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Sophia Chowdhury

Degree:

EMBA

Location:

United Kingdom

Industry:

Management Consulting

Year:

Jan 2018 - Sep 2019

By Sophia Chowdhury

Kanye learn from Kim? An interview with Jeetendr Sehdev

Move over 4As framework – KKP is the new bedrock of branding strategy.

I sat down with Jeetendr Sehdev, Oxford alumnus and bestselling author, right before he delivered the keynote address for the 2018 ‘Silicon Valley Comes to the UK’ event.

Within a few minutes of meeting Jeetendr, one can immediately see the allure. A Brit born in Bristol turned Angelenos, he draws you in with his charisma and positivity.

His story felt familiar as well. Like myself – Jeetendr began his career in banking, then moved to management consulting before embarking on a MBA at Harvard. His journey from Boston to Hollywood is a fascinating tale of how he found the balance between business and creativity.

Despite his busy schedule and nursing a yoga injury – we managed to chat about his book, branding advice for EMBAs, the future of marketing, diversity, and the concept of Maya in Hinduism over a quick sushi lunch. Needless to say, it was an exciting discussion.

Jeetendr’s part memoir and marketing guide “The Kim Kardashian Principle: Why Shameless Sells and How to Do it Right” is described by The Huffington Post as “one of the most influential books of 2017” and provides a modern day formula for marketing oneself. Now before you dismiss the book as simply a social media guide for celebrities – hear me out. As a critic of the Kardashian clan, I too was sceptical from the title. What can a Hollywood reality star possibly teach me about branding? And does it really apply in a professional setting?

Personal feelings aside, it’s indisputable that Kim Kardashian has been very successful in shifting her image from reality-show laughingstock to business woman, influencer, and superstar – an example of a change maker, rule breaker, and pioneer.  Jeetendr makes a compelling case that entrepreneurs and organizations can also develop their own powerful personal brands using a similar approach – a framework of six rules he has coined as S.E.L.F.I.E. Designed to help navigate a different world with different rules, SELFIE encourages using your authentic power, the ability to create what you believe and what you value without worrying about blowback.

But how can Executive MBAs specifically apply these principles to their careers or organizations? Jeetendr stresses that the principles apply in different ways but the important thing is to have a distinct voice, connect with your audience, and be empathetic. Embrace change and diversity and don’t be afraid to address conflict.

The world of marketing is different today and continuously changing. CMOs are struggling to connect with new generations. For example, audiences today connect on a values level and therefore look to organizations to be authentic and share perspectives on political, social, and environmental issues. KKP is a fresh perspective and guide to understanding how you can be bold. The book is thought provoking, brave, and ahead of its time. For students like myself – it’s refreshing to read and makes you think in a way you haven’t before.

And you know it’s got to be good if I have gained a new-found respect for Kim. Kanye however – it’s still a work in progress.

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