Personal Branding

How to build a personal brand and maintain it?


Personal branding

Personal branding describes the process by which individuals and entrepreneurs differentiate themselves and stand out from a crowd by identifying and articulating their unique value proposition, whether professional or personal, and then leveraging it across platforms with a consistent message and image to achieve a specific goal. In this way, individuals can enhance their recognition as experts in their field, establish reputation and credibility, advance their careers, and build self-confidence.

How to create a strong personal brand?

1. Understand and be your authentic self.

Imagine how hard it would be to build a brand around your “fake” self. You would have to act a certain way, appear a certain way, and say certain things, regardless of how you felt about it. Some professionals suggest going about building a personal brand by shaping and molding what others see, but this is exhausting to maintain in the long run.

Your brand should be a reflection of who you are. Do you know what you believe? What you stand for? What your strengths and weaknesses are?

Never forget — people connect with other people. If you don’t appear to be a real person, or if it just looks like you’re faking it, how likely do you think others are to trust you? Even if they do buy into your fake persona for a while, the slightest bit of inconsistency could prove problematic.

Building a personal brand is first and foremost developing an understanding of your true self, and then sharing that with the world. Take your masks off and don’t be afraid of being vulnerable.

2. Speaking engagements.

If you’re looking to build your brand, then you should be speaking on a regular basis. Naturally, this will mean developing your communication skills. If you speak in exactly the same manner others do, you will never stand out from the crowd.

Speak from a place of knowledge and power. Show that you know what you’re talking about, and answer questions in a way that serves your audience.

Show that you are confident. Some may criticize or disagree with you. The important thing is to remain open to feedback. Thank others for sharing their views, and if the points they raised were legitimate, determine how you can improve and do better next time.

Speaking engagements are opportunities to be seen and heard. Start small, and keep building. You may not land high-quality speaking engagements off the bat, but if you keep swinging, you’ll build your following and get invited to speak at bigger, more notable events and conferences. Buckle down and offer the greatest amount of value you possibly can everywhere you go.

3. Write thought leadership articles and participate in interviews.

Thought leadership articles and interviews establish your credibility. As with speaking engagements, landing the best opportunities takes time and effort, but if you remain open to what comes your way, pretty soon you’ll be showing up everywhere.

Take a look at the press coverage we’ve received to date. Anybody who regularly hangs out online should be aware of many of the brands listed there, but even if they aren’t, they probably know about publications and media outlets like Fox News and Time. This shows that others see you as an authority.

In addition to that, here’s an example of an interview I’ve done, covering one of the topics FE International is most known for; selling websites.

Getting an “in” with the media, online publishers and publications can prove challenging. However, it is a powerful way to show that you know what you’re talking about. Every outlet you build a connection with increases your brand authority.

4. Build your online presence.

Do you know how you’re appearing and coming across online? This is something you’re going to want to monitor on an ongoing basis, and improve upon whenever and wherever possible.

Do you have social media profiles? If so, are they fully fleshed out with all of your information? Do they present you in the best light possible, and make you look professional? Are you using high-quality professional photography? Are you interacting with others and sharing their content?

Do you have a website for your personal brand? One of the best ways to rank in search for your name is to build a website. This gives you considerably more control over your online presence than social media. It can’t hurt to add new content to your site on a regular basis, either. You can get a domain with this GoDaddy coupon for just 99 cents – so there’s no excuse to delay. Try to buy your own name if you can.

Don’t forget to Google yourself regularly to see how you’re coming across, how others might be perceiving you, and what they’re saying about you. You’ll have a tough time building a great personal brand without making a real effort to monitor and tweak it.

5. Remain a student of your industry.

No matter how well you know your industry or area of expertise, it would be wise to remember that things are changing at a faster rate than ever before, and you have to stay up-to-date with the latest changes and trends.

It takes time to build your personal brand. If you fail to stay relevant, all of your effort will be wasted. If you don’t want to be discredited, then you’ll want to keep a steady supply of articles, trade journals, blogs, and books on hand.

It also pays to learn new things, develop new skills, and to expand your knowledge. If you’re not growing, then you’re stagnating, and that’s the last thing you want to do as an entrepreneur.

Odds are you already know how important it is to stay on top of your game, but a friendly reminder never hurt anyone.






Hard and soft skills

The Difference Between Hard Skills and Soft Skills

Hard skills are teachable abilities or skill sets that are easy to quantify. Typically, you’ll learn hard skills in the classroom, through books or other training materials, or on the job.

Examples of hard skills include:

  • Proficiency in a foreign language
  • A degree or certificate
  • Typing speed
  • Machine operation
  • Computer programming

These hard skills are often listed in your cover letter and on your resume, and are easy for an employer or recruiter to recognize.

Soft skills, on the other hand, are subjective skills that are much harder to quantify. Also known as “people skills” or “interpersonal skills,” soft skills relate to the way you relate to and interact with other people.

Examples of soft skills include:

  • Communication
  • Flexibility
  • Leadership
  • Motivation
  • Patience
  • Persuasion
  • Problem Solving Abilities
  • Teamwork
  • Time Management
  • Work Ethic



As First Lady, Michelle Obama is undoubtedly in the public eye. Yet, what this intelligent gem-of-a-woman has done, is forged thought and action making her an established leader of her own.

Utilizing her position and resources, Michelle Obama has campaigned and started independent initiatives, visited communities around the world, networked with major leaders, and participated in events big, small, political, and purely for entertainment. She has even become renowned for her incredible public speaking skills constructing articulate, engaging, empathetic, and relevant conversation.


Through such overlapping engagements, Miss Obama has allowed people to get to know her on an individual level, not only leading to more media coverage but tremendous positive feedback.

This is the ideal transcendence of a personal brand over a few years!


Media Agencies and Media Mix

What is Media Agency?



Media agencies advise companies on how and where to advertise, and on how to present a positive picture of themselves to the public. Primary services include advertising, public relations and other forms of media management.

Media Landscape [Examples of good media agencies]


The means of communication that reach large numbers of people, such as television, newspapers, and radio .When media refers to the mass media, it is sometimes treated as a singular form, as in: the media has shown great interest in these events. Many people think this use is incorrect and that media should always be treated as a plural form: the media have shown great interest in these events.

