Tag Archives: branding

REMAINING CALM DURING CHAOS: How to Position Your Brand During Transformational Change

The handwriting is on the wall–you have to pivot or reinvent yourself to remain relevant.

Photo by Hans Peter-Gauster

Author S. Renee Smith

As I talk with my inner circle of national leaders who are scrambling to identify solutions for America’s challenges, I’m clear that the time is now to be intentional about who you are, how you show up, and the work in which you decide to engage.

Even before coronavirus, America has had a pandemic and experienced an economic depression. And we have marched for equal rights. However, to my knowledge, NEVER have we faced all three at the same time. This is a peculiar time but many opportunities await those who intentionally package, position, and promote themselves.

Takeovers, mergers, market movement, and new leadership can come in a wave, storm, or tsunami. We are in the midst of a tsunami.

Therefore, you have to decide whether the direction of the company you work for is still a good fit for you. Most companies in transition will want to minimize the loss of valued employees, but they know everyone isn’t built for unstable, turbulent environments that transition often creates. If you decide to stay, position yourself so that leadership can see your commitment, stability, and faith in them and the organization.

This is how to navigate change, position yourself, practice executive presence, and increase your brand’s value:

Keep your eyes on your target. During drastic change, transition, and transformation, it’s typical to feel as though you don’t know what your next step should be. It’s traumatizing to feel disconnected, vulnerable, and at risk of losing your job and all that you’ve invested. Decide on your target and keep your eyes on it.

Know the focus of the organization. We are creatures of habit, but change is upon us. The people, the rules, and the system are in the midst of transformation. Clearly, what you’ve done over the last 20 years isn’t necessarily needed for the next 20 years. It doesn’t align with the new paradigm. Remember, when you were hired you were a part of the team who implemented a new way of doing business. Organizational change isn’t personal; it’s a deliberate attempt to keep the company relevant and competitive in the marketplace.

Staying in the past will only frustrate leadership and cause you to sabotage your career. Ask questions to understand why the leadership team believes the decisions they’re making are necessary. As best you can, stay out of the emotional pit, and put what you hear into context so that you see where you are, where they want to go, and how you can help them get there.

Realign your brand. Based on what you learn by being attentive, asking questions, and realigning your brand, here are some foundational basics:

During a transition, company leaders work to strengthen the infrastructure by streamlining processes, increasing efficiencies, and managing the negative impact of change. Leadership will tell you what they can when they can so remain alert and agile by keeping the following in mind:

Minimize distractions. Rumors will fly, and the volume of the noise will rise. Dial into your frequency, and find your guiding light. You may be on a need-to-know basis until leadership has a clear understanding of its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Don’t spend time on anything that doesn’t work for your benefit.

Control what you can control. Focus on what you’re accountable for each day and deliver. You’ll have strategic goals to meet. Push hard, meet the objectives, and the rest will take care of itself.

Brand positioning allows you to control your narrative. According to an article in USA Today, among the most common and up-to-date phrases in business, politics, and savvy American life is “‘controlling the narrative.’ That is, telling it your way before someone else gets to tell it—and possibly tell it better— their way.” The way you show up and what you say when you do, determines what people hear and respond to—even if you don’t whisper one word.

© S. Renee Smith helps employees and small business owners become more likable, marketable, and credible so that they can increase their income and influence. A branding and communications expert and author of six books, this blog is an excerpt from Harness the POWER of Personal Branding and Executive Presence. Check her latest free webinar: REINVENT YOURSELF: Build a Brand That Gets Results

It’s Not Complicated! Questions to Assess If You Have the Right Mindset for Success

There’s a saying; It’s complicated. Yet, nothing is as complicated as we make it. In fact, for the most part, life is predictable.

We know that how we see ourselves and the world determine our mindset. Our mindset determines our choices. And our choices determine where we end up in life. We are sure to die one day; we just don’t know when. And we know that there are a few moments that we can’t predict that requires our faith. That’s life in a nutshell.
With that being said, if you pay attention to what life is teaching you and make choices based on where you want to go, it highly likely, absent from an uncontrollable interruption, you’ll get there. It’s important to note that most moments aren’t interruptions; they are stepping stones. However, when you see a perceived barrier, you panic, go in a different direction, and lose momentum. 

