Monday, July 20, 2009

Branding is Almost Everything

The deal is that I'm not supposed to be working on Sundays. I'm not supposed to be even thinking about work or talking about work, on Sundays. (Because of the mental break and because it's our agreement.) However, I was innocently just sneaking off to the computer to check my Twitter account, when, before I knew it, one thing lead to another and I began reading one of my favorite Dallas Morning News columnists, Cheryl Hall. (Who, ooopsie, writes about business. M'bad.)

I was all caught up in this completely compelling story about branding and this completely compelling guy who's company specializes in just that. Branding.

Personally, I adore branding. I get such a rush from the creation of a "look" for my companies. I love the whole thing. The layout, the logo, the website, the business cards, the letterhead, the envelopes, the t-shirts etc.

This whole creative process could be one of the reasons why, and I confess, I am such a serial entrepreneur- and unrepentant at that. Luvs it!

Ben Jenkins is an interesting person. He went to college on a baseball scholarship, yet also majored in art. He said his two polarized group of friends from high school (as you know how everything is diametrically opposed to everything else in high school) did not speak to one another.

Rather than choosing between the two seemingly opposing camps, he blended them both, and it looks as though that inevitably served him well, especially professionally. Ben was not an "either or" or One-Trick-Pony sort of man.

What I like best about this guy Ben is: he GETS IT.

Even the name of his company- One Fast Buffalo- makes you want to know more about them. One Fast Buffalo; ha. Very clever. I've spent a lot of time in Oklahoma and I can tell you for certain, buffalo are anything but speed demons. Their whole purpose for existence is to leisurely meander their day away going from one patch of grass to the next.

(Oh, give me a home where the Buffalo roam
Where the Deer and the Antelope play;
Where seldom is heard a discouraging word,
And the sky is not cloudy all day. I digress.)

Back to Ben. He says,

"Authenticity is huge. It's the only thing that truly differentiates you."

To which I respond with everything in me- hel-freakin' lo! You said it. Hallelujah and pass the plate.

I can tell you exactly why Entrepreneur Chick has enjoyed the success we have had as a company. (Companies.) Because we are exponentially better than our competitors. We deliver more. We are out there more creatively solving our clients problems and we are sincere about our desire to do this. I completely get Ben's assertion.

Furthermore, he had a keen take on this point that has bugged me for several months now, even over a year, which is:

"The point of branding is to create a little mystery."

In a business meeting last year with one of my informal Board of Directors, I was pressed to give my business the "correct" name.
Steve asked pointedly, "Okay, but after the name "Blah, Blah" what does the company do? What would you put there? How would you describe it?"

Nothing wrong in what Steve was asking me- but the thing was, as I stated in a later email to him- "Why should I put all the eggs in the mix? Let them figure it out." But Steve wasn't feeling this at all.

Had that meeting occurred with Ben, I think he would have understood me better.

Yesterday, I was so impressed with Ben Jenkins and his company, I just had to Tweet about it.

Amy (VoteforMike) called so excited. "Guess what? You know Ben Jenkins who you tweeted about? Guess what? I know him! I went to high school with him! Talk about your degrees of separation, huh?"

It's a small world- and I know I personally like being closer to people who seem to know what's going on.

Check out the Buffalo @


  1. I am ALL ABOUT the branding! I think you can look all the way to ancient Greece for the number one proviso on establishing a great brand: the inscription over the Oracle's temple at Delphi said (prophetically, of course) "KNOW THYSELF." Actually, it was "GNOTHI SEAUTON," but I don't speak Greek, and neither do you. But if you truly do know yourself (or your business or product), and know how to communicate that through a brand, you can't go wrong.

    Anyway, great article, and I hope Mr. Buffalo Guy does great things for El Fenix (I love El Fenix).

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. This has been removed by the author because I spelled something wrong!
    Anyway, as I was saying- yes, Robin- I know you love branding because I can tell by the awesome way you branded what you branded. (We know what it is.) Can I say?
    Thank you so much for your insight. You are such a scholar- you little blond "girl" in Hollywood. *******

  4. Really enjoyed the article I would agree Branding and doing the design for brands is fun to do..

    As a web designer and computer programmer i prefer doing logos t-shirts ect..

    Maybe one day I'll get around to actually creating a solid looking brand for my music and music image lol