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Brand Experience

Brand Experience

Empathy Always Wins!

I love this topic. The good part? People are soaking up to it quite sooner than I thought. It’s so crucial to express this emotion in all our decisions- be it business, personal or professional. We even have career title(s) that connote the word empathy – like Chief Heart Officer – and justly so. What’s more? Even CEOs are meant to be Chief Empathy Officers. This is because people resonate more with these emotionally-evoking ‘practitioners’ than mere ‘corporatish’ titles.
The most understood language – no matter in how many variations – is is this undertone that binds us to anyone: Empathy.
Although we know what empathy means, but we still need to practise reflecting on it by putting ourselves in someone else’s shoes and identifying his/her situation.
Every brand reflects some kind of emotion – say, independence, adventure, security, achievement, etc. And the best way to express them is when you communicate it with a sense of compassion and humility. Which is why some brands perpetually resonate with us, even when they refresh their brand appeal/ look or go through some kind of ‘brand engineering’.
When you empathetically feel the other side, you can sharpen your brand language (aka messaging) visually and emotionally  by learning to keenly listen to why your customers love you (even more).
Words have a more powerful impact on your audience/ community when you take the time to observe, analyse and listen to what your audience ‘feels’ when they connect with your brand.
Sure, your marketing/ brand veteran can have his/ her own version of empathy connect; but you can unearth way more variations of empathic connect and translate it into ‘messaging that not just works; but also feels’. Why? Because feelings are rooted in the ability to fundamentally ‘get’ your audience and ‘emotionally’ moving them to make a difference.
To make a change, understand what changes your audience’s perspective/ way of thinking.
You don’t have to be a revolutionary thinker to make your brand stand out. You have to be a resolute reader, observer and listener so that your authenticity shines out.
In a more digitally connected – and increasingly inclusive – world, empathy can emotionally take you to places even where you’re not physically present. Empathy can open professional/ career/ business avenues when you least expect. Empathy can make you a more meaningful entrepreneur or professional. Empathy builds and cultivates a culture in which makes people free to learn, unlearn and relearn. Why? Because you care to care. You listen to listen. You love to love. No transactional element. Oh, and even relational element sounds passe to me. Only empathy. Pure purpose to understand the other side. That’s when real conversations happen.
Indeed, the best decisions – short-term and long-term – are taken when you have empathy.
No matter what your brand values are, always imbibe empathy in your messaging and general communications. It’s the best ‘sweet helm’ where you come across new people and experiences.
Starting point you may ask? Build a ‘community of empathic practice’ and let the world action it out. Think from the place of ’togetherness’ and ‘love’, you will naturally evoke empathy with the other side.
Well, if you think you’re too small to make a difference, I urge you to think again. It all starts with ‘you’.
I promise, you’ll thank me later 🙂
Brand Experience, calling, vocation

Seek Your Calling: It’s All That You Have

I get asked a lot: on why I have switched so many jobs. Now after giving interviews for almost a decade of my life, I’m almost into an autopilot mode of answering this question in a more meaningful way.
Why? Because you can’t always map your progressive path: of where it leads you, as its futuristic after all. But you can always connect those undercurrents of your job transitions when you look back at what you’ve done in your career.
Sometimes your jobs are interim positions that engineer you for something more purposeful. When you navigate jobs that may not always align with your calling/ vocation, this banality helps you find out what you truly love doing at work.
While you may think, ‘I don’t have it quite figured out, so I’d do what I’m doing’; this translates as ‘my job is good for now’.
But some of you would still take those ‘transit’ jobs that lead you to your vocation: it could be full time writing, arts/ designing, philanthropy, dancing, marketing, being an entrepreneur, freelancer, etc.
On an inspiring note, I’ve updated my social handles with just one phrase: ‘Love the mortality project called life’. And for a reason. I encourage you to keep trying in your early 20s and 30s of what keeps you ticking, what keeps you going. And when you feel you need to make a change, do it. Finding your ‘mojo-vation’ is not cliche, it has a deep meaning when your truly enjoy what you do for for a living.
But once you’ve tried – and failed – and learned, still do what you really love. This is the ultimate remediation to a more glorious, thriving career.
Your seeking system will never deprive you of personal satisfaction and deep immersion into what fuels your passion.
So, go and seek what is (also) seeking you.
Brand Experience

