Archive for the ‘Brand Landscape’ Category

Serious Question: Do you imagine others actually recognize your value?

OK Business Entrepreneurs, this is really about the Business of Recognizing Yourself__ so Others Can.

We’re living in a 21C new world__ I call it 21C Business Unusual. Because we’re all having different kinds of conversations across more platforms than we ever could imagine. Right.

Some days, we’re not even sure how we’re going to manage our messaging – and keep it on target, consistent and, of course fascinating.

So taking a close look at your business brand and the story you tell – as well as the subliminal messaging you put out to the world 24/7 – is one of the best ways to recognize who are you, what you do, why it matters — and why anyone should give a damn.

OK where do you start? A Brand Audit tends to make the difference. You get a professional’s outsider’s point of view. It helps you understand the WHY, WHAT and HOW you really deliver. Once you seriously can name that and own it, you will be be more recognized and seen by the people you most want to see you. Here’s my methodology:

Zing Your Brand Intel Methodology

The best news? A Brand Audit makes sense of the messaging dialogs going on inside your brand brain, help you to turn the lens inwards on your unique creative value, embed your individualistic energy into your brand – and then, help you be willing to show up in a more mindful and authentic way.

FYI One of the most common questions that keep coming up with my clients is: how can I best communicate who I really am on this new 21C brand landscape? How can I speak in my own voice and get the right tone — so others know exactly who I am and understand the kind of value I bring to the table?

A brand audit helps you start re-imagining and reframing the way you think. It doesn’t matter whether you’re looking to close more sales, stand out in the marketplace, get promoted, build a community or looking to kick start your business. It will help people understand who you are and what you stand for.

“Van can switch from multinational to entrepreneur mindsets in a flash – across sectors, channels and audiences but with a brand’s own story running fast through each. She has the instinct of a true marketer that shapes every story right – and a client side manner built on trust and rapport to bring it all together. I think any brand will be the better for talking to her.” __Nick Stravs, Corporate Reputation Specialist |

1.) Brand Audit: An Un-Biased Evaluation. Because every healthy, highly-functioning brand wants a bit of honest feedback, evaluation, assessment and help getting on the right track.

Booking an Audit is where you get help in pulling back the layers, finding out what’s really going on behind your brand and story, the points of pain that are getting in the way __and then, wet get to turn it around so you’re not shooting yourself in the foot, anymore.

Ask yourself: is my messaging communicating who I am, what I do and why it matters? This process is really about bringing more meaning and purpose to the business table. How willing are you to evaluate, assess and tweak the kind of messaging you are sending out? PS It takes courage.

Take away: Look for the clues that might be doing your business a disservice. Ask your colleagues for their honest feedback. Is your site communicating the message you want out in the world? Does it reflect you, and your own unique value? And is it obvious and clear what your purpose is? Plus how easy are you making it for others to pick up on your value?

2.) Brand Story: Why you do what you do. Because every healthy brand loves a well-articulated and irresistible story.

This is where you look at YOUR WHY. Because understanding your WHY will give you all the clues you need to create a meaningful story. This is about coaxing out your creative core essence and getting right to the heart of your brand.

Where to start? Start tapping into the reasons why you’re working at what you do. Or why you started your business in the first place? I bet you have a remarkable ‘back story’ that would fascinate people. As in: share something about you that they’d never be able to know. Articulate that story. Make it personal – be creative and courageous, again.

Ask yourself: Are you willing to get out of your comfort zone? Actually open up just a little so others can get to see you, know you, like you — and trust you. Because that’s when people reach out to you, want to work with you and your organization, hire you.

On a personal note: When I started sharing my story of being a Dutch sea captain’s daughter, I was amazed at the reaction. Some people had trouble remembering my name but they had no problem remembering the Dutch sea captain’s daughter. Because it’s a potent, visual picture that tells a story and it lands a spot in their psyche. Interesting, right.

3.) Brand Identity: Are you who you say you are? Because every healthy brand longs for a fascinating identity.

