COM0014-Blog #5: Personal Brand

I define personal brand as being your image, your reputation and your career.  It is composed of bits and pieces of your life; personal and corporate.  It is, in my opinion, the most vulnerable representation of yourself.  Why?  There is no place to hide.   

My personal branding statement is: Learn.  Grow.  Thrive.  My passion and enthusiasm are some key elements that allow me to stand out.  Well, I must confess that my sense of humor and my rhetoric have helped build my brand too!  I was very social before the arrival of social media, so I was not intimidated by it at all.

I am a perpetual learner.  My career path consists of many different specializations that are different but related to each other; translator, copywriter, blogger, marketing coordinator, customer and supplier relations, administration and management related positions.  The combination of all these studies, experiences and skills is what differentiates me from my competitors, and it allows me to be versatile and flexible.

I am the organizer, the problem solver, the thinker, the devil’s advocate on whom you can count on.  I am the one people come to for technology-related issues (and to know all my shortcuts!).  Because I am great at generating ideas and finding solutions to problems, fields including creativity, research and innovation are attractive to me.  New projects are a source of challenges and excitement.  I value teamwork and brainstorming sessions where people having a common goal can share ideas! 

LinkedIn is the social media platform that I mostly use and since it is linked to the corporate world, it allows me to connect with professionals and opens doors that otherwise would be inaccessible.  I make sure I comment and post often to ensure constant visibility.  I have been posting some of my blogs and have been listening to the received feedback.  I am learning to engage people and create a targeted audience which is not an easy task.  I am still very cautious as to what I choose to post online.  My motto is “Think twice, post once.” 

References

Gunnulfsen, Zu Anjalika Kamis.  (April 24th, 2018).  What is the difference between personal image and personal branding?  Retrieved from https://marketinginasia.com/2018/04/24/what-is-the-difference-between-personal-image-and-personal-branding/

Personal Branding

yourstory.com

Branding is me. We have been branded since birth.  From the brand of diapers we wore in the beginning, to the brand of backpack we took to school, to the brand of glasses we now wear as adults.  Branding is everywhere.  Personal branding is the same.  From our first job at the pizza place taking customers’ orders we had begun developing customer service skills.  As we get older with professions and careers, we continue to build our personal branding. 

    There are two areas of specialization that I believe I excel in, office management and customer service/relations.  Both come from many many years of work experience starting from when I was fourteen with my first job. 

  • Office Management:  Office management is almost like second nature to me.  In my current job at our business I run all day to day operations and handle all office related duties.  Prior to running the office at Nev’s Heating & Cooling, I was the store manager for a locally owned and run butcher shop for twelve years.  Although not a typical office setting, it still had all the same responsibilities.  Inventory control, profit and loss reports, invoicing, scheduling, and human resources management.  In the past I have also run two departments at a grocery store at the same time.  Both the deli and bakery departments required all the above skills and techniques but also had customer service deeply inserted in day to day management as well.  I was often serving customers while doing scheduling or inventory in my down time. 
  • Customer Service/Relations:  This skill has been part of every single job I have ever had and to this day still is.  Without customers businesses will never survive.  Without exceptional customer service business will have no customers.  I believe I stand out as a customer service representative because of the twenty-nine plus years of experience I have doing it.  I have had some very knowledgeable managers along the way that have helped shaped and formed me into the manager I am today.  They provided me very on in my working career with some very valuable tools and skills when dealing with customers or clients.  Patience is the most valuable quality to have when working customer service.  It is imperative that you always stay calm and maintain composure when dealing with frustrated customers.  Doing this does not cause a negative impact on the company or business. 

    The following are what I am most proud of accomplishing over the past year:

  • Algonquin College – Social Media Certificate: Being 43 years old and a mother of 2 and step mother to 1 has limited my time to further my education but over the last 4 months I have put myself first and decided to do this for myself and get a college certificate. It has only been 24 years since I have last been a student at Algonquin College. lol
  • Arnprior Regional Health Foundation: Presently I am the Vice-Chair of the foundation board.  Currently we are trying to fundraise 5 million dollars to expand The Grove Nursing home and hospital equipment.  We are currently at 3.2 million dollars of our 5 million dollar goal.  Through other board members and fundraising events, it has allowed me to meet a tremendous amount business connections within our community and surrounding area. It has allowed me to promote our business by making donations and holding fundraising events as the business as the primary sponsor.   
algonquincollege.com
arnpriorregionalhealth.ca

What are you doing make your self stand out amount your competition?

