How Marketing Fits into the Bigger Picture of Brand Fame

I started out in retail and owned my first store at the age of 18, before selling it at the age of 20. I transferred all the knowledge I gained from my first business to my second one, co-owning footwear brand Stride, and proceeded to learn on the job about the world of product, manufacturing and distribution. We grew seven global distribution channels in three years and I sold the business on to Caterpillar, age 24.
With no formal training in branding, marketing or PR I then set up Surgery, learning once again on the job, to launch a marketing and communications agency that now works with businesses in the build, renovate or refresh stage of their brand-building cycle.
My passion has shifted over the years; I began looking to work with the new generation of business leaders in a ‘one-to-many’ environment rather than one-to-one. I wanted to set up an education system that provides a playful environment for people to learn, safely make their mistakes, and ultimately grow their business. This enables people to take their business to a place that they have dreamed of, but hitherto had not had the tools, steps or know-how to reach.
I came to realise that there are many people in the market who specialise in just one area of building a brand, yet few have the first-hand knowledge of being able to go across multiple channels and connect them all together.
Marketing, in particular, is only part of the solution when it comes to making a brand famous. Either learning or bolstering your marketing knowledge with other key areas of branding – such as brand-positioning, product-vision planning, lean testing of manufacturing and distribution channels to market – gives more clarity to how/why to build marketing campaigns to create significant spikes for the brand. This helps you get straight to the marketing point by understanding better all the areas of the business.
Now, The School of Brand Fame has opened its doors, with the aim of providing on-hand support to turn that ‘how to’ process into a reality, with tried-and-tested tools to help brands become famous in their sector, take away the mystery of how to market their business more effectively, and create conversations to get everyone talking, sharing and liking the brand to enable it to stand out in the crowded market.

 

 

The ‘Business’ of Family

I stood in the kitchen with a screaming baby and wondered for the hundredth time where the handbook was to help me be as successful at being a mother as I was at running a business. The recurring thought of ‘How could I run three successful businesses and not manage to be able to run my household?’ pained me every day. I can build famous brands and yet I felt was going to fail at the single most important brand of all… Family!
I remember being in the depths of despair and making a conscious decision to create the handbook myself, I wanted to see if the system that I build businesses with could work when running a household.
I started to think about what traits had enabled me to lead a team, retain staff and inspire the clients to stay and grow with the business. I quickly started to apply the same methods in the household.
With each year came new challenges as my children grew and their needs began to change. The overlap between running a business and running a home became more and more apparent as we all shaped our lives.
My realisation through this time was that there are always four things which largely cross-over with running a business and your family home:

1. Having a ‘can-do’ attitude

‘I Can’ has always been my personal mantra and applies to how I have run any business. Having a can-do attitude and entrepreneurial spirit can overcome any task no matter how big or small, simple or challenging. This same positive mind-set is what we run our household by. When our son has found something “too tricky” we would encourage him to take the steps to make it possible to recognise that at some point soon he’ll find it ‘easy’ just as he has overcome all ‘tricky’ obstacles previously and to notice the joy that he gets from the outcome. Like any journey the process can be a difficult one. To provide an environment that is both challenging, as well as supportive is one of the main ingredients to watching your team in the workplace and your children at home grow.

2. Working as a team to win

Knowing the game everyone is playing is critical to building a successful business; crafting the rules of the game with the key members of the team and determining everyone’s role on the playing field is critical to winning the game.
When running a household the key to winning the game is to ensure everyone knows the rules of play. From the youngest to the oldest, including any adults who are responsible for looking after the kids, all are committed to playing the game and achieving the same pre-determined outcomes within the boundaries set. The game of winning is about learning new skills, setting goals, hitting targets and being acknowledged for a job well done. This acknowledgement and encouragement is critical for development and self-esteem whilst also allowing everyone to fail without judgement.

3. Setting the boundaries & allowing people to shine

I believe that you can create a team culture within any business where people are given freedom to choose. It’s important to set boundaries for what is possible, establish what is right and wrong for the business ethos and to work within a framework of the business culture. The same applies with family. When the kids are aware of the rhythm of routine they can be given freedom of choice. They are aware of the rights and wrongs and given free reign to grow and experiment, knowing that they are being supported in a structured environment that enables optimal growth.

