Tag: #Branding

How To Define Your Personal Brand?

Personal branding is important, and it is our responsibility to take charge of our image.  We define how we present ourselves to others, express our ideas or cultivate our abilities and strengths. On this account, we should be aware and mindful of our development and illustration of our brand to fend off from misconceptions and to prevent others to shape our identity.

"Amon Din" - Thomas Easton
“Amon Din” – Thomas Easton

Many of us are taught to do our best and then let the world decide how to judge us. I think it’s better to do your best and decide how you want to be judged. And act that way.

Seth Godin

Certainly, we must look at other grounds that are not only influential to our personal and professional development but urge us to establish a personal brand. Let’s examine them:

  • The unpredictability of economy –  due to political and socio-cultural disparities or the unknown in human behaviour and nature
  • Globalization – accessibility to scores of skilled talents, opportunities, and competitions
  • Increase in number of solopreneurs, freelancers  and the ability to work as part of a team in short-term projects
  • Social networking sites are more than casual sharing, they have become a ubiquitous influence in our interactions

So how to stand out?

Be mindful of your intentions. Names, style, voice, manner, skills, and expertise are part of self-packaging, but the building blocs of a personal brand are based on conscious recognition of the objectives. Nevertheless, producing values and having a positive impact on others are the fundamental motives that must be acknowledged in the process of introspection.  

Dark Night
Dark Night

Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.

Albert Einstein

To recognize your intentions and build the pillars of your branding consider the following five steps:

  • Decide on your destination – What are you excited about? Where you want to be? What do you want to achieve?
  • Leverage your distinctive capabilities – What people remember you for? How can you solve problems? What are the benefits of your proposition or personal trait?
  • Develop your story – your experiences, your memories, your assets are part of your narrative. If you are unsure of how to put your story together, think about a role model and try to convey why you admire this person.
  • Introduce yourself – make known your brand statement. In a couple of sentences state your unique values and why they matter.
  • Be true to your statement – Establish your expertise by sharing your knowledge whether face to face or through well planned social media presence.

Remember embracing your notable traits and expertise is “to be the real thing”and not to fit a mould. Conformity leads to disappointment and fake behaviours however authentic representation of oneself is attention-worthy and helps one to rise above the noise.

 

How To Creatively Communicate Your Brand Promise

People are drawn to the luxury industry for different motives. The traditional luxury ambassadors hold on to the ephemeral feelings driven by the narratives touching on superiority and pride. Then again, the experience hunters are seeking personal connections in the brand’s promise to unleash their dreams. Last but not least, the hip netizens who are fuelling the luxury space are powered by stories and the purpose of the brand. They have leaped over from “what I have” attitude to the sphere of “Being.”  More and more, the mindset is about  “who I truly am” & “what I stand for.”  They want to be rewarded by the legacy, the qualitative experience and most importantly the echo of self-identity.

With this mindset, the brand promise matters more than ever. From everyday luxury such as Starbucks to super premium brand SilverSea Cruise line or ultra high-end brands such as Graff, desires are stimulated by the strength, the reputation and the feelings tied up to the brand promise. Once developed and channeled into multimedia storytelling, the narrative must resonate with the personal branding of the luxury aficionados whether the futurists, rebels, individuality seekers or vanity driven groups. It should evoke an identity aligned with self-perception and aspiration of the customers.

Starbucks brand promise: “To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.”

SilverSea brand promise: Silversea’s small luxury ships are designed for those who delight in the thrill of discovery while indulging mind and body in the most lavish surroundings imaginable.

Graff brand promise: “The House of Graff stands for the finest, the rarest and only the very best stones.”

Recounting the brand promise is more than touching off swagger or reality-distortion but skillfully emulating personal achievements, memories, and traits. A compelling narrative taps into the subconscious reveals the not so perfect identities and connects with weird fantasies with no judgment. Interpretation of brand promise through unexpected whimsical campaigns to the unassuming rebellious image is all about keeping it “real.”

