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Founder & Editor in Chief JANINE GARNER | firstname.lastname@example.org Managing Editor KATE STONE | email@example.com Contributing Editors Melissa Browne, Nikki Fogden-Moore, Chris Allen, Renata Cooper Featured This Month Catriona Pollard, Debbie Oâ€™Connor, Gwen Blake, Sabrina Riedel, Sarah Allen, Alicia Beachley, Sarah Harrison, Milly Brigden, ADVERTISING ENQUIRIES firstname.lastname@example.org EDITORIAL ENQUIRIES email@example.com DESIGNER Melissa Aroutunian | firstname.lastname@example.org Published By: LBDG | littleblackdressgroup.com.au MEMBERSHIP ENQUIRIES AND FEEDBACK www.littleblackdressgroup.com.au email@example.com
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05 AMESSAGE FROM ME 10 IN THIS MONTH’S ISSUE 12 EVENTS CALENDAR 14 NO QUICK FIXES - HOW THE RIGHT USE OF DIGITAL CAN ELEVATE YOUR BRAND ONLINE - SABRINA RIEDEL 16 BRAND IN THE HAND - GWEN BLAKE
A MESSAGE FROM ME
CONTENTS BODY & SOUL
August Issue 19 OVERWORKING THE EXPERT’S DILEMMA - CATRIONA POLLARD 21 WHAT IS BRAND ACTIVATION ALICIA BEACHLEY 23 BRAND WITH PERSONALITY DEBBIE O’CONNOR
26 SARAH ALLEN 28 JANINE’S BLOG 29 SHOWCASE ARTICLE
30 NOT ANOTHER PERSONAL BRANDING ADVICE ARTICLE RENATA COOPER 32 TRANSPERANCY COLLABORATION & REWARDS MELISSA BROWNE
34 PISTOLS OF DAWN: MY TAKE ON COLLABORATION - CHRIS ALLEN 36 IN CONVERSATION WITH MILLY BRIDGEN 38 LBDS OUT & ABOUT
NEWS & REVIEWS
46 REST FOR WINTER SURVIVAL NIKKI-FODGEN MOORE 50 NEWS & REVIEWS
44 TOP TIPS FOR WRITING HOT CONTENT - SARAH HARRISON
52 LOIS LANE LIVES: A WOMAN OF LETTERS - KATE STONE
Your Editorial Team
JANINE GARNER Founder & Editor in Chief “Togetherness – or collaboration – requires a plus and an equal sign. Togetherness can, and does, create the momentum of greatness.” Janine Garner is a business woman, entrepreneur and socialpreneur who is passionate about the return to open and transparent corporate relationships and the power of commercial collaboration in futureproofing careers and businesses. Founder and CEO of LBDGroup (the Little Black Dress Group), her first book, From ME to WE: Why commercial collaboration will future proof business, leaders and personal success is being released in the second half of 2014. Janine is also the founder of Australia’s first gift giving circle, the First Seeds Fund, committed to supporting women and children at the grassroots of Australia with a focus on education and employment.
KATE STONE Managing Editor “A heart that loves is always young. And quite possibly perennially stuck in the 70s, but that’s a personal choice.” Managing Editor Kate Stone is a ghostwriter, columnist, copy writer and editor who has a passion for all things social media and graphic design. If she isn’t living in someone else’s head, she is online or onscreen, or often both together. She is determined to bring her love of the written word, presented as beautifully as possible, to people whether they like it or not. She is the sole (at present) outpost of LBDGroup in WA, but is working very hard on changing this, and is proof positive that the power of a collaborative community is alive and well. Find her in one of her various guises on Twitter at @oskythespy, read her own writing at What Kate Did Next or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are looking for someone to time share your brain with.
In This Month’s Issue MELISSA BROWNE Contributing Editor Melissa Browne is an author, entrepreneur, business owner, and shoe & jumpsuit lover. She has two successful, award-winning businesses - Accounting and Taxation Advantage & Business Advantage Coaching and is the author of the recently published to rave reviews business book, More Money for Shoes. She has also just branched out into a new venture with Rod Soper, thinkers.inq - go to the website to find out more about this incredibly innovative model for early childhood education. A regular contributor to the Sydney Morning Herald, find Melissa on twitter at @ melbrowne_ or visit acctaxadv.com.au
NIKKI FOGDEN-MOORE Contributing Editor Nikki Fogden-Moore is all about practicing what she preaches – and what she preaches is balance. Balance between work, home and maintaining your personal best. The owner of Life’s A Gym, Nikki is a motivational speaker, trainer and all round powerhouse who will help bring your body and soul together. Connect with her on twitter @nfogdenmoore or visit www.thevitalitycoach.com.au
CHRIS ALLEN Contributing Editor Chris began his career as a soldier and was commissioned as an officer, serving with the Royal Australian Regiment.He was engaged in humanitarian aid work for CARE International during the 1999 East Timor emergency and in the wake of September 11, 2001 became involved in Australian government protective security. Chris oversaw an unprecedented security upgrade of the Sydney Opera House, and later held the position of Sheriff of New South Wales. Chris’s first novel, Defender, was self- published before being re-released by Momentum Books with his second novel, Hunter, released at the end of 2012. Both novels rocketed to the top of the charts and there is a US film / TV franchise in development. His third title in the series, Avenger, will be published this year. www.intrepidallen.com
RENATA COOPER Contributing editor, Renata Cooper is a multi-faceted businesswoman, entrepreneur and angel investor. She is the founder and CEO of Forming Circles, and founder of Written Portraits, an annual national creative writing competition for high school students that reached thousands of students across Australia. Through her angel investment portfolio, she is the Director of iVvy, an online event management and registration software that works with Flight Centre, Westpac, Queensland Government, BMW and other leading brands. www.formingcircles.com.au
In This Month’s Issue CATRIONA POLLARD Catriona Pollard is director of CP Communications, which merges traditional PR tactics with cuttingedge social media strategies that engage consumers as well as business. Every organisation has amazing stories to tell, and we deliver meaningful and long-term results that link your stories and core messaging to what’s happening in the real world, in real time.
SARAH HARRISON Sarah is the founder of Hot Content, passionate about helping businesses get results with content planning and marketing copywriting. She’s also an avid supporter of local brands using her online profile, Little Miss Melbourne. www.hotcontent.com.au
W: www.cpcommunications.com.au S: www.socialmediasydney.net.au
GWEN BLAKE Gwen Blake, Managing Director at Boxer & Co. has made a career of building brands from the ground up. She moved to Australia in 2006 and started her design agency career. In 2008 she took over Brave Communications, the design agency she was employed by and relaunched it as Boxer & Co., a specialist packaging design agency in 2011. Gwen is the author of the straight-talking book ‘Packaging A Punch’, a beginner’s guide to creating packaging that stands out and gets
DEBBIE O’CONNOR Debbie is a brand enthusiast, author of a children’s book and encaustics fanatic. She is the founder of multi award winning creative studio White River Design (WRD) and Creative Fringe.
SABRINA RIEDEL Sabrina’s experience in the digital space spans over 8 years. Digital is what she loves and feels most at home at. Since 2012 she heads up the production department at REBORN, a digital creative agency based in Sydney and Melbourne. Sabrina works with brands such as Nestle’, Lion Dairy, Colgate/Palmolive, Peroni, Fujifilm and Dyson to redefine the ways brands connect with people.
AUGUST - SEPTEMBER 2014
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 EXCLUSIVE DINNER SERIES SYDNEY 15 16 17 18 19 EXCLUSIVE DINNER SERIES MELBOURNE THINK TANK “DOUBLE YOUR BUSINESS IN 2015” MELISSA BROWNE - MELBOURNE 20 THINK TANK “DOUBLE YOUR BUSINESS IN 2015” MELISSA BROWNE - SYDNEY 21 EXCLUSIVE DINNER SERIES SYDNEY 22 23 24 25 26 EXCLUSIVE DINNER SERIES BRISBANE THINK TANK “DOUBLE YOUR BUSINESS IN 2015” MELISSA BROWNE - BRISBANE 27 28 29 30 31
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No quick fixes â€“ How The Right Use Of Digital can elevate your brand online.