We live in a design-driven culture. So you better get used to the fact that design is here to stay! It’s never been more important to pay attention to the design aesthetic around your brand.

Ask yourself: Is my logo, color palette and language inviting, warm, energizing — or is it making people want to look the other way?

Ask yourself: What score would you give to your own current logo, site, marketing materials? Would this material stop you — and make you gasp?! If you can’t answer HELL YES to that question, I’d suggest you think about what kinds of design really excites you and make you want more…

4.) Brand Transformation: Why what you do matters. Every healthy brand adores fine-tuning along the way.

Your brand is never static. It’s not just your logo. Or your tagline. Or the color of the uniforms your staff wear. Or the color palette on your website. Your brand is a living, breathing organism that needs regular monitoring, checking in and keeping things on track.

In this final step, think about WHAT you do and why that matters. Why your audience/tribe should care about buying from you. This is about paying attention to bringing as much energy and mindfulness to your brand so it feels alive, engaging — and totally authentic.

If you still think your website as a kind of ‘static holding place’ that really has no significance in the scheme of things, you have to think again. Everyone is checking your website. Before they choose to work with you. Before they make that call to you. It’s the energy you create around your site and online presence that is now the determining factor.

Ask yourself: Rather, ask some of your favorite clients/colleagues for some seriously-honest feedback. As in: What kind of feeling do you pick up when you go on my site? Does my online brand communicate what I am really like? What we really do? And the unique value I really bring to the table?

If you’d like a little help around getting your brand audited, take a look at what we’ll explore in a 90 minute session. The best news? We’ll zero in on exactly what your brand most needs in order to land a spot on the 21C new brand landscape.

Business Strategy: We’ll look at how to manage your reputation so you show up like you mean it. We tap into what makes your customer’s brain tick so your brand message can better relate & resonate with them.

Creative Storytelling: We’ll evaluate, then rethink and craft your own messaging with exactly the right tone, voice and language. (You’ll never keep your audience at arm’s length again.)

Brand Marketing: How to amp up your Emotional Intelligence (EQ), strengthen your relationship with your audience and create more trust so they’ll be your fans forever.

Emotional Intelligence: How can you keep you audience leaning in closer – hearts beating, eyes gleaming? We’ll monitor the kind of messaging your brand is communicating 24/7. Reality check: Your brand is sending out subliminal messages and invisible clues 24/7 whether you know it or not.
Any questions about the process? Get in touch and we can continue the dialog: Or for more info:

Here’s to the business of recognizing who you — so others can!

A 5 Day ‘Business-Unusual’ Retreat in San Miguel de Allende August 21-25, 2016


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Sunday August 21, 2016 – Thursday August 25, 2016

San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

For the full program package,

go to

I’m thrilled to be launching the ‘Business-Unusual’ Retreat with a focus on creativity, intention, desire and 21C business right in the heart of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico in August. That’s five magical days & five nights in Central Mexico…

It’s really about giving yourself the time to uncover your most creative self and return to your business and digital world with a clear brand vision –– one that will cut through all the clutter (and make your message sing like a mariachi!)

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High in the mountain town of San Miguel de Allende in Central Mexico (UNESCO World Heritage site) – and housed in an enchanting 18th century villa, Casa Rosada, you’ll be able to unplug and get clear in a series of 21C Business- Unusual workshop sessions: I’m leading the creative strategy/branding sessions plus we’ve planned a inspirational half day in the Mexican campo (countryside) for equine-guided experiential learning led by a Kentucky trainer Marti McGinnis. This is about making heart-felt connections with a 1,200 lb horse. I’m also delighted to have renowned New York photographer Elizabeth Watt join us for her insightful heart-felt sessions on the The Art of Seeing. PS And I’m going to run a session on creativity and desire where we’ll explore how to coax out our creativity. I’ll  share a little about my personal story re how got started right here in San Miguel in 2014. Magical things happen in this 15C mountain town.

Q. Why Business-Unusual?

wynnie streest smaYou can not do business as usual. Not any more. In this New Digital Era, your best competitive advantage is being transparent and showing up like you mean it.  What’s more, keeping your clients at arm’s length or keeping a low profile is no longer an option. Seriously.

