Tag Archives: Authentic

Brand Identity

 Little did I know that a chance meeting would forever change how I viewed marketing and the building of brand?

It was in the early morning hours and I had just flown cross country for an event.  We had picked up our luggage and I was waiting for the car as there had been a mix up in reservations and it was taking longer than expected.  I sat down in a never ending row of stadium seats that trailed off into the distance. It was 12:30am and I was exhausted, we still had another hour or two to make it to our destination and I was anxiously waiting for the car to arrive.

I was looking to my left when I felt a presence on my right. A small framed, pretty woman, with grey hair dressed in a black wrap jacket and slacks had sat down next to me.  “All these chairs,” I thought to myself in a selfish moment, she started the conversation and we began visiting with the normal small talk.

I discovered that she was a nun traveling from California and was waiting to meet up with a friend; they were going to attend a conference in the city. She told me of her life and work in California. She shared with me her passion for nursing and in particular her work with aids patients.

I shared with her a fleeting aspiration I had as a young girl to become a nun. I had been inspired by a young woman, a nun Sister Mary Ivan.  She was nothing like the other nuns I had ever known. She was young, pretty, she loved to laugh, sing and ride horses.  For me seeing a nun out of her habit and in a pair of jeans was a curious site. I told her that I could remember playing monopoly and enjoying time with this special person. I remember with fondness those days, my grandmother used to house the nuns when they traveled around to rural communities during the summer and from time to time we would have them in our home, I remember the fun we had and how she made us feel.

There was some silence between us and then I asked her this question. “Where have all the nuns gone?” “You know,” she said, “when we began integration into the communities, we took off our habits’ and we lost our identities.”

This discussion, early in the morning hours, with a sweet gentle person would set the course for my marketing and branding efforts and dedication to staying true to who you are.  Your mark of distinction is your brand, it is your identity.  That identity along with the relationships we foster become cornerstones to our reputations and the impressions we make.

I asked this nun, “where had all the nuns gone” because I could no longer easily identify who they were. Their habit, and point of differentiation, made them visible; their goal to melt into the community, taking off the habits, had also made them melt into the crowd.

This moment in time was forever branded in my mind. Did I have fun that summer because I had seen this nun without her habit and in jeans? Was it because she seemed like one of us without the habit? With that thought I began to miss not seeing nuns in their habits, and the values and faith it represented to me with a simple glance.

The nun I had met that evening was doing great things in her community, she was serving a need, she was satisfied and growing in her life, and she was still a nun, but in different clothes.

The market place is crowded and noisy; every brand will face some form of change. In this ever changing environment the importance of staying true to who are and what you value became real. Brand identity provides direction, purpose and meaning for the brand. Remaining true to the authenticity of the brand, focused, consistent, and credible establish lasting impressions and your mark of distinction.

doWIT-Brand Identity

-Go with conviction

-Stay true to who you are, authentic, focused, consistent, and credible

-Make you mark, focus on value

-Create a lasting impresion

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Pinterest; Circle of Influence

Riding the herd on the ranch or riding the herd of “pins” on Pinterest I have discovered a great truth, it’s personal. Pinterest is an experience that can both surprise and delight developing both passions and influence, while introducing new interest and trails to explore.

Ranch work often requires separating cattle into pens for branding, doctoring, transport and is done by cutting into the herd, this can be done in open fields or in the sorting pens. Cutting cattle into groups or pens, is part of rhythm of ranch life. Pinterest has a similar rhythm of sorting and pinning visually pleasing, message bearing, information and inspiration. Once you ride a cutting horse and experience the big stops and hard turns, there is no going back; it gets in your blood. The same can be said for the Pinterest participants, once you experience and share items of value on your boards of home, arts and crafts, style, fashion, and food  to name a few, there is no going back, you can are hooked; it gets into your blood.

Pinterest popularity comes from its image driven visual component. Pinterest is an easy to use melting pot of interests which is driven by participants and caters to those who like to tell a visual story.  Participants “pin” items they value and “like” photos or graphics that inspire them and will in turn “pin” to a personal board they create. Pinterest is entertainment powered by passions. Like any social network, and even maybe more because of this enthusiastic, growing demographic, Pinterest requires an investment in time that is both enjoyable and relaxing.

Pinterest is an ever changing assortment of interest thus keeping the field open for fresh, new experiences. A “pin” found and posted on a board is branded by the visuals, pin by pin, boards begin to share a story. Pinterest is a place to herd and corral what speaks to your heart that is fueled by inspiration, common interest, and the fun of the hunt. It’s instant gratification, discovery of a pin and then the experience of pinning and sharing what is treasured.

Pinterest  is a melting pot of value based, advocators and influencers. It is a holding pen for personalized wish list, holidays, kids, parenting, teaching tools, recipes, weddings, events, books worth reading, and how-to and more which is limited only to time and discovery. Pinterest is designed to curate and share the things you love while avoiding self promotion. Pinterest is an open range for those who enjoy sharing ideas, creating a circle of influence among followers that is easily organized to access at any time. The joy found on Pinterest is a platform of interest, sharing ideas and things of beauty through visually pleasing images, creating boards that are uniquely you, while avoiding blatant self serving advertising.

Although Pinterest is invite-only, it is not difficult to get an invitation. You can request an invitation from Pinterest home page, or have a friend who is already using Pinterest send you and invitation, that is faster.

For individuals, business, brand, nonprofits, sports teams, or publications to name a few, Pinterest establishes a “herd” of opportunity to meet and to get to know markets, best customers, future customers, and future friends. Pinterest is a place to study values and to delight customers. Pinterest is a place to tell stories while offering things of beauty and be helpful, it is an enjoyable gold mine of discovery .

doWIT: Increase your ‘Circle of Influence’

Be Authentic

•Share your story, share your promise, create and or utilize images and pictures that are relevant in your customer’s lives. It is tempting to promote products, but that can be obvious, opt instead to share insights to your company and products, share the history, and tell the story behind the story. Post other interest that make (you) your brand unique; related topics, educational items, info graphics, and inspirational things; teach and inspire.

Be a Value Creator

•Pin inside and outside your industry. Analyze how people follow and  share your images opening a window into what your customer’s and followers value, what they relate to, and what they view as relevant. Discover who is pinning your pins and follow them back. Add a Pinterest follow bottom to your website and promote your presence on other social networks to encourage followers.

The road to discovery started out like any other ride, Will Rogers said “A man only learns in two ways, one by reading, the other by association with smarter people.”  Over the horizon is Pinterest, a frontier of opportunity; it is a growing community that thrives on authentic, inspirational, visually appealing content. It is telling the stories through photographs and graphics, creating a lifestyle, value based snapshot, of personality, brand, and aspirations. Pinterest is a circle of influence that can be as much or as little as you like, it’s depends on how far you want to ride.

http://pinterest.com/ranchgrownlogic/

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