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Why you need a social branding blueprint

November 30, 2011 Comments

One of the greatest challenges that every brand faces today is the distance between theory and execution. Between understanding and action. Between the study of marketing and Returns on Investment. This is not their fault. Not only is it hard enough to meet the demands of your business on a daily basis, but now social technology is changing so fast that it’s almost impossible to keep up. Yet that doesn’t change the fact that without a blueprint specific to your business, targeted toward today’s consumer, and leveraging the latest social technologies, a brand cannot hope to connect to their customers in the most meaningful way that will drive their bottom-lines. That’s why you need a Social Branding Blueprint.

The We First Social Branding Seminar is designed to give you just that – a Social Branding Blueprint with three distinct benefits:

1. SKILL SETS: Too often brands either make the mistake of focusing on their story to the exclusion of social technology, or focusing on social media without clearly defining who they are. This seminar is designed to walk you through, step-by-step, the necessary stages of thinking to create a meaningful story that can then be amplified by social media.

2. SPECIFICITY: While everyone has access to platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, that does not mean every tool is right for every business or strategic objective. That’s why the seminar is designed to lay out the best practices by the world’s smartest marketers, detailing the various tools, tactics and strategies to achieve different measurable results.

3. SUPPORT: It is difficult to clearly define a brand, and it’s almost impossible to do it for your own company. That’s why the biggest brands use advertising agencies– because they give you the benefit of a third-party perspective that deeply understands both you and the marketplace. In order to give you and your business the same one-on-one attention and third -arty perspective, the seminar is designed in the following way: First, there is pre-work which will allow you to start thinking about what your brand stands for even before you start the seminar. Secondly, there will be world-class trainers walking you through each step of the social branding blueprint with the support of mentors and break-out sessions. Thirdly, after the seminar there will be ongoing support available so that you can further refine your business blueprint and marketing specific to your business goals.

Too often, a conference or seminar talks at a topic rather than enabling you to act on your new knowledge. The We First Social Branding Seminar is designed to give you an actionable blueprint specific to your business that is informed by the best practices, case-studies, and bottom-line benefits of the biggest and smartest marketers in the world .

I invite you to join us on February 1st and 2nd in sunny California at the beautiful beachside Marina Del Rey Marriott Hotel. But don’t wait–early bird pricing is ending, and places are limited. Plus, remember you get to invite your favorite non-profit to attend for free simply by registering. So you’ll be making a great contribution while also building your business.

We look forward to working with you, and ensuring you have a Social Branding Blueprint on which to build your success next year.


Two exciting We First announcements

November 28, 2011 Comments

Today I’m super excited to announce two very special speakers for the upcoming We First Social Branding Seminar. The event is being held on February 1st and 2nd at the Marina Del Rey Marriot hotel in Los Angeles, and focuses on what I consider the most important business issue for any company today – how they address the impact of social media on their business and the changing face of the marketplace.

To address this issue, we’ve put together a two-day seminar that specializes in brand storytelling and social technology, focusing on the latest research, best practices and technology so that you can scale your brand awareness, profits, and positive impact. And now you’ll also benefit from two world-class authorities on what we can expect from customers and new media in the future.

GUEST SPEAKER: CAROL CONE, Global Vice-Chair Edelman Business + Social Purpose
From 1980–2010 Carol was the Founder, CEO and Chairman of Cone, Inc., recognized as the nation’s leading cause branding consultancy. Now in a new leadership position at Edelman, the world’s largest PR firm, she provides strategic counsel to clients on the development of purpose, social issues and public engagement strategies, as well as corporate and brand citizenship.

Carol has a deep commitment to innovative research with consumers, executives and employees. She works with the firm’s leadership to apply insights  from Edelman’s annual goodpurpose™ global consumer study and its Trust and Health Engagement Barometers to client assignments, reports and proprietary methodologies.

Carol’s recognitions include: 100 Most Influential People in Business Ethics, Ethisphere Magazine, 2007; 25 Most Powerful Professionals in the Communications Industry, PRWeek, 2007; Changing the Game Award, Advertising Women of  New York, 2007; Lifetime Achievement Award, PR News, 2005; 50 Most Powerful Women in Public Relations, PRWeek; and Entrepreneur of the Year, Arthur Young/Venture Magazine. 

GUEST SPEAKER: ROBERT TERCEK,  Chairman, Creative Visions Foundation, host of THIS WEEK IN SOCIAL MEDIA, former President of Digital Media for OWN.

I’ve known Robert as a colleague and fellow speaker for many years, always admiring his incredible insight and vision as to what we can expect from the future of media. Like Carol, he comes with world-class expertise and credentials.

