Monthly Archive for: ‘July, 2013’

Problematic Political Personal Brands


With all the hype in the media over the “issues” with San Diego’s Mayor, Bob Filner, I think it is time again to look at personal brands of those in public service and entertainment.  What seems to be the problem here?

Is it that politicians and celebrities make “mistakes” or that their mistakes are on center stage?  It seems the common thread throughout all this is integrity and decency.  No one needs to tell us that’s what makes a fantastic personal brand. Yet, we often forget…

As I talked about previously in this post, why is it that some of those in the entertainment industry and politics make it through a personal brand crisis better off than others? For instance, why would it be that Bill Clinton survived the Monica “incident” so well and Bob Filner is not doing so well?  Someone remarked that it has to do with the fact that seven women have stepped forward regarding Bob Filner, versus just one Monica incident.  Really? I don’t buy it.

All politics aside, I believe it has to do with the strength of the person’s personal brand.  Bill Clinton just resonates a more charismatic, grounded, credible and joyful personal brand than Bob Filner.  End of story.  And now, Clinton is a philanthropist.  Do you ever see Bob Filner being a charitable community service kind of brand?

What does this mean for you?  Well, does your own personal brand withstand ups and downs by being: genuine, confident, dynamic, vulnerable, generous and credible?  If not, what is your plan to cultivate this in your personal brand?

Personal Branding Case Study Sequel/Results: Adam Lambert


Dear Adam and Glamberts,adam2

I write this results “part deux” to the initial case study I did last week after the concert in San Diego.   I’ve never had a sequel to a case study.  But I found it was necessary after the responses and findings last week.

Thank you to the thousands and thousand of  Glamberts who read the case study.  Thanks to the many, many of you who commented. Your comments  schooled me on the fantastic world of Adam’s fans.  And yes, I now realize even thirteen-year old girls are aware of Adam’s sexual orientation and could care less!  Moreover, your comments  also gave critical personal branding insight into Adam’s current fan base.

In my line of work (I hate to call it “work” because, I much like you Adam, LOVE what I am blessed and fortunate to do for a living as it is natural for me, too) adjectives are so important.  So I took in all the Glamberts’ comments using adjectives for describing Adam’s personal brand.  Some key words included: “smart”, “gracious”, “open”, “happy”, “joyful”, “honest”, “expressed”, “funny”, “tolerant”, “gorgeous” and “innocent”.

The conclusion is that all these adjectives make for a very strong and wonderful personal brand for you, Adam.  Couple that with your fantastic voice and you should be golden with a very successful future of entertaining us for many years to come.

However, I also appreciated the many Glambert comments regarding the diverse fan base.    As several fans put it, there is a “marketing complexity/problem” involved here.   This fact shouldn’t take away from the fun and awe of seeing Adam in concert.   But, as an expert in this area,  it does concern me.

While all of us fans go to see Adam for his fabulous voice and presence, let’s not forget there’s an industry and business involved here guys.   Adam needs to make sure his fan base grows and records get cut, so that he can keep entertaining us with his fabulous voice and presence.

Given I’ve become such a fan as of late, it would be my pleasure to make sure someone with such fabulous personal branding adjectives touches even more fans and finds even more success.

I have the solutions to reach an even larger fan base.  Adam, call me (949-274-6423).

Personal Branding Case Study: Adam Lambert


adamlambertI recently attended a concert by Adam Lambert. For those of you who need a refresher, Adam is the San Diego native who came in second place on American Idol, Season 8.  Some would say looking back he really should have won and has had a more impactful career than the actual Season 8 winner.

The concert was fantastic- fast, fun, funny with a quality vocal performance by Adam and band.  No one could possibly have been disappointed by the hometown boy who kindly displayed his loyalty and appreciation to San Diego.

Putting on my personal branding expert hat, I was baffled as I looked around the fan base during the concert.  After the Michael Buble’ concert a few years ago, I never thought I could be more baffled.  However, I was.

