Susan Meier shares a recent interview where she explains the importance of humanizing your brand, and steps you can take to make sure your branding reflects your values.
Creativity and strategy: Two words that seem vastly different but oftentimes go hand in hand.
Right and left brains must balance in the world of branding, leveraging intuition and data. And when you have the right branding strategy, you’ll attract your ideal audience, and build their trust in your company.
So how do you keep your branding authentic to you, while also being relevant to your audience?
Listen to Wings today to learn about one inspiring entrepreneur who is on a mission to dispel the myth that creativity and strategy are at odds to help business leaders electrify their work and amplify their impact.
Key points include:
- What it means to “humanize your brand”
- What a brand promise really means to your customers
- Common mistakes people make with their branding strategy
Listen to the full podcast, How to Stay True to Yourself And Be Relevant to Your Customers, on the Wings podcast.
Shelli Baltman shares a post from her company blog that showcases innovative products in food and packaging.
Kate Summers, Innovation Associate at The Idea Suite, highlights some innovative products that were due to be showcased at this year’s Natural Products Expo West.
If you’re passionate about innovation, as we are at The Idea Suite, then you’ve most likely experienced waiting with bated breath for a certain event in your calendar each year: The Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, California. An annual gathering of thousands of up-and-coming and established vendors in the natural product space, along with tens of thousands of industry attendees, Expo West has long been an invaluable space in which to uncover emerging trends in food, beverage, health and beauty. With attendance also offering a fantastic opportunity to connect with clients and peers in a truly inspirational setting, the show has become a much-anticipated and beloved tradition since we first opened our doors as an agency.
Unfortunately, this year’s Natural Products Expo West event was initially postponed and then recently cancelled, due to the developing circumstances around the COVID-19 virus. By way of response, we made an open call to vendors affected by the cancellation of NPEX through our LinkedIn page, to give them a chance to showcase their new products in this blog.
Innovative products include:
Read the full article, Natural Products Expo West: A Closer Look At Some Of This Year’s Breakthrough Innovation, on theideasuite.com.
Susan Hamilton Meier was recently interviewed on The Whole Person Podcast with Evan Herrman where they discussed everything from building a brand with values and creativity, to those important life lessons we’ve learned in our careers.
In the world of social media, and instant, easy communication. we ourselves are building our own brands, whether or not we’re actually entrepreneurs. And so if we’re starting a business, or we have a business, the first thing to think about is, you know, how does my own brand dovetail with the brand of my business. And if it’s a one person show, it’s often one in the same. Um, so the first thing I do, and I do work a lot with entrepreneurs and small and growing companies, as well as really large companies. And what’s interesting is, the advice is really the same. I really encourage people as the first step is self reflection. So self awareness and self knowledge, right? Because you need to build your brand around something that’s genuine, for a couple of reasons. One is that, you know, if you just make something up and it’s not true to who you are, your audience feels that right away and they won’t connect with it or resonate with it or pay attention to it. And secondly, for your own benefit. You know, if you’re going to show up every day and do something, it had better be aligned with who you are, what you’re passionate about where your values are otherwise you’re not going to want to do it for very long, and you’re not going to be very good at it. So that’s always the best first place to start.
And then there’s other parts to that journey.
Key points include:
- How to develop self-reflection
- How to determine motivating values
- Values exercises
Listen to the full episode, Self-Reflection for Personal Branding, on The Whole Person Podcast.
Tommy Kim provides an article that explains how rethinking your brand can help you grow.
The picture of a Lockheed Martin F35 at the opening of this article sends a very clear message. It demonstrates power, pride, quality, stealth, and dominance. Similarly, throughout your life, you will craft a very clear, personal brand for yourself. A brand identity that you want people to identify you with and to remember you by. As you grow and thrive, you will deepen the relationship you have with your brand and it will not only become a reflection of who you are, but also the characteristic by which others will associate with you and everything you do. This includes where you were educated and what you learned from there and who you met along the way that made an impact in your life.
Then, where you went to work and what you learned, contributed, and achieved there.
What you do now matters as you build yourself up and begin maintaining strong relationships with those you meet along your path. Your reward as you do so is a stronger personal brand equity at each junction in your journey. Remember, even “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” Like this feat of this engineering marvel, your career will be built over a lifetime of dedication, incredible perseverance, and talent. From it, you will harvest fruit in the form of clearly defined identity and respect.