For the full program and package details, go to

See you over on there! Va

Will Microsoft’s own AI Chatbot hurt its brand?

The scenario: Last week, sipping a coffee at Buen Dia cafe on Calle de la Pueblita, I was contacted by Hal Conick, writer for the American Marketing Association. Hal asked if I would comment on Microsoft and the potential damage being done to its brand by its very own Chatbot called Tay. Here’s Hal’s article that appeared a few days ago.

Will Microsoft’s AI Chatbot’s Racist Tweets Hurt its Brand?
By: Hal Conick, staff writer for the AMA’s magazines and e-newsletters. Reach him at or on Twitter @HalConick.

Key Takeaways
​What? Microsoft released an AI Chatbot named Tay that the company hoped would learn from conversations on the social media platform. The chatbot ended up going silent after a group of Twitter users targeted a vulnerability, making it tweet out racist, xenophobic comments.

So What? How will this affect Microsoft’s brand? Branding experts said it may not at all. However, Microsoft’s response and how the company moves forward may determine a lot.

Now what? “Sometimes they work, sometimes they fail. When they succeed they’re amazing, and [expressing] that they’re open to the public’s reactions to certain things [is important],” one branding expert says.

Microsoft’s AI chatbot “Tay” was attempting to learn how to interact with humans. Instead, it was hijacked by trolls and learned nasty, racist language. Will the Twitter fail adversely affect Microsoft’s brand?​​​​
Twitter trolls have claimed another victim.

Microsoft’s artificial intelligence chatbot “Tay,” which uses the handle @TayandYou, went offline almost as quickly as it began chatting with users. The bot was created to have quick-witted conversations with the 18 to 24 crowd on Twitter and lean how to interact with people on the platform over time, the company said.

“The more you chat with Tay the smarter she gets, so the experience can be more personalized for you,” Microsoft’s website for Tay said.

However, Tay’s last tweet was on March 23. Instead of learning human communication from your average Twitter account, Tay was spouting xenophobic, racist, and absurd sentiments from Twitter’s cadre of trolls. Tay tweeted that the holocaust was fabricated, agreed with white power slogans, used racial slurs, and admitted support of genocide.

“c u soon humans need sleep now so many conversations today thx <3,” Tay’s most recent tweet reads. A string of its most incendiary tweets have since been deleted. On Friday, Peter Lee, corporate vice president for Microsoft Research, posted an apology on Microsoft’s blog. “Tay is now offline and we’ll look to bring Tay back only when we are confident we can better anticipate malicious intent that conflicts with our principles and values,” he wrote.

Lee wrote that the Microsoft team put Tay through multiple stress tests to ensure interactions with the bot would be a positive experience, but what he called a “coordinated attack” of people on Twitter exploited vulnerabilities in the chatbot.

Screenshot from Tay’s Twitter account from Business Insider
“Although we had prepared for many types of abuses of the system, we had made a critical oversight for this specific attack,” Lee wrote. “As a result, Tay tweeted wildly inappropriate and reprehensible words and images. We take full responsibility for not seeing this possibility ahead of time.”

How does something like this affect Microsoft’s brand? Rob Frankle, an independent branding strategist and consultant who works with Fortune 1000 companies, says he doesn’t believe it will hurt it at all. In fact, Frankle doesn’t believe Microsoft had anything to lose by experimenting in this way, as he doesn’t believe they truly have a brand at all.

“[Microsoft] does some things really well, but the fact is that as a brand, most people don’t really have a lot of loyally to Microsoft,” he says. “They haven’t cultivated a brand. They have never had a brand; they have an identity. But in my experience, given availability and cost issues, most Microsoft people, if they can choose another solution, probably would. … They are a tactical company, not a brand company.”

