focus

October 15, 2011

The Labor of Brand Success

In my last blog post I mentioned the fact that nurses and teachers are my heroes, and it’s true. After giving birth three times, my appreciation of nurses has grown exponentially. Having a good nurse makes all the difference in the world when it comes to those times when you really need to rely on someone to help you push through. Most of my maternity nurses were very sweet, but there was one who was tough as nails. At one point I seriously wanted to slap her, but in all honesty she was probably the best nurse I ever had. This was my nurse for my first baby. I think her name was Joan. When I got to the hospital to deliver my first daughter I was understandably nervous and excited, but I was also a little bit cocky. I had read all the baby books, been to all the lamaze classes and had watched all the way-too-graphic birthing movies. I knew what to expect. I knew and had practiced all the breathing techniques and I definitely knew all my drug options of which I had fully planned to take advantage. However, when the time came during my labor to ask for my epidermal there was a mad rush of other […]
September 24, 2011

Who are you singing to?

It may come a surprise to some of you, but not everyone likes opera. "How is that possible?" you say. Shocking, I know. There are actually people on this planet who would rather shoot a staple gun into their foot than listen to a soprano screech out a high C. It's just not their thing. This used to really bother me. How could not everyone love opera? Who wouldn't want to hear the most pure and powerful sound a human voice can make? And what about the sheer beauty of the music, the swell of the orchestra, the pathos, the drama, the spectacle? It was hurtful to me to realize that one of the things I love the very most actually revolts some people. I used to think maybe those people just didn't understand opera, that they had to be educated. Perhaps they just hadn't heard it enough times, or heard the right piece, or the right singer.  If they did, they would get it. They would see the light. You may feel that way about your business. You love what you do. You provide a great service, great value. You feel like you've created something beautiful that people will absolutely love, but when you […]
August 27, 2011

Go Deep Young Brand, Go Deep

"Every great man has become great, every successful man has succeeded, in proportion as he has confined his powers to one particular channel." –Orison Swett Marden Does that quote sound limiting to you? It may. We often bristle at the idea of being boxed in, of being labeled one way or the other. We do not want to be pigeon holed. It seems contrary to the American ideal of more is better. We are always striving to break down barriers, go beyond the horizon, grow and expand.  And while all these endeavors are worthy, they don't necessarily translate effectively to branding. Successful branding is about narrowing and focusing. People with great personal brands don't try to be all things to all people. Instead they spend time discovering and honing those skills and attributes which resonate most deeply with who they are and where their strengths lie. They go deeper, not wider with their efforts. The result is they become more easily recognized and well-known by their target audience. This is not to say you can never expand or grow your brand, but in order to do so effectively you first have to establish yourself and what you stand for.  Your audience has to become familiar with […]