Pros & Conversations

Episode 7: Creating & Managing Your Personal Brand

July 06, 2022 Peter G. Reynolds Season 1 Episode 7
Episode 7: Creating & Managing Your Personal Brand
Pros & Conversations
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Pros & Conversations
Episode 7: Creating & Managing Your Personal Brand
Jul 06, 2022 Season 1 Episode 7
Peter G. Reynolds

Political strategist, commentator and author Tasha Kheiriddin discusses the best approach to creating and managing an effective personal brand, and how to avoid any pitfalls along the way.

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Show Notes Transcript

Political strategist, commentator and author Tasha Kheiriddin discusses the best approach to creating and managing an effective personal brand, and how to avoid any pitfalls along the way.

Support the Show.

Thank you for listening! You can support and help us create great content for entrepreneurs and small business owners by clicking here:

Subscribe on your favourite podcast app and don’t miss an episode!

We’re also on Youtube:

Follow on Facebook:

Follow on Instagram:

Peter Reynolds  0:04  
Hi, and welcome to Pros and Conversations. My name is Peter Reynolds. Pros and Conversations is a podcast that explores what it takes to be successful. Whether you're from the world of business, science or the arts. We've spoken a lot about branding on the podcast, how your company is perceived, that goes beyond just a logo or a name or a tagline. It's that feeling people get when they see or hear your logo or your tagline. And but now, a lot of entrepreneurs are starting to be concerned and want to manage their personal brand. That unique mixture of expertise, personality and reputation. And joining me today to talk about that is someone whose brand is that perfect combination of expertise and humility. We have Damon Adachi, who is the marketing consultant with Seven Fold Marketing. How're you doing, Damon?

Tasha Kheiriddin  0:57  
I'm doing well. It's good day, I'm having a good hair day. And I'm ready to be the Bullwinkle to your Rocky. So let's rock and roll.

Peter Reynolds  1:06  
Well, I thought we might just chat briefly about your personal brand, because it's a very powerful marketing tool, isn't it?

Tasha Kheiriddin  1:13  
It is. And you know, when we we deal a lot with solopreneurs and small business owners, and I think you underestimate how important your personal brand is, you get very tied up in thinking, I've got to be the best at what I do. And I've got to deliver on time, and I've got to be reliable, and those things contribute to your personal brand. But there's a lot more that goes behind it. And how your messaging is, is community building and truth based and really delivers integrity. So, it comes naturally to a lot of us. But it is something that you still need to put some thought behind.

Peter Reynolds  1:42  
Yeah, it's interesting, you know, if we show people a logo, of you know, Nike or Apple, they're immediately going to get a sense of what that brand is all about. But the same goes for individuals that people are seeing. An Elon Musk, or Richard Branson, or you know, or a Donald Trump, you know, for good or ill. They're knowing exactly of what they're getting.

Tasha Kheiriddin  2:06  
Definitely. And, obviously, you want to put their best foot forward and all of those things, but it's more than just, you know, your personality. It's a lot of what you stand for and your values and making sure that those are communicated clearly and on-point. And that you do what you'll say you're going to do and follow through with everything that you promise. 

Peter Reynolds  2:25  
Absolutely. Well, I'm really excited because I think we have a guest who can really help us navigate this subject. Joining us today is Tasha Kheiriddin, who is a principal at Navigator. She's one of Canada's best known political commentators. She is the co-chair of the Jean Cherest leadership campaign. And she's an author, her latest book is The Right Path: How Conservatives can Unite, Inspire, and Take Canada Forward. Tasha, welcome to Pros and Conversations.

Tasha Kheiriddin  2:53  
Oh, thank you so much, Peter. And thank you, Damon, it's great to be here. 

Peter Reynolds  2:57  
Yeah, I wanted to jump right into it, Tasha and talk a little bit about sort of your personal brand. And as your career has progressed, you know how you've sort of managed it? Has that been a conscious decision? Can you talk a little bit about that? 

