BIZSMART | In the name of branding
Take a minute to think about it: do you feel like your age has an impact at work? I mean, does it influence the type of projects you’re given, the training you’re offered and the promotions you get? Well, I’ve heard stories of people over 50 who feel that they’re pushed out. The issue is how to make a change if you choose to stay in your current position and where to start if you decide to work for yourself.
I approached global brand strategist & storyteller Mary van de Wiel to hear her thoughts. She is the founder & creative captain of Zing Your Brand & Co. She has over 30 years’ experience working with leading brands around the world including Conde Nast Magazines, American Airlines, Sony, Sydney Opera House and News Corporation to name a few. Did I mention she is super cool and over 50?! Let’s start…
In today’s working market many people over 50 feel that they are pushed aside, being unvalued and at times even ignored. What branding tips would you give someone in this scenario who wishes to stand out and get the same attention and opportunities as the younger staff?
There’s a new paradigm shift that’s happening out there in the marketplace: I call it 21C Business Unusual. Nothing stays the same, after all. What’s more, it’s not enough to be brilliant — people must know and remember that you are… so a good place to start thinking about how to stand out is to reframe your thinking. Seriously. If you want to show up and land a spot on this 21C New Brand Landscape, a few clues here:
start embracing who you are, what you do, why you do it, why it matters — and then acknowledge the enormous value you bring to the table.
Know that you won’t be pushed aside by anyone… unless you allow that to happen.
You choose whether or not you’re going to be ignored! How to do that? Reframe your thinking. Embrace and value your true gifts and talents. (Believe me, they’re probably right there in front of your nose!) Put a twinkle in your eye and a spring in your step. (How easy is it to ignore someone like that!)
If you had to come up with an advertising campaign for hiring more baby boomers, what would it look like?
I’d want the campaign to reflect the kind of energy and value that baby boomers can bring to an organisation. Because the one thing that strikes me when I meet remarkable baby boomers is their zest for life: it’s like a caffeine jolt! They are brimming with enthusiasm, vim and gusto. They are in pursuit of a life that challenges and rewards them. Getting out of their comfort zone is no problem. You can feel their lust for life and living. Of course, there are also the baby boomers who have a Quieter Power. That’s also hugely compelling and sexy. So it would certainly ‘behoove’ companies to hire these baby boomers who clearly live out loud…
Would you recommend someone over 50 to start a new business?
Absolutely! If you’re passionate about what you do, just make sure you allow others to pick up on that passion — big time. Here’s a formula that comes from Thomas Friedman, one of my favorite NY Times columnists. PQ + CQ + W2L > IQ. Friedman writes ‘average is over.’ Everyone now demands ‘special.’ So if you have a high passion quotient (PQ) and a high curiosity quotient (CQ) and the willingness to learn (W2L)… those are all more important than just your IQ. So if you have all of those, you’re set to go. PS Check out my new free video training on zingyourbrand.com called Start-Up Branding: 5 Questions You Should Ask Yourself. It’ll make a difference.
Could you recommend some branding resources?
You bet. Some books that could be useful: Start with Why, Simon Sinek; Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profit, Passion and Purpose, Tony Hsieh; Firms of Endearment: How World-Class Companies Profit from Passion and Purpose, R. Sisodia, David Wolfe and Jagdish Sheth; One book that inspired me and changed my life! – A Whole New Mind: Why Right Brainers Will Rule the World, Dan Pink; Emotional Branding: The New Paradigm for Connecting Brands to People, Marc Gobe; Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds and Actions, Guy Kawasaki. Websites I love: amyporterfield.com (social media), shaebaxter.com (SEO), getstoried.com (story telling), zingyourbrand.com (on branding) and taragentile.com (business building).