Amazon and the invention of the social image washing machine

Amazon
Amazon Image Ad. Source: Süddeutsche Zeitung 28.11.2020. Translation: I have not spoken a word of German. When I arrived here from Syria, I did not understand anyone. I had to start from zero. That was hard. But I managed it.
I really always wanted to improve – for myself and for my family. Here at Amazon I have the feeling that I can always develop. I am trusted to teach others, to help others. Being a refugee was very difficult, but now I am an instructor at Amazon.
Mohanad, Mönchengladbach.

On Saturday Amazon gave me a push to write another article about advertisements. Before you continue reading, please take a look at the photo and read the text more carefully. Doesn’t this automatically make you wonder and critically question whether this portrayal of the company as a highly social enterprise is really credible? Overall, this ad is not badly made, but it does leave a slightly irritating impression. Why?

In my opinion, the company has exaggerated a bit too much or has sent the whole issue through a rather pink filter. In my opinion, a very important clue is missing. The cornerstone of almost all careers is an employee’s ability to perform and work as part of a team. Those who produce results and integrate themselves positively into a social environment, rise up. But this is not what this advertisement is about, only the willingness of the employee to improve. This willingness in all honour, but it is only the prerequisite for a career, not the guarantor. Probably the harsh reality would not have fitted the positive presentation of the employee’s personality. But it would have been more honest, because in the perception of the population, American companies tend to stand for a practiced, sometimes hard performance principle.

In addition, the reporting on the company and on Jeff Bezos in recent years has led to Amazon’s rather negative image: monopolist, opponents of trade unions, harsh working conditions, etc. In my opinion, it is precisely this contrast that is responsible for the irritating impression. Therefore it would have been more credible and honest if Amazon had added here that everybody can become something if they really perform.

Long live the freedom of theory! The new, practice-oriented approach in my marketing lecture at the THD

Marketing

In this article I would like to introduce a new lecture format. I had nothing else in mind but to develop the perfect marketing lessen. It should combine marketing know-how, SEO knowledge, the professional handling of social networks, and a lot of fun. Did I succeed? More on this in the article.

The basic idea behind the marketing lecture:

Attentive readers of my blog know that I like experiments. During the shutdown in the summer term I started to develop innovative electives based on a new version my personal branding concept. The students should learn to market themselves authentically and credibly. Not just theoretically, but very practically. In addition, the students should not only improve their concepts slowly and coached by me in learning loops, but also transfer this into practice. It was clear to me from the very beginning that the core of the whole subject would be a WordPress blog run by a student team. The students should be completely free to choose their thematic focus, so that the fun of the whole thing is not neglected.

The concrete learning outcomes or how to acquire blogging and marketing know how.

  1. Acquire basic marketing know-how about blogging. Since many companies are looking for ways to present themselves optimally, this is an investment for the student’s professional future. They can also prove that they have really gained practical know-how and have not only heard about blogging in theory. Of course it was obvious to use the secret worldwide standard – WordPress – as a basis for the activities. Especially because there are a lot of interesting, free plugins for optimizing a blog.
  2. Acquire basic SEO know-how. It’s much easier to teach students the SEO-tricks by analyzing and optimizing their blog posts and with the help of the excellent MathRank plugin, rather than spend a long lecture session rambling on this topic.
  3. Professional use of social networks. Most students have social media accounts, but few have thought about how to use them professionally. Especially WordPress is perfectly suited to act as an efficient spider in your own communication network. There are also some plugins (some free of charge, some with a 30-day trial period) that can be used to automatically connect social networks to your own blog in order to efficiently distribute your messages in many different channels. This is also a form of marketing know-how that every student can use in one way or another in his or her professional future.
  4. Through teamwork, students learn to coordinate, develop a communication plan and thus act professionally.

The results of the marketing lecture:

I was really enthusiastic about the results. The students threw themselves into the work with excitement and drive. And produced really interesting and great content. Here are a few notes about the teams and their activities:

  1. thePsyTravelers. Concentrated psychological know-how combined with really great travel descriptions. https://team06-wp.th-deg.de/ https://www.instagram.com/thepsychtravelers/
  2. mere exposure. Psychological knowledge to manage business challenges and about everyday life excitingly prepared. https://team02-wp.th-deg.de/ https://www.instagram.com/mereexposure.official/
  3. unlock your free time. Valuable tips, tempting recipes and exciting stories to make the Corona time worth living again. https://team03-wp.th-deg.de/ https://www.instagram.com/unlockyourfreetime/
  4. simple sustainability. A great blog about sustainability. Lots of valuable ideas and suggestions to encourage people to think about their own behavior and thus to plant sustainability unobtrusively in as many heads as possible. https://team04-wp.th-deg.de/ https://www.instagram.com/thesimplesustainability/
  5. weekly dose. The weekly dose of tips and tricks that make everyday life easier while providing varied entertainment. https://team06-wp.th-deg.de/ https://www.instagram.com/wochendosis/
  6. IGDA. The Road to DJ. A very honest and wonderfully authentic summary of the ups and downs on the way to becoming a professional DJ. With lot of music and many tips. https://igdasroad2dj.wordpress.com https://www.instagram.com/philipigda/

The results are really worth seeing and I would like to invite you to visit all the sites, to like intensively and to comment intensively as well.