Tasha Kheiriddin  3:12  
It's conscious and unconscious. And to the point that Damon made, it's about being who you aren't being authentic. That's one thing I've learned in terms of brand building. I work at a firm Navigator. We do strategic consulting, in part around, you know, branding and campaigns, sometimes Public Affairs and other things where we also emphasize to our clients, it's the same thing. You've got to be authentic, otherwise, people see through that. So for me, I started off as a lawyer many, many years ago, and I left the law and then got into media. And always with a sort of political bent, as you said, political commentary. I worked at think tanks on the policy, but I would be commenting on issues that were always in the news. So for me, my brand was, was conservative, because I had been involved in party politics, but I was no longer a partisan, right. I wasn't attached to the party anymore. I did that when I when I started working in journalism and media I depoliticize. So that was a challenge for my brand, in a way because people still assumed and even I mean, now it's different I'm back in the fold. But for the 20 years that I was not a member of the party, people still sometimes assumed I was. So I always had to make an effort to say, look, it's a small c conservative, I am not branding myself, as I'm not a fan of the party, I will criticize the party, I will criticize. And so in my writing, I was always very, you know, I was very honest about how I felt, and sometimes people didn't like that. Some of them would say, Well, why are you jumping on it? Well, I'm not a partisan, I would say, that's part of my brand is that I'm an analyst, I'm independent. That's why people listen to me. So that was one of the important things was being authentic to not being, you know, as if it's a French, and I think otherwise it was simply also defining myself as a media person after having been a lawyer and more political. You know, many people go to school for journalism, they study. I did not do that. I was sort of plucked by the CBC to help co-produce a show. And that show got me into sort of political career affairs journalism. But I had to learn a lot along the way. And I had to be also kind of humble, I relate to that, because there were things I had to know. So I didn't try to present myself as you know, my brand wasn't like, I know everything or whatever. It's also I'm, I'm curious, I want to learn and so that I think helped. Especially when I was working in the business, connecting with other people that, you know, they didn't feel like I was, I was just coming in, like, you know, I know better than you. I was always making the effort to like, you have something to teach me. 

It's incredible. So I have a question for you. I know I've read in your words, you said you both love and loathe social media in equal parts at different times. Especially in the political spectrum, what is your relationship with social media in terms of as a communications tool and supporting your brand?

Social media is a double edged sword, it was a place where careers go to die, they go to be made, and they go to die, it's really, I've seen both extremes. And I've tried to avoid, you know, both in the sense that make your, in my case, I had already made a lot of my name outside before social media became really a thing in the last decade. I would say, it's really been the ascent of social media. So I was kind of already known. But it was navigating that world and a lot of political people, you see it now more than anything is that it becomes you know, their brand is all what they're about. And you start to worry, where's the substance? Is it just making a great video and, you know, getting on 6ixbuzz Toronto or, and that sort of thing. And, you know, you talk to younger people about politics, that is where they get their news, that's where they see things is online. And so, of course, politicians will migrate to where the eyeballs are, but at the same time, you have to be authentic, like I said earlier, and you have to have something to backup the fiz, you know, because otherwise it will fizzle out. And I think that is the biggest, it's not being sucked into that rabbit hole and thinking, that's all you have to be doing with your time. You have to have quality content to back it up and depth of understanding. So social media can, you can also say the wrong thing very easily. That's the other thing. Obviously, people know that. You know, one wrong tweet, and suddenly, you have a 48 hour cycle of a nightmare. And sometimes longer, right. So it's a challenge. It's also a challenge for young people, because I think they grew up at a time when they just said anything on social. And then 10 years later, they want to run for office, and oops, someone digs up a tweet or a Facebook post, and they're done.

Peter Reynolds  7:40  
Absolutely, I think that definitely for young people I know even for my son who is not quite old enough to have his own social media accounts, but I know that's something I'm definitely going to be talking to him about it. You know, they talk about dress for the job you want, you're not the job you have, I would say tweet for the job you want, not necessarily the job you have.

