How our moms helped shape our personal brands
As Mother’s Day approaches, many thankful and infinitely humbled adult children are preparing to shower Mom with mimosas, flowers, jewelry and more. At WhiteSpace, we’re taking a different approach because, well, taking a different approach is our thing. We’re sending our moms some gratitude via the internet. And, as The New York Times recently pointed out, everyone is a brand, so we’re borrowing some industry language to do it. (Plus… shamelessly plugging our expertise while paying homage to our moms? What hella-impressive, multi-tasking wiz of a mama wouldn’t be proud of that efficiency?) OK, here goes!
When helping clients develop their brand, we try to identify the essential attributes that give a brand its personality. Here's what our staff members owe to their moms:
“My mom taught me how to cook and bake from scratch. Every year we can Italian hot peppers, and we also bake bread together on Good Friday. She showed me how to follow my instincts, tweak a recipe and make it my own. It’s how I really learned to explore my creative nature.” – Greg Kisdadden, executive vice president
“My mom gave me the name Amy Marie Allen so that no one would know what I look like on paper. She never wanted another person’s prejudice to hold me back from opportunities I deserve. She taught me to be driven and also to have a strong sense of justice.” – Amy Allen, junior account manager
Core values represent what a company believes in and serve as its guiding principles. It’s no surprise that we credit our mothers with some of ours:
“When I was growing up, my mom worked two jobs. She did a full day as a secretary and then worked a data entry job in the evenings… and she still managed to cook dinner every night. She instilled a strong work ethic in me, and I value that same focus in other people.” – Eric Jacobs, creative director
“Integrity. My mom drilled it into me and my brother. She always told us how important it is to do the right thing, especially when no one is watching. That’s the true test of character…. She also rewarded our good character with Jurassic Park toys!” – Danial Vereb, graphic designer
Your brand vision is a super-charged aspirational statement that combines what motivates your brand with where you think you're headed. Sounds pretty mom-tastic, right? It sure is:
“My mom is incredibly independent, fearless really. Even now, in her 60s, she would rather go on a cruise alone than sit at home and wait for something exciting to happen. She’s always inspired me to be brave, especially when it means chasing a new adventure by myself.” – Alaina Maloney, account manager
“My mom was in her last year of law school when she found out she was pregnant with me. When I was just a few months old, she passed the bar exam in the top 98 percent. Then, she founded her own law firm and was a lead singer in a band on the weekends. Even now, her passion inspires me as she’s opening her own bakery. My mom showed me that my path was mine to define… and that education and passion go a long way in defining it.” – Elise Gaffney, receptionist
Once we pin down the basics of a brand, we start identifying the key differentiators, so we can work our marketing magic. Here’s what some of our staff consider to be theirs:
“My mother smiles at everyone. She also taught me and my sisters to make guests in our home – whoever they are – feel like royalty. Entertaining and etiquette are both passions of mine, and I have my mom to thank.” – Denise Copen, account manager
I’m actually going to place my own tribute in this category, too. My mom taught me to fall in love with words. When I was very small, she would recite “The Swing” by Robert Louis Stevenson every time she pushed me on a swing. When I was around 5-years-old, we would play Romeo and Juliet. I’d climb to the top of the stairs, and she would feed me the lines from the famous balcony scene, and even as a kid, I loved the way the words felt in my mouth. Thirty-some years later, and I’m a copy director, using words to make my living.
Consistency, consistency, consistency
Anyone who knows anything about branding knows that consistency is key. Define your brand, and then protect the heck out of it. Take a look:
“My mom has a gift for being there for the people she cares about… and even people who just need someone to care. One Christmas, our neighbor’s mom died right before the holidays, so for the 12 days leading up to Christmas, my mom placed a small gift on her front porch, rang the doorbell and ran. My mom just wanted to put a smile on her face for Christmas. She was always there for me, too. She worked 40+ hours a week, but she was at every dance recital, softball game and band concert to support her little girl.” – Tiffany Bohn, graphic designer
Jeez… is it getting dusty in here? I have to go… uh, take my allergy medicine. My eyes are watering. I also need to say it one more time: thanks, awesome moms everywhere! Bottoms up on all those mimosas you have coming your way.
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