Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Building a Personal Brand: The Gracious Girl Worksheet

By Mindy Lockard
Etiquette Consultant

We are honored to have you here on the Crane Insider for day two of our personal branding series.  Let’s get down to business! Today we are taking you to the University of Oregon where I worked with 80 women from the Tri Delta Sorority. Armed with my hot little gracious living branding iron—okay, more of a worksheet—I helped them understand the power of a personal brand and how to create one for their individual lives.

Starting with our Gracious Girl Personal Brand worksheet, each member creates her own Gracious Girl; a Gracious Girl that represents the brand they want to communicate…

Incorporating internal characteristics by drawing it on her exterior self. Well not really drawing on herself… here, I’ll show you mine. I’ve been told she looks like a grandma…

I’m totally confident in the fact that I’m a seasoned lady at heart!

What was so fun about this process is that the women were able to connect not only with the Gracious Girl on their inside, but how they want to show her on the outside. Just as we can see the Nike Swoosh and know it represents physical activity and fitness, our own brand communicates what we're all about to those we encounter in our lives. This exercise helped the women think through what they want their personal brand to be. To get them started, I had them write down five things that they want to be known for…

just to name a few…
Girlfriend, not a one night stand
Socially Responsible

Staying true to our personal brand can be uncomfortable, even hard at times—just ask the cows from yesterday—but it keeps us from wandering away or even getting lost in the social shuffle. With so many social functions and professional opportunities, college life is the perfect time for these women to practice living their brand. With a little self control (this is where it can feel uncomfortable at times) and etiquette, these women will live out a true and powerful personal brand that will help them reach their dreams.

Just because you may be out of college and not a 20-something, doesn’t mean you’re off the hook This little exercise is great for people of all ages. So if asked, “what is your personal brand?”  What qualities do you want to be known for?  Please, do tell…

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Personal Brand: Conform or Stand Out?

By Mindy Lockard
Etiquette Consultant

Sometimes, manners get us so hung up on “the fork” that we lose sight of the big picture. A picture of our total personal brand.  A picture that I have been working very hard to make clear to my 20-somethings clients.

What’s a personal brand? A personal brand is what we are known for, the way others see us. Very similar to the brands big companies are known for such as this…

or this…

or even this…

A personal brand is what we are all about.  Just as when we see the Nike Swoosh we can count on it to be related to fitness or athletics, the brand we build is directly related to the behavior others come to know and count on from us. Are we organized, are we frazzled, are we mindful with our communication, or are we the girl who passes out in the corner at every party? 

Before we tackle how to create a personal brand, let’s get down and dirty - something I only do when invited to a cattle ranch owned by our closest friends. So, saddle-up partner we’re going for a ride…



way out west, for a little lesson from those who live and breathe branding.

Branding is a traditional means of keeping track of cattle on and off the ranch. It helps ranchers identify their cattle among the herds when they are foraging on communal property or…

to know which neighbor to call - sometimes many miles away - when a few ladies show up unannounced.

Quite simply, the branding process is a physical identification that keeps the cattle organized, thus allowing the ranch manager to do his or her job well.

Branding is also the oldest method of cattle identification. A method of taking a hot iron and creating a mark on each cow’s behind. Does it hurt? Just a pinch a ranch manager will tell you. After calves are branded they return to their mother with little to no sign of pain.

The brand on cattle helps them conform to the herd. But our personal brand helps us get to where we want to be in life - to be remembered, to be respected, to stand out from the herd. The way we dress, the way we communicate, the words we speak, and the thank-you notes we write all communicate our personal brand. Sometimes we feel the pinch of the personal brand…especially when situations arise that don’t best suit us and require a little (or a lot) of self-control. Does the pinch hurt? A little, but it is well worth it. After all, it takes hard work and sometimes some hard lessons to create the person you want to be.

Can I get an Amen?

