Happy New Year and welcome to Golden Notebook, the blog.
This is my voice. This is my brand.
You are probably reading this because you a) were asked to (bribed or pleaded with…), or b) have some sort of interest in “me” and what I’m up to. So here’s a quick and dirty prologue as to what it is I’m doing here before we jump in the deep end of Golden Notebook.
I want to talk to you about a nifty idea I love, called personal branding.
Some of you may need to get around the word “branding” first. Fine, I get it. But perhaps just listen to the concepts with open ears and mind (and try to forgive some of the branding lingo-ism!)…because I think it will work for YOU.
Of course, I invite you to check out what Golden Notebook is, and what it does, along with the concept of personal branding, on my website for yourself — and you’ll also see (and hear about) it in an upcoming interviews and future blogs. One way to describe Golden Notebook (and my own personal brand in many ways) is as a Challenger Brand…and a differentiated newcomer in its class. I like this description of Challenger Brands offered by Mark Shipley in an article entitled “Marketing challenger brands can be fun, exhilarating and profitable”, in The Business Review (June 2, 2005):
“Challenger Brands have to be more creative in differentiating their brands because they do not have market dominance as their differentiator. Unlike market leaders, they have to create a compelling reason for consumers to try their product, and continue to use it, over the leader.”
If you want to read more about this type of branding (either personal or commercial), might I suggest you read my “This Little Challenger Steps in to the Ring” post that follows.
The CEO and Co-founder of Virgin Radio, Richard Pearson, recently shared a story about Richard Branson , who, when called to the stage from the third row, proceeded to climb over the front seats with enthusiasm, parting the audience (which had equal enthusiasm). This was a spontaneous act by Branson, fueled by his enthusiasm…but he also avoided struggling through the row to the aisle. A bit “rock and roll”, sure — and I’m not an advocate of “crowd surfing” in public forums (nor would I advise doing this in a dress and heels!) — but this is what I love about him.
Virgin is a Challenger Brand, and from Richard Branson and his team’s “tree” grew many golden apples of the Virgin brand (Virgin Media, Virgin Airlines, Virgin Active, Virgin Radio, Virgin Money, etc., etc.)…delicious and ripe for the picking. The apples of some brands, however, may get brown and wormy…forgotten, and eventually tripped over on the ground below. That’s ok…it’s part of the learning experience involved in enriching your brand. AND there’s a lot to be said about the roots of the tree (your personal history…family and background).
Golden Notebook helps YOU take a hard, thorough look at the “trunk” of you and the “roots” of you…who you are and what YOU represent (i.e., your personal brand), and then shows you how to nurture your personal brand so it can grow and bear more delicious (perhaps even forbidden) fruit. After all, we all want to be known (and remembered) for our many apples — ones that get people talking and returning to our fruitful tree for the pickings again and again.