Sunday, September 25, 2016

Five #PersonalBranding Tips from Vin Scully

As all baseball fans from Los Angeles, all of America, and all over the world, know, the time has come for a classic to retire. Vin Scully, the voice of the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers for 67 years has announced his final home game for the LA Dodgers. While he will announce three additional games next weekend, the final three games of the Dodgers’ season, he will broadcast those games from San Francisco. There are countless articles online and in print publications recognizing Vin for his spirit, his humility, and his humanity, but as a brand marketer, I believe that everyone can learn five personal branding tips from this inspiring ambassador of baseball.

As Vin’s story goes, he grew up as a New York Giants fan (the baseball team that would eventually move to San Francisco). However, once he joined the Dodgers broadcast team, he could no longer publicly root for the Giants. That said, he dedicated himself to his job and became a rock of Gibraltar to his fans. They knew that whenever they turned on the radio or later, the television, he and his familiar voice would be broadcasting the game.

SHARE ON TWITTER: Vin Scully was the voice of the @Dodgers for 67 years. What can you learn from him? -@DebbieLaskeyMBA #personalbranding

Vin always had a story to tell about the ballplayers, both the Dodgers and all visiting team players. He made his broadcasts come to life, because listeners didn’t just hear about walks, strike-outs, and runs. Instead, he painted pictures with his words and the unique cadence of his voice. Sometimes, he even let the roar of the crowd tell the story. After Kurt Gibson hit a jaw-dropping home run in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series, Vin said, “She is gone.” Nearly 70 seconds after listening to the roar of the crowd, he uttered a statement that has gone down in history, “In a year that has been so improbable, the impossible has happened.” (A fun fact: My dad and I were sitting in the right field pavilion just a few rows up from where that home run was hit, so we didn't hear Vin's remarks until later that night on the TV newscast.)

SHARE ON TWITTER: Everyone has a story to tell, how do you tell yours? -@DebbieLaskeyMBA #personalbranding

Vin’s signature greeting was “Hello or good evening wherever you may be,” and to most, this seemed like a greeting from one family member to another. Since many of Vin’s fans never got the chance to meet face-to-face, his easy-going demeanor and friendly style transformed the connection of broadcaster and listener to two friends or relatives.

SHARE ON TWITTER: Do you have a signature tagline? -@DebbieLaskeyMBA #personalbranding

Once Vin joined the Dodgers broadcast team, he displayed no bias. Clearly, he was a lifelong Dodgers fan, but for the sake of other other teams and competing players, he never used the collective “We” that so many other famous broadcasters used, like Harry Carey of Chicago or Mel Allen of the Yankees. All teams embraced Vin because they knew he was impartial in his broadcasts.

SHARE ON TWITTER: Are you impartial in the workplace? -@DebbieLaskeyMBA #personalbranding

Vin always welcomed newcomers to the broadcast booth. From Jerry Doggett to Ross Porter to Rick Monday, and many, many more, he shared the booth and the microphone – and the fans knew it.

SHARE ON TWITTER: How do you collaborate with others? -@DebbieLaskeyMBA #personalbranding

From a personal standpoint, my father, who passed away last year, became a Dodgers fan at the age of seven. As a result, he listened to Vin Scully for nearly all of Scully’s years at the microphone and heard many Dodgers highlights from Vin including the 1955 World Series, Sandy Koufax’s perfect game, and the many victories in Los Angeles following the move from Brooklyn. According to my dad, Vin often became the 10th man on the field, because he translated the action for fans who weren’t at the ballpark.

On behalf of my dad, thanks for the memories, Vin!

Check out Vin’s letter to his fans: 

Check out Bill Plaschke’s article in the LA Times, “Vin Scully is a voice for the ages.”

Click to watch Gibson’s 1988 World Series home run and listen to Vin:

Image Credit: Pinterest

Monday, September 19, 2016

Ten Inspirational #Leadership Quotes

Everyone has read a book that inspires, whether it was a book during youth, college, or adulthood. If you’re lucky, you’ve also been inspired by a parent, a mentor, or a boss. But if not, don’t despair. Inspiration is omnipresent if you take the time to look. 

