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Crafting My Personal Brand: The Impact of Aliza Licht's 'On Brand'

Woman with red hair in leopard print dress and book cover featuring the title 'On Brand' and five cups, one of which is pink with red lipstick on the lid.
Aliza Licht, Author of On Brand

In 2010, I packed up my laptop and clothes, and moved to London for an opportunity that would transform my life both professionally and personally. From 2010 to 2017, I was in charge of the social media for the most famous luxury department store in the world - Harrods. However, that is a story for another day. Today, I’d like to focus on one of the people that I met during my time in that role.

My social media journey really started on Twitter (now known as X - today actually marks the day that I joined the platform 15 years ago), after a friend recommended that I join because they believed that it was going to be massive one day (how right you were Steve). I was also active on Facebook but from a branding point of view, Twitter was where I was gaining the most traction. One of the accounts that was very prominent on the platform at the time was DKNY PR Girl. Unbeknown to the wider world (all would later be revealed), Aliza Licht, was the woman behind the account. I was obsessed. Firstly because I love fashion but secondly because the account made fashion accessible and inclusive in a way that had not previously existed. Whenever I tweeted about DKNY, the account would always engage with me (something that was revolutionary at the time - fashion brands engaging with the general public, especially luxury fashion brands). So, when I joined Harrods, connecting with that account was top of my to do list (as well as Oscar PR Girl, otherwise known as Erika Bearman, an account owned by the fashion brand Oscar de la Renta, that was also doing great things in the social media space at the time). One morning, I summed up the courage to send the two emails that I’d been planning in my head for weeks. To my delight, I did not have to wait long for their lovely replies. Aliza’s email was very complimentary of the work I was doing and so began a relationship that continues to this day. At this point, it’s important for me to give some context when it comes to fashion and social media. For many years, the fashion industry was not a world that the majority of us had any access to (and to be fair that access is still very limited). When social media came along, it gave the public access to the industry in a way that had never been seen before - democratisation of a space that we rarely got an insight into beyond the narratives that were crafted for our consumption. The OG’s of the fashion blogging world such as Disney Roller Girl, Liberty London Girl, Bryan Boy and Susie Bubble, through their fashion commentary and access, were taking us on a journey that was new and exciting. Having innovators like Aliza and Erika engaging in such an open way on behalf of two world-famous luxury fashion brands, further cemented the intriguing narratives that were unfolding between brands and their customers/communities.

Throughout my seven year tenure at Harrods, Aliza and I kept in touch, and I would see her when I attended the DKNY shows in New York during fashion week. Aliza would always speak to me and make sure that I was okay - something I greatly appreciated as the fashion world can be a very intimidating place, especially as a newbie.

After leaving my role, I made a point of maintaining many of the great relationships I had forged. Not only did Aliza keep in touch with me but continued to support and encourage me (as she says in the book “the biggest gift you can give anyone is to continue to be there for them after they leave a big role”). From liking/reposting my posts to having me as a guest on her podcast, the support never wavered. So when Aliza released her first book ‘Leave Your Mark’, I got my hands on a copy as soon as I could. Fast forward to April 2023, Aliza released ‘On Brand’ - the ultimate roadmap when it comes building your personal brand. For me, this book came at the perfect time as I had just left my corporate job to become my own boss. Now more than ever, I needed actionable advice and tactical strategies to help me build my own personal brand as this would be the leverage I would need/use to grow my own ventures. And yes, whilst I do have years of experience in marketing and communications, it can never hurt to learn from the best as a means of perfecting your craft (I’m a big advocate of lifelong learning). I was rebranding myself, as I wanted to move into other areas besides marketing. My fashion rentals had taken off by this point and opened up a whole new career path which I was keen to fuse with my personal finance journey. Media was also something that I wanted to venture into (television and radio contributor), so I knew this book was going to come in very handy.

As soon as the book arrived, I got to work. I didn’t just read it - I consumed it. I underlined and highlighted so much that I had to go back and make notes, as well as completing all of the exercises several times. One of the key takeaways for me was that we spend too much time marketing the companies we work for and as a result, forget to market ourselves (something I had spent much of my career doing). We make our company’s name matter and not our own. Another key takeaway, was when Aliza talked about her identity being tied to DKNY PR Girl and working to become known as an entity in her own right. This was something I experienced when I left Harrods. For years after leaving, I was known as the Harrods social media girl. Now don’t get me wrong, this is something I am extremely proud of and will never complain about as it continues to open doors and create opportunities. However, I knew the time had come to truly step into my own shoes and build a brand of my own. It was time to walk my own path as Lisa Maynard-Atem.

In writing ‘On Brand’, Aliza has given us an easy-to-follow blueprint when it comes to shaping and sharing our own narratives. All of the steps that you need to think about and take are laid out for you, cemented by her lived experience, which makes the knowledge shared even more valuable. What better to learn than from someone who has already walked the path successfully. Whether we realise it or not, we all have a personal brand. Everything you say, do and even wear, says something about you. When harnessed in the right way, your brand can be transformational both professionally and personally. And who better to tell your story and share your vision than you. We can never control what people think of us but by being the architects of our own narrative, we can positively influence their perceptions and opinions. For anyone wanting to go on this journey, this book is everything you need to guide you and it does so in the most personable way. Here are some other key takeaways that really resonate with me:

  1. Focus on what you want to be known for

  2. It is better to start and learn as you go than waste time seeking perfection

  3. Strategically and consciously build a bridge between your past and your future

  4. Don’t wait for someone to shine a light on you

  5. Strategically share parts of yourself that support your goals

  6. When people like the messenger, they listen to the message

  7. Tell a great story

  8. Get clear on your narrative before your first day

  9. The success of a rebrand starts with your mindset

  10. Don’t let the fear of public opinion scare you out of making a big change

On Brand continues to be one of the books that underpins everything I do in relation to my brand’s growth and development. The numerous pieces of press that my fashion rental and personal finance journey has received into recent months, was secured with the help of tactics that I have learned from this book. On a very personal level, I am navigating a completely different world career-wise, than the one that I have been used to for so many years. Whilst it is very exciting, it is also quite scary. Having this book as a guide on my journey, makes is a little scary.

Thank you Aliza x

Buy On Brand | Aliza LIicht: or @alizalichtxo


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