Tag Archives: Personal Branding

Ohio is for Lovers, Montana is For Badasses

27 Feb

Ohio is for Lovers HatI love autocomplete and the insight it gives you into the zeitgeist of the internet.  I purposely take my time when entering search terms so that Google will throw inadvertently amusing (and sometimes racist) suggestions at me.

Recently @mattshirley41 decided to explore what his fellow netizens think about the United States and mapped the results.  The United States Is… maps autocomplete suggestions for the 50 states. Continue reading

On Representation in a Digital World

9 May

Maybe I should represent this post with a printing press.

Williamsburg recreated printing press letters

Recently, I’ve been struggling to get my head around how we, graphically, represent our work.  I work at an accounting firm, and was asked to assist with the design of our new trade show banners.  There are a lot of schools of thought as to what should go into a trade show display, but they all seem to agree that, within a second of looking at your booth, someone should be able to understand what you do.

I wanted to find an image that was shorthand for accountant – the way a wrench means a mechanic and a stethoscope means a doctor.  So, I thought about everything that we do and tried to match each task up with an image.  Turns out, they’re all the same image: someone hunched over a computer.  For anyone who works in my company, from a tax preparer to someone in HR, a pictographic representation of their work would be the same – for me, in the marketing department, too.  I didn’t want to put a picture of someone staring at a computer screen on our banners (didn’t seem too inviting), so I copped out and put “CPAs and business consultants” in big letters with pictures of our shiniest, happiest team members. Continue reading

What did you learn first? Your brands or your letters?

31 Jan

I’m home sick.  Not the kind of sick that means I get to stay home and watch Law & Order all day.  (Alas.)  But, the kind of sick that means that I can convince myself that it’s okay to skip going to the gym and that chai somehow counts as dinner…  And avoiding making dinner and going to the gym means that I have time for you, my long neglected blog.

My whining is over… on the to world of branding…

Today Jezebel posted this video of a little girl reacting to famous logos.

TL;DR?  Dude, it was two and a half minutes long.  And guess what, Cher, Cliff’s Notes didn’t write sonnets.

Anyway, the little girl has some great (and classic) little kid reactions.  Who didn’t think the McDonalds M was made out of french fries when they were little?  And, she’s clearly a little yuppie in the making – recognizing two coffee brands and getting absolutely excited over the Apple logo.  Yes, little girl, those are the brands that get me excited, too.

Disney D

No, that's not a backwards G.

Being five, and presumably at that stage when proving that you know all the letters is very important, it’s interesting that the one letter that she’s didn’t pick out is the D for Disney.  She got that it was Disney alright, but not that the logo was a letter.  (A future member of the When I found out the Disney “D” WAS a “D”, it blew my mind Facebook Group.)

Brand Marks/Logos

Go ahead and test yourself. Which ones do you know?

We did a similar exercise in my Brand Management class the other day, in which the professor flashed logos across the screen and we all had to write down the name of the brand and the first thing it made us think of.  It’s a telling experiment – in some ways it reveals brand equity, but in others it’s just a Rorschach test.  Does the hate you feel when you see the Wal-Mart logo say more about you or Wal-Mart?

Also, here’s a fact of the day for you: did you know that the term brand comes from cattle branding?

Questions of the day: So, how well did you do?  Did you know all the brands?  Also, did you know it was a D is Disney?

Frictionless sharing and the end of Social Media Curation

2 Oct
Sharing by talkingplant

Photo credit to talkingplant

In my last post, I discussed how frictionless sharing without context was meaningless.  How an app posting that “Maggie read this” really only meant “Someone on Maggie’s computer clicked on this”.

But frictionless sharing means a lot more than meaningless oversharing, it’s also the end of social media curation.

Since the rise of social media, we’ve all become curators – we’ve become the scrapbookers and librarians of our own lives, learning to research, present, and display material in a meaningful and engaging way.  Continue reading

Ugly Ducklings and Social Media Success

16 Sep

Or, I’m really good at Facebook.

Swan DucklingsRecently, a lot of people have been asking me to explain Klout.  What is it?  Why does it give me free stuff?  And, I’m left to say, “I’m really good at Facebook.”  There’s no better explanation, and it’s true.  I’ve figured it out.  I know how to get comments and likes.  I know which types of content will engage my friends.  It sounds terrible to admit that it’s as calculated as that, but it is.  And here’s the secret: everyone that works in digital strategy or social media marketing does the same thing.  We all use our personal accounts as a way of testing follower growth and engagement strategies.  (Will following Crowdbooser’s suggestions improve my retweet rate?  Will Twellow’s directory help me to get targeted followers?  How far can I push mass follow/unfollow efforts without getting delisted?) Continue reading

I’ve got more Klout than Congress

31 Aug

Klout logo, Klout, the measure of social media influenceOr, did you know that you’re in the (online) presence of greatness?

Now, before we get any further, I’m just going to head this off at the pass, predicting e-mails and comments that I’m sure to receive:

“Maggie, that was a really great blog post, but you spelled clout wrong , it’s clout with a C, not klout with a K . You might want to go back and fix it.”

Actually, for once in my life, I didn’t spell something wrong. (Shocking.) Klout with a K is a proper noun, it’s a system that measures your social media influence . As Klout’s website puts it:

“Our friendships and professional connections have moved online, making influence measurable for the first time in history. When you recommend, share, and create content you impact others. Your Klout Score measures that influence on a scale of 1 to 100.”

Mean GirlsSo, basically, it’s a an internet popularity contest, a measure of your social capital and personal brand. The higher your Klout score, the higher your social media influence. Klout uses gamification to draw you in and even gives you free stuff… so, it’s completely addicting. Getting free things because people like my Facebook status? Turning my social capital into real capital? Yes please! (Of course, the things you get are from paid advertisers who want you to use your social media influence to increase their social media influence…) Continue reading

Personal Branding though Social Media Profile Fields

20 Aug

Or, defining the rules by which we define ourselves

The Open Web Identity is the Platform by Matthew Burbee

Photo credit to Matthew Burbee

Forms and fields are nothing new.  We’ve always had to fill out employment applications and census forms by reducing our lives to just the words that could fit in the blanks or the choices for the check boxes provided.  But they were one off forms, which were then buried in drawers, not published for the world to see.

Social networking is changing that.  Now, we’re filling out forms about ourselves every day and making the information public to our friends, family, and the internet at large.  (And they’re public not in the sense of public records, but in the sense of “Hey, you guys!”)  Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. have made the rules of our personal brands.  They’ve told us you need a picture, you need a job title, you need an education history.  Without these and other fields filled in, your profile (really your personal brand) is suspect.  Continue reading

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