Honey, How Does My Make-Up Look?

Rebranding is merely about getting a new logo and a new website. Or is it?

Let’s say you’re starting a new business. Your new business needs a face and identity – a basic kit of deliverables that define what your business looks like. These usually consist of a logo, business cards, letterhead, a website. But where do you find them?

Others who have pondered this question and taken to the internet to find answers have  likely bought their “branding kit” off a stock image site, or hired a freelance graphic designer. Much to the horror of designers, some have resorted to the infamous Microsoft Paint, or worse, Comic Sans!

Lo and behold, branding problems: solved! Time to focus on the real business.

Or so you thought.

It’s not uncommon for companies to “rebrand”, even if they have gotten their branding right from the very start.

Here’s the truth: changing your logo or using a different colour for your website is merely makeup – it doesn’t do much for your brand on a deeper level. Branding involves more than just switching up your aesthetics: it includes how you interact with your audiences. Before you consider any course of action, here’s an important question you need to ask yourself : what, exactly, is branding?

To understand branding, we must understand what exactly a brand is. Here is a quote from branding expert, Marty Neumeier:

“A brand is a person’s gut feeling about a product, service or company…In other words, a brand is not what YOU say it is. It’s what THEY say it is.”

Branding is the marriage of business strategy and creativity, a process which transcends the superficial. When you know what your company stands for, its core values, and what it has to offer, you have on your hand, a strong brand. Zero in upon this before externalising them as logos, websites, or other materials.

Many companies often look to agencies for their expertise in creating or revamping a brand. A good agency will do a full, thorough audit of your company before making any suggestions, aesthetic or otherwise. Established, charismatic brands do not do makeovers unless their business changes dramatically. After all, branding should be iconic enough to stand the test of time.

Answer these three fundamental questions before deciding to build your brand, or do a complete rebrand:

  1. Who are my customers?

Like a regular health check up, this foundational question is worth revisiting every once in a while. Discover more about who your customers really are – their hopes, dreams, and motivations. Learn more about them, and you will learn much about your brand in the process

  1. Who should be my customers?

“Everyone”is not the right answer. Your brand and products cannot please everyone – frankly, trying to do so is futile and nothing but a waste of your precious time and resources. Zero in on a primary target audience, and work hard to attract and retain them into being long-term customers. Who is your dream client and what do they look like? If you can find out more about their interests, motivations and propensity to purchase, you will be able to reach them faster.

  1. What makes me unique?

Distinguishing yourself from your competitiors could either be as easy as examining what’s already working for your brand, or as difficult as finding a needle in a haystack. Branding experts will deconstruct your brand, stripping it down to its bare essentials until nothing remains but the truth about itself. From there, your agency will work with you to create a brand that sets you apart from the competition and appeals to your target audience.

Rebranding can be a challenging process, but when done right it will align what you have to offer with your customers’ desires.

Aesthetically-pleasing design is a valuable tool, but can only do so much to enhance your brand, which must be built upon a solid strategy. Despite being a challenging experience, rebranding will help align your company’s offerings to your customers desires.

Ready to win over new customers?  Write to us at at [email protected]!

Personal branding on LinkedIn – tips to optimise your profile

People often think of brands in relation to products or companies, but did you know branding is important for individuals too? Whether you are a fresh graduate or seasoned professional, there is likely someone who has looked you up on the Internet at some point in time… And your LinkedIn profile may just have popped up as one of the top results.

Google your name! Fingers crossed, no drunk photos. (Source: Google)

LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network with more than 645 million users in over 200 countries. If it’s a platform you don’t use often, you should reconsider your approach: defining and developing your personal brand on the platform will help you level up your game and land opportunities like clinching an interview or job placement with that company you have always dreamed of working for, landing a speaking engagement or gaining a profitable business partnership.

But before you can reap all the aforementioned rewards, the first thing you need to do to build a strong personal brand on LinkedIn is add some style and substance to your profile.

Optimise your LinkedIn profile

First impressions count. Use a professional and approachable profile photo, and pair it with a background photo that helps to increase your credibility. Your choice of background photo largely depends on the work you do, and could range from a candid shot of you speaking at an event to artwork you have designed for clients.

When you have 22 million followers and probably as many photos to choose from, a collage could be the answer. (Source: LinkedIn)

Next, consider your successes and experience, and distill that into a distinctive profile headline that highlights the essence of what you do.

What’s your claim to fame? (Source: LinkedIn)

While the profile headline should be short and snappy, make use of the summary section to tell your story and let your personality shine through. Update the experience section as well, detailing the previous roles you held and including links to articles, presentations or videos that showcase your achievements. Remember to use buzzwords sparingly if you want your profile to stand out from the highly “experienced” and “strategic” LinkedIn crowd.