4. How to listen and be heard

Being able to engage with our children in a positive way whilst being clear on what we want enables us to connect with them through positive commands, whilst avoiding negative ones. I often catch myself in old habits of using negative commands such as ‘don’t’ or ‘can’t’ only to repeat the phrase more positively. Allowing the children to speak and acknowledge their feelings and emotions is much more effective than interjecting with negative comments or just nodding without actually listening. This empowers them to be their own person, have confidence to share and ultimately learn from their own journey. They will ask you for help if they want it, most of the time they just want to talk! Children are no different to the adults who surround you every day both at work and at home.
My biggest awareness is that every day presents itself with new lessons. Allowing yourself to be positive with your actions, free with your choices, structured with rules and flexible within boundaries; knowing what your strengths are and allow others to support your weaknesses and utilising your words to have a positive impact on family. We are all learning and the biggest freedom of all is being fearless to take action and willing to make mistakes – only then can we all truly learn and grow!

Business’s for the People, powered by the People – Strong culture driven by community

The world we are living in today is strongly being strongly positioned as a b2b and b2c specified space, It is my belief that if you fast forward ten years you will find many more businesses have shifted in to a ‘Brand Famous mindset’ of a B2P (Business to People) mentality.
Businesses such as Airbnb, Easyjet, Amazon, Netflix and Tripadvisor are working in this model already and dealing in what has become a new savvy PEOPLE POWERED marketplace – they are engaging in and creating conversations with the Person and ultimately drilling down in to the “I only work with customers who…” conversation. In Easyjets case perhaps this might be: “I only work with customers who are… modern day business owners who frequently travel”, and “…young families with modern lives”. This means that they can be specific on what exactly they provide these people with and how they will best receive it – There has been a noticeable change in everything that EasyJet has done over the past two years from how to book flights to changing the food you eat on the planes. All derived from listening to the people…
These businesses are not worrying about whether their business is speaking to a business or speaking direct to consumer and are more concentrating on what the obvious ‘needs’ for the person are and how to keep them engaged and connected in their community. Each of these businesses take pride in what their passion and purpose is focussed on including:
– What they want to be known for as a brand
- What their key message is
- How they want to leave people feeling whenever they have contact on any level with their brand
It will then be apparent in absolutely everything they deliver to their specific target audience whilst leaving the person feeling positive knowing that all their needs have been met and in no doubt about using the service again – most importantly they go on to share that experience with their friends!
All these businesses are savvy enough to look at multi-channel delivery for their products and offer multiple layers in their pre- and then post-product offering before actually delivering on the core offer whether selling a flight or providing you with a room!
Businesses with an old school bricks and mortar mentality are being edged out of the Big Games currently being played; new school businesses such as these have realised that a strong culture and an invaluable community builds the platform to provide them with effortless and global distribution channels. This provides a world class way of spreading messages virally and sharing invaluable content so that people can like, post and share their authentic stories to create the momentum that is required for the brand to drive sales and community growth, ultimately driving up the value of their business so that the brand can watch their business go Global before their eyes.
AirBnB has flown up the ranks as a business that has taken on the new school methods of business growth and has embraced all the layers described in the Brand Famous book from identifying the Gap and getting underneath the passion and Purpose (as mentioned above), to drilling down in to who they are talking to and knowing what Fame game they are playing to drive the awareness to the brand. Taking this knowledge they have built a multilayered product plan which provides their community with a tier priced product stream that will engage and grow their culture and community for distribution. All these key ingredients form a strong foundation for a FAMOUS BRAND.
B2B business’s now have a huge opportunity to mirror the game changing way that these businesses behave and taking those step in to the ‘BUSINESS TO PEOPLE’ space to enable them to also ‘STAND OUT’ from the crowd, drive their business to BRAND FAME and become a house hold name!

