Personal Branding 201: Make Experience Work For You

Personal branding is a buzzworthy phrase that has significant applications to the corporate world. And when people discuss it, they typically are focused on an audience of college-aged or young professionals who are starting their careers. But what if you are a seasoned, experienced professional…can you still benefit from a personal branding refresh? Absolutely.

Personal branding is about you and your reputation – it’s how people get to know you (a LinkedIn profile, a published article, an industry presentation). It’s the hallmark of who you are and the quality of the work you represent. Ask yourself the following questions (and be blatantly honest with your answers) when you consider your personal brand.

  • What do people say about you when you leave the room?
  • What do you want them to say?
  • What do they currently say?

If the answers aren’t what you want to project and you have been working for an organization for a while, you may not be cultivating your brand as actively as you should. Personal branding is not something that can be built overnight, so you need to be thoughtful about what you represent.

Moving to a new role within your current organization

So as you contemplate your next career move, what role do you want next? If you are happy with your organization or industry, it might be simply tweaking your current social media profiles to reflect current responsibilities. Have you found ways to lead within your team? Now is the time to publicize yourself as a subject matter expert within your organization. Is there an internal employee online forum where you can share how you solved a problem or presented an innovative solution? If you have numbers that show a dramatic cost savings or efficiency, those results should be announced.

Moving to a new role within the same industry

If you are already seen as a subject matter expert within your organization, then it is time to engage with other thought-leaders in your industry on professional social forums. Branch out on your LinkedIn groups and participate in professional associations. Volunteering is a great way to get your name out there AND get to know the movers and the shakers within the industry at a local level. All of that networking can help you find a localized role or help you learn about growth culture at various companies.

Moving to a new role in a new industry

If you are looking to change industries, then consider networking with (and following) influencers and industry thought-leaders in those fields. Comment on blogs or social media posts and offer your unique perspective where appropriate. Your ability to make connections and look for commonalities/strengths can be a leg up to getting a role. Working with an organization where innovation is a priority and keeping learning at the forefront of your development means you can be well-positioned to change industries. Take some time to pause and listen to the conversations out there and contribute appropriately.

Reconsider your elevator pitch; make sure it highlights your past successes and explains how you are evolving your focus to a new industry. People with strong personal brands make learning a priority and demonstrating an ability to grow and learn is a component to your success. This is how your personal brand can evolve over time: remaining curious, careful planning and networking, all while making sure your reputation is the best it can be.

Finally, let people know you are ready to make a career move. Contact well-connected members of your network (or re-establish old connections), research, apply and interview for roles where you meet the advertised qualifications. But remember, your personal brand isn’t all about you; it’s how you can help others.

Personal branding takes time and dedication. A strong personal brand can help you find new career opportunities and can help add value to every assignment or project you undertake. Continue to evolve you and your brand will follow!

Photo Credit: NazarDraganchuk Flickr via Compfight cc

5 Ways To Grow Employee Brand Advocates

This is a time of synergy: Viral is the new normal, everyone is a brand (whether they know it or not), and smart organizations are turning to employee advocacy. They’re leveraging the selling power of their most valuable spokespeople: employees. This vibrant interconnection between employers and employees is enabled by the new order of social media, among other forces. A global study of some 2,300 employees (ages 18–65) found that 50% of employees shared something on social media about their employer.

In this prevailing social, mobile and transparency culture, we’re blessed with endless access to information and image, and just as endless opportunities to use it. There’s always something to share, be it positive or negative: it can go either way. Based on circumstances, the synergy between employer and employee as brand advocate is a nice juicy handout; not only do we get people to work for us, we get them to rep us, too. But it’s a marketing dream that’s only as dreamy as you are able to make it. It’s only going to thrive if organizations know how to maximize the potential.

Five things to consider:

Let them. Everyone wants to stand out, and in these mobile social times, we are what we post. Everyone is out there building a personal brand: blogging, tweeting, doing the Facebook thing, writing, commenting, posting, or reviewing. Or all of the above: it is rare indeed to find someone who is not weighing in, though certainly some of us are better at it than others. Companies that consider every employee a potential brand ambassador are playing to far better odds.

