The Buzz

Creating and Growing your Personal Brand

Personal branding is the process of developing a “mark” that is created around your name or your career. You use this “mark” to express and communicate your skills, personality, and values.

We all can be a brand and cultivate our power to stand out and be unique. This uniqueness draws people to our product, our services, or even just our message. Your personal brand should be about who you are and what you have to offer.


Why Personal Brands Are for Everyone

Personal brands should be important to everyone. Personal brands are not only for the entrepreneur that owns their own business. It is the secret sauce that can make you stand out of a stack of resumes.


If you don’t develop your own brand, people will do it for you. Developing your brand is the proactive way of controlling your career development and how you are perceived in the world. ​


A strong personal brand will impact your ability to get the right jobs or clients, promotions, and increase your ability to attract talent and capital. So, let’s look at these tips that can help you in creating your own brand:


Build Your Platform

If you are going to have a personal brand, you will need a website to create your virtual platform. Your website should be your name. You will also need social media accounts that represent your brand. You will use these platforms to share your voice.


Identify Your Distinctiveness and Your Strengths

Think about the characteristics and strengths you’ve built in your career. If you are stuck, think about that “one thing” that everyone says you rock at. If you’re still stuck, ask others.


Own Your Space

Once you’ve identified what makes you unique and your strengths, perfect them. Learn all that you can and become the expert in that area. You can never stop learning. Read, absorb, and teach.


Share Your Knowledge

It’s not enough to learn; you have to teach it and share your knowledge by helping others. Do this through videos, social media, and writing both online and offline. This is where you prove you know your stuff and gain exposure from doing so.


Be Yourself and do it unapologetically

Find your own way, put your own spin on things.  Use your style and authenticity to attract the jobs and clientele that you desire. Determine your way and create a new set of footprints for others to follow in.​


Identify Your Values and Prioritize

It’s important to have a clear picture of your personal and professional goals. This will help you to not only identify the most important things to spend your time on but will also have something to align new projects with. Use your values and priorities as a compass that guides you both in action and your decision-making process. This will ensure you stay on track.


Craft Your Personal Brand Persona

It will help in creating your brand. Your persona can be created by:


Identifying your emotional appeal. What are your personality features? This can be as easy as saying you have a crazy sense of humor or that you are obsessively organized. Take a few moments, why do you think people are attracted to the brand of you?


Describing yourself. When it comes to your brand who are you and why do people enjoy working with you?


Identifying your specialty. What do you do and what do people want you to do for them?

Use these exercises to create a strong personal brand persona that you can always refer to when it comes to creating materials that support your brand.


The Bottom Line

Building a personal brand takes time and effort, but it’s worth it. The need for a personal brand will continue to increase. It’s the one thing that no one can take away from you, and it can follow you throughout your career. It’s a leadership requirement that lets people know who you are and what you stand for.

Ticket to Dream Back to School Drive

School Supply Drive


Did you know? The average youth in foster care experiences 3 home changes and loses up to 6 months of academic progress with each move.  Helping ensure foster youth have what they need to succeed in school allows them to enter the classroom with confidence knowing they won’t need to borrow items or negatively stand out from their peers. There are many ways you can help whether it’s collecting school supplies by hosting a collection drive, donating online to purchase school supplies, donating school supplies and dropping off at your nearest Mattress Firm, or hosting an online fundraiser. Every pencil and dollar helps foster kids start the school year right. To donate online or learn more visit:

Kevin Powell’s 17th Annual Holiday Party & Clothing Drive

Kevin Powell’s 17th Annual Holiday Party & Clothing Drive



We REALLY need YOUR WINTER CLOTHES you no longer wear or use. It would be for HOMELESS YOUNG PEOPLE in the New York City metro area. So we are inviting YOU AND YOUR GUESTS to Kevin Powell‘s 17th annual holiday party and clothing drive THIS FRIDAY EVENING, DEC 1, 7pm, at Le Poisson Rouge, 158 Bleecker Street, NEW YORK CITY.

