An interview with Yamilca Rodriguez (Video Podcast)

Arek Dvornechuck
12 min readJun 15, 2023

You can also watch this interview on my Youtube Channel

*PS. Below you will find an auto-generated transcript of this episode.

Intro

Arek Dvornechuck: Hey, what’s up, branding experts? Arek here at Ebaqdesign and welcome to On Branding Podcast. And today my guest is Yamilca Rodriguez. And Yamilca is a brand strategist and she helps businesses and entrepreneurs build their brands utilizing the archetype method. So she’s the founder and the CEO of her own branding agency, which is called Bespoke. And she’s also has been featured in numerous publications like Forbes Magazine, Courier-Journal. The Voice-Tribune magazine, just to name a few. She’s also a professor at the University of Louisville and a guest professor at Philadelphia University. And recently, Yamilca published her new book, “Brand Therapist”, using Psychology to Transform the Way We Create Personal Brands. And this is what we are going to talk about on today’s podcast, how to Create a Personal Brand. Hello Yamilca. Thanks for joining us today.

Yamilca Rodriguez: Hello. I’m so excited to be here. Thank you.

Arek Dvornechuck:Thank you so much. Maybe we should start with a simple question. What inspired you to write your new book?

Yamilca Rodriguez: Yes. Thank you so much. So I used to work Procter & Gamble and I’ve worked on different brands and you know how that is in billion dollar brands, you always work around products. Products are the heroes. Like you have to create character for products and all those fun things. So when I left Procter, I started my own business and I started doing personal branding. So I use psychology to really think about your personal brand. And through Carl Jung’s “Archetype”.

Arek Dvornechuck: Right.

Yamilca Rodriguez: That’s how I define the different brands. So what really inspired me to do the book was to really help people in this day and age, right? We’re in like the social media age, or anybody can be famous for what they do and help themself really understand what a personal brand is and how they can reflect that personal brand out into the world.

Arek Dvornechuck: For those who don’t know, for our listeners, can we just quickly explain what are the archetypes? What is the concept of using archetypes and how we can use that in brand building?

Yamilca Rodriguez: Yes. This is not anything new. We know that a lot of agencies use archetypes for branding and also Hollywood Studios uses archetypes for movies. And so really how does it work in, what are the archetypes? So we have 12 archetypes we work with. And the way that I use them is that I put them in four different axis. And so the first axis is Belonging. And in Belonging we have the Lover, the Caregiver, and the Girl Next Door, or Good Guy. Then we have a Dynamic quadrant. In the Dynamic, we have the Magician, the Outlaw, and the Performer. On the bottom quadrant, we have the Independence. And in there we have the Hero, the Explorer, and the Innocent. And then we have the last quadrant, which is the Stable quadrant. We have the Creator, the Sage, and the Ruler. So those are the 12 archetypes.

Arek Dvornechuck: Yeah. There you go. So there is a quick overview and in your book you describe each archetype, right? And together with some anecdotes and some tips and success stories of people or brands who have used those archetypes to build, their brands and their products. And can you talk to us or can you give us a few examples of those success stories of, perhaps entrepreneurs you worked with or some celebrities so you know that we all know them, so we can all relate. Can you give us some, examples?

Yamilca Rodriguez: Yeah. So, A few things. So if we look at companies, cuz companies are also characters, if we think about Starbucks, Starbucks is an Explorer. And we can see that they’re always exploring new ways, new drinks, new things. They show you that they’re going to Guatemala to get the coffee from there. That’s how they express the Explorer. I have a client that, for example, she is also an Explorer. And the way that we used to really put her brand together was creating the reflection of that explorer within her business. She’s a doctor and so she wants to reflect how she looks at possibilities and adventure and those things within her brand. So the other way To think about it is Tony Robbins let’s look at Tony Robbins. Tony Robbins is a hero, right? He’s always there for the challenge and he’s about competitiveness and how he really reflects that. But the other piece that is in the book that’s really important Is what I call the “Super Fan”, the opposite of that equation. What is the opposite? I call them Super Fan. Some people call them Ideal Clients or Avatars, but it’s really important to know as a designer, we wanna build tension and what really creates things that are interesting is tension. And so when you have that opposite, you can create tension.