Tasha Kheiriddin  8:02  
100%. I just jump in for a second because I think that that is something that we don't necessarily teach young people about branding. Like, I don't know young people brand themselves, they already have a branding culture. They already own you know, they're IT, they've certain filters and certain music choices and things to brand themselves to stand out or to be you know, part of a group that is doing well in terms of influencers to catch that wave. You have to think ahead. How will this age? How will this look? How am I you know, my brand is this now but am I going to be a cute little you know, thing when I'm 35? Well, hopefully you'll still be cute, but you're not going to be what you were when you're 20. So you think of entertainers who've rebranded themselves over the years. I mean, Madonna is the perfect chameleon, right? You think of Lady Gaga has rebranded herself to Billy Eilish has gone through some really weird branding, rebranding, in terms of her image I find in the last five years. That these, you know, for the average person, they don't have people advising them on these things in the same way. It's harder, if you're just a young person, you want to get noticed. I think we have to teach people that, you know, branding starts starts young now. And you have to think ahead, and how is this gonna look in, you know, 10-20 years.

So then the challenge becomes we spoke about earlier and being authentic, but still having room to evolve.

Yes, I think and this is the problem with social media and is that extremes get attention, right? You see this to see you want to stand out so you do something that's really out there. And whether it's a stunt on YouTube, or whatever challenge here. Okay, that might get your attention now, but is that part of your brand or is it just as cry for attention? So it has to be intentional. I think branding has to be in touch. It's an intentional exercise. Like in politics too, is that you have to really mean what you're doing and it has to be you but I always like to say take the edges off. Like you know, a little edge is good, but not too sharp, because always easier to move forward than to step back. Right, you can always become more intense. But to get less is hard once you hit a certain level. So give yourself that space to grow, like you just said. And I think it's important.

Peter Reynolds  10:16  
Yeah, it's interesting. You say start early. I might have done it before birth, when it came to my son, I don't know about you. But when we were coming up with his name, and my son's name is Griffin, and I wanted to name... thank you, I wanted a name that was, you know, unusual, different, but wouldn't curse him. As he got older...

Tasha Kheiriddin  10:39  
That's thoughtful as you as a parent. 

Peter Reynolds  10:41  
and I just kept thinking if it was, you know, if he was Prime Minister, if he was a chief justice, if he were, you know, and I kept saying his name, would that work for him, and it does. And his middle initial, his middle name is William. So he's G. W. Reynolds. So that works as a business "GW here", so I was sort of trying to think of these things.

Tasha Kheiriddin  11:03  
No pressure Griffin. 

Poor kid, how old is he now?

Peter Reynolds  11:10  
But it's interesting, I think, sort of when we talk about authenticity. Just wanted to talk a little bit about the challenges of, you know, you've created this brand, or maybe the perceived brand, as you talked about, you know, when it came to, you know, being a conservative, you know, it must be difficult to sometimes step out of that, you know, because you have this brand that you've built over many years. You want to evolve, but maybe your people find themselves trapped a little bit, you know, in that space?

Tasha Kheiriddin  11:45  
Well, yeah, I think it can. It will trap you if that's all you are. And I think a brand can be, you know, you can have your core brand. It's still what you are, and true your values in this kind of thing. But you can apply to different contexts. And it's funny, because I was just actually before talking to you, I was talking to my speakers agent about the book, The Right Path and saying, Okay, how do we leverage this? And, you know, the political, that's when she said to me, because you know, we have an issue, because you're very political Tasha. I was like, yeah I know. I said, but there's ways to apply this to business contexts. There's ways to apply this to people who are just concerned about the way that the political landscape, not the conservative landscape, the political landscape is evolving, and how does that impact, you know, investment decisions and other things? I said, so we can take it to that level, you can universalize it. So it's the same with a brand is that you can say, well, this is my core brand, but how can I leverage it in different spaces? And that's what I mean, by not being too extreme on things. That mean, it might get you attention within a core group of people, but you can't break out of that then. You know, you don't have that flexibility, because that's all you are. And some people will say, Oh, toxic, I'm not touching you, that's too much for me. And especially in the corporate space, we know that companies are much more risk averse, right? Then, you know, environments like political groups, you know, activist groups, they, their business is being, you know, in your face kind of thing. But corporations are much more reserved, generally. And so if you want to leverage your brand into corporate space, you have to think about that. And you say, Okay, well, I have my you know, my persona, my principles and stuff, but at the same time I'm good at, I gotta be mindful of not being something that would turn people off without giving up what you stand for. Because we know the corporations now are actually much more socially conscious, they are much engaging in ESG in diversity inclusion, I mean, you know, they, they listen to people, and they, they themselves pronounced themselves on social issues. So there's more of that happening. But at the same time, it's more that, you know, you want to be able to offer something broader than just your core brand. Because your core brand also things can disappear. If the Conservative Party disappear tomorrow, who would I talk to? Right?  I don't have something broader. What happens? So I have to think of that, too, is that you always have to have one one eye on like, not the door, but one eye on how things are going outside your bubble? 

