Windex or WD-40 as a personal brand?

Appropriate for a personal brand?

I constantly struggle with my branding, particularly given the current job market and the problems that I and my peers from the credit-card industry have in finding a job.  In my case, the things I’m good at can’t be captured neatly by a job title or resume.  I clean up messes.   I’m a problem solver. I’m a bulldog. I bring consistency, discipline, and structure where it’s needed.  The reality is that my next job will most likely come from my network rather than a job posting because I need to become the answer to the question, “Do you know someone who can help me do XX?”

I’ve discussed the “edgy brand” concept before, but I got some interesting feedback from a good friend who questioned my use of Communications Windex to describe myself — a brand that many people have commented favorably on when they hear it in person.  The idea, by the way, is that “if you want your communications to be crystal-clear for an impatient, information-saturaged age, I can help craft a memorable story for customers, investors, and prospects and translate it to internal and external communications.” 

“That doesn’t go far enough in capturing what you are,” he said.  “You’re more like WD-40.  If it doesn’t move and should, put WD-40 on it.  If it doesn’t produce/add value/work and should, call Peter.”

What do you think?  Can you actually use a lubricant — even a wildly popular, effective lubricant — to define yourself?  And do any of you use an edgy brand like that to effectively sell yourself or your products?

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One thought on “Windex or WD-40 as a personal brand?

  1. Bulldog…
    I like your blog…thought provoking, entertaining, and professional look and feel.

    Regarding your branding message, I think WD40 not only has merit as a descriptor but it’s also memorable. In my opinion using these types of messages can be effective in conversation to drive awareness and differentiation as long as they’re not too ‘cute’. I would refrain from them in branding through more formal resumes and profiles,etc, but I would encourage them in ‘cocktail party’ networking as they are very catchy and would help you be remembered not only as different, but also for something you can do…i.e. a problem you can solve for them. Clarity of message is certainly conveyed using these types of branding but you’ll want to consider both the vehicles and the audience for your ‘branding’.

    Book preference – Simplicity

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