I want to encourage you to get off that train. Today, decide to own your power to make choices that will put you on the path to the life and career you want. Throughout my new book, Harness the POWER of Personal Branding and Executive Presence, I have about 40 exercises that I call, Mind Elevation. They are questions, fill in the blank, mediations, and steps that help you map out your plan. 

Here are 11 questions from page 11 that will help you determine if you have a mindset that will help you get from where you are to where you want to be. 


Ask yourself the following questions to disclose your mindset. Write your answers in your journal.

  1. What do I believe about my ability to achieve what I want?
  2. Does my behavior align with the opinions I say I have of myself?
  3. Do my daily choices reflect my beliefs?
  4. What do my daily choices reveal about my ideas of myself and my abilities?
  5. What evidence do I have to support the beliefs I claim I have of myself?
  6. What do I believe about people?
  7. How does my behavior reflect those beliefs?
  8. Overall, are my beliefs and reality in alignment?
  9. Am I moving in the right direction?
  10. If not, what do I believe is hindering me from achieving my dreams?
  11. On a scale of 1 to 10, one being least likely to get you there and ten being most likely, how would you rate your mindset?

Join over 400 other people who have purchased their pre-launch copy Harness the POWER of Branding and Executive Presence for half price ($9.99). July 1, the price increases to $19.95.

2019 © All rights reserved S. Renee Smith. S. Renee is a nationally recognized self-esteem, branding and communication speaker, author, and coach. You can learn more at www.srenee.com.


Recently I had an Aha Moment! I can’t believe that I missed this. But I think you’re going to find this to be one of your greatest blind spots, too.

As experts, we often assume people “Get it.” They know what we do. And, if they don’t, they should. Why shouldn’t they? There’s tons of information out there about our subject matter and we saturate them with the value of our work, right?

Here’s what I learned during a one-on-one fact-finding consult with a new potential client. It has helped me shift again how I position my message.

After we exchanged pleasantries, the conversation went like this:

S. Renee: Tell me about yourself.

Potential Client: I don’t know if I need your services because I don’t know if I need branding, but you came highly recommended so I thought I’d at least give you a call. A publisher published my book and I want to sell lots of copies.

S. Renee: Oh, that’s exciting. So you signed a book deal. What an honor! Who is your publisher?

Potential Client: Oh, I paid to have it published.

S. Renee (Hmmm, I thought to myself): Okay. Tell me more.

Potential Client: I realize now that I paid too much money for the little bit of work they did for me, and now they are trying to sell me a marketing package. So I’ve been asking people about marketing, and your name keeps coming up as someone who can help me. I thought I’d call to see if you could help me sell copies of my book.

S. Renee: Tell me more.

Potential Client: I know my book will help a lot of people. I just need for people to see it and I know they’ll like it and buy it.

Renee (after some more digging): So, tell me what you know about branding.

Potential Client: I think it’s when people recognize you. But I don’t want to be recognized. I just want to sell my book.

That’s when the light bulb came on for me. This individual, like many of the people I talk to, has a dream. They finally have a piece of their dream in their hands, but they don’t know how to launch it into the marketplace. In fact, they don’t even realize their book is a product and it has to find its position among the millions of other books in the marketplace.

Yes, they see Fortune 500 companies reach them through storytelling on television, billboard and online advertising, and store placement. But they don’t connect their product with needing the same investment, attention and persistence.

Like many of the over 300 clients I’ve coached, their ideas are on paper, but they don’t see their book as an extension of themselves. They see it as an independent product that only needs to be seen by others, and – BAM – they sell hundreds of thousands of copies and they become well-known!

This is so far from reality. Consumers are sophisticated and smart. They know what they want to spend their money on, but you have to tell them you are the person or company who they want to spend their money with.

Brands drive sales. It’s the skillfully worded message behind the product and the consistency of that message that gets people’s attention. It’s the fulfillment of the promise of that message that earns the trust of the consumer, which leads to a purchase.

Think about the advertisements you see. They are nothing more than a carefully crafted story that shows you a problem and tells you how to solve it. As small business owners, entrepreneurs, speakers, authors and even employees, we too, have to craft our message, build our story and earn the trust of our audience.

S. Renee, CPC, is a nationally recognized Self-Esteem, Branding and Communications Expert, Speaker, Coach and Best-Selling Author. To learn more about how you can craft and communicate a message that connects and engages your audience visit www.srenee.com and consider one of her upcoming events.