Here are some suggestions on how to bring your luxury brand promise to life and connect with the expressions of identities:

  • Observe many types of consumption to adapt the content. The how and where your audience garners and shares their personal information.
  • Feature desirable qualities even so with an honest portrayal of human behaviours and circumstances. Tiffany, the premier jeweller, designed the window displays of its 5th Avenue, in tribute to New York’s graffiti culture while adding a gutsy attitude insinuating that things can happen in real life.Screen Shot 2018-07-04 at 12.29.01 PM
  • Illustrate the concept of “who I am” and “what I stand for.” Luxury fitness brand Equinox voice not only a healthy luxury lifestyle but what gives meaning to life and what succinctly defines their customers.

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  • Create stories that forge emotional connections and exhibit meaningful outcomes. Rolex tell a story campaign” features excellence, history, perfection and keeps us engaged by relaying it’s ambassadors experiences and testimonials.  Oscar-winning director James Cameron in a press release about the brand’s Academy Awards sponsorship said “A Rolex is not only a beautiful watch and a masterpiece of engineering, it’s very tough. It’s a watch that you can take into any environment and which can stand up to the pressure. So, what you’re saying subliminally to the audience is: that character can take the pressure, too; he or she has what it takes.”
  • Define the characteristics of your brand and align them with your storytelling. The unapologetic authenticity in the brand’s narrative is appealing and strengthens bonding between the brand and it’s customers. Tom Ford’s Limited Edition F*cking Fabulous fragrance branding, is a perfect example of blunt authenticity of the brand and Tom Ford’s edgy spirit.

Leveraging narrative to construct and associate values to the self-concept of the consumers needs to meet the expectations, perceptions and most importantly it must be consistent with your brand promise.

Modern Luxury – Trends in Branding

The new modern luxury roars freedom, flexibility, and eccentricity.  The collaboration of stylish streetwear with luxury brands, genderless approach, quirky brand images and the flair of uniqueness rattles the traditions.  As our planet moves towards positive partnerships and collaborative sentiments to create flourishing communities, the luxury style is powered by acceptance, inclusion, affiliation, and sustainability.

Gucci - The new men’s Tailoring campaign features Dapper Dan, the Harlem couturier renowned for the custom designs he created for celebrities, athletes and hip-hop artists in the 80s and early 90s.
Gucci – The new men’s Tailoring campaign features Dapper Dan, the Harlem couturier renowned for the custom designs he created for celebrities, athletes and hip-hop artists in the 80s and early 90s.

Undeniably the luxury lifestyle is being emblazoned by street art & fashion, sportswear brands, social and political uncertainties, technology and personal sentiments.  The acceptance of this cultural shift, influenced by emerging designers that have been brought up by the influence of Hip Hop and Rap culture and conspicuously merge authenticity with creativity is apparent throughout luxury brands. At the same time, the majority of growth in this particular market is driven by the change in wealth distribution and the shift in consumption of luxury goods by affluent millennials.  As for the luxury industry, it’s attempt to be relevant and represent this mindset demands adventurous creativity and savvy business approach.

F is for... Campaign:  Six super street legends, got together and wrote the word FUTURE in six different languages inside a giant yellow ring. To spread a mega positive vibe across Rome and beyond, breaking all barriers for a fearless future for all the freaks around! Image by Frendi
F is for… Campaign: Six super street legends, got together and wrote the word FUTURE in six different languages inside a giant yellow ring. To spread a mega positive vibe across Rome and beyond, breaking all barriers for a fearless future for all the freaks around! Image by Frendi

The zeitgeist of our times values unexpected collaborations and distance itself from flying solo. This particular trend has been successful to motivate the affluent millennials.  To engage and consume the intangible image created by luxury life and style is about seduction to the extent that the sense of belonging and acceptance in this particular community is not an option but essential. This idea might appear two-dimensional; however, the underpinning notion of blurring the hierarchy lines between different brands in its way is the language of progress and social inclusion. Distancing from the old styles and introducing fresh attitudes bring brand awareness to a diverse audience.