Successful businesses understand that it is not just about their products, it is about having a strong brand that consumers connect to. Strong brands create more than just customers; they provoke loyalty, build following and inspire evangelists that carry their image further than their advertising budget could have ever reached. Good brands, therefore, create a solid brand identity they can own, in every aspect of their communication. Great brands, however, go one step further. Great brands understand that ultimately, brands belong to the consumer. While a business can influence their brand, in the end what counts is how it is perceived by their consumer.
The above might sound familiar. Many of us are managing our own identity, carefully Sabrina Riedel crafting our persona offline, but even more so online. We actively construct a presentation of ourselves that paints a picture, tells the story of us, who we are, what we like, dislike and are passionate about. By telling our story, we are able to create emotional ties, bring messages across, con vince people or provoke compassion but, above all, build lasting and relevant connections. What comes easy and natural to us as a person, brands have been struggling to achieve online. Once the internet emerged as a dominant communication channel, many brands focused on quickly creating a presence in digital, simply to be present. The fast pace at which this medium grew and evolved lead many businesses to simply throw their presence online, usually in the form of a website and the usual list of social media profiles with little consideration of what and how they are communicating. Digital has been perceived as an easy channel to take the brandâ€™s message and broadcast it to a wide audience cheaply. Typically, brands have used the Internet as a tactical channel, just as they use radio, TV or print advertising to advertise.
The very two reasons digital is seen as the cheap, tactical tool many businesses use it for, are also the ones to threaten a brand’s influence and reach online.
Lego does not sell “blocks,” they sell possibilities. In digital, Lego therefore owns conversation, interaction and content around possibilities.
No other technology has facilitated communication more than the internet. However, with all the tools comes a lot of noise. A vast amount of content is available to consumers, which makes it increasingly difficult for brands to break through and connect in a meaningful way. To adapt to the overwhelming flow of content, users are evolving to be more selective with their choice of channels as well as with the content they consume. Broadcasting without a genuine connection or relevant message simply does not cut through the clutter.
Special K is not about breakfast cereal; it is about lifestyle and weight management. Special K concentrates on engagement that’s built around lifestyle and healthy living.
In addition to information overload, the internet is fast and fast changing. Technologies appear and disappear in a heartbeat. The risk of using digital technologies as isolated communication channels is that in this ever-changing digital landscape, the Facebooks and Twitters that hold a stronghold today could be replaced by entirely new technologies tomorrow. Brands that don’t look beyond specific technologies will struggle to future proof their stronghold in the online space and will leave businesses badly equipped to keep up with the fast changing pace of digital.
Dove is not about body wash; it is about empowering women and real beauty. Their focus is on communication around empowerment, positive body image and real life women. Once brand identity and personality has been defined, identifying a territory should follow fairly naturally. In essence, the territory supports any of the brand’s personality traits and facilitates what the brand is about. Tell your story – Branded Content, Thought Leadership and Multimedia Storytelling Gone are the days of simple, text-only blog posts, meaningless Facebook posts or the random picture on Instagram. For a business to effectively cut through the clutter, connect with their audience and elevate their brand online, they need to tell an engaging and consistent story through relevant and engaging content across all their selected channels.
The key to using digital to develop a brand are the same strategies we use as human beings to connect with one another. Instead of seeing the Internet as another medium to broadcast a message the goal is to use the technology available to amplify the brand identity and personality and to build real connection and loyalty.
Google speaks about a Generation C, today’s consumer spanning the generations, seeking connection, community, creation, and curation. The tech giant talks of this generation being “empowered by technology to search out authentic content that they consume across all platforms and all screens, whenever and wherever they want.”1
Mark your territory - Identify what digital landscape to own Every memorable brand has their identity and personality. This core idea is what leads the brand’s strategy in digital. The internet is a cluttered place, so it is important to identify a territory the brand can own. This is the slice of digital landscape the brand predominantly plays in and is dictated by the brand’s personality and attitude.
A brand that without a doubt has achieved one of the most talked about brand building efforts through branded content is Dove. Dove plays in a very competitive market with a tremendous challenge to differentiate their brand successfully from their competitors. The territory Dove decided to concentrate on, is summarised in what they call their “Campaign for Real Beauty,” an effort that set out to redefine what beauty means and to raise awareness about self-esteem.
Many of the most successful brands have carved their territory online;
Brand In The Hand
Packaging is the single most important brand component. When selling tangible products through retail channels, there is nothing in the brand mix that has the super-powers of a well strategised, well designed pack.
It’s the piece of the brand that the consumer selects from the shelf, takes home, unpacks, selects a spot for in their home, then repeatedly picks up and uses again and again, before returning to the supermarket to re-purchase. A cereal pack will sit on breakfast tables day after day. A laundry powder box will sit on top of a washing machine and get picked up and used Gwen Blake repeatedly during its life. These simple pieces of cardboard form part of the landscape of the household and are, over time, scrutinized by the consumer without their even realizing it. Because of the unique, tangible nature of the pack, we call it ‘the brand in the hand’. The repetition of viewing and interacting with it again and again plants it firmly in the consumer’s minds eye and gives it its marketing super-powers. What other branded elements do consumers pick up, feel, use and interact with on a daily basis? FMCG products are the area where packaging plays its most important role. To bust a big of jargon for the non-marketing types, FMCG means Fast Moving Consumer Goods ie most things in the supermarket that you buy on a weekly/monthly/even annual basis. Have you ever noticed how the vast majority of FMCG TV ads end with a freeze frame of a pack shot? Or that press ads always feature a pack shot? Whatever other messages the consumer has picked up during the product’s 30 seconds of fame, the marketers desired
take-out is that the consumer has a picture of the pack imprinted in their mind and a desire to locate it on their next trip to the supermarket. For the ad to achieve its sales goals, that pack has a royal role to play within the marketing mix. It has to be unique and memorable and stand-out from the crowd. In order to be unique and memorable, a pack needs an original creative message that will resonate with the consumer. It needs a brandstory that is based around key consumer insights, a unique point of difference about the product and customer benefits. It needs to communicate this story in a visually strong and memorable way. In order to stand-out from the crowd, the pack has to have some element of what we call ‘Shelf-Shout’. Australian stores are full of ‘metoo’ products which are afraid to stand-out and do things differently – either because they are old, established brands that they feel their consumers love, or because the brand owners don’t understand the payback they will get by investing in their packaging design. Packaging needs to stand-out enough to stop the consumer in their tracks and prevent them from reaching for the brand they have bought for the last five years. It can do this with colour or a unique and simple pack design or a strong and powerful logo. Packaging is a billboard for the brand. Supermarket shoppers are fast and have routines. You have less than 7 seconds to get the consumer to notice your brand on shelf. If it doesn’t stand out and grab attention, it won’t get purchased, no matter how amazing the product is. Because of the importance of the pack in branding, big brand ideas often start with the packaging and then end up being played-out in other elements of the marketing mix.
When my packaging design agency, Boxer & Co. designed SunRice’s new packaging, we spent a lot of thought and time into coming up with a unique and creative device that we could use on a range of products and that would communicate the brand positioning of ‘Unlocking Excitement’. The marketers at SunRice realised that it wasn’t so much the rice itself that was exciting as the ways you could cook or serve it and the things you could serve it with. Medium Grain rice alone is about as exciting as your grandma, but the idea that you could cook it into a delicious paella, served with all the Spanish trimmings is super-exciting. Jasmine rice on it’s own is dull, but turning it into a Thai feast is totally appetite wetting. After months of planning, exploration and market research, we came up with a ‘reveal’ device that appears to peel back the corner of the pack and show the dishes that you can create with that particular rice. Each type of rice has several different pack versions, each with a different image and a recipe on the back. The ad agency then took that idea and created a campaign, both for TV and print which used their tag line ‘Hundreds of Grains, millions of possibilities’. This big brand idea began with the packaging. Purchase Gwen’s book at: http://www. boxerandco.com.au/ packaging-a-punch.html
Likewise, when we designed muesli company Table of Plenty’s new pack, we wanted to embody their brand positioning of ‘Celebrate Abundance’ which we did by creating a beautiful and bountiful watercolor burst of natural elements, which is held together by an almost subliminal pair of cupping hands in the negative space beneath it. It’s totally unique in the cereal space and its originality makes it memorable. This idea was then taken on-line and into print media.
In times of financial uncertainty, it is very rare for marketing managers of FMCG products to reduce their spend on packaging. They understand the many roles packaging has to play and will cut other budgets before they turn to packaging, it is that crucial an element of their brand mix. Packaging is the brand in the hand and sits at the heart of the brand universe.
