How to build your brand according to marketing guru Sylvester Chauke

Sylvester Chauke
Sylvester Chauke

As founder of DNA Brand Architects, Sylvester has made a name for himself and has several accolades such as CNBC Africa All Africa Young Business Leader of the Year, BBQ Young Leader of the Year, European Business Assembly, Best Enterprise and CEO Award, and the Oliver Empowerment Top Empowered Young Entrepreneur Award to name a few. 

He has recently launched what I’d call a bible for anyone wanting to go into advertising, marketing or even build a lasting and reckonable brand, with his new book- Stand Against Bland. “As someone who has worked in brand communication all my career, I have seen how important personal branding is – it is the only way I have been able to stand against bland throughout my career. My branding has had a direct impact on my career growth,” he explains.

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Here are his five tips on how to build a successful brand. 

1. Go through the process 

Part of getting to know your essence comes from taking the time to listen to self, question your ideas and beliefs about yourself. Even some of the “worst” parts of yourself, when exposed, create a springboard to self-understanding. Life will work in its way, and in the pace by which you exert yourself. 

2. Don’t play games 

I insist on honesty and straight-shooting because that is the key to doing good business. You will not succeed through deception – not being sincere with someone implies that you don’t respect them. 

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3. Relationship building and networking 

To get ahead in life, you’ve got to engage and integrate. We are individuals, but our success is predicated upon our ability to build networks. One enemy is one too many. Every contact you make should be a potential partner, supplier, client mentor or mentee. I started forging real connection and bonds with people from the onset of my career and I understood that every relationship matter.

4. Pass on your knowledge 

You do not know something until you have taught it to someone else. Sharing is one of the greatest acts of generosity because there is seldom anything in it for us; it’s all about enriching someone else’s life, from the well of our own experiences. I have been lucky to work with some incredibly humble bosses who have shared words of wisdom and encouragement with me. I grab every opportunity to train my colleagues – Whether it is through formal training programmes or just a friendly comment or two while we are working on a project. We must be poster boys (or girls) for knowledge sharing – in the interests of our communities and businesses.

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5. Be consistent 

It is impossible to build a personal brand without consistency of what the world can come to expect from you. It is never easy. It is very challenging, but the rewards (and the peace) are immeasurable. I have defined my brand – it has affirmed who I am and the things I do. I have been very intentional withstanding against bland and I have never allowed anyone else to define it for me. 

Remember though: 

  • No one owes you anything!
  • Do what you need to do to ensure you get to where you need to.
  • Maximise on the opportunities you get, watch your ego.
  • Spread good energy and a spirit of excellence through your life. 

If you want more tips from the guru grab a copy Stand Against Bland - it is available nationwide.

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