In This Issue

We're Ten Years Old!

An Ode to Entrepreneurs Everywhere

Do You Have a "Bug" In Your Branding Chain?

Lessons from "Linsanity" -- The Art of Leadership Personal Branding

Tenth Anniversary Special Offer Question!

SBBB book cover
Build a powerful brand that is high on results but low on cost

Book Cover Visual
Brenda's step-by-step personal branding system to take charge of your career. Earn more , do more and be more at work

How YOU(tm) Are Like Shampoo for Job Seekers Front Cover
"One of the most comprehensive books on succeeding at job interviewing I have read." Los Angeles Times

HYALS CG front cover
Master your personal brand to get the job you love - right out of college

The Power of the Platform: Speakers on Purpose
Brenda and other well-known speakers inspire and motive you to live your purpose

Branding Matters

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Brenda travels around the world

Where in The World is Brenda Now??

Author, Speaker, Trainer and Coach Brenda Bence travels extensively to present her unique approach to corporate and personal branding at conferences, conventions, & corporations all across the globe...

Airplane taking off

If you'd like Brenda to speak or train at an upcoming event, conference, or meeting, please

e-mail her at:

Here's where Brenda has engagements scheduled in the next few months:



April 23-27: Tokyo

May 3-16: Lincoln, NE (U.S.)

June 4-8:  Mumbai

June 11-15: Bangkok

June 18-22: Sydney

June 28-29: Singapore 

July 9-13:  Hong Kong & Shanghai

July 16-20: Bangkok

August 2-3:  Singapore
 August 6-10:  Bangkok

August 30:  Singapore  

Brenda is now booking additional engagements for 2012.


Write to Brenda if you would like her to speak to, train, or coach your team.

Get a Deal If I'm Working Near You!

Get a Deal If I'm Working Near You!

Save money by sharing expenses with my other clients. If you see I'm going to be at a location near you in the future, feel free to contact me so that we can explore what I could do to help build your team's leadership personal brands and help make a stronger Corporate Brand/Personal Brand Connection™. I look forward to hearing from you!

Contact Us


Brand Development Associates International  


Singapore Contact Information


Phone: +65-6322-1491

Fax:      +65-6322-1493   

6 Battery Road #31-01 

Raffles Place

Singapore 049909


U.S. Contact Information


Phone: +1(312) 242-1830
Fax:      +1(312) 277-9211

7477 West Lake Mead Blvd

Suite 170

Las Vegas, NV 89128



Brenda Bence - Achieving Greater Success for YOU and Your Company Through the Power of Branding
  April 2012



We're Ten Years Old!


Yes, indeed, the 1st of April, 2012 - April Fool's Day - marked the ten-year anniversary of the birth of Brand Development Associates (BDA) International. Back then, since I was taking a huge leap of faith by leaving a big corporate job to start my own company, I decided April Fool's Day was as good a day as any to kick off a new business. That way, if it didn't work out, I could always say, "Just kiddin'!" and gallop back to the safety of a corporate post. But, as luck would have it, here we are - ten years later - still going strong. We are incredibly grateful!


Over the past 10 years, we have had the incredible fortune of working with some of the world's most well-known and respected MNCs, SMEs, and individual clients that come from dozens of nationalities, spanning 30 countries and six continents. It's been quite a ride! And, we know that none of this could have been possible if it weren't for having the wonderful clients, team members, and helpful and supportive strategic alliance partners that we have had, all across the globe.


Our Way to Say "Thank You"


To express our gratitude and to celebrate our anniversary, we want to say 'thank you' to you, our loyal clients and readers, by giving away 25 free ebooks! Here's how it works: At the bottom of this newsletter, there is a question based on the content of one of the articles included in this edition. Write to, and include your answer to that question. If you answer correctly and are among the first 25 people to respond - you can pick from among five e-books we are giving away. Be sure to respond quickly to take advantage of this special offer!   




Thank you for your support these past 10 years, and here's to YOU™!     

Brenda Bence signature
Brenda Bence


An Ode to Entrepreneurs Everywhere


If you haven't yet had a chance to watch the inspirational 11-minute film entitled "Caine's Arcade," I hope that you will. No matter what your situation in life - whether you are an on-your-own "entrepreneur" or not - 9-year-old Caine teaches us all some great lessons about passion, innovation, and determination (and the power of low-cost social media marketing!).




Click here to watch:

(P.S. Be sure to watch to the very end... the last minute of credits is just as priceless as the rest of the film...)


 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."

[Of course, you don't need vegans to make this particular incident a branding mess. Even non-vegans were understandably grossed out by the news. Yeeuw!]

So, what happened? A broken link in the branding "chain." Everyone - and I mean everyone - in your company can impact the way the public perceives your brand, no matter how big or small your business. It's the same for the people in Purchasing at Starbucks. Those folks - seemingly in the "back office bowels" of the company - probably weren't thinking about the impact on the brand that they could have by deciding to use beetles as an ingredient.