The challenge facing many entrepreneurs is figuring out how to overcome the Expert’s Dilemma. I’m sure you have experienced it, I know I certainly have.
Overworking the Expert’s Dilemma Catriona Pollard
Our dilemma goes something like this: • Your head is buzzing with a lot of great information, and yet no clear way to really package it into a clear and compelling message that immediately attracts the kind of clients, networks and media attention you’d like. • You have expertise in a particular area that you know could help a lot of people, if only you could find a way to tell more of them about what you’re doing. • You are often confounded when you look at your competitors being featured in the media, even though they probably know less than you do about the topic, and yet, they are the ones getting the press coverage and not you (how annoying is this!). • It sometimes feels like getting access to journalists and coveted speaking opportunities is some kind of “secret club” you just don’t know the password to. If any of those issues strike a chord with you… you are not alone. This is the Expert’s Dilemma! I have struggled with this for such a long time, so I wrote a book to help all those who suffer from it. We all know that it’s no longer enough to simply be great at what you do… you now need to be great at telling people what you do. So along my path to becoming a recognised expert, I developed a 5 Star System. I personally used this to grow my own personal brand from a relative unknown to an industry expert, speaking all over the globe, being feature d in hundreds of magazines, newspapers and even TV and attracting big name clients, all within just two years. By following these five steps, you will be equipped with the tools to boost your profile, become a recognised expert and start opening doors to new opportunities. 1. Figuring out the why First thing’s first; you need to ask yourself why you are looking to build your profile as an expert. If it’s purely promotional, you will struggle to develop emotional connections with people.
The key is to be transparent and genuine, and really believe in yourself. People will only consider you as an expert if you believe in yourself. 2. Setting the Stage After determining what you want to achieve from PR, the next stage is to define your personal brand. Personal branding is central to how people perceive you, so it’s important to pick your niche and stick to it to avoid confusing your audience. Developing an elevator statement or pitch is an important part of personal branding that clearly explains your role as a thought leader. Not only are they an effective way of making great first impressions, but they can also lead to new business and customers. 3. Turn on the Spotlight At stage three, you’re starting to shine. You’ve done your planning and it’s now time to i lluminate your role as an expert and thought leader. The first step is to create a personal website where you can promote yourself. A great website will not only increase your exposure online, but you will also gain more control over your online identity. Blogging is another great tool to increase your profile and allow you to connect with your audience in an engaging way. Blogging takes time and effort, so be sure to do your research and consider your audience before taking to the keyboard. The key is to write often, and write well. Another step to becoming a recognised expert is to network and build relationships with your audiences. Attend functions, connect with local businesses and make yourself known to anyone who’s interested. 4. Use the Media to Shine the Light By stage 4, your role as an expert will start to take shape; you will start to use the media to share your expertise and reach the people that will influence your success. Approaching journalists can be a daunting task, but the best way to get your story out there is to shape it in a way that’s attractive to the media. Journalists only pick up stories which they consider to be newsworthy, so it’s worth taking the time to create a great angle. Creating strong
relationships with journalists, knowing the publications you’re pitching to, and sending it to the right inbox is also worthwhile. 5. Own The Light The final stage of the transformation from unknown to expert is to step into the social media spotlight. Social media is a critical step in developing your profile as a thought leader, and it’s an essential tool that allows you to communicate directly with your audience. Before jumping into the deep end, take a moment to think about your goals and what you want to achieve from social media. Having a goal will help you to determine which platforms will be the most effective for boosting your profile, and to manage your time online. So there you have it; you have progressed from unknown to expert in just five steps. Congratulations! However, it’s not the end, it’s just the beginning. In fact, it never ends because success is a continuous cycle. Bios, media releases and speaking topics change over time and take a different shape as you evolve as an expert. www.UnknownToExpert.com Price: Paperback $27.95 plus postage, Kindle $9.99 Buy: http://bit.ly/BuyFUTE
What Is Brand Activation
At a friend’s dinner party recently I was asked what I do. My response was that I work in the Brand Activation space and to that I was met with silence and then, “oh, right, what’s that?” While Brand Activation is my area, many people are unsure as to what it is, so I thought I would take this opportunity to shed some light on what helps get me out of bed in the morning.
Brand Activation is a marketing discipline, and is a relatively new term in the industry. Brand Activation is the art of driving consumer action through brand interaction and experiences. In simple terms, the key aim of these sorts of campaigns is to get consumers to act. It’s about bringing brands Alicia Beachley to life via experiences and forming long-term emotional connections. Brand Activation campaigns take many forms and may involve some, or all of the following: • • • • •
Consumer promotions Experiential marketing Digital campaigns Shopper marketing Sampling campaigns
Best practice Brand Activation is strategicallyled and delivers measurable results, with a focus on ROI (Return On Investment). I often find that real world examples help when I’m trying to explain what I do. Working in such a rapidly evolving industry and in my role as a judge on local and international awards shows, I have certainly seen the best of the best. Two examples of outstanding Brand Activation campaigns that come to mind are ‘NRMA Car Creation’ and ‘SickKids Pain Squad’ out of Canada. The NRMA Car Creation won the Grand Prix at last year’s industry awards show, the Australasian Promotional Marketing Association (APMA) Star Awards.
SickKids Pain Squad is a great example as it highlights the diversity that abounds in the Brand Activation space. The campaign did not aim to sell any products, it went far beyond that and changed sick children’s lives for the better. The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Toronto needed to find a way to encourage their young cancer patients to complete daily reports on their pain. With a little back-up from Canada’s top police dramas in the form of filmed messages of encouragement and prizes to incentivise, the mobile app made this overwhelming task easy and fun. While Brand Activation campaigns can achieve outstanding results, conducting a Brand Activation campaign that is not aligned with brand strategy and doesn’t stem from a brand insight should always be avoided. To activate a campaign successfully, you need a mix of the following elements: insight, budget, concept, consumer interest, promotional support, sufficient time in market, eye catching creative and, an important point to consider from the outset, a brand that will respond well to Brand Activation. The right mix is critical to campaign success. If the creative is not captivating, the prize not aspirational, the campaign not promoted or the promotion not given enough time in market, etc, the Brand Activation campaign may not meet the objectives set at the outset. There really is a science behind getting the formula correct. My top five Dos and Don’ts for Brand Activation are as follows: 1. Brand Activation should be considered as a vital part of the overall marketing approach, or marketing mix, and not a standalone discipline. With this in mind, it is important that the resources and budget are in place from the start in order to meet objectives and ensure the best results. 2. Campaigns may need to be tweaked or changed to suit market conditions and due to this testing is a great way to sound out a campaign before a national rollout. 3. Consider all the options available to you within the Brand Activation space and work out which is the best option for your brand and budget, and most importantly which tactic will get you the best return on investment based on the campaign objectives.
4. Get a great agency to help you! There are specialist Brand Activation agencies that are experts in this space and are dedicated to creating campaigns that deliver on brand objectives. 5. It’s not all about sales. Brand Activation campaigns can generate trial, awareness, brand switching and brand loyalty. It’s all about employing the right tactics. It’s certainly an exciting time to be working in the Brand Activation space and hopefully now I have answered the “what I do” question.
Brand With Personality
Once upon a time in a land far, far away lived a… sound familiar? Since time began, stories about powerful kings, wise old men and innocent maidens have captured our imagination and taken us on a journey of intrigue, nostalgia, fear, love, victory or self-discovery. These larger than life personalities are easy to remember and identify with. People from all ages and cultures relate to the different characters, and their belief in the story or its message became all the more poignant.
It’s no secret that at White River Design (WRD) we like to build brands. Our focus however is to build brands with personality. Our secret weapon is our brand personality system that has been developed with the philosophies of Swiss psychologist Carl Jung’s archetypes in mind. Every archetype or Debbie O’Connor personality as we like to call them, contains its own traits and values that assist us to unconsciously identify with our own set of beliefs and aspirations. Brand personalities are therefore a very powerful contributor to human behaviour. When a brand is built around a personality, the customer buy-in is so much stronger. Brands that have a character, tone or stand for something in particular have a much stronger following than those that simply look good (or in some cases don’t even look good). Brands that live and breath this personality, from the use and tone of their language, through to the colours, experience and behaviour, get far more loyalty and following than those that ignore this critical element to brand building. So much is involved in creating a brand with personality… and the details really do matter. If a brand turns to the wrong personality type, it can destroy a brand. Take Nelson Mandela for example. Madiba had so much power inside and outside of prison. He could have taken revenge on a country that put him behind bars, which would have given a very different result to the incredible outpouring of love and thanks that the world has shown on his passing. Mandela chose a much harder road to travel. He was able to forgive from the heart, which allowed him to openly run and rule his country with a fair and just hand. This turned him into the hero (not an activist) and for that he will always be remembered. Madiba’s personality was so strong that it inspired not just those in his country but those around the world.