If you could PLEASE BRING CLEAN new or used coats, gloves, hats, scarves, long underwear, boots, shoes, and other items for all body sizes that would be incredible. SAFE HORIZON STREET WORK PROJECT is the charity we support with this effort. They do AMAZING WORK for the homeless, helping THOUSANDS of young people every year between the ages of 13 and 25.

Admission is FREE with your clothing donations, and you can drop your clothes right out front and then come inside to enjoy GREAT MUSIC, incredible networking with a diverse group of #NYC influencers, and also have food and drink. VERY HAPPY to announce that our deejays will be Cynthia Cherish Malaran AKA DJ CherishTheLuv AND original Freedom Party deejays and founders Marc Smooth and Djcosi Levy (PLEASE check their NEW musical party, NYC Dope!). We hope to see you there! Oh, RSVP to #KPHolidayParty#kevinpowell #BUZZapproved




Finish Strong!

The end of the year is crazy with personal commitments and celebrations! Many of us business owners get caught up in the busyness and become lax in their marketing. However, the end of the year is a great time to finish strong and prepare for a more profitable first quarter in the next year. Here are some suggestions for marketing at the end of the year:

1) Review what worked and didn’t work during the last quarter in the previous year. Did sales increase or decrease? Where did the slow down occur? For example, were you generating the same number of leads, but converting fewer to sales?

2) Beef up what did work and tighten up or get rid of what didn’t work. You’ll spend less time and money during the busy holiday season by focusing on marketing tactics that work and fixing, or eliminating, those that don’t work. For example, maybe your website traffic drops during the holidays, but response to your email marketing picks up. In that case, focus on your list and look for ways to boost traffic.

3) Tie in your marketing with holiday themes. Even if your product or service isn’t something people might give as a gift, you can use the end of the year to maintain or increase sales. You can make sales during the holidays by providing people services or products that will save them time and money, or offer convenience, all things people need during the holidays.

4) Do something special for your current clients or customers. Offer discounts or special offers to loyal customers, clients or email list subscribers. Being extra kind to your clients and customers not only generates sales, it’s also a great way to get referrals.

5) Use a variety of methods to reach and engage your market. Your market is busy and won’t be seeking you out. Instead, you need to reach out to stay engaged with your market, reminding it you’re ready to help.

6) Get social. The end of the year is filled with events and functions. Attend local networking events, volunteer activities, and other in-person gatherings.  Get out there!

Marisa King

Principal, Buzz Brand Group & 20 Year Entrepreneur


Buzz Brand Group4



Raine Diaz,




New York, NY – August 1, 2017, – Buzz Brand Group (BUZZ) has been selected as the official production company for The New York Latino Film Festival (NYLFF), presented by HBO, as it makes its much-anticipated return to the Big Apple October 11-15, 2017. With a revamped team and an elevated look, Buzz looks to bring its highly sought-after production skills and award-winning results to this 14th edition of the iconic film festival.


Calixto Chinchilla, Founder of NYLFF states,

“I’m excited to partner back with the amazing team at the Buzz Brand Group. This will be the first-time full production is handled by an outside firm. When the decision came to centralize the production to one unit and after exploring other event firms, we knew they were the one. Glad to collaborate with a team that not cares about the work we do but is also minority owned.”


“Having worked with the festival for six seasons in the past, Buzz is honored to be asked to return. Not only is the festival a labor of love on a personal note but also it is an amazing cultural phenomenon that is truly needed in the marketplace.  We look forward to producing an amazing event with Calixto and the NYLFF team”,

says Marisa King, Managing Partner at Buzz and Co-Producer of this year’s NYLFF.

“At Buzz, we’re grateful to be part of the journey, getting to support this wonderful platform for sharing valuable stories.  I’m incredibly proud of Calixto and what he has created with NYLFF.  I feel privileged to be part of the team for the 14th edition”,

adds Nicole Stoll, EVP & Managing Partner, Buzz Atlanta.


About BUZZ

Buzz Brand Group (BUZZ) is a firm specializing in building and maintaining brand equity. Whether it is developing a brand from scratch, strategy and operations, experiences or creating the buzz on a person, place or thing, Buzz pools its resources and leverages its relationships to tackle the task at hand. From discovery to implementation and everything in between, Buzz Brand Group has got you covered.