Examples (Russia)

BBDO Group

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What do we do?

The Work, The Work, The Work – this is all that we believe in.

  • We create strategies that change consumers behaviour
  • We find solutions
  • We bring the idea to the embodiment of perfection
  • And create communications that work!


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Examples of work

#1 Я еду в Cочи
Integrated Marketing campaign

#2 WWF Russia

Organisation and elements of Media Agencies


Advantages and Disadvantages of Media Agencies


Extensive skills, resources and experiences
Media agencies can specialise in certain fields
Variety of services to match all budgets
Saves the firm time
Easy to change the teams creating your marketing


Likely to cost more than in house marketing
Risk of inadvertent marketing leaks prior to launch date
Media Agencies may not understand the firm’s vision
Media Agencies may not be as enthusiastic as you are
There is a chance the agency may have competitors on their books

What are the tasks of Media Agencies?


Consumer understanding


  1. Research shows that 55% of consumers are willing to pay more for a guaranteed good experience. Kolsky points out the word ‘guaranteed’, noting customers are no longer satisfied with just being promised a good experience.
  2. 86% of consumers are willing to pay more for an upgraded experience. Air travel and hospitality are examples where upselling better experiences can generate incremental revenue and bolster customer loyalty.
  3. 84% of consumers are frustrated when the agent does not have information.
  4. Customer frustration leads to the following: 13% tell 15 or more people if they’re unhappy. Conversely, 72% of consumers will share a positive experience with 6 or more people.
  5. 67% of consumers site bad experiences as reason for churn.
  6. 50% of customer experience natural occurring churn every 5 years.
  7. Only 1 out of 26 unhappy customers complain. The rest churn. A lesson here is that companies should not view absence of feedback as a sign of satisfaction. The true enemy is indifference.
  8. 91% of unhappy customers who are non-complainers simply leave.
  9. It is 6-7X more expensive for companies to attract new customers than to keep existing customers.
  10. 65% of companies are able to successfully upsell or cross-sell to existing customers.
  11. Only 12% of companies are able to successfully upsell or cross-sell to new customers.
  12. 75% of brands do not know what engagement means – but are measuring “it”






Media Mix



Media Mix refers to the combination of advertising channels that is used in the promotion of a particular good or service. The idea is to choose the right combination to communicate with the audience and make an impact as estimated in the media planning strategy.


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Steps to create

Clarify business considerations 

Identify the business considerations that will inform your content mix. These may include:

  • Industry expertise. This may sound obvious, but it’s surprising how far companies can wander from their area of expertise. I’ve seen technical communication companies write about the fear of flying, and electrical supply companies share their favorite recipes. Your business content should focus on what your business does best. 
  • Brand focus. Has your company built its reputation by providing guidance? Or does it entertain? Inspire? Surprise? Are you a fun company? A serious company? Traditional? Every piece of content that you create needs to reinforce your brand in some way.
  • Audience goals. Why will your audience spend time reading your articles? Do they want to learn something? Do they want a distraction from their busy lives? Do they want to find something worth sharing? Your audience’s goals will help to define the purpose of your content.
  • Audience interests. If you sell pet food, your audience is probably interested in learning about pet health and nutrition. And if you make running shoes, you can assume your audience is interested in running and fitness. You have a great opportunity to happily surprise your readers by finding the sweet spot that intersects your industry expertise and their interests. Your audience’s interests will help define content topics. 
  • Available resourcesYou need to know what resources are available. How many content contributors do you have? What are their skill sets? How much time do they have? Resources are a key consideration when defining the method of presentation and editorial schedule. 

Define the purpose of your content 

Refer to your brand focus and your audience’s goals to identify the right mix of content purposes. Each piece of content should have one clearly defined purpose—no more, no less. Sure, you may argue that you want to both entertain AND inform, but unless you clarify which purpose trumps the other in this particular piece of content, you’re likely to fail in both. Some common purposes include:

  • To inform (conceptual knowledge)
  • To teach (how to)
  • To inspire
  • To entertain
  • To persuade
  • To start a conversation
  • To spark a controversy
  • To express an opinion
  • To share industry knowledge or resources

Identify typical content presentation methods

Your brand focus and available resources are the key drivers behind presentation methods, but certainly your audience’s goals and interests play a role as well. Some common presentation methods include:

  • Articles or blog posts
  • Infographics
  • Videos
  • Cartoon drawings
  • Animations
  • Tutorials
  • Podcasts
  • Presentations

Decide on the most effective content mix and schedule 

Finding the best content mix is all about proportions. Although the foundation of your content marketing efforts may be based on educating your audience through informative articles, you may also want to entertain them through infographics and cartoons so that they have something fun to share. Remember, all content should fall within your area of expertise and reinforce your brand.

Once you’ve identified your ideal content mix, include it with your editorial calendar and present it in a way that’s easy to communicate. For example:

Content Purposes


or Content Presentation Methods



Online Business Dictionary,

Marketing Dictionary,

Content Marketing Institute,



BBDO group,


How to create successful Brand Strategy?

What is Brand Strategy?


  • Brand strategy is a long-term plan for the development of a successful brandin order to achieve specific goals.
  • Long-term marketing support for a brand, based on the definition of the characteristics of the target consumers. It includes understanding of their preferences, and expectations from the brand. (BusinessDictionary)

What are the brand strategy goals?


  • Build awareness. Awareness leads to marketplace dominance and makes selling easier. After you build awareness for your brand, that awareness acts like a proxy for your business. When you can’t be somewhere in person, your brand goes for you, getting you noticed and conveying your core message and business promise on your behalf.
  • Create an emotional connection. If your customers select your offering based largely on how they feel about owning your product or associating with your business, then creating an emotional connection needs to be an important part of your branding strategy.
  • Differentiate your product. When customers understand why your offering is different and better than all competing products, they have a clear reason to buy from you, and you have a secure market position.
  • Create credibility and trust. In any branding strategy, you absolutely must plan to establish or enhance credibility and trust. Brands, essentially, are reputations that result from promises made and consistently kept. If your brand fails to win on these two counts — if it fails to appear credible or trustworthy — it fails altogether.
  • Motivate purchasing. Brands are like great advance teams in that they establish interest, appeal, confidence, preference, and purchase motivation in a customer’s mind before your product ever enters the arena.

