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Business/Branding Advice


What Is Luxury to a Brand?

“Luxury is the possibility to stay close to your customers, and do things that you know they will love. It’s about subtlety and details. It’s about service. I cannot accept a place where people are badly received. I can’t imagine spending several thousand dollars on something and the salesclerk gets annoyed because you took fifteen minutes to look. Luxury is not consumerism. It is educating the eyes to see that special quality.” Christian Louboutin

It’s not the tools

“It is a poor workman who blames his tools – the good man gets on with the job, given what he’s got, and gets the best answer he can.” And I suggest that by altering the problem, by looking at the thing differently, you can make a great deal of difference in your final productivity because you can either do it in such a fashion that people can indeed build on what you’ve done, or you can do it in such a fashion that the next person has to essentially duplicate again what you’ve done.

It isn’t just a matter of the job, it’s the way you write the report, the way you write the paper, the whole attitude. It’s just as easy to do a broad, general job as one very special case. And it’s much more satisfying and rewarding!”

From You and Your Research

Change Makers

“So, what can companies do [about social business]?

“Experimentation is key. I believe that social champions are evolving into champions of change and internal transformation. I actually see businesses changing how they approach social media to deliver value to the consumer,” Solis said. “We’re at the end of decades of moving away from the customer, automating their experiences, and interpreting loyalty by how much they spend not how much they drive business and that’s changing because of the tenets social media encourages. But not of this is possible without the voice of the consumer and employee gaining strength and the voice of change agents who are making a difference internally.”

From The Battle for Social Media Authenticity

When I work with companies in helping them do social business, this is exactly what I say/think/do. Social Media is not a stand alone that someone with a twitter account can do. In itself, it’s not a strategy – it’s a tactic. Doing social business takes someone knowing businesses, of being able to think differently, of knowing how to connect the internal structure of a company to an external community and more over, being able to create the internal change needed to bring it all together.

It’s often a hard and long processes because exec’s think social media is pure marketing and often entry level. But it takes someone with leadership, creativity, insight and human/business understanding to do it right.

Most of all, it takes passion and courage to be a change maker. Because the resistence you’ll get initially and the blockers that will keep popping up and the amount of ideas, meetings and selling you’ll have to do will be a lot.

But so will the rewards.

Online Brand Management

In the past five years I’ve worked with a lot of brands get into social media in a holistic, useful, human way. Each of the companies had unique internal organizations, brand voice, industry (retail, software, online content, hollywood PR) and different external goals. But after working with several companies and their different needs, I began to realise an overall process that was needed before doing any kind of campaigns, marketing or expansion on – especially in case a crisis situation arose (and it always, always did in the most surprising of ways).

When I work with companies now, the following presentation is the basics of what I do (and I do mean basics!). I’m a huge believer that you don’t just “do” social media or hire an intern or someone out of school because ‘they know how to tweet’ (I remind people that if it took them 5 years to build a company, it can be undone in 5 seconds with the wrong tweet).

Before a company gets into social media, they need to ask themselves a very important question: why. Once that’s answered, they need to figure out what the brand’s online voice is (this can sometimes be a couple of months of trial and error to see what’s working & what isn’t) and then what social media channels work best for all of that and the company. Then the whole company can start to produce the right content, customer service and campaigns plus be able to receive information back from the community, grow it, and empower it.

The other big component is the Crisis Communication solution, lightly touched on here. It’s something I try to get initiated in the beginning of working with a company but generally speaking, it’s been hard to partner with PR and internal groups to get this accomplished as a lot of companies – particularly corporations – are used to working in silos. And PR, generally speaking, acts as a gate keeper of information and doesn’t seem to like partnering with social groups in solving online issues (they like to “make statements” instead of looking at the issue, understanding its online process and community, and addressing it frankly). Usually the thought of a crisis communication plan doesn’t come up until, well, there’s a crisis. Don’t let that happen to you – trust me.

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“Your brand statement tells who you want to be. Your customer service says who you really are.

How you treat your customers, employees, and vendors tells the truth about your brand. Just as actions speak louder than words, there is no way you can proclaim yourself a “people company” unless you prove it by living the values that look so good in print.

Who you hire, what you celebrate, and the values you live tell more about your brand than any fancy brochure.”

From Your Brand Can’t Hide Behind Poor Service