In This Issue

The Top Five Leadership Personal Brand Busters® to Beat in 2011

Has Starbucks committed a "logo no-no?"

I Asked . . . You Answered! 2010's Biggest Corporate and Personal Brand Winners and Losers Survey Results

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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...

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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:



Jan 17-27: Bangkok, Thailand

Feb 1: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Feb 3: Bangkok, Thailand

Feb 8: BDA's Asian HQ moves to Singapore
 Feb 16: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Feb 23-25: Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Feb 28-Mar 1: Athens, Greece

Mar 9-11: Jakarta, Indonesia

Mar 16-18: Bangkok, Thailand

Mar 29-31: Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

Apr 4-6: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Apr 25-30: Shanghai, China
May 11-14: Lagos, Nigeria

Jun 1-5: Boston, Massachusetts (U.S.)

Brenda is now booking additional engagements for 2011.


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

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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!

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Brenda Bence - Achieving Greater Success for YOU and Your Company Through the Power of Branding
  January 2011


Happy New Year! I hope 2011 is shaping up great for you so far.  If you are like a lot of folks I know, by now you've set some new year's resolutions and are knee-deep into trying to turn them into reality. Want to assure success?  Read below for the five biggest Leadership Personal Brand Busters® that can actually prevent you from achieving those important goals. In this newsletter, we'll also review the results of last month's survey on "2010's Biggest Corporate and Personal Brand Winners & Losers."  Last, I invite you to sound off on the question, "Does Starbucks' latest corporate identification change reflect a 'logo no-no?'"


All the best to you - and here's to a terrific new year!

Brenda Bence signature
Brenda Bence


The Top Five Leadership Personal Brand Busters® to Beat in 2011

The Top Five Leadership Personal Brand Busters® to Beat in 2011

The month of January typically finds people focused on achieving their New Year's resolutions - what to "start" doing in 2011. To me, it's just as helpful to pause and think about what to "stop" doing. After all, bad habits are often the biggest roadblocks to attaining the goals you set out to achieve.


In my executive coaching practice, I consistently see five bad habits that hold back leaders and prevent them from developing the kind of brand in the workplace that will propel their careers.  These "Leadership Personal Brand Busters®" not only impact leaders' careers, but can spill over to their personal lives as well. Check out the list below and ask yourself:  Do "YOU™" need to bust any of these Busters in 2011?


1.         Being clueless about how you really manage your time. I hear it a lot: "I manage my time well ... I think." This usually comes from executives who have been working 14-hour days as long as they can remember. Even if that isn't you, the only way to manage your time well is to know how you spend your days (and nights). So, during one entire week, track what you do every 15 minutes. If you're like most of my clients, you'll be completely surprised by what you discover.


How this Buster impacts your brand: If you aren't managing your time smartly, you aren't leading "you" effectively. So, how can you lead others effectively? Read my article on time management for some more tips:


Speaking of managing your time, the second Leadership Personal Brand Buster® is...


2.         Being a slave to e-mail. Some leaders tell me they receive 300-400 e-mails in a typical day and that managing them can consume as much as 30-40% of their time.  If you find too much of your time is spent on e-mail, stick to specific time guidelines for reading or sending, e.g., spend a half hour in the morning and a half hour in the afternoon working on e-mail. Let your staff know you aren't to be interrupted during that time. You can then focus on more important things during the day. (Extra tip: To write e-mails, I use voice-activated software. It has cut down my writing time  - literally - from hours to minutes.)


How this Buster impacts your brand: Good leadership personal brand builders are proactive, not reactive. If you're constantly "reacting" to your inbox, you can't effectively focus on strategies or building relationships. Try picking up the phone instead.


3.         Allowing meetings to run you instead of the other way around. When my clients review the results of their time management analysis, they typically find they spend anywhere from 35-60% of their time in meetings. If you want to minimize how much meetings "eat up your day," try the following: Ask for a meeting agenda in advance and attend only if you absolutely have to and if you feel you can really add value. Don't have to attend? Ask for a copy of the minutes and read them later. Want to make your meetings shorter and more efficient?  Take all the chairs out of your meeting rooms. Believe me, meetings get a lot shorter that way!


How this Buster impacts your brand: Running from meeting to meeting - being beholden unto your meeting schedule - makes you a follower instead of a leader. Go to the head of the pack and decide which meetings really need your attention.


4.        Saying "yes" too often (or all the time). As business leaders, we want to help others and be a part of the action. But far too often, this means saying "yes" to too many requests and becoming over-committed. The ironic thing is that, by spreading yourself too thin, you aren't helping anybody - not others, not yourself. In fact, if you aren't saying "no" about 10-20% of the time, you're probably giving in too much. You'll become a much better leader by learning how to get comfortable saying "no."


