Branding Interview with Lauren Clemett

“Be you, be unique, be totally authentic and real” – Award Winning personal branding specialist, Lauren Clement shares the inside scoop on her brand.

Lauren Clemett

Introduce yourself! Who are you and what do you do?

Hi I’m, Lauren Clemett, Award Winning Personal Branding Specialist, with over 25 years experience inside World leading ad agencies such as Saatchi & Saatchi, Ogilvy & Mather and Clemenger BBDO to name a few. Plus owning my own agency and the founder of Personal Branding Consultancy, The Ultimate Business Propellor.

What is your business? What does is specialize in? Who is your target market?

I work with professional service providers who want to confidently communicate what you do and why someone should choose you, so you can naturally attract the right clients.

What touchpoints do you have that make up your brand?

Because we have a global audience, we have an interactive and mobile-friendly website which hosts our regular blog (including podcasts, video blogs and articles). You can also book a seat at live and online workshops via this website and book me as a speaker.
We focus on Facebook marketing, especially involved in groups, as well as Twitter and Instagram, with a regularly updated profile on Linked In and posted articles.

The brand extends to the best selling guidebook, Selling You and a range of marketing materials including presentations, webinars, business cards and pull up banners.

The brand identity was developed via 99 Designs, with a special process I have developed to ensure the brand engages the right audience – I did not select my logo, my target audience did!

What mediums do you use to promote yourself? What do you find works best for customer engagement?

Facebook by far is the most interactive way to market my brand. There are plenty of my target audience on there and the content I post is relevant to them. Interacting in groups has been the most effective, offering weekly tips and hacks as well as helpfully answering a few questions people ask.
Online marketing and email marketing to my growing database is the focus of our efforts, along with speaking on webinars and at events around the World.

Has your business always carried the same logo and branding or have you undergone a rebrand? What was the reason behind your business rebrand?

Our brand is now almost 7 years old, but it wasn’t the original design we had created. Originally we went for a very “Top Gun” approach, with the Ultimate Business Propellor Brand Academy style, wings, stars, even the typeface was called “Top Gun”.

I then attended a very special speaker training course and the mentor asked me what connection I had to flight. Was I a pilot, had I been in the Navy or Airforce? Of course I had zero experience with anything to do with flight, so that was never going to work.

Personal branding is all about being authentic you, make believe is never going to work, no matter how cool you make it look.
So it was back to the drawing board, lots of self-awareness and soul searching to get my own personal brand right, and then the development of the brand identity we now have.

The tagline has changed a few times, typical mechanic with eh broken down car, I always want to tweak and perfect it.

We started with one that mentioned marketing because personal branding wasn’t really hat well known. It is now Rocket Launch your Personal Brand. I believe it will stay that way because it’s a pain to go back and redo anything with a new tagline and my biggest suggestion to anyone is, get it right the first time and let it be.

Based on your businesses branding journey, what benefits has your business received from having a solid brand?

Consistency is key to build brand awareness. Not only ensuring your look is the same and your brand image is the same on every single thing you do, but also your brand personality, tone of voice and core message is also consistent. Humans don’t like change and they don’t trust someone who constantly reinvents themselves. It makes them nervous.

Funny how the trust and loyalty levels for a brand increase over time, it’s just the way it is, so the sooner you settle on a brand the better, it’s going to take about 3 years of consistent effort to really become a stand-out brand.

What do you think is the number one thing that has contributed to your businesses successful branding?

Knowing branding has certainly been of advantage, but also a disadvantage, because I am too close to my own brand. I think that’s why I made the mistake of the Top Gun direction. I couldn’t see the wood for the trees.

It took me 4 years to really define my brand. Thankfully I have the luxury of being on the outside looking in, for my clients and can see their brand clearly, far more quickly.

I do know the understanding of consumer behaviour (my favourite topic when I was completing my Advanced Diploma in Marketing Management) and my ongoing interest in neurobranding has helped me create a consistent core message and brand identity.

It is so much more important to understand the #1 thing you want to be known for and how your target audience will engage and connect with that, than it is to choose colours, fonts and icons you like. Your brand needs to communicate on a visceral level. Especially with so much confusion, clutter and short attention spans today.

Why do you think it is important for a business (no matter what size) to have a professional brand?

The human brain sees 5000 branded messages every day (in 1970 it was only 500), so you have to stand out. You have to create an emotional reaction, a clearly defined message that moves from the subconscious tot he conscious of your target audience.
Without a brand, it makes it really difficult to explain what you do and why someone should choose you, unless you want to restrict your marketing to networking and have all the time in the World to chat to people who may or may not be your idea client.
The wonderful thing about having a stand out brand, is that it speaks for you. It creates a recognisable character in the brain and engages on an emotional level. People don’t drink Coca Cola because they are thirsty, they drink it because it’s cool and socially friendly. They eat McDonalds because it’s fast and tastes the same everywhere, they buy Nike to run fast, buy a Volvo to feel safe…
It is much easier and faster to grow a business brand when the hard work of explaining what you do and why your ideal client should choose you, is already done before you even speak to them.

Do you have anything else which you would like to add? Thoughts or advice to readers?

Just that it is so vital to take the time to really consider the 2 most important aspects of branding:
1) Exactly who you are and what you want to stand for, become well known for and be respected for being the best at.
2) Exactly who your ideal client is, what their pain is, how you can help them and why they should choose you.

Never get pushed into a brand identity just because it’s so ‘now’, don;t follow trends, don’t choose images, icons, fonts or colours just because you like them.

Think about the emotion you want to create with your brand, how you want to make people feel.

Create a 1 page brief for your brand designer, including your background, your ideal prospect and what they want and how they feel about your industry etc, what you want to achieve with your brand, it’s Single-Minded Purpose, how you want to make people feel, support your ideas with facts about your brand (what can you 100% deliver on) and give them some ideas of images, colours and other brands that you think communicate what you are looking for to give them some ideas of what’s going on inside your head.

Once you have a brand, keep it consistent, create a list of words from he thesaurus that support your brand strategy and create a mood board of colours and images that communicate the brand essence/feeling/emotions. Keep these visible to keep you on track.

Oh, and although checking your competition for selecting a unique market position for your brand, don’t look at what others are doing or compare your brand with theirs…be you, be unique, be totally authentic and real.

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