Brenda's Blog

All articles from April, 2012

Lessons from “Linsanity” — The Art of Leadership Personal Branding

I watched with fascination the “Linsanity” that was the focus of global television, newspaper, and social media coverage for the past couple of months. After Jeremy Lin – a previously-overlooked New York Knicks point guard – scored 38 points against Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers during a February 10 game, “Linsanity” took the world by storm. The phrase, which combines Lin’s last name and the word “insanity,” has come to stand for shifting from being an overlooked asset to breaking records and being seen as a talent sensation.

Now, Lin – a Taiwanese immigrant to the U.S. – has made history. As the first player in NBA history to score at least 20 points and achieve seven assists in each of his first four starting games, he’s now the second highest scoring player in league history over a period of four game starts and drumroll … Nike has even launched a new shoe design named after him.

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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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