I got this e-mail from “Louri” :
Jason the issue in branding you – You are an innovator – and an author – Those are 2 brands. You are quite frankly a steward as well – you see a need for something you create it and share and get lots of people involved. I have been thinking a lot about this. I still have a lot to think about on how to successfully merge all of your qualities into a unique brand – that said JibberJobber needs it’s own brand.
I agree, this is one of the issues. I’m a blogger, an author of two books, a columnist for The National Networker, and contributor to various publications (online and offline). I’m also an entrepreneur, etc. etc.
How does this relate to Joe Regular? I got an e-mail this morning from someone (I can’t cite him because I didn’t ask permission, but I’m guessing he’s now a new reader of this blog) with this:
WHY THE HELL CAN’T I GET A JOB?!?!?! How can I become more than my resume when I submit it? I am so much more than a piece of paper or just another normal person …
Won’t branding play a significant role in helping this person become more than a resume? Is that what you are – just your resume? One of hundreds of resumes, with no compelling message to stick way out?
Back to this contest, let’s whittle the branding issue down to almost two years ago, before I was all of the things mentioned above. All this muddies the water, and makes the branding process a little more difficult, but let’s assume we can cut some of this out and focus on the JibberJobber brand.
Is JibberJobber a job search tool? Yes – it is one of the most critical job search tools available to you, helping you manage complex data, track important information, and not miss critical deadlines or appointments. It can give you peace of mind.
What if you are not in a job search? JibberJobber is an excellent networking tool. Ever read Never Eat Alone? Want to nurture “intimate relationships?” You can’t do it with just Outlook (if you can, you are not normal). LinkedIn, Facebook, Plaxo and other systems don’t give you the functionality that you need to really nurture network relationships. That Excel spreadsheet is fine for a few dozen contacts, but you’ll max out after a while. If you are really into network relationships, JibberJobber is an excellent tool.
What if you are happily employed, and won’t be looking for a new job, and aren’t into networking? Like me, two years ago, before I got the knife in the back (I mean, before I got laid off)? Ya, well, this year isn’t looking so hot for you, is it. The word “recession” is flying around a lot. Even if you are happily employed, realize that no one cares about you. Not HR. Not your boss. Not the CEO or the board or the investors. And if any of them do care about you, who cares about them? If they get canned you lose your champion, and your supposed security.
You can see in these three simple examples that I think JibberJobber is appropriate for very different audiences. There are more, but I wanted to introduce this issue to you.
Does this mean I should have three different sites? All with their own brand?
Now, let’s go back to reality, and bring in all of my other stuff. The blog, the books, the speaking, etc. What is JibberJobber without Jason Alba? I’ve heard a lot about this… I do have my own brand, and it is connected with JibberJobber.
But, as Louri says, JibberJobber needs it’s own brand.
And that’s what this contest is all about. I’ve received about two dozen submissions already… go ahead and send me yours with this Contact Us form!
This contest is sponsored by:
- JibberJobber, of course!
- Deb Dib – Personal Branding Expert for Senior Executives
- Walter Akana – Career and Life Strategist and Personal Branding Expert
- Megan Fitzgerald – Expatriate Career and Personal Branding Expert
- Makini Harvey – Career and Resume expert
- An anonymous corporate sponsor – donating The Planet Earth DVD Set
6 thoughts on “The Issue With JibberJobber’s Brand Is…”
Jason, you have a portfolio career which can be repurposed as the need arises. I wonder if branding can “typecast” a person? How would one incorporate flexibility in their brand? I don’t think that it’s unusual these days to be a “slashie” (I think this term was used in the film Zoolander, a slashie is someone who has several different hats, ie, writer/actor/photographer).
Hi Jason and Patricia!
In response to Patricia’s comment, a brand SHOULD typecast a person, but, I respectfully submit, not in the way Patricia suggests. Patricia, your point is well-taken — there are many “slashie” people out there, well and happy, with multiple career identities. The difficulty here may be in the perception of what a brand is — it’s not a profession, it’s not a skill set, it’s not a tag line. A brand is a promise of value — who you are at your very core, and what that â€œuniquely youâ€ quality presents to the world in the way of value.