Be open. A year and change ago, this post by a millennial on how to build a personal brand was pretty much cutting edge; within a few months, not so much. Here’s another reality: social is constantly morphing, and employees tend to use their own preferred online assets, not yours. So just because a 40-year-old manager doesn’t understand the impact of Snapchat, that doesn’t mean the savviest 20-something employees don’t. The site’s got more visitors (23%) than both Twitter (21%) and LinkedIn (20%), and in the past year, awareness of it among people age 12 and older has gone up from 60% to 71%. Caveat: nothing against 40-year-old managers.

Be transparent. Here’s where your company’s policy of genuine transparency will really pay off. It’s all about trusting people to speak for you, trusting them with information, trusting their judgment and acumen. Employees have to feel empowered enough to want to speak up, which also means hearing what they want to say. They need to feel like they’re free to choose to represent the brand or not as well: you can’t, and don’t want to, require a plastered on smile. LinkedIn research also found that 61% of LinkedIn members who follow your organization are ready, willing, and able to act as your brand ambassadors. And we know that employees garner more trust than entities, so let them.

Share. Confidence is key with employee advocates; if they don’t feel like they know what the organization is doing, they can’t advocate with enough authority — or candor. Make sure your employees are truly privy to what’s happening, and activate them to be able to share that message as well. That same global survey (by Weber Shandwick) found that 39% of those employees have shared something positive and complimentary about their employer. What does it take to get that number higher? Give them more to say. If you want employees to invest their own personal brand in your brand, then build that bridge. They need to be privy, feel on the inside, in order to become engaged, not just with your brand, but with its success.

Measure. Is it working? There are countless ways to find out. You need to be looking for a range of key performance indicators (KPIs), including social leads, reach, mentions, and engagement. Use metrics that are powerful and agile to track the information you need to track, and also the trajectory of a campaign. Track who’s participating, who’s really taking the ball and running with it, and where. Then you can take the successes and focus on them, refining the program with meaningful data. Once again, it’s analytics that really crystallize the power of this synergy between employer and employee.

The power of employee advocates is unlimited, and it dovetails beautifully into the new perception of work as an investment not only in hours, but in engagement. But like anything in our business, we have no idea how long it’s going to last, and no metrics to predict that — yet. But I met someone who was thrilled about his company’s new program to measure KPI. And no, he wasn’t paid to tell me about it. Which is why, I think, he was so happy to – and I was certainly thrilled to listen.

A version of this was first posted on

Culture, Brand, Engagement: How Benefits Support HR’s Three-Legged Stool

You know the old three-legged stool metaphor: you can’t sit down if one of those legs is off. In HR, that means culture, brand and engagement. All three are closely, intrinsically related; even more so given the new world of work. In the Deloitte University Press’ Global Human Capital Trends 2015 report, the news shows palpable gaps between perceived weaknesses in all, and the capability to solve them.

Among the findings, gleaned from more than 3,300 business and HR leaders:

  • 87% of organizations cite workforce culture and engagement as a top challenges.
  • 38% of respondents felt like they were “weak” when it came to helping employees balance personal and professional life/work demands.
  • 71% of those who responded stressed the importance of reinventing their HR, but only 42% said they felt actually prepared and ready to do it.

That last stat in particular is compelling, reflecting a hefty gap (30%) between perception and action. Not surprising: the radically changing world of work knows it needs to undergo an equally radical readjustment in HR. In terms of positive realignments, here’s one arena to consider: Benefits. Rather than a part of the basic HR operations, benefits are a deeply entrenched facet of company culture and brand, and a critical driver of employee engagement.

