The nuts and bolts of building a brand

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I am switching up the blog a bit. It’s time to take the Brazen Careerist part off of my blog. It’s time for the blog to just be Penelope Trunk, and only my company should use the name Brazen Careerist.

We have been saying this in Brazen Careerist board meetings for about five months. The conversation goes something like this:

Board member: How is the blog redesign going?

Me: Um. I’m thinking.

Board member: That’s what you said two months ago.

Me: Yeah. That’s true. I’ll get some bids.

Board member: It’s important the we differentiate the Brazen Careerist brand of the company from the brand of you.

Me: Yeah. I get it.

Then we have a pause in the meeting while everyone is silently frustrated with my inability to make changes.

The truth is that I have always known that I’m going to separate myself from the name Brazen Careerist. I mean, I don’t want to be the Brazen Careerist when I’m 70 years old. And anyway, the brand is better for a social network.

So, it’s time to take it off my blog. But I’m slow. I’m so slow that I am doing incremental changes as a warm up. And, also, as a way to make the board think that I am not constipated.

So the first change is that I added a section on my blog sidebar titled: My life disguised as career advice. And the list in that section contains topics that make sense for my blog, if it is separate from Brazen Careerist.

I think I will keep rejiggering my sidebar categories. I’m sick of the categories I have had. What’s up with time management being a separate category from productivity anyway? What was I thinking?

The other change is that I have agreed to do weekly, live video chats. I want to tell you they will happen at the same time every week, but my life is not so streamlined. Fortunately, Ed, our CEO, who is all over me to start doing these video chats, has come up with the idea that the banner ad on my blog, which surely none of you even notices because it never changes, will now announce the weekly topic and the weekly time.

Frankly, I’m more excited about changing my categories, but I’m also excited about making Ed happy. I have found in my career that the only time I have a good job is when the person who manages me is happy with me. So that’s the topic of this week’s video chat, Managing Up: How to make your boss love you.

You can sign up here.

82 replies
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  1. Kenneth Lee
    Kenneth Lee says:

    Penelope, I love how you brand your website. I first came across your blog some two years ago, stopped reading for a while after that due to heavy workload and now I have re-discovered your blog. You still sound as professional and elegant as always — at least this is my impression from this blog. :)

  2. Lynn Dessert
    Lynn Dessert says:

    Change happens when the thought of doing it feels better than not doing it. If there is more stress or pain around changing, the status quo wins out.

    Have you considered creating some excitement around your metamorphous? How about involving your readership (maybe a post or contest) to help solidify your brand, not necessarily recreate it, because I think you already have it and may not be using it.

  3. Mike
    Mike says:

    Developing a concept or correcting a brand is like child birth. Mind blowing, painful at times with brief epiphanies. then voila’ the finished product. I find proper graphical representation the most challenging and gratifying. 13 years of web design, marketing and branding, the more I realize the less I know.

  4. Mark W.
    Mark W. says:

    “I think I will keep rejiggering my sidebar categories. I’m sick of the categories I have had. What’s up with time management being a separate category from productivity anyway? What was I thinking?”

    I’m looking forward to seeing what you come up with for the redesign and re-categorization of your posts. The changes to the list of categories will be a process and not easy. It will take some time with a few iterations so if you’re going for perfection you should expect criticism and disappointment along the way. :) The guy who maintains this blog should supply you with some meaningful metrics while you’re in the process of making changes to the category list. One suggestion I have for you is to consider the use of categories and subcategories. I think this blog will benefit greatly from a streamlined list where your readers will be able to efficiently navigate from topic to topic. Here’s another suggestion – make the changes to the category list and write a blog post describing the reasoning behind the changes and request comments. Remember to monitor blog changes with blog metrics so you know what’s working for what reasons. Good luck to the incremental blog changes.

  5. Peaches Smith
    Peaches Smith says:

    The irony of brand building on the net is such a curious numbers game. Make good for the masses and everyone wants to jump your train or bandwagon. That is if you’ve done your job properly. The degree to which we remain true to our vision and do whats right seems to outweigh those seeking to mimic. Your blog is clear and concise with sufficient creativity for the participant to be inspired to create their own piece of net heaven, not lift the best for rehash.

  6. Kelly
    Kelly says:

    Why not just use your current header image sans the words “Brazen Careerist” Just paint blue over them as if they were never there. Then it’ll read
    Penelope Trunk’s
    Advice at the intersection of work and life.

    or do

    Penelope Trunk’s Blog
    Advice at the intersection of work and life.

    It seems like you’re just not ready to let go of associating yourself with being brazen. Perhaps come up with a new handler or incorporate Brazen in a different way. I kind of like unfiltered…

    Penelope Trunk’s Brazen Blog
    Advice at the intersection of work and life.

    I hope this comment didn’t include too much problem solving for you ;) Also, what happened to your search box??

  7. Bil Camera
    Bil Camera says:

    If the art of succes is making your boss look good to his boss and the art of a good boss is getting his ideas implement by his/her team whilst thinking they are there own then surely the key to this is getting your boss to believe in your ideas and believe that actually they are his own?

  8. Jonha
    Jonha says:

    I know it must have been hard for you to try to separate BrazenCareerist from Penelope Trunk because you know it’s part of you. It took me like a week before I finally signed up for BC. I needed to learn more from your posts before I finally decided I wanna be part of the community of Gen Y.

    You are right about being happy when you make your boss happy. I constantly battle my procrastination so I could do that.


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