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Featured By Stay Featured :Sonali Karande Brahma, Brand Strategist and Creative Consultant

Team Stay Featured recently got an opportunity to interact with a name among Asia's Top 50 Content Marketing Professionals none other than Sonali Brahma -Brand Strategist and Creative Consultant.

Let's have a look at her lessons for us with these answers.

1 Share about the decision-making journey for choosing this career.

My switch from marketing to advertising happened because of a new role bestowed on me by life – that of a mother. This was back in the mid-90s. I was young, only 26 when my baby was born premature and he needed extra personal care. I decided to break away from corporate life.

I entered advertising at the young age of 29, as a mother of a 4-year-old boy.

In less than a year I won 14 State awards for my agency and became a sort of a rockstar, in-demand writer. I quit a national agency and started on my own as an independent Brand Consultant. There has been no looking back ever since.

2 From where did the thought come to share about" Unstoppable mothers, Unstoppable Achievers?

I have always loved being a mother. Back then when my child was younger, I had this tagline – 100% mother. 100% professional. Those days, people thought twice before hiring mothers of young kids in corporates; I had a tough time getting into my agency for the same reason. Mothers used to be side-lined because they were mothers; and because, people thought that they would not be committed to their work/jobs/careers; a big bias! Those who know me, know that I have been great at both- motherhood and professionalism/professional work.

Over the years, I was happy to meet so many great mothers who also made great and successful professionals/CXOs. This year, I featured these wonderful Mom CEOs in a campaign. I featured those who I have seen and know up close and personal. That’s how this campaign of mine ‘Unstoppable Mothers. Unstoppable Achievers.’ came about. It was a major success and I am happy about it.

3 What was the major change you observed within brands post-pandemic?

Let me speak about the good changes – brands are more open to experimenting and leveraging online brand-building efforts. The Zooms of the world changed everything; borders opened up and people are willing to do business across borders; global talent and global markets are a reality; while we love physical meetings and presence; we still value online meetings; brands have started thinking about purpose; which is amazing. People have become more aligned to living fully; because of the big shake-up by the pandemic. There is more talk and more effort on sustainable brands and sustainable living. There is now a deeper need to find meaning, joy, peace, and calm; to be more real, authentic, genuine and kind. We all now realise the value of life and cherish our time here on earth.

4 Whether a branding consultant is supposed to storyteller or what? if yes then why?

A brand consultant essentially is someone who helps you build a brand, helps you grow it, sustain it and reinvent it. She is there with you through your brand journey, ideally. A brand consultant’s job is not over till the strategy sees the light of the day and translates into GTM plans and executions – read brand identity, content, design etc. This is when storytelling comes in. If a brand consultant is a great storyteller, it is a cherry on the cake.

A strategic thinker and a creative mind are a great combo to have, as my clients tell me. And it’s true. I can think end-to-end and help them with what’s good for the brand.

5) You're Among Asia's Top 50 Content Marketing Professionals, What's your perspective about such achievements or recognitions?

A pat on the back from a credible source is always welcome and helps in not just building your brand, but also motivates you to do better every single time. I hold this award close to my heart because I know that I deserve it. I also won the Best CMO Award in 2017, for our emerging start-up, which is also precious. I have won several awards in my journey and each is a reminder of the good work done and of the work yet to be done. However, my biggest award has been when the campaign met objectives and gave results to my clients.

I am against ‘Pay-so-much-and-win-an-award’. It’s business for them, but I would never go for one.

6. Why do brands need to refocus on good content?

Content means messaging. It is a message from the brand to its customers. Good content is about the right message to the right audience at the right time through the right platform. Of course, brands need to focus on effective content. Effective content is good content. Brands need to ask themselves: Is my content conveying my brand’s promise, and strength, to customers with words that they recognize, in a likeable way that resonates with them?

Brand building cannot happen without good content. Examples are Zomato, Swiggy, etc.

7) Want to share some quick tips on How to level up your brand?

Personal Branding is becoming the need of the day. People do business with people. Hence, if you want them to do business with you, you need to show up in the right way.

Personal branding must always be:

  1. Authentic: You must be, say, show what you are. The moment you try and show up in a way that you are not, you will be ineffective

  2. Be consistent in your presence

  3. Be helpful, give value

  4. Be a good networker – build genuine relationships

  5. Remember your strengths and build on them

8) Any message for our readers? Also, share some of your services and links to connect you on social media.

My message is to be genuine and kind always. Live for your dreams as well as you do for others; establish boundaries, learn to say ‘No’; don’t forget that YOLO (You Only Live Once).

The important message also is: People are not fools; they will see through your fake stuff! So be genuine!

My services: For Corporate brands, product brands, service brands and personal brands:

  • Brand Strategy, Brand Consultancy (One-on-One Sessions)

  • Content Strategy and Consulting

  • Customized Corporate Training and Workshops

  • LinkedIn Personal and Business Page Coaching and Management.

  • Keynote Speaker | Professional Speaker at National and International Events


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