Feedback is how we know we are doing something right; it’s also how we know when we’re doing something wrong. Feedback is necessary. It’s how we improve our relationships and raise our golf (or in my case, volleyball) game to the next level; it’s also how we fine-tune our business offerings and hone our brands.
I love getting and giving feedback.
On the personal side, feedback is important for growing and nurturing relationships with friends and family and loved ones. As a marketer and a business entrepreneur, feedback is necessary for the care and feeding of my business relationships and network, and it’s how I know if my message is getting out and whether or not my brand is clear.
That’s why I encourage readers of this blog and my followers on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to comment on my posts. Generally, your comments help me know if my message/brand is being received as intended or whether I need to refine my approach.
Every now and then, though, I get feedback that makes me step back and think, what is my brand? Do I truly know it, and am I communicating it effectively?
Recently, my inspirational, daily religious quote elicited the following response from a long-time LinkedIn contact, creative branding specialist, and friend:
Re: Ponder This
Hey Paul – hope all is well, but I have a question for you.
Do you think religious scripture – regardless of what one’s faith is – is appropriate for LinkedIn, a business site?
Do you see any other posts like that?
Those of you who read this blog regularly or follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn know that my beliefs and values are worldly with a Christian focus. I make no attempt to hide this. Authenticity and being true to my beliefs and values are important to me. You also know that I do not try to juggle both a “business brand” along with a “personal brand.” There is only one Paul June, so there is only one Paul June brand.
Thus my reply—
It works for me and is part of who I am and I am proud of it. I respect all religions and enjoy seeing when others post (which is seldom to your point). Feel free to disregard. Hope all is well and I like your comment.
— was really the only reply possible so that I could stay true to myself and to my brand.
Some of you may be thinking this flies in the face of the old adage, “never mix religion and politics with business or polite company.” In other words, why go there if I don’t need to?
It’s simple, really. I choose to “go there” because doing so reveals something about me as a person; it’s not an attempt to sway others to my point of view. It’s who I am. It’s my brand.
- I know my brand
- I know my audience
- Analytics speak to it
- “Daily Religious Quotes” speak to it
- “Daily Quotes” speak to it
- People who do business with me value it
- My personal slogan is “More Creativity, More Ideas, More Fun!”
- My target audience covers consumer (people) products and can be broken down into consumer electronics, toys, gifts, apparel, sports, outdoor retail, action sports, general retail, digital media, social media, web site development, SEO/SEM, marketing, and branding.
- One of my goals with this blog and through social media is to inspire, motivate, and energize others by providing what I think is entertaining, informative, and enriching content.
In the end, it’s all about being genuine and “real” to your audience. It’s about knowing your brand. In the immortal words of a certain, spinach-eating cartoon character, “I yam what I yam and that’s all what I yam.”
So now you know how I responded to the “Ponder This” comment. How would you have replied? Please share with others. I look forward to and invite your feedback.