Brand Awesome

Successful organizations like Netflix make the connection between employer brand and HR — including benefits. Logically, a new breed of workplace needs a new approach to talent, so it created one. In terms of recruitment, it made sure to include its approach to benefits as part of the brand. In terms of firing, it turns a loss into a mutual gain: if someone is let go, a generous severance may help her regroup, retrain and further their career — which possibly means she circles back to the company with more training and experience (on someone else’s dime).

A Culture Of Benefits

Other Netflix innovations include flexible vacation time, an honor system policy on expenses, and an interesting take on perks: this is an organization that figured out that having grade-A colleagues (a.k.a. fully formed adults) is a better employee perk than foosball. Other realistic components include health care programs (such as those created by Jiff) that incentivize employees to use services that promote their actual health. Firms may also offer realistic avenues for improving financial wellness — such as reducing crippling student loan debt and investing with a conscience via a firm like SoFi. Offering these kinds of benefits isn’t the norm yet, but it’s helping to set a new standard, delineating a forward thinking, authentic culture that is clearly aligned to the new world of work.

Transparency Drives Engagement

The Deloitte study found that 78% of respondents believed culture and engagement are critical, but only 47% felt ready to put that into action. For that 31% gap, consider the Netflix severance concept, which uses HR strategy to replace taboo with transparency — and that, my friends, is a radical cultural shift. It scales the traditional, monolithic fear of losing ones job down to a normal hiccup (or not) in a modern career trajectory.

The change aligns with how millennial (and other) employees perceive working — as constant disruptions, possible even in employment itself. In Netflix’s case, it also means an authentic and open conversation in which both parties play grown-up. Virgin made a similar splash with its greatly expanded parental leave policy. Such instances foster engagement by allowing for the fact that yes, we are all human here. Things happen. Families happen. We will adjust — with you.

Lack of employee engagement has some heavy hidden costs, but they’re completely logical: engagement is part emotion, part function. If an employee feels as if they’re not being supported or acknowledged for their own emotional and functional expenditure on behalf of your company, then they’re going to spend less of that energy. But create a benefits program that recognizes that exchange, and is the figurehead of an authentic culture, and you drive and deepen engagement. Now, have a seat.

A version of this was first posted on Forbes.

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Be The Influencer You Admire

“You can never really live anyone else’s life, not even your child’s. The influence you exert is through your own life, and what you’ve become yourself.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

Influencer. This is a word bandied about quite a bit. It’s usually associated with someone in a leadership, management or pop culture position. Being labeled an influencer has a positive connotation and it’s a compliment. It means the person with this brand has earned his/her stripes and is now being recognized for their knowledge and strengths, but along with this acknowledgment comes a huge responsibility. Specifically, the responsibility lies in how someone wields this position.

Not exactly the opposite of influencer, but different in subtle and meaningful ways, is the manipulator. Many people define this person as someone who acts to gain an advantage for the sole benefit of him/herself. When comparing the two, influencers, elicit a profoundly more positive opinion. In a business setting, influencers are likely, people in a leadership role with oversight of other individuals. However, there are plenty of situations where someone wasn’t a member of leadership, initially anyway, but through dedication to his/her cause rose to the influencer distinction (and more).

Two such people are Crystal Lee Sutton a.k.a. “Norma Rae” and Lech Walesa. So what did these people do that brands them an influencer rather than manipulator? They used their voice and actions to find a better way for the many.

Influencing For The Good

In the case of Ms. Sutton, she fought for the rights of herself and fellow co-workers who endured hard work and long hours for very low wages that were not in keeping with the labor laws at that period of time. She symbolically became the voice of the people within her organization, and with that she galvanized her co-workers to unite and fight for the rights due them.

For Lech Walesa, he fought for the rights of skilled labor in communist Poland. He rallied his co-workers to unite and deny the factions that set out to deny their labor rights and benefits. He used his influence to gain advantages for the disenfranchised and for that he was later recognized and elected the President of Poland.

Ms. Sutton and Lech Walesa are two people who bridled their motivation and used their influence for the betterment of many.