The New York Latino Film Festival (NYLFF) is the premier Urban Latino film event in the country. Since its founding in 1999, the NYLFF produces culturally relevant and entertaining experiences that build audiences for Latino cinema, support the film community with professional development and foster relationships for Latino talent. Programming includes the flagship film festival in New York City, competition programs and community programs. For more information on NYLFF, please visit


Submission forms and complete information regarding eligibility for the 2017 NYLFF are available on the site and will be accepted through August 4th.


For sponsorship and brand partnership opportunities, please email:


What kind of Brand are you?…

We often talk about “brand” as if it is one thing. It’s not of course –  in fact, the meaning and the use of the term differs, quite markedly, depending on the context. By my reckoning, brand is categorized in at least 21 different ways. (So much for the single minded proposition!). In no particular order:

1. Personal brand – Otherwise known as individual brand. The brand a person builds around themselves, normally to enhance their career opportunities. Often associated with how people portray and market themselves via media. The jury’s out on whether this should be called a form of brand because whilst it may be a way to add value, it often lacks a business model to commercialize the strategy.

2. Product brand – Elevating the perceptions of commodities/goods so that they are associated with ideas and emotions that exceed functional capability. Consumer packaged goods brands (CPG), otherwise known as fast moving consumer goods brands (FMCG), are a specific application.

3. Service brand – Similar to product brands, but involves adding perceived value to services. More difficult in some ways than developing a product brand, because the offering itself is less tangible. Useful in areas like professional services. Enables marketers to avoid competing skill vs skill (which is hard to prove and often devolves to a price argument) by associating their brand with emotions. New online models, such as subscription brands, where people pay small amounts for ongoing access to products/services, are rapidly changing the loyalty and technology expectations for both product and service brands – for example, increasingly products come with apps that are integral to the experience and the perceived value.

4. Corporate brand – Otherwise known as the organizational brand. “The corporate brand defines the firm that will deliver and stand behind the offering that the customer will buy and use.” The reassurance that provides for customers comes from the fact that “a corporate brand will potentially have a rich heritage, assets and capabilities, people, values and priorities, a local or global frame of reference, citizenship programs, and a performance record”.

5. Investor brand – Normally applied to publicly listed brands and to the investor relations function. Positions the listed entity as an investment and as a performance stock, blending financials and strategy with aspects such as value proposition, purpose and,  increasingly, wider reputation via CSR. As Mike Tisdall will tell you, done well, a strong investor brand delivers share price resilience and an informed understanding of value.

6. NGO (Non Governmental Organization) or Non Profit brand – An area of transition, as the sector shifts gear looking for value models beyond just fundraising to drive social missions. Not accepted by some in the non profit community because it’s seen as selling out. Necessary in my view because of the sheer volume of competition for the philanthropic dollar. This paper is worth reading.

7. Public brand – Otherwise known as government branding. Contentious. Many, including myself, would argue that you can’t brand something that doesn’t have consumer choice and a competitive model attached to it. That’s not to say that you can’t use the disciplines and methodologies of brand strategy to add to stakeholders’ understanding and trust of government entities. That’s why I talk about the need for public entities to develop trustmarks rather than brands. Jill Caldwell takes this idea of how we consider and discuss infrastructure further and says we now have private-sector brands that are so much a part of our lives that we assume their presence in much the same way as we assume public services. Caldwell refers to brands like Google and Facebook as “embedded brands”.

8. Activist brand – Also known as a purpose brand. The brand is synonymous with a cause or purpose to the point where that alignment defines its distinctiveness in the minds of consumers. Classic examples: Body Shop, which has been heavily defined by its  anti-animal-cruelty stance; and Benetton, which confronts bigotry and global issues with a vehemence that has made it both hated and admired.

9. Place brand – Also known as destination or city brands. This is the brand that a region or city builds around itself in order to associate its location with ideas rather than facilities. Often used to attract tourists, investors, businesses and residents. Recognizes that these groups all have significant choices as to where they choose to locate. A critical success factor is getting both citizens and service providers on board, since they in effect become responsible for the experiences delivered. Most famous example is probably  “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas”.