How about in your company?  If any of your team members aren't crystal clear on what you want your desired brand to stand for and how they, as individuals, could impact that brand through seemingly-simple, day-to-day decisions, you could be in jeopardy, too.

This Starbucks incident shows the significance of what I call "The Corporate Brand / Personal Brand Connection™." If the personal brand of a member of your team is not aligned with the corporate brand, you could end up facing a similar type of "Starbucks Beetle Challenge."  How to avoid that happening to you?  Here a couple of actions you can take.

Action #1: Make sure absolutely everyone in your company understands exactly what you want your brand to stand for.  [If you aren't sure yourself and can't summarize your positioning in a simple nutshell statement, take action now to get clear!  My latest book  Smarter Branding Without Breaking the Bank walks you through a simple, step-by-step process for defining exactly what you want your brand to stand for, using a proven framework that has worked for large companies and small companies alike.]

Action #2:  Make it clear to everyone that every single action your team members take - no matter how seemingly small - must be in perfect alignment with that desired brand positioning.  If it's not, you run the risk of damaging your brand.

So, use Starbucks as a cautionary tale. Make sure that everyone in your company understands the importance of brand consistency and only takes actions that keep your brand intact.

Smarter Branding Without Breaking the Bank wins coveted Axiom Gold Medal Award!

We're excited! My latest book, Smarter Branding Without Breaking the Bank: Five Proven Marketing Strategies You Can Use Right Now to Build Your Business at Little or No Cost won the coveted Gold Medal Award in the Advertising/Marketing category of this year's Axiom Best Business Book Awards!   


Filled with hundreds of tips, tools, and 'how-to' strategies to successfully promote and grow a brand without a 'big-brand' budget, Smarter Branding is based on one of my workshops that has been in high demand across the globe. I want to help business owners realize that they already have assets they can use to build their brands at low-cost -- or even no-cost -- that can grow their brand and quickly increase their bottom line.


Find out more  here about Smarter Branding Without Breaking the Bank!

Read more about the award here!

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.


Think about it: A little over two months ago, the idea of Nike designing a shoe that celebrates Jeremy Lin was incomprehensible. In his few games with the team, Lin hadn't scored very much. He hadn't even stepped onto the court for 13 of the Knicks' first 22 match-ups. He was sleeping on his brother's couch at night, multiple teams had dropped him from their potential player list, and he was playing in the NBA's "D-league."


Then, of course, in the span of one 48-minute game, Lin became a worldwide phenomenon - the latest poster child for underdogs everywhere.


So, how does this "Linsanity" apply toward building a brand for yourself as a leader at work?


Where's the Talent?


How many Jeremy Lins might you have in your own company right now? An important part of being a good leader is recognizing currently-untapped talent, sniffing out and cultivating previously-perceived "underdogs" at work.


Take a look around: Who on your team hasn't yet been fully leveraged, and who isn't completely expressing his/her talents? Who on your team hasn't yet had a chance to "step onto the court" but could potentially perform brilliantly if given the chance?


If you're like a lot of leaders I know, you may be thinking, "I can't delegate to most people on my team because they just aren't ready," or "I don't think so-and-so is up to the task yet, so I'll just do that work myself." When you think that way, you end up (1) increasing your own work load, and (2) holding back some of your most gifted people, never allowing them to rise to the occasion.


And, of course, if your team isn't ready to step up to the plate and take ownership, whose responsibility is it to make sure they get ready? I'm sure the New York Knicks coaches saw to it that Jeremy Lin got ready. While they probably couldn't have predicted Lin's mind-blowing performance in February, you can be sure they didn't put him on the court without intensive training.


It's the same with your team. You can't expect employees to automatically succeed without the opportunities to practice and grow.


Of course, once Jeremy was trained and ready enough, the coach had to be willing to give him a chance and put him on the court. What opportunities for "practice" on the job can you give your team members? Who among you do you think could perform well if given the right coaching and opportunities?


Find ways to apply the lessons of "Linsanity" at work and strengthen your leadership personal brand in the process. There's always an element of risk, but the rewards - as Jeremy Lin has proven - can be great. That's what leadership is all about.


Share your thoughts here.


Tenth Anniversary Special Offer Question!


Which brand incident mentioned above points out the importance of what I call "The Corporate Brand/Personal Brand Connection™?"
Be one of the first 25 people to send an email to with the correct response, and you will win an e-book of your choice!

All the best!

Brenda Bence

Brenda Bence

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You also have my permission to use these articles on your website or in your own e-newsletter but you must include the following: Brenda Bence is Founder and President of Brand Development Associates International, a firm which helps companies and individuals build growth-oriented corporate and personal brands.

She is the author of four award-winning branding books

For more information, visit 


Copyright © 2012 Brenda Bence. All Rights Reserved.