Today, I’m speaking as your brand advocate.

If I’m your brand advocate, we, in some significant way, have made a connection. Your unique message has fought through the din of chaos and clutter and found it’s way into my heart, my mind and even my soul. It’s now a part of me. So engage it with care.

I’ve had the honor of hearing and seeing some very good keynote speakers throughout my career.  Some have left me with tears in my eyes or a fire in my heart while others…  have…  well…  just left me.

On the positive, I’ve seen tremendous motivational speakers like Hajj Flemings (@HajjFlemings on Twitter) and Angel Maiers (@AngelaMaiers on Twitter), innovative business marketing and branding speakers like Michael Wagner (@BigWags on Twitter) and Liz Strauss (@lizstrauss on Twitter).

Every time,  I make it a point to get a few minutes, face-to-face with the speakers to make an introduction – often times just so they can put a name to the face @TheBrandChef. And every time I approach these speakers, they are engaging, honest and forthright when it comes to offering advice or simply talking about the day’s event.

That’s TRUE brand engagement.

That’s how to build a connection to brand advocates and help build a sustainable brand in the minds of your advocates!  WHY? My personal take-away? As your advocate, I feel like I am a bigger part of the event and with the conversation and even a signed book (or whatever swag) I feel I’ve made a connection that meant something to both of us.

So what’s with the Brand Posers?

Yeah, I know, kind of negative, but I have to call ’em for what they are. I’m talking about the people that stand up and preach brand and personal connections and engagement, but carry themselves in a way that is quite the opposite. They POSE. And they suck.

I take branding personally.  I am, after all, The Brand Chef.  So when I am inspired by a speaker from my industry (or out of for that matter), I have the passion to pursue engagement and connection at ANY level possible. When this happens, it’s electric. Not just for me, but for my work, my career and my own brand advocates. And I’d hope that for the speaker, the brand I have subscribed to, feels a bit of that spark as well.

So, on the negative, when the correlation of brand “performance” to brand engagement is SO far off, it makes me…  well, write posts like this. Because, if I hadn’t had a disappointing experience with a “Brand Poser,” I wouldn’t be relegated to vent. I wouldn’t be forced to wave my blogging fists in the air. I wouldn’t have felt dismissed, disappointed and trivialized.

Being TRULY ENGAGING takes more than a handshake and a kiss in the air by my cheek.

For every clammy palm you have to press and for every Polaroid you have to fake, there is going to be 1000 more that you’ll miss.  And THOSE are the misses that matter. The misses with the people that count, the misses with the people who care, the CONNECTIONS with your brand advocates is what will get you where you want to go. So at least make an effort.

Your accolades, your book and the Armani suit have NOTHING to do with your brand.

So as your brand advocate, I offer this miniscule seed of advice, “Pay attention to those that you look down upon, because they, like you, are climbing the same hill… And years from now, they just might know how to spit further than you.”


  1. @TheBrandChef: I love the refreshing, no BS, way of your writing style. Great quote about we are all climbing the same hill.

    • Hey Joann (or is it Joe?) 😉

      Thanks for stopping by. It’s good to know after a brief meeting, you were able to seek me out and check up on me. Good for you…

      And yes, this was one of my more “Snarkey” posts. Just because I’d been to a recent event where the presenter contradicted their presentation on “Being a brand loyalist” by being a brand poser once out from behind the podium. Personal Branding is a 24/7 responsibility. To have a bad day or an off moment is acceptable, but to do it in such a public way is VERY detrimental.

      I look forward to talking with you again!

      Keep Cooking!
      Andrew B. Clark
      The Brand Chef