our clients want to be seen as thought and industry leaders but are often at a loss for the best way to get there. Previous engagements have frequently left them frustrated and wondering what the most effective path would be—both online and off.

      • Our clients realize they need to be well positioned online, but most don’t have the time (or knowledge) to negotiate the world of online reputation well, and yet they understand how that world is a goldmine when properly set up and utilized.

      • Our clients want to work with a brand marketing firm that can go beyond strategy to implementation in a cost-effective, efficient, and timely way. They want to pay for results—not overhead.

      • Our clients understand that the world of branding and marketing is constantly changing and want to ensure that their personal and/or business brands are keeping up with best practices.

      SMG helps our clients asses their current level of brand excellence and articulate 7 critical aspects of the personal and/or business branding strategy. In addition, we assess over 40 potential brand-building tactics and choose the ones that are most effective for the client. We then translate these into a 1-year plan to put their personal and/or business brand into action within their company and industry. Our highly researched strategy typically includes:

      • Assessment of long-term, strategic brand strengths, direction, and opportunities
      • Macroanalysis of the state of the market and current strength/weakness of the brand
      • Best opportunities to penetrate the market with a defined brand
      • Competitive analysis and key attributes
      • Best social media avenues and traditional PR activities to build the brand
      • Brand tagline
      • Positioning statement
      • Brand monetization strategy
      • Digital brand strategy
      • Timelines
      • Deliverables and milestone projections
      • Budget
      • Developing a process for overall brand look and feel of website

      Finally, we will develop a series of “brand messages” that are on target with the brand. The resulting “messaging” will be integrated into the collateral materials, brand, and buzz building and thought leadership activities of the strategy.

      The final result is a custom strategy plan, which can be implemented immediately by SMG, Inc., the client themselves, a vendor(s) of the client’s choice, or a combination of the above.

      For those of our clients who are looking for a brand marketing firm that offers “done-for-you” services, founder Karen Tiber Leland can engage with you as a concierge brand manager to implement the strategy designed. Our projects are designed to:

      • Directly work toward outcomes that go beyond “feel good” to increased reputation, revenue, and top-line results.
      • Directly benefit the CEO or C-suite brand, resulting in an increased leadership capability.
      • Directly benefit the client’s specific work group, segment, or company at large, via the implementation of the branding strategy.
      • Be actionable and observable in present-day and immediate-future results.
      • Be completed or achieve substantial progress within a three- to six-month time frame.

      For more information on how SMG can help you please contact us to schedule a complimentary 20-minute telephone consultation.

      Building a Personal Brand

      Building a Personal Brand

      Building a Personal Brand

      Are you a CEO, C-suite executive, entrepreneur or expert looking to turn up the volume on your personal brand and establish your thought leadership?

      The Critical Importance of Building a Personal Brand

      Many highly successful entrepreneurs, executives, small business owners, and CEOs are interested in building a personal brand to leverage their existing position to benefit both their business and personal brands. Most of these leaders who come to SMG are looking to achieve one or more of the following personal branding objectives. Are you looking to:

      • More firmly establish your CEO or personal brand?
      • Expand your influence though building a personal brand?
      • Become known as a thought leader?
      • Improve your company’s valuation through your personal brand?
      • Play the game at a new level?
      • Develop a new business or market?
      • Make your mark in a related arena?
      • Position yourself for promotion or job search?
      • Explore other business opportunities within your field?
      • Promote important personal initiatives?

      With a proven background and deep bench in helping CEOs, high-end entrepreneurs, and C-suite executives in building a personal brand to the next level,

      SMG collaborates with clients and serves as your brand developer and manager to implement two proprietary programs—the Brand Mapping© Process and the Modern Marketing Pyramid©.

      We implement a three-phase strategic and comprehensive approach that integrates business development, branding, content/Internet marketing, public relations, and social media. Our “done for you” services promote your personal brand, book, business, product, or initiative. Projects, which are customized based on unique needs and objectives, may include:

      Phase One ­– Building Your Brand’s Foundation. This first phase of the SMG process is focused on creating a foundation that supports building a personal brand long term with activities including:

      • Fully fleshing out a well-articulated brand via the Brand Mapping© Process
      • Creating or updating your website & other personal collateral
      • Making your social media consistent across all platforms in tone, feel, & message
      • Researching & putting a solid strategic plan in place your personal brand

      Phase Two – Brand and Buzz Building. With your brand platform and foundation solidly in place, this second phase involves engaging in promoting your personal brand, book, business, or product. At this point we are planting the seeds that position you for long-term thought and industry leadership including, but not limited to:

      • Developing pitches and one sheets for media, conference producers, & influencers
      • Writing book proposals & blog proposals to secure book deals, blogs, & articles
      • Ghost writing, editing, and promoting e-Books on your desired subject area
      • Regularly posting on social media to build your brand
      • Creation of editorial calendars based on keyword research
      • Ongoing brand management, coaching, and consulting

      Phase Three – Expanding Your Brand Awareness. At this phase of the process, we are establishing your brand on a bigger scale. Momentum should be building, and we are ready to reach out to media and promote you. Some of the activities can include:

      • Implementing a blog tour
      • Doing a radio campaign
      • Pitching you to reporters who cover the space you want to be known in
      • Placing you on podcasts, webcasts, and TV
      • Identify conferences & speaking opportunities for your personal brand

      How is SMG different? To begin with, we go beyond strategy and message development to offer done-for-you services for building a personal brand. In addition, over the past 25 years, Karen Tiber Leland has worked as a management and marketing consultant, keynote speaker, spokesperson, media guest, freelance writer and reporter, and author.

      Having sat on both sides of the media—as a journalist and a guest—has given Karen a deep understanding of the intricacies of today’s on- and off-line media environment. Likewise, the decades she spent doing consulting with Fortune 500 companies has infused a systems approach, based on best practices, to her marketing and branding processes.

      How we measure success and our results at building a personal brand. We measure our success by meeting the specific deliverables set with a client for their project. Some of our recent results include:

      • One client generated $25,000 worth of business two weeks after a single consulting session.
      • An author was offered an online column at a top-ten website using our recommended strategy.
      • We wrote, pitched, and placed an article on Forbes.com that became #1 and resulted in an NPR interview.
      • Creation of an award-winning website that helped increase the client’s business by 25 percent.

      For more information on how SMG can help you design and implement your personal brand, contact us to schedule a complimentary 20-minute telephone consultation.

      CEO Brand and CEO Reputation Management

      CEO Brand and CEO Reputation Management

      CEO Brand and CEO Reputation Management

      Far from being a luxury, an exercise in ego or even a nice-to-have, building an executive or CEO brand is a requirement in our digital world.

      Building Your CEO Brand and Practicing CEO Reputation Management

      According to the Burson-Marsteller “CEO Reputation Study,” close to 50 percent of the reputation of a company can be attributed to the standing of its CEO. Like it or not, today’s CEO has been precast in the role of their company’s Chief Brand Ambassador. Assuming you have accepted the charge to build your CEO brand and practice CEO reputation management for the good of your organization, SMG can work with you to implement the CEO Branding Matrix to help get you there.

      At SMG we believe the path to creating a strong executive and CEO brand involves taking a series of actions that are distinct from, and go beyond, the branding of your business and include the following CEO reputation management activities:

      • Managing your online presence and practicing CEO reputation management via LinkedIn (and other social media sites), search engine optimization, web presence, and others.

      According to recent studies, being a social CEO is now a critical responsibility, not a nice to have. Consider BRANDfog’s “Global Social CEO Survey,” which reported that major benefits of leadership participation in social networks include better communication, improved brand image, more transparency, and improved company morale. Specifically, the survey reported that:

      – 75 percent of those surveyed perceive that C-Suite and executive leadership is improved by participation on social media.
      – 83 percent of U.S. respondents believe that better connections with customers, employees, and investors can be built through CEO participation in social media.

      • Creating your executive presence and brand by design instead of default using a personal brand narrative, brand collateral, positioning, and personal gravitas.

      One study from the Center for Talent Innovation (CTI) found there were three key aspects to executive presence—gravitas, communication skills, and appearance. Gravitas by far carried the most weight and was composed of six core traits: confidence, decisiveness, integrity, emotional intelligence, vision, and reputation.

      Interestingly, “The CEO Reputation Premium” report from Weber Shandwick/KRC Research revealed that similar attributes drive strong CEO reputation, including: having a clear vision for the company, inspiring and motivating others, being a good communicator internally and externally, and caring that the company is a good place to work.

      • Establishing your thought leadership through media exposure, speaking, and publishing.

      The bad news is that you can’t just declare yourself a thought (or industry) leader. It doesn’t happen because you say so—it happens because the world says so. In order to be a thought or industry leader, you need to rise to such a level of expertise or excellence that people (media, other industry leaders, clients, etc.) will seek you out as a recognized authority.

      • Implementing a content marketing strategy for CEO reputation management and to get your unique message and expertise across.

      Content marketing is a multidisciplinary strategy that includes a plethora of tactical areas, such as blogs, podcasts, webinars, eBooks, and social media posts.