On a more business level, let’s use Harley Davidson as an example. This is the most tattooed brand in the world! What makes a person love a brand so much that they are prepared to have its logo permanently etched into their skin? The Harley Davidson story is an inspiring one. Once on the decline and almost bankrupt, revolutionary managers were able to turn it around – disrupt the status quo and transform it from being a racing bike to a cruising bike. The Harley Davidson brand is so strongly based within the Brand Personality of the Rebel that it’s the only time that a middle aged accountant could be ‘feared’ as he drives into town on his Harley! This feeling of rebellion, power and liberation is what makes so many people want a piece of the brand and follow it so dogmatically. Building a brand with personality focuses on the ‘who’ of your business. ‘Who’ are you and ‘why’ do you do what you do and ‘the way’ that you do it. Understanding your ‘why’ is critical as is who you are. So ‘who’ are you? Are you funny? Charismatic? Intellectual? Champion? When people leave your business what word would they use to describe the experience? How do they perceive your team? A brand that has been built on the Brand Archetype of The Entertainer is iSelect. Even though ‘what’ they do is compare insurance options (which is a very dry and tedious topic but never-the-less necessary), the iSelect personality is light hearted and fun. It takes the seriousness out of the equation and has turned comparing insurance into something that is simple, more entertaining and engaging. With so much competition in the insurance market, it is hard to make your mark and become front of mind, yet I have to admit that if I think of insurance and where I should go to compare the different plans, iSelect immediately comes to mind. This could be why is it Australia’s number 1 visited site when comparing insurance. The personality of the brand has shone through and made it memorable. I’d like to leave you with one more example of a brand that has been built with personality, this time on the Brand Archetype of The Ruler. It is of course Mercedes Benz. The Ruler personality is all about power, control and organisation. Some people might find this intimidating, yet The Ruler thrives in this position. Mercedes Benz has
positioned itself extremely well within this brand archetype tapping into the personality traits of a person in a leadership position, someone who is striving for a position of power. As an authority figure, a Mercedes symbolises status, upper class and good breeding. Hopefully this has demonstrated the power of building a brand with personality. But how do you as an individual on a limited budget go about finding out what your brand personality is? Well, at WRD we have the answer. We have developed a Brand Personalities online app that takes you through a word association game to help you determine ‘who’ your brand is. Some people are very clear on their brand, it’s tone and the image that they want to project, so the answer comes easily. However, for most people, clarity around their brand can often be confusing as they try to be all things to all people, which in a branding environment can appear to be a bit schizophrenic. If this happens to you, don’t be shy to ask for help. “Brand is not a product, that’s for sure; it’s not one item. It’s an idea, it’s a theory, it’s a meaning, it’s how you carry yourself. It’s aspirational, it’s inspirational.” - Kevin Plank To play our Brand Personalities Game head to www.brandpersonalities.com.au/app/
COLLABORATE WITH PEOPLE YOU CAN LEARN FROM - PHARREL
Janine Garner The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team. - Phil Jackson August saw the culmination of twelve months’ worth of extremely hard personal work. On 7th August, I was one of eight speakers at Matt Church’s Thoughtleaders Showcase - something that stretched my courage beyond anything I have ever done before. It was also the public unveiling of my book (in a sneak preview form!) and again, this is something that makes the nervous energy increase go just that little bit bonkers. The last year has meant phenomenally hard work, sacrifices and not a few tears. It’s meant frustrations and challenges. It has also meant laughter – a lot of laughter – and above all, it has shown me what an amazing team I have around me; not just professionally, but personally, and reinforced to me what the true spirit of collaboration means. The reason I formed the LBDGroup in the first place was because I wanted to bring to life a truly collaborative atmosphere for women of worth in the corporate and entrepreneurial spheres. Time and again this has come back to me, but no more so than in the last twelve months. The assistance that I have received from every member of the group, with both preparations for Showcase and with research for the book, has been immeasurable. My gorgeous husband and my three funny, naughty, intelligent, fearless children have put up with a year’s worth of preoccupation, ‘not now, Mummy’s working’, mindless repetition of my presentation in the bathroom at very strange hours and weird questions to my husband about Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (don’t ask) and my excitement about LEGO working with NASA, not to mention practising my Showcase jokes on him. Then there’s the people behind the scenes at Team LBDG and Janine Garner. We’re not a big group, but we are incredibly close-knit. There’s a reason I call them ‘Team Rockstar’ – it’s because they are. The way that everyone is willing to step up and do whatever is necessary, irrespective of what it may be, is both humbling and inspiring. They have spurred me on at times when quite frankly, all I have wanted to do is dissolve in a puddle of tears, grab a bottle of something cheap and nasty and forget all about my goals. I am extraordinary blessed in the people around me, and this is what I take forward with me on Thursday. I know they are the reason that whatever happens in the next twelve months, I have the benefit of big thinkers, bright minds, generous spirits, and great hearts backing my every move. Having these people around me? Already I have achieved more than many will in a lifetime.
Not Another Personal Branding Advice Article
Personal branding advice articles are a dime a dozen. Thousands of different opinions are churned out every day. Most of them are valid and do work. I am an entrepreneur and no expert in personal branding. I cannot guide you on this topic with authority. However, having built my personal and organisationâ€™s identity, I can share some of observations on building a social brand. I started from scratch, relying primarily on social media, and built my brand from zero to over 6,000 connections in fewer than three years. In addition to brand building, these networks have helped me impact the lives of thousands on a daily basis through grants and support initiatives. If the digital era has taught us anything, it is that: - there is no set formula for everyone. No textbook method or seven steps work the same way for a cross section of the population. - personal branding has elevated many entrepreneurs, thought leaders and ordinary people with a voice to the status previously reserved for celebrities. - easy access to information can result in lack of authenticity, leading to the quick demise of impact and relevance. As media historian Leo Braudy noted, â€œWhat only kings could accomplish in the past is now available to those of more modest meansâ€?. Honesty and authenticity Back in 2011 when Forming Circles was born, I realised there are over 22 million people in Australia, each with their own story. This instigated me to find a unique way to tell mine - with authenticity and in language that would resonate with those I wanted to influence. There is an overload of content online, giving most people the ability to build their brand using reasonable amount of intellect and a few ideas. To make myself heard, I had to take my core audience of budding entrepreneurs, mentors, youth and women through an interesting journey.
Thr Forming Circles brand and everything I did was related to who I was as an individual. A migrant who came to Australia with only $20 in the pocket. A mother wanting to empower youth through literacy and financial knowledge. An equities trader with sound investment acumen. An entrepreneur wanting to help other women and start-ups find their way. My communication, articles and voice reflected my background, what I learnt over the years and was learning along the way. Most importantly, I was comfortable with my public persona and positioning. This is a challenge for entrepreneurs who prefer privacy and grapple with going public for the good of the business. As the brand grew, I started attracting other people with similar stories of success – most that were hard won. Value in building social brand I remember reading that a strong online presence gets you recalled and evaluated in settings where you are not present to sell yourself. If you are an entrepreneur or need to build your brand, you know the power of social branding. It amazed me how few people considered this to be important when I became an entrepreneur in 2011 and, how few still do so. My day-to-day life consists of business plans, market prices, speaking to networks, financial management and other similar activities. As my business grew, so did my knowledge. While some information was easily available, I had to dig deeper for others. Through my journey, I shared observations and insights across social media – with the intention of brand building and also educating anyone who might not have seen the information previously. Forming Circles was an extension of my beliefs, passions and vision. Its social brand would not have had the right tone if I maintained a layer of distance. Through commentary, dialogue and engagement in social media and online publications, I was able to give my business and myself a voice in a crowded market. Community engagement Personal or entrepreneurial branding was all about building the community. As with being part of any flourishing community, I had to play an active role by listening, interacting,
supporting and engaging. The most common mistakes I saw people make were a) broadcasting messages on social media and not actively engaging, and, b) losing the personal touch by forgetting different emotions drive people. We have more power than ever to reach not only our communities, but also the whole world. The realisation that if I had this power, so would others – this made me work harder to be memorable and impactful. In an era of short human attention span and limited relevance, I had to put in effort to crafting stories that would appeal to the community – not just what interested me. As much as people want to learn about business issues, they also like to smile, laugh, be enthralled and inspired. My messages try to address these different elements by sharing pictures, inspiring quotes, life lessons and personal experiences – in addition to business information. Over the years, I have come across many people holding back, thinking they might not have anything interesting to say. You never know until you try.
