How to Network Online in the Age of Social Distancing

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Many people in the UK, United States, Caribbean and across the world have begun working remotely. If they haven’t been furloughed or laid off; schools have canceled classes for weeks; and restaurants, retail stores, bars, gyms, and other gathering places have closed or limited opening hours. Major events were postponed with a domino-like effect, including Carnival here in Jamaica, South by Southwest, and virtually all sporting events, such as the Olympics, NBA, NFL, and Champs.

These closures are all attempts to force social distancing, a crucially important global public health intervention that can help stop transmission of the coronavirus. With COVID-19, many people in the US, UK and the Caribbean will at some point, either this year or next, get exposed to this virus. Social distancing, health authorities confirm, can slow the spreading, helping to ease the burden on our delicate health care structure. Best practices require maintaining at least a six-foot distance between yourself and others.

People were already making home their headquarters As COVID-19 sweeps around the world, the virus could accelerate a trend that was already underway. Even before social distancing, the home was becoming the HQ for busy people

Google Trends

More time at home and less and less real-life human interaction, you may find that people aren’t always sure how to network in the online space. Hashtags like #WFH, #SocialDistancing #FlattenTheCurve and many other coronavirus related hashtags are sweeping the internet. TikTok dance videos and challenges like #DontRushChallenge has also become quite popular.

NETIQUETTE

Just because we are no longer forced to see each other face-to-face, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t practice etiquette or netiquette.

Netiquette means, “ the importance of proper manners and behavior online. In general, netiquette is the set of professional and social etiquettes practiced and advocated in electronic communication over any computer network. Common guidelines include being courteous and precise, and avoiding cyber-bullying.”

Technopedia.com

Just because we’re indoors and many people now have to resort to online communication, the use of WhatsApp, Zoom and social media networks have now become the norm for communicating. Here are my tips to network online that will reap rewards in the long run.

In 2019, WhatsApp reached 2 billion global users and solidified itself as the most popular mobile messaging app worldwide.

Hubspot, How Five Brands Use WhatsApp for Marketing.

HOW TO NETWORK ONLINE

Do your research: Take the time to Google the person’s name and read their bio, so you can understand what their core business is. For example, I’m in marketing so I’m looking for SMEs who need help marketing their business to the ideal customer. I often network with CEOs and Marketing Managers looking to build out their company’s online presence.

Don’t message at odd hours: Just because the internet is open 24 hours a day, doesn’t mean you need to message at 2 am! We do spend time during the day working, so at night we need to destress. Most times if you message people late at night that you don’t already have a personal relationship with, they are not in the frame of mind to do business. Try to message between the hours of 9 am-5 pm.

Master your elevator pitch: Taking a few minutes to write a script, i.e., one to two sentences introducing yourself. Saying what you do saves people’s time and we all know, time equals money. Still practice etiquette by using a greeting. Be as polite as possible.

Try to take the conversation off social media: The quicker you take the conversation offline, the better. Take the time to get the contact’s phone number or email and make plans to set up a Zoom meeting. We live in an online world but most people still like to work with people they know and trust. That often gets lost online. Set up a WhatsApp Business Account, so you never miss a question from a potential client. Being a connection, meaning friends on Facebook or a follower on Instagram or Twitter, doesn’t mean that you are trusted.

SOCIAL PROOF

Social proof is more vital than ever before, that includes your website, social media networks with a headshot and photos describing your personality are crucial to developing a social media footprint.

The website should include:

Bio, short bio, downloadable press kit, approved headshots, and contact information. Here’s the link to my press and media page.

Buy my top Marketing books of all time to help you navigate the online space.

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above may be affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I earn a commission if you make a purchase. I recommend only products and companies I trust and the income goes to keeping the site up and running.

Life in the Time of Corona (Beer, Not Virus)

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Ever since I designed the uniforms for the popular hipster Ja Mexican restaurant, Chillito’s a few years ago, where we swapped Corona for Chillito’s, I’ve been loving the Corona Beer logo.