Adam’s audience was loud, wild and ….very varied. So varied that my husband even noticed and commented.   All of this made me think what kind of personal brand appeal would attract this audience and why? At first I thought it may have something to do with the venue being the fairgrounds. I quickly dismissed that notion.

Besides the expected young, gay men and heterosexual women in their early twenties, let me give you a sampling:

–  Behind us sat three, thirteen year old girls who were clearly unaware of Adam’s sexual orientation.  Not only did they scream (constantly and at the top of their lungs.  Translation: deafening) “I love you, Adam”, but at some point when he took off his jacket, they screamed, “take it all off!”  We chuckled.

-The row in front of us had five fans who were easily between the ages fifty-five to sixty-five.  They were dancing, taking pictures and even pulled up Adam’s Facebook page on their phones during the concert.  One of them even had a backpack with the name of a monastery on it….

– Next to us on one side sat a mother (forty-five years and above) and daughter (nineteen).  They claimed they LOVED LOVED LOVED Adam and this was the second (of many more) time they had seen him in concert.  I think the mother loved him more than her daughter did.

-On the other side of us was an African-American man with dreadlocks, a happy toothless smile, and cowboy boots.  He was there with his blond hair, blue-eyed wife.  Both were in their early sixties, I would guess.

So how is it possible that Adam Lambert has this varied of a personal brand appeal?  Leaves the rest of us envious and wanting to do the same with our personal and business brands, I would say.

Well, I would venture it has something to do with the playlist.  Not only did he sing all his popular songs, but he sang (and brought in very real, touching commentary about) songs from Tears for Fears, Hendrix, Bob Marley, and Queen.  With this varied and exciting playlist, it is easy to see how he captured such a varied audience.

However, the main reason I think he has such a great personal brand is because of his presence on stage.  Adam’s dialogue with his audience coupled with his nonverbal communication seemed genuine, thankful, gracious (he tried his hand at comedy and readily admitted he was not a comedian), humble, and get ready for it- JOYFUL!  And let’s not forget the semi-regular streaker/fan he has.  Yes, she was back.  He even handled her with grace, asking the cops not to arrest her.

So next time you go to a concert, look at the singer and see what about his/her personal brand works for you and what doesn’t. How can you adapt your personal brand based on what you saw and felt?



Can Your Personal Brand Handle A Career Change?


careersignMaking the decision to change careers and then taking the big plunge to actually change careers is hard enough.  I know what it is like. I remember it all too well.  Sometimes I look back and wonder where I ever got the nerve or the courage.  I have even asked myself if I would do it all over again, knowing what I know now.  The answer is always a resounding “yes”.

Changing careers is scary because there are so many unknowns.   We ask ourselves all sorts of questions, including:

– Will I like my new career better than my current career?

– Will I be a success?

– Will I make enough money to live comfortably?/ Can I pay the bills to survive?

Part of the difficulty in changing careers is the unsettling notion we have about how we can conform who we are, as individuals, to the new job.  The problem is that most of us identify ourselves with our careers and jobs.  If you asked me 15 years ago who I was, I would have told you I was a lawyer.

Clients often say to me that they do not know how to represent themselves (ie, position their personal brands) in networking events, on business cards and in front of others in general.  For example, one client practiced as a CPA for twenty years before switching careers to go into the mortgage industry.  Not only did she have a challenge with what to verbally say as she introduced herself and her new career, but she also had reservations around her visual brand- how does a mortgage industry specialist show up in public?  Is it the same as a CPA or not?  More conservative or less?  The list was endless, understandably.

The hesitation and confusion is understandable.  There is a very real loss of self followed by self-discovery in this process.  You have to go through the journey of figuring out how to distinguish yourself and your new personal brand within the context of the your new industry and career. This requires you to know your uniqueness and your story around it. Then you need to find the overlap in your uniqueness, talents and story between your two careers.

So ask yourself: 1) are you ready for a change? 2) would a new career make you happier possibly in the long run?  3) do you have a contribution to society that fuels your passion and purpose? 4) where are the commonalities and differences in your two careers and your skill-set and offerings- ie, where are YOU the same in each career?

First, Know Yourself So You Know What To Market.