In the first post of this short series on Business and Branding, I suggested that the business environment today requires that our brands be built for now, rather than, as in older times, built to last. The two are not, of course, inherently incompatible. It’s a matter of where we put our priority.
The primary reason for giving not giving priority to the “built to last” objective is the rapidity of change in the business environment, in technology, in markets.
As I illustrated in that earlier post, the need to be adaptable about brands is symbolized by the way signage on buildings these days is “built to move or change”, not architected into the fabric of the building.
And of course it’s not just buildings.
So many people I know seem to change their business or professional focus quite rapidly these days.
I do it too.
Many of us seem to get new business cards, with new designs or at least new titles and other information, more often than we bought new suits in the olden days when we had to have a bunch of suits to wear to work.
Just the other day, while working on an update of the book LinkedIn for Recruiting, which I co-authored with my friend Bill Vick, I noticed in checking the details of people we had interviewed for the book that for some 35% of them there had been a change in their business or employer, or in their title. This, in the space of about two and a half years, did not seem to me extraordinary. But it did remind me that there is a whole lot of change going on.
And in my own business over the past twenty years, I have gone from flying by the flag of Des Walsh & Associates, through WebArts, then The Webarts Company. That is still the company name, but not so much the “trading brand”.
I quite liked WebArts as a brand. Still do. The only trouble is, people would lock onto their idea of what it meant and say “so you do websites?” Which was not where I wanted the conversation to start, or even head to.
I’m now back with my own name, either stand alone, or in the format Des Walsh dot Com, as per my other blog.
Hang on, didn’t I just describe a twenty year lateral arabesque that brought me back basically to using my own name as the focus of my brand?
Actually, the decision to do that has been quite conscious and I have a strategy to go with it.
It works for me.
For now at least.
What I’m still working on is the concept expounded in the E-Mythand elsewhere, that you need to build a business in such a way that you can sell it. I have to admit I don’t know what the branding experts say about personal name brands (leaving aside celebrities) when it comes time to put a business on the market, but I suspect there is still a challenge here for me in the branding and business building game.
Business and Branding #4: Online Reputation Management