Best of Digital Summit 2020: Strategist and Gen X Amplifier Adrion Porter on Building a More Powerful Brand

December 18, 2020

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We’re celebrating and spotlighting some of our favorite, highest rated sessions from our Digital Summit at Home events from 2020. In this recap, we feature Adrion Porter (@adrionporter), Principal and Strategist for AP & Company and host of the popular Gen X Amplified podcast. Adrion most recently spoke at Digital Summit for our At Home event in November 2020 with his talk How to Build a POWERFUL Brand for Today’s World of Work.


Branding goes far beyond a company’s name, logo, tagline, and marketing assets. This is exemplified by Jeff Bezos, the CEO of one of the world’s most recognizable and powerful brands, who says that “Your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room.” To take this a step further, a brand is defined by its reputation and the perception that it leaves in the hearts of minds of others. 

In this session, Adrion [Porter] discusses ways to think differently about the word “brand” and explores what makes a powerful brand. He aims to provide the understanding that talent is a company’s most valuable asset and delivers methods that marketers can use to create an actionable framework for growing consumer, employer, and personal brands.

The Framework of a Powerful Brand (5:50)

Porter defines a powerful brand as one that is committed to creating massive value and meaningful impact. The most powerful brands all tend to accomplish the following five key principles, or pillars:

Build a Unique Story & Brand DNA (7:45)

As a brand is starting out or reinventing itself, building a unique story and brand DNA is critical. Defining brand narrative, what it stands for, and what makes it unique will shape the brand as a whole.

PRO TIP: When developing Brand DNA, consider and define these five elements: 1) Purpose, 2) Positioning, 3) Promise, 4) Personality and 5) Presence.

Refine Essential & Transferable Skills (14:00)

The most powerful brands succeed in being able to develop the skillsets of their most valuable assets – their employees – beyond where they currently are today.

PRO TIP: If your brand is in a position to do so, offer your employees and other valuable information, education, and training to help them grow essential skills.

Amplify & Promote Your Value to Others (16:25)

Once the foundation is built, brands are ready to promote the value that they can deliver to their audience, including customers and colleagues. There are many digital channels that can help marketers accomplish this, such as LinkedIn. Without effectively communicating value to others, the brand may as well not exist.

PRO TIP: Build a strategy around the best channels at your disposal to communicate directly with your defined target and ensure that you are articulating your brand’s value through them.

Nurture Your Network & Key Relationships (19:35)

Relationships are everything and are the golden asset for both brands and individuals. This includes existing customers, employees, partners, and communities, and it is critical to find ways to nurture and grow these relationships to find ways to mutually benefit one another.

PRO TIP: On a professional brand level, conduct a monthly audit of your network and find ways to connect with them accordingly.

Dedicate & Devote Time to What Matters (22:55)

Brands that experience the fastest growth are able to successfully identify the things they are committed to and take immediate action to make an impact on this commitment. 

PRO TIP: Develop an action plan that allows your brand to take the time and steps necessary to influence meaningful change as it relates to your brand promise.

Brands that are able to combine each of these pillars in a cohesive way are far more likely to grow to their full potential. It is not meant to happen overnight, but the time invested in these building blocks will pay dividends in the long run. 

To hear from experts like Adrion and hundreds of others that teach at Digital Summit, check out our 2021 calendar of virtual and in-person events.

Kick off 2021 with a bang and join us on January 27 for Digital Summit Go!, a FREE 1-day online event featuring 12 of our best speakers. Hear 12 rapid fire talks on Content, Social, Email, and SEO with tons of actionable takeaways to help your marketing soar in the new year. Did we mention that it’s FREE? 🙂

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