10. Nation brand – Whereas place brands are about specific areas, nation brands relate, as per their name, to the perceptions and reputations of countries. Simon Anholt is a pioneer in this area. Some good models comparing nation and place branding here.

11. Ethical brand – Used in two ways. The first is as a description of how brands work, specifically the practices they use and the commitments they demonstrate in areas such as worker safety, CSR and more – i.e. a brand is ethical or it is not?. Secondly, denotes the quality marques that consumers look for in terms of reassurance that the brands they choose are responsible. Perhaps the most successful and well known example of such a brand is Fairtrade. These types of ethical brands are often run by NGOs – e.g. WWF’s Global Forest and Trade Network.

12. Celebrity brand – How the famous commercialize their high profile using combinations of social media delivered content, appearances, products and gossip/notoriety to retain interest and followers. The business model for this has evolved from appearances in ads and now takes a range of forms: licensing; endorsements; brand ambassador roles; and increasingly brand association through placement (think red carpet).

13. Ingredient brand – The component brand that adds to the value of another brand because of what it brings. Well known examples include Intel, Gore-Tex and Teflon. Compared with OEM offerings in manufacturing, where componentry is white label and simply forms part of the supply chain, ingredient brands are the featured elements that add to the overall value proposition. A key reason for this is that they market themselves to consumers as elements to look for and consider when purchasing. In this interesting piece, Jason Cieslak wonders though whether the days of the ingredient brand are drawing to a close. His reasons? Increased fragmentation in the manufacturing sector, lack of space as devices shrink, stronger need for integration and lack of interest amongst consumers in what goes into what they buy.

14. Global brand – The behemoths. These brands are easily recognized and widely dispersed. They epitomize “household names”. Their business model is based on familiarity, availability and stability – although the consistency that once characterized their offerings, and ruled their operating models, is increasingly under threat as they find themselves making changes, subtle and otherwise, to meet the cultural tastes and expectations of people in different regions.

15. Challenger brand – The change makers, the brands that are determined to upset the dominant player. While these brands tend to face off against the incumbents and to do so in specific markets, “Being a challenger is not about a state of market; being number two or three or four doesn’t in itself make you a challenger,” says Adam Morgan of Eat Big Fish. “ … It is a brand, and a group of people behind that brand, whose business ambitions exceed its conventional marketing resources, and needs to change the category decision making criteria in its favor to close the implications of that gap.”

16. Generic brand – The brand you become when you lose distinctiveness. Takes three forms. The first is specific to healthcare and alludes to those brands that have fallen out of patent protection and now face competition from a raft of same-ingredient imitators known as generics. The second form of generic brand is the brand where the name has become ubiquitous and in so doing has passed into common language as a verb – Google, Xerox, Sellotape. The third form is the unbranded, unlabelled product that has a functional description for a name but no brand value at all. This last form is the ultimate in commoditization.

17. Luxury brand – Prestige brands that deliver social status and endorsement to the consumer. Luxury brands must negotiate the fine line between exclusivity and reality. They do this through quality, association and story. These brands have perfected the delivery of image and aspiration to their markets, yet they remain vulnerable to shifts in perception and consumer confidence and they are under increasing pressure from “affordable luxury” brands. Coach for example struggled with revenues in 2014 because of declining sales growth in China and Japan, two of the world’s key luxury markets.

18. Cult brand – The brands that revolve around communities of fierce advocates. Like the challenger brands, these brands often pick fights with “enemies” that can range from other companies to ideas, but pure-play cult brands take their cues from their own passions and obsessions rather than the market or their rivals. They tend to have followers rather than customers, set the rules and ask people to comply and, if they market at all, do so in ways where people come to them rather than the other way around.

19. Clean slate brand – The pop-ups of brand. Fast moving, unproven, even unknown brands that don’t rely on the heritage and history that are so much a part of mainstream brand strategy. These brands feed consumers’ wish for the new and the timely.

20. Private brand – Otherwise known as private label. Traditionally, these are value-based, OEM-sourced retail offerings that seek to under-cut the asking price of name brands. They focus on price. There is significant potential though in my view for these brands to become more valuable and to play a more significant role at the ‘affordable premium’ end of the market. For that to happen, private brands will need to broaden their appeal and loyalty through a wider range of consideration factors.

