You Are Your Brand: Lau and Takanikos

Nov 4, 2016

Branding and marketing strategist Jasmine Takanikos teamed up with another successful entrepreneur, fine jewelry designer Bliss Lau several years ago. They now teach the fine points of "Centering Your Brand" at Parsons School of Design and are in Hawai'i as part of a partnership with the DBEDT's Office of Creative Industries. Their free HPR/HoMA Think Spot talk is set for November 7, 2016 at the Doris Duke Theatre.
Credit Jasmine Takanikos

Today, everyone who uses social media is, in effect, creating an image and a brand; activities that used to be the domain of advertising agencies.  The next HPR ThinkSpot with the Honolulu Museum of Art focuses on two successful entrepreneurs, jeweler Bliss Lau and branding and marketing strategist Jasmine Takanikos, who will share tips on centering your brand, as an entrepreneur or as an individual.

HPR’s Noe Tanigawa offers a preview.

Hawai'i Public Radio’s next Think Spot, “The Brand of Self: The Entrepreneurial Journey With Bliss Lau + Jasmine Takanikos” happens Monday, November 7, 6pm, in the Doris Duke Theatre in collaboration with the Honolulu Museum of Art.  Find  the future Think Spot audio file here at hawaiipublicradio.org .

All are invited to this free event.

Fine jewelry designer Bliss Lau partners with branding and marketing strategist Jasmine Takanikos, to help entrepreneurs and creatives manage their work-social-private lives. Lau's fluid handling of her own brand was an inspiration for two dozen Hawaii entrepreneurs who absorbed two days of tough love in a brand building workshop co-sponsored by DBEDT. Lau is continually evolving her brand, offering varied expressions of a strong central thread, or esthetic.
Credit Bliss Lau

Marketing and branding strategist, Jasmine Takanikos, says branding is your design sensibility, it’s how you communicate.

“And it’s truly how you market without manipulating.”

If you think marketing is simply convincing people they need something, think again.  Takanikos says people have become much more intentional about their choices, just as they’ve become dulled to traditional advertising campaigns.

“Now my definition of marketing is, really what is true engagement and how are you adding value.  If you can’t create that, you probably shouldn’t be doing it, at least with the clients that I’m interested in working with.”

Takanikos says there’s not much room anymore for the manipulation model in marketing or branding.

“We have to figure out what are our authentic voices and what we’re saying and what feels true to us in order to truly integrate brand and business and self.  Entrepreneurs are leading that charge.”

Entrepreneurs experience anxiety about being in between old and new models of marketing, says Takanikos, feeling like they have to do everything themselves.

“We have a lot of businesses who sign up for every single network and feel sort of enslaved to these networks and feel like, are they doing them right, and there’s a lot of bad information about how we should build content strategy and how we should engage.  I’m of the belief of less is more and putting more care into these things because you are talking about community building and you’re impacting people’s lives.  The content you put out in the world impacts people.”

Jasmine Takanikos markets not to consumers, but to humans who are consuming things.

“Authenticity is the first piece.  People have grown very tired, in my opinion, of the manipulation marketing piece and around being yelled at constantly to buy things.  I think people want to feel connected to the products they’re buying, to the story they’re buying into.”

Takanikos maintains consuming is less of a transaction and much more a decision.

“If you look at the start up culture which really revolves around the whole idea and the whole way of being of how do we make things more efficient, more connected, more truthful, more authentic, easier?  And I don’t think that that is always the best way.  I think sometimes the slow way is the better way, particularly brand building, especially when it has to do with self.”

In her work with jeweler/educator Bliss Lau at Parsons Design School, Takanikos says these questions focus the discussion:  what is your ask, and what is your offer?  Lau and Takanikos will expand on these ideas in the next HPR/Honolulu Museum of Art Think Spot.