Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A lapse of commitment (or, climbing on the personally branded bandwagon)

Hello. This is the Empoprise-BI blog, which hasn't had any new posts in a week. You see, my wife's grandmother died, which necessitated an out-of-state trip and numerous other details related to that out-of-state trip plus some in-state stuff. So for a few days, Empoprise-BI was a pretty low priority for me.

Which means that I savaged my brand, I guess.

So it is probably timely to note that Steven Hodson linked to a Tara Hunt post which included the following:

When learning about branding in the 90’s while I was at University, it was taught to me that going ‘off brand’ was a big no-no. Going ‘off-brand’ would confuse your customers, alienate the people who identified with your company and cause some major implosion to your company....

But after Hunt left University, the term "personal brand" came into vogue, and Hunt feels queasy about the whole thing.

I may be consistent in my passion and what I believe in, but I’m terribly inconsistent in my actions. I talk of empowering customers, yet I’m the biggest sucker for a sales pitch you have ever met, spending most of my time impulse buying, then regretting. I may go on and on about women getting in front of parades and dispelling myths, but I’m incredibly anti-social most of the time, embarrassed to take credit or do any pro-active self-promotion (I’ve been lucky enough to have amazing friends and supporters who do this for me). I go on and on about how important relationships are, yet I am terrible at keeping in touch with friends, spending enough time with my family and getting out from behind my computer to meet new people. Yet, I really display the opposite. Nobody who “knows” me online would agree with how I’ve characterized myself here. Funny that. It’s me. 100%. The teensy group of people I let in know this.

We talk about authenticity, but people rarely want to see the negative side of a person. When I’ve been truly honest – angry, sad, scared, belligerent, grumpy, negative, depressed or anxious (and I keep it under control, but I have terrible anxiety) – people get nervous. I lose followers. I get long emails from people asking me to stop being self-indulgent. I get messages from concerned friends saying, “Don’t you worry about damaging your brand?”

And that’s it. Do we want authenticity? Or do we want branding?

Over the last couple of years, I've worked on focusing the messages that I provide via my blogs, which is why I now have a blog for business, a blog for music, a blog for the Inland Empire, and a blog for NTN Buzztime. But even a focused business blog that concentrates on a few key themes isn't much good if there's no content going into it. And I won't even bring up the other three...

Now I certainly could have forced myself to continue to create content. The business of funerals is a big business, and I could have ignored relatives and posted photoblogs of the business of funerals.

And there is certainly funeral music (does everybody know "Amazing Grace"?).

And the funeral home that I visited on Sunday is part of the same chain that operates a funeral home here in Ontario, so that provides the local angle.

And no, I haven't found a connection between the past week and NTN Buzztime trivia, although my wife's grandmother did love bingo, which is a game that you can play at a restaurant or bar establishment.

But I'm glad that I neglected my personal brand for the last few days and did some more important things.

The blogs are ramping back up to speed again. Keep following.
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