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    10 Replies Latest reply on Nov 25, 2008 11:58 PM by intechspecial

    Are You Distinct or Extinct?

    iMicrobrand Adventurer
      This is the first question that I ask my potential clients and without fail most of them give me a blank, misty look. In my practice I help Professionals uncover their core Brand, their "Personal Brand", develop that ID, and position it correctly so that they can stand on their distinctness within their defined markets. This "separation" generally means more market share, and a higher level of connection with their target audience. How do you find out if you are Distinct or Extinct?

      1. Open a Google browser and type in your name like this... "Your Name"
      2. Observe how many times your name appears...

      Simple? How many times did you come up? Are the results connected to what you want the world to know you for? If you are not populating the natural means by which people are finding your products and services today, then 9 times out of 10 you are not properly branded!! This small oversight could cost you literally thousands of dollars.

      This post is open for asking questions, if you KNOW you are not properly branded feel free to contact me!

      Be Distinct.
        • Re: Are You Distinct or Extinct?
          Iwrite Pioneer
          A really great headline!

          Welcome to the boards. You have given me a lot to think about.

          My business is not up and running yet but I have given me, my brand a lot of thought. I've been working on my brand for a while but I haven't used the internet at all. My goal is to brand and market my agency first. There is a delicate balance I am shooting for where I don't position me as being more than the agency.

          Especially in advertising you see people become bigger than the agency, which only ends up hurting the agency. I am very aware of my "person brand," I'm just trying to manage it to avoid this.

          Here's my question: At what point should I scale back my personal branding efforts to focus more on my agency's branding effort to reach my goal of establishing my agency as the source for advertising services? How do I avoid them competing with each other?

          Okay, I had two questions.



            • Re: Are You Distinct or Extinct?
              iMicrobrand Adventurer
              iWrite... Great Questions :)


              First I want to bring something to the front of your mind, and perhaps this will help when I deliver the answers... Quick story...

              One day I was driving down the street and I saw a brand new Bentley Phantom (awesome car), The windows were lightly tinted and the subtle roar of the powerful engine QUICKLY caught my attention. Before I knew it I was so wrapped up in the way the car finessed through our neighborhood, and I found myself following this car to it's residence so that I could inquire more about it. I admired how it elegantly handled curves and seemed to glide to its resting stop. When it pulled up into it's driveway, I politely parked my Dodge Stratus on the curb and flagged down the Driver (The Owner) and began to inquire about the vehicle, which led to his occupation and so on...

              1. You are in fact "Your Agency" - the physical agency building, people, furniture, ect. is just a manifestation of your innovation and great business planning.
              2. IF you were to totally close the doors to the agency, you are still walking around and talking about marketing...
              3. You are the "Bentley" and it's only natural that from time to time I will find your driveway by YOU leading me THERE
              4. Your engine will, at times, roar more loudly than your agency - and what you have to say becomes a value proposition to the Agency

              So to answer your question - You are "iWrite" (don't know you real name... ) and you are indeed the "Micro Brand" within your organization and could quite honestly be the biggest magnet to your Agency... There is no way for you to compete with your agency UNLESS of course the Agency fires you :), AND even if this happens (you get fired...) You will indeed be "branded", Distinct and not Extinct :)

              You have a dual responsibility to build both to identifiable levels. This secures your longevity...


              Hope this helps!
                • Re: Are You Distinct or Extinct?
                  Iwrite Pioneer

                  Yes, it does, sort of.

                  Thank you but there are instances where the person and the brand do sometimes compete, there was an agency owned by a very charismatic and talent creative. The agency was named after him, the press loved him, he was looked upon as the go to person for answers and opinions on advertising. Well, his agency experienced success because of his visibility, but a problem developed - clients felt that they were not getting their moneys worth if he was not directly working on their account. He had to be in every meeting, present all the work and be at every shoot. His microbrand had outstripped the agency's brand resulting in client tensions and loss. That's what I was wondering about.

                  I know it is unique but not in advertising where the people are the brand. What are your thoughts?

                  I love a good discussion.
                    • Re: Are You Distinct or Extinct?
                      iMicrobrand Adventurer
                      iWrite :)

                      I see - an "Aha Moment.." :)

                      Yes this can indeed happen, and coming from the Design industry I would see this play out a LOT, which ultimately became one of the reasons why I began looking into the Phenomena called "Micro Branding"... However; if managed properly, this could be both good and bad right? This is why I say this... AND I will post discussion on both sides if the table.

                      In this instance, the one you have described here, Mr. Creative Guru - probably built only one side of his brand ID - HIS! LOL!! This is a common mistake that can happen with people who recognizes no line between himself and the Agency. One has to have the ability to set "ego" aside and be willing to raise up the culture of the agency - which is the deeper brand of the organization and at every given moment tie directly back to this ID... Here is an example, I will try not to be to exhaustive - because this is how I earn a living :) LOL!!

                      Article Reads...

                      Example 1: "After discovering that I could directly tie action script back to ajax (a witty discovery I must say...) the team at Creative Guru started leveraging this new knowledge to advance clients toward seamless web/print media integrations..." "The combined efforts of Creative Guru's team took integrated communications to a new level..."

