Why ‘white label’ works for me

white label-3150732__340In a busy (noisy!) market-place, the absence of people vying for centre-stage is appealing. It may seem strange, given that the Chameleon (and me) is all about growing colours (aka being who you are) BUT as enablers, we do not need to be the ones ‘on show’.

Providing ‘white label’ services is actually the epitome of the chameleonic paradigm – the chameleon reflects colours, it does not impose them.

At consultachameleon, we can work behind the scenes to help you to develop YOUR content, YOUR materials, YOUR programmes and we promise to leave our brand out of it.

Of course, high quality speaks for itself and most of us are happy to recommend a great service, so if you believe that ‘sharing is caring’, we always appreciate new connections.

In fact, that’s how we prefer to ‘do’ business, afterall nothing articulates a job well done, than good old word of mouth. Check out our testimonials here.

Take a browse of the many (many) services we offer – white label or otherwise.  There’s sure to be something of interest for entrepreneurs and socially focused businesses.

 

Advertisements

The potential ‘danger zone’ of building your brand around your story

imageStories. Stories. Everywhere.  I enjoy a good story and have to admit that reading and hearing about someone’s rise from a rocky road to smoothdom is somewhat inspiring.  Yes indeed…it can make one feel as though anything could actually be possible, in spite of the challenges that life can throw our way.  So…I get it.  I get that use of story is a valuable tool for inspiring and motivating others.  I can see the benefit of sharing and also the implicit authenticity that accompanies this approach.

There seems to have been an increase in people stepping forward and claiming themselves via story sharing….to the extent that it is becoming an expected norm in certain arenas.  Have you noticed it?  I’ve noticed that this increase seems to have coincided with the rise of a particular entrepreneurial activity, where the individual is the brand….creating enterprise by working with ‘what’s in their hands’.  Now…I’m a fan of this ‘working with what’s in one’s hands’….honouring our bestowed gifts and living through our purpose.  Hallelujah.  I do believe that there is a caveat to building a brand around ourselves though….especially where our story is placed explicitly at the centre of this.

I’ve heard enough inspirational and motivational speakers share their story to know that one such downside is when even they appear fed up of sharing.  If I take this into my therapeutic knowledge for a minute, I would add that when we are ‘in’ our healing process, we need to tell our story….we feel compelled to.  Then there is a transitional period, where we don’t actually need to tell it…but feel that we need to tell it, just to ensure that people understand where we are ‘coming from’.  After that, we can feel that our story is holding us back…a bit like a mill stone….hence the undertone of ‘fedupness’ I referred to earlier.  I also believe that to an extent, the more we tell our experiences of tribulation and pain, it retains a level of ‘life’ within us and this is not always healthy or productive.  Let me be clear.  I am not saying that this is the case for all people who use their story to inspire and motivate others…but I do think it happens.  And I think it happens more often than people care to (or dare to) admit.

The potential ‘danger zone’ is when a person’s brand and their associated professional identity (and income) is built upon the foundation that their story provides.  Our relationship with our story…our experiences…our past, can change over time.  Hence, the brand that has been created needs to be able to grow and change too.  It needs to be able to release itself from it’s heritage if it chooses to….and not be trapped by it’s past life (or lives).  Please excuse me for referring to a brand as though it is alive, it’s just that at some point, a brand does develop an identity and this is alive and three dimensional in the minds and sometimes the hearts of it’s supporters, comissioners, competitors and purchasers.  More so, when the brand is a reflection of an individual.

No matter the message, when a person uses their story to reinforce their brand, they are igniting their past and catapulting it into their present.  Significantly in relation to this post, the past is offered a fast pass into the future….and in the future, our past may not be welcome (but we won’t necessarily know this yet). I am not advocating that we forget our roots, how far we’ve travelled and so on…these are merely musings.  One thing I recognised as important when I worked in a therapeutic community, was  in ‘showing that you know’.  It seemed to be helpful to those who needed to know that you knew, without you sharing the experiences that led to that knowledge.  It was a delicate and I now realise, highly skilled balance to maintain.  I am currently still in favour of ‘showing’ rather than ‘sharing’….although of course, this may change.  Watch this space……