But on February 28th, Time wrote at the onset of the Corona virus outbreak that,

“Corona has become the subject of memes and videos shared on social media as the toll from the virus climbs worldwide. Reports of an increase in online searches for “corona beer virus” and “beer coronavirus” show the Mexican beer hasn’t been able to escape the association.”

We saw the memes…

Don’t think we Corona Beer Lovers didn’t notice.

For those living under a rock, Corona Extra is a pale lager produced by Cervecería Modelo in Mexico and owned by AB InBev in Belgium and distributed locally by CPJ Limited. It is one of the top-selling beers worldwide. Corona is commonly served with a wedge of lime or lemon  around the neck of the bottle to add tartness and flavour.

There are some spin-offs

We like it with some passion fruit. Buy it here

I also love this…

Beer drinkers unite! Show your love for Corona!

And this..

So do like the pillow says, here

So relax and hold my Corona….

Buy this Corona Ugly Sweater T-shirt here

In the beginning of March, Fast Company wrote,

“The company also pointed to IRI retail sales trends data showing that sales of Corona Extra actually increased by 5% in the four-week period ending February 16. So you know, scoreboard.

Perhaps the most valuable asset that any marketer can have is earned media—coverage and brand promotion achieved via free coverage and conversation whose value far outstrips any official media investment. Corona has found itself the unintentional beneficiary of perhaps the worst kind of earned media a marketer could imagine. Saying nothing goes against just about every natural instinct of any marketer. In this case, the silence is as refreshing as a beer with a lime in it.”

– Jeff Beer, Fast Company

Do you think the company handled the fiasco appropriately or not? Often in these delicate situations, it’s better to be silent than speak before it’s time.

Either way, in this time of quarantining,I wish I was on a beach with one right now.

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above may be affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I earn a commission if you make a purchase. I recommend only products and companies I trust and the income goes to keeping the site up and running.

The COVID-19 Playlist: Reggae and Dancehall Songs for the apocalypse

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With folks self-quarantining and social-distancing — and all live music entertainment shut down — I’m putting together a stay-at-home soundtrack for the viral apocalypse until Protoje and the crew buss a livestream on us.

Turn your room into a dance with the sleek and portable design of this Marley Bluetooth speaker. Purchase here

Serious times: Gyptian

Untold Stories: Buju Banton

Justice: Sevana

Guide Over us: Sizzla Kalonji

Any Weather: Vybz Kartel

W: Koffee

Hol a Fresh: Red Dragon

Popcaan: Firm and Strong

Listen to your playlist with Beats by Dre Classic Black Headphones. Purchase here

I Can: Chronixx

Fresh & Clean: Jazz Elise

Babylon: Jane MacGizmo

Feeling Chronixxx? Buy a tee

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above may be affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I earn a commission if you make a purchase. I recommend only products and companies I trust and the income goes to keeping the site up and running.

73 Vogue-Inspired Questions Answered.

I’m honoured to announce that I’m a Brand ambassador for Poppy Apparel. You can use my code “KESI” and get a 10% discount here.

So in honor of this I thought I’d do a 73 questions inspired by the popular Vogue video series, so here goes:

1. What are you most excited about these days?

Truly living my best life.

2. What’s your favorite holiday?

I want to say Christmas but it’s really Easter because that’s when Marbana is and that’s the best party of the year.

3. Favorite season?

We don’t really have seasons here but I like when its really hot and you have to turn the big fan on. If you know me well, you know I hate cold and snow.

4. Where does one go on a perfect road trip?

I hardly go anywhere tbh, I’m always working but I do love a good trip to the mountains on a Sunday.

5. What is the best activity when home on a rainy day?

I love to curl up in my bed and watch YouTube videos. I only watch the news.

6. If you could switch lives with someone for a day who would it be?

Honestly, I’d love to switch lives with one of the richest female billionaires in the world and I don’t mean Kylie Jenner.

7. What is the best thing that happened this year?

Being nominated as Digital Influencer by Digital Jamaican was the best thing that happened to me so far but the year isn’t over year. See the post about it here.

8. What’s your New Year’s resolution?

I promised myself I’d go harder than ever this year, so there are a lot of sleepless nights.