How this Buster impacts your brand: By saying "yes" to too many things, you often end up doing an "okay" job at everything versus doing an outstanding job at the types of projects that truly make the biggest difference.  That translates to seriously undermining your leadership personal brand. It takes stronger leadership skills to say "no" in a calm, collected manner than to say "yes." People will respect your time and attention more when they know you won't be at their beck and call. Do "YOU™" feel guilty saying no? Read more tips here:


5.         Thinking you need to get everything 100% right.  Perfectionism is a tough one for so many people, me included. We want to do the very best for our clients, colleagues, friends - everyone. We want the experience of working with us to be exceptional. Perfectionism can be a hard habit to break, but you can do it by regularly applying the 80/20 rule. Go through your to-do list and ask yourself:  "Which of these tasks do I really need to do at 100%?  Which ones could I do at 80% and still get great results?" If you give 80% instead of 100%, the sky won't fall; the world will go on. Find 80% too tough?  Start with 90%, and slowly work your way down to 80%. That will free up 20% of your time to work on new projects,  putting you ahead of the game.


How this Buster impacts your brand: The harsh truth is that people rarely acknowledge the extra 20% you do to make something "perfect." So, you will build a more dynamic leadership personal brand - faster - if you do more work at 80% and less at 100%. Moving forward in your career is about delivering consistently good results, not being perfect.


Do you commit any of these Busters? If so, make it part of your New Year's resolutions to stop some of these behaviors in their tracks and create new habits that will build your leadership personal brand to powerhouse stature in 2011.


Has Starbucks committed a "logo no-no?"

Whether you're a fan of Starbucks or not, the brand is a great one to study.  As the first big-name coffee mark to explore the idea of offering a "rewarding experience" in addition to a great tasting cup of coffee, Starbucks has single-handedly transformed the category since it first opened its doors 40 years ago.


So what is Starbucks doing to celebrate its 40th anniversary?  Changing its logo. Yep, after decades of using the same corporate ID (with a mermaid inspired by Moby Dick - or so the legend goes), Starbucks recently revealed its new logo. 


Here, side by side, is the former logo and the newly-released one:

Starbucks logos

A January 5 post by BrandChannel writer Abe Sauer contends that this move by Starbucks is a "logo no-no." 


Starbucks, of course, has a different point of view. Here's what Starbucks has to say:

"Our new evolution liberates the Siren from the outer ring, making her the true, welcoming face of Starbucks. For people all over the globe, she is a signal of the world's finest coffee - and much more. She stands unbound, sharing our stories, inviting all of us in to explore, to find something new and to connect with each other. And as always, she is urging all of us forward to the next thing. After all, who can resist her?"


So, what do you think? Is the Starbucks logo change a good one or not?   Click here to sound off and let your caffeinated voices be heard!

I Asked . . . You Answered!
2010's Biggest Corporate and Personal Brand Winners and Losers Survey Results

In late December, I asked our online community to vote on the Biggest Corporate and Personal Brand Winners and Losers. Which company and individual brands fared the best and which took a dive?

Here's what you said:


Biggest Corporate Brand Winners:

  • Apple (89%) vs. Samsung (11%)
  • Facebook (82%), Twitter (12%), Google (6%), and LinkedIn (0%)
  • iPhone (82%) vs. Blackberry (18%)

Oprah Winfrey

Biggest Personal Brand Winners:

  • Sarah Pailin (53%) vs. Barack Obama (47%) - a close one!
  • Lady Gaga (76%), Miley Cyrus (12%), and Taylor Swift (12%)
  • Oprah Winfrey (89%) vs. Larry King (11%)

BP logo

Biggest Country Brand Winner:

  • China (88%) vs. India (12%)

Biggest Corporate Brand Loser:

  • BP (76%) vs. Toyota (24%)

Biggest Personal Brand Loser:

  • Tiger Woods (95%) [ouch!] vs. Charlie Sheen (5%)

Goldman Sachs

Of those brands whose dollar value decreased dramatically in 2010, which one also earned the distinction of the biggest brand "image" loser?

  • Goldman Sachs (82%),
  • Google (6%)
  • Nokia (6%)
  • Sony (6%)  
  • Dell (0%)
  • Adobe (0%)   


Looking to the future... Any prediction as to which brands will be the biggest winners and losers in 2011? Let me know what you think!


All the best, and happy branding!

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, Ltd, a firm which helps companies and individuals build growth-oriented corporate and personal brands. She is author of the award-winning How YOU™ Are Like Shampooseries of personal branding books.
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