While everyone else is going coocoo for cocoa puffs over Lupita’s Nyong’o
drool worthy sense of style, yours truly is delving into the personal brand of the woman whose quickly taking center stage in Hollywood and beyond.
Truth be told, there are people who simply entertain us, then there are those that inspire us. Lupita is very successful at both. She’s formed deep connections with her audience, made people feel like they’re a part of a community and eventually empowered many to take action. The perfect ingredients for creating conversations about your brand.
I watched Lupita’s performance in 12 years a slave, in tears. While viewing her past independent film project “In My Genes” about Albinism, I felt her passion. And, during her Oscars acceptance speech about beauty, I became empowered to take action against colorism.
What’s also fascinating about Lupita’s brand is how her influence has transcended cultures. From sharing her story around colorism to film to the runway, the world’s latest “IT girl” has nailed it at making an impact on everyone from Americans, Africans, Mexicans and Europeans.
But despite watching 2-hour movie premiers or 1 minute red carpet moments, branding is a process that takes time. The need to create a personal brand has become incredibly important for everyone. Whether you’re an actress, employee, fortune 500 company or entrepreneur, build an amazing brand experience and the success will come.
It doesn’t matter what your level of experience is, if you want to be successful at anything you must set yourself apart. Because let’s face it, as human beings we can be finicky. In my Heidi Klum (Project Runway reality tv show) voice “One day You’re In and The Next Day Your Out.”
There’s nothing simple about building a brand. So, using Lupita Nyong’s as our branding muse here are some tips we can use to deliver an outstanding brand experience:
1. Link a social cause to your personal brand strategy: Connecting with a local, global or personal social cause is a powerful way to pull people into who you are. How can you focus on those around you and their needs? What are your core values? Link them to what you do and how you do it, then package it as a part of your story.
From talking about her complexion as an obstacle from childhood to adult hood, Lupita has created a community about “Embracing your beauty. “Her inspiring stories has even empowered people to take action and start petitions like, #LupitaforMac. Use words and graphics to help the audience connect the dots between who you are and what you do.
2. Create a signature style or look – I don’t know about you, but regardless of the event Lupita attends, I expect to see her in eye-catching prints and bold color. Her color choices not only breathe life into her humble but regal presence, it captures the attention of the audience.
Take note, wear bold accessories or a pop of color to an event to stand out from the crowd.
3. Make an emotional connection with your audience – Lupita reminds us all that we live in a world that has traditionally associated beauty with whiteness. So how could a dark-skinned black woman become the world’s latest glamour girl? Let’s go back to Lupita’s Oscar acceptance speech? Here’s an excerpt:
“I hope that my presence on your screens and in the magazines may lead you, young girl, on a similar journey. That you will feel the validation of your external beauty …”
Use words that create vivid imagery to tell powerful stories. An effective personal brand strategy uses an authentic voice to tell stories and establish meaningful relationships with people. Remember your brand goes beyond your logo, sense of style or one-time event.
In the words of Lupita “You can’t rely on how you look to sustain you.” Your personal brand starts within. It’s the feeling people have long after you have left the room.
With a consistent mix of online and off-line activities, you too can make a huge impact on those around you. Have you followed Lupita’s success? What are your thoughts on how her personal brand has evolved?