Chris Brogan’s blog post Personal Branding Basics for 2011 offers pop culture pearls of wisdom for both individuals and businesses, managing to work in Batman as metaphor and, in contrast (or perhaps not), a little Madonna for effect – she is the quintessential brand reinventor of pop culture and a superhero to some Gen X ladies, after all. It’s an entertaining read even if you’re not into branding, but the post reminds us of some important considerations regarding names (not gimmicks), content, action, and tools – as in not getting overly caught up in the tools you use to put yourself out there.
Brogan’s formula for success is common sense, but contains elements and calculations we often forget in the mad rush to keep up with the Big Brands. And there’s an overarching theme about helping others, which is already a focus for many community-oriented businesses and individuals out there, but still isn’t the overarching principle it should be in the 21st century, given all our talk about talented free agents, right-brained thinkers, cultural creatives, and other revolutionaries.
Probably the most important bit of advice from Brogan: Figure out your promise and execute. That means action, and not a lot of talking about action. Doing can be a problem for many folks, especially in businesses that require multitudes of checks and balances and that have a hard time with transparency (e.g., not letting employees on Facebook for fear of what they’ll say). And we all talk about that novel we’re “working on” that never quite comes to fruition. Maybe it’s perfectionism, but this market moves at light speed and if we think too long about acting, the opportunity evaporates.
Speaking of light and speed, Brogan points out, “Batman showed up every time the signal was lit. He seemed to be everywhere to stop crime and to build momentum on the fact that crime wasn’t a good idea in Gotham City.” So act on your promise and be everywhere. Great advice for anyone, individual or company. And Batman’s a stellar role model, maybe minus the vengeance thing.
So here’s the formula:
“You want to crush it in branding?” says Brogan. “Focus on:
1. experimenting to improve your abilities,
2. executing to bring your promise into the real world, and
3. telling stories by making useful media to build relationships with your buyers and supporters.
That’s where you’ll see your rewards. Repeat, repeat, repeat.” No rinsing required. Armored rubber suit optional.