In fact, this situation be end up as an opportunity for Microsoft, he says: It gave Tay a good shot and can use the Thomas Edison Defense. “If you ask Thomas Edison, he didn’t create the lightbulb the first time out; he discovered 10,000 ways not to invent the light bulb.” It shows that the company is trying something new, he says, and they’ve never been a company that is afraid to fail. Frankle points out the countless clips of former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer “getting all sweaty and jumping around like a nerd on stage and looking stupid” and Bill Gates’ famed blue-screen-of-death during Windows 98’s launch​.

“There’s far worse stuff than this,” Frankle says with a chuckle. “This is sort of a technology thing. Everyone knows you can game technology.”

Karen Post, a branding expert and owner of Bran Tattoo Branding, says the Tay incident may be embarrassing momentarily for Microsoft, but innovators know that “launch and learn” is now a common practice in technology.

“Our society is forgiving and in many cases has a very select memory. The last brand blow up is quickly replaced with the latest brand blow up,” Post says. “The upside of this is … Microsoft is playing [in] the sand box, trying new things and aiming to better understand its customer and prospect. As long as it responds in a timely fashion, it will be fine.”

Marketing News spoke with Mary van de Wiel, a branding expert and CEO of Zing Your Brand, on Thursday before Lee wrote the apology blog post. Van de Wiel said she believes in making companies look more human by having more human dialog, and this was a fantastic opportunity for just that. She doesn’t believe Tay’s failure will negatively affect the brand, but said she hopes this would open up a greater conversation about where this kind of hatred and vitriol came from on social media platforms like Twitter.

“I would want my person at Microsoft to come out and talk about human responses, [and] create an amazing context for this kind of dialog,” she said. “Say ‘This is what we did and we could have waited until it was more fine-tuned, but it is powered by machine intelligence. Of course it’s going to be tricky.’ Maybe [Microsoft could] acknowledge that and instead of being embarrassed, say ‘We understand machine intelligence is not giving us what we need.’”

Frankle, like Post and van de Wiel, believes there is an opportunity to turn this into a positive branding experience,

“[Microsoft execs] should have some kind of focused effort on innovation and some sort of notion to the public about how they are a company that is always testing things, is always trying to develop things. Sometimes they work, sometimes they fail. When they succeed they’re amazing, and [expressing] that they’re open to the public’s reactions to certain things [is important],” he says.

Author Bio: Hal Conick
Hal Conick is a staff writer for the AMA’s magazines and e-newsletters. He can be reached at or on Twitter at @HalConick.

Sign up now: The NY Brand Lab | July 23 Sydney


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Thursday July 23, 2015 | North Sydney

How to Stand Out in the New Digital Era? 

Clue: Build an Irresistible Brand.

(It’s your best competitive advantage.)

WHAT’S THE NY BRAND LAB?  (i) A roll-up-your-sleeves workshop with award-winning creative brander, designer thinker & educator Mary van de Wiel; (ii) A unique opportunity for women in business to focus on re-imagining their brand so it’s more authentic and irresistible – and communicates that you are who you say you are. FYI Your customers will feel the difference… and that’s the moment they know they want to work with you or buy from you. Ka Ching!wow_factor

DESIGNED OR WOMEN IN BUSINESS Small business owners, change makers, creatives, entrepreneurs, visionary marketers, start ups, and artists: All looking to find their spot on the 21C new brand landscape.

WHEN Thursday, 23 July 2015 (Choose the Morning or the full day)

WHERE Village Co-Working, Level 3, 1 James Place, North Sydney 2060

WHY NOW? A new paradigm shift is inviting us to bring a different level of energy back to the table. What’s more, with increasing uncertainty in our hyper-connected world, the art of creating an engaging & irresistible business brand – with a high emotional quotient and a reputation to go along with it – has never been more critical. It’s the best strategy for standing out in this hyper-connected marketplace.

NO 1 BENEFIT  Building your brand in the New Digital Era is your best competitive advantage. Because keeping customers at arm’s length or keeping a low profile is no longer an option. When you start paying attention to building your brand in a more mindful way, your customers will feel the difference. That’s when wallets fly open!

LET’S FACE IT Every business leader and organisation has brand issues. If they’re serious enough, they’re going to get in the way of your business success and shoot you in the foot.

