Thursday, February 25, 2010

Does Your Brand Have a Personality?

On this snowy afternoon, it's nice to know I have nowhere to go. All of my meetings, events, etc., have been canceled or postponed. Maybe I'll actually finish up some things that need to be done or even watch the Olympics. Meanwhile, let me tell you about a wonderful marketing book.

I've been reading *Personality not included  *Why Companies Lose Their Authenticity--And How Great Brands Get It Back by Rohit Bhargava, social media guru and SVP of Digital Strategy and a founding member of the 360 Digital Influence group at Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide. Rohit explains, "Personality is the unique, authentic, and talkable soul of your brand that people can get passionate about." The best part of the book is that Rohit practices what he preaches -- his personality shines through the book making it fun to read.

The book is divided into two parts: part one describes how to develop a personality (with lots of real world examples), while part two is a resource guide  with techniques, guides, and tools to help you make it happen. Each chapter in part one ends with "The Sellevator Pitch" -- a one sentence summary of the chapter. And then, at the beginning of Part Two, he recaps Part One in fewer than 60 words. Why? Because he gives you the option of reading the book anyway you want -- you don't have to start with Part One, Chapter One. Let me share Rohit's "lightning-fast recap" of Personality Not Included (PNI):

Chapter 1 -- Faceless used to work because big meant credible. This is no longer true.

Chapter 2 -- Accidental spokespeople are speaking for your brand. Embrace them.
Chapter 3 -- Uniqueness plus Authenticity plus Talkability equals personality. Use the UAT Filter.
Chapter 4 -- Backstories establish a foundation of credibility. You need one.
Chapter 5 -- Fear of change leads to barriers. Finding your authority overcomes them.
Chapter 6 -- Personality moments are everywhere and unexpected, but you must spot them.

 To learn more about PNI and Rohit, visit www.personalitynotincluded.com. And once you get the book, be sure to look near the bottom of the copyright page for information on finding the secret, alternate introduction. I know about it because I had the privilege of meeting and hearing Rohit in person, which is why I bought the book. So I have a little chicken sticker pointing it out -- and an autographed book.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

New Year, New Blog, and New Web Site

When I mentioned at a recent networking lunch that I was finally going to start a blog, the reaction was, "You're a writer, that will be easy". Oh -- really? As some of the quotations on my newly redesigned web site point out, writing is hard. And the whole point of having a blog is having something worthwhile to say, which is also hard. So here I am, staring at the computer screen, trying to come up with something worth reading.

I'm very excited about the new look of my web site. My web site diva is Arlene Levine of  Arlene Levine Design. Of course, we didn't just change the look, we also updated the content. And added all sorts of things for SEO (search engine optimization) as well as Google web analytics (so I can see if the SEO things actually work). I can now talk intelligently about meta tags and key words and other things that will help people find me on the web.

Arlene and I are big believers in "less is more" -- don't overwhelm your readers with too much stuff. So I looked at a lot of web sites and found ones I liked and ones I hated. (Bright colors, flashy things, and loud music were among the things I hated.) And I went through my files and found all of the resources I've been saving on SEO. There were almost as many recommendations on what to include as there were sources. But what they all agreed on is that the most important thing on your web site is content. It doesn't matter how many people you attract to your web site, what keeps them there is the content. Which is why I wrote and revised, and wrote and revised, and finally sent the content to Arlene. Of course I did some more revising once she got the words up.

So, check out the new web site and let me know what you think!