What are the elements of good brand strategy?



Brand strategy includes such actions, as:

  • Brand Assessment
  • Brand Positioning 
  • Brand Messaging
  • Brand Architecture
  • Portfolio Nomenclature
  • Rebranding

6 key elements of brand strategy:

1. Target Audience.

In B2C, the target audience or market for your brand is the person who is most likely to buy your product. In B2B, your target audience is still the most likely buyer for your product or service, but because the nature of the purchasing process is more complex in B2B, you’ll need to be looking not just at which companies are likely to buy from you, but at who within those companies is going to make those decisions. Is it a purchasing manager, a department manager, or a team of executives? Depending on the value of your products, the decision might have multiple influencers and decision-makers. You’ll need messaging that speaks to all of them.

2. Brand Promise.

The brand promise is the message that speaks to your target audience. It tells them what to expect from purchasing your product.

3. Brand Perception

You’ll want to take a look at what the perception of your brand has been in the past, what it is now, and what you want it to be in the future. One way to do this is to survey your current customers to find out what they think of your brand. Do your target customers know your brand? What do they think of you? What do you want them to think of you? Understanding how your brand is perceived is especially important if you are looking to change your business strategy: maybe you’re looking to enter new markets, or you’ve been known as the low price provider in the past, and you are looking to move up market.

4. Brand Values

Clearly define what guides your company’s decision-making. These are the core values that your brand seeks to embody.

5. Brand Voice

How does your brand “speak?” What is its personality? Is it buttoned down and serious, or more playful and fun? The answer to these questions will depend the audience you are trying to engage, and there should be a fit between your audience and the voice you use to speak to them.

6. Brand Positioning

Brand positioning is defined as the position that a brand holds (or wants to hold) in the mind of the customer. It can usually be boiled down into a one or two sentence “positioning statement” that defines the target audience, who the brand competes against, the benefits of using it, and a statement of proof for the brand promise. It tells you what the brand’s position in the market is relative to its competitors, and what sets it apart from the rest.

There are many components that make up a brand, including logos and packaging, brand equity (which is the value of perceptions and expectations about your brand), and the brand persona or voice. Your brand strategy is an essential tool to developing these elements so that they work together in the minds of purchasers to give them confidence when considering making a purchase.


What is the process of Business Strategy?

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6 Steps to create an Effective Business (Brand) strategy

  1. Gather the facts

    To know where you’re heading, you have to know where you are right now. So before you start looking ahead, you should review the past performance, or the current situation. Look at each area of the business and determine what worked well, what could have been better and what opportunities lie ahead.You should look internally at your strengths and weaknesses. And for the opportunities and threats you should look at external factors. A great framework for looking at external factors is PESTLE (Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal and Environmental). So, for your big idea or plan you would ask: what threats and opportunities could arise under each category?
    The most important part of this process is involving the right people to make sure you’re collecting the most relevant information.

  2. Develop a vision statement

    This statement should describe the future direction of the business and its aims in the medium to long term. It’s about describing the organisation’s purpose and values. Business gurus have debated long and hard about what comes first – the vision, or the mission statement (see step 3). But, in practice, you could develop both at the same time.

  3. Develop a mission statement

    Like the vision statement, this defines the organisation’s purpose, but it also outlines its primary objectives. This focuses on what needs done in the short term to realise the long term vision. So, for the vision statement, you may want to answer the question: “Where do we want to be in 5 years?”. For the mission statement, you’ll want to ask the questions:

    • What do we do?
    • How do we do it?
    • Whom do we do it for?
    • What value do we bring?
  4. Identify strategic objectives

    At this stage, the aim is to develop a set of high-level objectives for all areas of the business. They need to highlight the priorities and inform the plans that will ensure delivery of the company’s vision and mission.

    By taking a look back at your review in step one, in particular the SWOT and PESTLE analysis, you can incorporate any identified strengths and weaknesses into your objectives.

    Crucially, your objectives must be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-related). Your objectives must also include factors such as KPI’s, resource allocation and budget requirements

  5. Tactical Plans

  6. Now is the time to put some meat on the bones of your strategy by translating the strategic objectives into more detailed short-term plans. These plans will contain actions for departments and functions in your organisation. You may even want to include suppliers.
    You’re now focusing on measurable results and communicating to stakeholders what they need to do and when. You can even think of these tactical plans as short sprints to execute the strategy in practice.
  7. Performance management

    All the planning and hard work may have been done, but it’s vital to continually review all objectives and action plans to make sure you’re still on track to achieve that overall goal. Managing and monitoring a whole strategy is a complex task, which is why many directors, managers and business leaders are looking to alternative methods of handling strategies. Creating, managing and reviewing a strategy requires you to capture the relevant information, break down large chunks of information, plan, prioritise, capture the relevant information and have a clear strategic vision.


What are tools/models for good Brand Strategy?

Brand Hierarchy models:


1. Branded house: In this model, the firm is the brand. Services and market sectors (or practice areas) are subsets of that primary brand and are not formally branded. Here are a few well-known brands that use the branded house strategy.


In all instances, the subset brands are recognized, but not to the extent that they overshadow or detract from the primary brand.
In professional services, the branded house approach is also known as a one-firm brand strategy. The firm has a single brand: logo mark, marketplace positioning and messaging. The subordinate service offerings share these brand elements but contain their own unique messaging points.

2. House of brands: In the second brand strategy model, the branding is focused on the subset brands. The primary brand gets little or no attention. Ever hear of a company called Newell? How about Rubbermaid, Sharpie or Irwin Tools? Newell is a good example of the house of brands strategy—the individual subordinate brands have much better recall than the primary brand.
A house of brands approach requires significant investment in dedicated resources because each brand operates as its own company in terms of brand elements and messaging.