FACILITATOR, CREATIVE STRATEGIST & ARTIST  Mary van de Wiel (Van)  calls that a serious issue. After all, this is 21C Business Unusual. The world has never been as transparent or connected 24/7. Everyone’s talking about the new Digital Era. Some call it the Era of Engagement. Because if you want to stand out and cut through the noise, you need to join the conversation. Vanin BLC hatphoto

NOTE: Google recently announced they’re only rewarding and ranking organisations with relevant brands and irresistible stories to tell. It’s the key to wining hearts, inspiring minds and capturing the imagination of customers.

So how’s your brand looking?

My life can be divided into two phases: before and after signing up atThe NY Brand Lab. Van helped me gain clarity around my business and my brand that I hadn’t dreamed possible. –– MEGAN KENT CEO Megan Kent Branding Group / New York, NY

landress1WHAT WILL I WALK AWAY WITH?  Like a caffeine jolt, this roll-up-your-sleeves workshop will not only transform your mindset, it will boost your confidence and reinforce that you are who you say you are. We’ll dig deep, and you’ll walk away with a fresh, insightful set of strategies, tools and ideas. Take a look:

1) Brand Influence & Reputation You’ll learn how to manage your reputation so you stand out, and show up like you mean it. We’ll look at neuroscience trends, what makes your customer’s brain tick. (This is about real relationship building.)

2) Creativity & Storytelling: You’ll start to re-think your own messaging so it has exactly the right tone and voice. This is about bringing a new kind of energy to your story. (You’ll never keep your audience at arm’s length again.)logo-TheArtofBrandStory

3) Emotional Intelligence: You’ll focus on raising the Emotional Intelligence (EQ) of your brand. It takes a willingness to connect in a more transparent and authentic way – online and offline – and it creates more trust. (PS Your customers will be your fans forever.)

4) Meaning & PurposeWhy do you do what you do? We’ll focus on bringing more meaning and purpose to your business. We’ll turn the lens inward on your values, emotions, goals so your messaging will resonate more with your customers.

5) Brand Behavior  You’ll monitor the kind of messaging your brand is communicating 24/7 online and offline. FYI Your brand is sending out subliminal messages whether you know it or not. Being mindful is key.photo8

Special Bonus: You’ll get the chance to sit on the ‘hot seat’ for Van’s signature Brand Audit (a mini-10 minute version) with your home page beamed up: That’s when Van evaluates your site and, with a laser-sharp focus, spots, identifies & interprets the invisible clues embedded in your brand (that are shooting you in the foot) – and then, on the spot, changes them into more irresistible, heart-felt messaging.

Van can switch from multi-national to entrepreneur mindsets in a flash – across sectors, channels and audiences but with a brand’s own story running fast through each. She has the instinct of a true marketer that shapes every story right – and a manner built on trust and rapport to bring it all together. I think any brand will be the better for meeting her.NICK STRAVS, EVP International Consulting / Weber Shandwick Switzerland



Date: Thursday, 23 July, 2015

Where: Village Co-Working, Level 3, 1 James Place, North Sydney 2060

Time: Two options: Sign up for the full day or choose just the morning session.

a) Morning Session | 9:30am-1:00pm (Limited to 20)

b) VIP Afternoon Session | 2pm-5pm (Limited to six)

(If you’re interested in the second session, the morning session is a prerequisite.)

Lunch: 1:00-2pm (not included). Café downstairs.

All-Day Parking: Right next door at James Place. Or a 10-minute walk from North Sydney train station.

In full disclosure: It takes a curiosity, courage and a willingness to rethink your brand, and your story for more transparency and authenticity across all platforms. (Be prepared!)



 • Morning Session 9:30am-1:00pm | Investment: $397

This is an intense 3.5 hour Brand Lab where we’ll work on uncovering what really makes your business tick, why you do what you do, carefully look at your values, your mindset and your willingness to be more transparent. We’ll then work on shaping your brand story so it resonates and hits home with your customers. This is about bringing more clarity, authenticity and meaning across your entire brand messaging so it resonates with your customers. PS They will feel the difference.

