Personal Branding Digest, April 15, 2016

Real Talk: 6 Things No One Told You About Personal Branding
(, 14.04.16)

Personal branding is your reputation. It’s everything you have when it comes to building relationships for a healthy future.

How to Growth Hack Your Personal Brand
(Search Engine Journal, 08.04.16)

Growth hacking refers to employing unusual, and often bold, techniques to bolster the growth of a business, or even your personal brand. This is done by bypassing the usual channels of marketing. Companies that have done this successfully employed a mix of integrated marketing, aggressive social media and email marketing, along with the production and distribution of quality content. The method saves time and money, which is ideal for new businesses.

Amber Rose’s Blockbuster Emoji App Elevates Personal Branding to Activism
(Good, 06.04.16)

Hashtag activism has an official rival among the casually conscientious set, because emojis are your new favorite banner to wave at the Man and shout, “The future is female!” Or biracial. Or into BDSM. Or sex positive. Or cool with smoking weed. Or, honestly, whatever you’re into.

How Building a Personal Brand Converts
(Business2Community, 12.03.16)

Personal branding is a hot topic in today’s marketing landscape, but few business owners truly understand what it means or how it can promote better conversions. With personal branding, you position yourself as a brand alongside your company. Your employees also have a personal brand of their own.

“Your personal brand should be like water: not only clear but transparent to the public. People thirst for that, and they will drink you up.” —Jarod Kintz

Cause Branding Digest, March 8, 2016

What Brands Can Learn from Musicians About CSR
(MediaPost, 07.03.16)

The memories are indelible. From Farm Aid to Live Aid and “We are the World,” my generation’s earliest exposure to activism was through music. When Live Aid aired in July 1985, 95% of the world’s television sets were tuned in, and an estimated 1.4 billion people watched, making it the biggest benefit concert in history. Today, musical artists like Lady Gaga, who launched her Born This Way Foundation to support the wellness of young people, and Jack Johnson, who used proceeds from his 2008 tour to fund the Johnson Ohana Charitable Foundation, are continuing the rich history of musician-activism.

5 Hidden Benefits of ‘One for One’ Business Giving
(Triple Pundit, 01.03.16)

One-for-one giving programs through companies like Toms and Warby Parker have instant appeal beyond the quality of and demand for their products. These habitual contributions of shoes and eyeglasses for those in need, respectively, are a clear signal to customers that these companies value making a difference in society. And they are doing just that — by taking action on these values and supporting impoverished communities.

Marketing Key to Return on Corporate Social Responsibility Investment, Study Shows
(, 23.02.16)

The decision to give to charity or develop a more sustainable product should not depend solely on a corporation’s bottom line, but it is certainly a factor. That can complicate the situation for managers who must balance between doing good and keeping shareholders happy, said Sachin Modi, an associate professor in Iowa State University’s College of Business.

5 Marketing Tips for Nonprofits to Reach Donors
(Forbes, 12.02.16)

For nonprofits, donors are a critical component for long-term success. Nonprofits rely heavily on donors for funding and support, and donor outreach is an important part of their business. Nonprofits are tasked with the challenge of presenting their organization and cause in such a way that will compel donors to take action.

“Corporate social responsibility … Not because it is a nice thing to do or because people are forcing us to do it, but because it is good for our business.” —Niall FitzGerald

Branding’s Winners and Losers, from Ms. Clinton and Madonna to Monica and Mitt

[Originally posted on]

Some people have the brand elasticity to not just survive crises but also transcend them, rising up out of the proverbial ashes newly empowered and invigorated, remaining in the spotlight because they want to be there. Whereas others simply can’t seem to bounce back, no matter how hard they try to reinvent themselves. Are some people born winners and others less likely to rise when the going gets gritty?

Consider Hillary Clinton, who went from headband-mocked presidential candidate’s wife to wronged first lady at her husband’s side after Monicagate to U.S. senator to serious contender for president (and way-paver for the female president we’ll likely see soon—maybe Hillary herself) to effective and well-regarded secretary of state whose statement of responsibility for a deadly attack in Benghazi has been hailed as a rare example of effective discourse and diplomacy during a spectacularly uncivil campaign season.

Meanwhile, Monica Lewinsky—whose role in the scandal was admittedly less innocent than Hillary’s but who deserves some sympathy for being a young girl seduced by the most powerful man on the planet—can’t seem to regain her footing, no matter how much she pivots to new ventures and personal brands. After a few years of trying to define herself as a New York handbag designer, she decamped to London, where she earned a degree at the London School of Economics and Political Science and has been trying to lie low, declining requests for interviews.

Speaking of England, Queen Elizabeth’s brand seems to be bulletproof. She has weathered some storms this year: attending her Diamond Jubilee alone when her husband, Prince Philip, was hospitalized; watching a son and a daughter-in-law get photographed in compromising circumstances. Through it all, she has held her head high and showed her ability to laugh—including at herself, as seen in her memorable entrance to the opening ceremonies of London’s Olympic Games. Likewise, Camilla has managed to rebrand herself by taking her lumps and sticking with it—with an assist from the queen, who invited her to meet in 2000.

Two other good examples are Madonna and Sean Penn, who struck some very low notes together but came out relatively unscathed and have, in fact, gone on to reinvent their brands in impressive ways. Madonna is proving that women don’t have expiration dates and can rock as hard and be as provocative at 50 as at 20. She remains the original chameleon, inspiring Lady Gaga and many others (including Britney Spears, who herself is back, with Simon Cowell as her biggest brand advocate). Penn, meanwhile, through genuine passion for helping Haiti, has rebranded himself as an effective, generous activist.

So how do these trends translate to the commercial sector? Reinvention winners share traits that can be applied to company or personal brands that could use some polishing:

  • Working hard
  • Focusing on goals
  • Turning a deaf ear to criticism
  • Pursuing meaningful achievements (Haiti, not handbags)
  • Hunkering down for the long haul
  • Staying in plain sight

And this week’s questions: After the billions spent, what will come of Mitt Romney? And how and where will David Petraeus and Paula Broadwell land? (Just between us chickens, it’s hard to imagine Broadwell as the next Monica Lewinsky.)

[photo: Embassy New Zealand]