Yeah, the relationship between politics and business is so interesting. And in our group, we don't really delve too deep into those political areas, because it can be divisive and, and dangerous in a way. But at the same time, we've all experienced the last two years in this country, and it affects us all very strongly. And now your market is very, you know, truth is a very subjective concept. You know, and, you know, your integrity can very often be questioned because your truth might not align with somebody else's truth these days. So how do you build community with a brand in a landscape that isn't neutral that isn't open to your message out of the gate? It's already got its own preconceptions, and it's very fractured and divisive.

Well, there's some people who won't listen to or won't be interested in your brand. I mean, there's people who people who are are uncertain, you know, we're really, really polarized, it's extremely hard to talk to some of those folks. And that is unfortunate, but I think most people are not at those extremes. They are more in the larger middle group, if you will, both voters and consumers, and they're open, they're more open, they may have their rabbit holes on their various social feeds that, you know, they live within their silo in terms of what they see and what they they know. But at the same time, they're not so you know, stuck there. So I think, if you want to, you don't want to talk to people who absolutely won't listen to you either, like beating your head against a wall is no point because and Twitter's bad for that. People try and convince people on Twitter, you never going to convince, you can lead them to make their own conclusion. But if you engage with an argument with stranger on some arcane point of, you know, whether it's vaccination policy, or whether it's abortion, or some really hot button issue, well, no, that's not going to...No, present your point of view, let them think about it. And, you know, know when to step away, is my my advice to.

Peter Reynolds  16:06  
No, I agree completely, this idea of, you know, your brand is not going to appeal to everybody, so don't try. And I think in business, with our brand in business, we maybe know that more. We know that we're not going to attract every customer. You know, we know that we have to be more focused, because there there is a customer out there for us for our product, we're not going to sell that gadget or gizmo or service to everybody. But when it comes to our personal brand, I think maybe as human beings, the idea of we want to be liked, you know, the idea of that, you know that there's a segment of the population that doesn't like what we're saying, maybe that maybe a lot of people and myself included, I fall into this trap where you become a little bit milk toast, because you don't want to offend anybody. But if you offend any, if you don't offend, if you say things that have zero chance of offending anyone, then I think you have zero chance of affecting anyone as well.

Tasha Kheiriddin  17:09  
I think I agree with you, I think that there's a difference between like not wanting to step on toes, and saying that you're framing your opinion in a way that has integrity. This is why you know, people get into ad hominem attacks, they go into the gutter, in politics or business or wherever, and they start attacking people to make their point, that just undermines your argument. To me, that's not a good brand. It's I mean, it's not helping your brand, it's extremely negative. Versus, you can say the controversial thing, but you back it up. And you, like I said, you don't engage with every single person who disagrees with you, because you're not going to not gonna win those arguments. But you present yourself in a way that is, you know, serious, but also has this importance to it, a sense of humor. I often deflect people who don't like my brand. I'll make a joke, you know, I'll be like, Oh, blah, blah, blah, like that's, uh, you know, it's I hope you had a good day to day kind of thing, if they are dumping all over me on social. Nice day we've got outside, didn't work on your computer all day, this kind of thing. So that's one way to sort of, I guess, you know, take the edge off of those attacks. But in terms of your brand, you're right. I mean, I say this to my daughter, because I've gotten some real serious hate mail, in the course of my journalistic career. And recently I did on on an article I wrote about vaccination, and she's like, this is terrible. I had death threats. And I said, Yeah, I know, sweetie, that's really wrong. It's terrible. And the police are aware of this one. But you're nobody till somebody hates you. Which is a weird thing to say maybe. But if nobody reacts, Peter, you're absolutely right. If you say nothing that actually gets some people really mad, well, maybe you are a bit you know, a bit milk toast. You shouldn't make people mad every single day. But if you have principles that are not, you know, the common thread, and it's something that really matters to you, and say them with integrity, and just stand by them.