An exhilarating session with exercises and transformational insights around you, your business and your brand. Walk away with a new set of invigorating tools and strategies you can put into place when you get back to the office. Guaranteed. (And a spring in your step!)

 • VIP 1:1 Afternoon Session 2:00-5:00pm  (Only 6 people.) Investment: $497

Aligning all the elements of your brand is critical to standing out and showing up in today’s competitive marketplace. After the morning session, you’ll be better informed when it comes to positioning yourself and telling your story more authentically for the 21C new brand landscape.

In this more intimate setting, we’ll pull back the layers so you get 1:1 attention, creative ideas and insights when it comes refining, and then embedding your core messaging across your entire brand and site – as well as coaxing out your own unique voice across the social media platforms that matter to you. Van will carefully audit each business, and make sure your message is engaging and communicates you are who you say you are.

TWO CHOICES |  SIGN UP BELOW July 23, 2015 | North Sydney Australia

Option One: Morning Session 9:30-1:00pm


Option Two: VIP Afternoon Session 2:00-5:00pm

Register Now



  • Your brand is just a feeling. It’s what people say/feel about after you leave the room. FYI It’s not your logo, colour palette or the way you walk your talk
  • Emotional intelligence, self-awareness, business acumen and vision are today’s meta skills for leadership. Courage and the willingness to be transparent always lands a higher score with your customers.
  • All good brands communicate powerful messaging to the world 24/7. It’s never been more important to be mindful around your brand behavior. Your brand requires mindfulness and attention.
  • We live in a customer-centric world. All good brands need more clarity in order to make more meaningful connections that matter to people. This is about raising the connection quotient so your messaging resonates deeply.
  • Values shape and define your organisation. When everyone can champion a set of real, human values (owning, living and breathing them), your brand story is much more compelling. Your customers will feel the difference.


About Mary van de Wiel | Creative Captain at Zing Your Brand & Co.

A Dutch sea captain’s daughter, Mary van de Wiel learned how to scope out the horizon and interpret the invisible clues – no matter what the country, culture or language. It seemed the best way to sense one’s place and identity in the world and give it meaning.

No wonder she’s been dubbed ‘business psychologist’ in the brand intelligence space. For the last 30 years, she’s successfully been interpreting the invisible clues for CEOs, visionary business leaders & change agents – putting their brands on the global map.
AFphotoSwirlAs founder/CEO and Creative Captain of, Van is devoted to transformational branding and storytelling. She consults, speaks at conferences, leads her signature NY Brand Lab workshops around the USA, Mexico and Australia, hosts a weekly radio show on why some brands nail it (currently on hiatus) and tutors & lectures Masters students at The University of Sydney Business School.

She built her award-winning branding agency business on this principle: Helping people recognize who they are – so others can. It’s the secret to mindful leadership. With offices in New York and Sydney, Van initiated the agency’s global start-up division for Fortune 500 clients and led launch campaigns for the Macau International Airport in China, Who Weekly in Australia (first time Time Inc. published its title offshore) and The National Constitution Center in the USA.photo6

Other clients include ABC Innovation, AMP, Viacom, Conde Nast USA, Comcast Cable, Sony, Time Warner, Zurich Int., Sydney Opera House, News Corp., Time-Warner, Seven Network & The Museum of Modern Art, N.Y.

Van has been featured in Inc. Magazine, Entrepreneur Magazine, Reuters, Amex Business Forum, The Telegraph (UK), Investor’s Business Daily, The Australian Financial Review and more.

Vanin BLC hatphotoPassionate about the worlds where  neuroscience, creativity and innovation intersect, she’s currently developing online training programs for the 21C New Brand Landscape. When she’s not working on It’s Not Enough to Be Brilliant: 10 Dares to Branding, you’ll find her painting her way back and forth across the Pacific. Check out or her daily updates on

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Sign up now! If you have any questions, get in touch with me:

Look forward to seeing you at the NY Brand Lab on 23 July!