Why I struggle with target markets……

…….I really do.  In spite of having secured a BA (hons) in Advertising, Media and Marketing and a complete understanding of the importance of target markets, I struggle.  In fact the basis of consultachameleon is of being non-specific, non-targeted.   Certainly in the field I am interested in, that of personal and professional development, the concepts I promote apply to everyone.  Everyone.  Now that’s a somewhat broad and pretty ill-defined sector.

image

I suppose I should say at this point, that if you want to make money…quickly….you do need to define your target market.  You do need to identify the problem that your market is facing and be their solution.  You do need to speak their language and speak it in the places that they frequent. You do.  Being specific with your target market and being clear about who your core product is tailored towards is absolutely key….and is probably inextricably linked to one’s professional goal focus.  Perhaps this is the reason for my not-having-traveled-as-far-as-I-should-have reputation, which I attribute to the scenic route I’ve chosen, see that other blog post here: https://consultachameleon.com/2015/03/20/five-ways-to-value-the-scenic-route/

I can sense that this post may appear contradictory….after all, as someone who helps people to develop their brand, to be goal focused and to be clear about who they want to be of service to ……. what am I playing at, bemoaning target markets?

However it may appear to the reader, I cannot lie.  I struggle with it.  As a creative, free flowing type of being, I simply cannot let go of my belief that there are some common core elements to working with people that mean that although one size doesn’t fit all, much of what I do is transferable to many.  In fact, there are some key ingredients that go into everything….a bit like flour in cakes…. and because of this, my investment is in staying true to the chameleon brand….and it’s ability to shift and blend according to need, keeping a level of consistency in each colour.  As with most things….and especially in the world of the chameleon, this is all open to change and transience is unavoidable, so watch this space….will I fall for the calling of a target market or two?  🙂

Like keeping your balance on a floating raft

imageToday’s climate is turbulent to say the least.  It is ever changing, fast moving and unpredictable, with the underscore of seeming never ending layers of bureaucracy and dwindling sources of funding.  In my doctoral research, I explored what it is that enables people and organisations to not only survive but to thrive in such uncertain situations. What is it that contributes to the resilience that provides the stability to counteract what can feel like what one of my research collaborators referred to as ‘keeping your balance on a floating raft’.

The main and consistent feature was, perhaps unsurprisingly, flexibility and responsivity.  Interesting.  In changing and challenging times, it can be difficult to simply ‘change gear’, especially when reliant upon commissioning others to help you to reach your business goals.  Often, at the point of commissioning services we can have an agenda in mind and feel clear about what and where to invest time and money.  However, the process needs to be exploratory….it needs to be reflective, enabling a change of direction and detours as necessary to respond to the unfolding dynamics and narrative twists.

Consultachameleon is a one-stop-shop for people who seek the responsivity that is necessary in the current changeable climate. It’s a flexible resource that enables the resilience to ride the waves and survive the storm and even to maximise the energy of the undercurrent.  So, if you commission Consultachameleon to write a funding bid and it is found that in order to achieve success, your policies need updating, or you need a staff handbook, or a statement of purpose, Consultachameleon can take care of that.  Saving time, saving money and surely saving additional headache.  Consultachameleon can help you to keep your balance.

A chameleonic brand that rises to the challenge of an ever changing landscape

imageAs it’s a full moon and I’m feeling particularly creative, I decided to take a look at my brand…what it is…what I do…who for…and who with…perhaps even, who to! Chameleonism has it’s challengers…being defined as a form of mimicry….as unanchored and perhaps as nondescript. Yet for me, it has felt for a number of years like it is the ‘only’ way….the only way to fully acknowledge and value wholeness and gives permission for contradiction sometimes. The concept grew from my doctoral studies and from the outset proved problematic for some to accept…those who favour clear lines and boundaried working to a rigid professional identity – especially those who have fought hard for said identity. I understand. I understand that it is a challenge to feel that the identity that one has nurtured through tough courses of study and professional experience, can be dismissed or discounted in some way by the notion of being what I have referred to in a previous article as being ‘professionally nude’. Further, if we are metaphorically nude, how can we therefore be identified, recognised, related to….respected! For me, it’s old news. Being of mixed race parentage and growing up being asked ‘how I see myself’ has led to a comfortability in not being one thing or another. As an approach to business and personal relationships, I embraced chameleonism as an accepting, flexible and resilient way to ‘be’ and to ‘be available’ to others. How about you?