Dawn Stanyon

/Dawn Stanyon

About Dawn Stanyon

Careers in fundraising, sales, professional image, and personal branding have situated me to help individuals and small businesses to understand their brand, tell their stories, and grow their success.

When discord happens, people question brands

Have you been following the detritus in the wake of Dan Lyons’ book, Disrupted: My Misandventure in the Start-Up Bubble? Lyons, an established journalist and author, worked at Hubspot, a digital marketing software company headquartered in Boston, for a couple years; and then he wrote a book about it. Dharmesh Shah, Hubspot’s founder, responded to content in the book yesterday on LinkedIn.

I’m not taking sides here. What I’m interested in is how a dynamic brand can stumble. Hubspot just got a dose of self-awareness in front of a world-wide audience. Nope, they aren’t as transparent as they positioned. Nope, they aren’t one big happy family. There are problems in paradise.

Hubspot has consistently and confidently showcased its expertise, exuberance and team spirit up to this point. I’ve used the product and read plenty of their content: I like what they do and how they do it. Be that as it may, not everyone does or will. Mr. Shah writes that they are aware of their issues and are working on them. Well, they’re certainly aware now — and in front of a large audience.

How the company represents itself and how it’s currently being showcased do not mesh. That’s brand discord. When discord happens, people question brands. Disrupted is one person’s perspective; however, now that it’s out there, it can’t be ignored. Seeds of doubt have been sown in even the biggest fans’ minds.

The simple formula for brand success: Authenticity + Awareness = Strong Brand. Hubspot has the opportunity now to morph their PR version of authenticity into self-aware authenticity. The result will be a stronger brand.

One in 68 children is diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder....

One in 68 children is diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. These children grow to be adults who want to be part of their communities – to work, to contribute their gifts. Today is World Autism Awareness Day: share this post; read up on Autism; wear blue; donate; volunteer.

I’m joyously volunteering to get the word out about Autism, and Extra Special Teas – a tea house in Great Barrington, MA that employs adults with ASD. Today is Extra Special Teas’ grand opening. If you live in the Berkshires, join us at 2 Elm Street, Great Barrington, MA anytime between 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm.


Source:: Professionality Consulting

Ten tips to create a superstar brand

I’m looking out onto my snow-dusted lawn. It’s the day after the spring equinox and I’d just like to say: Spring! You are not meeting your brand promise. Snow? Really? This is not working for me.

Individuals and companies (and seasons – really, all things) have brands. A brand is simply what people say about us. And sometimes what they say, and how they react to us, doesn’t mesh with what we thought we were projecting. Ugh, I know. What to do?

I created this list a couple years ago for an interview. I was addressing personal branding — the process that a professional can embark on to build a more self-aware and honest projection of self. Each of these 10 tips can also be used by small businesses to match appearance in digital and traditional marketing, etc. to performance.

Over the course of several weeks, I will blog about several of these steps, and I will translate each tip from the personal process to small business focus. Read through and let me know if there’s a certain area you’d really like for me to zone in on.

Ooooh, the snow is melting! Spring – I take back all the bad things I said about you.

Top 10 Tips to Build Your Brand

  1. Be Aware! Everyone has a personal brand: It’s what people say when you walk out of the room. Whether you care or not is up to you.
  2. Understand your greatest strengths.
  3. Understand your personality type.
  4. Name your top 3 attributes  – these are your brand’s foundation and filter.
  5. Make sure your exterior reflects your internal strengths.
  6. Understand your communication style and develop voice, tone, pitch; vocabulary; body language; presentation skills.
  7. Make sure your social media/digital marketing reflects your personal brand. Choose 2 – 5 social media sites to focus on – you don’t need to do everything.
  8. Keep it real: If you’re trying to project strengths that truly aren’t yours, people will see through the veneer.
  9. Invest in building relationships through personal interactions and networking. Follow up and offer to help others.
  10. Work with a mentor.

Professional dress & perception

We humans defer to individuals who we perceive as dominant and powerful. The results of a 2014 study by Michael Kraus, a Yale School of Management professor, indicate that when you dress for success you are seen as more powerful – and you feel more powerful.

In the study, the men in suits averaged about 10 percent more profit in mock real-estate negotiations than men who were dressed very casually (sweats and flip-flops, to be precise). These guys compromised less because they felt strong suited up. (This particular study included men and not women. I’m assuming the results would be similar if women participated but I could be very wrong.) It was noted that if a suit was worn every day, the powerful feeling would diminish.

Should we all wear suits? Absolutely not. But it is worth considering.

Whether you work in an old-school business formal workplace, and only about 10% of us do (here’s a Gallup poll on workplace dress styles back in 2007), or a very casual-dress workplace, if you can project your strengths confidently and consistently, you will be seen as more authoritative and credible. Ultimately, you should consider your brand: how do you see yourself and how do you want others to see you? If you want to be seen as a leader, determined, powerful, donning a suit at certain times might work for you.

What we wear is often seen as superficial yet these pieces of cloth that we put on our bodies convey so much about how we see ourselves and about how we want others to see us.

What do you think? Do you believe it doesn’t matter how you dress at work?

Source:: Professionality Consulting

Instagram change: Curated instead of Chrono

Why? Why do the social media giants keep messing with our dashboards? The change from posts appearing in reverse chronological order to curated order happened first with Facebook, then Twitter, now Instagram (owned by Facebook).

As a branding professional, I spend more than my fair share of time on social media sites. And I completely understand corporate reasons for curating user feeds: 1) To zone in on consumer interests to make sites more marketable for corporations; 2) To make the experience better for the users. My gut tells me that reason one greatly outweighs reason two (tell me if you think I’m wrong).

Hey, I’m a big girl. Social media sites are, in theory, money-making corporations who have their own missions and pressures. I understand why they are making this change to curated over reverse chronological. I just prefer to have the power to see what I want to see and curate my dashboard feed myself.

Do you have a work bestie?

I do believe that 89% of my best friends have come from places I have worked (I haven’t done an actual statistical analysis…).

I worked as a temp at a desk-top publishing business in the very early ‘90s for a hot minute – one of my very best friends is from that experience. I worked in development and communications for 13 years at an amazing Visiting Nurse Association – several of my great friends are from there including my friend from the temp job who I managed to bring in to cover my job during a maternity leave (she never left! Hi Susan!). I worked at The Emily Post Institute – add another best friend.

According to a Ross School of Business study, only about 30% of Americans had a work bestie in 2004 compared to 50% in 1985. I can only assume that the statistic has dwindled in the past 10 years. And I don’t even know if these office friends were personal life friends.

I’m curious: Do you have co-workers who have become life-long friends? Have you experienced a down-side to the work/personal life crossover? Are women more likely to embark on the work/personal friendship path?

Source:: Professionality Consulting