What Is…A Brand? Panel Discussion and Networking Event

Balancing business and creativity can be hard. For aspiring entrepreneurs, establishing the right team and articulating your message may be your biggest obstacle. So, how do you successfully brand yourself and build a following?

AimerAmour Magazine in collaboration with United We Function recently produced an exclusive networking event at SkeeTV in Hollywood. The “What Is…A Brand?” panel and master class featured several of the most well respected and esteemed marketing professionals and entrepreneurs in the entertainment industry. Beverages were provided by Red Bull and Health-Ade Kombucha Tea.

Panelists included Thuy-Anh Nguyen, Marketing Manager for Moet Hennessy; Josh Ahdoot, Founder of the dating app SoulSwipe ; Besidone, Marketing Director for REVOLT; grassroots marketing guruJose A. Gongora, Founder of the Forty Ounce Gold Creative Group; self-made celebrity DJ, Adriana Carrillo-Hsu and Nicholas You, Director, Business & Legal Affairs for the clothing brand Attic2Zoo.

“What Is…A Brand?” was the third installment in the “What Is…?” series created by AimerAmour Magazine Founder/Editor-In-Chief, Zon D’Amour. Previous events include: “What Is…An Editor?” and “What Is…A Producer?” In less than a year, D’Amour with the help of her best friend and event producer, Waverly Coleman have established a successful educational and informational series in Los Angeles, which has helped countless young professionals get clarity on ambiguous industry titles. Within the master classes attendees learned how to strategically enhance their personal and professional presence as well as how to align themselves with the right companies and opportunities.

Here are some of the quotable branding and marketing tips from the experts themselves:

Besidone: Marketing Director, REVOLT

“A successful brand has made sure, people are connected to whatever they’re selling. It’s more than just a logo, if people feel some type of emotion or connection to your product, you’ve created a successful brand. It has to be more than just a poster or a tagline it has to contain some type of feeling…” 

“What are you doing in your spare time?

If you want to get into marketing or transition into any field and you aren’t working on your hustle in your free time, then you aren’t working towards your goals. What websites are you reading? Are you immersing yourself in news about your industry? Read, research and always be knowledgeable…”

 “Make your work your lifestyle… 

And by that, she doesn’t mean ‘fake it ‘til you make it.’ You have to be the go to person in your area of expertise. Branding is about consumers knowing exactly what you’ll deliver and what keeps people interested is how you rework and execute your delivery.

Nicholas You, Director, Business & Legal Affairs Attic2Zoo

“Do your research. Know the basics when it comes to trademarks, LLCs, and LPs…” 

Trade marking is a must if you want to protect your assets and keep control of your business. It’s not uncommon for your creative integrity to be called into question and the end result could be detrimental. While creating a brand and strategy may be at the forefront of your list of things to do, make sure you’re covered on the backend—meaning your paperwork is in order and your attorney is on speed dial if ever you should need their services. It could save you lots of dollars in the long run.

Adriana Carrillo-Hsu, Celebrity DJ

“We don’t have to be competing with each other….

There’s no shortage of work or money if you’re talented, you’ve practiced your craft constantly, invested all of your passion and energy into what you do, everyone is going to rise up. Always educate your mind as often as possible and stay in your lane. If you’re not ready to do something, it’s okay to pass up on an opportunity so you can observe what that client wants from you. I don’t go into things blind. If someone wants me to work with them, I want them to get everything their expecting and more. Know your worth, know how to value yourself and never discredit yourself in any way…”

Josh Ahdoot, Founder, SoulSwipe

“Companies want you to pitch the future…” 

Lead with how your company will grow, develop and succeed in the near future and how important it is for that investor to be apart of the journey. Investors are also interested in a well rounded team. The founder/CEO shouldn’t be the only star in your business. Create a company with people that excel in different areas from marketing to advertising, publicity, digital, etc. As you sell your vision and urge people to invest in you, they want to see that you already have a loyal and capable team.

“Know your competition, know the direction they’re heading in so you’re always a step ahead. Create a strategy to succeed… 

If you’re looking for investors to join your mission, make sure your presentation is on point, you’re knowledgeable of your industry and you’re constantly networking because you never know who you might meet that would want to invest in your dream.”

Thuy-Anh J. Nguyen, Marketing Manager Moet Hennessy

“Align yourself with companies who represent what you stand for… 

Understand your craft and be able to articulate it, you don’t have to box yourself into one particular title but be able to define what you bring to the table. How people receive it will put you in a position that leverages your skills. One of the challenges of doing multiple things and having multiple titles, people may not take you as seriously…”

Professionalism is everything. There’s a time and place to request sponsorships and partnerships. Just because you drink liquor and you’re having an event, doesn’t necessarily mean you’re aligned with the Moet/Hennessy brand. People can sense inauthenticity and situations that seem forced. Focus on building relationships and have a clear understanding of what you bring to the table.

Jose A. Gongora, Founder, Forty Ounce Gold Creative Group

“Everything has got to be an experience…” 

People are more willing to invest in something they feel connected to. Any successful lifestyle brand will testify that customer loyalty can be attributed to the fact that what they stand for resonates with a community of people.

“A tip for successful marketing whether it’s an artist or an event is to create a balance of analog with digital…

Don’t just rely on the internet and a few characters from a tweet. Don’t forget that there are still people out on the street that you need to meet and make a face to face connection with to gain their support. Figure out how to connect with your consumer or other brands in person which will leave a bigger impact than simply an online write-up which can be quickly overshadowed by the latest breaking news…”

This article originally appeared in Aimer Amour Magazine.

InterviewsDeJanae Evins