At the Alabama Social Media Association educational meeting on Tuesday, April 24th, Erika Napoletano shared with humor, honesty, and peppery quotes that in branding your company, ultimately it’s not how popular you are, it’s how well you connect with your customers.
She stressed that likeability is a subjective thing, and return customers always prefer a strong brand. Erika admitted that while her fiery style was ‘not for everyone‘, it was also why her loyal audience keeps following her sometimes bawdy, but never boring, RedHeadWriting.com .
Her book, The Power of Un-Popular, includes the ‘how’ of many of the points that she made during the educational meeting, including the widely retweeted quote, “Give away the why, sell them the how!”
A long-time resident of Denver, Erika is originally from Opelika, Alabama. Consequently, she enjoyed connecting with the Southern audience via phrases like, ‘Bless your heart‘, (which can have multiple meanings) and ‘roadkill’ as in, “Don’t build for the middle or you’ll be roadkill“.
And whether you’re an aspiring business of just one person, or part of a major corporation, she stressed, “Think BIG“. Create an infrastructure that includes the following:
- Approachability – which gives your customers ownership in your brand
- Scalability – which is your pricing and production infrastructure and
- Profitability – which includes emotional AND financial profitability
In addition to her own book, she highly recommended the following which provided her with inspiration:
- The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
- The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch
- Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown
A few other highlights included her assertion that being unpopular as a child prepares you for business success because you learn early to ‘figure things out‘ and you don’t ‘follow the crowd‘.
- “Bring it down a notch“ is one of her least favorite phrases.
- “Stay to the right or the left and you won’t get run over.“
- “We are all inherently altruistic and want to share“, so give your audience something to share and let them be invested in your brand.
Thank you Erika, for reminding us that it’s not only cool but might be good for businesses to think outside the box and dare to be unpopular! There are some segments in every audience that will never like your brand, regardless of how much you dilute it for mass appeal. So be genuine, be daring, be honest, and your audience will find you.
Thanks to Vulcan Media and Arik Sokol who donated their media services, as well as our sponsors: Location sponsor is the Hill Event Center at the Alabama Theatre; catering sponsor is Momentum Telecom. Door prizes will be provided by Griffin Technology and MailChimp. Beverage sponsor is Dekalb Office. Please support our sponsors! We couldn’t have these meetings without them.