It all started when…
my son decided to go out for the Associated Student Body (ASB) Leadership Program at his high school. There was one question on the application that a parent had to answer:
“If a parent could describe you in three words, what would those words be?”
Excitedly I said, “This is what I do for a living,” since the kids often wonder what I do as a brand strategist. This was a golden opportunity for a mom and marketer to have a unique chance to talk about things you rarely get to talk about with your child — the person he / she is, and is becoming.
We talked, we debated and provided anecdotal proof points that supported three personality traits I attributed to him. We settled on three words that he could “own” and support, if asked. I encouraged him to tell his “story” throughout the application so the committee could get to know him on paper, and hopefully ask him to interview in the next round.
After a highly competitive selection process, my son was chosen for the ASB Leadership program.
One senior class officer confided in him afterwards that the committee loved his application because they felt like they really got to know him ON PAPER, AND TO THEIR DELIGHT, WHEN INTERVIEWED, HE WAS NOTHING SHORT OF HIS TRUTH ON PAPER.
Senior year of high school my son continued to carry his truth, his personal brand—Thoughtfully Optimistic—into the office of ASB President of a student body of 3100 kids. Today, he continues his leadership momentum in college as a member of the President’s Council and Vice-President of his Fraternity.
As a mom, I was delighted to engage with my son in this way; as a marketer I was delighted to apply my brand of poetic branding to him and help him adapt it on such a personal, livable, and long-lasting level.
— Meryl Holland