All Posts Tagged Tag: ‘branding’

Should Celebrities Have A Real Say As Brand Endorsers?

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It’s always been the case that celebrities are signed on to endorse products and services because their popularity and brand has power over consumers to persuade us to buy what they are endorsing.  Oddly enough, we want to buy into the celebrity lifestyle.  We unfortunately assume that if we buy Nike products, we’ll be more of a pro golfer like Tiger Woods.  It’s all part of the emotional “joy” factor that I write so much about.

But there’s a new twist developing on this concept it seems.  Celebrities are no longer just figureheads.  Now these ‘titled” brand endorsers are being asked to have real weigh-in on the products and services they endorse.  The real question is why?  Do you really want Kim Kardashian to weigh-in on shoes or clothes or perfume content??!

No longer is it enough for a celebrity to do a commercial for their “favorite” coffee or clothing label, get their big check and call it a day.  Now, they are being given real titles and asked for input into product development.

I believe some of the titles don’t mean anything.  However, the concept is a smart one. In brand management, it is all about establishing that emotional connection with your audience- whoever is buying your product.  Thus, if the celebrity has real input, or so we perceive they do, then as the audience we are that much more likely to be connected emotionally and invested in the product because the celebrity has their hands in it for “real” and the endorsement means more to us.

This concept is on the rise because society is jaded, post-Bernie Madoff, Enron recession.  We are looking for genuine connection to genuine brands and people.  We are really trying to put our hard-earned money where it counts- for us and for others.

So what does this mean for you?  Well, if you are running a business, stop and think about how you can put this concept to use for your business success.  You don’t need a celebrity endorsement.  Just start thinking of your own celebrity-like personal brand power and how you can use it to sell quality and bring about emotional joy.  If you are looking for a job, figure out how your own celebrity-like brand power can work to your benefit during the interview to get you that job.

EMAIL US A PRODUCT YOU BOUGHT BECAUSE OF THE CELEBRITY ENDORSING IT. WHY?

Time & Stress & Your Personal Brand Part II: Take A Page From Starbucks, Get Your “Joy” On

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In our work with clients, we are always trying to get them to understand and incorporate the concept of “joy” into their personal brand.  We explain that no one is buying anything from us if they don’t emotionally feel joy when they are around us.  While most clients get the point, there are those that just can’t understand the emotional factor.

The sad part is that as corporate employees, business owners and professionals, we have lost our sense of joy.  Therefore, we can’t really connect with clients and prospects and exude joy- even if we do really get the concept.   The end result is that instead of joy, we have high stress and poor time management skills.   All of which makes us exude a poor personal brand.

During this time of the year, it seems the word, “Joy” gets a lot of airtime. After all, we are all supposed to be joyful in December.  Sadly, most of retail has hijacked the term “joy” and mis-uses it to make us think we need to buy stuff in order to find our joy.

Take Starbucks for instance. I was at a Starbucks location just yesterday.  The atmosphere is festive and joyful.  Their 2012 holiday ad campaign  is, “Spicy and Sweet With Hints of Comfort and Joy”.  Get it?  Drinking Starbucks will bring you comfort and…….JOY! It really is a brilliant ad campaign.  None of us are really surprised, given the fact that it comes from Starbucks.

So if you don’t believe me, just look around you this month at all the retail madness.  What’s the message retail is sending you?  None other than shop and find your joy.

This message is no different about your personal brand management: find your joy, then your stress will go down, time management will improve and you can improve your business and career success.

Need more help?  Attend our January 11, 2013 workshop:  Develop Your Personal Brand, Time & Stress Management for Success in 2013.  Click HERE for details.

How Entertaining Are You?

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Have you ever stopped to think of yourself as an entertainer of sorts for your clients/patients/prospects?  A client of mine mentioned the other day that as the CEO of her company, she likes to look at her job as one of entertaining her clients while she does her “craft”.  I really liked that viewpoint and positioning.

As I stopped to reflect on her comment, I realized that I entertain my clients and prospects all the time.  Because I love what I do and am grateful on a daily basis to run my company, I bring that same level of joy and fun to my job and clientele.  I consider it an honor to be part of their lives.  After all, people have a choice in how they spend their valuable time and money.