There is no denying that business can be tough, ruthless and relentless. Verne Harnish, creator of the Gazelles system and author of Mastering the Rockefeller Habits wrote:
Transparency Collaboration & Rewards Melissa Browne
“Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed… every morning a lion wakes up. It knows it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death. It doesn’t matter whether you are a lion or a gazelle… when the sun comes up, you’d better be running” Verne wasn’t simply talking about the African ecology, he was describing business. That’s because, in business, if you’re not continually moving, focussed and restless then you’ll quickly be overtaken or swallowed by the swift moving market we as business owners now find ourselves in. What I know from documentaries I’ve watched on migration and the African eco-system is it’s the animal that stands by itself or finds itself separated from the herd that is in the most danger. Now I’m not suggesting from this that that you need to blend in as business but rather that strength can be found from others that are all moving in the same direction. Verne’s Gazelle’s method is an approach I’ve adopted both at A+TA and with my new business, Thinkers.inq and part of his method is transparency and collaboration. Now transparency might seem like a great thing to do internally and externally but I believe that transparency goes further than most business owners are prepared to take it. That’s because I believe transparency means lifting the veil of secrecy attached to certain parts of a business and particularly the numbers side. Now I know when I say to business owners that they should have transparency around the numbers they often cringe or break out in a sweat. That’s because many business owners believe if they share their numbers their employees will either want more money or be concerned at how little money the business is making. The thing is, your employees already have an opinion on how much the business makes and often, if all they see is the sales,
it is far more than the business really makes. I believe sharing the numbers with your employees does two things. It removes any hint of secrecy and it also means your team knows whether the business is performing well or poorly. Why does it matter? I believe by having transparency with your numbers, you can truly collaborate with your team really involve them in the business. How many times has your hair been on fire because there is no cash coming in, sales are down or the business isn’t functioning? Now imagine if it wasn’t just your hair on fire but instead, all your team members’ hair was on fire and they were all motivated and collaborating to do something about the problem the business was facing because they understood the predicament the business was in? Because they knew the numbers and what not meeting the critical numbers meant. That’s why I’m an advocate for transparency. Of course the opposite is also true. If you are trying to grow the business, then by sharing with your team the numbers you want to make in 90 days, 12 months, three years and what your Big Hairy Audacious Goal is, they can become excited and their hair can be on fire too (now in a positive way) to help the business achieve those goals. Of course if you’re paying your team poorly and if they’re not being rewarded when the business meets its goals, then they may quickly lose interest or become jaded. But by creating a culture of transparency, collaboration, paying your team well and then celebrating with them, I believe we can create truly high performing organisations. Collaborating with your team members by operating transparently with your numbers I believe also helps make business easier. That’s because you’re sharing the load. Sure you will always have someone want a pay rise or complain or feel entitled. That’s simply human nature. But that’s a conversation you can have with the team member around the risk associated with starting a business versus the security of being a well paid employee who is being rewarded for their work. Or perhaps a talk around career progression if it’s a valued team member and you want to find a way for them to increase their income. I’ve always found the risk to be far outweighed by the reward. I collaborate regularly with my team members around the numbers and an example of this is our monthly War Room. On the second last Thursday in the month we have a meeting we call the War Room. We go through the five critical numbers we are tracking and report on how we are going. If we’re tracking well then we talk about how we can continue to ensure we are doing well and what we can improve on. If we’re not doing well, we discuss why and how we can turn it around including if necessary a strategy to get back on track. Everyone is included in this meeting from the receptionist to the senior accountant because everyone’s opinion is valuable. I’ve found the receptionist will often give me the greatest insights because they’re on the coalface with the phones and can easily take the pulse of how my customers are feeling through the phone calls she is fielding. In my experience, transparency and collaboration with your team members around the numbers can take your business from good to great and help reduce your stress levels by sharing the load with your team. You don’t need to share the entire profit and loss statement, sometimes it’s just the four or five critical numbers that your business needs to watch and meet in order to achieve your goals.
Pistols Of Dawn: My Take On Collaboration
In tackling this particular issue, I’ve decided to just post some rambling thoughts as they come to me and will try to avoid taking them through to any natural conclusions. So, hopefully these few humble musings will cause you to pause and possibly even prompt some reflection within the context of your own interactions with others, particularly those with whom we should be able to collaborate but we just aren’t, can’t, don’t or won’t.
I’ve seen a lot of examples of great collaboration over the years, we all have: Lennon & McCartney, Holmes & Watson, Lois & Clark (a little nod to our Kate Stone there), Richard Burton & Elizabeth Taylor, Gin & Tonic. The list goes on. And the basis of all those successful collaborations is that each ingredient, person or otherwise, must Chris Allen seamlessly and willingly complement the other. Now, for every successful collaborative association I’ve ever witnessed there have been, unfortunately, almost as many absolute failures. And as I have a perverse fascination with the workplace as a petri dish for the fungi of social interaction, I thought I’d give some thought to some of those failures and what seems to be the common theme or themes behind them. Relying on reflection as the substrate to my sociological observations I realised that I have witnessed numerous botched attempts at collaboration in the workplace all of which have, unsurprisingly, failed dismally. When I consider what the primary cause of those failures has been, the words misunderstanding and mistrust spring to mind, followed in quick succession by themes like suspicion, conspiracy and retribution. All of which ultimately result in, to varying degrees, damage. Sometimes irreparably so. To be honest, I’ve never understood it. Surely we all go to work to, well, work, earn our pay, go home and get on with our lives. Don’t we? Of course not. The human condition is built on conflict and doubt and deception. We’re just programmed that way. All we need is a spark and a breeze to fan the flames. I’ve seen it happen in the workplace in dozens of different settings and one thing they have all had in common has been a negative culture. A negative culture is like a virus and in my view the breeding ground for fear and misunderstanding. And in any workplace misunderstanding is the deathwatch beetle of collaboration.
But then, look at all these commonalities again. They read like the ingredients of a Shakespearian tragedy. And it seems to me that in most work environments you end up with the Montagues and the Capulets in some way, shape or form, management and staff - or however you’d prefer to interpret it. And when change is thrust into the mix, the slightest miscalculation in the delivery of a message or adopting a calculated silence to avoid conflict over a certain issue invariably leads to conflict over another. Before you know it, the leaders of each side (or family) are eagerly bolstering their numbers by bestowing favours and promises in return for loyalty. Everyone becomes hell bent on beating the other side and in no time flat have all but forgotten whatever caused the rift in the first place. If we (very) loosely reference the King Lear ‘You’ll get more if you love me more’ premise, we soon realise how fraught this all is. Look at Kevin Spacey’s character, Frank Underwood, in House of Cards. Would you really want to be President that badly? Factions do not a collaborative environment make, and collaborating within factions is fine to a point but you’re still only splashing around in the same pond. There’s a Stockholm Syndrome aspect to it. You start believing the bullshit you’re being fed by whoever it is who’s pulling your factional strings. You’ll get nowhere and, more than anything, blindly marching along under somebody else’s agenda is not very brave. Set your own course. Anyway, that’s a whole other topic. To truly collaborate you have to recognise your own strengths and weaknesses, recognise the strengths and weaknesses of those around you, establish some common ground and then strive for success together under the different skills and opinions you each bring to the table. If we look at those duos I mentioned earlier, in every case there existed between them a healthy amount of tension, but the tension was maintained and the collaboration successful due to mutual respect and trust. When those two things are removed, then the tension takes over and everything snaps. Just look at Lennon & McCartney. So where does all this hyperbole leave us? Nowhere, really. Unless of course we’re all prepared to stare fear and mistrust square in the face and not give in to it. “Mend your speech a little, lest it may mar your fortunes” Shakespeare, KING LEAR
In Conversation with Milly Bridgen
Tell us a little about your business and what you do
I am co-founder, Managing Director and Licensee-in-charge of Property Investor Solutions Pty Ltd. I am a professional investor and Licensed Real Estate Agent. I have grown a highly successful property investment business through my sound in-depth understanding of the Australian property market. I began property investing at the tender age of 19 on a salary of just $20k per annum. I am passionate about property and the choices it can provide. My goal is to educate individuals in the power of property as an asset class and how to create wealth through property. We all work hard for our money and I show people how to make their money work hard for them.