      Since the focus is on generating and distributing high-value, relevant content to your audience, the quality of what you put out is significantly more important than which channel(s) you decide to disseminate the information through.
      Sounds easy, right? According to a 2015 report by CMO.com, less than 40 percent of all content marketers are effective, and 69 percent of content marketing lacks quality.

      For more information on how SMG can help you design and implement your brand, and practice CEO reputation management, contact us to schedule a complimentary 20-minute telephone consultation.

      Developing Executive Presence

      Developing Executive Presence

      Developing Executive Presence

      How can today’s determined, yet overburdened, leaders walk their talk and act as role models for the brand values and priorities they espouse, all while navigating a high-demand work environment?

      Are You Developing Executive Presence? And Why You Need to Be.

      At SMG we believe that by developing executive presence through creating a dedicated way of being, versus a default one, leaders bring their brand promise into every interaction across the board, the results of which are higher performance, greater influence, and increased competence, cooperation, and engagement with their staff, colleagues, customers, industry, and the public at large.

      In the initial step, SMG will capture, assess, and present feedback on the current state of the executive’s presence from within various cross sections of their workplace.

      Once completed, this assessment can form the basis for implementing strategically sound improvements for developing executive presence that will help the client move their leadership to the next level.

      Then, using an appreciative inquiry approach, the executive will be facilitated through the SMG Brand Mapping© Process via a one-day dialog and experiential session. The process focuses on developing executive presence by discovering and honing the seven key elements of an engaging and effective executive presence and addresses:

      • Creating a unique executive presence, proposition, and promise. What is it that you bring to any work situation you are a part of?
      • Using language and behaviors for powerfully communicating your executive presence in presentations, meetings, negotiations, networking, websites, and social media. How can your use of language and presence create greater influence and meaning?
      • Developing an executive-presence story that is both authentic and informative. What is your executive presence narrative, and how can it be most powerfully presented?
      • Achieving clarity on your current level of client and coworker advocacy. Where do you stand today in terms of executive presence reputation, and is that where you want to be?
      • Identifying executive-presence diffusers and neutralizers and coming up with an enhancement plan. In what ways are you helping or hurting your executive presence?
      • Integrating executive-presence habits that strengthen the implementation of projects, strategic initiatives, and key goals. How can you set a plan for consciously expressing your executive presence vs. a default way of being?
      • Uncovering your core executive presence personality and passion and infusing your brand with a distinct energy, mood, and tone. What is the essence of your executive presence?

      Finally, In the SMG three- to six-month executive coaching program for developing executive presence, founder Karen Tiber Leland works one on one to help the executive clarify their unique executive brand and then translate that into a series of targeted projects specific to each leader’s scope of responsibility and goals. The projects are designed to meet the following criteria:

      • Directly benefit the individual’s executive presence, resulting in an increased
      • leadership capability.
      • Directly benefit the individual’s work group, segment, or company at large, via the implementation of the Executive Presence Projects.
      • Directly work toward outcomes that go beyond “feel good” to practical application on the job and/or in the leader’s overall career.
      • Are actionable and observable in present day and immediate-future work-life situations.
      • Can be completed or can achieve substantial progress within a three- to six-month time frame.

      For more information on how SMG can help you please contact us to schedule a complimentary 20-minute telephone consultation.

      Rent My Brain

      Rent My Brain

      Rent My Brain Session

      This one-hour, no-holds-barred consulting call gets to the heart of your marketing, social media, PR, branding, business development, or content marketing question. The feedback you will get is to the point, precise and actionable.
      • Confused about what to do with your social media?
      • Wondering if your website, LinkedIn and online presence is up to speed?
      • Feel like you are not clearly able to articulate you personal or business brand?
      • Looking for the ideal  3-5 branding strategies to create the highest return on your money?
      • Think you are not getting the recognition for the thought leadership you should?

      The Rent My Brain session is a one hour intensely focused session designed for individuals looking for a High Speed Shortcut to building buzz for their brand.

      Drawing on insight from her 25 years of experience as a brand expert, marketing and management consultant, bestselling author, worldwide keynote speaker, and freelance journalist, Karen Tiber Leland insures that you will walk away with the information you need to create real results. Some of the outcomes clients have gotten from just one Rent My Brain Session include:

      • One client closed $25,000 worth of business two weeks after the call by making just one adjustment suggested.
      • An author was offered an online column at a top-ten website using our blog-promotion strategy.
      • A client placed an article on Forbes.com that became #1 on the site that week and was subsequently interviewed by NPR and featured by Arianna Huffington in her book.

      Contact us today to schedule your Rent My Brain session.