When we adopt additional names for creative purposes, it is now so very much more possible to become known by them. A brand goes beyond business. It speaks to the heart of creation.
I have just completed making a presentation on “Selling the Invisible in Second Life®” to an audience of accomplished digital virtual environment service providers. I based the content on experience and Harry Beckwith’s classic marketing field guide of the same name.
Several points struck me in preparing the presentation, in discussing the material with the group, and in putting into words thoughts that had been rattling in my head since I first began learning my way around online.
Making the invisible visible.
- A brand “makes the invisible visible.” It stands for something intangible. You can not see a service but you can see a brand.
- Making the invisible visible is complex and significant. A good brand makes selling easier and increases sales.
- Branding is equally worth study by the most experienced as well as the newest of service providers. You can always learn something new you had not known before. You can always tweak and adjust your service, your focus, and your presentation for further improvement.
- A brand has a combined textual / visual / multi-sensual / subliminal impact.
- A brand is a promise, a warranty, that you and your service can be counted on to perform.
- A brand must be maintained.
Our name is our brand.
- Beyond product or service, our NAME is our brand.
- We can have many products and services under one brand. It is our brand that our customers come to trust. If it’s by a known name, they’re much more likely to buy it. If it’s by an unknown name, they’re much less likely to bite.
A brand goes beyond business.
- A brand goes beyond business. Because it makes the invisible visible, it speaks to the heart of creation.
We have more than one brand.
- We have more than one brand. We have our personal names, given us at birth. We have our professional names, that go on our vita. We have our titles, given by our employers, if we work for someone else; or by our selves, if we have our own enterprises.
- In these days of online forums, chats, blogs and virtual environments, we have our online ID’s as brands. Some of us use the same online ID everywhere, which makes it a brand across those environments. Some of us use separate ID’s in separate environments, which each become a specialized brand within those environments.
- We are never ONE brand, we are many brands. This is not new. Through recorded history, artists and leaders have adopted names in addition to their birth names to be known by. Mark Twain was Samuel Clemens. Lord Kelvin was William Thomson. Caesar Augustus was Gaius Octavius Thurinus. And so on
- Perhaps the biggest difference today is that, when we adopt additional names for creative purposes, it is now so very much more possible to become known by them, because of the availability of the Internet and social and business networking tools.
A brand is a worthy foe.
- In the presentation. we did a quick group exercise to brainstorm a Service, Focus, and Name for a talented individual with wide ranging experience, education, and skills. This simple exercise reminded us of just how very complex is this branding thing.
- Branding is the essence of finding yourself, presenting yourself, and addressing the complexity of how do you want to be perceived by others and how do you perceive yourself.
- A copy of my presentation and full chapter notes from Beckwith’s field guide are available here.