Key points in this article include:
- Building confidence
- Investing in growth
- Planning for progression
Read the full article, In Search of the Most Important Brand in Your Life, on LinkedIn.
When interviewed on the P is for Profit podcast, Susan Meier exposes the biggest myths about branding, identifies what a small business can do to establish its brand and create a competitive advantage, and explains how to make your business relevant to your target audience.
A visual artist is just a fancy way of saying, I make art, like, sketching, drawing, sculptures. And that’s what I studied in my undergrad, visual art and making art as well as art history. So it’s a little bit of a zigzag path from there to strategist, isn’t it? But the way I, the path that I took started out with management consulting, which was really just a leap of faith, first job out of college.
And okay, I’ll try something new that I don’t know anything about, but sounds pretty interesting. The way the company described it, I worked for the Boston Consulting Group which is, you know, a terrific company and they really gave me a great education. And the way they described what they did and the job that I would be having was like solving puzzles, which is something I like to do.
And in general, I guess I’m a curious person, I like to try new things. And so that was how I jumped off into a completely new world, much of which I was totally unprepared for. But like I said, it was a great learning experience. And where I came out of that, with this really strong interest in branding because I had the opportunity to do a lot of customer research as part of their consumer goods practice.
And I found it fascinating how people had these really intimate emotional connections with the products or the brands that they were using. And I wanted to learn more about that and get involved in that. And when I discovered that there was this whole discipline or industry called branding, which looked at that connection, that relationship between humans and brands and also have this visual component because, you know, an important component of expressing your brand is design. I thought, wow, that’s for me.
Points covered in this article include:
- How Susan defines brand
- Branding myths busted
- Small business branding
Listen to the full podcast, Susan Meier | Small Business Branding, on the CFO Project website.
In a recent interview on The Transformative Leader Podcast, Susan Meier discusses the importance of integrating creativity at work even, and especially, in jobs not traditionally considered creative.
I always had these two very strong, for a long time, parallel and separate tracks of things that I was interested in. I was always interested in the arts, both in making art and studying the history of art, and then I was also really captivated by the problem solving analytical thinking piece that drew me into consulting. And that was my first job as an undergrad at the Boston Consulting group. So I loved the nature of my work, but that job by itself didn’t activate that visual piece for me, so for many years I had these two parallel worlds where I would go to my art studio, I would paint, I would exhibit my work, inhabit a space with a completely different set of people from this other world where I was in management consulting and working with Fortune 500 companies, making spreadsheets, thinking about operations and logistics. And then I discovered branding.
Key points include:
- Merging the creative with the analytical
- Why activating both sides of the brain is key to unlocking creativity
- How integrating creative and artistic practices into standard business processes can prime the brain for innovative thinking and solutions
- How creativity and fulfillment are related, at home and at work.
Listen to the podcast, “Embracing Creativity in the Workplace” on the Ghannad Group website.
Susan Hamilton Meier shares her thoughts on the merger of analytical and creative thinking and the processes and tools she has designed to help teams problem-solve more creatively.
I turned up at the Boston Consulting Group, probably as the only hire who had never opened a spreadsheet before, so that was interesting, and I ended up, by virtue of that, getting assigned to projects where I did a lot more people skills, so I did a lot of interviews, I gravitated towards their consumer goods practice, and it was actually after they put me through business school, and it was actually after business school, which was around the time when companies were trying to work out what their brands meant in an online environment that I discovered the discipline of branding and that very interesting question of what your brand means.
Points covered in this talk include:
- How she became interested in branding
- Discovering the discipline of branding online
- Consumer research and branding
- The driving forces behind brand loyalty
Listen to the full podcast, Brand Strategy with Susan Meier, on the Dream Business Radio podcast.
Susan Meier was recently interviewed on the Change Creator podcast on the fundamentals of building a brand.
In her nine years of helping companies build their brand identity, Susan has always set aside a portion of her portfolio for these smaller projects despite them being less lucrative for her. The payoff? They inspire her and she learns a lot from them. She enjoys contributing to entrepreneurs who are just starting out. That aha moment when the small, independent professional who has come to her for help realizes what their true identity is, who their audience is, and how they empathetically connect with them is something Susan finds truly rewarding. She refers to these elements as the three pieces of branding.
In this interview, Susan discusses:
- Discovering and leveraging uniqueness
- The pitfalls of social media
- Advice for early stage entrepreneurs
Listen to the full interview, Electrifying Your Brand Strategy to Amplify Your Impact, on the Change Creator’s website.