What Connie Burke Can Teach Anyone About Living Your Brand

by Jeannie Walters

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Do you know Connie Burke? If so, you know what brand she works for, and you know she is passionate about it. If you don’t, allow me to introduce you to her.

Connie is the Communications Manager for Social Media (hope I got that right) for General Motors. And here’s what I know about Connie:

1. She’s a hard worker. She cares about doing a job well. She doesn’t mess around trying to get recognition or rewards…they come to her because of the effort she puts into her career.

2. Connie defines “community manager” simply by creating community around the brands she represents anywhere she goes. The first, second, and third time I met Connie, she described her work as “awesome” and I knew she meant it. You can’t help but love that enthusiasm. It is absolutely contagious. She is also ALWAYS Connie. There is no “work Connie” and “real Connie.” They are one in the same, as it should be.

3. Her brand is one that I had dismissed. Not anymore. Connie is so sure of her brands that she wants you to experience them – not just hear about them. In fact, Connie rarely tries to preach away any misconceptions or outdated perceptions. She simply asks you to try the cars.

4. Connie is about believing. She believes. She wants you to believe. And here’s the kicker – she GETS you to believe. I admit it – I wasn’t really considering Chevy as a brand for our next car. But NOW I AM. And it’s all because of Connie. She not only spoke to me in the way she believes, but she got me to try the car. Not once, but twice. Both times – I concluded on my own that these are great cars. I wouldn’t have even test driven one otherwise. I hadn’t considered GM since driving a Chevy Astro Minivan while testing for my license in the late 80’s. And you can imagine how thrilled I was about driving a blue minivan as a 16-year old.

5. There is no “I scratch your back, you give me a good recommendation on Yelp.” Connie lets the product to stand on its own. She doesn’t ask for anything.

My experience with Connie is not unusual. Anyone who interacts with her will reiterate the same things. Plus, Connie is creative and not afraid of experimenting with community and social media. Chevy has sponsored social media road trips, given away cars for a year to deserving people, and more. Connie rewards her community with real rewards and they love Connie for it; myself included.

Full disclosure: Connie has arranged for me to drive a Chevy for a week with a full tank of gas not once but twice. The first was a Chevy Cruze and the second was a Chevy Sonic, which I just drove a few weeks ago. Honestly, I don’t know if either will work for my family (due to size), but both made me want to at least test drive cars by Chevy. I was totally impressed with the car I drove and the nice little considerations, like child locks you control with a button! I would not have said that a year ago. Thanks to answering some trivia questions, Connie also sent me to Glee Live so I could Gleek out. But she has never asked me to do anything except give the brand a chance. I wasn’t expecting to really enjoy the Chevy cars I drove or to love Connie. But I do. So there.

Photo Credit: BenSpark via Creative Commons license





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Jeannie Walters

Jeannie Walters is the CEO/Founder of Experience Investigators, a global Customer Experience consulting firm. She has 20 years of experience helping companies improve loyalty and retention, employee engagement, and overall customer experience. Jeannie is a Certified Customer Experience Professional (CCXP,) a charter member of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA,) a Professional Member of the National Speakers Association, LinkedIn Learning instructor, TEDx speaker, and President-Elect of the National Speakers Association Illinois chapter. Learn more here.

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