Female Voice  19:02  
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Tasha Kheiriddin  19:32  
The other thing I think you can do is you can lead with intention. And if you say, Look, this is what I'm trying to do. And everybody can get behind that and say, Yeah, we want all want things to be better. And when you leave with intention, you say so to achieve that, this is my approach. It might not be yours. But if you already see that my intention is coming from a good place, then you can work around  my means to the end a little bit, or at least accept that and say, well, that's your way but we're both on the same page with what we want. So that always helps as well, from a brand point of view. And I totally agree with you, Peter, it's easy to say, you know, here's a product, and this product stands for something. And if you don't agree with it, then talk to the product. But if it's your face, it's out there. And you say, this is what I stand for. And somebody says, I don't agree with that. It's really, you know, it's a vulnerable position as as a personal brand representative. It's very tough. 

Yeah, I think intension is incredibly important to brand and apply it to the political realm with which I'm, I'm most familiar. I know, some politicians who they might completely disagree. Totally different party, different perception, but I really respect them, many of them are my friends. Why? Because their intention is good. Like you just said, Damon, it's an intention to make the world a better place, they see it through a different lens, they present themselves with integrity there, they don't, you know, their brand isn't cheap. Because I think personally, like you should, you have to maintain a certain level of decorum and politics to like, isn't anything really. Their tone is respectful. And so I respect them. And I think that if we all do that, in, you know, in our personal brands, respect is a huge thing is respecting the other person's right to have their brand and not just tear it down because you disagree with it.

Yeah, we've come back full circle of the social media problem where it's so easy to just be negative and faceless and, and anonymous and say, you know, you suck. It's dropping right there. Yeah, that's, it's, it's daunting.

Peter Reynolds  21:26  
Yeah, the, you know, the pull to troll the pull to have a quick snarky comment can be powerful. And one has to resist, resist going to the dark side, as much as possible. I wanted to talk a little bit about this, you know, basically kind of rising, above the crowd. You've had obviously a lot of incredible opportunities in your career. From television host and radio host and columnist and I'm wondering, in a sea of equals. How does somebody sort of rise above with their brand, gain attention. There's so much noise out there. What advice would you have for people trying to do that,

Tasha Kheiriddin  22:13  
My first piece of advice is be nice. That may sound really basic, but when you're building your brand, you come across a lot of people. In the case of television and media, for example, you cross paths with hosts who can put you on, who can put on your show and make your career. But you also cross paths with the makeup artists who will make you look good for that show. And you should treat both with equal amount of respect. And I say that because it's, you get a reputation and brand is partly reputation also in how you treat other people, it seeps into it. People know. I've seen this actually in my work. Navigator in my work in corporate communications is that when your brand runs into trouble, when something bad happens to you, or to your product, but personally. All of a sudden, someone trashes you or you may of put a foot wrong, and it's time for some reputation rescue. If you have stuff in the favor bank, if you have a reputation as a nice person outside of what you have to do, you'll give people compliments, and you'll be just respectful and you won't treat people who like waiters, you don't treat them with disdain or anything like that. I know people who do it, I don't understand that, but they do. And you think they're better than other people? Well, when you get into trouble, if you've acted that way, good luck to you. Because there's no allies who will come out and say, you know what, that person screwed up, they're a good person. And they did this for me. And I remember this story and this anecdote. And so, for me, I found that actually consciously, having a public profile has made me maybe a nicer person in some ways, because sometimes we all have that impulse to you know, yell at the driver over there, or just, if someone's really being bad at what they're doing. You're like, oh, yeah, just fix it sort of thing. You want to be snarky, but I tend to hold back and I tend to say, okay, look at it from their perspective. Because also, you know what, you don't want someone who's going to go out then on Twitter and say, Oh, she was a real fish today. Right? That's how she acted. So it kind of, I mean, I think I'm naturally nice to people, but it's also made me conscious of, it's part of your brand, too. Because if you get into trouble, you want to have backup. You want people to say that was a one time thing or that's not who they are. If you don't have those people, it's really hard to rescue your brand when it gets into trouble.

Peter Reynolds  24:31  
Well, they say that about reputation. Your reputation is what people say about you when you're not there. 

Tasha Kheiriddin  24:37  

Peter Reynolds  24:38  
It's a big part of your brand beyond expertise. Beyond personality is your reputation.

Tasha Kheiriddin  24:45  

Damon Adachi  24:45  
Do you think of the people that you've looked up to in your career in your life, you know, the boss that you've had that was, you know, fantastic, exemplary. They engaged with you. They were human beings. We weren't always perfect. You're right. They're nice. They didn't treat you like somebody beneath them. But it's, you know, it's that human element that authenticity that we talked about off the top that makes people engaged and relatable. So you know, we talked about in your brand, when you want what you want from your marketplace isn't just their spend, it's their trust, it's their testimony, and it's their engagement. And you've got a, you know, really focus on pulling that out of them by being authentic and building community and doing those sorts of things. So I think that's how you rise above the sea of equals that you mentioned before, that's really well put.

Tasha Kheiriddin  25:31  
Yeah, and I think engaging also in things that matter to you, you're going to be all about an issue or a cause, well do something. Do the 10k, walk or organize an event or, you know, sit on a board, for example, of an organization that helps people in that in that situation or something. Sort of walk the walk. I mean, otherwise, you're just you're advising other people, but you're not actually doing it. So it's less authentic. So for your brand, I think it's important to and again, that goes to the Allies piece, because people will then say, Yeah, you know, I work with her on this project. And she's really committed. And so when when she talks about the issue, it's sincere, it's genuine. So that engagement is important, too It's walking the walk through your brand.

Peter Reynolds  26:15  
Yeah, walking the walk. Absolutely. That totally makes sense. And it can be challenging, I found, I never had to think about, or at least I didn't think about my personal brand, when it came to my business, because it was, I was sort of behind the scenes. But I think it was, and you're probably similar, but when you become a writer, and suddenly, you start to diverge. And as a children's author, I was definitely developing. There was a brand, there was what people expected, I wasn't going to drop a lot of F bombs, you know, on tweets. 

Damon Adachi  26:49  
Not a lot, just a couple.

Peter Reynolds  26:51  
One or two maybe. 

Tasha Kheiriddin  26:54  
There's a famous book, Go The EFF To Sleep. Every parent can relate to that. Yeah,

Peter Reynolds  27:00  
I wish I'd written that I really, oh, my goodness. But it's, interesting, because and sometimes it can kind of sneak up on you. It's like, I wrote a book called Stitches in Time Travel that had two moms, the main character has two moms. And I've gotten a lot of advice from fellow authors. They said, you have to let people know that, even though it's not a major part of the story. It has nothing really to do with the the plot. You have to say that on the back. You've got to say Charlotte and her two moms, because you're building this brand, as a children's author, you will get people who are mad at you for quote, unquote, tricking them into reading your book that somehow has a gay agenda. And that was the first time I was like, what? I have to worry about that now? And, to Damon's point, you know, this idea of my readers that would would actually be offended by that I don't want those readers, but I think you still have to be sort of aware of it, and try to handle it in as nice a way, as you were saying, as you can.

