Know your Brand: If you get the chance to visit a Target location in the United States, you will see another picture entirely. Many partnerships with major brands, low prices, and a wide variety of selections are just some of the major components that make Target a direct competitor to Walmart. They have a presence that impacts the retail landscape of the United States, but when they came to Canada, they lost most of that. Target has 133 stores across Canada, and some of them opened as late as 6 months ago. They don’t have the same products that they offer in the States, and they only recently started offering their special RED card, providing additional discounts. All of this left a negative impression on Canadian consumers, hurting their brand, and ultimately led to the quick demise. How does this apply to you? Well, you need to take inventory of your personal brand, and know how people perceive you. What sets you apart from others in the group? What do you bring that no one else can? These are questions you should ask yourself when it comes to making this list, and it should be something that you maintain. If you have strong organizational skills, figure out what habits make that happen. If you are always on time, make sure to not over commit to any projects. A consistent employee is often a greater asset than one who has a moment of greatness.
Learn the marketing basics: When Target first arrived, they attempted a media blitz, covering television, radio, print and social media forms with advertisements to alert consumers to their presence in Canada. The problem was that many store weren’t open yet, and customers could experience the promises made in the advertising. Again, we can apply this to you, and how you market yourself. Remember that social media can be a doubled edged sword, and that while those pictures you post of your Saturday night are hilarious now, privacy settings are not all powerful. Keep in mind what image you want to convey to those around you and if they reflect your personal brand. The old adage goes “There’s no such thing as bad publicity”, but don’t take that to heart. Perception is reality for many people, so be aware of how you put yourself out there.
Lastly, don’t forget to network with professionals, just like you can do at the CBA’s Annual Business Conference, taking place March 7th, 2015 at the Derrick Golf and Winter Club. Tickets are available online at tinyurl.com/ConcordiaBAABC, and also in the bookstore for $15 each. This includes a 3 course meal, keynote speaker Dr. Paul McElhone, and a networking session with professionals in the Edmonton business community. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more details!