Who am I? Today, I answered a few questions. Learn more about me and get some tips and tricks while we’re at it =)

What’s your favorite brand you’ve worked on?

I have a special connection with every brand that my hands have ever touched, so I could quite literally write here that every one of them is my favorite. The experience of just opening the band book for each one is memorable <3.

But if I HAVE to pick a favorite, I want to choose 2!

1) The first has got to be the Seuss+ brand. Being both an internal brand (our own company Collective!), and having a cross-functional cross-brand team involved in the actual brand discovery and development process. This was really special to me and touching. My heart still swells when I remember how passionate and invested everyone was in making our brand launch authentic, true-to us, and a success. You can learn about this brand process through the video we made, have a watch here.

 

2) The second was working with Shashank on the 29 Spices restaurant brand. I loved the concept. I loved everything about working on this restaurant. But seeing the brand strategy take shape, and then take PHYSICAL shape in the restaurant with it’s interior design, wall paintings, menus, and in it’s food, passionate connection to customers, social media feed. All of it. I love how this turned out. On my birthday, the iGina team had lunch in the restaurant and I’m not embarrassed to say I shed a few tears that day when I walked in and experienced the brand strategy with my own eyes and taste buds.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Two moments stand out to me in my life. The first one is all about resourcefulness. At the start of my career in a small 3-person start up, I was responsible for doing all the things imaginable. Jack of all trades. I was young, naive, and unsure of myself in my role and career.

I remember asking often how to do things and my manager would always tell me “figure it out – be resourceful”.

It stung at the time but it was the best advice he could have ever given me. It drove me to learn, research, try, fail, try again, and succeed. I have carried this with me in my entire life and still do it to this day.

I’m a doer because of it and I am passionate to learn and try as much as I can. And I’m not afraid to fail and try again to get it right. I love that process.

Second thing that stands out as the best advice helped guide my perseverance and drive my entrepreneurship spirit.

I was at an impasse with my career, didn’t know where I wanted to go but I knew that I wanted my own business.

I was afraid to change though.

Afraid to leave my job.

Afraid to not have a “real job”.

Afraid of failing.

Afraid of what would happen if I had no income at all.

I had met with one of my colleagues from years ago, a CEO and VC. He asked me what I wanted to do next, and I told him I wanted to be in HIS chair. A CEO, a business owner, in charge of my own destiny. He challenged me with instantly jarring response:

“No you are not an entrepreneur. If you were, you would have done it already and taken the leap.”

I walked out of that meeting shocked but also for the first time with my eyes completely opened. He was totally right.

This one simple statement changed the course of my career and it was in that moment that I decided to start iGina (and I did! So the rest is history). 

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned in business or marketing?

By far the biggest lesson I have learned in business is that I don’t have to do ALL THE THINGS.

Firstly, my to do list never shortens, and adding all of the non-essentials to the list only mean I fall off my focus and don’t reach my goals.

I struggled with getting all of these things done for too long.

So here’s how I manage it. I set measurable targets and breaking those down to short-term goals help me to answer the question “Should I do this task, yes or no?” to each and every thing that comes my way.

Second to this, always hire people smarter than you. They are able to do so much without micromanaging or hand holding so you can be the CEO while they operate your company for you.

Before I move on to the next question here’s the biggest marketing lesson I’d like you to take away from this question: you don’t have to do all the marketing tactics that everyone says you do.

You need to do a few of them, say 3-5. And do them remarkably well. Not half, not inconsistently. Do them on brand, consistently, and creatively. Be remarkable.

Favorite book, podcast, website, or Instagram account to read (or follow) for business, marketing, or design:

One little known fact about me is that I’m not a book “reader”. I’m a book listener. I listen to audio books on my daily office commute and listen to no less than 2 books a week of all sorts of varieties.

Two of my favorites are: The Hero and the Outlaw with all there is to know about brand archetypes, their history and use today. I love this book!

Second book I love is Lean Branding: this practical approach to brands and branding dissolves the preconceived notion that you have to do “all the things.” It provides practical, thought and analytics driven approaches to your brand.

App or program you can’t live without and why?

There are way too many favorites here to go into huge detail but daily I use:

Scribd – this app on my phone gives me a monthly subscription to all the ebooks and audiobooks my heard desires. It’s heavenly!

Pinterest – I’m one of those people. I use Pinterest daily and have separate accounts for iGina and personal. From design inspiration to keto recipes, I’m all over Pinterest and use it for so many things. Do you follow the iGina Pinterest account? You can do so here.

Todoist – this is my daily do to app that I use for brain dumping that list of things to do, for both business and personal.

Canva and Adobe Spark – for social graphics and ongoing quick images, these 2 are hard to beat. Both have mobile versions (though I like Spark better for that), free versions, and are easy to use, full of templates to get your started – and consistent in your graphic communications.

Lightroom for mobile – for photo editing on the go, I stand by using Lightroom. The filters and customizations are hard to beat.

Instagram – who doesn’t love Instagram??!

The Way Forward

Guiding entrepreneurs on their journey to a remarkable brand is the mission of the Brand Alchemy Library.

For many of us, running or launching our business while facing a global pandemic has opened up a whole new range of challenges: from pivoting businesses models, evolving customer groups, saving money, and time efficiency - just to name a few. I want to support and help, especially at this time. I wanted to give back. My passion project was born from the desire to help even more people around the world in a affordable way!

The Brand Alchemy Library is a supportive community and resource vault designed to help your business thrive.

Inside, my #1 priority is to help entrepreneurs break free of the cycle of spending hours and hours googling how to's and templates. The resources I provide in the library are 100% vetted and the exact frameworks, templates, exercises, and worksheets that I use with my clients to:

  • build brands
  • setup businesses
  • run day-to-day projects
  • action marketing and brand strategies

Learn more about what this valuable yearly membership has to offer and how you can join today!

But, I'll tell you now, if truly becoming a remarkable brand is your goal, you NEED to join the Library Membership. Just saying.

Until next time,

Who am I? 

I'm Gina Dunn, Brand Strategist and CEO of iGina - and my mission is to help entrepreneurs to define and build brands. Let's bring your brand to life!

Did you know that brand-led businesses outperform their competition by 83%? Get started by mapping out your very own brand strategy yourself with our Brand Canvas - get it here.