Thinking back to recent history, there are many stories about influencers who used their voice and actions to advance mankind or simply to advance the mission of their organization. Often times, these people were in leadership roles and because of this, could gather an audience by request.

One person who stands out this way is Howard Schultz, Chairman and CEO of Starbucks, who uses his notoriety and influence to create programs for veterans suffering from PTSD and young adults in need of a job. As Shultz states, “Success is best when it’s shared.”

Not Always In The Spotlight

The people I mention have all done great things to advance improvements in their particular situations, but what about the people who have not gained fame for their ability to influence positively? Through my own business dealings I know many. They’re not the people you read about on The Huffington Post or in Time, but they are people who use their influence carefully, skillfully and with intent to do good rather than harm.

Be Mindful

Being able to reach people through the spoken word or with actions is a very powerful statement, and as I mentioned, it comes with tremendous responsibility. Often times, the best way to inspire is to live beyond the spoken word and influence by example.

Organizing your strategy and clarifying intentions is helpful before you take action. It’s important to recognize the difference between intentional manipulation and stalwart influencing. Next time you’re in a position to use your influence, ask yourself these questions:

  • Am I doing this for my gain or the betterment of other people, or my organization?
  • How will everyone benefit from my words and actions?
  • Have I thought this through carefully?
  • Will anyone/thing be harmed by the outcome?
  • What approach will be most effective without intimidating people?

By addressing these questions, you’ve examined your own intentions. People who want to, truly, cast influence without the effect of manipulation, consider it second nature to contemplate this before taking action. People who influence responsibly are not instilling guilt, being confrontational, withdrawing support, or making people feel “on guard” or trapped to acquiesce. Responsible influencers prefer to provide substantive information to help build their case and implement reasoning to help people understand. Though the end-result may benefit the influencer, others will, also, benefit and gain from listening and choosing to take the suggested path.

Everyone has the ability to influence, and utilizing your emotional intelligence can be very helpful in steering your approach and guiding your moral compass. Just be the influencer you respect. If you see the good, others will likely, as well.

photo credit: Osaka – Umeda Sky Building via photopin (license)

Discovering Your Brand

There is something powerful about someone who knows who they are and what they are all about. It’s even more attractive when you can genuinely feel their presence in written word and spoken word.

Branding isn’t something you craft so let me break that down for you. It’s something you begin to discover by becoming aware of who you truly are. No sugar coating, no ideal scenarios, just you.

You might begin to ponder why anyone really likes you? Maybe you are shocked to learn that you truly aren’t who you say you are when it comes down to it. And you know what? That is okay.

Why? Because it’s part of the discovery process.

You can’t become who you are without truly acknowledging all your shortcomings, your goofy ways, your insecurities, your obsessions, and much more.

Why is this important? Well, in order to build a powerful and sustainable brand, you must know exactly who you are and what you are all about.

Let’s think of a few brands you associate yourself with:

  • What’s their mission?
  • What do they sell/do?
  • Who do they normally target/what is their demographic?
  • Why are they here?

While you may think that a brand’s mission is equivalent to why they are here, it’s not always black and white. Much is the same for someone without self-awareness. You cannot full embody your brand without knowing all the in’s and out’s of your brand aka your self-awareness.

Where does your brand come into play?

Everywhere. Every action you take and every word you say is a reflection of you. And yes, even when you are having a rough day and you do something rash — that’s you. But you know what else is you? What you say/do after that — that defines the moment.

Everyone is different and that is something I have truly found beautiful in this world. Don’t be afraid to be yourself and to have emotions. Anger, sadness, fear, happiness, excitement, disappointment, anxious — it’s all part of the journey. Each moment we live fully, we begin to understand who we are as vulnerable beings.

In moments of despair and uncertainty, we begin to understand how to compose ourselves in the moment. The only way to get there is the opposite. Time after time, we see a pattern and start to craft “I”.

This is who “I” am and i’m not afraid to show it. This is where you want to be no matter who you are and what you are all about.

