Ideas Leadership Social Media Vision

Boldly Be; A Secret To Brand Loyalty

People love brands for different reasons. Like the old saying goes, “Different strokes for different folks”. People have their reasons for preferring brands to others.

The biggest reason people love the brands they do, is because they are a reflection of something about them or something they aspire to. If your favorite brand were a person, it would be the one person you’d take everywhere and want to introduce to everybody you know.

Reasons such as great customer service and value for money constitute some of the justifications people decide to follow and be loyal to brands.

be bullish about your brand

Above all the (lowest) standards for service people appreciate about brands, there is a reason that is rarely acknowledged as one of people love the brands they love.

Nike, Apple, Red Bull, Billabong, Virgin, Nandos, Kulula… you can complete the list with your favorite brand. All these brands have one thing in common that people who love them appreciate.

It is this simple:

One of the biggest reasons people love these brands is that the brands their “brand-selves”. Not only do they love brands because they are themselves but also because they are boldly who they are.

When brands are bold about who they are, they give make it easier for people to decide whether they follow or not. If they do pledge their allegiance to your brand it is likely not a short-term thing.

When a brand is inconsistent with their identity so is affinity and loyalty to their brand.

In the same way you snub people who are one person today and another on a different day, your brand is snubbed if people have to keep guessing who you are. How often do you keep changing aspects of your identity as a brand?

It is important that brands evolve but that is what changes in your brand needs to be: an evolution. Too much rapid change too often can be upsetting to loyalists.

If your brand does need serious renovation do not take too long to do it. However, make sure you are clear about who you are. Declare it up front. Live it boldly and be consistent. How consistent and upfront are you in being you?

In the same way you love people who are themselves, let not your brand be pretentious.

Stop apologizing for who you are as a brand. Just be your “brand self”. Those who will not like you will look for one they like and those you will like you will really like you. They’ll love you.

Remember: not everyone will love you and the best you can do is be boldy your “brand-self” regardless…

Leadership Self Leadership Social Media

Don’t Be THAT Speaker: Tools

In the previous post, on speaking and microphones we looked at how speakers need to work with microphones. If you have not checked it out, I suggest you do. While speaking is the primary medium of communication, a lot more contributes to it. Being a great speaker involves more that just actual speaking but everything else affecting it.

Platform communicators often make the mistake of only focusing on their message in preparation. Do not get me wrong, it is of utmost importance that the platform communicator prepares his message and presentation well, but he must remember that is not the only thing he needs to prepare.

Blogging Social Media

Blog Post Integrity

I read and follow blogs to sharpen my thinking, learn and grow. Check out the other reasons I read and follow blogs here. There are some things that I find annoying and try not to do for you, the community that reads my posts.

There is no one best way to blog. Different things work for different bloggers in different contexts. Never make the mistake of thinking there is one best way.

However, there are some things I feel must never be compromised when it comes to blogging (and perhaps other social media platforms). Every blog post must have integrity. This must stem from the values every blogger must embrace. By blog post integrity I mean:

integrity extends from who you are to what you do

| image by contemplativechristian | cc



Link Integrity

As part of search engine optimization (SEO), which is a means helping you organically rank higher in search engines, internal and external links are encouraged. (You can read more about SEO here).

Internal links are links to other posts etc. on your blog. And, external are other websites and blogs you link to outside of your blog. Every blogger must ensure that every link in every post works.

This is a difficult gig for old posts, especially where you link to websites or blogs that do not exist any more. However, the least you could to as a blogger is ensure that links within your blog are functional. (I might be guilty of that on my blog and I correct it as soon as I find faults)

Sending people to a link that does not work is like giving a guest in your house directions to a bathroom that doesn’t exist.



Credit sources for your illustrations and other media that you use that you did not create. I use a lot of creative commons media and do my best to credit my sources.

Most of the creative commons media I use is open for adaptation and commercial use on condition that the source is acknowledged. I even go as far as acknowledging the sources for some of the ideas I build on from other people.

Out of wanting to seem smart, some people go on to present other people’s work as their own. I find it despicable.

You do not lose credibility by acknowledging that you are not the originator, you actually gain credibility.

What must be included in blog posts for their integrity’s sake?


Social Media

2 Things Social Media Cannot ( & Can) Do

Every new tool is treated with excitement, skepticism, caution and a myriad of other reactions or attitudes. As with every tool there are problems it solves.

Tools are only as effective as their use. There are also other factors that determine the effectiveness, such as the context and strategy in which they are employed.

At other times it is really the one who wields the tool that determines its effectiveness. The bottom line: there are things each tool can and cannot do. Social media is no exception. There are things social media can and cannot fix.

Productivity Social Media

How Social Media Can Be Your Enemy

One of the evident marks of our time is social media. It has challenged our definition of friends, community, transparency, corporate accountability and movements. If harnessed properly, it is a tool that can be used to mobilise masses.

Recent history, such as the UK riotsEgyptian uprisings and more, is proof enough. Social media has made leaders, brands and celebrities more accessible.

Social media per se is neither good nor bad. It can be your friend or foe.It is worth thinking about how social media can be your enemy:

Don’t Use It

In this age, any organization, brand and cause that will effectively engage and mobilize people cannot do so effectively without employing this tool. Social media can easily be your enemy if you do not use it at all.

It is not true that everyone is on social media. However, the number of people on social media is too significant it can be corporate suicide to ignore. Organizations that do not use social media at all are crippling themselves.

Overuse (Whatever That Is)

Unless social media is your main focus or work, focusing all your energy on it can work against you when it usurps time and resources you should be using to focus on other areas of productivity.

Some organizations have gone as far as blocking access to social networks from their networks. This is becoming increasingly futile as people use their phones and tablets.

If social media is not your primary focus ensure you have measures in place to protect you productivity where it matters the most.


Another self-defeating thing I’ve noticed is organizations or causes that have Facebook pages, Twitter profiles, blogs etc that they are not active.

Social media platforms can take you where your target people are and those your organization serves can easily get frustrated with you and ditch your product for the lack of interaction with them.

It may be worthwhile for you to start with something simple like a Facebook page or Twitter account. Something you must never do: not interact on any platform at all. For the platforms you are on ensure that you are active.

Your response and how quickly you respond to queries on social media platforms is fast becoming a litmus test on the quality of client service you offer.At the same time, only using your online presence to only “broadcast” messages is uncaring and insensitive.

As you attempt to inform people of your cause ensure that you are engaging people; talk to them not at them. Social media has created what I call “brand personality”.

By this I mean that people are connecting with products as if the product themselves are individuals with personality. Social media has made alive the personality of brands.

If people cannot connect with your cause on social media with your brand’s personality they may not do so where it matters most

(PS: You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook and Google+)

Question: What other ways have you seen social media become work against a product, message or cause?

illustration by birgerking (cc)