Blog Archives

How Whitney Wolfe, the Queen Bee of Dating, Fosters Gender Equality

Whitney Wolfe

The daughter of a property manager and a stay-at-home mom, Whitney Wolfe enjoyed a happy, quiet childhood, growing up in Salt Lake City, Utah. When it was time for university, Whitney chose to attend Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas, Texas, where


Friday's Fearless Brand Personal Branding

Fueled by Passion, Driven by Purpose, Ingrid Newkirk Crusades for Animal Rights

Ingrid Newkirk

Ingrid Newkirk - PETA founder

Ingrid spent the early years of her life in Great Britain – specifically, in the Orkney Islands and in Ware, Hertfordshire. When she was seven years of age, her family moved to New Delhi, India. The year was 1956 – eight


Friday's Fearless Brand Personal Branding

Three Keys to Willie Nelson’s Status as American Icon and Fearless Brand

Willie Nelson

Willie Nelson on stage

When looking for the definition of a fearless brand, one need look no further than American icon, Willie Nelson, one of the most recognizable faces, voices, and talents in all of music. There are thousands of performers in the music


Friday's Fearless Brand Personal Branding

Dalai Lama by Birth – Fearless Brand by Action

Dalai Lama

the Dalai Lama

A critical element of a fearless brand is having clarity of purpose. For many, our purpose comes clear later in life – for others, it occurs at a relatively early age. That said, it’s almost inconceivable that someone could know


Friday's Fearless Brand Personal Branding

What Harvard Teaches – About Branding

Harvard University

Harvard University Shield

Having spent the majority of my professional life working in the field of marketing – specifically branding – I can say this without hesitation…the terms “brand” and “branding” are consistently misused, overused or completely misunderstood. This fact is one of


Company Branding Friday's Fearless Brand

Her Fearless Fashion Brought Her Fame – at 85!

Iris Apfel

Iris Apfel Fashion Icon

When Iris was 11 years old, she would explore Manhattan, developing a particular liking for Greenwich Village. In those days – it was 1932 – not only could one travel all around the city for five cents, it was safe


Friday's Fearless Brand Personal Branding

From Broadway to Carpool Karaoke – Corden Drops the Mic

James Corden

James Corden - Late Late Show

The most successful people are the ones who have found their purpose in life. For some, this takes a virtual lifetime. Others discover their purpose very early in life. Such was the case for James. At the age of four, he


Friday's Fearless Brand Personal Branding

Where You Start Does Not Dictate Where You Finish

Ursula Burns

Ursula Burns - Xerox

Born in 1958, Ursula grew up in a housing project at the intersection of Baruch Dr. and Delancey St. on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. She and two siblings were raised by her single mother, a Panamanian immigrant. It was a


Friday's Fearless Brand Personal Branding

‘Nowhere special. That’s somewhere I’ve always wanted to go.’

Mel Brooks

Comedian Mel Brooks

James and Kate Kaminsky – he a German Jew via Poland, she a Russian Jew from modern day Ukraine – had immigrated to Brooklyn, New York. They had four sons. The youngest, Melvin was born on June 28, 1926.  Soon after


Friday's Fearless Brand Personal Branding

Why Not Me? She’s More Special Than Special Needs

Isabella Springmühl

Isabella Springmuhl fashion designer

Guatemala is, in many ways, the hidden gem of Central America – sandwiched between Mexico to the north, Honduras and El Salvador to the south and Belize to the east. The Guatemalan people are friendly and hard-working. The country has a


Friday's Fearless Brand Personal Branding

Designing New Paradigms in Business and in Life

Zaha Hadid

Zaha Hadid architecture

Zaha was born on October 31, 1950 in Baghdad, Iraq. Her family was upper-class and well-educated. Her mother was an artist – her father, a successful industrialist. He was also politically active, co-founding the liberal National Democratic Party. Her family


Friday's Fearless Brand Personal Branding

A Peek Behind the Curtain of One Lucky Bastard

Joe Buck

Joe Buck Sportscaster

Avid baseball fans dream of going to their favorite Major League team’s spring training. Very few of them are born there. That is literally Joe’s story. He was born on April 25, 1969 in St. Petersburg, Florida – the spring training


