What do Target, Kinkos and Madonna Have in Common? ReBranding

The worldwide economic downturn has us all worrying about our financial futures. Everyone feels the uncertainty of the times.

What can we do to help ourselves?

Everywhere you look there are articles, tweets, and sound bytes about Re-branding. Dr. Phil did and entire show called Reinvent Yourself.

The main reason for a re-brand is the need for a company or an individual to communicate a new message- Something new, something different, something that has evolved and something that has relevance.

Reinventing or rebranding  is not a new concept- Target did it, Kinkos did it, and let’s not forget Madonna!

Does your current brand and expertise have an expiration date?

If so you might be thinking about Rebranding YOU!

Your personal brand is the words that others think of when your name is mentioned; it’s what you are known for. Your brand is so powerful that it influences your success and your future.  Personal Branding is the place that you occupy in your decision maker’s mind relative to your competition.  The big question now is, “Is your brand  relevant?”

Here are some thoughts if you are thinking about Rebranding YOU!

1.     What’s your NEW vision? How do you see yourself and how do you want to be perceived?  A really good example of this change in perception is Angelina Jolie .  She created a different image.  Remember back to her days with Billy Bob Thornton?  Angelia’s perception was that of a wild, adventurous character  living on the edge. Today her perception with Brad and all the international children, is that of a person who is caring and loving to her children and to the world. She re-branded!

2.    What is at your core? Use everything you already have and use it in a new way. Recently in my Jazzercise class we danced to a song by Robert Plant (Led Zeppelin ) and Allison Krause (Icon of  bluegrass) called  I’ll Be Gone... Robert, who knew?  In an interview Robert said that they created something that he had never imagined, a ventured into a new territory- Plant and Krause’s harmonizing made it all happen.  They both took a risk, they connected to their core talent and together they created a new sound.  Their work has evolved.

3. Your Actions Speak volumes about who you are and your brand. Michael Eisner once said that your brand is a living entity- and it is enriched or undermined cumulatively over time.  Your brand is the product of a thousand small gestures What are you doing?  What are your reading?  What are you learning? What steps are you taking to create a more passionate and relevant you?

4.  Want a different brand?  Change the Conversation. Your conversation escalates the brand. My good friend Bambi McCullough, no relation, told me that the best way to be seen differently at work  or in your community is to stop complaining, stop saying what you don’t want to be remembered for and start talking about what it is you believe in. We hear you, we remember your words, and we get your tone. Want to change your brand? Then start by changing your conversation.

5.   Focus on Innovation and Continued Learning. Today you have to continually read,  check-out  blog posts, go to forums, watch youtube, take online webinars, and discover what’s relevant. Then,  try sharing  your point of view as you  pump out content. Content, ideas, bold concepts, and yes innovation are the brand -makers!  Sure you will have to reallocate your time, and turn off the TV. I didn’t say that this was going to be easy.

6. Social Media is the big game changer that can Explode Your Brand. Gary Vaynerchuk says that If you have a passion blog about it, tweet about it, write a facebook status about it, video it, and just get it out there and  Crush  It! There is a powerful shift happening and the shift is all about how we  get the messages out! Social media is changing the way we spread the word- your word.  Twitter and facebook are the tools that you use to spread your brand.

Learn all about Social Media!

Right now is the best time to start re-branding because online communication has opened the doors to communication.  The day of the gate keeper is over. Today you can Tweet to anyone! You just want to be sure that when they tweet you back and start reading your profiles, you look like you have something of value to share!

Re-Branding, Refocusing, Rethinking- Get Excited!

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The recession is forcing many of us to look at our businesses differently and that’s a good thing! Re-Branding, Refocusing, Rethinking, call it what you will, is shaking up the comfortable idea of “business as usual.” There is definitely a shift happening and if you are not doing some things differently than you did 6 months ago you may not experience the “bright light” at the end of this recession tunnel.

Right now, your customer is rethinking their buying habits and with just a little Brand-Tweaking YOU /your products and services might be just what they are looking for!

Developing a brand strategy or revising your current brand strategy can be one of the most thought provoking steps in your marketing plan. Branding is an ongoing process and “brand identity” is fluid and it will change with the times (I actually remember when Abercrombie & Finch was a true sporting goods store that sold fishing gear).

1.Who Are You? This is the hardest question for most. Spend a little time and write down what it is that guides your business, company or if you are doing personal branding right now, what guides you. Call it your philosophy, your principals or your values. List them. Post them. Live by them! If you need a little help, here are several companies’ core values. Zappos, Google, Whole Foods, McDonalds, Harley Davidson

2.What Do You Do? Get real clear on what it is that you really do and look and see if your product needs improvement. The times are changing, are you? What can you do to make what you do even better, stay current, and on the edge of innovation. “In 1982, Harley-Davidson had no money of its own. We were $90 million in debt, and bankers weren’t willing to loan us a penny. We had a good brand and loyal customers, but we weren’t generating a profit because we didn’t have a quality product at that point. We had to improve the quality of our product to be fair to the customer. If we hadn’t improved the reliability of Harley-Davidson products, the company wouldn’t be here. ‘ Richard F. Teerlink, the CFO/CEO who led the fix.