A personal brand transcends professions, or titles, or even reputation. It’s more basic — like “street cred” meaning it is completely authentic, trusted, and reflects the true individual. Once that uniqueness is established — the passion and purpose that drives one — then, and only then can value be discovered / uncovered and refined.
The delivery of value, supported by the brand is what a value proposition is all about. That’s where the rubber meets the road. Whether you are a writer / actor / photographer, your perceived value â€“ what you offer– is what typically creates interest. The brand is secondary, but the brand is what often seals the deal — it’s the trust/emotion component that leads a buyer to choose one equally good product or person over another. A brand alone is unlikely to garner an offer or sale. But the combination of branded value will.
With JibberJobber, the value proposition — the what JibberJobber really does — is going to need to be based on the core brand — the ONE foundational thing that JJ offers to every user, whether job seeker or careerist. But the value proposition needs to further — it has to tie that intangible branded emotion (often a positive response to the pain a job seeker or careerist feels while navigating uncharted career waters) to the tangible benefits the process and structure JJ offers. What one critical, overriding thing does JJ consistently deliver? And why is that important to users?
So circling back to the beginning, branding really is all about typecasting. In fact a strong brand canâ€™t help but be typecast â€“ and thatâ€™s a good thing because your brand is typically unchanging â€“ it is you, and remains you â€“ your core being â€“ your passion and purpose, solidified into a word, or phrase that is always you. BUT what that brand looks like when you take it to work and/or the marketplace can always change, because your delivery of value changes as marketplace needs change and you adjust your offerings (but not your brand) to meet those new needs.
The interesting thing about JJ is that is so closely aligned with Jason, so it is not like branding a big name product. It really is about Jason/JJ/JJ-user chemistry. Narrowing down so many attributes of JJ (and Jason, because as inventor / founder / CEO he does represent JJâ€™s brand) is tough. That’s why this is such an interesting (and educational) challenge.
Deb Dib, the CEO Coach (and JJ contest sponsor)
“Unabashedly passionate about helping visionary, gutsy, fun executives with a conscience build great careers, mold great companies, and even change the world a bit.”
I think a brand should reflect who you are not what you do. Jason you are the Answer. Between this blog and jibberjobber technology there are not many career-related (dare I say life-related) questions left unAnswered.
I don’t think JibberJobber needs a brand, JibberJobber is the brand. What it needs is a defined purpose of being.
Think about some of the .com businesses and their names.
Amazon—What the heck does that have to do with on-line book sales?
Vault–Everyone thinks career related when they hear “Vaultâ€ right?
eHarmony– Relationships, no, maybe Zen Mediation or Feng Shei
Monster– Of course, jobs????
Donâ€™t even get me started with Google or Yahooâ€¦â€¦.
I agree with Deb, “What one critical, overriding thing does JJ consistently deliver?” That is the real question and Deb nails it.
I don’t agree with Deb’s “alignment” argumment about “Jason/JibberJobber-user chemistry” and don’t think that is valid. Phil Knight is Nike but Nike is not Phil Knight. Nike was Bill Bowerman….Phil has simple manned the tiller well. Bill poured melted rubber into his wife’s waffle iron.
It’s not at all about what you call yourself, it’s what you are and what you offer. I’ve talked before with you about Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway……
I don’t want to make this too long of a comment but I’ll send you my thoughts and maybe you can consider them for a guest blog.
While I tend to think that we go too far by expecting these things from brands (they don’t have magic powers after all, do they?)…there are brands that make me stop and think for a second. Harley-Davidson & Apple understand how to deeply connect with people. They have been able to tap into their own authentic heritage and articulate a point of view that resonates deeply with the values of a certain community. In some ways, these brands are more about the people who are mesmerized by them than the product itself.
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