COM0014 – Blog 4 – Branding Beauty.

As a major make up source for all beauty guru’s, Sephora is a one-stop-shop for make up, fragrance, and skincare. As a huge company that provides endless products, their marketing must be creative, and very thought out.

Sephora is mainly marketed online, using social media. They are active on Instagram, and post on Twitter frequently. Because they have so many different brands, they always do a great job at spreading out what they are posting, and how.

As you see from the photo provided, Sephora uses their platform to encourage customers to buy their products by giving useful reasons. Showing people the great secret santa gifts they could buy, for under certain amount of dollars. Providing a link to how to find the products, and the list of great choices.

Sephora is also very good at being interactive with their followers. Posting on their story what products they like best, asking questions, and replying/posting responses. This lets their customers know that Sephora cares, appreciates them, and is listening to them. As a brand, it is important to be active with their customers. Then Sephora can understand where their customers stand, empathize with them, and it will be easier to find their target audience.

Sephora knows that creating content that relates to their viewers, adding fun colours, and showing off more than one certain brand with resonate with everyone. Using attractive ads, having stickers and using strategic wording to inspire customers to buy their products.

Sephora as a brand is creative, and thoughtful about their marketing. Having Facebook ads, using multiple social media outlets, and creating an email string for their customers; they focus on empowering the beauty community to feel good, and look good.

references: Sephora – Instagram, Sephora – Twitter

COM0014-Blog #4: B2C Case Study Shoppers Drug Mart

Do you know of a company that is targeting all their diversified audiences?  Well, Shoppers Drug Mart has succeeded in engaging with people of all ages and still does.  Founded in 1962 in Toronto, the drug retailer added mass merchandizing and self-service, both in a retail pharmacy format.  It has evolved into the Shoppers Drug Mart that we know now which offers varied products and services including cosmetics and fragrances.  In 2000, Shoppers was launching its Shoppers Optimum loyalty program which amassed more than six million members after only one year.  In 2014, the merging of Shoppers Drug Mart and Loblaws created the PC Optimum loyalty program.  And this program that has been successful all these years has helped create, in my opinion, one of the most engaging companies on social media.

Being the leading loyalty program in Canada has its advantages and the company is using them to engage people on many different social media platforms.  All members of the program who are engaging with Shoppers Drug Mart gain something: PC Optimum points.  Those precious points can be redeemed in any of the stores that are under the company’s banner.  The company, through their different products, services, contests, promotions and programs, is rewarding the members of its loyalty program with more points which means more “free stuff” for the customers.  Of course, expanding their number of memberships also means more sales and more sales translate into more profit!

From pharmaceutical products and services to long-term care facilities and online prescription renewals to beauty products and cosmetic trends revealed on sponsored blogs, Shoppers Drug Mart is very active on social media.  Aside from having a very functional and engaging website, Shoppers Drug Mart can also be found on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  And when you think the company could not reach more people and expand its diversified audience, Shoppers Drug Mart has found a new way to promote its products using the newest technology.  You can now try on hundreds of products virtually with the Virtual Try-On which will certainly be talked about on social media.  How engaging is that?     

References

Kolm, Josh.  (October 24, 2019).  Shoppers Drug Mart and L’Oréal launch virtual try-on.  Retrieved from http://strategyonline.ca/2019/10/24/shoppers-drug-mart-and-loreal-launch-virtual-try-on/

Shoppers Drug Mart.  (November 18, 2019).  Homepage.  Retrieved from https://www1.shoppersdrugmart.ca/en/home

Shoppers Drug Mart.  (November 18, 2019).  About Us.  Retrieved from http://corporate.shoppersdrugmart.ca/en-ca/about-us/major-company-milestones

COM0014 – Blog #3 – For a Very Important Beauty Member!

