3 Executive Branding Lessons from Dan Kelsall

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As a co-founder of the UK creative house Offended, and author of several books on marketing, Dan Kelsall has become famous across his social media channels due to his unorthodox approach to executive branding. He writes swear words and he posts inappropriate pictures, but he has over 50,000 followers on LinkedIn, and Offended’s clients remain happy. Why is that?

Our social media agency in Bangkok, Thailand highlights several lessons from one of Kelsall’s books, F*cking Good Content, showing why they are useful for not only content creation, but for executive branding as well.

Don’t let fear hold you back

As Dan Kelsall writes in his book, “If you have a brand, how can you possibly be authentic when the people representing you are false, ‘professional’ versions of themselves?”

Chapter 1 of F*cking Good Content explains that there is nothing wrong with positioning yourself differently from other brands in the market. In most cases, it is okay – or better – to stand on the other side of an idea. Being the same as everyone else makes your brand interchangeable from theirs, even as it costs money and time to produce this ordinary content.

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For example, Offended produced an advertisement for Tayroc watches which subverts expectations by avoiding the hard sell. Rather than insist that audiences buy right now, the ad just creates awareness in the minds of potential customers – suggesting that when they are ready and willing to buy, they should consider Tayroc.

Don’t follow the crowd

Besides being boring and unnecessary, the idea of copying everyone else also shows that you lack the confidence to go your own way. In Chapter 8, Kelsall talks about the common approaches that many brands put their faith in to market their content. But the internet thrives on novelty, and a cliched approach will remind audiences of every other brand that had the same marketing strategies in the past. Simply put, bland content will not gain any real return on investment, which is the point of marketing in the first place.

On the other hand, truly understanding your audience opens up other paths forward. “If you can say what they wish they were able to say,” Kelsall writes, “you’ll immediately garner their admiration and respect. And what happens when a customer respects you? They’re much more likely to buy from you.”

Don’t stick to what social media experts did in the past

Good social media marketers adapt to current and future trends, while unsuccessful ones copy what worked in the past. If you look backwards while the world is moving forward, your marketing strategy is unlikely to work.

In the end, executive branding all comes down to being the best version of yourself. Have your own opinions and stand by them. Speak your mind and say the things that most people are thinking of. This way, you’ll gain admiration on social media from the people who agree with you already, and respect from those who don’t.

Need some help getting started with your executive branding? Lexicon’s executive branding service in Bangkok is just what you need. We’ll develop your personal branding strategy, connect you to your perfect target audience and create content designed to position you as a thought leader in your industry.


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