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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Brand Stand: What Makes Your Brand Stand Out?

Welcome to this fortnight's edition of Brand Stand. Today, we get unconventional, extend an offer and congratulate a CSP. (We even tell you what one is).

Your Brand
I've just returned from UnConvention (a conference held by the National Speakers' Association of Australia for leading speakers, facilitators, consultants and business educators).

The event was an injection of fresh ideas, solid principles and innovative practices for our own business and the businesses we serve.          

Being big on brand I saw much of the content and presentations from a brand perspective, in particular what makes a brand resonate, and why resonance is so important for any business in today's market. 

Here are distilled thoughts for your brand:

Building a brand is growing a community. It's not bricks and mortar, your logo, signature style or corporate colours. Don't get me wrong, all those elements are vital in supporting your values, purpose and people, but they're not your brand. 

Your people are your brand. Your clients, colleagues, suppliers, association peers, fellow employees and joint venture partners. They're your brand. How well you serve those people and help them get what they want, helps you get what you want. How well are you serving your people right now? 

Oh what a feeling. With those four simple words, a signature tune and elated drivers jumping in the air Toyota generated exactly that. A feeling. Yes, they had a multimillion dollar budget to get that message out, but the money would have been wasted without resonance. I take this on stage with me every time I present, MC or train. How can I best represent this brand, whether it's a brand I'm representing or one of our own. What feelings and actions can I generate in the audience to help them be more engaged and have a greater experience with tangible takeaways. Personally choosing our speakers and MCs for the same ethos, I know they do too.    

Why brand matters now. As our fascination with technology drives rapid change and (sometimes) greater productivity, it also creates greater challenges. We spend more time online than ever before, but many people feel disconnected or fear being left behind. No matter where your people like to spend their time - online, in a park, on a bridge, in the office or in a shopping mall - what experiences can you give them to make them want to keep coming back to you, despite the noise of bigger brands or lure of headhunters? If you want some more clues here, look at Coke's 'name a can' campaign for successful customer buy-in or Google's promotion of personal employee projects for greater career fulfillment. How can your brand be more inclusive and create greater connections for your community, helping you retain your customers and top talent?

Build brand equity. At UnConvention I attended a breakout session on profitability for a fictitious company called 'Grumply International.' After much healthy thrashing and debating, number crunching and forecasts, the 'client' gave us the clearest, most succinct explanation of all: Performance drives profit. Promote your people's passion for performance and you build greater brand equity.

Be a stand out Brand. We have some fantastic clients and one of them, Paul Mitchell, reminded me in a conversation yesterday about my own brand. It was a gift to hear what excited him about working with us. Taking a stand, though, is not something you do once, set and forget. Like any valuable commitment it's a stand we need to keep taking daily; a verb, not a noun.   
Whether you're a building a personal brand, running your own business or serving an organisation, how are you driving performance to bring your brand to life, truly engage your market and increase profitability?  

Speaking with colleague Phil Preston this week about our course, presentability, he quietly said that's exactly what we do with the program; bring presentations to life. Phil's right.
The program gives a platform to help structure your presentations for your audience and give you clear outcomes for organisationpresentability also gives you greater to confidence to develop your own voice, style and presence, whether your presenting to one or many. 

This one day program is on Tuesday May 1. 

Here's what one recent participant said: 

Phil and Michael bring a wealth of presenting knowledge to the presentability course. I have learnt so much about myself and the next steps forward to improve my presentation skills. Thanks for a great day.”     
Rebecca Vella, Business Partner, Corporate Relations, RSPCA

With Easter already here, we've extended the earlybird offer until Friday April 20. 

Your Event 

Making some great connections with some of Australia's (and one of America's) finest at UnConvention, we'll be introducing you to more Speakers, MCs and Facilitators over the coming months. In this edition though, we have a return appearance from Rob Edwards, 
the health presenter. 

Rob was recently awarded CSP - Certified Speaking Professional. This is a major achievement, and we wholeheartedly congratulate him. Personally, anyone that can have me eating a daily apple three months after seeing his presentation, leaves an impact. Hence, why Rob is one of our speakers. 

Being a CSP gives you the reassurance you have an expert who has been judged by their audience, client and peers (the toughest judges of all) as delivering a standout presentation with lasting benefits.  

To find out more about Rob, and what having a CSP on your event means for you and your audience, click here.

Give your brand experience


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