3. Hybrid Brand Model

A third approach to Brand Hierarchy is commonly referred to as the Hybrid Brand model. When the business strategy isn’t served by either a Branded House or House of Brands approach, companies apply elements of both. Coca Cola, Marriott and General Motors are three businesses that exemplify a Hybrid Brand structure.

Often times, the Hybrid models start with a flagship brand and expand to diversify and/or grow market share. The Coca Cola company has leveraged the strength of its namesake brand with a variety of flagship brand extensions (Diet Coke) and house brands (Sprite). Marriott uses a similar approach with a strong flagship brand, brand extensions (JT Marriott), endorser brands (Courtyard by Marriott) and house brands (The Ritz Carlton).

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  1. Brand with your ears

  • Listening creates trust
  • listening and questioning are our most valuable tools
  • Questioning gets you to real motivations
  • Understanding motivations can help you influence behaviour

    2. SWOT analysis


3. PESTEL analysis



#1: Whole Foods Market

By the early 2000’s, Whole Foods had pretty much maxed out market share in the “organic and natural” customer segment, but were pursuing growth. Research indicated that 80% of first-time Whole Foods shoppers became loyal customers, and “Foodies” represented a highly prized customer segment with the most untapped growth potential. So the question was how to appeal to this segment more effectively and inspire Foodies to try shopping at Whole Foods for the first time. The answer was a shift in brand strategy. They de-emphasized the organic/natural messaging, and developed a new brand strategy targeting Foodies (without alienating the “earthy-crunchies”) captured in the tagline “Passionately Picky”. The strategy was expressed in an ad campaign focused on getting Foodies excited about a specific food item.


Each ad told the story of a single item that exemplified Whole Foods’ “passionate pickiness” in scouring the globe for the best foods in the world. The micro-success of this campaign was the consistent selling out of the items advertised in the campaign. The far more important macro-success was a) driving immediate first-time visits by Foodies who sought the specific product advertised, and b) delivering the message to the broader Foodie audience that Whole Foods shares their passion for the best foods, not just the most organic/natural foods. Extraordinary growth was achieved. And it all came down to rethinking brand strategy.


Strategic partnerships like that one can be a highly effective way to build a business, boost brand awareness, and break into new markets. The whole point is that the success of one brand will bring success to its partner brand, too. But for a partnership to truly work, it has to be a win-win for all players in the game. The value perceptions, target audiences, prices, and promotion channels need to match.

#2 GoPro & Red Bull: “Stratos”

#3 Bonne Belle & Dr. Pepper: Flavored Lip Balm

Bonne Belle first debuted Lip Smacker, the world’s first flavored lip balm, in 1973, starting with flavors like strawberry, lemon, and green apple. Just two years later in 1975, they’d forged their first flavor partnership with the timeless Dr. Pepper brand. The result? A lip balm flavor that’s been famous for decades among teenage girls.

If you’re thinking the connection between lip balm and Dr. Pepper is a little thin, consider the copy on one of their vintage ads: “It’s the super shiny lip gloss with lip-smacking flavor… just like the world’s most original soft drink.” And later, “From Bonne Belle of course: the cosmetics company that understands your taste.”


#4  Alexander Wang & H&M

Anyone who’s designer-conscious knows Alexander Wang and H&M aren’t exactly the same caliber when it comes to quality. Shoes by Alexander Wang tend to go for around $350 a pair, whereas shoes sold by H&M tend to go for more like $35 a pair. See what I mean?

But that discrepancy in pricing is exactly why the two brands decided to partner with one another. To support their brand positioning as trendy and fashionable, H&M has traditionally paired with high-end fashion brands to offer exclusive branded items for a limited time.

In exchange, those high-end brands — like Alexander Wang — can expose their brand name to “a new generation of potential consumers, who will increasingly aspire to owning more pieces from his high end collection,”


Rebranding is the creation of a new look and feel for an established product or company. The usual goal of rebranding is to influence a customer’s perception about a product or service or the company overall by revitalizing the brand and making it seem more modern and relevant to the customer’s needs.

When/Why to rebrand?


There are many other reasons a business might want to present a different brand image:

  • Repositioning of the company and it’s vision
  • setting the company apart from its competitors
  • updating the corporate image to appeal to a younger market
  • expanding the business scope
  • reputation management, to distance themselves from problems of the past
  • exploit the popularity of some current trend, such as green computing

19 questions to ask before start rebranding:

  1. Why are we doing a rebrand?
  2. What problem are we attempting to solve?
  3. Has there been a change in the competitive landscape that is impacting our growth potential?1
  4. Has our customer profile changed?
  5. Are we pigeonholed as something that we (and our customers) have outgrown?
  6. Does our brand tell the wrong (or outdated) story?
  7. What do we want to convey? To whom?
  8. Why should anyone care about our brand?
  9. Have we isolated exactly who should care about our brand?
  10. Have their needs, or the way they define them, changed?
  11. Are we asking our customer to care more about our brand — and what it means — than we do?
  12. Is our brand associated with something that is no longer meaningful?
  13. Is our brand out of step with the current needs and desires of our customers?
  14. Are we leading with our brand direction?
  15. Are we following with our brand direction?
  16. Is the goal of this rebrand a stepping stone (evolutionary) or a milestone (revolutionary) ?
  17. Will this solution work in 5, 10 and 15 years from now based on what we can anticipate?
  18. Have we assigned some committee to manage the project versus someone (or at most, two people) who is/are focused, inspired and can lead?
  19. If we were starting our business today, would this be the brand solution we would come up with?

Examples of good rebranding

# 1 Pepsi 


#2 Old Spice

Prior to 2010, Old Spice was seen as a brand for older generations, a somewhat uninteresting and stagnant brand that wasn’t especially bad or especially good. Then, in a massive rebranding stunt, they came out with a new advertisement(and a series to follow) featuring athlete Isaiah Mustafa in a strange, funny, “random” video implying the deodorant to be something sexy, surprising, fun, and youthful. The rebranding effort was a success, in part, because it helped a new demographic access a traditional product. It capitalized on new trends, like non-sequitur-based humor and online videos, and ended up being a massive boon for the brand.