In 2017, Louis Vuitton’s collaboration with Supreme is undeniably an endorsement of inclusion. Supreme has all the elements of a valuable affiliation due to it’s young demographic, genderless designs and limited editions.  Consumers from different realms of taste, behaviours and dress codes where brought together by their shared interest in fashion honouring their differences.  Together the two brands created a tribal affiliation and an exclusivity hype resulting in a sold-out experience.

Supreme X Louis Vuitton Fall/Winter 2017
Supreme X Louis Vuitton Fall/Winter 2017

Another good example is the collaboration between the luxury fashion house Gucci and Spanish artist Ignasi Monreal. For the past few years, Gucci has appealed and secured an affiliation to millennials thanks to their design evolution and remarkable online presence. Their narrative illustrates mythical and surreal universes and underlines quality and uniqueness of their brand.  The combination is Super Cool!

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Having social-conscious values and adopting responsible environmental practices add the desirability quality to the luxury brands. They need to take a principled stand to gain favour among the millennials, the growing segment of the premium consumer market. Cultural diversity, labor practices, philanthropy or environmentally conscious lifestyles foster respect among the customers.

For instance, delving into luxury hotels, the ultra-exclusive Nekupe Sporting Resort & Retreat, built by the American Nicaragua Fund, is an innovative way that offers high-end luxury experience. The ANF, founded by Alfredo and Theresa Pellas, a wealthy family that believes in creating opportunities, self-sufficiency, and dignity for the poorest sectors of the population through the partnership model. They have reforested their 1,300 acres by planting more than 14,000 trees, hoping to restore natural habitat, increase local employment and their income. The ANF has contributed to well being of villages by building homes, creating access to health care, education and water management solutions. An Eco-Friendly resort that offers luxury experience with a clear conscious.

 

Nekupe Resort
Nekupe Resort

 

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Last but not least, enabling consumers to live a lifestyle true to themselves and being responsible towards community are the pillars of a brand’s authenticity.  Successful representation of the authentic perception of your core values to technology savvy consumers involves meaningful digital narratives as well as offering instant gratification through mobile and e-commerce.

 

Interest, Empathy & Resilience- Winning Skills for an Effective Communication

Good communication is not to impress but to discover possibilities, to gain advocates, to improve life for others, to resolve issues, to be heard and most importantly to be understood. Whether the communication is through mass media, face-to-face verbal or non-verbal, the challenge is how to breathe friendly, skilled, knowledge-based and mindful basics into your dialogue.
There are many factors that influence the outcome of our communication still our attitude will determine the course of the interaction. The dynamic approach to cultivate sentiments of compassion, curiosity and remain flexible will support our content and intention. With this view in mind, the pitfalls of communicating across cultures, businesses or interpersonal relations can be avoided by tweaking our style of communication based on the following tips:

Be interested

From your non-verbal cues such as eye contact, posture, or position of your arms to keep track of the conversation, the critical element is to be attentive. By asking relevant questions, replacing unnecessary conversation fillers like “um”, “er”,… with pause to think and respond are the effective way to engage your listeners and show your interest. Make sure to avoid personal judgements and allow people to finish their sentences.

Dale Carnegie meeting Spencer Trace - Getty Image
Dale Carnegie meeting Spencer Trace – Getty Image

Have Empathy

Empathy is not about agreement, is the ability to pass through emotions, threats and  complexities with confidence and awareness. Nurturing our mirror neurons by observing and being mindful of people’s emotional experiences, builds trust and effectively improves your dialogue.

