Without intending to, I’ve allowed my dog to brand me. Although I rant about the idea of personal branding, I’m aware I have a one.
(From my post a year or so ago: “… When we use the term brand … we’re really talking about … our identity. When we concentrate on, and try to develop, a “personal brand,” what we are really doing is trying to fashion who others perceive us to be.”)
On this site I could never come up with a logo that satisfied me. I didn’t want the obvious sort of thing like a typewriter or quill pen. For one thing, except for the occasional oddball, what writer uses those?
For lack of an idea, I used the face of my dog, Molly Bloom. I’ve used that as the visual brand for a couple of years now. (It’s not the brand but an element of it.)
It occurred to me this weekend that she is my brand, and not just online. In the real world I’m identified with my dog. I’m visually recognized by my companion, Molly. Online, Writelife is accompanied by an image of Molly.
I go to stores and people ask me about my dog. People speak to me and say, “I saw you yesterday out walking Molly.” When I get together with people they ask me how Molly is doing.
So when I was doing some tweaking on my “information desk,” billwren.com, I decided, “Why reinvent the wheel?”
Unlike me, just another Joe walking around in the world, Molly is distinctive: sleek boxer body, black and white border collie markings, and an alertness seldom associated with me. Visually she is striking. Me? Not so much.
Who would have thought it possible? Branded by a dog.
If there is a lesson in any of this, it is that it’s best not to try to be something we think others want to see and hear but to be who we are, even if it’s the writing guy with the black and white dog.