Friday's Fearless Brand Personal Branding

Building a (Truly) Brilliant Brand – Impacting the World

Larry Brilliant, MD, MPH

Larry Brilliant, MD, MPH

There are some stories which appear to be so outside of the realm of reality that they are assumed to be a Hollywood movie script. Then there are stories that are so incredible that not even the creative minds that


Branding Personal Branding

How One Woman Shattered Paradigms of Gender, Dying and Grieving

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Death was a distinct possibility for Elisabeth from her very first breath. Born in Switzerland in July of 1926, she was the oldest of three sisters. The triplets were born minutes apart from each other and each girl weighed only


Friday's Fearless Brand Personal Branding

Purpose, Leadership and Security – Your Why is Just the Start

Simon Sinek

Simon Sinek Start with Why

It’s hard to tell how one’s childhood experiences will impact their life. By example, some children whose families move a lot during their childhood feel enriched by the experience. Others feel a sense of detachment, of not having roots. Simon


Friday's Fearless Brand Personal Branding

Design an Exceptional Life – Elevate From Success to Significance

Dr. Tom Hill

Dr Tom Hill

Tom was born on his family’s farm about 20 minutes outside of Kirksville, a small town in north central Missouri. It was 1935 – the world was a much simpler time and being raised on a turkey farm was even


Friday's Fearless Brand

Laugh, Think and Cry Every Day — Jim Valvano

Jim 'Jimmy V' Valvano

Jim Valvano

Rocco and Angelina lived in Queens, New York where they raised their three sons, Nick, Jim and Bob. They were a loving Italian family, never hesitant to hug and kiss each other – the words “I love you” flowing freely.


Friday's Fearless Brand Personal Branding

How KISS Rock and Rolled All Night and Built a Brand All Day

KISS

KISS metal

Stanley Bert Eisen was born in upper Manhattan in 1952. Chaim Witz was born in Haiti, Israel in 1949, moved to Queens, New York at age 8. Each had challenges to face as youngsters. Stanley was born with a birth


Company Branding Friday's Fearless Brand

How Jo Malone Has Smelled the Sweet Scent of Success – Twice

Jo Malone

Jo Malone - Jo Loves

Joanne was born in 1963 and grew up in a council house in Kent, England. Her father, Peter, was a painter – her mother, Elaine, was a beautician. As a child, school was difficult for her as she was severely dyslexic.


Friday's Fearless Brand Personal Branding

How Mark LeBlanc Built a Brand to Grow Your Business

Mark LeBlanc

Mark LeBlanc the Small Business Guy

Some boys who are born on St. Patrick’s Day – March 17th – are named Pat. In 1961 – in Minneapolis, Minnesota – a boy born on the ‘grand day’ was named Mark. Insignificant to some – bewildering to others,


Friday's Fearless Brand Personal Branding

How You Too Can Reach the “Summitt” of Branding

Pat Summitt

Pat Summitt Lady Vols coach

She was born in Clarksville, Tennessee, the fourth of five children. She grew up on the family farm with her three older brothers and younger sister. Farm life taught all of the children hard work, commitment and dedication. When their


Friday's Fearless Brand

From Dreamer to Judge – The Evolution of a Brand

Judge Judy

Judge Judy Sheindlin

If there were one word to describe life in the United States after World War II it may be ‘boom’. There was an economic boom, a population boom and a boom in the  television industry. As life returned to normal,


Friday's Fearless Brand

It Takes Years to Be an Overnight Success

Garth Brooks

Garth Brooks World Tour with Trisha Yearwood

It was the second marriage for both of his parents While he was the second son born to the couple (February 7th, 1962). he was the youngest of six children. His mother had three children from her first marriage, his father had one.


Friday's Fearless Brand

How Faith, Hard Work and Love Define a Brand

Tim Tebow

Tim’s penchant for overcoming long odds and finishing strong began at the very start of his life. His mother had been treated for amoebic dysentery, which caused significant complications during her pregnancy – he wasn’t expected to survive to full term.


