Posted tagged ‘branding’

I like me, who do you like?

April 15, 2009

There’s an old, and I suppose somewhat inappropriate joke, about a guy who doesn’t know the difference between incest and arson and so he sets his sister on fire…  Gratefully, I hadn’t thought of that joke in a long time, until today when I read a recent press release from a company I know pretty well.  They announced to the world, or whatever subset of the world actually pays attention to press releases these days, that they were ‘extremely honored and excited’ to have won an award from their biggest partner, for being a great partner.  Self-congratulations were passed all around, with each subsequent executive quote upping the ‘pride ante’ at the wonder and excitement of winning this pre-fabricated award.

And that got me thinking about some sage advice from the book, Groundswell, which I would strongly recommend if you have not read it yet.  Although like most web-oriented hardcopy books, it will rapidly become slightly dated, having been penned ALL THE WAY back in 2008, it is an excellent primer in how to strategically think about emergent trends in social media and how they affect your organization and its brand.  And among all the sound advice, near the top of the list would be “your brand is what your customers say it is…”   The key to this advice, of course, is its antithesis – What YOU say your brand is means next to nothing.  That includes press releases and other content you create and publish for the sole purpose of self-aggrandizement and furthering your membership in mutually congratulatory societies.

So regardless of how seriously you take “the groundswell” – the collective voice of your customers across the web – be wary of the impression you make by telling others how much you like yourself.  If it didn’t work in high school, it probably won’t work now either…