9. What’s your favorite exercise?

Exercise? Honestly, don’t have the time but if i had to choose, it would be swimming. I was on the swim team in high school.

10. Best way to decompress?

Honestly, write.

11. What’s your favorite country to visit?

Omg, that’s hard. I love New York but then I practically grew up there. It does give me all the feels.

Wish you were in New York? Get a mug here

12. Last country you visited?

Miami. I lived there for two months.

13. Country you wish to visit?

I’ve always wanted to go to Santorini. I believe I will live out my last days looking at that blue ocean.

Wanna feel like you’re in Santorini? Purchase a Pura Vida bracelet, here

14. What’s your favorite ice-cream?

Coffee. I’m obsessed with anything coffee.

Speaking of coffee, here are my faves:

Starbucks Blonde Roast

Dunkin’ Donuts Hazelnut Flavored

15. What makes you smile the most?

Money. Lol. SEND ME SOME

16. What’s the coolest thing in the world?

Getting DMs from people saying that you’re awesome and they love your content.

17. What is the cutest thing in the world?

Babies?

18. How do you know if you’re in love?

Don’t know her. Don’t want to be her.

19. If you could go to any concert past or present, what would it be?

I would absolutely die to see Prince in concert. Hands down. I mourned for three days when he died.

20. What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?

A Tiffany’s bracelet. All the Jersey girls were wearing them when I was in college.

Get one like it here

21. Favorite fashion trend of all time?

I would not call myself the most fashion forward although I used to be but I did love 90’s supermodel fashion back in the day.

22. What’s your favorite movie of all time?

Eat Pray Love. I read the book first and then saw the movie. I could watch it over and over.

23. What was the movie that made you cry?

Omg. 101 Dalmations?

24. If you could make a documentary, what would it be about?

I would love to talk about the amazing content creators in Jamaica doing some amazing things. And when I say content I mean film, movies and music videos too. Not just photography.

25. If you could have one superpower what would it be?

I would love to be able to read people’s mind.

26. What is the skill still unmastered?

I still don’t know how to ride a bicycle. Long story.

27. What is the best thing that happened to you today?

The check cleared.

28. Do you like surprises?

Yes, actually my former boss gave me a birthday party in December (my birthday is in August) Wanna buy me a birthday gift? Here’s my wishlist.

29. If you could do a flash mob where would it be?

Coronation Market.

30. Do you like cupcakes?

31. Do you usually bake cupcakes?

I baked cupcakes for my daughter’s class for Valentine’s Day one year.

But, I prefer cheesecake. Buy my fave here

32. What’s your favorite desert?

Cheesecake.

More cheesecake here

33. Is there a desert you don’t like?

Vanilla cake. It’s so vanilla.

34. What’s your favorite bakery?

Anywhere that sells croissaints. There’s actually French pâtisserie downstairs from where I used to live in Park Slope in Brooklyn

35. What’s your favorite food?

It’s a toss up between Italian and sushi.

Get an Italian gift basket here

36. It’s brunch, what do you eat?

Is there mackerel rundown? Not really a fan of ackee and saltfish.

37. You are stuck on an island, you can pick one food to eat forever without getting tired of it, what would you eat?

Otaheite apples.

38. Favorite color?

Cobalt blue.

Buy a cobalt blue Corkcicle tumbler here

Buy a cobalt blue ring here

Buy a rare cobalt blue Chanel bag here

39. Favorite superhero?

Storm

40. What do you usually order in your coffee?

I used to drink only lattes but, sometimes you just need that caffeine so regular coffee with condensed milk.

But if I’m feeling fancy, I buy

41. Who is the last person you texted?

My former student Tashi

42. What’s your favorite activity to do in Kingston?

I love going to the National Gallery, I used to volunteer there on Saturdays.

43. What’s the next book you plan on reading?


44. What do you love in your pizza?

I’m one of those pineapple goes on pizza kinda gals.

Buy a pineapple towel here

45. Favorite drink?

Veuve Clicquot Champs

46. Dark chocolate or milk chocolate?

Hershey’s

47. What’s your favorite band?

I’m all about Maroon 5.

48. Favorite solo artist?

Post Malone for sure. Sunflower is on repeat.