Van | |




How to create a strong brand message that’s irresistible (7 clues)

1. This is Business Unusual. We’re living in a 20C Global Village If you have a presence online, don’t forget for a second that the world isn’t checking you out 24/7. Whether you know it or not. Creating an irresistible brand message means you’re going to have to show up and speak directly to the big wide world out there — in your voice, in your language so people can hear you. They need to sense that you ‘are who you say you are.’ So what’s the tone and language around your brand?

2. Storytelling is the Currency of our Time  It’s time to re-imagine and reframe your brand story and message for your audience in a new, provocative way. Connect the dots and defining moments in your life, your business, and what led you to the very spot you are standing in, right now. Because your defining moments and stories around them are what’s going to connect emotionally with other people. That’s irresistible. Story resonates deeply with people. Don’t keep them at arm’s length. They’re longing to connect.

3. Curiosity and Willingness There’s nothing quite like the desire to be transported to new places – and see the future. It’s something we all crave. So if your business can deliver people to another sense of place or discovery —  make sure that’s embedded in your messaging. That’s irresistible, for sure. Allow your clients to sense and pick up on this desire.  Are you paying attention? Being curious and having a sense of wonder in your messaging is magic. PS Complacency is a killer.

 4. Peripheral Vision The ability to see outside the lines of sight is critical in your business. It helps to shift your perspective, see the other person’s point of view. It often brings compassion, a heightened sensitivity and the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. Bring your own kind of empathy and understanding to your brand messaging. It goes a long way in building trust and meaningful relationships in your business. Are you understanding what other people’s issues are and how you can make a difference? Can’t do business without trust. If you’re trustworthy, people will feel it and head in your direction. That’s irresistible.

5. Desire to Big, Bold and Provocative In this over-saturated marketplace, one of the best ways to soar above your competition is by creating your own signature brand message that will make you stand out. OK Focus on what makes you truly different. Then translate that over into your business. So how brave and fearless are you when it comes to showing up bigger and bolder? This is not the time to be small. PS If you can brand with heart, and with intention, you’re going to be miles ahead of your competition.

6.  Take on the Role of Brand Guardian You are the Guardian of your brand. It’s a role to be taken seriously. You’d be amazed at the number of business owners who are not paying attention to their brand. Brands like to be nurtured need your attention. (A bit like puppies. Seriously.) Your brand is never done, so to speak. It needs to change, grow and evolve just like everything else in your business. So what kind of Brand Guardian are you? Because if you nurture your brand, your customers will tell, and feel the difference. Guaranteed.

7. Master of Serious Play Believe it or not, brands have a tendency to want to play, live out loud and have a bit of fun along the way! That’s irresistible. It’s the one characteristic that is hugely attractive to clients, and it will certainly keep them paying attention… Of course, it’s about keeping a fine balance between being professional and playful so make sure you can walk that tightrope with grace. So if you’re not having fun with your brand, go out and start addressing this issue immediately. It will pay off, I promise.

OK Your turn! I’d love to hear your best-kept secrets about how you’re creating the most irresistible brand messaging out there!

Zinging along,


@2015 Mary van de Wiel | CEO Creative Captain Zing Your Brand & Co.


What's a new brand landscape, anyway?

Around 11 months ago, I launched A New Brand Landscape & Co. It’s based on the premise that if your brand is not showing up, standing out, living outloud or staking out your territory, you will not be fully visible, and your brand is not going to cut it – particularly in this overcrowded, over saturated and over competitive world we live in.

If you want your business to survive in this tough 21C marketplace, then this is the moment to reshape the vision of your brand so you land a coveted spot on the new brand landscape. The world is changing faster than ever before. We have a new financial landscape. A new economic landscape.  Right now, it’s critical to define, position and revitalize your brand so your business can flourish, soar – and land a spot on the new landscape for the 21C. It’s a matter of survival in this tough market, and it’s the best way to increase your visibility factor, be seen as an industry expert, land more clients and ultimately impact the bottom line.