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

Health and Wellness Branding Digest, July 23, 2015

Allergan Launches Online Push to Crack Millennial Women’s Health Market
(The Guardian, 22.07.15)

Could a hashtag and celebrities be the way into a young woman’s medicine cabinet? Allergan sure hopes so, as on Tuesday morning the company launched a new online campaign, #ActuallySheCan, targeting millennial women.

Marketing Narrow Network Health Insurance Plans
(FierceHealthPayer, 24.06.15)

Since narrow networks are so prevalent among plans sold on health insurance exchanges, insurers should consider changing how they market these plans so that consumers better understand exactly what’s covered, according to a new report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

A Patient Journey Isn’t the Solution to Pharma Marketing—It’s the Beginning
(Medical Marketing & Media, 04.06.15)

In 1898, Elias St. Elmo Lewis developed a sales framework known as the AIDA model. The revolutionary tool was the first visualization of the multistaged consumer pathway to a brand, from awareness to consideration to purchase. Since then, nearly a century has passed and the “consumer funnel” remains a go-to framework for marketers. In the world of pharma marketing, we use a similar model. We call it the patient journey.

Pharma and Digital Innovation: A Missed Opportunity
(MediaPost, 15.05.15)

The Wall Street Journal suggests that entrepreneurs and innovators are not paying enough attention to the growing and pressing needs of pharmaceutical companies in the digital health arena. But is this really the case?

“Strategy and execution have to be joined by a very strong psychological conversion of beliefs, from the old patterns to the new.” —Andy Bodea

Corporate Branding Digest, March 9, 2015

Use Hashtags to Generate Greater Brand Engagement
(Forbes, 18.02.15)

The hashtag has become the new “like”—and that’s not a good thing. Just as marketers used to (and some sorry folks still do) obsess over how many Facebook likes they accumulate, many are now plastering hashtags on their communications and adding up the times they’re used.

The Mission Statement Is Dead! Long Live the Mission Narrative!
(Strategy + Business, 02.02.15)

The idea for this piece was rattling around in the back of my brain when I came across an interesting blog post on the Association for Talent Development’s site: “Why I Hate Mission Statements—But Love Missions.” The writer, Brad Federman, lays out many legitimate complaints about typical declarations: They have been wordsmithed into frothy blather, are too long to be remembered, and have little use beyond adorning the lobby wall. But Federman also argues, correctly, that a compelling mission has the power to shape a workplace and inform strategic and operational decisions. So what accounts for the disconnect? More importantly, how can it be bridged?

How to Really Listen to Your Employees
(Harvard Business Review, 30.01.15)

Let’s face it: strong leaders tend to be characterized by their strong opinions, decisive action, and take-no-prisoners attitude. These are important traits, but it’s equally important for managers to stand down and listen up. Yet many leaders struggle to do this, in part because they’ve become more accustomed to speaking than listening. So, how can you develop this muscle? What are the barriers to good listening and how do you overcome them?

Millennials Want You to Get to the Point
(Inc., 27.01.15)

Real engagement isn’t just bite-size. It has to start a conversation that leads to an experience.

“You can have the best strategy and the best building in the world, but if you don’t have the hearts and minds of the people who work with you, none of it comes to life.” —Renee West

#GivingTuesday: A Dedicated Day of Giving


[Originally posted on the Holmes Report.]

Wading through all the Christmas displays while trying to find Halloween treats, I have been thinking more and more about #GivingTuesday. The concept that New York’s 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation had in mind when they launched the initiative is deliciously simple—and appealing, as we’re all still shaking off the hangover of last decade’s collective overspending, against a backdrop of the frenzied end-of-year consumerist messages.

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Corporate Branding Digest, Feb. 11, 2014

Why Autocratic Bosses Are a Dying Breed
(The Conversation, 10.02.14)

The idea that everyone wants leadership and wants to be led is a popular one, especially among corporate CEOs, but how true is it? Recent political events in Ukraine and Thailand should focus business leaders’ minds on this question and start them rethinking their own role and their relationship with their followers.

