At The Intern's Desk

Branding 101: Kenny Burns Offers Three Tips to Help Millennials Establish Career Success

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Image: Kenny Burns

Often referred to as the “Lifestyle Specialist,” Kenny Burns has been tapped by some of today’s top brands and industry influencers to help take their company to the next level. Starting his career as an Atlanta party promoter and then making his way into the entertainment business as a music executive at Monarch Music and Roc-A-Fella Records, Burns has worked with industry power players such as Monica, Wale and Diddy just to name a few. Recently, he was appointed by Mr. Combs himself to SVP of brand development at Combs Enterprises where he will help to expand the company’s brand from a promotional and creative standpoint, focusing mainly on Revolt TV and Combs Wines and Spirits.

[Related: Cool Jobs: Kenny Burns Talks Revolt TV, Working with Diddy and Being the ‘Lifestyle Specialist’]

With a résumé that speaks volumes to his expertise on branding, Burns spoke to BlackEnterprise.com on the power of branding and offered three tips to help millennials establish a successful name and image for themselves in today’s social media age.

1. You have to embody the brand you represent: “There’s no other way around it,” Burns says. “If you’re going to work somewhere and develop your own brand, you have to become that brand because no one sells you like you,” he says.

2. How you’re perceived is how you will be received: One of the things Burns says he learned while navigating his way through business is that people looked at his picture and judged him accordingly. He says that as he grew in his career, he was eventually afforded speaking opportunities to show what he really was about. “The initial things are what people see,” says Burns, making it clear that your appearance and image have an effect on how others view your brand.

3. Lose the emotion: Burns admits that as young creatives it’s easy to not only be passionate about something, but also emotional because you think people aren’t listening or the project that you’re working on isn’t being received the way you intended. “People go through these unnecessary thoughts in their own mind as if it’s a problem, but [we] know life’s the best teacher. You’ve got to experience the good and the bad,” he says.