What’s the bravest decision you have had to make in your business?
Bravery has a broad context! I see bravery in this context as pushing myself out of my comfort zone, taking risks and being fearless! In this context the bravest decision I have made is making the ‘leap’ from corporate life to starting my own company and creating a business that I feel truly passionate about, that I believe makes a difference in people’s lives, meets my core values as well as affording me valuable time with my beautiful family.
What’s your vision for your business?
My vision is to inform and educate those around me. I am passionate about property and I am passionate about women investing in property! The statistics for women and super are staggering low. The average Australian woman retires with only 60% of the super of her male counterparts. The average woman retires with only $112,000 and statistics show the lump sum is exhausted within the first six years. The facts are quite simple - Superannuation is NOT going to be enough. Simply put, my vision is to use my business as a platform to educate women on understanding what their financial future and retirement actually looks like and assist them in setting themselves up for financial freedom and long term security!
First thing you do in the morning?
I have to be honest.. it is not every morning.. but my ideal morning is: coffee (or tea) in bed whilst having a cuddle with my kids, then 20 mins on the cross trainer catching up on the news.. then I am ready to greet the day!
Most inspiring quote?
“Life is a gift, and it offers us the privilege, opportunity, and responsibility to give something back by becoming more.” - Tony Robbins
Top 3 tips for women in business?
1. Find a mentor and/or sponsor! In the words of Sylvia Ann Hewlett: Mentors put into words what you may not see about yourself or be able to articulate. They can help you determine your strengths: what you do exceptionally well and what sets you apart. Mentors can help you understand the unwritten rules, provide a map for the uncharted corridors to power, and reveal “the business behind the business.” 2. Embrace Change! – Success requires an open mind and the capacity to embrace change. The most successful entrepreneurs know this and actively seek change. Success, growth and fulfilment are achievable when you know how to cleverly adapt to a market that is ever changing. 3. And, of course, INVEST! Successful long term wealth strategies take time. Buy safe, solid assets that go up in value over the next 10, 20, 30 years.
What would you tell your 21 year old self now if you could?
Right now you are focused on making sure the ‘right’ people ‘like’ you. Believe in yourself, be kind to yourself, love you for who you are.. the rest will follow. When difficult situations arise and the decision or outcome seems SO important or overwhelming.. remember (as mum always says) ‘this too shall pass’… I guarantee you this is true! When conflict or miscommunication arises with friends, family or colleagues remember to ask yourself ‘what else can this mean?’ to allow yourself to come from a place of compassion and understanding – nothing in life has any meaning except the meaning you give it! Stand on your own two feet, work hard and put money away early so you can make your own choices when you need or want to. Most importantly be PRESENT, live in the NOW and be consciously grateful everyday, for you ARE truly blessed. PS enjoy those perky, voluptuous boobs.. you will miss those puppies later!
LBDs OUT AND ABOUT
The first of the exclusive preview copies of “From Me To We”! Pre-sales starts soon! Pre showcase drinks of Kir Royale!
Zoe Brewster & Janine Garner at Matt Churchâ€™s Thought Leader Showcase Event
The wonderful Lucy Raymond from Wiley Publishing and team JG. Available on line and from all leading book stores at the end of 2014. Pre- sales commencing soon.
We want to know what youâ€™re up to! - Simply email Lisa on support@ littleblackdressgroup.com.au with details & photos & we will do the rest.
LEADING WOMEN in Business Your exclusive invitation to Christina’s 2014 event! Christina Guidotti is one of Australia’s leading experts on belief, conviction and commitment in the areas of sales, leadership, productivity, achievement and fulfilment. As an authentic, powerful and inspiring speaker, author of two books, mentor and trusted professional advisor she partners with individuals, businesses and organisations to create life-changing and sustainable outcomes. You are invited to Christina’s annual event at the luxurious Palazzo Versace. This is a unique opportunity to meet inspiring women, boost your network and, best of all, to hear Christina’s powerful insights on true success and fulfilment in business and life. We are excited to announce that the CEO and Founder of The Little Black Dress Group Janine Garner will be our guest speaker and through this event Christina Guidotti will be supporting the First Seeds Fund which was founded by Janine in 2012! The First Seeds Fund brings together a group of female entrepreneurs and business women whose vision is to support the lives of women and children with a focus on education and employment. A portion of each ticket sale will be donated directly to First Seeds Fund and we will be encouraging all participants to match this donation on the day! Date: Tuesday 21st October Time: Registrations from 8.30am Commencing 9am and finishing at 5pm Venue: The Palazzo Versace, 94 Seaworld Dr, Main Beach QLD 4217 Investment: $490 which includes gourmet morning and afternoon tea and 6-star lunch in the Il Barocco Restaurant To register: www.christinaguidotti.com Phone 07 3871 0013 or Email email@example.com If you choose to stay on the Gold Coast, the Palazzo Versace are offering a 20% discount off the best available rate at the time of booking EXCLUSIVELY to women attending this event. So why not make a night or two of it and stay to enjoy the Palazzo Versace in all its beauty!
Christina Guidotti is one of Australia’s leading experts on belief, conviction and commitment in the areas of sales, leadership, productivity, achievement and fulfilment. As an authentic, powerful and inspiring speaker, author of two books, mentor and trusted professional advisor she partners with individuals, businesses and organisations to create life-changing and sustainable outcomes. For over two decades Christina has walked her own extraordinarily successful path as a mum, wife and a business leader. Inspired by the work of her business partner Matt Church – founder of Thought Leaders Global, Christina is passionate about increasing consciousness on the planet through her work as an Australian and New Zealand Thought Leaders Partner. She maintains a thriving Black Belt practice sharing her thought leadership around proven and powerful methods, teaching, supporting and holding her audience accountable. Christina is a role model to many - helping them to make every minute count. She knows that once the individual has mastered their own success this in turn has a rippling effect - improving quality of life, team culture, results, incomes and long-term profitability in business. In 2013 Christina authored “How To Have It All”, followed by her second book “True Believers” in 2014. What’s unique about Christina is her stamina in maintaining energy, enthusiasm and optimism for such a sustained period. Holding an ICF (International Coaching Federation Certificate) she is certainly living proof that her methods work. With her blend of compassion and conviction Christina engages and inspires her audience. She’s most commonly described as a powerhouse of energy. Christina is a true expert in business and life success. Testimonials Listening to Christina speak on stage, I immediately wanted to jump up, call out, hug her, high five those around me and run out the door so I could get on with putting her ideas into action! Christina walks her talk and has a proven track record showing you really can have it all. Angela Lockwood - Director of Lockwood Consulting and author of The Power of Conscious Choice Over the past 20 years, I have had the pleasure of working with Christina and have experienced great amazement at her instinctive ability and zest for life. She never has any half full glasses, there are always more than one and always overflowing with opportunities. Christina has the wonderful gift of encouraging those around her, I always leave her presence not wanting to waste a moment of my life. Let’s not even get into her incredible work ethic. Simply put, Christina is breathtaking to be around. Jennifer Coleman - Charter Financial Planning Limited 07 3391 4407 Christina is the real deal. She is a fabulous example of her work, super successful business woman, fabulous speaker. VERY inspiring. Matt Church - Founder, Thought Leaders Global - firstname.lastname@example.org Registration contact details: Shonleigh Ryan Phone: 07 38711 0013 Email: email@example.com Website: www.christinaguidotti.com See you there!
On top of several programs offline with teenagers, girl scouts and female role models, Dove took to communicating their brands’ identity online through a series of documentary style online videos produced and branded by them. Their content is some of the most viewed branded content online and the heartfelt story they tell consistently offline as well as through multiple channels online has helped them connect real beauty with their brand name for almost a decade. Relevant and engaging content is not out of reach for smaller brands. The key to creating content that elevates a brand is to have a clear idea of the story a brand wants to tell and to be consistent with any content that is being published. It is not just the story itself that matters; quality is crucial when it comes to content. It is no longer enough to own an email subscription list or have a certain amount of fans on Facebook. The quality of the content must be relevant, interesting and of high quality, in order to get consumed and most importantly shared by the user, otherwise it will get lost in the noise. To successfully translate their brand online, businesses need to move away from seeing digital and content as sales material and take on the role of publishers to seek and build a real audience of their own. Mind the Channels – choose the right technologies for your message No matter how good the story, the right choice of channels and technologies to distribute the content in a way that fits the audience and the message are paramount. The right choice of channels needs to emphasize the brand values and support the central brand idea, as much as fit the type of content produced and reach the correct audience. To get the best results from a digital presence, the brand experience that is created needs to be consistent, therefore the choice of channels needs to fit in with the rest of the brand’s identity, communication and attitude. In other words, if a brand is all about deep, meaningful connections, Twitter will not be an appropriate channel to tell their story as the limit of characters will make it challenging to get their message across effectively. On the other hand, if
a brand is all about live and up-to-date information or highly responsive customer service, Twitter’s features of short and real-time updates will support their story well. Red Bull is a brand that embodies action, adventure, and sports. Their territory is about physical and mental empowering in any sport or action pursuit, in music, clubbing, dancing or any other high-energy activity. One of their most relevant online channels is YouTube. To date, Red Bull has created 50 sports and adventure films and publishes them on a wildly popular YouTube channel. Red Bull chose YouTube and video as the channel and medium allow them to communicate their high-energy personality in a very effective and engaging way. @NatGeo is National Geographic’s’ handle on Twitter. Last year Forbes Magazine named them as number 4 of top 25 most engaged brands on Twitter. The 125-year-old organization built their brand’s identity around the idea of being a society that connects people who are passionate about geography. Online they own the territory of knowledge and quick facts. Twitter supports them to engage their society online, because the technology allows them to quickly share important scientific discoveries and causes, raise issues and discuss them. There are many channels to choose from, and new technologies are emerging fast and often. Each technology offers a unique environment and it helps to understand the features of every channel when choosing the right one for a brand’s identity, message and audience. Digital offers a very powerful set of tools that give businesses a unique opportunity to elevate their brand and create real connections with their audience. To truly use the technology to its full potential, brands need to step away from seeing digital as just another marketing channel and expect it to return quick results without investing considerable time and effort to build real long-term relationships with their customers. As with any marketing activity, if it is used without a firm understanding of the brands identity and personality, backed up by the right choice of channel and high-quality content, it will simply add to the noise and will fail to make a difference to your brand.
LBDG’s First Seeds Fund brings together its members and friends to support the lives of women and children with a focus on education and employment. We are currently funding an educational scholarship and programmes supporting Year 6 to Year 12 children in the disadvantaged NSW community of Warwick Farm. “The power of the First Seeds Fund comes not in the strength of the individual but through collaboration, the creation of a singular strong voice and a strategic approach to philanthropy,” says Janine Garner, founder of the First Seeds Fund. “Together we can all become architects of change.” The Sydney Community Foundation is the Trustee for the First Seeds Fund. As Trustee, the Sydney Community Foundation completes the due diligence process before grants are made to recipients and has final discretion on grants made after considering the recommendation/s of the First Seeds Fund advisory committee. The First Seeds Fund is a sub-fund of the Sydney Women’s Fund which is part of the Sydney Community Foundation.
To make a donation to the First Seeds Fund please click here.
Top Tips for Writing Hot Content
Sarah Harrison Founder of Hot Content and lifestyle brand Little Miss Melbourne, shares her knowledge in helping businesses achieve great results through effective content.
01 Plan Failing to plan is planning to fail when it comes to content. Make life easier right from the start by exploring the strategy behind your content before you start writing. This is also a great way of reconnecting with your business and reigniting the passion for what you do; the perfect primer for some inspired writing!
Know your audience Content is now all about the user (aka, the reader, target market, your audience). Know the target market identified in your planning and what makes them tick. How do they communicate? What solutions are they looking for? Put yourself in their shoes and think â€˜whatâ€™s in it for me?â€™
03 Be you While content may be created for the user, you still need to be you. The personality traits of your business and brand help communicate who you are. Fun, friendly, corporate, cheeky; be you, and help your audience get to know you for a stronger connection and some bonus brand loyalty.
Tone up Content can conjure different emotions, reactions and connections based on the tone of voice used. Identify your tone as a balance between what your audience will connect with, and the personality of your brand.
Bang on brief Whether you’re writing your own content or engaging someone to do it for you, the finished product can only ever be as good as the brief. Use all the valuable information you’ve identified and create a brief that helps you achieve everything you want out of your content.
06 Start writing Now you can get going on creating some awesome content! Mapping out what it’s going to look like (for websites, brochures, etc.) can be super effective for visual people. If you’re writing a blog or article and feeling stuck, revisit your objectives and who you’re talking to for a ‘hook in’.
Lose the ego See point number 2. Unless you’re writing a personal anecdote to connect with your audience (highly likely for blog content), it’s not about you. It’s about the benefits or experience you’re offering the reader. Be wary of too many “we”’s.
Inspire action Regardless of what you’re writing, include a call to action – always. Be it an email, blog, article, webpage, brochure, there’s a purpose behind what you’re writing. Tell your audience what you want them to do at the end and inspire them to act.
Edit and share You made it! Your beautifully crafted content is done. But give it a re-read – especially if you’ve been tapping away into the early hours. Edit your content with a fresh pair of eyes and then share it; first to a trusted sounding board for feedback, and then out to the rest of the world. Remember to leverage it through online channels for a greater reach.
Don’t loose your bounce this winter! How to keep your energy and build your immune system during the final winter months.
Rest For Winter Survival Nikki Fogden-Moore
We are so driven to balance all we do in work and other commitments, but often struggle to find personal balance and give ourselves permission to rest. A week ago I well and truly lost my mojo - with a massive dose of the flu and a series of days where I had to cancel meetings and interstate workshops with my team. I had to fast track getting better. Even coaches get it wrong at times! I knew the recipe for disaster was a combination of too many flights, long days and a ton of deadlines. I eat healthy and get plenty of fresh air and exercise. However, I was missing the magic ingredient. Enough REST. So I went back to following my own advice and took time out. Why does it matter - besides the fact you already know all this, I’m going to give you a gentle reminder of why rest is so crucial for health and wellbeing. Here are the TOP 5 why’s: 1. Mental agility 2. Physical rejuvenation and repair 3. Intuitive connection 4. Reduce the effects of stress 5. The power of being presen 1. Mental agility Downtime without distraction is crucial for our mental agility. You know ideas come to you with clarity and conviction when you give them space to. Rest increases our level of awareness, responsiveness and coordination. Lack of rest can be dangerous if you’re driving home late after long days or making big decisions and actions where your coordination and responsiveness are key. 2. Physical rejuvenation and repair Rest is vital for cellular recovery, repair and renewal. If you’re struggling to loose weight or not feeling your personal best chances are you can be over doing it, working too hard and working out too much. Good quality sleep and just R&R ensures your body is allowed to take a breather, and get on with the job of renewal and nurturing. Thinking of it as loading your phone battery on the charger.
3. ntuitive connection Mental space and a relaxed state of body and mind are linked directly to your ability to listen to your intuition. If you are able to tune out and be present you are able to truly listen to your intuition and make strong decision that are authentic, not out of fear, being rushed, stress or external factors. This is actually a very important element that we often loose sight of - but the one area of our lives that can be the most powerful. 4. Reduces the effects of stress The top 3 points are all elements on their own that reduce the effect stress has on our body. If we don’t stop and are constantly running on adrenaline we are releasing high levels of cortisol into our blood stream, effecting our digestive system and a direct impact on our nerves, organs and cellular function. The problem is our bodies are so well designed we often ignore these signs of stress, tiredness or even exhaustion and just push through them. We’ve limited the amount of fresh oxygen getting to our brain with shallow breathing we may not be aware of, an agitated nervous system and a lower immune system. It all has a compound effect. Rest allows us to bring our body and our minds back into balance. 5. The power of being present One of my favourite topics at the moment - so much so that I have giant post it notes out with clients at the moment as visual reminders to BE PRESENT. Rest is downtime required to stop thinking about the past or the future and just be in the moment. This often puts everything into perspective, improves our ability to listen, communicate and truly be connected to how we feel. A higher state of awareness is liberating and empowering. That all sounds great - but how do we create space and time to rest in our busy lives? First up: it doesn’t involve exercise, walking, running around, sorting out admin, cleaning or doing those odd jobs in the house. It means absolutely doing NOTHING. One of the biggest challenges many of us face. Here are some of my tips on building rest into your week as a PART of your agenda, not an after-thought.
