What’s Your Brand Theme Song?

Every detail plays a part in starting a business – you need the vision, the plan, the team, the perspective, and the ability to execute. Carolyn Browning, founder of MEETing Needs, LLC, shares how a Brand School workshop exercise “Identifying your brand’s theme song” helped her bring it all together and formulate a plan for success.

This entry, from Carolyn Browning, is another in our guest blogger seriesRead more about Carolyn in her bio below. If you would like to be a guest blogger for BrandTwist contact Jamie@BrandTwist.com for more information.

Girl with headphones

If you are anything like me, there is always music playing – whether in the car, exercising, preparing dinner or working. The type of music varies, but having something in the background helps my mood – it calms me, energizes me, and keeps me focused.

So I was excited when some pre-work for a workshop I recently attended entitled “The Brand of You” (led by BrandTwist’s own Julie Cottineau), was to choose a song, poem or quote that described my personal brand.

Editors note: This workshop has passed but you can read more about how to effectively tell your brand story, in Julie Cottineau’s article, HERE. If you want to make sure you hear about future events like the one Carolyn attended, sign up for our mailing list.

[sc:newoptin] I immediately decided that I’d choose a song – but which one to pick? What would best describe my company – MEETing Needs? My brain was bouncing in different directions as I started listening to the radio. I happened to be tuned to the Broadway show tunes station when, it hit me – “Putting it Together”, a Sondheim classic from Sunday in the Park with George, about an artist who is trying to overcome objections from his manager, investor and wife, about his style and the direction his art is going in.

I started singing some of the lines

“Bit by bit, putting it together… Every moment makes a contribution; every little detail plays a part. Having just a vision’s no solution, everything depends on execution….”

This really resonated with me and my new brand and it ties together the three core facets of my business. Here are some of the other lyrics and the correlations I drew:

“Link by link, making the connections”

In my speaking/training area – I love helping people connect concepts together.

“First of all you need a good foundation, otherwise it’s risky from the start”

When facilitating a meeting or retreat for a group, a good foundation and vision is critical

“Mapping out the right configuration… starting with a suitable foundation… til you have a balanced composition”

This applies to meeting management, planning things out – keeping harmony among the various parties – balancing the stakeholders needs.

“Putting it Together” could be the soundtrack for my life, both personally and professionally – almost everything I’ve done has to do with putting together people and ideas. From organizing activities for my sisters and I, to planning parties, to leading clubs in school, to training the sales team on a new product, to building a strategic plan with an association board, or finally starting my own company. Every detail plays a part – you need the vision, the plan, the team, the perspective, and the ability to execute.

Identifying your brand’s theme song was a really helpful exercise and just the beginning of this incredible workshop. From there we delved into creating a cohesive story that resonates with our target audience. We pinpointed personal stories that could be used to define us and our brand; linked the personal story to our professional experience and finally tied it all together in our ‘elevator pitch’.

Julie’s technique of finding a theme song as a way to explore what is unique about my personal brand really inspired me.  I came away energized to tell my story and might just be adding some theme music to my website…

About guest blogger Carolyn Browning:

Carolyn Browning is the Chief Solution Strategist of MEETing Needs, LLC. After years of freelance meeting planning, developing association leaders, leading certification prep classes and being a super-volunteer, she decided to combine her passion for teaching, facilitating and designing meetings to start her own company, MEETing Needs. She is a Certified Meeting Professional (CMP), holds a Certificate in Meeting Management (CMM), is a multiple-award winning member and two-term past president of the Meeting Professionals International (MPI) WestField Chapter. In her “spare time” she manages the family schedule for her husband and two busy teenagers. If you’d like to find out more about Carolyn or MEETing Needs, contact her at crb@carolynbrowning.com, follow her on Twitter @crbcmp or visit her website, www.carolynbrowning.com.

A Curated Brand Can be Music to Your Ears

What goes around comes around. No matter which technology is used to deliver it, from the hand-cranked Victrola machine to micro-chips embedded into eyeglasses, people want to hear their music.

Along with the introduction of the personal computer came the ability for people to produce their own music directly from their desktops. This was a real boon to musicians, but it introduced a whole new problem: with so much music out there on the web and bricks-and-mortar music stores rapidly disappearing, how do we actually FIND new, independent music?

In the not-so-distant past, we could go to our neighborhood music store and sample the newest releases. We could subscribe to the Record of the Month Club and receive our choices delivered via the mail, right to our door.

Well, guess what? What is old is new again! Enter: Rough Trade, “Independent purveyors of great music since 1976.” Specializing in collecting independent releases, they have two (soon to be three) actual record stores and an online presence. They put a twist on the old “Record of the Month Club” subscription concept. They incorporated new technologies to deliver to your email “Tracks of the week” as mp3’s and their “Album of the Month” delivered in either mp3 or CD formats.

But what really sets them apart is the exclusivity of access to a private collection and that they have removed the effort and work by curating for us. We receive their own personally selected favorites chosen from their archives of tens-of-thousands of recordings, delivered on schedule.

While the concept of a “month club” is an old idea, there is nothing old about what Rough Trade delivers and how the deliver it. Even their visual branding has a bright, fresh feel while still remaining true to the rugged, individualistic counter-culture music scene look.

The Rough Trade brand has several things going for it:

  • Focused niche
  • Exclusive access to a private collection
  • Reinventing the Month Club delivery system using new technologies
  • Removing the work and effort for us by curating and selecting
  • Consistent visual branding

Don’t hesitate to take a look backward. Consider your delivery system and ask if there might be a tried-and-true method that you could put a twist on to get your product or service into the homes, on the screens, or in the headphones of your target market.  How can you simply for your end user?  Is there something you can do to make their choices more effortless?

You don’t need to be a DJ to put a spin, or a twist, on your brand. New technologies are emerging all the time and you need to be able to evaluate which methods will provide the longest play for your business. Brand School, our highly effective, premier branding program, gives you the strategies and tools you need to spin your brand to the top of the charts. Receive more information about Brand School’s next session and get free brand-building tools and tips when you join our mailing list.

This post is part of our Brands That Twist series celebrating innovative brands. Read about other breakthrough brands and more ways to grow your business and brand here

 
“I learned a lot from Brand School.  It inspired me to think outside the box. I have a much deeper understanding of how to effectively build a brand.” – Mike Sass, Entrepreneur