Wednesday March 14, 2007

A little over a year ago ? at my first SSX company meeting ? senior leadership led a short exercise that means more to me now than it ever could have then. They asked us to assign ourselves ?one-word equity?. This is harder than it sounds. Let me back up and give you the context in which we use the word ?equity? around here.


Equity is a somewhat all-encompassing idea of identity. Every brand, every product ? has equity. It includes any logos, colors, fonts, images, styles, etc. For example ? John Deere green. It?s not just green. It?s John Deere green ? and everyone knows what color that is. Every brand I work with has a feel, or style. Work that we do feels like Pampers, or it doesn?t. Brands are very deliberate about colors, images and tone that they use in advertising. On my team, I have writers and designers who ?know the equity? of my brands ? they?re familiar with them, they recognize when something is ?off equity?.  


So the task: assign yourself one-word equity. Is the word you give yourself different from the word your friends and family would propose? Probably. The idea is to be deliberate in the way you present yourself ? that your equity should be protected as a brand protects its assets.


I have thought about this a little lately. Should your personal equity change over time? Or should it be more consistent? Should you represent something you are ? or what you aspire to be?




(I can hear the heckling now ? as this is not my usual dramatic rant. Be kind.)

8 thoughts on “Wednesday March 14, 2007

  1. Of course it will change.  It should change.  The key issue that you’re talking about is selling THINGS.  Your proposed question is about your individual SELF.  Things for sale – I mean big things like John Deere and Ford and Wally World – shouldn’t change much from the roots they sprang from.  The general public will probably stop buying them for the reasons they started if the products change more than a bit.  You hit on that with your “equity” bit.  People, on the other hand, aren’t very human if they go through life without continually improving their position. What’s the point of going through life completely stone cold set in your ways and not learning anything or taking slight influences from observances and actions around you?  That’s not to say you should be a spineless pushover with no sense of self.  Not at all.  The hard, and some would argue human, part of it is using finesse to find the right balance.  That’s why I, for one, cannot stand die-hard liberals or die-hard conservatives.  I laugh my head off when they go into their rants.  Rants which, by the way, only show weakness in self-control.  That frame of mind is rather asinine and does nothing more than make middle of the road folks, which, oh by the way, make up the majority of the populace, think about other’s outrageous point of view.  If that’s your goal to make others think by making yourself look like a fool then more power to you.  I prefer to put my efforts toward self improvement so that someday I can be somebody somewhere in a position to make decisions that truly make a difference in other’s lives.  If my “personal equity” changes slightly along the way so that I can better improve my self or my position then that’s even better because fresh thinking is a good thing.  Fresh thinking, yes.  Fresh action just for the sake of action, no.  Don’t confuse the two.  Progression just for the sake of change is… well, what is that?  Rebellion and chaos, if you ask me.  Well thought out ideas that turn into fresh action are… true advancement and progression.

  2. So what’s your word?

  3. I think I’ll go with “friendly.”  I like that it’s so versatile: earth friendly, friendly personality, child friendly, friendly toward animals, friendly to other countries, etc.  What do you think?  Catchy?

  4. Well, I was going to go with “Regal,” but….. I think that “Slovenly” encompasses my essence more closely, and it is also deceptive; it is almost like “Lovely,” but means the exact opposite. I like… you like?? (Sorry, I’ve been watching Borat)

  5. P.S. No baby yet; Aeja is a walking, talking, ticking time bomb!!!

  6. Mine would definitely have to be “bitchy”….or “bitchin’ “….!!!

  7. I don’t get it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *