You hear the word “brand” tossed around all the time like it has some simple definition that everyone should know. The big wigs of our industry let the word slip off their tongues so easily that you would think it’s their first name, and we are are continuously told to build our own “personal brand”, but no one ever stops to explain what a brand really is.
“This summer is my opportunity to create my personal brand step-by-step through each and every experience. Thanks to MSBA, I’ve been able to develop and gain confidence in my brand so that I can leverage it in the future.”
Our speaker tonight, Ed O’Hara, was finally able to provide some insight into the process of building a brand. O’Hara is the President and Chief Creative Officer of SME, Inc., where he has been the leader of several big name branding projects including the Miami Marlins, Kentucky Derby, ACC, LPGA, and many others. He took us through the process his team went through to create a successful brand for each of these case studies.
Through his experiences, O’Hara has found that color and home are the two most powerful and impactful parts of a brand. In the case of the Miami Marlins, he was able to incorporate both of these into the team’s new logo upon their move to Miami. The vibrant colors within the logo were a reflection of the vibrancy of the city of Miami, which consequently allowed Marlin fans to associate the logo with their home. This feeling was expanded upon inside the stadium, which then invoked the same kind of emotions in the team’s fans.
As I considered O’Hara’s thoughts, I was taken back to the constant reminder to be building my own “personal brand”. Now, using what I learned from O’Hara, I have a better understanding of what people really mean when they tell me this. This summer is my opportunity to create my personal brand step-by-step through each and every experience. Thanks to MSBA, I’ve been able to develop and gain confidence in my brand so that I can leverage it in the future.
And I can honestly say that colors and home are defining features of my own brand (just as O’Hara said they would be). I see colors as the personality of an individual, and home as the place that is most responsible for making you the person you are today. Both of these features have been beneficial to me over the course of my time in the program. My carefree personality has opened several doors and my hometown of Buffalo has produced multiple connections. MSBA 2016 has trained me to use these important aspects of my brand to create opportunities for the future. My brand is certainly in the making, and appears to be getting stronger day by day.