                      In this article we see a transfer of brand between agency and creative... How you ask? The comment... "After discover that I could... (a witty dis...)" this statement feeds into the personal or Micro Brand of Creative Guru (the man), while the transition "the team at...." transfers this same wittiness to the team at Creative Guru.

                      Here is the wrong thing to do....

                      Example 2: "After discovering that I could directly tie action script back to ajax (a witty discovery I must say...) I then began practicing this with the clients that would come to Creative Guru Agency. I have lectured this idea at Arizona State University and Indiana University, and the documentation that I created is now being addressed at Agencies all over the Country..."

                      In this example the Agency becomes totally subjective to NOW the primary Micro Brand "Creative Guru" (the man).

                      Personal Branding when tied to company has to be managed properly or it will indeed over take the identity of the main brand perhaps... Here is a good look at this. If you were to Google Mr. Creative Guru.. You may stumble upon this article. If it is written as it is (with tweaks for perfection...) in example 1 you will quickly start to formulate:

                      1. Mr. Creative Guru is Slick...
                      2. Creative Guru Agency is a dynamic team indeed and I need THEM on this project


                      Creative Guru (the man) - Preserves the witty nature of his brand ID...
                      Creative Guru Agency - Preserves the fact they are progressive, and team players...

                      Hope this helps!
                • Re: Are You Distinct or Extinct?
                  LUCKIEST Guide
                  Are You Distinct?? Great question.
                  Now that I think about it, I have always tried to live my life differently "outside the box".
                  It has worked for me. I have succeeded in my services as an Accountant and
                  now I am volunteering in the county and giving back to the community.
                  You use the "Microbrandologist" on the Members Page. Interesting.
                  thanks for sharing, LUCKIEST
                  • Re: Are You Distinct or Extinct?
                    Lighthouse24 Ranger
                    Interesting discussion! I'd like to offer another way that "personal" and "agency" brands can create synergy. My firm has the products and processes. I have the expertise to make them work. There are other firms with similar products and processes, but none of them have me. There are other knowledgeable consultants, but none of them have access to our products and processes. So distinctive branding for each effectively provides clients with two "paths" to get here. It also provides me with more business options (for instance, I could keep going indefinitely -- or I could sell off the products and processes if they are ever in danger of extinction, yet keep applying my consulting expertise -- or I could "retire" from consulting if I am ever in danger of extinction, yet keep enhancing and supporting the products and processes . . .)
                      • Re: Are You Distinct or Extinct?
                        Iwrite Pioneer
                        Thanks to both. This gives me more to think about.

                        My question is also an explanation of what I am trying to do. I understand the importance of developing my microbrand but as a business owner, I have to be careful that it does not compete or damage my agency's brand. It is a delicate balance that I am tweaking more and more each day.

                        My goal is for the agency's name to be linked to any and every search result, not mine. I want people to contact the agency about an advertising issue, and either myself or someone just equally qualified can help them. I don't want there to be any drop off in the quality that clients get. In advertising, anytime the "dreamer" leaves, retires, dies or whatever - agencies tend to go through a period of uncertainty that can either make or break them. Since I want this to be something that my sons can maintain long after I am gone, I have to make sure that the agency's brand is strong. I'm looking towards the future.

                        I really believe this is an important issue that warrants this discussion - many of us need to be exposed to this idea.
                          • Re: Are You Distinct or Extinct?
                            iMicrobrand Adventurer

                            You would not believe how many clients I deal with from day to day in regards to this subject matter. I am pretty specialized in what I do, and usually by the time the client gets to me they have made it up in their minds (well the truth is really in the puddin when they conduct a visibility test..) that they are indeed, extinct. The fact of the matter is however; with the arrival of web 2.0, there is really no good excuse for a professional to be caught with their hand in the cookie jar these days. Even being in the Design industry for over 10 years and working with forward company brands - I did not fully realize the power of Micro Branding until I had to start re-engineering my own Personal Brand, and this experience made me take a long hard look at what I am finding is my unique niche market. Coaching Business Leaders and Professionals in this area - what I have now tagged "Microbrandology" has proved to not only be a catalyst for many of them but also revelation to the importance of "Brand You" ... So I agree, this topic is definitely on time, and I am here if you have more questions!
                          • Re: Are You Distinct or Extinct?
                            iMicrobrand Adventurer

                            Great Input!! That is a very visual way to look at it! Excellent!!
                          • Re: Are You Distinct or Extinct?
                            intechspecial Ranger

                            Your question has invoked a deep need to respond, on a poetic level.

                            Before I respond in this manor, might I comment on the Google search idea. This is a great and simplified way of helping people to understand SEO, and Market Branding.



                            Now if I might respond on a poetic level to your quesion ARE YOU DISTINCT OR EXTINCT?


                            I typed in my name in Google, and it came up in an extremely DISTINCT listing.


                            This listing is sure to assist me in becoming EXTINCT.
                            I would rather this DEMISE, unvail before my EYES.
                            Then to live a life of LIES to please SOCIETIES blinded EYES.