Thursday, September 22, 2011

I had to get out of my own way!

For every time I said “I couldn’t achieve it because…”
For every moment I decided to give up
For every thought that sustained my unhappiness

~ I was in my own way! ~

For every challenge I make use of to build character
For every goal that grows from within me
For every inspiring emotion that burns with a purpose

~ I have to get out of my own way! ~

For every desire my heart has yet to know
For every experience that unfolds itself before me
For every opportunity to create, evolve and live my life’s design

~ I will stay out of my own way! ~
            ~ Be ~
Written by Nieema Alford

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Product Placement -“The Brand in You”

These days every movie, television show or internet site has a product being advertised on it.  Just recently I watched a movie that had at least eight different products predominantly placed in scenes that probably lasted a minute or two each.  “What great marketing!” I thought. It’s an absolutely brilliant concept that companies have used for years to sell their products.  What better way to reach a wide consumer demographic and increase revenue, than by associating a product or brand in a scene with someone’s favorite celebrity.  Even the idea of associating a brand with the characters lifestyle or concept of the movie is a great way to promote the product and entice consumers to purchase it.  Before you know it people are purchasing those brands because of how it was used in the scene or because it represents an ideal lifestyle that the consumer has or wants. 
This got me to thinking about how we can use the same concept to encourage the process of personal development and self promotion.  How we represent ourselves can be compared to the production, branding and marketing process. 
For example, in the production process, a company establishes what the product is, what it’s made of and through research and testing looks for ways to make it the best product to offer. Similarly, we can establish what we are (what our product/brand is) by asking “who am I”, “What am I made of?” and investigate the findings to determine if your product/brand is the desirable self (product/brand) you seek. This will allow us the creative space to enhance ourselves (product/brand).
In the branding process, companies aim to ensure that the product is distinctly identifiable.  A brand can take many forms, including a name, sign, symbol, or slogan. Likewise, as we interact with our environment we are representing our brand.  For this reason, it is important that we identify the “brand” we wish to represent and ensure that our thoughts, ideas and actions are representative of that brand. 
Finally, in the marketing process a company seeks to determine what the needs are in the environment and how their product/brand can be made useful.  Here is where strategy, is put to use to promote the product, create sales and develop the business.  At this point building strong business relationships is also a key component.  Likewise, we can associate this process with how we examine and utilize the environment to find creative ways to present, promote and develop ourselves (our brand/product) for the profits or experiences we seek.
To start this process, one might begin to ask questions like: “What is my self-brand made of?”, “What does my self-brand offer or represent?”, “Is my self-brand an asset or a need?”, “Do I associate my self-brand with other brands, and why?”, “How do I promote or market my self-brand and has it yielded me the profits or experiences I seek?”, “ When should I go back into the lab, so to speak to work to improve my self-brand?”.  These and other questions help to kick start the process of being the brand you desire.
 Happy Branding!
~ Be ~
Written By Nieema Alford