The Difference Between a Business and a Brand
(Entrepreneur, 07.02.14)

What exactly is it that separates a business from a brand? Is it the number of locations? Is it revenue? Is it something you can measure in hashtags and retweets? What does one have to do before one can legitimately say, “We’re not just a business anymore. We’re a brand.”

New Microsoft CEO Offers Quick-Study Lessons in Leadership
(Financial Post, 05.02.14)

I remember when one company I worked at got a new chief executive. We lower-echelon types read about it in the news, and waited to see what difference he would make. (We found out the following September: “Tighten up your budgets.”) Fortunately, companies now do things differently.

The Five Things Great Leaders Do
(, 30.01.14)

Leadership is one of the truly hot topics in the corporate world. Can you believe that there are more than 17,000 books on leadership available on Amazon? That statistic tells me that there are no clear answers on the best way to lead a company, organisation or team. Given that I work extensively in both the corporate and sports world, where effective leadership is essential, I wanted to share my perspective on what makes a great leader.

“Stories are a communal currency of humanity.” —Tahir Shah, In Arabian Nights

Corporate Branding Digest, Dec. 2, 2013

Keys to Breakthrough Brand Messaging
(Branding Strategy Insider, 26.11.13)

In a world where it’s never been harder to get people’s attention, too many brands have nothing in their DNA and in their messages that brings a smile to the faces of consumers. They exist. But there is no Long Idea. There is nothing iconic. There are no delicious insights. As a result, their marketing is often just information and, hard as it is for many brand managers to hear this, pure-play marketing information is flatline from an excitement point of view.

Hashtags Breathe Life Back into Social Commerce
(Ad Age, 13.11.13)

Social commerce—the purchasing of products through social media—is on the rebound. And that rebound is being aided by an unlikely ally—the simple hashtag. Hashtags have migrated to Facebook from their origins on Twitter and are growing in use from Google+ to Tumblr as well. They have particularly benefited from the explosive growth of Instagram, where they make photos and videos easily categorized and searchable.

3 Ways Leaders Can Inspire and Motivate Employees
(All Business Experts, 24.10.13)

To lead people is far different than to manage people, but the two are not mutually exclusive. Managing is far more involved with the tasks that people do, and leading is more about the people who perform the tasks. In order to achieve great things, you’ll need to do both well, but exceptional leadership skills will make it far easier to manage, as everybody involved is striving to achieve the same goal.

6 Tips for Using Social Media to Screw Business as Usual
(, 30.09.13)

Social media has become one of the best ways for environmental start-ups and non-profits to generate interest (and funding) for their causes. We are all learning as we go, but Virgin Unite, the Elders, the Carbon War Room, Branson Centres of Entrepreneurship, OceanElders and Global Commission on Drug Policy are all harnessing social media to share our messages further. Here are our top six tips.

“An optimist sees an opportunity in every calamity; a pessimist sees a calamity in every opportunity.” —Winston Churchill

Corporate Branding Digest, Nov. 11, 2013

World’s Most Valuable Brands: Behind the Numbers
(Forbes, 06.11.13)

How do you measure the value of a brand? At Forbes, we look at the financial numbers. The most valuable brands are ones that generate massive earnings in industries where branding plays a major role. The 100 most valuable span 15 countries and cross 20 broad industry categories.

3 Key Hashtag Strategies: How to Market Your Business and Content
(Social Media Today, 30.10.13)

As a marketer, you can’t ignore hashtags. You need to know how to strategically implement these tagged topics. Hashtags can expand your content reach, amplify your brand, target your market, get your content found, improve your SEO, and more.

Four Executives on Succeeding in Business as a Woman
(The New York Times, 12.10.13)

Adam Bryant interviews four women executives on their experiences as leading women.

Branding: Extracting Your True Value
(Business2Community, 15.10.13)

Every company believes that they are the best around. They all have a multitude of reasons why people do business with them and why they are superior to their competition. Why else would they be in business? The problem with most of these companies is not the fact that they have built a cookie-cutter business exactly like the next.

“Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anybody expects of you. Never excuse yourself.” —Henry Ward Beecher