Photo by Marcelo Moreira from Pexels

As I think about a high interest of mine that incorporates a massive branding and sales community I think of the Makeup & Beaty industry. With the world wide variety of beauty companies, store locations, products, and different price ranges (based on the brand), the beauty community has a massive audience, all depending on the audience member. The beauty industry has evolved massive amounts since the beginning. Introducing more products, more colours and shade ranges, and becoming open about men using their products.

One specific company in the beauty industry is Sephora. “Sephora is a leader in global prestige retail, teaching and inspiring clients to play in a world of beauty. Owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the world’s leading luxury goods group, Sephora has earned its reputation as a beauty trailblazer with its expertise, innovation, and entrepreneurial spirit.” (Sephora.com – About Us) Owning “over 2,500 stores in 32 countries worldwide, with an expanding base of over 460 stores across the Americas.” (Sephora.com – About Us)

Basically, Sephora is the outlet for all middle to high end beauty companies. They host multiple brands within their Sephora stores. Managing and taking care of branding and advertising new products, promotions, and in-store & online sales. You can buy these brands through Sephora. If they do not have a product from a certain brand, the brands carried by Sephora will also have a website. The individual brands will also advertise their products, use social media, and will often have pop-up stores in different cities as promotions of their products.

“women who value fashionable/quality skincare, beauty, and fragrance products and are open to a medium to high price range. There are also sections with richly decorated cosmetics that appeal to pre-teens and young adults”

Sephora by Morgan on Prezi
Photo by zhugewala from Pexels

The beauty industry is very inclusive. Having affordable brands at Walmart, creating clean products that do not animal test, and high end products with every shade range. Makeup & Beauty is one giant community, that is separated in to smaller parts. Every member in the community has an interest of some level, whether they are just starting out and trying new products, are a makeup professional, or somewhere in between. Even product wise; if they only shop homemade and local, or prefer the full coverage name brand items.

Sephora is a great option for someone who is familiar with makeup, and has a high budget. Although Sephora’s products are a medium to high price range, it is great quality, and will have the exact product that is perfect for your skin type. If your skin is specifically oily and sensitive, Sephora will have multiple products that will work for you. As well, the return policy is impeccable.

As a beauty shopper, Sephora invites everyone to join their ‘Beauty Insider’ membership. Depending on how much you spend a year, you get a points card. The points are: every $1 you spend is 1 point. The levels of beauty insider are, ‘Beauty Insider’, a less frequent shopper, only shopping few times a year. VIB (Very Important Beauty), spending $350+ a year on beauty products. VIB Rouge, spending over $1,000 a year. With each tier of membership, comes bigger and better benefits.

Although you can come from any income for Sephora, and become a member, it is suggested that because of the high-end products, coming from a higher income is advised. Male or female.

Photo by Mihai Stefan Photography from Pexels

Depending on your income, and interest, the store you shop at will differ. Whether you are a top make up vlogger on Youtube, or a VIB member at Sephora, the makeup community will welcome you. Providing tips, videos, and recommendations!

Referenes: https://www.sephora.com/about-beauty-insider , Forbes: The Biggest Trends in the Beauty Industry , Business Insider: Beauty has blown up to be a $532 Billion Industry , Self: Women spend $15,000 on beauty products

COM0014 – Blog#3 Target Audiences

Image retrieved from https://binged.it/2Xahvkv

The main language that is being used in most companies that are doing business in Canada is English, with the exception of Quebec.  In general, companies tend to do business in more than one language to expand their reach at an international level and not remain only local.  In Ontario, the case is a bit different.  Since Ontario is located right beside Quebec, people from both provinces easily travel from one province to another.  But there is more to it than just the fact that these provinces are neighbors. 

