This post is the second based on the Ali Brown Shine event in Las Vegas. Check out my first post I Didn’t Really Come For All The “Woo Woo” Junk The Shine event was a mix of Ali and several others speakers. There was a buzz humming through the room on the first day of the event and everyone was looking forward to hearing Ali’s billionaire entrepreneur coach speak.
I was especially looking forward to the presentation because it was on branding. As a graphic designer, former corporate branding instructor, and current brand strategist for entrepreneurs, I was interested to hear her insights on branding. I wanted to hear her thoughts on branding a business versus branding an individual person. I wanted to hear some strategies about building a strong brand and brand equity. I wanted to hear how she would communicate to the room how much your brand can do for your business and what a difference it can make.
A special packet just for notes was passed out for the talk, so I was thinking this is going to be good! But what I wanted to hear and what I did hear were two completely different things.
What I heard was:
- How much the Ali brand has changed over the years.
- Examples of Ali’s design and some brainstorming.
- What the Ali brand is becoming.
While that information and the examples shown were great in promoting the Ali Brand and showing her growth, not a whole lot of that would help a non-branding expert in developing their brand. I heard several people around me whispering something along the lines of, “That’s great but how do I apply that to my business,” and “Yeah, but how do I do that.” Seeing the progression of the Ali brand was interesting, but I was getting a little bummed at the lack of content and we were already over halfway through the presentation! Finally we started to get to some content — not all on branding, but at least it was content. We covered things like:
- Map it out and actually do the doing.
- When you want it, make it happen.
- Start somewhere. Start small. Make a Sh!t load of money.
- Be a brand guardian. Make sure your essence is true and present in all you do.
- A brand has a consistent look through every piece of marketing and representation.
- Stay open. Influences can come from anywhere.
- Don’t use many different designers. Stick with one who truly understands your brand essence.
- Make sure your brand clearly communicates what you do.
- Your identity is the verbal and visual expression of your brand.
Then I threw down my pen
This billionaire entrepreneur coach then stood on stage a told everyone in the room our logo stinks if it doesn’t communicate exactly what we do all by itself, with no tagline. This I also disagree with. There are huge brands that are extremely successful that have logos that in no way communicate what the business does or what products they sell. And, what about the people who are their business, and their business name is their name. Heck, even Ali’s logo doesn’t say much alone.
She then told everyone that including social media profile links on your card is stupid and that no one cares. She said social media links have no place on a business card and that we’re all just wasting our time with social media and clearly our businesses aren’t successful because too many of us screwing around on Twitter all day which is irrelevant.
Um, Ali used both to promote her event and she used a Facebook event page to encourage networking on the site prior to the event. These blanket statements, in my opinion, were a very bad move. Clearly she didn’t research her audience that well and clearly she doesn’t “get” the social media revolution that is taking place. I don’t know about you, but I get a lot of business from my endeavors on Facebook and Twitter and a lot of speaking invitations from my LinkedIn profile. These social media sites have also allowed to me connect with people pre- and post-event to share photos, info, and stay in touch.
I’d have to say that statements like these make me wonder if this billionaire is out of touch. Maybe when you get that rich you can completely ignore social media and social networking — I get it. What I don’t get it being so frank and sort of snarky about it on stage in a room full of women who are looking to you for advice and looking up to you as a successful woman business owner
So, with that said, I have to wonder, was the standing ovation she received because of the amazing things she has done for the Ali Brown brand (which are impressive), or for her presentation? I’ll leave that up to you.