#3 Burberry

Burberry is a fantastic example of how a brand can change its image with a few simple marketing tweaks. Just a couple decades ago, Burberry was suffering from a bad reputation, being associated as gang wear. In 2001, a new creative director, Christopher Bailey, took over and started introducing new products like swimwear and trench coats that were unaffiliated with previous images of the brand. Celebrity endorsements from Emma Watson and Kate Moss helped cement the new image of Burberry, and now the company is a major luxury brand, touted as a symbol of high class and wealth.

#4 Apple

No rebranding article would be complete without a mention of Apple, possibly one of the best rebranding stories of our era. In the early- to mid-1990s, Apple was suffering from low sales, low consumer interest, and tons of competition driving customers away from them. The brand didn’t stand for much, and certainly didn’t stand out, until Steve Jobs took over the company in 1997 and started flipping consumer expectations on their heads. With an image of minimalism and modernity, a host of innovative new products, and a series of marketing and advertising campaigns that focused on ideas and experience more than products or purchases, Apple was able to attract a new, diversified customer base, and cement itself as a thought leader in the tech industry. It’s still riding the momentum of that dramatic shift today.

How to rebrand?

“Don’t spend too much time getting lost in the mythology of the story behind the brand assets. Branding experts can be great storytellers but remember that most people are never going to pay that close attention to the deeper meaning of a tiny element of your logo.”

“Remember that branding is as much about what you are not as [it is] about what you are. Too many businesses fail to exercise the discipline required to narrow in on what makes them special or unique. They try to include all of their customers or markets and wind up with a brand indistinguishable from other players in their market. A brand that means everything is a brand that means nothing.”

“Get help. Especially for startups, but in larger companies as well, oftentimes you or your team members are too close to the brand to be objective. Whether you just hire a consultant for an hour or 3 months is up to you, but getting an experts unbiased opinion early on in the process will be invaluable moving forward.”

“Understand who your audience is and identify your consumer. What new audiences are you trying to reach and who already loves your brand? Are you looking to obtain new customers, play to a new crowd, or make your current fans excited again? When rebranding, you want to make you are gaining attention for your new look and feel while not losing the key customer that holds your bottom line intact.”

“With so much weight on the actual rebrand, it’s easy to forget about the strategy for announcing it to the world. When developing the strategy, it’s crucial to remember people don’t care about names or logos — they care about how the rebrand is going to positively change their experience with your company. At the same time, most people fight change. Make sure you’re not leaving behind the things people love about your company. You must articulate why this is better — explain they’ll still get the parts they already love plus new, exciting benefits.”

Make sure it’s legal

“Make sure you have the right to use the name you chose. So many business owners make the mistake of choosing a name and then charging forward with branding efforts like signage, website, logo, etc., when they don’t even know who else may be using the same or similar name. Consulting with a trademark attorney to have a search report done on the name is the most essential step a business can take when it is rebranding.”

“With clear rebranding objectives, work with an experienced branding company with experience in naming. Particularly with the advent of social media, you need to make sure that your new company name is a clear, available trademark, the domain is available, as are your priority social media addresses.”

“Make sure you rebrand everything. Don’t leave traces of your old logo behind. It looks very unprofessional. When customers see your new logo in one place and your old logo in another, they’re thinking one thing — disorganized.”

“Let your audience [and] customers know something big is coming. Post about it on social media and your newsletters, don’t catch them off guard with your rebrand. Start laying the groundwork that you have a special launch or exciting rebrand coming two weeks prior. This way if they visit your site, they don’t think they went to the wrong place. This is also a great way to engage with your customers [and] clients and get their feedback or thoughts and build a better relationship, which typically converts to more loyalty and sales in the future.”

“Communicating the brand’s new approach, vision and positioning to all internal employees is crucial. This doesnt mean sending out an email blast. This means educating all employees about the meaning of the rebrand, getting every employee on-board, and aligning them towards the common goal and purpose.”


Brand Identity & Brand Image

What is Brand Identity?

Brand identity is a set of brand associations that the brand strategist aspires to create or maintain. This is one of the four pillars of creating strong brands. Each actively managed brand needs a brand identity – a vision of how the brand should be perceived by its target audience. The brand identity guides and inspires the brand-building program. If the brand identity is confused or ambiguous, there is little chance that effective brand building will occur. In fundamental sense, the brand identity represents what the organization wants the brand to stand for.  (Aaker, David and Joachimsthaler, Eric. 2000. Brand Leadership)

Brand Identity as the visible elements of a brand (such as colour, design, logotype, name and symbol) that together identify and distinguish the brand in the customers’ mind.’ (

What is Brand Image?

The impression in the consumers’ mind of a brand’s total personality (real and imaginary qualities and shortcomings). Brand image is developed over time through advertising campaigns with a consistent theme, and is authenticated through the consumers’ direct experience. (

Brand Image is a unique set of associations in the minds of customers concerning what a brand stands for and the implied promises the brand makes. (Aaker, David and Joachimsthaler, Eric. 2000. Brand Leadership)

Brand image is the current view of the customers about a brand. It can be defined as a unique bundle of associations within the minds of target customers. It signifies what the brand presently stands for.” (Management study guide, MSG 2013)

What are the differences between Brand Identity and Brand Image?


The very first and the most important difference comes from the question: Who does the perceiving – the brand or the customer? Since, the Brand Identity is what does the company want to be, then it is obvious, that brand identity is created by a brand itself. And the Brand Image is how people see the brand, so that is created by the consumer.

Brand Identity should help establish a relationship between the brand

and the customer by generating a value proposition involving functional, emotional or self-expressive benefit.”(Aaker, David and Joachimsthaler, Eric. 2000. Brand Leadership)

The Brand Image is constructed based on all sources and formed automatically; the brand builder should keep in mind that the brand image can’t be created. All in all consumers are not only purchasing the product but also the image. (MSG, 2013)

Screen Shot 2017-02-06 at 19.39.36.png(MSG)

What is the relationship between the Brand Image and the Brand Identity?

The relationship between Brand Identity and Brand Image is clearly shown on the picture below.



How does Brand Image affect sales?

Video from Investopedia explaining how do brand image and identity affect seles 


The relationship between brand Image and Sales is found to be statistically significant. This finding is consistent with the expectation stating that if the perception of brand image is congruent with the consumer’s actual, ideal, social, image then the brand will be purchased.