49. Favorite lyrics?

Woman’s worth

I know you’ve got a little life in you left
I know you’ve got a lot of strength left
I know you’ve got a little life in you yet
I know you’ve got a lot of strength left

50. If your life was a song what would the title be?

Luxurious

51. If you could master one instrument what would it be?

The camera.

52. Do you have a tattoo ?

A swallow on my left ankle.

53. To be or not to be?

That is the question.

54. Dolphins or koalas?

Koalas.

55. How do you like your coffee?

With condensed milk.

56. What’s your favorite curse word?

I don’t curse. lol.

57. What color of dress did you wear to prom?

Red velvet.

58. Diamonds or pearls?

Definitely diamonds.

Buy me some.

59. Cheap shampoo or expensive?

Herbal Essence Black Charcoal Shampoo

60. Blow dry or air dry?

Air dry. No heat on these curls.

61. Heels or flats?

Omg. Flats most definitely.

My fave flats are ballet

62. Pilates or yoga?

Yoga.

63. Jogging or swimming?

Swimming. Hate to sweat.

64. One thing you can’t live without?

My laptop.

65. What’s one cause that’s dear to your heart?

Women’s Rights.

66. Who would you want to shoot a love scene with?

Brad Pitt.

67. What’s your favorite sport?

Football.

68. Do you have a morning beauty ritual?

I use a face mask once a week. That’s it.

69. What’s your favorite thing to wear?

The colour black.

70. What’s the priciest thing you’ve ever splurged on?

I bought a pair of Prada sunglasses once. Purely overrated.

Now I wear these

71. Do you play any musical instruments?

No.

72. What is your favorite book of all time?

The Alchemist by Paulo Cuehlo. Changed my life.

73. What is something you always travel with?

Coffee Travel Mug

Kate Spade Travel Mug

Ember Travel Mug

5 Most Instagrammable Places in Jamaica

If you’re traveling to Jamaica or consider yourself a dryland tourist, here are the top 5 places you must take for Instagram. These locations will have you using the #ILiveWhereYouVacay hashtag in no time. You can vote here.

The Grande is rafting on the Rio Grande

There are many variations to this, but any pose you choose will definitely be monumental. Go early morning and float gently through the waters on your long bamboo raft. The ride itself is about 3 hours but make sure you bring your own photographer because it’s difficult to keep your balance and take a selfie at the same time.

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so far so good 💕 #themacmillans

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Frenchman’s Cove is a Classic

Taking a picture at the famous swing at Frenchman’s Cove is a must when visiting Portland. Other major cool spots include the river flowing into the beach, Blue Lagoon and the Trident Castle. Almost every spot in Port Antonio is grand.

 

Sandals Suite Life is the Living Your Best Life Hashtag IRL

If you want to say you’re truly living your best life, you have to photograph the over water bungalows. Jamaican Influencers such as Corey Hamilton, Natasha Leeds and Yendi Phillips have taken epic shots there. The drone shots of the heart shaped bungalow formation shot!

Take the Plunge at The Old Spanish Bridge

Another money shot is the Old Spanish Bridge, a hidden gem is just 45 minutes from Ocho Rios. The road may only be for the 4 wheel drive but it’s definitely worth the effort. With its rope swing, you can get a pretty cool capture like Kaci Fennel’s. If you’re into landscape shots the bridge in the background is also quite beautiful. If you’re brave enough,  get some video swinging on the rope!

Strawberry Hill Hotel is the Mostest

Just imagine an image that looks like you’re staring over a cliff overlooking Kingston but it’s really just an Infiniti pool? This optical illusion is a must for anyone visiting Jamaica. Not to mention the view itself!