L’OQLF, l’Office québécois de la langue française, the language police as it is often called in Quebec, must ensure that companies that are doing business in Quebec do it in French first.  This means that all correspondence, publicity and advertising of all genres must be done in French first followed by an English version.  And that it where localization becomes so important for companies wanting to do business in Quebec.  It is important to mention that the French spoken in Quebec differs from the French spoken in France.  Therefore, localization is crucial for a company seeking to hire a translator who knows the French language from Quebec including the tone and the nuances of the language spoken in “La belle province”.

Localization goes beyond translation of content.  It adds value and a sense of belonging.  These characteristics are what differentiate a translation and a translation adapted for the people living in Quebec.  Localization provides the opportunity to include and demonstrate the culture of the Quebec residents in each translation that are required by a company or an organization wanting to do business in French and in Quebec.   

In many cases, the idea and analogy are the same, but they are illustrated using different references. For example, most anglophones that need to cough will use the expression “to have a frog in their throat”.  In Quebec, people will say that they have “a cat in their throat”.  Same idea, same image, but the reference is different.  If you say in Quebec that you have a frog in your throat, they will know that you are not from there and if they speak English, they will know that you do too!

The most important part of promoting translation services is to define your target audiences and be able to adapt your translation to these audiences.  That explains why some translators are describing their translation services as being in Canadian French and not in Quebec French. 

References

OQLF.  (November 13, 2019).  Office de la langue française du Québec.  Retrieved from http://www.oqlf.gouv.qc.ca/accueil.aspx

FIG.  (November 13, 2019).  Francisation Inter-Globe.  Retrieved from https://www.francisation.ca/en/localization-marketing/

Target Audiences

socialmediaexplorer.com

Determining your target audience for your business is very important. Once you have a good understanding of who your audience is, you are able to write content which is more specific to them. If you work and fully understand your business, you should have an idea of who your audience or customers are, what they are looking for, and where they are looking for it. Sounds simple enough…..right? Surprise!! Its not really as easy as you may think it is!

loudegg.com

At our business, we have determined that the largest majority of our target audience are on Facebook and use our website. It has been determined on Facebook that the largest portion of our audience are both men and women between the ages of 35 and 54 and that 55% are women and 44% are men.

We are continually trying to stay engaged with our audience by the content we post, where we post it (Facebook and website), the day and time of day we post it, and the actions we request on these posts. Twice to three times a month we like make posts that require our audience to answer a question, or tag a friend, or like our page and share our post. This engages our audience, requiring them to read the entire post and follow the instruction properly in order to be entered in a draw for a prize. Our next draw is for two tickets to see a local band. We have found that the prize has to be something significant in order for your audience to take the time to participate.

There is an art to creating and strategically posting your content. An art that I believe every business or corporation would like to perfect!

Have you had any luck perfecting your posts to target your audience?

fiverr.com

Storytelling & Communication Styles

axerosolutions.com

Storytelling is very important when writing content for your blog, website, or other social media sites. You have to be clear and concise. Free of spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors. You must write in the active voice. But most importantly you must never bury the lead!

Clear and concise:

There are many different things your audience could be doing, so the need to draw their attention in quickly is super important. To do this, you need to be clear and concise in your writing and draw them in within the first few lines of your writing. Either by the headline, or sub headings. Allowing them to quickly look at and skim the article.

Grammar, spelling and punctuation:

This is a must! Poor grammar, spelling errors, and punctuation errors can cause your audience to question your credibility or lack of. If you expect your audience to read your content , it must be free of all errors as it shows them you have actually put effort into writing your content.

Active voice:

You should always be writing in the present tense or active voice, not in thee past tense or passive voice. The active voice tends to be a more interesting read for your audience.

Do not bury the lead:

Make sure you have the most important facts at the beginning of your article. Followed by the less important information, to the least important information. It allows your audience to engage in your content right from he get go.

Lastly, I have learned that it is extremely important to have someone help proof read all your articles or content for you before posting it. It can help you with the flow of your writing.