So my question to you is:  do you entertain your clients/patients/prospects as you “perform” your craft?  I’m obviously not talking about entertaining in the sense of doing magic tricks for them or singing to them.   However, are you able to captivate your audience with your memorability and credibility? 

This would require you stepping out of your analytical “left-brained” mentality and looking at your business function from a “right-brained” and more creative way.   You’ll find if you really enjoy what you do on a daily basis, you can’t help but be entertained and thus, entertain your clients.  This is also the easiest way to get referrals and repeat business.

If you are unsure if you entertain your clients well or enjoy your work, send us an email so we can help you think through the question.

Are You Able To “Make The Ask”?

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I just spent a weekend working with a group of lawyers at an American Bar Association (ABA) conference.  The one subject most every lawyer needed help with was “sales”.   Specifically, most attorneys were very unsure of when and how to ask for the sale when talking to a prospect.   The result is a poor personal brand.

I find it really interesting that most professionals have the same view of “sales”.   That is, their perception is that they are professionally trained in a substantive area (ie, law, dentistry, medicine, engineering, accounting, etc.) and thus, they should not have to deal with/worry about selling their services.  What I found equally interesting was that these same professionals feel that everyone is trying to sell to them and they don’t like it.

Here’s my take:  If you are good at what you do, ie, being a lawyer, then why are you not trying to help me see your point of view so that I can benefit from your excellent service?  Would you rather that I go elsewhere, get lesser service and possibly pay more?!  Sadly, we find most professionals don’t take the time to sell their services well and they lose out on the prospective client and the client loses out on your superior service.  The result- everyone loses out all because professionals don’t want to sell.

Because their view of sales is so skewed, these same professionals feel that everyone is trying to sell to them.  As a result, they run from people and feel uncomfortable when approached.  Often, they miss out on quality products and services that could make their business better- all because they assume everyone is trying to sell them something shady.

This feeling of being threatened by the “ask”, is because many professionals are not comfortable with being confronted with a situation.  The word, “confront” has gotten a bad wrap in our society. Confront does not have to mean there is hostility or aggressiveness. In my book, “confront” just means being able to stand next to someone, look them in the eye and hold your boundary and have a communication with them.   That’s not such a bad thing, right?  If professionals begin to look at “confront” as such, then the entire sales concept can have a new meaning.

So next time you feel like you can’t “make the ask” and sell your services OR you feel like you are being sold to, stop and think about the reality of the situation- are you and your services worth you confronting and informing your prospect of how much you can help them? 

How’s Your Follow-Up?

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We are always amazed at how little people put into follow-up.  By follow-up I mean following up with prospects, potential partnerships and, in general, with people we meet at networking events.  It’s as if the moment is too fleeting for people to ask for a business card, take notes on the back of it and then follow up with that individual in a day or two or even, ten days.  What’s worse is that the implications on your personal brand by not following up are disastrous- not to mention the countless amount of lost business and connections.

I test this theory out all the time.  In fact, I’m getting ready to test it now.  I was just at the Women’s Business Enterprise Council (WBEC) West conference that came to us in San Diego. I met tons of people, as usual.  I have my list of people I will follow up with in a day or two.  My follow up was based on those I connected with personally, found good potential alliances,  and those who asked for our services.

I’m waiting to see if any of the people who asked for my card and said they would be in touch, will actually reach out to me or not. My theory is that only 30% of those people will reach out to me. It’s not personal at all if they don’t reach out- it is just bad business and poor personal brand development.  If I were to follow-up with those same people, I bet they would be more than happy to reply, but the point is that they miss the opportunity to be the pro-active ones who reach out first.

So what is follow-up, anyway?  Follow-up does not mean adding someone to your mailing list and spamming them. That is the surest way for me to dismiss people.  In fact, I really get upset when I show up on someone’s newsletter list and I didn’t subscribe.

Follow-up means sending a personalized email recounting details of the meeting between the two of you and requesting action between the two of you as a result. The action should be something along the lines of a “reunion” of sorts over lunch, coffee, etc. Better yet, follow-up can also be via a phone call, if time permits.

So don’t just waste your time attending events and conferences.  Follow-up with the folks you meet and establish connections so you can strengthen your personal brand.

So what is your most effective follow-up technique? 

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