View this post on Instagram

Reflecting…. • • "Death is only the end if you assume the story is about you" • • There are moments in life where I get lost in my head; lost in my feelings…just yearning for clarity. The past couple years have just been filled with so much loss it has left me doing a lot of questioning. Some persons who I truly loved, cared for, respected and held in high regard have left this realm. Some through agonizing illness, tragic accidents and some violenly ripped away. I ponder on each of them. I ask repeatedly "Why would God let bad things happen to good people?" Why would God allow His children who are serving His kingdom to experience such suffering? I remember struggling with this very concept with my mother's death and I was so hurt and felt so betrayed by God as a young girl that I turned away from Him. 16 years later, I am now asking again…this time from the perspective of someone who has rekindled her relationship and who is serving His kingdom. And while it still carries weight and pain, I acknowledge the promise of free will of man. I understand that as mankind we have choice. And with that comes so much of the turmoil we now encounter in existence. But I also more than anything understand that what we do here is not about us, but living in His truth and promise, in accordance to His word, to fulfill the purpose He whispers in our soul, and when the day of reckoning comes, to go home to Him knowing it is well and it is done. #MyHeartWasHeavy #SometimesYouHaveToBareYourSoul #But #IPlaceItAtHisFeet #ThePowerOfSurrender #Peace #Understanding #Clarity #ForMyFriends #ForMyLovedOnes #ForThoseFeelingHurt #ForThoseGoingThroughLoss • • Thank you @_jayenigma for this capture. • • PS. @keneealintonboutique I LOVE this dress!

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Honorable mentions include:

Waterfall at Serendipity Holistic Resort

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#serendipityresort #bluemountain #jamaica my #paradise

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Fleet Street

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В столице Ямайки (г. Кингстон) есть замечательная улица (Fleet street), которая наполнена необычными граффити. Я, как человек неравнодушный к уличному арту, была в полнейшем восторге от того, что мне все-таки удалось там побывать (thanks, Jan😘)! На фото лишь малая часть увиденных мною работ и к тому же они не передают всю ту атмосферу, которая там присутствует! А ещё, в конце этой улицы есть чудесная местная школа, куда нам посчастливилось заглянуть и прогуляться по всей его территории с маленькими ямайскими школьниками. #jamaica #kingston #fleetstreet #art #streetart #lovely #graffiti #photography #picoftheday #instagram #world #love #travel #happy #girl #vacation #vibes #ямайка #кингстон #грффити #арт #искусство #уличныйарт #фото #отпуск #красота

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Victoria Pier Waterfront/DownTown Kingston 

So all these places are up for debate! Do you agree with picks? Which places do you think are the most instagrammable places in Jamaica? Vote here

7 Must-Haves for Instagram going into 2019

So many brands and influencers are still struggling to master all the features on IG.

But with Instagram reaching a milestone of 1 billion monthly users in June, it is a platform that can’t be ignored. – Adweek

Some brands are losing out on valuable real estate by not creating something as simple as highlights but there are a few other things you should be doing on IG before the year is out.

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Vertical Videos: How-to

We never thought vertical videos would become a thing but they are here and here to stay! For now. Vertical videos aren’t just for IGTV however, they are now creeping onto other platforms like YouTube and Facebook.

Probably the hardest thing to get right when shooting vertical video for IGTV is aspect ratio, which is the ratio of width to height of your video.

The reason it can be hard to get right is because unless your video is shot on a smartphone (which will usually record in 9:16 if shot vertically), you may need to edit or crop your video in post-production to get the right aspect ratio for IGTV.

So I would recommend shooting vertically, if you’re using a phone or shoot widescreen with the camera so you can always adjust post-production.

Why vertical videos? Instagram wants to encourage people to create video content but, at the same time, to do it exclusively for mobile. We already know that people are more likely to use their mobile devices in a vertical position, hence the type of video.

Advertising agencies will need to bear this in mind when creating their ads to include vertical formats for IGTV.

IGTV is predicted to become the new Youtube in 3-5 years.

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IG Stories Still Relevant

IG stories is a way to extend the conversation. So for example, you post a picture of yourself in an outfit, the stories can be used to tell the back story of the photograph. Where you got the outfit and maybe behind-the-scenes, etc. This will continue to be vital to engagement strategies.

Shoppable Posts an Added Plus

I see so many small businesses missing out on a simple app they can add to their posts that directly links them to the webpage. It’s called Later’s (Linkin.bio). It’s like $US4.99 a month, but the value, is a direct clickable link where shoppers can purchase the item. Instagram also has a shoppable feature that’s pretty simple to use. Not available in Jamaica just yet however, we’ll have to wait our turn.