Brand Identity Models

Brand Identity Planning Model, Aaker


This was developed by David A Aaker, leading brand theorist, in his 1996 book Building Strong Brands. Aaker developed a planning model which outlines four dimensions of brand identity:

Brand as product

can be a single product, or set of products, which will affect the type of associations of the brand that customers experience. For customers, the attributes directly related to the purchase or use of a product can be both functional benefits and emotional benefits. Examples may be Kleenex tissues, or Band Aid, or Gillette razors. A product-related attribute can create a value proposition by offering extras like features or services. Aaker argues, however, that the goal of linking a brand with a product is for customers to remember the brand when they have a need that can be met by the product’s attributes.

Brand as an organization

focuses on organizational attributes such as, for example, innovation, quality, and safety, that are created by people, culture, values, and programmes within the company. Aaker states that organizational attributes are more enduring and resistant to competitors than product attributes. Examples may be IBM, Kodak, and Exxon.

Brand as a person

where the brand is perceived as having a personal dimension, with a unique personality similar to an individual. Aaker cites three ways a brand personality can create a stronger brand: a) a vehicle for customers to express their own personalities; b) forming the basis of a relationship between customers and the brand; and c) helping to communicate a product or service attribute in a personal way. An example may be Tiger Woods exemplifying mastery, Mercedes exemplifying elegant status and accomplishment, Apple exemplifying innovation, or Nike conveying energy and determination to succeed.

Brand as a symbol

Aaker describes this dimension as three types of symbols: a) visual imagery, b) metaphors, and c) the brand heritage. A memorable symbol can provide cohesion and structure to a brand identity and make it much easier to gain recognition and recall. Its presence can be a key ingredient of brand development and its absence can be a substantial handicap. Elevating symbols to the status of being part of the identity reflects their potential power. Examples could be the Olympic rings for a movement or where a symbol epitomizes the company, such as the Ronald McDonald clown for McDonald’s, the Jolly Green Giant, or the meerkats in

The purpose of the brand identity planning system is to use the different brand elements and patterns that can help enrich and differentiate a brand identity. Aaker summarized his Brand Identity System as a model.


Thomas Gad, 4D Model

4 dimensions model, created by Thomas Gad suggests that building a brand in the consumers mind always seems to fall into four different dimensions: spiritual, functional, social and mental.


Functional dimension – benefits of the brand (product/service)

Social dimension – what others think of an individual

Mental dimension – what individuals think of themselves

Spiritual dimension – ( idealistic dimension)

The 4D’s model is a way to present brand in the four areas.  As Gad formulate it, a brand is not a chameleon, it can- not adapt to all of the interest groups but instead the aim is to it create a well-defined, distinct brand.

Keller’s Brand Equity Model

Keller created a brand equity pyramid that also shows stages of brand development and branding objectives at each stage. According to customer based brand equity model, building a strong brand involves 4 stages of brand development (left in the figure), each stage involves its own building blogs (one level of the pyramid) and each stage has their own brand objective (right in the figure).


The first stage is the brand identity. The goal of the first stage is to create deep, broad brand awareness (in customers’ minds). This is done by identifying the brand with customers and associating the brand in customer’s minds with a specific product class or customer need. The first block of the pyramid, salience, relates to building the brand identity. Brand salience is about brand awareness and the basic functions of the brand. The consumers need to understand what needs the brand is meant to fulfil and into what category or part of a certain industry the brand belongs into.

The second stage is the brand meaning. It is done by establishing a brand meaning in the minds of customers by strategically linking a host of tangible and intangible brand associations with certain properties. Brand performance is about how the product or service aims to meet the customers more functional needs.

The third stage, the brand responses, identifies what consumers think or feel about a brand. The objective is to provoke proper customer responses to its brand identification and brand meaning. Those customer responses should be positive, accessible reactions build with judgements and feelings.

The final stage is the brand relationships where the brand response will be used to create an intense active loyalty relationship between customers and the brand. Brand resonance refers to that relationship and to the extent to which consumers feel they are in harmony with the brand. This can happen only if consumers are on sync first with the

other building blocks of the brand pyramid. Brand resonance consists of loyalty (how many times the product or service have been purchased), attachment (the attitude that brand is beyond good), community (social phenomenon where customer feels a con- nection with the brand) and engagement (customers willing to invest more resources (money, time, energy and so on) then required during the purchase of a product or consumption of a service.

Kapferer’s Brand Identity Prism

Kapferer represents brand identity as a six-sided prism.


 The six aspects are divided into two dimensions:

  • Sender vs. Receiver

A well-presented brand has to be seen as person (sender) and also as the stereotypical user (receiver)

  • Externalisation vs. Internalisation 

A brand has social aspect that define its external expression and the aspects that are incorporated in the brand itself.

Aspects of Brand Identity Prism:

  1. Physique is a set of the brand’s physical features, which are evoked in people’s minds when the brand name is mentioned. Kapferer states that this aspect has to be considered the basis of the brand.
  2. Personality is the brand’s character. This can be realized by using a specific style of writing, using specific design features or using specific colour schemes. Also a person can be used to vitalize a brand.
  3. Culture is the system of values and basic principles on which a brand has to base its behaviour (products and communication). Many associations in this area are linked to the country of origin; Coca-Cola appeals to American values, Mercedes-Benz to German ones and Citroën to French ones.
  4. A brand can symbolize a certain relationship between people. Relationship aspect requires a brand manager to express the relationship his/her brand stands for. For example, Lexus differentiates itself from BMW by giving its customers the red carpet treatment.
  5. Reflection (of the consumer) makes reference to the stereotypical user of the brand and is the source for identification. When thinking in terms of reflection, in the case of Coca-Cola you could describe the consumer base as15 to18 year olds (with values such as fun, sporty and friendship), while the actual target group of this brand is far broader.
  6. Self-image is kind of a mirror the target group holds up to itself. A Porsche driver who thinks others will think he is rich because he can afford such a flash car. Research has shown that Lacoste users see themselves as members of a sporty club, even if they do not actively play any sports.