Barack Obama’s speech in 2013 to the People of Northern Ireland, embodies hope and empathy to sustain union:

“Ultimately, peace is just not about politics. It’s about attitudes; about a sense of empathy; about breaking down the divisions that we create for ourselves in our own minds and our own hearts that don’t exist in any objective reality, but that we carry with us generation after generation. And I know, because America, we, too, have had to work hard over the decades, slowly, gradually, sometimes painfully, in fits and starts, to keep perfecting our union.”

The first step is to listen empathetically. This means listening with the intention to understand. By doing so, the receiver establishes a positive climate for the speaker to open up. Repeat what has been said with the same words and summarize in you own way to make the speaker aware that you have understood what is the issue or the story. It is a great moment when we stop judging, probing or interpreting someone else’s experiences and motives.

Barack Obama Visit to Ireland - White House Image
Barack Obama Visit to Ireland – White House Image

Be Resilient

A resilient communication process is an approach to evaluate a situation or crisis by breathing normality to the interaction, validating the negative feelings and focusing on positive course of action. Clearly, spearheading constant optimism is ineffective without use of alternative logic. Broadly speaking, resilience in crisis management is when optimism and a narrative to make sense of the situation serve as the roadmap to develop and maintain a good communication. Importantly, resilience develops when the focus is on the communication process rather than examining individuals or entities to refrain from the unnecessary and unwarranted assumptions.

Winston Churchill’s war speeches are great examples of acknowledging the reality and drawing a vivid picture with hope. Here is an excerpt of his speech “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.” May 1940 at the House of Commons.

You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: Victory. Victory at all costs—Victory in spite of all terror—Victory, however long and hard the road may be, for without victory there is no survival. 

Resilience depends on confidence and optimism. People do not all react the same way or every situation is dire, still a resilient communication helps to keep things in perspective. The capacity to be realistic, maintaining a positive outlook and developing a narrative to cope with the unwanted situation is called resilience. We should all remember that resilience is an obligation not only to self but to community at large.

Winston Churchill - Image from Winston Churchill Org.
Winston Churchill – Image from Winston Churchill Org.

 

Featured Image by:  GERRY ELLIS, MINDEN PICTURES – National Geography

 

Josh Rossi – Digital Artist Who Touches Your Heart

Non nobis solum nati sumus.

(Not for ourselves alone are we born.)” – Marcus Tullius Cicero

JOSH ROSSI – DIGITAL ARTIST from Jupilings on Vimeo.

Exercising our talents & sharing our knowledge, unselfishly, to change, bring hope or transform someone’s life is above all, the lasting fulfilment with high dose of ecstasy.   Purposely using our gifts to create real and tangible impact in our societies is the ultimate purpose of humanity. Digital artist and photographer, Josh Rossi uses his talents to bring awareness to the real superheroes of our world. With clients such as Warner Bros, Adobe, Nickelodeon, D.C. Comics, and many more major brands, with the help of his wife, Roxana, they transformed children with major illnesses and disabilities into members of the Justice League. The artwork received more than 100 million online views.

Five-year-old Simon Fuller, diagnosed with neuroblastoma, was featured as the Justice League's Batman. Image courtesy of Josh Rossi
Justice League – Image courtesy of Josh Rossi
Nine-year-old Teagan Pettit was born with a congenital heart defect as is featured as Superman. Images Courtesy of Josh Rossi
Justice League – Images Courtesy of Josh Rossi
Justice League - Images Courtesy of Josh Rossi
Justice League – Images Courtesy of Josh Rossi
Justice League - Images Courtesy of Josh Rossi
Justice League – Images Courtesy of Josh Rossi
Justice League - Images Courtesy of Josh Rossi
Justice League – Images Courtesy of Josh Rossi
Justice League - Images Courtesy of Josh Rossi
Justice League – Images Courtesy of Josh Rossi

The project was created after a Halloween photo shoot of his daughter, Nellee. The digital images illustrate his healthy and enthusiastic little girl as Wonder Woman. The series acted as a catalyst, he was contacted by emotionally inspired parents of            critically-ill children around the world, expressing that “their children are the real superheroes”.

