Brenda's Blog

All articles from the 'General Branding, Positioning and Marketing' Category

When Risking Failure is a Good Thing

How can failing ever be a good thing? The best leaders know that if you aren’t risking failure at least part of the time, you’re playing it so safe that no one on your team is learning and growing. “Failing small” can be a great way for everyone in your company to learn. After all, isn’t that how you learned the best lessons in your own career?

Sounds intriguing but not sure how to put this into action?

–          Allow enough leeway in projects so that if small failures occur, you have time to recover, learn specific lessons from the failures, and get back on track.

–          If you’re concerned about your employees making costly mistakes, determine the points at which you need to influence the project’s outcome the most. Then, set up specific times to meet with your direct reports, either by date or by completion of certain steps (check out the “metered with milestones” delegation style in Would YOU Want to Work For YOU™?). In that case, if something is truly off track, you can realize it, say something, coach them through it, and have enough time to make a correction.

Playing it 100% safe in business is not how the most successful companies have gotten where they are today. You have to step out and take calculated risks now and then in order to get big rewards. What risks will YOU take today?

Brenda Bence Bio

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Powerful Questions

The best way to develop your team is by asking powerful questions. Yes, it’s true that this can take slightly more time than immediately telling employees what to do. But, if you don’t make the time to ask questions of your team members, you will end up being the one answering all of the questions and doing more work than necessary — a sign that your team has become dependent on you. And once that happens, you’ll never step out of that never-ending cycle unless you make the decision to change your behaviors and begin asking vs. telling.

In fact, I believe that asking instead of telling is a fundamental behavior of great leaders. In my shadowing experience, I see that the strongest leaders are those who don’t respond to queries from their staff right off the bat—that is, they don’t tell an staff member what to do and then send the employee away to implement the plan. Instead, they ask powerful questions that get team members to stop, reflect, grow, and challenge him/herself. Read the rest of this entry »

The Anatomy of a Successful Brand Slogan: Lessons from the “One Pound Fish” Man

Last month, PSY’s “Gangnam Style” became the most viewed YouTube video of all time, and now, another video wonder is making it to the top of the site’s charts. This time, it’s the unsuspecting “One Pound Fish Man,” a fish stall seller named Muhammad Shahid Nazir, who works at Queen’s Market in East London’s Upton Park. In its first week since the video was posted, it accumulated over five million hits.

From a fish monger to an overnight sensation, Mr. Nazir has now been profiled on CBS in the U.S. and Australia, and on BBC World News in the U.K. Parodies have been created of his video, remixes of his song featuring President Obama are hitting the airwaves, and people from all over the world are visiting Queen’s Market to seek out Muhammad and get his autograph. He now has more than 30,000 followers on Twitter.

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Brands Meet Bond

Not long ago, I saw the new James Bond movie, Skyfall. Am I a big James Bond fan? Honestly, not really. But, I had heard that there were a lot of brands featured in the film – that advertisers were using good, old-fashioned “product placement” throughout the 007 movie — a marketing method where advertisers pay big-time to have their brands in the film in order to benefit from the positive association with the movie and its characters.

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Low-Cost Marketing Lessons from My New Favorite Brand

It’s not that often that a brand truly blows me away.  So, when I recently discovered a brand that not only earned that description but also demonstrated an important branding lesson, I just had to share it with you.

As a speaker and a trainer, it’s not unusual for me to be on my feet all day, every day, for days on end. As a result, the soles of my feet and my piggly-wigglies are pretty much in a constant state of ‘hurt.’  For years I’ve looked for solutions to this problem, but I had never run across one that really worked for me.  That is, until last month…

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How to Build Your Brand “Gangnam Style”

More than three quarters of a billion people – Over 880 million as of this writing – have watched the #1 YouTube video “Gangnam Style” since its release on July 15, 2012. That means that more than a third of all people on the planet who are on the Internet have laid eyes on that one video. Talk about powerful, low-cost branding! What marketer wouldn’t love to reach that kind of awareness and engagement with their own brand message?

If you’re one of the few people who haven’t yet watched this video, it’s a song by a Korean rap star called PSY who had, up to now, only been well-known in his native country. This single four-minute video has launched PSY into international super-stardom in a matter of weeks. So, what can marketers and brand builders learn from branding “Gangnam Style?”

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Five Ways to Build a Successful Coaching Brand at Little to No Cost

Here is a link to my latest article that outlines five powerful assets you already have to build a successful brand as a small business owner or solo-preneur, at low cost or no cost at all.

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Smarter Branding Without Breaking the Bank – my new online course!

Smarter Branding Without Breaking the Bank Online Course

“The definitive guide to buiding a brand on a tight budget.”

Big news!  My new online course, Smarter Branding Without Breaking the Bank, is now “live” on And, for the next 48 hours, it’s on sale for 50% OFF!

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Do You Have a “Bug” In Your Branding Chain?

As you may have heard by now, Starbucks certainly found a bug in its branding chain … or rather, in its Strawberry Frappuccinos. Ground-up cochineal beetles are government-approved food coloring used by a number of brands in the food industry, so why was it a problem when Starbucks added the ingredient to its frappuccinos?

Starbucks has long branded itself as “green” and safe for vegans, so when people who eat plant-based diets caught wind of this beetle-based ingredient, their organizations went … well (forgive the pun), buggy. And understandably so. It goes back to a fundamental principle that I always talk about: consistency in branding. The minute you do something that goes against who you say you are, you have created a brand disconnect. The damage can be significant and difficult to recover from. In Starbucks’ case, if their brand stands for environmental- and green-consciousness, the last thing they want to be known for is “beetle juice.”

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How’s Your “Brand Triangle™” Doing?

You may not know what a “Brand Triangle™” is, but I guarantee you already have one. The Brand Triangle™ – a model I created – is an approach for how to think about your brand, whether you’re focused on growing a brand for a company, a product, or a service, or whether you’re building your own individual personal brand. While it may not sound quite as exciting as a “romantic triangle,” if you don’t get your Brand Triangle™ right, your brand may very well end up in the Bermuda Triangle – disappearing into thin air, never to be heard from again.

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