Brand Identity Elements


Essential elements to a comprehensive Brand Identity.

  1. Logo

A logo is a graphic symbol, whereas a wordmark or logotype is just the words of your company or product name set in a specific, fixed way. Your logo or logotype is the core of your brand identity.

It can be a difficult to determine whether or not you need a symbol (a traditional logo) or just a logotype. Some organizations choose a only wordmark because they are simpler design projects that generally cost less. Another factor is whether or not a memorable symbol can be designed that will show how your business is unique. A well-crafted wordmark can convey a sense of professionalism without trying to visualize your brand. There are many examples of brands with strong wordmarks include: Coca-Cola, CNN, Mobil, and FedEx.

The words that make up the name should be professionally designed and typeset—this is true if they are stand alone or beside a symbol that is part of the logo.

Good Logo Examples:

Top 50 Most Iconic Logos at all time


Bad Logo examples:

Top 43 Worst Logos Ranked

Brazilian Institute of Oriental Studies


2. Key Colour

A corporate color palette is usually defined by the colors in a logo. Often these are one or two colors only, although some are more complex. 2014-03-25_1806.png

Good examples of Colour Selection:

10 Beautiful Website Colour Palettes

Screen Shot 2017-02-06 at 23.21.58.png

Bad Example of Colour Selection:

Color Combinations from Hell

Screen Shot 2017-02-06 at 23.20.01.png

3. Taglines (Slogan)

  • Good Tagline Example:



  • Aaker, David 2011. Building Strong Brands. Simon & Schuster. London.
  • Aaker, David and Joachimsthaler, Eric. 2000. Brand Leadership. The Free Press
  • Gad, Tomas 2001. 4-D Branding. Cracking the Corporate Code of the Network Economy. Financial Times. Prentice Hall. London.
  • Kapferer, Jean-Noël. 2008. The New Strategic Brand Management: Creating and Sustaining Brand Equity Long Term. Kogan Page. London.
  • Keller, Kevin Lane 2013. Strategic Brand Management: Building, Measuring, and Managing Brand Equity. Global Edition. Fourth edition. Pearson Education. Upper Saddle River.
  • Business
  • Management Study

Integrated Marketing Communication


What is IMC?


Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) – An approach to achieving the objectives of a marketing campaign, through a well-coordinated use of different promotional methods that are intended to reinforce each other.
The American Marketing Association (AMA) defines integrated marketing communications (IMC) as “planning process designed to assure that all brand contacts received by a customer or prospect for a product, service, or organization are relevant to that person and consistent over time.
Simply, IMC attempts to unify all pieces of marketing communications, including, advertising, public relations, direct marketing, social media and sales promotion. It is designed to create messaging that is consistent across all channels.
When do companies use IMC?
  • B2B interactions
  • Marketing channel communications
  • Customer-focused communications
  • Internally directed communications

Why do companies use IMC?

Because it focuses on the customer and is efficient and cost-effective for the brand and organization. The IMC approach leverages all marketing and communication pieces and takes the value each provides to the brand to ensure that the customer receives a consistent, relevant and powerful message. 
Goals of IMC:
  • Build brands
  • Enhance the effectiveness of the branding strategy
  • Align and synergize every group and department to collaborate and deliver results
  • Increase sales
  • Build strong and long-term relationship with the customer
  • Advertising

Tools/Channels of IMC?


How do companies achieve the goal through IMC?
Benefits of IMC:
  • Directed to the customer
  • Increases profit through increasing effectiveness of Marketing
  • Accountability with the firm
  • Trust among consumers
  • Successful marketing campaign
  • More impressive than traditional marketing
  • Creativity
Disadvantages of IMC:
  • Requires a lot of effort
  • Requires large number of resources
  • More planning needed to launch


  1. Porsche is sung events and influencers around the US to appeal a border audience


Strategy: Events+Influencers+Social+Video+Radio

  • Pop-up events in iconic locations like Chicago’s Soldier Field announced close to the day of using social media influencers creates urgency and buzz.
  • Mobile-friendly content delivered to geo-targeted affluent consumer smartphones in days leading up to the event generates awareness and kicks off sharing.
  • Snapchat and Instagram Stories activation with an insanely shareable experience. The Porsche Racing Team takes guests on whiplash-inducing hot laps around a temporary autocross track.
  • Activation with VR and 360 video of other iconic Porsche driving experiences on the side lines.
  • Post-event streaming radio with hooks to a content-based website push consumers further down the funnel and extend event value.

2. The Field Museum is bringing exhibits out of the basement and into the real world


Strategy: Experimental+Influencers+Social+Out of home+Digital display+Video

  • Amazing surprise locations with clues shared in social media mere hours before they appear drives true viral engagement.
  • Incredibly detailed replica exhibits demand social media interaction, and target Instagram Stories, regular Instagram, and Snapchat.
  • Social media influencers with specific interest in location are given exclusive Cultural Ambassador status, helping them feel special about sharing campaign content and driving continued social media buzz.
  • Impactful out of home advertising like lamp post banners and billboards alert city dwellers a new surprise is on the way.
  • Digital paid media including targeted, rich interactive ad units provide another way to get in on the fun.
  • Super fun videos captured of crowds interacting with exhibits, as well as 360 videos help the world get in on the action.

3. GoPro Integrated Marketing


Strategy:  Search+Social+Out of home+Video


GoPro uses the theme “Be a HERO” to connect with its target audience in a meaningful way. Using brand-related sponsorships and endorsements, outdoor ads, SEO, web, and heavy social media, GoPro integrates all of their marketing efforts with plenty of engaging content from customers themselves.

  • GoPro users can submit their original videos using the latest GoPro HERO 5 to win Video or Photo of the Day on GoPro’s social media channels.
  • The brand was able to score one of the top ads of the year by using a firefighter’s original GoPro video, proving that when you have a strong brand message, even user-generated content will represent your campaign and make it successful.
  • Out of home ads in key markets leveraged user-generated content to show the cool factor and associate further with the adrenaline junky lifestyle.
  • Tie in with sponsorships around the integrated campaign instantly delivers a targeted, scalable audience.