How To Get into the Mindset to Create a Famous Brand

When you began working with your brand, did it ever occur to you that your brand could one day become famous?
Perhaps BRAND fame is something that you have always dreamed of, but like many, you don’t have the first clue how to achieve it.
Your brand recognition could be just round the corner, you can sense it, smell it, sometimes almost touch it, and yet you always find yourself a few steps removed from it being in your grasp. You fall too many times at the first, second, third hurdle and then do you feel like giving up!
What if I could provide you with 4 ways to add in the essential ingredient that I find needed when create a famous brand?

1. Be your brand, live your brand, own your brand, enjoy your brand

Imagine that the only thing ever really holds you back is you; driving it, promoting it, living and breathing it, making it and when necessary even faking it whilst always dressing it up for success.
Ensure you have a powerful mindset and know what you have set out to achieve.
Have you ever thought that in order to achieve your end goal you have to know what your end goal is – Did you start on this journey and never lose sight of what your end goal/ vision looks like. If you know that then you can enjoy the journey along the way no matter how many wrong turns you make. The highs and the lows will always keep coming in – what never leaves is the determination and the vision to arrive at your true destiny.
Own your space and take your rightful place in your market. Learn to understand that underneath everything you do lies the words that you are saying and how you deliver these to the outside world is as important as the product / service you are selling.
Learning the steps along the way that are required to get your brand smoothly through the different stages – If you lay sold foundations through each one you will build a strong sturdy house – If you rush the steps then you might need to go back and start some rooms again.There is no time scale set only your patience; you can go as fast or as slow as is required.

2. A small business with big thinking speeds up growth

Think about the possibility that there are many smaller brands that are in business today being able to incorporate quick decision making into their business to embrace and drive opportunities, integrate big vision creative thinking to accelerate and maximize growth of their multi channel strategies which in turn enables them to take big strides forwards and speed up the rate of their growth within their market sector not only in the UK but also on a global scale.
This is a stark contrast to the slow moving mindset of a big corporation that was once able to sit back and enjoy the position as market leader yet could now be getting held back by their lengthy decision making processes whilst at same time are perhaps not yet thinking strategically about the way that a brand is able to revolutionize its product vision plan to integrate it with the brand DNA and communicate the multiple messages the brand has to offer through different platforms available in a joined up yet strategic way.
It is my belief that it is not only one channel to market that breeds success, but a collective of multiple platforms of engagement all working in sync with an over arching strategic plan, setting clear objective and quantifiable result to ensure the desired return on investment a business is looking for from both growth and awareness in many a crowded market.
To have these platforms working in sync, rather than on their own will enables any business to speak to its target audience multiple times and keep then staying loyal and intrigued whilst connected and driven to spread the word.

3. The world just got smaller and your brand just got bigger

With the daily expansion of the digital era and the entrepreneurial evolution, more and more people are opting to own their business rather than build someone else’s.
The world has become a global playground where it has never been as easy for a small business to play big and a big business to play bigger.
To be recognized on a global scale is not only possible but also achievable. It is now not just the size of your business that delivers global impact with big marketing spends, but a determination and commitment from any size business to engage their brand / products or services to be seen and heard by their internationally sort after yet attainable audience.
It is not only possible but also necessary to create multiple conversations through different channels of communication and engage your ‘audience’ with fresh new and specific content that can be liked and shared not only by them but also by their friends.
It does not take long for your brand to go viral it simply takes commitment!

4. Influenced by the minds of your peers

We have created a world where a celebrity, entrepreneurial leaders and opinion formers can literally change the way that the end consumer / business you are selling to interact with your business / brand.
Engagement has become seamless with the help of these elite groups of people influencing and driving choice to one brand over another. A mind set is easier to shape and re sell to once you have their full focus and attention on the product / service you are selling. Who better to engage than the people that they look up to and admire.

