the blog.

AKA a great spot to find marketing advice, inspirational tidbits, and fun articles about the power of story. Enjoy!

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How to Be a Brand Within a Brand

As a marketer I look for gaps where opportunities lurk. It took me 20 years to find a glaring gap.

As a brand strategist, (although the most endearing title I was given was brand therapist!) I have built many strong, insightful and actionable brand strategies. Most met or exceeded the goals and objectives set.

And those are the best of times!!!

Some failed miserably.

That broke my heart.

Why would some thrive and some flop? The work was sound. Sometimes it was resource based, or commitment, or leadership. Maybe they just weren’t ready, or was that an excuse not an answer.  I had this gnawing feeling that there was something else at play. 

I dug deep into research, read, and listened to podcast after podcast. I surveyed clients, and talked to business owners. It wasn’t until I came across the work being done on personal branding that it all came together. The missing link: unless you understand your own personal value proposition, you can’t further along the corporate value proposition. 

Unless you can confidently stand up and say, “here is what I do best and this is why you need me on this project” and conversely be able to say, “this is not what I do best and I will likely not be successful on this project.” Personal branding is not for the faint of heart and has nothing to do with the car you drive. It has everything to do with the engine that drives you forward and the values of your personal dashboard .

Challenging times can result in businesses wanting to be all things to all people. Suddenly that means employees have to be a jack-of-all-trades too. Blending in becomes a much safer option than standing out; and as we all know, safe is never where success thrives.

However, when people connect and stand up for their unique personal attributes it is a game-changer. Engagement is real. Morale skyrockets, strategies that flopped became strategies that sail.

Finding, defining, and communicating your personal brand will transform you, your work, and how others see you.

Want to create your personal brand? Click here.

Millenials + Brands

The Story Co markting and branding regina Emily Brenner Collaborator

As a millennial I’ve always recognized that my generation is “different” than those who came before us. These differences have made us unique in terms of the business world, and especially in regards to marketing. Forbes says that 84% of millennials don’t trust traditional advertising. We have left marketing departments scratching their heads, wondering “how do we reach them!?”

I actually don’t think it’s that complicated!

According to Forbes, millennials value authenticity over anything else. Adage says that millennials want a personal connection with brands, they want to be spoken with, not to. Entrepreneur.com says nearly a third of millennials are more likely to buy a product if the brand feels less “sales-y” and feels more authentic and truthful.

This all makes sense to me! We are a generation that has grown up bombarded with advertising. In a sea of companies trying to make us loyal customers, of course we are going to look for a brand that is authentic.

We are looking for a company that allows us to make a personal connection, even if “personal connection” has been redefined to include twitter conversations and Facebook likes.

So how does one keep a brand authentic in the eyes of a millennial? Well, simply put, don’t try to be something you’re not! Communicate with us, tell us your story and your beliefs, and embody those beliefs. We want to believe you!

The Story Co. helps companies communicate their authentic selves to their community through the power of story. There is a universal truth to this approach that resonates with all age groups – millennials included. This is why I could not be more excited to have the opportunity to help companies communicate their authentic selves.

Hello world! My name is Emily Brenner, and I am a Story Co. co-collaborator!

Joy

Joy

Eyoalha Baker’s message is “don’t underestimate the power of joy”, and she challenges us to embrace joy in our businesses.

I’m up for the challenge.

As marketers we can either market to others’ fears or to their joy. (Sadly both approaches can be successful.)  Eyoalha’s jump for joy project in Vancouver’s east side was a way for her as a photographer to share her joyful photos in a place few would think that joy could exist. Her mural is visual storytelling at its best and included 200 pictures of people literally jumping for joy on the side of a three-story building in Vancouver’s east side. The effect on the community and Eyoalha herself was transformational. In this month’s edition of “Where Women Create Business”, Eyoalha says joy “is an emotion that inspires connection and open hearts. We have the ability to alter our own experiences when we view life through the powerful, uplifting energy of joy.” Who doesn’t want more of that?

We always have the choice to choose joy over fear, to inspire, to collaborate, to include. That in and of itself is worth marketing.

1440

1440

That’s the number of minutes we have in a day. Seems like so many doesn’t it?

One of my goals this year is to remove from the phrase “Where has the time gone?” from my life. I want to know what I have done with this very precious thing called time. (Last year I removed the word “busy” from my vocabulary so it seems to be a trend.)

After I made this declaration I walked into a client’s office and she had a small post-it on her desk that just said 1440. Of course I was curious and wanted to know the significance. She explained that it is the number of minutes in a day and reminds her to make every minute count.

I loved the idea!

Turns out I wasn’t alone; research by Forbes indicates that the most highly successful people think in terms of minutes not hours. Many people would agree that most hour-long meetings could really be 15 minutes. Changing your daily schedule into 15-minute blocks rather than hour blocks is a total game changer. Because you can honestly do a lot with a minute!

Be prepared that if you ask me “where has the time gone?” I will have an answer for you. And FYI this blog was written in 15 minutes.

Onwards, I have 1425 minutes to go.

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