Tasha Kheiriddin  28:09  
Yeah, it's, it's honest, too, I would have just thought....It's funny, the reaction your friends had, saying that people will feel tricked into reading it, and then oh, I didn't want my child to read that. And there are some people who, unfortunately, will still feel that way. But to me, it was more that it's a positive to say that because you're breaking ground for stories about different kinds of families that exists today. And that, you know, kids want to feel like they're included, and they're just like every other kid. So I see that as a positive thing, but I think, yeah, it can cut both ways. I think what you want to do is you want to be honest, and you also find a niche, right? Your brand is you know, maybe that's the niche is like breaking barriers or diversity stories for kids or whatever it is. Because it's sort of a long tail of marketing, right? We need to you don't want to pigeonhole yourself too much. But you need to also find the audience for anything and a book in particular, that one of the first questions that the potential publisher will ask you is, well, who's gonna buy it? You know, why should I invest in this? How many copies are we gonna sell and to who? So you have to be able to answer that question,

Damon Adachi  29:15  
Right. And what we've always said is that, you know, if you really want to have the best chance of success in business, you have to totally understand who your target audience is, and your in your target client and profile them the best you can. And even though you know, we can admit that today, things are very divisive and polarized. It also provides you with a lot more information about your market segment. Before you might be segmenting on just gender or location or demographics of those natures. And now you have another whole palette, of whether it's political persuasions or ideologies that you can really root into and dive into people's passionate about something even though it's going to alienate another portion of the market. It's still more information that you can use from a business standpoint on How to target and be more successful.

Tasha Kheiriddin  30:03  
Sure, because you can't be everything to everyone, right? And you shouldn't try, you know, be true to yourself. Realize there are limitations as to the fan base you can cultivate with people who will, like you recognize some people will hate you. But that's their decision. And, I don't think you purposely court the hatred or the haters is still a swift column. But they will come because some people just have a really different view than you and some people choose to hate to they choose, that's their thing, right? So they will go after people just for whatever purpose, sometimes they need to make their own brand too right? This is the other thing is that people's brands play off each other. It's like archetypes, even in literature, you always have the protagonist and the antagonist. And in life, it's the same and the media loves those stories unfortunately. You know, they love it when two celebrities go at each other, right? On social or whatever, it is a feud and and then they are even like, you think Meghan Markel, what happened to her in the palace, and the rivalry with Kate Middleton. Which I don't know, that no one knows the full story, but they torqued it and amped it because it's suited their purposes. And each of them had a very different brand. Right? So it was like the clash of the brands in a way and the media fed off it. So when you have a brand, you have to be conscious to I mean, if you if people start to focus on you, like the anti-you starts focusing on you in some way. You have to sort of manage that too, because you don't want to get sucked into just a feud with one person and be defined by that. I think that's not positive for anyone.

Damon Adachi  31:35  
Okay, so that's interesting for me, because I always find that when dealing with those haters out there, you can outsmart them. Because hate is ignorant, and it's not very well informed. So from your law background, do you employ those, is it like the Amber Heard trial idea where you can come in and say, you know, what, you can't really just fall back on everybody else is wrong and I'm right. We're gonna have to pull it apart a little bit. Do you use those skills at all in helping to sway your audience or deflect the haters? 

Tasha Kheiriddin  32:07  
Well, that trial, and there's so many, so many things, we can learn from that terrible experience. Nobody won, they're basically everyone got dragged through the mud with, you know, behind 1000 Horses kind of thing. And I think that it's not so much my law background, I would use really, I think it's more just more my communications background, because it's really often how you frame things. You could frame, you could sell a product in many different ways. You could frame it in a positive frame or a negative frame, a political message can be framed as like you could frame with hope, we can frame it with fear. You get different responses. So it really is how you frame your brand too. And that changes over time as well. It also responds to the marketplace because like right now, people are really concerned about the cost of living. It's like top issue when you ask people social, political, any issue is the economy, right? So if you're selling a product, or if you're selling your own brand, let's say. How are you aware of what people are concerned about? Or they're looking for? And can you respond to that in a way that makes them pay attention to you and say, Oh, I have something to offer you for this, right? It's something that it changes because the nature of what people are concerned about. COVID was, I mean, look at how many businesses had to pivot completely even what they produced to stay alive in COVID. And restaurants had to turn to take out and bottle service and this kind of thing to just survive. So they rebranded themselves completely. And for an individual, it's also it can be very similar is that if the world changes, you've got to figure out how your brand fits into that. And what can you offer that so that you stay current and stay interested, interesting to people?