Robert is Hollywood’s most prolific creator of interactive entertainment. In 2009, he was named one of the “25 Executives to Watch” by Digital Media Wire. Variety has named him one of the “Digital Dozen” most influential players in new media. The Industry Standard dubbed him a “TV Anarchist”.

His 22-year career is marked by achievements which include several milestones: the first multichannel television service in Asia (STAR TV in 1991); the first multiplayer Java games on the Web (Sony, 1997); the first interactive game shows on US Television (Sony, 1999); the world’s first streaming video service on mobile phones (PacketVideo and NTT DoCoMo’s V-Live, 2001); the largest audience for live interactive video events on the web (Oprah Winfrey’s 2009 web casts); the most popular free book download in history (Suze Orman on, 2009).

Tercek has served in executive leadership roles at major media companies, most recently as President of Digital Media at OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network, and previously as Senior Vice President of Digital Media at Sony Pictures Entertainment and earlier as Creative Director at MTV: Music Television. He also co-founded five startup ventures, including 7thLevel, Inc which went public in 1993.

What’s more, there has never been a better time to register, as this is the final week of early-bird pricing.

Additionally, the registration fee includes an extra ticket for you to invite your favorite non-profit for free, so that you have a positive impact simply by attending.

So if you’re a for-profit, invite the non-profit you support. If you’re a non-profit, find a supporter that can enable you both to attend.

Places are limited, and this is truly a rare opportunity to accelerate your business success under the guidance of three world-class authorities on the future of branding, marketing, and media.

Register now by visiting, and share this information with those who you know would also benefit. And if you’re a large company that would like to invite several people, email for corporate discounts.

Can’t wait to see you by the beach in February! It’s going to be fantastic.



Thanks to the We First community

November 23, 2011 Comments

I wanted to take the time today to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and share what I am so grateful for. The support of We First and the spirit of its community has been a real source of joy this year and I wish everyone a fantastic weekend with their friends and families in which we reaffirm how much we need, want and are crazy about each other. So, here goes:

Thank you to everyone who bought We First and took a risk on an unknown author who talks funny (Australian!).

Thank you to everyone who share the message with others by sending on the We First launch film or book recommendation.

Thank you to the amazing folks who I now call friends on Twitter, Facebook and Google+ who have inspired me with what they’ve shared and share what I found inspiring.

Thank you to those corporate, non-profit and start-up leaders who have taken the brave step of integrating purpose into their messaging, enacting contributory consumption programs and committed to collaboration in order to address pressing social issues.

Thank you to everyone who also deeply believes there is no limit to what creativity can achieve including the revitalization of our companies, economy and country and the lives of those they affect.

Thank you to the amazing folks who work with me in different ways but who are all equal parts of We First, including Morgan, Sam, Ryan, Devin, Catherine, Cole, Cameron, Rick, Michael, Mark, Martin, Natalie.

Thank you to my wife and kids who have supported me throughout the book writing, launch and now the first ever We First Social Branding seminar.

We stand on the cusp of an unprecedented opportunity for personal and professional reinvention as technology yet again redefines the way we relate to each other and do business. Directed the right way, we will be able to look back at this period with great pride, and for that opportunity I’m hugely grateful.

Happy Thanksgiving, consider yourself hugged, and have a stellar weekend!




3 facts that will shape the future of branding, marketing and social media

November 21, 2011 8 Comments

Havas Media just came out with an insightful new report entitled, “Meaningful Brands For A Sustainable Future.” One of the most telling aspects of the report was how it revealed the often-overlooked punitive side of the social business marketplace.  Specifically, …

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Why cause marketing is an inside job

November 16, 2011 3 Comments

Despite the wonderful work and contributions made by corporate foundations through their cause marketing campaigns, there is a fundamental obstacle that cause marketers must overcome if they hope to truly have the impact our world at scale and build the bottom-lines. This …

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Doing well by doing good by the numbers

November 14, 2011 5 Comments

Making the business case for doing good is absolutely critical to meaningful shift in corporate behavior to address our current economic crises and build a better world. fortunately that is easier than ever thanks to great new research and resources being …

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Interview with Shireen Chada: Spirituality and social media

November 9, 2011 2 Comments

I recently had the chance to explore an interesting perspective on social media – that of Shireen, who as a member of the Brahma Kumaris at Peace Village in the Catskills, who provided invaluable insights into a more spiritual perspective …

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Top ten ways to get the best, not the most, from your employees

November 7, 2011 0 Comments

I’ve had the chance in the last year of visiting three exceptional places that are famous for their degree of creativity and marketplace dominance, and I wanted to share come common traits that seemed to factor into their success. The …

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About Simon

About Simon Mainwaring

Simon Mainwaring is the founder of We First, a leading brand consultancy that provides purpose-driven strategy, content, and training that empowers companies to lead business, shape culture, and better our world.