So for example, for Tony Robbins, his tension is the Caregiver. He attracts a lot of caregivers. His super fan is a caregiver. And so the Caregiver is attracted to the Hero. Because the Caregiver is used to caring for others, and the Hero is used to being the hero to save them. And so that’s how those opposites work. So for example, in Starbucks, the opposite of Explorer is Lover. And that’s why in Starbucks they offer those very sweet, beautiful things that, you might wanna get with your coffee. And having all those delicious treats begin the pleasure of the Lover. And so that’s how that tension works. And so if you have a really good brand, You don’t only show your brand character, but you build tension within that opposite.

Arek Dvornechuck: That totally makes sense. Great examples. So we should try to find the opposite, identify, so maybe we can talk about now it brings us closer to some of the process, right? How to identify let’s say there is someone who’s listening to us, they have certain expertise in their industry, right? Maybe they’ve been working for, 5, 10, 15 years for a company. They wanna start their own personal brand build their own business. How do we identify our archetype?

Yamilca Rodriguez: I’ve actually designed a super simple quiz and you can go to Bespoke branding, B E S P O K E branding.io. There’s only two questions and you can take the quiz and find out your personal brand. Now let me say this. So you’re gonna get two questions. So you just have to be very clear and pick your top one on those. I designed the question so you’re not thinking and you’re not trying to analyze. So there’s no archetypes in the questions. It’s just the first one is about. What is your primary? Are you in Belonging? Caring relationships of human connection? Are you in Dynamic, which is transformation, conviction, and joy? Are you in the Independence quadrant, which is all about challenge and independence? or you in the Stable quadrant, which is about rigor and analysis. So you find out which your primary is, and then once you pick that, you get three quotes because there’s three archetypes in each quadrant. And then you pick the quote that most connects to you, so that way you’re not trying to overanalyze your personal brand. So once you select that, you get an answer. So you might be a Magician or you might be a Ruler. And so you find out more about that character and how that reflects onto you. What I’ve had a lot of clients say is when, so for example, I’ll just take one of these I have my little archetype cards right here. So the Caregiver. “ A Caregiver sees the need in the world and is attracted to experiences that make them feel needed and appreciated”. The motivation is family. The need is to support others. The fear is lack of understanding and the behavior is, cares about working closely with others. Draws sincere concern about people’s well-being and personal development. Right? So now we know a little bit more about who you are. And then we have these five value words and we use those to create your values. Cuz the first thing you know, need to know is your vision, your mission and values. And now you hit it right on the nail arc. The things that’s really important is once you know your personality, what happens is you like, this happened to me, like we work at a corporation and then we leave, we lose our identity of how we worked at this corporation. Now we have to build our personal brand, right? And how do we do that? What are we really good at? What are the things we want the world to know? What is our thought leadership style and how do we wanna reflect that? Knowing your brand character, helps you really identify yourself because you don’t wanna be one person one day and another person another day to your audience. You have to portray your personality consistent and religiously so then you can reflect that back and attract the right individuals because the more you are who you are, the more you will attract those people that love who you are.

Arek Dvornechuck: That’s a good point. So just, for our listeners, some key takeaways. So basically archetypes are like patterns of human behavior. And as Yamilca already gave us overview of those 12 archetypes. What we should do is we should identify the core archetype, what is our personality and that is gonna help us, why we should do that. Because, those are like universal patterns of behavior that people, have been used for centuries in as you mentioned, in, film, but also in branding in different disciplines. So that way when we identify our archetype, and perhaps we create like an archetype or mix as you suggest, to find the opposite archetype, right? And that way we can build brands that are more consistent and stronger and people can relate to and understand. So that’s the key takeaway from that. So we’ve talked about some of the process. And do you have some other advice or maybe some problems or challenges, the biggest challenges that people often run to when, you know, when trying to build their personal brand.

