A Major Branding Insight from a Trip to
I was recently in Louisville, KY for the Kentucky College Women’s Leadership Conference held at the University of Louisville as the opening Keynote Speaker – what an absolute honor! It’s a lot of pressure to kick off a major conference, but from the response I received, I think I did pretty well!
Because I’ve been known to get turned around a bit when driving to new places (even with my GPS signaling the way in my car!), I like to arrive to important meetings and events a bit early. My presentation wasn’t until later in the evening on the day I arrived so I checked into my hotel early and ventured around downtown. I dined at a wonderful restaurant I’d heard a lot about and made a mental note of some other places I wanted to come back to and see the next day. Throughout my entire stay in Louisville, I started to take note of the major brands associated with this city. There were horses (statues of horses) everywhere! I saw people walking around with Louisville slugger bats as souvenir’s from the museum. Kentucky Bourbon was at the top of every single menu of every restaurant I visited. Everything was uniquely southern!
CONSISTENCY IN LEADERSHIP & BRANDING– The city of Louisville does a great job of having their hotels, restaurants and small business on board with the major brands present there – Horses, Bourbon and all things southern. There are horses or images of horses everywhere you look. Surprisingly, it doesn’t feel like overkill! We all know that Louisville is home to the world-famous Kentucky Derby. When most of us think of the Derby we think of that 1-day annual event on the first Saturday in May. However, the city celebrates The Kentucky Derby year around. I saw statues of horses, portraits of horses, and Kentucky Derby themed cocktails on restaurant menus. The city is CONSISTENT with that brand and everyone from restaurants to hotels, to clothing stores, gift shops, visitor tours, etc reflects that brand.
This started me thinking of the Leadership involved in branding on a smaller scale such as small businesses or individuals crafting personal brands. When crafting a brand, it’s important to ensure that every part of your team understands what you want the brand reputation to say and develop creative ways to effectively communicate that. The way you communicate that message should be consistent, creative and capture the attention of your target audience. I’ve never really been into horses as a passion, but I got on board with the Kentucky Derby concept while I was there because of how the city creates a fun atmosphere around it. I enjoyed it so much that I would love to go back with a group of friends on a food and museum adventure!
Is your Leadership, business, or personal brand as CONSISTENT as you want it to be or feel it should be? If not, what steps can you take, right now, to be more consistent in your message?
Dr. Carmen April is a young entrepreneur and community leader recognized as a 2013 Nashville Business Journal Top 40 Under Forty Award Recipient and is a 2014 Graduate of the New Leaders Council Institute – Nashville Chapter. Dr. April is available for speaking engagements on Leadership for College Students and Young Professionals.
You can follow her daily #Leadership insights on Twitter @DrCarmenApril