Sunday, February 8, 2009

Online Brand Building

I'm about a month into my year-long personal project/experiment to separate my professional and personal online brands. It's still early, but it seems to be going well. I Google both "Henry Yamamoto" (pro brand) and "Broadbandito" (personal) regularly and it looks like the right things are showing up under each respective search.

In order to really make this work, I've also been actively cultivating the pro brand. Take for example, the simple practice of commenting on other people's or corporate blogs. Instead of ranting or making random comments, which would probably benefit more so the personal brand, the comments are insights into what the blogger posted and providing thoughtful, relevant insights.

I discovered OpenSkies, a new British Airways subsidiary, while searching for flights to Paris for a trip I was planning. I was a bit worried about booking on a new airline in this economy, so I posted on their blog asking some basic viability questions. Dale Moss, the CEO, responded that they have the full backing of BA so they expect to weather the economic downturn.

Several weeks later I followed up with a comment about why I was giving them a try and Dale mentioned it in a subsequent post. He even posted a link to my blog. I think he did so because I talked about how I loved being an early adopter of new "brand experiences" and backed up their strategy of being a point-to-point carrier.

When I actually take the trip this spring, I plan on continuing the dialog by posting my experience on OpenSkies' blog and emailing Dale as well.

This is the third active interaction I've had this year with companies and agencies engaging their customers online. First it was the Washington State Department of Transportation, then SoBe beverages, and now OpenSkies.


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