IG Highlights for FAQs a Necessity

Personally, I get a lot of DMs from people asking  questions about what I do out of curiosity. I haven’t reached the level that I would want to have a FAQs section but if you’re a company or a big brand, I would definitely recommend you having an FAQ highlight so people can learn more about you without having to send a DM every time. Saves a lot of time!

Stories Ads will be a Must

The time of organic reach is over. Brands will have to invest in an ad budget in order to reach their target audience, but not just that, the content will have to be richer and more clickable. Also in terms of the variation in ads, I haven’t seen the numbers yet, but the animated, IG story ads seem to have more traction.

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AR Filters Bring That Cool Factor

So you’ve seen the diamond headband filter by Rihanna and the lip color filter by Kylie Jenner and other popular ones on IG lately right? Influencers will now be able to create their own filters using Facebook AR Studio.

 IG Worthy Branded Wall Backdrop: A Staple for Jamaican Parties

Every event we go to in Jamaica, now has a branded, customized wall. This is no coincidence. This is usually brightly colored wall that is easily identifiable in photos when people post to IG.

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Lil Duval lyrics

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Influencer Patronage will Kick up a Notch

The exclusivity of giving an influencer a special branded invitation to your event or token gift before a party creates a buzz that makes the viewer want to know more.

Frenchmen did it for their parties this year and Moda Market has been handing out special Moda Boxes with goodies inside.

Brands like Benefit of Bohoo in the US, have been able to take carefully selected influencers on a vacation. The idea is to create this cool girl lifestyle, where their followers can go with them on an adventure, wear their products and take IG worthy pictures.

We’ve seen these experiences happening right here with influencers Garfene and Terri-Karelle going on road trips to Skylark Negril and Irie Diva going on a #staycation.

Instagram Worthy Curated Rooms or Walls

Creating an offline, Instagram-worthy experience for your customers can not only help you get more followers, but also generate more sales or visitors.

Think about it like word of mouth, but on Instagram: when a customer is at your place of business and you have created an Instagram-worthy moment, they’ll be happy and excited to snap a photo and share it to their Instagram feeds.

They can then tag your brand in the photo, caption, and location, and inspire their followers to visit your business!

This can be as simple as adding a chic, neon sign or wall decal.

What are some other cool IG Trends you see going into 2019?

Coffee Talk with Phillip Clayton: Let’s Talk Branding

No man is an island and therefore, having conversations with someone that speaks my language is very important from time to time. Picasso had Matisse, Basquiat had Warhol, you get the drift. It’s important for me to have people in the industry, that I can discuss things like social media, advertising, brand development and graphic design. There are very few people that understand all those things and that do them well, Phillip Clayton to me is one of the few people that uses his online platform in the way that I do—to connect with thought leaders from all over the world and learn and interact with them.  He is a branding development specialist with over 15 years of experience working in the advertising industry. He is also a member of the International Commission of Judges for the 2019 PAC, Global Leadership Awards, a commission that celebrates great packaging design in the world. Yes, that’s makes us design nerds! We are very much a like in a lot of ways, and so it’s great to talk shop with him from time to time.

Phillip Clayton is a brand specialist and member of the International Commission of Judges for the 2019 PAC

We talked bout a lot of things in the span of four hours at a local coffee shop and he introduced me to this book called The Brand Gap, which is now my new favorite guide to branding. It confirms things I’ve known intrinsically for years, such as the no logo test and the idea that a brand is not just a logo (which I talk about in my previous article, Branding is More than a Logo. ) Anyways, let’s get to the nitty gritty.

We talked about a few things such as:

  • People skim on paying an agency to do research and develop their entire brand’s identity (not just their logo)  and rather pay a graphic designer peanuts to create a logo that will become obsolete in a few years or doesn’t appeal to their target audience.
  • A lot of people don’t understand the meaning of the word branding:

    Branding is a process of creating a unique image or name or logo or symbol or combination of any of these for a specific product in consumer’s mind which differentiates it from competitor’s products.