Let’s write it together (Takeaways)

  1. Who are you and what are you all about? Think deep and take your time.
  2. If this was the beginning of your life purpose, what do you want to focus on? What subjects, causes, people, desires? Don’t worry, this will change over time.
  3. Who are your friends? Do they align with your purpose and brand? Variety is OK but make sure you aren’t surrounding yourself with assholes.
  4. What is your expertise or future expertise? People like to follow experts in their craft or at least humorous until they become that person.

In a world full of impostors, make a point to stand out whenever you can. Don’t feed others what they would want from you but what you want/like/desire/enjoy/believe. Your personality is what we all want — show us.

You are you and nothing will ever change that. Embrace it.

A version of this post was first published on Medium 1/15/16.

#TChat Recap: How Body Language Powers Your Brand

How Body Language Powers Your Brand 

I think etiquette is old school. There, I said it.

With so many ways to communicate, is the idea of etiquette too confining in the Social Age?

Etiquette may be old school, but good manners still matter.

Soft skills are the new differentiators in personal branding. In a blink of an eye, we can fell valued or dismissed on social.

This week on #TChat: Deborah Thomas-Nininger, founder of DTN Productions International-Hallmark of Etiquette, joined our social community and shared her knowledge on body language and its electrifying brand affects.

Body language is more than just a good handshake: it’s an essential part of your personal brand.

Let people see who you are through your body language. Powerful body language is memorable: what takes years to build can dissolve in an instant.

Social technology has changed the landscape of personal branding and reputation management. Transparency and authenticity are non-negotiables in a world gone social. Your reputation is your personal branding, and vice-versa.

Body language is an often overlooked and under-estimated ingredient to successful personal branding. Give this critical soft skill the attention it deserves. 

See What #TChat-ters Said About Talent! 


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TChatRadio_logo_020813-300x300#TChat Radio Kicks Off at 7pm ET / 4pm PT — Our weekly radio show runs 30 minutes. Usually, our social community joins us on Twitter as well. The topic: How Authentic Storytelling Impacts Talent Strategies.

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Building An Authentic Brand: A Case Study

Building a brand that stands for something is challenging; it takes time and, most importantly, authenticity. Almost all companies hope to impart a positive emotion or gain immediate recognition upon someone viewing their logo, hearing their name or considering their story. Zippo is one such company that has been able to achieve that success.

When most people hear the word Zippo, they have immediate brand recognition. Its name and brand persona hold a reputation of tradition and durability that companies and industry leaders can learn from.

Zippo Conveys Quality and Personality

Zippo employs these important values throughout the company. Personality reflects the nature of the brand, right to its core. A Zippo lighter is considered an extension of one’s personality, a reflection of a person’s character right down to the color and design of the lighter. With personality in mind, Zippo has also made innovations in its manufacturing processes to emphasize design by making customizations available on itswebsite. Today, Zippo’s “Customize It” feature online enables consumers to upload any image they want imprinted on their lighter. This creates a unique Zippo, allowing users to make a statement about who they are and what’s important to them.

Zippo works each day to ensure that its brand promises shape its business decisions. It believes that quality starts at its roots, and that supporting consumers who share its values is the most effective way to fuel growth.

“We believe in communicating quality through our lifetime guarantee policy – ‘It Works or We Fix It Free’ – which is threaded throughout the company,” says Global Marketing Director David Warfel.

Marketers, entrepreneurs and company executives alike should consider the values that a company operates within before creating a campaign or advertising strategy. By tying efforts to a brand’s promise, you’ll be creating something that is more meaningful—to you, your company and your consumers.

Zippo Knows How to Communicate Directly with Fans

Zippo recently created an experience for fans by fans—a campaign inspired by consumer feedback and its long-held company values—#ShareThePain. In response to a growing number of consumers turning to social media to vent about the loss of their Zippo lighters, Zippo launched and created custom meaningful content unique to Zippo consumers. It engaged with consumers one-on-one via Twitter to commiserate the pain of losing a beloved lighter.

