“Be passionate about balance” With Fotis Georgiadis & Kimberly Afonso

I have been passionate about balance, especially work-life balance while getting clients great results, and that is something that is central to my work. I am originally from the US and to date have lived in 5 countries and my team currently operates across 6 time zones: I love giving my clients that global perspective […]

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I have been passionate about balance, especially work-life balance while getting clients great results, and that is something that is central to my work. I am originally from the US and to date have lived in 5 countries and my team currently operates across 6 time zones: I love giving my clients that global perspective as well.

As part of our series about “Brand Makeovers” I had the pleasure to interview Kimberly Afonso.

Kimberly Afonso is a branding, marketing, and consulting expert originally from the US that now runs her remote digital agency from Europe. She works with mid to large-sized corporate clients who are looking to create a consistent and 360-degree strategy for success both online and offline. She is passionate about all things related to remote work, digital marketing, well-being, yoga, and travel.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit more. Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

I have always been passionate about a few things: remote working, well-being, traveling, yoga, and helping leaders.

In my business, I am able to do all of those things and also apply them to work through working with CEOs and Founders every day.

I create online programs that blend all of those interests and educate those who are interested in participating as well.

I have been passionate about balance, especially work-life balance while getting clients great results, and that is something that is central to my work. I am originally from the US and to date have lived in 5 countries and my team currently operates across 6 time zones: I love giving my clients that global perspective as well.

Ok, let’s now jump to the core part of our interview. In a nutshell, how would you define the difference between brand marketing (branding) and product marketing (advertising)? Can you explain?

Branding is really personal. It is the “why” behind why your company does what it does and what it stands for.

Advertising is simply the tool to expand the reach of your core message.

Therefore, everything must start with a good branding strategy, not the other way around! This is one of the biggest mistakes that I see new or small brands make. You have to be really clear on your branding before you start marketing anything, and some want to jump right into the advertising part without developing this and then do not see clear results from their efforts.

Can you explain to our readers why it is important to invest resources and energy into building a brand, in addition to the general marketing and advertising efforts?

If you do not have a strong brand, it will not be clear what you can or should advertise or how you should market your product or service.

Your branding is really central to who you are as a company or individual.

And it is a way for potential customers to get to know you. It is really personal, and without investing time to figure out what you want to say about yourself and why, it will be difficult to market anything you are creating.

Let’s now talk about rebranding. What are a few reasons why a company would consider rebranding?

Rebranding is really common and something I encourage for brands of all shapes and sizes. Perhaps you went through a merger. Perhaps you grew exponentially since you started. Perhaps the market did not take your first product and you want to keep some of your core values, but create something more aligned with your new revenue goals.

There are countless reasons, and sometimes it may be that a company has been in business for 15 years and their logo is looking a bit dated! I like to think about it like changing the interior of your house. You may have many reasons to do so (you have more money to invest at this point in time, your furniture is old, or the old look and feel does not resonate with you anymore) and all are valid reasons to change!

Are there downsides of rebranding? Are there companies that you would advise against doing a “Brand Makeover”? Why?

The only downside could be that if you change your brand too much, your existing customers may not recognize you. In this case, if you are thinking about changing your logo, for example, I would suggest a gradual change. Perhaps keep the same logo but take off your brand name. Then it will not be as drastic. You could also do this the other way around — create a new logo but add your brand name for a period of time so that consumers understand who you are.

Another strategy could be to use the same colors if you are changing other aspects of your brand.

I do not see many reasons NOT to rebrand, but the process definitely needs to be considered carefully before doing so based on new goals and the current consumer base.

Ok, here is the main question of our discussion. Can you share 5 strategies that a company can do to upgrade and re-energize their brand and image”? Please tell us a story or an example for each.

  1. Revisit your Color Scheme — perhaps your old colors do not link to what you are trying to promote. Do some research behind what each color symbolizes and choose your colors wisely. It is an important aspect of any brand’s identity.
  2. Re-Do your Core Brand Values — if you have not visited your core brand values for a few years, that could be a good place to start.
  3. Evaluate what your Logo Means — if you have changed your core positioning, your logo may no longer be relevant. Evaluate what it means and update accordingly.
  4. Invest in Personal Branding — along with your branding, get clear on your personal branding as well. It is often one of the most useful tools when it comes to understanding what you want to represent and promote and helps amplify your brand’s message
  5. Get your entire Team on Board — your team should be a central part of your branding conversations. What do they think are the most important core values of your company? Talk it through with them.

In your opinion, what is an example of a company that has done a fantastic job doing a “Brand Makeover”. What specifically impresses you? What can one do to replicate that?

I think that the Airbnb rebrand had a lot of backlash at the time, but their new logo is much more aligned with what most brands are doing today. It is a recognizable icon that was designed with the meaning of the company behind it. You do not need “Airbnb” to be written to know what that icon stands for. Any brand can replicate that if they are using their name for the branding by creating a logo and starting with the brand name under the logo, then starting to remove their name all together after time.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

I have a few:

“Everything is figureoutable (by Marie Forleo)”: I truly believe this and it is something that I have embraced throughout my business growth. We can figure out anything if we have the will.

“It does not make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do (Steve Jobs)”: I have always been passionate about hiring people smarter than me as you are only as good as your team and getting them to guide our next steps has been very key. It is something I believe in strongly. When you are the smartest person in the room, you are in the wrong room.

“Nothing is ever as good or as bad as it seems”: This is relevant for many reasons — in the client-facing marketing business, if something goes wrong, it never is as bad as it seems and usually can be fixed in one way or another. As we are talking about branding, which relates to social media, nothing is ever as good as it may seem in a post.

And lastly, a yogic quote — “we have everything we need inside of us right now”: I practice yoga daily and truly believe this. We have everything we need right inside of us, the outside is just extra. I always repeat this to myself when I am looking for answers — they are always inside of me. And also to remind myself to separate from the ego.

How can our readers follow you online?

Instagram, Linkedin, or my email list on my website!

Thank you so much for these excellent insights! We wish you continued success in your work.

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