  • Phillip does not like the word “branding” and prefers brand development, whereas for me, the two can work interchangeably. However, where we both agree is that developing a brand identity is more than just a logo, it’s everything from how the company answers their phone, their internal comms, website–the full gamut of communication.
  • Many companies in Jamaica don’t understand the mixed messages they’re sending when their branding is so confusing. This can be as simple as a font choice. Color has a psychological effect as well, which I will touch on in another post.
  • The brands we love like Coca-Cola for example,  have been able to differentiate over the years by making only slight changes to their logo. The reason for this is that they understand their brand is more than just their logo, its everything from that signature bottle to the brand experience.Coca-Cola-e1453357263954-1024x407.png
  • Some brands know when to innovate by listening to their consumer, for example, Federal Express changed their logo to FedEx because that is what customers were calling the company anyway. So they listened and evolved.fedex4_thumb.jpg
  • Some brands think that jumping on every trendy viral topic is the way to go but if it isn’t true to the brand, then they should avoid it all together. For example, McDonalds decided to recreate the famous Banksy shredding painting with a graphic on their social media. The attempt seems lazy and forced and doesn’t speak well to Banksy’s painting or McDonald’s.
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AND finally, I’ve been talking about personal branding for years, and how using your presence online and offline can bring opportunities for you but David Olgivy puts it simply and we call can relate to this: you build a brand by doing the work, then the rest will follow.

So tell me what brands do you love and why? And do you love the brand because of the product or service it offers, or are the two not mutually exclusive? And should I continue this coffee talk series and talk to other people about branding and advertising? Who’s down?

Follow Phillip Clayton on instagram or twitter.

How to Build an Iconic Brand

n-5-packshot-default-125530-8801294680094Chanel is one of the most iconic brands in the history of the world. The logo hasn’t changed or been updated since its inception. It was created in 1925 by the owner of Chanel empire, Gabrielle Coco Chanel herself and is basically her initials. Her brand is a champion for the feminist cause hence their association with strong women like Marilyn Munroe and Nicki Minaj.

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But it’s so much more than that. The inventor of the little black dress (LBD) and Chanel No. 5, her products will still be in high demand years from now.

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All the brand elements scream luxury. From the entrance to the stores, to the branding, to the ad campaigns –they all symbolize one thing, sophistication.

 

But great brands are more than just the logo and the branding. They’re built on story telling. Coco Chanel, grew up alone in an orphanage and fought her way out of poverty to success. The communication built on her journey to success, is why her quotes are posted by modern women everywhere, and the iconic Chanel suit is a staple in every successful woman’s wardrobe.

So ask yourself do your customers know your brand’s story? When customers fall in love with a brand its because it connects with them on an emotional level, it makes the brand stand out.

What do customers think of your brand? A lot of people think that creating a brand for your business just involves designing a logo. And although a logo is an important statement its not the only thing to consider.

Do you need help creating your brand identity? It’s not as complicated as it sounds.

Before you begin the design stage of your logo, here are a few things to consider:

Define your brand

What do people like about your product or service? How does your product or service stand out in the marketplace? The first step is to define your brand. Think of it as having a personality. People are attracted to your personality by the colors that you use, your choice of words, the images that you select for your graphic design materials, the designs that you use for your signs and of course, your logo.

 

The brand identity depends on your target audience

Your brand identity also depends on who you are trying to reach. If your customers are the youth market, you may want to use fun colors and catchy phrases. If your customers are a niche market, you may want to use a more technical language that is applicable to the industry.

These tips are valuable in helping you create an brand identity that suits your messages and appeals to your target audience. Professional help can make all the difference.

 

 

Jamaican Brands you MUST follow on Instagram

Screen Shot 2018-06-08 at 1.38.27 AM.pngGood design is so important in getting the right audience to flock to your brand. Great design induces brand loyalty and affects the subconscious. It’s a lot more important than a lot of marketers realize.

I really would love to raise the standard of design in general for social media in Jamaica. I think it can be done. I see it in these pages. So let’s get into it:

  1. @Bijoux_ja is a mood. The luxury is finite on this page. But it still has the ability to be authentically Jamaican. I don’t know how they do what they do but I love it. You should follow them just for the aesthetic. It’s a must.
  2. @Swizzbeads The editing might throw you off but that’s what makes their page so unique. Not to mention the detail to the styling. The model seems to take her swizz beads everywhere. Makes us want to go too.
  3. @summerhouseja From the teasers to the attention to details, this page is an aesthetic. The images are inviting and it really makes you want to go. I’m not a fan of grids but I think this was a perfect way to launch the restaurant and spark interest. The content is also great. The way they gave you insight into the concept was very well thought out.
  4. @jaejolly This carefully curated feed is on point! They focus on creating an aesthetic and switch up between models poses and swimsuits images. The brightly colored swimsuits pop off the page and the whole island vibe got us wanting to live in the jungle. 10/10 would recommend!
  5. @maxiestores They make the effort to really curate their feed. It always has a theme! It might be red theme or a blue theme but its so seamless. I live for it!
  6. @chillitosjamexican I don’t know who their agency is but they look like they have one. Those images are taken with lighting and symmetry in mind. It targets the Millennials well with just a touch of humor to keep you wanting more.
  7. @cafeblueja Last but certainly not least Cafe Blue is one of my faves! It’s so authentically Jamaican and they are always doing fun to stuff to spark interest from their audience.
  8. @kayainc It’s all about the green! This carefully curated feed showcases the offerings of the dispensary Kaya Inc. It also give you developments in the cannabis industry.

Well those are the list of my favorite brands to follow on instagram. If there any other that have a great aesthetic: careful placement of photos, great photos and a thought behind it let me know. What makes a great instagram feed? Let me know.

Please don’t tell me about personal accounts. I want to know about brands only. I might do one for personal accounts soon. Let me know if you’re interested in reading that one! Don’t forget to follow me on instagram at @kesigardner

 

I Got My Current Job Because of Linkedin!

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There is a misconception that Linkedin is not effective in Jamaica. Although recruiters and hiring managers may not frequent Linkedin as much as they do in the US, it is still a relevant way to network with other professionals and make valuable connections.

I got my current job because of Linkedin! When searching for candidates, my name kept coming up in search and so they reached out. So Jamaican employers are headhunting, especially in niche industries like Advertising.

First of all Linkedin is focused on showcasing professional accomplishments, a lot of which we don’t go about displaying in our daily lives. So put that award you won or that MBA you worked hard for. This is the place to brag a little about your accomplishments. It is the perfect place to connect with people in your industry who could potentially hire you or recommend you for a job.

So here are a few tips you can use to make your profile more appealing to potential employers:

  1. Use a professional profile photo: Take the time to invest in a professional photographer. You can hire one of many spectacular freelance photographers there are out there or you can visit Photodayz in Soverign Centre. Depending on the industry you work in you can dress accordingly. For example, if you work in accounting, you should wear a suit. However, if you work in the creative industry, you can get away with a crisp, white shirt. Women, spend a little extra and get your makeup done. A nice professional photograph just makes you put your best foot forward.
  2. Create an impactful headline: The headline under your name is the first thing people read when they search for your name. Make it count. This you can use to say one, amazing thing about you as a professional. Use adjectives that describe who you are. For example, mine says, “I build brands!” which in a nutshell what I do in my professional life. It’s catchy and it gets the attention of the people that I’m targeting– potential employers and clients.
  3. Tell a story with your bio/summary: This is the opportunity to tell a story about your professional journey and list three accomplishments you’ve made in your career thus far. Keep it concise but quanitfiable. Like for example say, “I increased productivity by 25%.”
  4. Network, network, network: Reach out to people you’ve met offline and in some instances, reach out to people you may be interested in meeting but haven’t had the opportunity yet. Be tactful in your approach. Note that while not everyone would be open to connecting with people they don’t know, others see the value in connecting online.
  5. Share valuable content: Just like any other network, sharing valuable content like blog posts, articles in your industry and quotes is crucial to raising your profile and rank on Linkedin. Share once a day to really add value. People in your network will see you as knowledgeable and come to you for advice when they need it.