“The results from the campaign have been exceptional, and we’ve seen an organic increase of over 8,500 fans on Zippo’s Facebook and Twitter accounts. It is important for the future of the brand to have a strong presence on social media so that we can continue to nurture the relationships we’ve developed with our passionate fan base,” says Warfel.

#ShareThePain is an example of Zippo furthering its investment in consumer insight, knowing where its target audiences live and engaging with them in meaningful conversation. The key insight is that the entire campaign was built around quality and personality.

In the U.S. alone Zippo continues to see over 100 tweets each month about lost Zippo lighters, and these tweets are completely unsolicited. As a brand, this offers Zippo an ongoing opportunity to engage with fans and offer “condolences” for lost lighters. It also provides an opportunity to learn from consumers and turn feedback into ideas around how to better communicate with them, provide content and services they find most important, and continue to drive the brand in the direction that resonates with consumers most.

Zippo will continue to be a thriving brand because of its authenticity and ability to successfully communicate with its consumers. It’s revolving its business around its consumers, and that’s what people truly value in a brand.

photo credit: raphaelstrada via photopin cc

Futbol, The World Cup And Brand Performance

This year’s World Cup was without a doubt the best tournament I can remember in years. It was full of exciting games, dramatic outcomes, standout performances and unexpected surprises. What more could futbol fans ask for? After a month of watching every match intently, listening to the incessant post-game banter, and feeling the buzz and energy that came with every game, I have to say, I was in mourning the week after the finals.

As I savored the tournament and all it promised, I realized that there are many important takeaways that brands can apply to their everyday game. Your company is playing in a heated, daily competition where the whistle never blows. There is no rest between seasons and your players are on the pitch every game. Like a futbol team, you’re playing for results, rave reviews and relevance, so how you play the game really matters.

Great coaches guide teams to victory

The German coach, Joachim Loew, meant business. From his sideline presence of strategically coiffed hair, crisp black shirt and total composure, he knew the game he wanted his team to play and was a master at putting the right players in the right formation every game. If you lead people, the first order of business is to coach them proactively. Understanding their talents and encouraging them to develop and grow their skills is a coach’s responsibility. Great coaches lead their team from the sideline, but do the majority of their work during training, really learning about their players and understanding what each person needs to do their individual best. As a leader you have to know your players so they feel comfortable asking for help and guidance. It is also your job to put them into teams where each player feels as though their unique skills and hard work matter in winning the game.

Winning teams know when to pass the ball 

Germany controlled every game because their players knew exactly when to pass the ball. They were masters of the pass. Every player on your team should understand the role they play and how to use their skills to support the other members of the team. They should know when and whom to pass the ball to, setting up the next player for success. Great players have amazing awareness of who’s around them, have perfect timing and know how to find space to pass the ball. Take a look at your executional problems, missed deadlines or relational challenges and you’ll likely find that the players on your team are holding onto the ball for too long, fumbling the pass or not passing off to the right person at the right time. Great passing is a key skill in well-timed collaboration. If you work with your team on the importance of passing and improve the timing and accuracy of the pass, you will greatly enhance your results.

Playing with the will to win, wins games and respect

The U.S. team went into the World Cup lacking a great deal compared to their counterparts––a coach who told them they weren’t going to win, an average lineup of players (compared to the teams in their group) and their best player was left in the locker room because of his own arrogance. The only true world-class player on the team was the goalkeeper, Tim Howard. So what did they do better than almost every other team? They showed up with the will to win and the heart of a team who believed they could go all the way. It wasn’t always pretty, but they played their hearts out and played to win. As a leader, it’s important to instill the belief in your team that they can go all the way. Talent and training gets you two-thirds of the way, but the heart and the will to win define how your team plays together and what they think they can accomplish. How you play the game as a company is as important as what game you are playing and gives you a distinct competitive advantage in driving culture, team retention and overall satisfaction.

