Branding Contest Questions And Answers

Nine hundred bucks!This last twenty four hours has been very interesting … thank you for the submissions, and questions, concerns and ideas!

During the next few weeks I’m going to blog a lot about this contest. Why? I think it will be an excellent exercise in how to develop a value proposition. Or “elevator pitch,” or “me in 30 seconds,” or “brand statement,” or whatever you want to call it. Just like The Resume Experiment we did last year, it’s more an exercise in education and ideas and brainstorming. So maybe we’ll call February “The Branding Month,” and I hope that what we do this month will help you rethink your own branding strategy and issues.

Let’s get to some questions and answers:

If I win, can I donate the prize to charity?

Yes, sure, that sounds great – you can do whatever you want with the money.

How many ideas/statements can I submit?

As many as you want.

How will judging be handled?

I’m not sure yet. I’d like to do voting, but we all know that whoever has the biggest e-mail list can easily “buy” the votes and totally affect the outcome. I’ve seen this for years and I don’t really care for that.

Here are some thoughts I have right now:

  1. Incorporate voting. I really like this idea, and want to see how it plays out, but I don’t want to declare that it will be decisive, there are too many ways to “game” this.
  2. Tap into my network. I am partnered with dozens of personal branding experts, and hope to tap into dozens of corporate branding experts. I want to get their feedback and input – you’ll be hearing from them over the next few weeks as we dissect this process.
  3. Ask the JibberJobber power users. I will send out invitations to the people who use JibberJobber on a regular basis and invite them to give their input and feedback as well. These are people who are deriving value out of JibberJobber without that golden brand statement, and they have an idea of what the brand (and value) is. Their input will be interesting.
  4. Maintain veto power for what I finally use. As noted in comments and e-mails and even phone calls, this is my company, and I am not totally outsourcing the final product. I will have the final say. I have to have the final say.

What will I do with the winning submissions, and all the rest that aren’t “winning?”

I have a lot of stuff to do once I get the branding in place… marketing material, documents, all kinds of stuff. I hope to get something out of this contest that is really compelling, and is just what I want. I will likely mix the other statements into blog posts and marketing materials, but hope to have one strong, consistent line to describe JibberJobber.

What are the prizes?

The Planet Earth Set from the Discovery ChannelI’ll formalize this as we get sponsorships wrapped up, but the cash is up to $900 (did you notice the new image, with 9 $100s?) and a company is donating the Planet Earth DVD Set, which you can find at the Discovery Channel Store online. How cool is that? There will also be various packages of premium upgrades as well as eCopies of my books (LinkedIn book here, Facebook book here). If you have anything you want to throw in, just let me know.

What do I think my branding statement is?

Great question – excellent question! This will be answered in at least one future blog post – stay tuned!

Why don’t I just do this on my own?

Another great question. I have tried to do this on my own. And I’ve seen what other companies have come up with. This is not easy. In the last almost-two-years I’ve communicated what JibberJobber is, but it’s time to make the message more powerful, and consice, and and I concede that I don’t have the mental bandwidth or capacity to do it on my own.

Plus, this is much more fun.

And this is like the 360 Review, which has a TON of power.

And, I think this is an excellent topic for my blog, with education and input from leading experts.

This is why I’m not going to just do it on my own 🙂

Why don’t I use one of my branding expert partners?

I really like the idea of getting input from various partners, and other groups (users, new users, non-users, bloggers, etc.). Plus, how do I choose which one???

Again, I think there’s immense value in doing this in this manner, not just for me, but for my readers.

Are there any legal or accounting issues to consider?

Yes, I’m sure there are. In a country were the American Dream has almost become “sue someone so you can retire as a millionaire,” I know there are things I need to put into place to tighten this up. I’m consulting with the appropriate professionals to do so.

Why don’t I hire a professional branding firm to do this?

For a few reasons. I’ve seen what they charge, and I don’t have the funds to pay tens of thousands of dollars for something that might not be what I need/want. So there, I admit it. Give me a break, I’m essentially a startup, and I need to push my money into the right places.

Another reason is all of the critiques I’ve seen on other branding efforts. How many super bowl commercials just plain sucked? The last thing I want is to spend money and have the end product be less than what it should be.

And, for the third time, I think this model is much more fun, and educational, and valuable for my blog readers. No kidding.

Will I post submissions during the contest?

This is a really hard question… I’m not sure. I want to, and have the experts comment on them. At the same time, I don’t want to give someone an unfair advantage of seeing other submissions, and having that affect their own submissions.

But it would be cool to have a running wall of ideas, and statements…

I’m on the fence on this one, leaning towards having a running wall. What do you think I should do?

That’s it for today – I’m excited, this has already been fun!

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