When it comes to leadership inspiration, I have ten favorite quotes. Check them out below, and I guarantee that you’ll be inspired.

Leadership is not a gift, not a position. It doesn’t require you to be the smartest person in the room. It requires you to block and tackle for others. –Mark Herbert (Twitter: @NewParadigmer)

A proven leader knows how to build consensus, the kind of person who makes everybody around him or her better. –President Obama in his introduction of Janet Yellen as the new Federal Reserve Chair in October 2013

Management is about arranging and telling. Leadership is about nurturing and enhancing. –Tom Peters

The pessimist complains about the wind. The optimist expects it to change. The leader adjusts the sails. –John Maxwell

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader. –John Quincy Adams

A community is like a ship, everyone ought to be prepared to take the helm. –Henrik Ibsen in “An Enemy of the People”

Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. –Harold R. McAlindon

Hire people who are better than you are, then leave them to get on with it. Look for people who will aim for the remarkable, who will not settle for the routine. –David Ogilvy

Trust is deepened by supporting the team, sharing credit with them, and even sacrificing for their welfare. –John Baldoni (Twitter: @JohnBaldoni)

I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights. –Maya Angelou

What words of wisdom inspire you about leaders and leadership? I invite you to chime in.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Instagram’s Logo Change – A Look Back

Back in May, you may recall that Instagram changed its logo. With the buzz now history, let's take a look back at how the logo change was viewed by some members of the media as well as the reasons behind the design change.

According to Instagram's blog, "You’ll see an updated icon and app design for Instagram. Inspired by the previous app icon, the new one represents a simpler camera and the rainbow lives on in gradient form. The Instagram community has evolved over the past five years from a place to share filtered photos to so much more — a global community of interests sharing more than 80 million photos and videos every day. Our updated look reflects how vibrant and diverse your storytelling has become. Thank you for giving this community (of 400 million users) its life and color. You make Instagram a place to discover the wonder in the world."

Instagram's logo, a retro-looking camera, was one of the most recognizable logos in the entire tech sector. That logo was replaced by a background swirl of sunset colors (orange, yellow, pink, purple) and a white outline of a camera. According to Hannah Jane Parkinson of the Guardian, "As if the camera was murdered - chalk was drawn around its body. Murdered at sundown."

Ian Spalter, Instagram's head of design, said everything correctly in this statement: “Brands, logos and products develop deep connections and associations with people...and we thought we could make it better."

However, Lauren Keating reported in Tech Times, "Instagram lost its mind when it decided to do away with its iconic logo and replace it with the most colorful and vibrant icon we could imagine. It is almost like the purple/pink-fading-to-yellow icon is a metaphor for the end of an era for the app. Sure, it was supposed to signify the changes and evolution of the popular photo-sharing app, but all it does is remind us that the sun has set on its reign as apps like Snapchat continue to rise in popularity. While some may like the colors instead of thinking they stick out like a sore thumb, you have probably noticed how hard it now is to find Instagram by its icon."

There was a different point of view expressed by Lesya Liu in Entrepreneur, "The most recent update is only skin-deep - it did not affect navigation - so it’s very likely people will get over it in a few days, just like they got over the recent algorithm change. After all, Instagram is a very popular platform these days. For a lot of businesses, this is the way to reach millennial demographics, the generation that currently holds the largest buying power. Overall, there are people who really love it and really hate it, which is understandable when one of the respected apps changes something. Yet, the updates are only cosmetic and do not affect the meaning and the value behind the network."

But isn't that the point of a memorable logo? Don't people gravitate toward a logo due to its design? And don't some designs appeal more than others? Think of Nike - its logo appeals and connects more with athletes and runners than those who needlepoint and knit. Think of BMW - its logo appeals and connects more with race car drivers than swimmers. And think of Apple - its logo appeals and connects with techies more than farmers.

Four months after the logo change, do you like the new logo or do you hate it? More importantly, has it stopped you from using the app to share your fave pics and videos? If you're like me, the answer is a big fat NO.

[Images courtesy of Instagram]