My Takeaways From Entrepreneur India Summit 2019

A confession: I’ve barely been to any [networking] event in the recent past. And so, gracing EI Summit 2019 was indeed a delight. I met so many new entrepreneurs and startups that are brimming with new ideas and new ways to get funding, improve lives, have more visibility, and meet other entrepreneurial folks in the ecosystem.
My very own IIPM alumnus Avneesh Chabbra, the founder of BabySaffron, was of the panel speakers in the arena of family business growth discussion. I also loved sessions by Vaibhav Aggrawal, Partner at Lightspeed Ventures, among many others.
So, without further ado, here are my top 5 take takeaways from this immersive and engaging 2-day event.
  1. You’re not alone. Look around; you have entrepreneurs everywhere! Don’t feel scared when you’re all by yourself with a little voice echoing inside you that says, ‘You’re enough!’ As long as you have an idea and a passion to make things happen, even if if means taking a small step, take the plunge!
  2. Solve a problem. Taking a leap into entrepreneurship is extremely risky and difficult. No two days are the same. Especially when you can identify a business problem, go ahead and figure how how you can solve it with your unique gifts, talent and hard work. Having better problems can endow your ecosystem with smarter and effective solutions – which will not just improve your business unit economics but also improve your economy’s health.
  3. Build your brand. Focus on developing your brand when it comes to who you are, what you stand for, and why. This means you need to develop your brand voice in terms of your vision, mission, values, cultural DNA and your work principles. When you document your existence, it becomes easier to scale and operate.
  4. Trust yourself. Entrepreneurship also means failing a lot and reframing those failures into new avenues/ opportunities. Sometimes even when you don’t see the market ready for your business proposition, have the conviction to keep moving along. You need to have trust in your business value that will thrive in the long-term. Pre-prepare and be ready to navigate through failures and contingencies.
  5. Cultivate the founder’s mentality traits. As per the book The Founder’s Mentality by Chris Zook and James Allen, there are 3 key traits of the founder’s mentality – the insurgent mission (your focus and purpose and what differentiates you), the front-line obsession (ground level detail of your customer experience), and the owner’s mindset (having a bias for action, speed, efficiency, and an aversion to bureaucracy). When you infuse this founder-led mentality in your organisation, you create a strong sustainable competitive advantage for all growth stages.

 

All in all – a great event!

Looking forward to the next edition.

In case you attended the event, do share your learnings.

Until then, onward and upward.

Brand Experience, learning insurance

Your Brand Needs A Learning Insurance (Here’s How)

Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash

Every brand today needs to constantly learn to adapt, sustain, and thrive. Whether you are an entrepreneur, a professional working in an organisation, or someone looking to start out fresh after a flailing business, you are ‘usually safe’ when you are learning along the way.

We all experience difficult patches in our careers and business at some point. But accepting these frailties beforehand and planning a succession from thereon is what our strategic imperative should be. Instead of ruminating of what didn’t work, you should think of how can you redirect yourself from your failure towards a new progression path.

Truth be told: this sounds easier than we think. But if we are firm in what we can offer to the world through our expertise or even evolving know-how, you’d always go north.

So, as the title reads, what does ‘learning insurance’ mean anyway? And how can we apply this perspective to our thinking complex, simply?

Learning insurance means you’re [financially] covered and progressively secured in your career as long as you invest in your personal and professional development.

When you learn more through others’ midway [and even starting] failure points, you can pivot accordingly.

That said, how can you cultivate a learning mindset and still be insured when you’re facing trying times?

  • Focus on learning outcomes. Instead of flubbing with your performance goals, focus on deducing learning outcomes through playful experimentation. That way, your curiosity- of exploring new possibilities – will help you stay driven even when you don’t see some conspicuous results. The good part? When you operate through your place of comfort-stretches, you’d see incremental improvements, which over a period of time will strengthen your performance in your business/ career. See from the lens of learning agility and you will learn to create value as per your market’s demand

 

  • Nourish and nurture your seeking system. Alive At Work by Daniel M. Cable talks about the amazing benefits of activating our seeking system– which is the dopamine circuit in our brain, linked to intrinsic motivation. When you activate your seeking system, you are fuelled with self-expression, excitement and curiosity that will keep you consumed in doing what you love. Your seeking system doesn’t just help you learn creatively, it also drives you to make art through your passion for your work. And this involves achieving your goals faster when you learn what you’re passionate about creating something meaningful, purposeful.

 

  • Read books [yes, paperback]. Don’t just read in your leisure time. Try and finish at least 2 books a week – related or unrelated to your profession. It can feel great and consumed when you read paperback books. Books can offer a new perspective and stretch your mind to think beyond your cognitive capacity. There is something magical about a fresh new book: it can make you think deeper and absorb you to delve into new thinking patterns. Books can also sharpen your business intuition, which in turn will make you solve complex business problems through clear and holistic thinking. And not to forget, reading books infuse you with new business ideas to grow and monetize your expertise.

 

How are you keeping your brand’s ‘learning’ insurance in check?

Let me know!