Friday's Fearless Brand

sweetgreen – It’s All About the Sweet Life and a Sweet Brand

sweetgreen

sweetgreen - bringing healthy to fast food

Georgetown University is located in the heart of the nation’s capital – Washington D.C. It is the oldest Jesuit university in the United States and at its very core is the commitment to challenge students to engage in the world


Friday's Fearless Brand

The Red Sole is Truly Its Soul

Louboutin

Many would view his childhood as anything but normal. Not too many kids get expelled from school three times – before they reach age twelve – and most don’t leave home at the age of 12 1/2. For Christian, however, his youth


Friday's Fearless Brand

He’s Proof That Geeks are Cool

Bill Nye - The Science Guy

Before they had even met – much less conceived him – World War II played a significant role in the lives of  his parents. In July of 1941, Ed Nye, the man who would become his father, left San Francisco


Friday's Fearless Brand

The Ragin’ Cajun – Eccentric and Controversial; Authentic and Effective

James Carville

Carville, Louisiana is located in Iberville Parish just south of Baton Rouge.  The town was given its name in the late 1800’s in honor of its postmaster. It is home to the National Hansen’s Disease Museum – located at the site of a former sugar plantation


Friday's Fearless Brand

One Man’s Dream is Shaping A Country’s Future

Patrick Awuah

He was born in Accra, Ghana in 1965 and raised in that country’s chaos of the sixties and seventies. Ghana was under the rule of a military dictatorship whose policies made life difficult, to say the least. Finding food was a daily challenge


Friday's Fearless Brand

Chuck Norris was a Fearless Brand Before There was Branding

Chuck Norris

By his own account, his childhood was average at best – but more accurately, it was mundane, if not downbeat. The oldest of three boys, he was born in Ryan, Oklahoma on March 12, 1940. His father – a truck


Friday's Fearless Brand

Maverick in Thought – Shark in Business

Mark Cuban

People who have not been to Pittsburgh, PA might imagine it to be  a steel town – dirty with soot-filled skies. The image might be one which includes a town past its prime, comprised of a blue-collar population with a


Friday's Fearless Brand

Harness the Power of Authenticity!

Ellen DeGeneres

Until the age of thirteen she had lived a quiet life with her parents and older brother in Metairie, La. – just outside of New Orleans.  The family – Christian Scientists – attended weekly services together. There, the signs on the wall


Friday's Fearless Brand

No Sweat Fearless Branding

Under Armour

Kevin was one of five brothers living in Kensington, Maryland where his mother was mayor and his father a successful land developer. One of his loves was football, playing for the Maplewood Maple Leafs youth team, Fork Union Military Academy and St.


Friday's Fearless Brand

To Her It’s a Calling – Not a Career

Indra Nooyi

In October of 1955, a banker and his wife welcomed their baby girl into the world in Madras (now Chennai) southern India. At that time it was generally accepted that a girl would follow a certain path to marriage and motherhood. This


Friday's Fearless Brand

Approach Life Like a Billionaire – Even Though You’re Not

Howard Hughes

The entire U.S. oil industry was changed in 1908 when his father patented the two-cone roller bit. Wells could be drilled faster and in more diverse locations. That drill bit also had a significant impact on the family and the


Friday's Fearless Brand

It’s a Cinderella Story!

Bill Murray

He was the middle child – number five out of nine.  As a youth, he enjoyed reading books about heroic figures in American history. Being born and raised in Chicago, there was an endless list of local heroes in the four major professional


Friday's Fearless Brand

How to Brew a Successful Brand

Starbucks

The three had plenty in common beginning with their friendship. Each graduated from the University of San Francisco – one a history teacher, one a writer and one an English teacher. The three – Zev Siegel, Gordon Bowker and Jerry


Friday's Fearless Brand

Building a Brand With PURPOSE

Corey Jahnke

There were some very noteworthy events in 1966 – the U.S. began an aggressive escalation of military in Vietnam while anti-war protests grew exponentially, Indira Ghandi visited the U.S., the Miranda warning became law, Surveyor 1 landed on the moon


Friday's Fearless Brand

It’s Good to Be King – of All Media

Howard Stern

It must have been cool that his father owned a recording studio in New York. It is also quite cool that he knew early in life what he wanted to do in the future. As a young boy he was able to


Friday's Fearless Brand

Branding – With Blood, Sweat & Tears

American Red Cross

From a very early age she had a drive to help others and to be productive. She helped the man hired to repaint the family home. At the age of ten she nursed her brother – who was severely injured


Friday's Fearless Brand

What do Aristotle, Superman and Baryshnikov Have in Common?