3.Who Do You Do It For? Who is your customer and is your customer changing? As the baby-boomer retires and downsizes generation X and Y are taking the leading roles in consumerism and decision making. Last week I worked with a home-builder’s association and some of the more seasoned builders were noticing that the new home buyer’s expectations are “unreasonable” demanding GRANITE countertops- granite countertops are now the norm for Gen X and Gen y. “Americans have so much; they’ve come to expect what generations before them couldn’t even have imagined. What’s a luxury to one generation becomes a necessity to the next,” Economist Lowell Cattlet

4.NEW QUESTION: How do you connect with your customer? The New Your Times recently reported: “Newspaper advertising, already in its worst slump since the Depression, suffered by far the sharpest drop in generations during the first quarter of 2009, down 30 percent for some papers, industry executives and analysts say. “ So how do you connect with your prospects and customers? Building an online presence using social media allows you reach out and communicate to you customers and future customers… and it’s free! Today the internet makes it easy for people to find you. Having a blog, a page on Facebook, a Youtube clip and sending out informatio0n on Twitter allows you to connect and isn’t connecting part of the whole social experience.

5.What makes you different? What are you known for? When you think Apple what do you think? THINK DIFFERENT. When Steve Jobs returned to Apple in 1997 he and his team created the first iMac and other innovative products that sealed the new apple brand. Apple was innovative, and their products promised to be cutting edge. Apple users are loyal and they have a certain air of superiority as they show the world how “cool” they are. That is a differentiator that most brand dream of having.


Re-Branding YOU- the Trend Is Your Friend

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The worldwide economic downturn has everyone worrying about our financial futures. Some of us, including our family members and friends have lost their jobs.  And, if we haven’t, we have it in the back of our heads that we might be next.  Small business owners are worrying about cash flow.  Newspapers and magazines see a dwindling markets. In my world, the meeting’s industry, we are concerned about the future of meetings and travel.  Everyone today feels the uncertainty of the times. What can we do to help ourselves?

The trend is your friend!

Everywhere you look today you will find programs, articles, tweets, and sound bytes about a new trend- rebranding ourselves.  Last week, Dr. Phil got in on it and did and entire show called Reinvent Yourself. Reinventing or rebranding yourself is not a new concept- Madonna has been doing it for over 20 years- And  right now, at this very moment many of us are feeling the need for an upgrade. Honestly, we’re all a little  concerned that our expertise has an expiration date. Do we need to upgrade our personal brand?

Personal Branding

I use to say, six months ago, that you already have a brand and that your brand comes from what others think and say about you. Your personal brand is  the words that others think of when your name is mentioned; it’s  what you are known for. Your personal brand is so powerful that is determines your success and your future.  Personal Branding is the place that you occupy in your decision maker’s mind relative to your competition.  The big question now is, “Are you relevant?” Yesterday’s news and expertise may not work tomorrow.

Rebranding- because today there is no room for complacency!

Here are some thoughts if you are thinking about Rebranding YOU!

1.     What’s your NEW vision? How do you see yourself and how to you want to now be perceived?  A really good example of this change in perception is Angelina Jolie .  Remember back to her days with Billy Bob Thornton?  Angelia’s  perception was that of a wild and adventurous character  living on the edge. Today her perception with Brad and all the kids, is that of a person who is caring and loving to her children and the world at large. She rebranded!

2.    What is at your core? Use everything you already have and use it in a new way. Recently in my Jazzercise class we danced to  a song by Robert Plant (Led Zeppelin rocker) and Allison Krause(Icon of  bluegrass) called  I’ll Be Gone… Robert,  who knew?  In an interview Robert said that they created something that he had never imagined, a ventured into a new territory-  Plant and Krause’s harmonizing made it all happen.  They both took a risk, they connected to their core talent and together they created a new sound.  They rebranded!

3. Your Actions Speak volumes about who you are and your brand. Michael Eisner once said that your brand is a living entity- and it is enriched or undermined cumulatively over time.  Your brand is the product of a thousand small gestures – What are you doing? What action steps are you taking to create a more passionate and relevant you?

4.     Want a different brand? Then Change the Conversation. Your conversation escalates the brand. My good friend Bambi McCullough, no relation,  told me that the best way to be seen differently at work  or in your community is to stop complaining, stop saying what you don’t want to be remembered for and start talking about what it is you believe in. It’s simple. We hear you, we remember your words, and we get your tone.  We are making the connection between you and your message- what you talk about says volumes about who you are.  If you listen, people will tell you what they value and what they are made of. Want to change your brand? The start by changing your conversation.

5. Refocus on Innovation and Continued Learning. Today you have to read, you must go to blog posts, go to forums, watch youtube, take online webinars, learn what’s  relevant by using, search.twitter.com and then, you need to pump out content. Content, ideas, bold concepts, and yes innovation are the brand -makers!  Sure you will have to reallocate your time, and turn off the TV. I didn’t say that this was going to be easy.

6. Social Media – The big shift that will Explodes Your Brand. Gary Vaynerchuk , says that If you have a passion blog about it, tweet about it, write a facebook status about it, video it, and just get it out there- it’s all about you and your new brand Exploding!  There is a slow shift happening  and the shift is all about how we  get the messages out! Social media is changing the way we spread the word- your word.  Twitter and facebook are the tools that you use to spread your brand.

7. Remember that the internet is the Game Changer. Today you can talk about your expertise and spread your passion for FREE!!!! Never before have we had a message vehicle as powerful as the internet. Today, the gatekeeper, the producers, the editors are no longer in control of getting the messages out.  Today, we can deliver our message through new technologies- all it takes is your time!  Are you willing to put the time into building your brand?

Rebranding is about YOU getting real with who you are, what you want, and then testing your message to see if it is relevant. Oh, and a new jacket and hair-do might  also help!