Brain Vibe

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Brand Identity – What Should You Care About?

A while back I got to thinking about shortened URLs and how that diminished an entities ability to brand and extend their identity.  Afterall, companies will spend a lot of money to buy back parked URLs to maintain their brand footprint.  It’s why people bought them up in the first place.  Well, it seems like I wasn’t the only one thinking about this as SEO experts criticize Digg and other website/blog aggregators, and even URL shortening services for hijacking website brands and traffic.  

logo-knowemWhat’s the next thing to worry about, who is using your username?  KnowEm is a service that helps you protect your user name and vanity URL across 120 popular social media sites.  Type in the user name you want to use and see where it is already being used.  If it is available, the service allows you to buy up the user name across the social media sites.

I know all the brand managers out there are going to be up in arms about this, but I don’t really see the point.  I’m not losing viewership because my blog is tweeted in a shortened URL nor am I losing followers.  In fact, I’m gaining readers and followers.  My user names across my social media properties don’t matter much because I offer up my real name when commenting or posting.  My sites are embedded in the profile name.  And, on social networks, it’s there in plain view my full profile for those that care. People will know who I am.  Besides, that’s what profiles are for, it’s not about the user name.  

Talking to a friend of mine on this, his opinion is that the social networks will shut this this down.  

[Paraphrase] Like Facebook policing its masses and kicking out spammers, parked user names aren’t contributing to the social network experience and will suffer the same fate.  Some may allow it initially to beef up their numbers.  Although, in the end it will be treated like spam.

The point of social media and social networking is building trust and interacting.  Brand isn’t about a logo or a name – those can change and do.  Brand is about an experience, trust, and connection.  Look at Twitter, it’s name has been stretched and morphed across a variety of tools that have hooked into its lead.  Twitter gets that these surrounding applications add to its brand equity and fosters it.  

Let’s focus on what matters, building relationships.

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