Shaquille O'Neal

While still but an infant – his father, who struggled with addiction, ended up going to prison for drug possession. When his biological father was released, he signed parental rights over to the boy’s stepfather – a sergeant in the


Friday's Fearless Brand

A Recipe for Happiness and Success

"Carl Casper" - the Chef

His talent was seemingly unlimited. He had burst on the scene with the promise of being one of the best ever. He had an imagination which paired foods and seasonings never before seen – or tasted.  He had a flair for creating


Friday's Fearless Brand

This is Truly Some Sweet Branding

Ben & Jerry's

They were born in Brooklyn – four days apart. That was March of 1951 but they didn’t know each other until they met twelve years later in seventh grade. They would forge a friendship that would last a lifetime. Fast forward fourteen years.


Friday's Fearless Brand

Is Your Brand Worth Spreading?

TED Talks

In 1949 George Orwell published a book which portrayed a world under the oppressive rule of a privileged party with a tyrannical leader known as “Big Brother”. Individualism and independent thinking were deemed criminal in the name of a ‘greater


Friday's Fearless Brand

Branding? Be All In – All the Time!

Eric Thomas - The Hip Hop Preacher

In the 1970’s Detroit was booming – Motown, Smokey Robinson, the Jackson 5; Ford, GM, Chrysler all robust; Lions, Tigers, Red Wings and Pistons all vibrant sport franchises. Detroit was in a renaissance of sorts.  For one particular youngster life


Friday's Fearless Brand

Never Give Up – No White Flags – Team Gleason

Steve Gleason

The city had been devastated – massive property damage, unthinkable financial losses, tragic loss of life – when Hurricane Katrina came calling in August of 2005 with her 175 MPH winds and following storm surge. Lives turned upside down. Homes and businesses


Friday's Fearless Brand

Building An Emotional Connection ~ at 200 MPH

NASCAR

Their livelihood depended on the ability to outrun and outmaneuver federal tax agents and local law enforcement. Reputations were built on who was the best at doing that. It was the Prohibition years, moonshine was their product and cars were their


Friday's Fearless Brand

An American Success Story or a ‘Classless Thug’?

Richard Sherman

A dream of many an American youth is to play in the Super Bowl. Making that dream bigger is the idea of making the play that gives your team that opportunity. The odds against that dream becoming a reality are


Friday's Fearless Brand

Martin Luther King Jr.

The first time I was directly touched by him was as a youth at a party at a friend’s house. My buddy’s sister-in-law was there and her presence, maturity and beauty easily drew the attention of this teen-aged boy. What


Friday's Fearless Brand

Eulogizing a Brand Whose Time Has Passed ….. Friday’s UN-Fearless Brand

The BCS

One of the greatest college football championship games was played on January 6th, 2014. The undisputed number one ranked Florida State Seminoles faced off with the undisputed number two team – the Auburn Tigers. Played in front of over 90,000


Friday's Fearless Brand

What Is a Fearless Brand?

Five Essential Elements

Helping people to understand  the power of  branding is at the core of my own brand – my value proposition – and I began writing my Friday’s Fearless Brand series to do exactly that.  In my opinion, any effective learning


Friday's Fearless Brand

Daniel Day-Lewis

He was a child vandal and later a thug. He was the white adopted son of Indians. He was wrongfully convicted of an IRA bombing. A gentleman lawyer, he was the heir to a prominent New York City family. He


Friday's Fearless Brand

‘Halloween’

On Halloween night in 1963 a six year old boy killed his sister with a kitchen knife. Fifteen years later that boy escaped from the psychiatric hospital he had been committed to and headed back to his hometown of Haddonfield,


Friday's Fearless Brand

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