How to engage the minds of influential business leaders of tomorrow

How do you supercharge your marketing initiative to boost the awareness of an early stage business and grow it’s position as a recognised industry leader, take an old school brand to new school status or drive a mature brand to become current in the minds of the up and coming influencer set?
We live in a world where to become noticed can be as achievable as changing a light bulb. With access to digital, social, interactive and creative media, a glimpse of life in the public eye for both business owner and the brand can sometimes be down to clever content creation and an SEO / digital marketing whizz kid sitting in the Philippines playing tech games with your website.
I often wonder if modern youth entrepreneurs even consider what type of notability they seek before creating their profile and creative voice on their chosen social media channels. Does brand image and product creation appear secondarily to them if at all?
You may be aware that generating a bite size version of ‘influential fame’ has become second nature to a 15 year old sitting in his/her bedroom creating a video and watching it go viral with global appeal, yet sustaining and maintaining the fame is the game changing play that we all look to achieve.
What these entrepreneurial social kids have shown us is that it is possible to achieve a quick spike and gain ‘fizzy’ global awareness, however the challenge for any business will always be to create a strategic plan that delivers multiple spikes, a maintenance program and deliver long-term appeal!

Engaging with the minds of tomorrow

Modern entrepreneurs, business owners of the future and leaders of our next business generation are looking at different brand experts / industry peers as their celebrities of today, they consider a night out to be going to a topical networking seminar, viewing Ted Talks as a form of TV and business insights and blogs as a light read on the way to work as opposed to the daily / weekly freebie print magazines that are the popular mind set of current masses.
In order to speak to and engage the future leaders of tomorrow, think about how and where you are influencing their mind-set and more importantly the content that you are creating to engage with their brain.
I invite brands of today to consider engaging these leaders of tomorrow with authentic content. Have you considered that we have perhaps been saturated for too long with big glossy campaigns that engage us less and less and which no longer hold the power over us that they once did. Certainly consider that the leaders of tomorrow are blind to the intention behind these campaigns, and are instead looking for something more tangible or real to capture their interest/attention. You’ll find them seeking out individuals with a voice of authority with genuine, authentic and inspiring stories to tell.

You may be wondering, why these youthful entrepreneurs are so important for a brand?

It is these individuals who will influence the communities of their generation and who will in turn engage and organically promote the awareness of the brand. They are digitally savvy, use current social platforms and are also engaged and in tune with new platforms that are appearing before our eyes. Their conversations are being heard, liked, followed and shared by their like-minded friends and messages are carried across the global airways in an instant.
Where we used to look to celebrity as the brand influencers, now anyone with an opinion and a large enough presence / following can be considered the new opinion formers and brand ambassadors.
I believe that Authentic content is a must to attract these leaders of tomorrow and deliver a ‘believable’ campaign that will ignite the true essence of any brand; creating ‘real life’ conversations and insights is a real concept for today. People want to understand the brand and be shown the mechanics, the true essence of what the brand DNA is made of. When putting together your campaign think about the different options that will provide insight and depth and best showcase this.

– How we made it work

– The insider guide to creating winning product

– The tipping point of fame,

– A conversation with…

Take your audience on a captivating journey, showing both the true nature of what has made it great, the problems that showed up along the way and how they overcame them.
Using spoken word and moving image to tell engaging stories about today’s industry leaders are the modern ways to spark and ignite a conversation that will deliver on a promise of sharing and interacting with peoples communities.
Remember we are living in an Entrepreneurial evolution so words of insight and distilling knowledge drive traffic to a brand.

Sharing Knowledge, Passing on learning

It is my belief that there is no B2B or B2C just B2P (Business to people). As new school brands look to share their knowledge with industry youths, start-ups and early growth business – on line education, workshops and seminars are becoming a trend of today. Likewise old service based industries are reinventing the wheel by creating e-commerce platforms to sell to the consumer and produce alternative forms of products, evolving from the single product option that are fast
becoming a thing of the past.
Pre products, core products and second sale products are an early trend that will saturate the future business arena once the Entrepreneurial masses start to engage with the possibility of a product vision plan and realise that separating B2B and B2C is also an ageing belief.
No matter what size of business you are working with they all need influencers to engage and ignite the conversations of today and drive business for tomorrow.
Keep this at the forefront of your mind when you come across your cousin sitting in his room with the door closed speaking to someone in China on Facebook – It could be him!