Corporate storytelling

As I already mentioned in the first post, my first PBL problem is Storytelling. After watching the first Trigger, we have formed a problem “How storytelling is used in Corporate Communication” and identified 4 learning objectives:

  1. Aims of storytelling
  • Different stakeholders?
  1. What is an effective storytelling?
  • What are steps of storytelling creation process?
  • What are the tools of storytelling?
  • Other forms of storytelling, except of videos?
  1. How to create an effective story?
  2. Impact/Response – how to deal with this? (Positive/Negative) + examples


The aim of the storytelling is to connect to somebody on a personal level. It unites people, because it cases trustworthy feelings. The aim of storytelling in Marketing is to attract attention to a product/brand by causing different feelings and emotions. It brings a customer to a totally different reality and helps to get inside one’s mind. The influential moment in storytelling is that once a person hears and likes your story, he/she wants to discover it more and to hear new stories more. Also, storytelling is a big motivational and inspiring tool. Nevertheless, storytelling creates brand image, because it gives personality and meaning to product or brand.


Corporate Storytelling can be either internal, or external. Internal storytelling includes stories of the employees, articles in the organization’s newsletter etc. and external consists of advertising, customer stories, stories from partners etc. In Internal storytelling, employees are the main audience, when in external, the biggest stakeholder is consumer, but external stories can also be interesting for investors/granting agencies/donors etc.


An effective storytelling is the one, that was strong enough, to reach peoples minds and help company to achieve the goal. There are many different types of stories, different plots and endings. Some can be positive, some dramatic. Some can be created by using different storytelling techniques, but the effectiveness in measured in touching listener’s feelings and getting to the goal, that was set before. Effective story is also surprising. It is really memorable, when a story does not have a typical plot and, moreover, typical ending. But it is also important to remember, that the effective story must be realistic, otherwise listener will not believe in it and in your company. I would also add, that the story needs to have some small details, that will attract and catch the audience, but not too many of those. Nevertheless, it is important to support the story with visual content, which will also keep the listener interested in it during the whole process of storytelling.


In my opinion, it is crucial to mention, that the effectiveness of the story is also effected by the storyteller. Good storyteller has to have a set of qualities, such as being natural, emotional, expressive. As well as being in harmony with the listener and enjoying the storytelling process.


There was created an uncountable amount of storytelling models. The picture below shows one of them, which explains 10 steps of creating a story.


Step 1. Backstory helps to identify the position in marketplace and why are you better than anyone else.

Step 2. Hero is #1 audience and what does it care about.

Step 3. Stakes identify what does the hero want as it relates to the product or service

Step 4. Disruption is a conflict or a changing moment.

Step 5. Antagonists are the obstacles that the hero must overcome during the story

Step 6. Mentor is brands unique position and how it helps the hero

Step 7. Journey describes the interaction between hero and the brand, what successes and failures does the hero meet

Step 8. Victory show successful experience with the brand.

Step 9. Moral shows the values and the brand share with the customer.

Step 10. Ritual is the final step that shows customer engagement.


Moreover, there exist some techniques, that might help to develop the story in a particular way.

  1. Monomyth

In this story, the main hero has to leave his/her home, or other place, that hero know and to go to a totally unknown area. After exploring and learning, overcoming differences hero growth a lot in a particular area, gets experience and comes back home, being a totally different and better person.

This story’s aim is to show the benefits of taking risks and demonstrating the new found wisdom.


  1. The mountain.

This type of story shows the tension and drama. It is similar to monomyth, but in this type of story, there might not be a happy end. The plot also shows the main character meeting difficulties and how her/she overcomes them and develops as a person, but differing from the first type, this story shows a series of challenges and the development is slower.

This story shows a slowly developing process


  1. Nested loops.

Nested loop is a technique where three or more stories are layered within each other. The most important story, which is holding the aim of the whole message that we want to deliver, is placed into the center and the other stories are going nearby and highlighting the concept of the main idea.

This type of storytelling is a perfect way to show how you were expired/got to the conclusion.


This type compares the reality with imagination. Within this technique, we can highlight global or personal problems in a very emotional way.

This stories are strongly inspiring.


  1. In medias res.

In this story, the narrative starts not from beginning, but from the middle of the action, what is incredibly catchy for the listener. Difficulty here is not to give too much information, but only to drop a listener for a few moments to the most exciting moment of the story and to attract them.

This technique helps to attract attention from the very first moments of the listening.


  1. Converging ideas.

Covering ideas technique shows how a several interesting ideas are combined together in order to find a solution.

This is a perfect example of how great minds can work together and the advantages of teamwork.


There are many other techniques and tips for storytelling, all of them are useful. It is always extremely important to remember about the listener and his attention. How to attract him/her and to keep the listener interested during the whole story.


From my own experience, I have mentioned that I am often using the “in media res” technique. I really like the way it works and I think that this is one of the most powerful ways to attract somebody’s attention.

amazing examples of good and influential corporate storytelling could be advertising videos for Guinness or Nike.


How does a company communicate through storytelling?




Problem Based Learning


This semester I am going to try a totally new learning method for me-Problem Based Learning, shortly PBL. This is both a team and self learning method. The idea is that all student take a role of problem solvers and by studying one particular problem and looking for a decisions, students develop their problem solving skills, team working skills, self-learning skills and knowledge bases.

Rules are easy. Every week students are meeting in a groups of around 10 students, plus the tutor. Each week every student gets a different role: Discussion Leader, Recorder or Observer and the rest of the group are active discussion participants. Session starts with closing the deal, that was on a discussion during the previous week. Students had 7 days to prepare themselves for the discussion and to learn about the problem. Closing session normally lasts for 80 minutes and by that time students are supposed to share and actively discuss the problem and answer the important questions. After the closing session is done, there becomes an opening of a new trigger. There booked 60 minutes to open the new problem case. Students watch a video or read an article provided by the tutor and become to discuss it. During the opening session, problem and learning should be identified and brainstormed. After that, students leave the class and start to study on their own for the new closing session.

PBL is a very unique and interesting learning method for me, thats why I am really exited to experience it. The first problem, that we have got is storytelling. Since now we have one week to study this problem and to bring our results to the class.