More on this topic…

How do you implement and improve your Personal Brand?

During my time at Siemens I learned a a lot about concepts and their implementation. In too many cases my colleagues spent too much time developing an exciting and more or less perfect concept. But they completely forgot the implementation and continuous improvement process. Having these situations in mind I developed a simple but effective continuous improvement process for your personal brand. In the video you will find the short overview. Enjoy the video.

More on this topic…

Why is the marketing of one’s own personality an important complement to one’s own performance?

In the second part of my approach to the nature of a personal brand, I briefly dealt with the topic of performance and result orientation. In the third and last part, the focus is on personality. It is the core of the brand identity of a personal brand, similar to the brand identity of product brands. Here, it is primarily a matter of communicating an authentic and trustworthy image based on one’s own psychological profile. The highlights are presented in the video. Have fun watching.

More on this topic…

Why does personal performance play such an important role in the development of a personal brand?

Anyone who has rummaged around in my blog will soon realize that, unlike many other personal branding experts, I don’t focus on personality, but on the performance of a person. Why? If you are a nice guy, but your performance is interchangeable, there is a good chance that your customer will still take the better-priced competitor. Your competitive advantages are limited.

If you are a nice guy and your service is unique and competitive, then a customer will accept a higher price or your future employer is willing to pay a higher salary. However, building a unique offering involves a lot of effort, unlike the little bit of klinkling around presenting yourself. More about this in the video.

More on this topic…

What are the building blocks for a successful personal brand?

In 3 parts I would like to get closer to the answer to this question. In this first part I will focus on the concrete definition of uniqueness.

What is the concrete definition? Have fun watching my video.

More on this topic…

Why you should think intensively about your own brand. I’ll give you 4 reasons.

Personal Branding, Session 1

This article is the prelude to my Personal Branding in (less) than 5 Minutes series. There is nothing more to add, have fun watching the first episodes.

More on this topic…

Personal Branding in (less) than 5 minutes is on the way

Finally the time has come. My concept “Personal Branding in (less) than 5 Minutes” can go to the start. Next week the first short videos will be ready for the start. This summer I took a closer look at some approaches to personal branding and discovered some convictions that I personally do not share.

  • For me, the performance or the offerings of a person are still the most important element of a personal brand. The statement that only the personality counts is a little too short for me. In other words: if you can’t do anything but are a nice guy, you won’t survive as a personal brand in the long run.
  • Anyone who claims that nowadays you can’t distinguish yourself by your performance or by what you offer hasn’t thought long and hard enough. In my VHB course, I have conducted many interviews with completely different managers, entrepreneurs and artists who convinced me that it is very well possible to stand out from the competition by an extraordinary performance. If you think about your own performance, your skills and competences in a goal-oriented and competitive way, then anything is possible. Take a family doctor as an example. At first glance, a family doctor is like any other, at least as far as professional competence is concerned. A thorough examination alone, where the doctor takes his time, is the exception rather than the rule. But there are only very few family doctors who are able to explain to their patients what they have just diagnosed in a friendly, authoritative manner and not in technical jargon. And if they are also empathetic and gently teach their “customers” certain diagnoses, then you can clearly set yourself apart from other competitors.
  • What most approaches skilfully leave out is the fact that although anyone can do personal branding, they can’t be successful with it. Why? If you present a comparable service or offer on a website, a LinkedIn or Xing account, and are not prepared to really stand out as a person, you will still be overlooked. In other words: if you are not prepared to stand out clearly and positively from the competition, you can let the whole thing go. Just being conspicuous a little is almost synonymous with not being conspicuous at all.
    Without a basic knowledge of personality psychology, you won’t get much further with personal branding. A short excursion into classical brand management alone shows its importance in the development of a product and corporate brand. This makes it all the more important to use personality psychology in a personal brand as a tool for convincing external presentation.
  • Most approaches focus only on the one-time development of a personal brand, not on its continuous improvement. I noticed this myself during the revision of my VHB course. It is designed as a one-time project, which is also in the nature of things. In the course of the last few months I have mainly been concerned with the implementation and further development of a defined personal brand and have discovered that many instruments from my professional past can be used in a targeted manner for my own optimization. In doing so, I have mainly thrown change management methods, such as AIP management, KAIZEN, project management and a few other candidates into my conceptual shaker, thus developing an approach that helps everyone to become better in the long run.

In my concept, I therefore place the performance/offer at the center of a personal brand, spice it up with a good portion of individual and social psychology and marry the result with a permanent improvement approach.

More on this topic…