Peter Reynolds  33:51  
Well, first off, I just want to thank both Damon and yourself for mentioning Taylor Swift and Amber Heard, because our demographic... 

Tasha Kheiriddin  34:01  
If we we put them in a room together what would happen?

Peter Reynolds  34:05  
I think just in terms of our SEO, I think that is going to be massive impact. 

Tasha Kheiriddin  34:12  
It's for you Peter. 

Damon Adachi  34:13  
Always the bottom line.

Peter Reynolds  34:13  
Thank you for that. At Pro and Conversations, we do appreciate any references to pop culture icons. But I wanted to, I wanted to get to talk a little bit about your book, and just sort of this idea of kind of what what inspired you to write it.

Tasha Kheiriddin  34:33  
What inspired me was a brand failure. It's all about failure brand. The Conservatives in Canada have lost three elections now consecutively. And after the last loss last fall, I thought, okay, they need some help. They need some advice. I've been toying with the idea of writing another book for many years. And I felt I had something to say, I had something to offer. So I started working on it at that time. And the reason I say it's a brand failure is because in all three cases, the common thread was that they lost the trust of the voter. The voter didn't believe that they stood for what they said they did. They thought they had a hidden agenda, whether on you know, abortion or guns, or they thought that they hid in the last leader had run as a true blue conservative, and then you present themselves in more center, right, more moderate. So the people who voted for him in the leadership were all confused and said, Well, who are you? So there was a real disconnect between the brand and the voter. And so the authenticity factor was just lost. So I thought, Oh, how do you get that back? And who do you need to get for the next, you know, 10 years, not just the next election, but who do the Conservatives need to appeal to, to survive as a party and to grow, where they need to grow. Which is among new Canadian voters, urban and suburban voters, and Gen Z, millennials, those are the three groups that they overlap, they are the future, essentially, of not just the party, but of the country. That's where the growth is. So the book addresses that. It looks at how populism and conservatism have interacted in the history of Canada, and how Conservatives have always kind of lost out when their party split up, which is, the last one was the Reform Party, of course. But those experiences and how we carry that forward to today, and we address the needs of those three groups. What are they looking for in politics? How do you make conservatism relevant to them? And should you be more populist? Or should you be more conservative when you talk to them? So that's really what the book is, is about. And then the leadership happened. And of course, the timeline for the book accelerated dramatically. And now it's out in July 5, as opposed to November was supposed to be in bookstores July 5, and on Amazon. And so far, people are very interested. I'm very, very pleased. 

Damon Adachi  36:42  
I'm definitely interested. 

Tasha Kheiriddin  36:43  
Thank you. I'll get you a copy. I should stop giving them away. I keep saying now they will copy. My publisher is like, no stop.

Damon Adachi  36:50  
I'm supportive. I'll buy a copy.

Tasha Kheiriddin  36:53  
Thank you. 

Peter Reynolds  36:53  
Take off your branding hat and put on your sales hat. 

Tasha Kheiriddin  36:56  
Yes, I know. Right? I know. I'm too nice. Have a book.

Damon Adachi  37:01  
It's it's very interesting how tied in branding is to politics, because you're absolutely right. And people want to vote for ideology, but then the leadership doesn't represent it properly, or they have a disconnect. And I think that's why we've seen so much voter apathy and low turnout, and I think you're brilliant for at least making the attempt to change what's the problem today.

Peter Reynolds  37:27  
Tasha, thank you so much for sharing your insights with us today. It's been a fantastic conversation,

Tasha Kheiriddin  37:34  
Thank you, Peter. And the book is just a shameless plug. The Right Path, by me, on Amazon or You can find it there.

Peter Reynolds  37:43  
We're gonna put a link up for the book. And we are all about shameless plugs. Here on Pros and Conversations as we are. But and Damon, my co-conspirator and co-host thank you very much for joining us again.

Tasha Kheiriddin  38:06  
Always a pleasure.

Peter Reynolds  38:08  
My name is Peter Reynolds and you've been listening to Pros and Conversations. See you next time.

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