Which leads me to ask… Do you have a personal brand?  Join me tomorrow as I take my gracious living branding iron on the road and help 80 women from the Tri Delta Sorority to help them develop their own personal brand. I promise it won't hurt a bit.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Testament to the Power of the Thank You Note

I wish I had a buck for every time I've written and spoken about the power of the thank you note. I'd be long retired. So rather than write another piece about one of the foundations of civil society, I'll give you a link to an article in today's Washington Post.

This from the owner of a very successful stationery business.

Whether you own a business or not, don't take my word for it, but take note.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Christine Ferrante's Fine-Line Engraved Detail

A little while ago, I shared some tiny details in Peggy Wong's letterpress stationery for Crane's STUDIO collection. Today, we'll focus (literally) on engraving and fine-line detail as expressed in Christine Ferrante's heavyweight folded notes.

And my personal favorite:

Friday, June 11, 2010

Happy Weekend Everyone

365 Weddings: Fluorescent White Embassy Folder

No 19

Design Details: Fluorescent White Lettra Pocket Folder, blind-embossed and letterpressed with Amethyst ink. Typestyles are Colonial Script and Cromwell.

Inside: Fluorescent White Lettra Reception Card and return envelope, letterpressed with Amethyst ink. Typestyles are Colonial Script and Cromwell. Fluorescent White Lettra Embassy Invitation Card, letterpressed with Amethyst ink. Typestyles are Colonial Script and Cromwell. Floral motif MOT894A

Peggy Wong's Delightful Details

I had seen mock-ups and low-resolution images of the letterpress notes Peggy Wong was designing for Crane's STUDIO collection. But it wasn't until the National Stationery Show that I was able to fully appreciate the delightful little details that command you to touch and look closely. The photos that follow have been shot in close-up mode, so you can appreciate the details in teeny tiny type.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

365 Weddings: Ecru Letterpress With Couple's Duogram

For those of you unfamiliar with the 365 Weddings project, I've been regularly posting photographs of some of my favorite Crane wedding papers with the ultimate goal of 365 - hence the name. With today's entry, I'm up to 18.

Here are the design details: Crane's Embassy Invitation (5 1/2 by 7 1/2), letterpressed on ecru heavyweight Lettra paper (LWC9326). Fonts are Coronet and Citadel Script with black ink. The duogram is Crane style LWM439AC.

For a Crane retailer nearest you, click here. Or you may purchase online here.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Semi-Annual Clearance Sale Announced

Crane's Semi-Annual Clearance Sale is under way. You can save up to 60% on stationery, gifts, accessories and more. Quantities are limited, so dive in! Here are a few that I'm going to snag:

Monday, June 7, 2010

Studies Say Technology Basically Frying Our Brains

There is a major piece in today's New York Times detailing scientific studies that say our love affair with instant information technology is befuddling our brains, resulting is a wide range of mental afflictions.

Here's a link to the article. The story can be deeply disturbing for many reasons, not the least of which is the realization that this may mean you, a family member or a close friend. I'm betting we all know someone impacted by this flood of information that has outpaced the ability of our brain to process.

As sidebars, there are opportunities to test your own ability to focus. I did really well on one; the other? Not so much.

Time to sit down and write a couple of letters.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Stationery to Celebrate Preppy Handbook Sequel

Muffy and Biff are dancing for joy with the news that there will be a sequel to The Official Preppy Handbook.

True Prep is scheduled to be published in September, just as the nation's prepsters head back to school.

So, aside from a turned-up collar and penny loafers (no socks!) what would the well-turned-out preppy covet most? Here are some thoughts:

And for the ladies:

Go here to find a retailer nearest you.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Merchandising Windows at the National Stationery Show

The walk around the Crane booth at the National Stationery Show has become known as the Fifth Avenue of Stationery. Every few feet, decorative windows show off all that's new at Crane and how these new papers can be merchandised in stores around the country. Here are some of this year's windows. The displays are behind glass, so the photography doesn't do them full justice.