Defense matters every day and superstars don’t make a team 

The Brazilian team used to conjure up expectations of poetic genius and acts of sheer futbol perfection. Every Brazilian team that preceded this one built the reputation and depth of their brand, adding to the legendary status of their golden shirts. Their most admired and feared teams had showmen, tricksters and ball masters who all worked in magical harmony, sweeping up hearts and games as they went. Looking back at Pele, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho to name a few, these supernovas played on Brazilian teams that had a well-rounded lineup of players in offense and defense. This tournament’s Brazilian team was completely reliant on their one superstar, Neymar, and they muddled through the tournament with a totally ineffective defense. In business, relying on a single function like sales or marketing to win the game is a road to unsustainable success. As a leader you must ensure that you build a fully-rounded team if you want to win the championship. No doubt you need to have an amazing sales and marketing front line, but you must have an equally world-class customer care team and a masterful operations team to win the long-term game. Always focus on both your offense and defense.

Play for the fans, not for yourself

The goalkeepers were among the stars of the tournament. Whether it was Tim Howard or the German keeper, Manuel Neuer, they did their jobs masterfully. Rodriguez of Colombia was a wonderful surprise, and despite their theatrics, players Muller, Neymar and Robben were a joy to watch. The rise of the little guys like Ghana and Costa Rica had me on the edge of my seat. The heart and tenacity of the U.S., the dominant precision of Germany, the drive of the Netherlands, the spirit of Argentina honored futbol fans all over the world with incredible displays of talent, tenacity and unbelievable skills. But when all is said and done, there is no World Cup without the fans. A football team, like a brand, has no relevance if it doesn’t engage, entertain and deliver results for the fans. As a leader, ensure that your brand is fan-centric, that your team plays for, and attracts, new fans, that your brand is exciting and interesting to follow, that you play the game with spirit and that you win with style and good sportsmanship. And don’t forget, the best uniforms in the tournament get noticed, too.

photo credit: stevendepolo via photopin cc

Lou Imbriano "Turns Customers Into Fans" His New Book

Let’s be honest. Some leaders make a difference, and some leaders just take up space. Lou Imbriano is definitely one of the former. As we well know leaders comes in a variety of personality flavors. As CMO of the New England Patriots, and now as CEO of TrinityOne, Lou has brought career passion and flair to sports marketing in one of the biggest sports towns around right here in Beantown.

As a valued friend of mine, Lou has brought richness and depth to what could have been just another business acquaintance. And I’m thrilled he’s asked me to read and comment on his newest effort. He is definitely a one of a kind personality and he brings new meaning to the idea of a 3 hour Italian lunch for the bonus round. I’m lucky to have experienced this with him recently. Dining as sport and art. Big smiles.

Anyone who believes in the power of your brand and the importance of social media to business development and leadership will be glad to hear Lou has distilled his wisdom into a book. Winning the Customer is like Lou, only it’s a book – larger than life personality, better and smarter than the competition. Lou understands how to turn customers into fans of a brand

In ‘Winning the Customer’ he shares his philosophy with us – why every customer relationship has an architecture, a structure, that moves the interaction between customer and brand from a transaction to a relationship. Transactions are one-time events; a relationship is a long-running transaction with many opportunities for interaction, engagement, enrichment and results.

If you’re a marketer, it’s a must read. If you’re a student of leadership and human nature it’s a must read. If you’re impatient and can’t wait for Lou to sign your copy, tune in tonight to #LeadershipChat Leadership Chat tonight from 8-9pm ET+ on Twitter where Lou and I will chat about the concepts in the book. See you there!

Lou’s book gives a lot of the practical advice needed to establish yourself as a leader in customer relations, which also ties nicely with this week’s #TChat World of Work topic: “What are some best practices for finding, training, developing and learning leadership?” Be sure and join us tomorrow, Wednesday 9/21/2011 at our usual from 7:00p to 8:00p ET, 6:00p to 7:00p CT, and 4:00p to 5:00p PT for a dynamic conversation exploring this important question. See you there!