Wonder woman - Images courtesy of Josh Rossi
Wonder woman – Images courtesy of Josh Rossi
Wonder woman - Images courtesy of Josh Rossi
Wonder woman – Images courtesy of Josh Rossi

Here is my exclusive interview with Josh Rossi to learn about his gifts and talents:

Jupilings –  Tell us about yourself and how you got into digital art/photography:

Josh Rossi: When I was a young boy I was obsessed with art. I was born in Florence, Italy where I lived for 7 years. When I hit high school I saw no need to pursue art and so I dropped it and got into other things. After high school I got an internship with a film production company and started getting more into film. When I was 22 I realized that I wasn’t satisfied with what I was doing so I needed a change. I decided that advertising was a lot more exciting and chose to go to Miami Ad School and that’s where my passion for photography came in. At school I had to rely on my own skills to produce print ads and online media. I had to convey a message and I didn’t want to just snap one shot and be done. I wanted to include a lot of different elements that told a story. That’s when I started getting into compositing. I realized that I could actually create the images that were inside my head. I never thought that was possible before. I became literally obsessed with ad photography. I would stay up every night until 2 or 3 studying my favorite photographers. I would study every single detail and try to recreate what I saw. It took me a year and a half before I decided to put my style out there to the public. Once I put my work out there for people to see I got a surprising response. People loved it! I dropped my 9 to 5 job and have been working full time doing what I love ever since. Whenever I create an image I try to think of a story behind it. I want my viewer to get into the picture and imagine a whole scenario. What brings me joy is when I can inspire others to do bigger and greater things. I am based out of Los Angeles and Puerto Rico where I specialize in Commercial and Advertising photography.

Jupilings – What is the fundamental principal in your creations?

Josh Rossi:  The image has to have emotion in it before it’s even created. You need to envision it and the emotion behind it. 

Jupilings – Are you a digital artist that uses photography to express an idea or a photographer who captures the moment of the idea?

Josh Rossi: Digital artist who uses photography to create my art.

Jupilings – Do you have a preference in camera, software or technology ? & why

Josh Rossi: Photoshop, Sony A7r2. The Sony is mirrorless and it’s easy to carry around. It’s very high quality too and is great for traveling. Photoshop has so many options that it lets me do anything I want with an image.

Jupilings – Which photographer has influenced you most?

Josh Rossi: Dave hill, Erik Almas

Jupilings – What is the secret of being a successful digital artist/photographer?

Josh Rossi: The secret is finding the best inspiration you can, practicing endless hours to perfect a look and keep learning.

Jupilings – What is your favourite subject to capture?

Josh Rossi: I love capturing people and landscapes together.

Jupilings – What does women empowerment mean to you?

Josh Rossi: Woman empowerment means to acknowledge the power and strength that they have. It means to allow them to express those strengths and not be shy to show them.

Jupilings – What are your tips about building a brand name as a digital artist / photographer?

Josh Rossi: To build a brand name you need a specific style that people know you for. Not just a better style but something different and new. People don’t care so much about better, they care about new and different.

Jupilings – What do you do to conquer fear or self doubt:

Josh Rossi: I learn to control my thoughts and push those out. Everyone feels fear but few people know how to manage it and push through the fear when necessary. You can’t listen to the voices in your head that create self doubt. Push them out immediately. The more you let them linger the more self doubt will build within you. No one knows your potential except your own self. How can you conquer the world if you can’t conquer your own mind?

Jupilings – What super power you would like to have ? and why?

Josh Rossi: Ability to change someones life just by deciding to do so.

Jupilings – Which movie you would have liked to be the lead actor:

Josh Rossi: Mission Impossible or James Bond

Jupilings – What is your life motto?

Make others rich like unto yourself.

Images courtesy of Josh Rossi http://www.joshrossi.com