Susan Hamilton Meier was recently interviewed on The Whole Person Podcast with Evan Herrman where they discussed everything from building a brand with values and creativity, to those important life lessons we’ve learned in our careers.
In the world of social media, and instant, easy communication. we ourselves are building our own brands, whether or not we’re actually entrepreneurs. And so if we’re starting a business, or we have a business, the first thing to think about is, you know, how does my own brand dovetail with the brand of my business. And if it’s a one person show, it’s often one in the same. Um, so the first thing I do, and I do work a lot with entrepreneurs and small and growing companies, as well as really large companies. And what’s interesting is, the advice is really the same. I really encourage people as the first step is self reflection. So self awareness and self knowledge, right? Because you need to build your brand around something that’s genuine, for a couple of reasons. One is that, you know, if you just make something up and it’s not true to who you are, your audience feels that right away and they won’t connect with it or resonate with it or pay attention to it. And secondly, for your own benefit. You know, if you’re going to show up every day and do something, it had better be aligned with who you are, what you’re passionate about where your values are otherwise you’re not going to want to do it for very long, and you’re not going to be very good at it. So that’s always the best first place to start.
And then there’s other parts to that journey.
Key points include:
- How to develop self-reflection
- How to determine motivating values
- Values exercises
Listen to the full episode, Self-Reflection for Personal Branding, on The Whole Person Podcast.
Jonathan Paisner shares an evergreen post on what it takes to make a good tagline for your business.
How do we capture the essence of our brand in a handful of words?
This sounds hard. That’s because it really isn’t the right question to be asking.
Better: What brief phrase can strengthen and deepen understanding of our brand?
You can’t say it all. Don’t try.
Name, logo and tagline partner to communicate the essence of the brand.
What you don’t want to do is say the same thing across all three assets (i.e. a company called Speed with an arrow for a logo, plus the tagline “Faster is better.”). What’s the point of that? It’s not only a missed opportunity to tell other parts of the story; it reduces the needs of your customers to single dimension – and positions you for irrelevance if and when the better mousetrap comes along.
Your tagline does not exist in a vacuum.
A FEW TIPS AS YOU EMBARK ON THE ROAD TO A NEW TAGLINE:
#1 Begin with a brand platform.
Creating a tagline without a strategic foundation risks internal dissent and external confusion. Know what you are trying to say before you look for memorable and meaningful ways to say it. The brand platform serves as both guide and filter to what you say and to the tone you use in expressing it. Great taglines ring true – and the platform will clarify exactly what it is you are being true to.
Key points include:
- Understanding what a tagline is and what it isn’t
- Keeping the bigger picture in mind
- Avoiding buzzwords
Read the full article, What Makes a Good Tagline, on BrandExperienced.com.
In this podcast, Susan Meier shares the story of her interesting journey and her strategic approach to brand alignment.
I think what’s a great thing about a liberal arts education is that perspective of try everything, see as much as you can, and then make connections between those things. And so, I’m very much a product of that, as you pointed out, I kind of live in these two seemingly very disparate realms, but for me, in my world and my thinking, they’re actually a lot, so much crossover and they’re very related. And the ways of thinking, and even some of the tools that I use when I’m making art are very similar to when I’m leading teams through a business process. And so on the face of that it may seem very strange, but if you think about it in the context of that liberal arts perspective, it actually makes a lot of sense.
…I guess I’m sort of hardwired in a way, which is always to be toggling back and forth between, you know, the big picture and the details; between seeing possibility, and dreaming, and imagining things, and then being very, very practical and logical.
And so, if you look at my artwork, there’s a lot of mathematical relationships between shapes, there’s like a lot of precision, but then there’s also a lot of fluidity and looseness and unexpected elements. And I would say exactly the same things about the way I lead a project.
Key points include:
- Customer research
- Product innovation and packaging design
- Working with some of the world’s leading corporations
Listen to the full podcast, Brands Are People Too, on the Leading From the Front podcast.