Lessons from a great party

After some time away travelling, last night I was fortunate enough to be invited to a fantastic event on the Wellington waterfront. The place was packed with the renowned and the influential alike. I understand why it is regarded as the party of the year in the city.

The event itself served to remind me of two things.

Firstly, that networking complements talent and profile, and that if you are not out and about working your brand with key influencers, you are essentially neglecting your marketing – an observation that’s as true for how consumer brands need to network and engage with their supply chains and customers as it is for individuals. Affinity increases through dialogue. It’s not good enough to be good at what you do. You don’t grow your reputation by looking in the mirror.

Secondly, there are at least two distinct networking strategies – wide and open, or focused and intense – and they seem to permeate every aspect of how we choose to make and retain contact.

I follow very much the second approach. Whilst there were many people at the event last night who I knew by name, most of them didn’t immediately know me. The same goes for my LinkedIn contacts, my Facebook Likes and so much more. I’m not particularly popular numerically. But, as per last night, those people I do know, I know well and often have deep and trusting relationships with. We seek each other out.

That same premise applies to brands – you can either scale or cult. Both work, but in very different ways. Each has its limitations and its strengths. Only you know which works for you – and whether this is the approach you conciously choose to have, or the approach you are landed with by default.

To my hosts … thank you so much. Last night, it was very nice indeed to be considered a friend.

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