Play to win: Building a famous brand…

Perhaps BRAND fame is something that you have always dreamed of, but like many, that elusive dream has remained just out of reach.
Did it ever occur to you, when you began building your brand, that it could one day become famous?
Even mature brands that have hit a brick wall can once again achieve the goal of brand fame with a little renovation to take it into a new growth cycle and restore the brand back to exceed its former glory.
Perhaps your brand has a strong position in the marketplace and just needs a quick face lift to provide your brand with the refresh it needs to create new product lines, open your brand up to new markets and elevate it to the next level to create household name status!
Whether you are in the build, renovate or refresh stage of your business there are some key things that are common among successful entrepreneurs and their famous brands, which, if you were to incorporate into your brand could speed up the process and get your brand on the fast track to fame.

Play the fame game

To be a successful entrepreneur it is essential to develop a powerful mindset and know what you are setting out to achieve. Think big, turn your brand into a game, a game you can win by following the steps you put in place to achieve your big vision. Highs and lows come with running a brand, successes and failures too – only by knowing what your end game is can you remained focused on it, regardless of the ups and downs along the way.
Determination, unwavering belief and importantly your enjoyment of and the thrill you get from playing to win the game is what will make the fundamental difference in you creating a famous brand that leads the way in your market.

Quick Decisions – Drive Opportunity

Brands should aim to incorporate quick decision making into their business to embrace and drive new opportunity. As a result, they are able to progress forwards and maximize their natural approach to idea generation and integration within their businesses; this means that comparatively they experience exponential growth. Whilst smaller businesses are less likely to be held back by lengthy decision-making processes, such as exist in bigger corporations; what ever size your brand is you can take big strides forwards to advance your rate of growth within the sector in which you operate, not only locally to you but also on a global scale. Today it’s easier than ever to move quickly and efficiently through the growth of your brand especially as all the tools you need are readily available for all businesses to incorporate a seamlessly integrated process.

Shrinking world – Expanding brands

With the daily expansion of the digital era and the entrepreneurial evolution, more and more people are opting to own their business rather than build someone else’s. The world has become a global playground where it has never been as easy for a small business to play big and a big business to play bigger. Being recognized on a global scale is completely achievable. It is no longer just big businesses that can deliver global impact with it’s large marketing spends, but any size business can put their brand / products or services on display on the global stage to be seen and heard by an international audience. Not only is it possible but it’s also necessary to create multiple conversations through different channels of communication and engage your ‘audience’ with fresh new and specific content that can be liked and shared not only by them but also by their ‘friends’. A little bit of dedication and it won’t take long for your brand to go globally viral.
Influence the minds of others
We live in a world where celebrity, entrepreneurial leaders and opinion formers can literally change the way your audience interacts with your brand. Engagement with your end consumer has become seamless with the help of these elite groups who easily generate interest, shifting awareness from one brand to another. A consumer’s mindset is easier to shape and influence once you have their full focus and attention on your product / service. Who better to engage than the people your target audience look up to and admire to do the job for you?

The Rules of the game

Now that your mindset is honed and you have outlined the game you want to play, you simply need to follow the rules to get there in the most efficient and energy conserving way. Rules you say?
– Discover the DNA of your brand – know what your key message is, your core values and what you want to be known for
- Develop the tools that are essential to have your brand seen and stand out from the crowd and build your product and service offering so as to offer differing price points that engage multiple audiences
- Deliver your channel to market using retail, pop up’s, e-commerce or workshops and seminars (why not all?)
- Create conversations and engage large audiences using print and digital, creating experiences and building partnerships to reinforce your influence
- Constant reevaluation of your progress and reassessment of your goals, fine-tuning your vision and continual evolution of the ‘plan’ to keep you on track with your big game

Now it’s your turn…

It’s getting easier to build a famous brand, the world has changed to suit the entrepreneur / business leader and it’s a much smoother journey when you have all your tools in place. Use the rules of the game as a road map to have alongside your strong mindset, entrepreneurial spirit, determination and will to win. These will be the key ingredients for you to stand out and get noticed in any crowded market place.

Pull not push

Linzi was asked by TALiNT to host a Purpose and Brand session for a select group of Founders and CEO’s of leading HR Tech businesses. 

Below is a piece of editorial that appeared in the TALiNT Journal:

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