To give your credibility a further boost, add relevant licenses and certifications that you possess, and request for skill endorsements and recommendations from your bosses, colleagues and clients.

The list goes on… that’s why he’s the boss! PM if you need PR or content marketing counsel. (Source: LinkedIn)

Add a final flourish by customising your profile URL. This isn’t the time to be creative – keep the URL short and simple so people can easily connect with you on LinkedIn when they see the link on other material such as your business card or a presentation slide.

This article is the first in the three-part series about personal branding on LinkedIn. Stay tuned for more! And if you need help crafting a strong LinkedIn person which will help you stand out, you know the drill – say hi at [email protected]


Be the boss of YOUR brand: Personal branding 101

The concept of personal branding has been thrown around the web a fair bit in the last few years. But how much do we actually know about it? What does it mean? Why would someone need it? And how do we create it?

Put simply, your personal brand is how others view you and what they associate you with. Think about your favourite (or least favourite) celebrity, and then ask yourself why you like them. Or, why do you dislike them? Essentially, it all comes down to the image and aspects of their lives that they put forward for us to see. In the celebrity world, personal branding is a very strategic game –their brand is how they get work and become successful. We could all learn a thing or two from them.

My personal favourites include Jennifer Lawrence and David Beckham.

Over the past 12 months, Jennifer Lawrence’s profile and career has simply skyrocketed. With leading roles in some of Hollywood’s top blockbusters, Ms Lawrence is the talk of Tinsletown. She has worked so hard to create this lovable, girl-next door image for herself. She loves pizza, she loves wine and is just an all-round cool chick… an ideal friend. We feel we can relate to her on a deeper level, and as well as her killer acting skills, she is an absolute delight in interviews and on the Red Carpet.

Watch this video – she’s fantastic:

Screen Shot 2016-02-18 at 12.17.02 pm

But what’s important to know, is that her publicist plays a key role in what we think of her. Her team will strategically craft what she says and how she says it and through this, she’s clearly shown us all that she has brains, beauty and great banter!

On a similar level, we have David Beckham. I know I’ve written about him before, but he is seriously on point when it comes to his personal branding. Ex-football superstar, husband to Posh Spice and loving father of four beautiful children – life as Becks seems pretty darn sweet.

I was watching a documentary the other night called Into the Unknown. It was about his recent travels into the Amazon where Becks and his three good mates rode through Brazil’s remote lands on their motorcycles. The footage delved into a side of him that you don’t normally see, but what stuck out to me the most was the footage and commentary surrounding his family.

Becks heavily brands himself as a devoted family man and in the documentary, they made room to show him emotionally reading some letters from his children and placing pictures of Victoria and the kids on his bedside table. He also made a point to say that he carries family letters and pictures everywhere he travels.

Then it got me thinking – of course his PR team made sure that this was clearly shown. Beckham’s team have found a sweet spot, and have trained him to portray this everywhere he goes. And because of this, the Beckhams remain a global power couple, and have done so for at least the last ten years! They are the ideal couple – classy, sophisticated and timeless!

Through great personal branding, celebrities create a myriad of opportunities for themselves, ranging from endorsements, to top movie deals, right through to all sorts of collaborations. They are selling their ‘personality’ to better their careers.

So what about the corporate world? In an ideal world, everyone should have a strong personal brand. We should always be looking at creating new and exciting opportunities for ourselves.

Personal branding is a result of who you are, what you stand for, what you want to be known for and how you express yourself. The trick is to be strategic with the information you share with your target audience and how you position it.

Here are three quick ways to help you make a brand for yourself:

Discover yourself

Like a company brand, a personal brand should also have a clear set of objectives, goals, interests and areas of expertise. Work out what you want to be known for and where you can contribute – what is your niche?

Once people know who you are, they will begin to identify you with a specific area of understanding or expertise. You will likely be the go-to person for industry commentary and knowledge.

Create your brand

The next step is to create your brand. Start by having an online presence. LinkedIn, for example, provides a great platform to share your pearls of wisdom and connect with like-minded individuals. Set up a website or blog, update your resume, partner with businesses or industry groups that align with your values and remember to assess your wardrobe – your image counts.

Share your personality

So you’ve decided how you want to be perceived, now it’s time to show the world what you’re made of. Start writing content, secure relevant speaking slots, introduce yourself to the media and any industry groups, network with relevant people, and contribute your knowledge to topics that you specialise in. Essentially, become a thought-leader in your field. It can do wonders for your personal opportunities but also for the company you work for, or the brand/s you align yourself with.

If you need help building your personal brand please get in touch with us at [email protected].