The Branding of Lean In

The book 'Lean In' by Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook Inc., stands on display at a Barnes & Noble Inc. s
The book 'Lean In' by Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook Inc., stands on display at a Barnes & Noble Inc. store in New York, U.S., on Tuesday, March 12, 2013. Sandberg's book, released on March 11, advises women to get over their ambivalence about being ambitious, think big and take risks. Photographer: Peter Foley/Bloomberg via Getty Images

It is four months since Sheryl Sandberg's Lean In hit bookstores across the world. There is no denying that the motivational ethos behind Lean In has made it a movement for a new generation.

I have been captivated by the message of Lean In, and was inspired to start my own Lean In Circle. Whilst I am interested and heavily involved in this organizing side of the movement, I am also intrigued by the branding and media campaign that Lean In has created.

There was a blizzard of media coverage when the book was released in March, with Sandberg sitting down to interviews with programs such as 60 Minutes, and appearing on the cover of Time magazine. Her busy schedule as Facebook's Chief Operating Officer meant that Sandberg could not visit book clubs nor give speeches around the U.S. the way that other authors usually do. This is where the media were really able to publicize the publication, writing many op-eds and engaging readers in discussion. A simple Google search will demonstrate just how much of an online buzz there was.

The Lean In Foundation and community itself did a fantastic job in ensuring that Lean In was all over the dashboards of your social media accounts. Branded communities on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter spread the Lean In message, enabling individuals to join the conversation immediately, and share their 'lean in moment' with the world. The movement also embraced Instagram and Tumblr, posting motivational quotes, and sharing related articles, images and memes with the online community. Lean In now has two Tumblr accounts, with one conveying what individual's would do "if they weren't afraid." For an individual like myself who spends a great deal of time online, these accounts really struck me as something different for users to get actively involved with, and hopefully inspire readers across the globe to lean in.

As a Lean In Circle Manager, the online Mightybell space is an invaluable resource for communicating with my members. Here I am able to schedule meetings, send updates, share links to interesting articles, post documents for my members as well as receiving timely updates and resources that I require for my Circle. Members can watch the instructional videos for the Education Meetings without leaving the site, as well as downloading and completing tasks for upcoming meetings via the free pamphlets. The space and the Lean In website are refreshingly simple to use, enhancing the friendly and motivational atmosphere that our Circle is all about.

Lean In is about connecting with other women across the globe, hearing their lean in stories, discussing topical issues and merging the key ethos and tips from the book into our daily lives. The successful and user friendly branding of Lean In helps to enhance these characteristics, making it, I feel, one of the best examples of how social media can transform a campaign. Social media managers across all sectors of society can learn from Lean In's branding, making it the perfect case study to transform and enhance any campaign.

Lean In has returned to press eight times, and is being translated into 20 different languages. Each international edition carries the title 'Lean In' in English securing the phrase as a strong brand for the future. There is no doubt that Lean In will continue to be successful, and as a global brand I am confident that the Foundation and its values will continue to thrive.