But most importantly your audience has to be able to interact with your writing. If they can not do that….. why are you writing?

visme.co

COM0014 – Blog #2 – How to Tell the Tale

Photo by Gratisography on Pexels.com

Story telling has been around for thousands of years. Many stories date back to wall stories; when paintings were drawn on to rocks! Although humans have evolved from wall stories, to now book & blogs, stories all have a big similarity. The storyteller is describing an event, real or make believe, and keeping us interested by the way they tell it, and the excitement of the story!

Imaginatively Clear!

In stories we will often read descriptive details of the characters, or better known as character building. The author will give us enough details of who we are reading about in order to visualize our own thoughts of this character. Although, the author does not over share on exactly who the character is. This lets the audience/reader use their imagination for themselves. Giving enough information for the audience to work with, keeping them focussed, yet is not over sharing.

Big Turning Point!

Although this goes against what our grade 3 teacher may have taught us, straying away from beginning, middle, and end. The audience came for the big turning point (or climax). Something about the story has caught the audience’ eye, and brought them here. Remind them at the beginning, and throughout the story what that is, and why they are here to stay. Give them something to look forward to. Instead of the specific beginning, middle, and end; give hints to the audience until you are near the end. That way, at the end the audience can soak up the ‘big turning point’ or ‘climax’ and be brought back down!

Keep it Interesting!

Like what was said above, give the audience something to work with. Let the audience use their imagination, but also help them get there! An example is, like on TSN, the host/narrator will never have a monotone voice. They are always using expression, and have TREMENDOUS, ASTONISHING, WORDS! This tactic keeps the focus and concentration on them, and we are interested on what they have to say! Using this skill throughout our stories and even everyday conversations will help keep people interested on what we say, and will impact their view on the story.

This also applies to grammar. If we hear someone constantly using poor grammar, using boring words, and misplace words/punctuation, we would peg them as an unreliable source. It looks and sounds unprofessional. With that said, making sure we use correct words and put “.” and “,” in the right places.

That’s all Folks!

After reading through my COM0014 Digital Communications content, it has opened my eyes to great storytelling tools, and views on what makes a good story. Many tips were foreign to me, do you have any helpful story tips for me? What tricks do you use to keep an audience engaged?

Photo by Lum3n.com from Pexels

References: Algonquin College, Social Media Course, Digital Communication – Module 2

COM0014-Blog #2: What Makes for Good Storytelling?

Photo by Wendy van Zyl on Pexels.com

Listening

If you had asked me this question a few weeks ago, I would have gone on and on about the qualities needed for good storytelling, but I would have omitted the most important element: listening.  In order to know your audience and have a conversation on social media, you must listen first.  The web is noisy, so you must ensure that your storytelling skills are used to identify the purpose of your blog and to differentiate it from other blogs.  After reading the provided lessons, I was also reminded that stories may be verbal, written, narrated, drawn, painted, or expressed through music and dance.

Purpose

The goals of good storytelling are to make sure the audience is involved, interested, engaged and inclined to act after reading your blog.  Unfortunately, most web users are not spending too much time browsing for the right content.  This explains why your blog must be clear, concise and directed to the right audience.  I have learned through my readings the different kind of web readers; Elementary, Inspectional, Analytical and Syntopical.  Each type of reader requires a different communication style. 

Communication Styles

The storytelling must be flawless; excellent grammar, spelling and punctuation.  This will ensure the content will be taken seriously.  The tone of voice must also represent your message.  Even though most people tend to tell stories using a passive voice, using an active voice will engage the audience even more and the people will most likely act after reading.

Successful Storytelling

No matter if your story is a personal or corporate one, the result is basically the same.  The purpose is to have your story known and shared in order to increase the value of what you are blogging about; ideas, products, services, and so on.  Good storytelling will translate into more participations, memberships, donations, sales, etc.  A successful storytelling will help you reach your goals no matter what they are.

References

Algonquin College. (2019). Module 1: Introduction to Digital Communication. [Online]. Retrieved from https://ontariolearn.desire2learn.com/d2l/le/content/31398/viewContent/1465391/View

Algonquin College. (2019). Module 2: Becoming a Digital Storyteller. [Online]. Retrieved from https://ontariolearn.desire2learn.com/d2l/le/content/31398/viewContent/1465397/View