Yamilca Rodriguez: Yes. So there’s a few things. So what I talk about is that there’s four pillars, right? The first pillar is your Strategy. Your Strategy is about your Vision, Mission, and Values, your brand character, your brand positioning. So where are you positioned? To make a difference and be differentiated from everybody else who does something similar to you. And then your super fan profile. We really have to get those four things right from a strategic standpoint to move on to the next pillar, which is your brand Ethos. Your brand Ethos is how you execute on those elements. So that is your brand guidelines, your logo, your templates, so your PowerPoint template, your social media templates, your, letterhead or your business card. And then the website is also part of that, cuz a website today from a personal brand standpoint is your business card, right? You have to show what you do, your expertise and all those things. And then you come down to Photography. That’s the pillar number three. And pillar number three is connected to the website and the other things as well, because you need. A profile picture of yourself, right? You need to be in front of the camera. You need to be you. You need to be who you are, so you have to dress appropriately to your brand character and take pictures, their lifestyle pictures, portrait pictures, product pictures, write content, pictures, and you have to fill your entire piece there. The last and ultimate pillar is your Messaging pillar, your communication pillar. And that’s where you look at what’s your brand story, what’s your brand story all about? What are your speaking topics, what are you gonna speak on now that you are becoming a leader and an expert? The next bit, you need to have a media kit. So what’s your media kit about? What is it that you want to reflect on that media kit? And lastly, you need to have a press release. So that’s how you go out into the world with this identity that isn’t a new identity, really, it’s just you. But from a core, from an essence, from a really based foundation, that then you can reflect that back in a very strategic, in a very high level way.

That is the way that you go out into the world. I think a lot of people think they just can talk about something, but you have to, I call it the “Five Census” framework. You have to understand your brand. Like 360, not just what’s your logo or what are you about? But what are the other things that people don’t look at? Like maybe music. Maybe you have a playlist, maybe you have a specific perfume, maybe you have, certain things that you do. So really looking at a brand holistically and developing it from a very strategic standpoint.

Arek Dvornechuck: Yeah, that’s a very good point. So we start with the strategy. We find our core archetype. We establish all those things as you mentioned vision statement, mission statement, core, our core values, our archetype. And then we build our brand. We build the visuals, as you mentioned. The logo, the identity, the colors, the typography, photography also, as you mentioned, right? Especially when it comes to, personal branding. And I like the way you structure that also with those press releases, you know those, all those brand touchpoint that you mentioned that are actually very important when it comes to personal branding. And then also your story, right? Your messaging and because. It’s not just about having some kind of a website. It all needs to be consistent with your brand. And as you mentioned, we need to look at this holistically before you even start putting out the content. You can start building your brand, it’s like an ongoing process, right? Would you agree? But if you actually. Invest a lot of time upfront. You’re gonna get there much faster. You’re gonna, you’re gonna be able to build this brand much faster and a much stronger brand.

Yamilca Rodriguez: Yes. Yes. So it’s really good that you said that because tone of voice is critical. What is your tone of voice based on your brand character, right? You don’t wanna be somebody else or you wanna be very specific. You don’t wanna be a comedian if you’re really more of a romantic, right? And so what is your tone of voice specifically? That was a really good point. And it’s much faster once you know the beautiful thing about this, and I’ve been doing this for a while, is that once I understand the strategy, Everything else is really fast. Like you can execute on all of this very quickly in about three months. And it’s something that has a good foundation because you may do say, Hey, I’m gonna do a logo over here and then I’m gonna do pictures over here. And then you don’t have anything cohesive to show for yourself and it’s all despaired. And what I am also wanna make sure that we talk about, which you know very well, is this is not a clone, right? We don’t clone this and make everything else exactly the same, right? They all have to come together. I call it the ‘brand ecosystem’. They have to live in this ‘brand ecosystem’, connect with all the pieces, the tone of voice, the photography, your. Your message, everything connects, but they connect in a way that you are recognizable because you have a tone of voice and you and you have a certain way that you look at the world. And so that all comes together into one.

Arek Dvornechuck: Yeah, that’s a great point, and probably the biggest benefit is that you have this clarity, as you mentioned, from the beginning.

Outro

Arek Dvornechuck: Okay, so as we are approaching the end of our episode, we gonna link to that quiz so you guys can take Yamilca’s quiz and, that hopefully is gonna help you on this journey. And you can check out the book. We gonna link to the book on Amazon and the website is bespokebranding.io. That’s the quiz, right?

Yamilca Rodriguez: Yeah, that’s where they can get the quiz. The book, they can go to YamilcaBrandTherapist. I call myself the brand therapist, YamilcaBrandTherapist.io.

Arek Dvornechuck: Okay, so we are gonna link to that website as well. Okay, awesome. Yamilca, thank you so much for coming to the show. I appreciate that.

Yamilca Rodriguez: Thank you so much, Arek. It’s been a pleasure.

Arek Dvornechuck:Thank you.

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