1. Schedule ME time in your agenda 3 x per week for at least 1 HOUR. That could be catching up on some reading, finding a quiet space outside just to have a tea/coffee and not be connected to your phone. For some tips on this head over to my podcast on 5 elements of a winning week. I also make time to go to bed and read rather than be on social media or my computer. I love books, they transport me into another world and engage my imagination. Automatically powering off from the day. 2. Find things that help you create a relaxing atmosphere. I have some fantastic herbal teas I really love and will rent a movie. It could be great meditation music - there are fabulous apps out there with meditation and relaxing music you can have in the background. Limit harsh light and distracting noise. 3. Be clear and share the planning. If you’ve got a busy household with kids and family then on Sundays plan time with your spouse to share the workload and put your ME time in the agenda ahead of time. It’s not about being selfish or making grand gestures - but small moments in your week that allow you to calibrate and be better parent, partner, friend, leader or colleague. It truly makes a world of difference when you can be there for others with a sense of harmony and focus - rather than frazzled and stressed out. 4. Think of rest as your daily dose of happiness or your moment of peace. In between your ‘hour of power’ rest days I mention in point 1, find 10-15 minutes each day that you can just be alone or if you’re watching your kids sports bring a book or grab a coffee and make time for yourself. You don’t need to fill every moment with meetings or social gatherings. Create space. 5. Run a bath, jump in the shower, dive into some water. Floating and the feeling of water can be extremely therapeutic. Turn off your phone and if you have responsibilities with your kids ensure they know where you are and that you are there if they REALLY need you. Or ask them to hang out and read with you, encourage a moment of quiet time after dinner with everyone. If your child is young then take a power nap when they nap. The odd jobs around the house will have to wait for 15 minutes.
If you run a busy business and a family then take a step back and look at the moments in a given day when you are able to make your own plans. Schedule meetings differently. You are in charge of your day and really need to ensure your mental and physical health are part of your ‘business’ agenda. 6. Lead by example. If you are running around your office telling everyone how stressed and busy you are that sets the scene and a certain culture. Often we are not aware of the indirect messages we create as directors and leaders. Those around you look to you for how you manage yourself and your time. Think about how you can communicate the power of being present to your team - so they don’t rush into decisions and run around hyped up and unconnected. At the same time demonstrate responsible ways of taking time out that will be respected and honoured. For example encouraging people to eat lunch outside or in a nice area rather the behind their desk. Having a quiet space in the office where people can go to think and take a nano-break is ideal. More than ever we have the ability to shape our work environments. Talk about the importance of rest in team meetings and wellbeing. If you’re reading this chances are you are someone that has influence in your company or run one yourself. Start thinking differently about the hours in a day and the way a week looks. Healthy food.. Getting your diets into a nutrient rich balance that boosts your immune system is the strategy. Swop your second coffee for a fresh juice or avoid coffee altogether and order green teas, smoothies, add ginger and greens to your juices at home or when ordering. Steam and stir fry plenty of vegetables and good quality lean protein with organic garlic. • Dose up on vitamin c with fresh citrus fruits, spinach and broccoli. • Look for lots of vegetables and fresh ingredients that are rich in natural colour these are packed full of nutritional value and often fibre as well. Fresh is best.
There are always supplements you can take to support your lifestyle and a base healthy diet. For me I use Bsc Naturals Immuniflux which contains olive leaf extract and Floradix Iron Tonic - an old staple in my fridge as I don’t eat a lot of red meat and need the iron and extra minerals. I’d love to share some great products with you and Bodyscience have helped create my own members page - so you can grab your winter warmers for nutrition support and great training gear online with 30% off all their products http:// www.bodyscience.com.au/shop/vitalitycoach For some healthy smoothies and recipes you can download head over to www.thevitalitycoach. com.au/category/nutrition-2/ For the podcast on The Power Of Being Present head to TVC 029: The Power Of Being Present Health & Happiness Nikki
ALONE WE CAN DO SO LITTLE, TOGETHER WE CAN DO SO MUCH!
News & Reviews
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Lois Lane Lives: A Woman Of Letters
Last year, a book came out called ‘Women of Letters’, where various men in the Australian arts wrote letters to women – either real or imaginary – who had influenced their path to music, theatre, painting – or naturally, writing. Well, admittedly I am not a bloke, but there is no denying that a woman firmly put my feet on the path to throwing words on a page for a living. And although there are obviously beloved authors who set rockets off in my brain on a minute by minute basis from the moment I could work out ‘one fish, two fish’, a lot of the credit goes to an ordinary woman, who in many ways, of course, is extraordinary. Why? Because she granted me freedom; the freedom to know my way around my imagination.
Dear Miss Moore I wonder if you realised at the time the impact you would have on an already established bookworm when you arrived at our tiny little primary school, and started to set interesting writing exercises – and paid attention to what I was writing? Not only that; you paid attention to what I was reading, and gave me access to books that I had never even imagined existed. My mother and father were (and are) both readers, and had encouraged and nurtured me in my precocious tastes, but they were both busy, and I think that simply not stopping me from reading at night rather than saying ‘TURN OFF THAT BLOODY LIGHT AND GO TO SLEEP! was a gift in itself. But you… well, you handed me the keys to the kingdom, as it were.
The Mill On The Floss. The Hobbit. Jane Eyre. Persuasion and my beloved Pride and Prejudice. And, best of all… (thankfully, after I said ‘really didn’t like The Hobbit, Miss Moore’) – you handed me The Lord of The Rings. And that’s when I realised that there was a world beyond Narnia, because before that, nothing could have torn me away from Aslan. After? Aragorn was the King, and if I could have been Arwen, believe me, I would have. Actually, more likely I would have been Eowyn. But that’s another story. Some would say that eleven years old, I was too young for some of the books you handed me, and for some of the topics you gave us (well, let’s face it, me) to write about. I disagree. I may not have understood everything that I read, but there were parts of each book I was handed that helped me cope with being (and this is not ego, but fact) a clever child in a small country school, with a teacher for a mum. They dealt with loneliness, and isolation, and loss. They dealt with indifference, and difference. They dealt with what it meant to be a square peg in a round hole. Miss Moore (or as I now have the privilege to call you, Marie), you were a very sparky light in what could be a very dull grey existence for an imaginative child. Without your prompting of my reading, and without the way that you said ‘OK, we aren’t going to write about “what I did on my holidays”; we’re going to write about “what country we would form if we were the President of a nation and had control of the entire economy and defence force”’. Ground breaking stuff in 1983. I know I didn’t thank you at the time. I hope that some of what I have written over the years counts as an adequate explanation of what you did for my imagination, and my happiness, and my growth as both a reader and writer. So thank you Miss Moore, my inspiration and in many ways, the foundation of why I write. Well, that and a massive crush on old Aragorn.
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Members of the LBDGroup are cross functional and cross industry. Lawyers, bankers, marketing and PR professionals, media, mining, construction, designers, jewellery, fashion, philanthropists, non-for-profit, human resources, fitness, health and well-being, property, sales, speakers and authors to name but a few. And with a fabulous mix of corporates to own business it is the quality of conversations that we have that make us so different. JOIN US We offer three levels of membership for women that are committed to building their businesses, to fast track their growth and to ensure that they are surrounding themselves with the best in the businesses. BLACK, DIAMOND and PLATINUM membership levels are designed to offer increasing one to one mentoring and group mentoring and business education and training. Depending on where you are in your journey there is a membership level that’s right for you “Janine has an enviable drive and motivation that is not only infectious but so supportive & constructive. It is so very refreshing and admirable to see someone turn their passion in to reality and back it up with such determination to bring like-minded, talented & intelligent women together.” Prue Thomas Group Marketing Director- Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge & Glue Store - Australia
“Janine Garner is an inspiring visionary who brings together like-minded people to pursue and attain professional goals. Janine is a confident and warm person, and her skill of collaboration is impressive. The Little Black Dress Group is a brilliant source of knowledge and expression for business women and Janine is the keystone to its success.” Kath Creel Marketing Director at Impact AV Australia