“Engage me. Make me fall in love with you.” That’s Julie Greenwald, chairwoman & CEO of the Atlantic Records Group, talking to Adam Bryant about the way she hires. The interview appeared in the Corner Office, one of my favorite columns in The New York Times Sunday’s Business Section. What’s more, when Greenwald is interviewing a candidate, she can tell whether the meeting is going to be a short one or not. It’s when “the rhythm’s not there and they’re not trying to engage me.” She thinks, “Somehow you got in to see me. Engage me.”

Be prepared to show up

Julie Greenwald clearly doesn’t want to see a disconnect. If you’ve somehow got in to see her, and you’ve got her attention, you better be prepared to show up, engage her – make her fall in love with you – or else.

How does your personal brand score on engaging your audience? Let’s take a leap here. Imagine there’s a new reality show or contest coming to your neighborhood. It’s the ‘Make-Me-Fall-in-Love-With-Your-Brand’ show, and you’re one of the eager contestants. How would your personal brand measure up on stage with the bright lights blaring!?

• When you have everyone’s attention, are you engaging your audience 100% Y/N?

• Is the audience falling madly and deeply in love with everything you say, do, and produce Y/N?

• Are you showing up big time Y/N?

• Would you get a standing ovation Y/N?

Do you know what you’re known for?

The business of branding is the business of perception management, and it’s certainly about feelings. If you can manage your feelings around your brand, then others will be able to (more easily) recognize and perceive your brand in that light. Of course, you have to be who you say you are. That’s the bottom line.

Do you consider your brand to be your most formidable asset?

Your brand is a living, dynamic organism and functions best when nurtured by a heart-felt guardian. (That’s you, of course.) Are you paying enough attention to your brand so you can engage easily with your world, and have them fall helplessly in love with you?!

When’s the last time you did an informal survey?

It’s a smart idea to regularly find out how your brand is being perceived.  You can work with all the analytics you want, and use your left-brain thinking to the max. But it in the end, it all comes down to the way people feel about your brand.

Think about doing your own informal survey to see how your brand scores on the feelings quotient. Ask colleagues how they perceive your brand, how they feel about it. Notice what kind of language they’re using to describe how they’re experiencing what you bring to the table.

Keep your survey questions casual and conversational. Make your questions clear so you can access the kind of information you’re looking for. When you get your feedback, if it’s constructive criticism, act on it immediately. It’s important that you listen closely and act when you are offered helpful feedback. (PS Your colleagues will know they were being heard.)

How is your brand measuring up? Did you get a standing ovation Y/N?


Mary van de Wiel is best known for her global expertise when it comes to coaxing out the real power in brands to dramatically increase sales. Van is founder and Creative Director of ZingYourBrand.com. She is the author of soon-to-be-published Dead Brand Walking: A Brand Therapist’s Viewpoint. Follow her on Twitter