How can your brand resonate with your customers?
It was great to learn more about personal branding at Spring Fair with Kubi Springer. She is a planning specialist with over 25 years of brand marketing experience, having worked with many brands over the course of her career such as Beyonce, Nike, Rolls Royce, UBS, Vogue... Kubi is also business media personality who has appeared in several media including Forbes, Sunday Times, and The Guardian, and has a bi-monthly column in Harper’s Bazaar magazine.
She has hosted a number of radio and TV shows since 2007 and is currently a BBC Radio 5 contributor, and hosts her own TV Show broadcast in the USA to 1.2 million homes. Networks include Verizon, Comcast, Amazon, Roku and Apple TV USA. She started her career in the entertainment industry, having worked with A-list celebrities including Puff Daddy, Justin Timberlake and also worked to launch of Sex in the City and became a renowned personal branding after the deal between Beyonce and L’Oreal.
After a while, Kubi started to realise she wanted to do more than just working with celebrity brands and building strategic partnerships, she really wanted to teach people how to do it.
“So often we feel that the idea of personal branding is reserved for the celebrities, or it's reserved for the blogger, blogger kids with a cool Tik Tok channel, but actually personal branding is really for you and me and for everybody in this world. By 2030, 97% of workers will be working in the gig economy.”
What does that mean? Kubi says it means that if you want an organisation, the chances are that the people you're employing do not want a job. “They will be working for you and have a business on the side as a consultant or freelancer. If you're looking to hire, it means that your hiring practices need to change, because 97% of the workers by 2030 will not want the standard nine to five.”
She sees personal branding as more and more relevant, no longer just reserved for celebrities, but as a way of building up your social capital and attracting the right people. It goes beyond a set of values and identity.
“A brand is an emotional connection with your desired stakeholder. Whether that be your customers, your suppliers, your investors, your funders, whether that be your staff members, your affiliates, your strategic partnerships. A brand has an emotional connection with your desired stakeholder.”
Kubi gave the example of walking into a supermarket with a list of things to buy and ending up with more than what was on the list. It’s all about the emotional connection with your desired customer. It’s a journey that needs to go beyond promoting products or services.
“Marketeers get paid big bucks to do one simple thing. And that is to get you to stop thinking and to start feeling.”
It’s important to consider how the concept is serving the end user. If you're looking at your customer journey and you're mapping it out with your team, it's not about how quickly you get them to buy, but how quickly do you get them to lean in because you are serving them.
She says some of the greatest brands in the world understand this principle very well. When Walt Disney started Disney in the 1920s, he was very clear that wanted to create magic. He was a young man who didn't have a lot of money and wanted to serve his grandchildren, to create magic for his grandchildren. We now fast forward 150 years and Disney is still asking us to feel one thing: magic.
“Every great brand understands that the job of the marketing department, the job of the sales department, the job of the legal team, the job of distribution teams, the job of regional managers, the job of customer services, the job of client retention is not to sell products. That is not your job. Your job is to get them to feel something when they think about you because then when there's a recession, when there's a downturn, if they have that feeling they are going to buy because they're already emotionally connected.”
Kubi also emphasises the importance of thinking about your brand story, and how this story should be woven across all the brand touch points. “It's not about selling. It's about connecting.”
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