21. Employer brand – The ability of a company to attract high quality staff in much-touted competitive markets. Often tied to an Employee Value Proposition. Focuses on the recruiting process though it is sometimes expanded to include the development of a healthy and productive culture. Sadly, given the process obsession of too many HR staff and the lack of interest from a lot of marketing people to venture into people-issues, this tends to be a brand in name rather than a brand by nature. Great potential – but, given the very low satisfaction rates across corporate cultures globally, a  lot more work is needed to realize the full potential of this idea.

It’s no wonder, on review, that so many people outside marketing struggle to understand what a brand is. And we haven’t even talked about brand in reference to structure (brand architecture models such as endorsed brands, house of brands and power brands) or the different types of brand audiences (B2B, B2C, B2T, B2G, H2H).

A brand can of course function across a number of these roles simultaneously – a product brand can be a challenger brand or a global brand, for example. That in itself is an important reminder that we often encounter the same brand in different ways in different contexts – and the criteria for whether a brand is successful or not can shift markedly depending on which categorization is being applied.

The challenge for marketers given these dissipated meanings of brand is to somehow ensure that the emotions that a brand generates are valuable, relevant and differentiated in each context in which it is judged while, at the same time, aligning with the brand strategy overall. I don’t see much evidence of that yet.

-Marisa King

You Can’t Build A Strong Brand On a Weak Identity

Brand identity is the combined effect of visual elements in your marketing materials. A basic brand identity kit consists of a logo, business card, letterhead, and branded envelope. This basic set of materials can be extended to include a website, brochure, folder, flyer, or any other professionally designed pieces.

A successful brand identity is built around the following 9 key characteristics:

  • Unique in “look and feel” and message about your business. Make sure that your business’s graphics stand out from and cannot be confused with those of the competition, and that the ways you talk and write about your business are uniquely yours as well.
  • Repetition helps potential clients—and current clients—to remember and relate to who you are and what you do in your business. Experts say that it takes somewhere between 6 and 12 “impressions,” or contacts with your business, for customers to truly remember you and connect with your business.
  • Consistent use of your logo, tagline, and materials and what you say about your business. You will only be able to build a strong brand for your company by designing unique visual and verbal elements and then repeating those elements through all of the materials that you create.
  • Memorable elements help your business to stand out as well. You’ll be able to create brand memorability through consistency, repetition, and uniqueness of your graphics and materials. Make your graphics memorable by creating a unique logo and using a consistently strong Visual Vocabulary.  Create memorable text by using alliteration (repeating similar sounds, such as using words that all start with the same letter), repetition, unique word combinations, and lively imagery in your copy.
  • Meaningful graphics make your company’s message come to life through symbolic graphics, colors, and type choices in all of your marketing materials. Meaningful text will express what your business is really all about, and help to give some depth to your developing brand. And, perhaps more importantly, your audience will be able to understand the meaning in your graphics and text — it will be accessible to your target market.
  • Clear graphics and text communicate your message in an understandable way. Make sure that your graphics are crisp, clean, simple, and meaningful. And make sure that your text expresses your point and is not confusing — that it explains your point well.
  • Honesty in your brand identity materials. If clients do engage with you and then you don’t live up to the brand promises you made in your materials, then they will feel alienated from you and your company… or worse. This can really damage your relationships and your overall brand, so make sure you can stand behind your brand and deliver on your promises before you distribute your branded materials.
  • Personality for your business helps make sure that you don’t look like everyone else, so that potential clients can immediately tell that all of your branded materials are coming from your business. If you’re the owner of a one-person business, your brand identity might resonate with your own personality. If your business is larger, or if you want to make it appear larger, you can create your own brand personality to connect with your potential clients.
  • Professionalism in all things, from the quality of your graphics, to the way your text is written (proofreading is essential!), to your personal presentation: the way you talk, dress, and speak. Professionalism in customer service and in the way you treat people you meet is also important. Follow through on your offers and promises.

If you include all of the above elements in your brand identity, you’ll have a business look and feel that will really help your marketing messages to be taken seriously: one that will enhance your overall brand.