Hi! SO, HBA is OPEN! YAY! We already have lots of students in the class and I truly hope you will join us because it is going to be AWESOME. In honor of my class, I wanted to give you a little idea of what we are trying to do in the class and give you some examples.

So, here is one the biggest questions I always answer:

What is a brand, anyway?

Well, it’s a lot of different things that combine to make up a brand.

It’s not JUST personality.
It’s not JUST story.
It’s not just DESIGN

Here is my shorthand equation for it:

A brand = a big idea (battle cry) + YOUR personality

That equation is illustrated with:



This is what builds personality brands and platforms. These elements. Once you see this, you’ll be able to identify it in EVERY brand you will ever encounter.

In HBA, our mission is to fill in the gaps so that you have something for each of these categories. I even created a little infographic so you can see how it all lays out.





See,  brands are ACTIVE. If you are having a hard time selling or being “seen” as a brand, it’s because some of these elements are missing or you are WAY to focused one aspect and not the others.


For example, if you focus primarily on sales, you might SELL but people might not see you as a brand.


Content is the MOST important here. If you don’t have your content down, the rest won’t matter. 


In order to SHOW you what this looks like for an actual brand, I decided to use 2 popular brands as examples.The first two circles are filled in with her mission + some of her personality that she has infused into her brand.

Marie Forleo


Marie Forleo is BIG on content and she has also focused a lot on style.  She talks in a certian way, her website looks a specific way and it all feels very “Marie.”

That is why it is so OBVIOUS when people steal from her. They are taking one small piece of this pie. If you take her “style” and match it with your “content” it won’t work.


In Hot Brand Action, we will talk about what pieces of the graphic you REALLY want to focus on. Do you want to be known for having lots of style and being super engaging? Would you rather have awesome content and a killer story? It’s totally up to you!


You start with a foundation that includes each of these elements and fill in from there.


Now, let’s talk about Danielle.




I would say that Danielle focuses a lot on content, story and style. She has a very specific aesthetic point-of-view and writes posts that will literally change her life. Lately, she has been adding a lot more engagement to her brand by sharing more on instagram and sharing with the “Burning Question” every week.


The important thing to notice: a brand does NOT make sense without the BIG IDEA + Your personality. If you are feeling stuck or like you aren’t getting anywhere,  check-in and see where you might be missing things on this chart. What do you need more of? What’s missing?

If you want to discover your brand alongside some POWERHOUSE women, check out Hot. Brand. Action. It’s a 6 week mastermind designed to help you fill in the blanks and create an unforgettable brand.


*Edit* HBA is not coming up but make sure you are on the list to find out when it DOES happen.



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13 thoughts on “How great brands work: Marie Forleo, Danielle LaPorte and YOU + what is a brand, anyway?

  1. Hey Shenee, Reading your blog posts is like having another cup of coffee in the morning (without getting the crazy caffeine shakes!).  I love how you call a spade a spade, a far as ripping off brands, and encourage people to find out what THEIR message is for the world.  Look forward to working with you someday in the not-so-distant future 🙂

    Posted on September 12, 2012 at 3:15 pm
  2. You are in your sweetest spot EVA! Love what you’re doing. Keep up the brilliance!!!

    Posted on September 12, 2012 at 3:17 pm
  3. Love this post! It makes me even more excited to be participating in HBA this month. Thanks for the great breakdown.

    Posted on September 12, 2012 at 5:22 pm
  4. Shenee–this is an AWESOME graphic on branding. I freakin’ love it!

    Posted on September 12, 2012 at 8:00 pm
  5. Love! Won’t be able to do HBA now…but definitely in the future 🙂

    Posted on September 13, 2012 at 2:01 am
  6. Love! Won’t be able to do HBA now…but definitely in the future 🙂

    Posted on September 13, 2012 at 2:04 am
  7. Hi Shenee – great post. Simple yet powerful!

    Posted on September 14, 2012 at 2:56 am
  8. Brilliant! The best post about branding I have ever seen! I’m not promoting myself or anything yet, but you gave me so much to think about for when the time comes!

    Posted on September 15, 2012 at 6:09 pm
  9. Wow! This is amazing stuff! I got a huge WWWWOOOOOOWWWW!!! while reading this.
    I want to get started RIGHT NOW on this but I have client work to finish. Grrr, blimmin client work getting in the way of building my empire – hehehehehe

    Posted on September 17, 2012 at 12:36 am
  10. Love, love, love this post!

    Posted on September 5, 2013 at 1:24 am
  11. Hey Shenee – I loved this post and the diagram.
    It’s an experience that Marie and Danielle provide and you nailed it with this clever, simple diagram.
    Love your work.

    Posted on September 6, 2013 at 3:03 am
  12. Hey Shenee! Just letting you know that this was awesome. Not sure how I stumbled upon your site — but I did and I’m glad! Keep up the great work 🙂

    Posted on September 26, 2013 at 7:51 am
    1. Hey, this is an awesome post… it is so true you have to be true and authentic to you, otherwise you will just a another copycat… What I also love about people like Marie is that it took her 12 years to develop this brand.. which for those who are just starting up makes her even more real… Thanks for sharing and will be keeping up to date with your blogs more often! X

      Posted on December 4, 2014 at 9:31 am