Monday, April 11, 2011

Brand, Un-brand, Re-brand

Companies do it all the time. They change their logo, their website, the look of their packaging. Sometimes we, the "audience," respond positively. Sometimes (think New Coke vs. Coke Classic) we do not. I have always been of the "if it isn't broke, don't fix it" mindset, but I am questioning the 21st-century-ness of that attitude. To go mucking about, changing things just for the sake of trying something that might or might not "work out" when status quo was, well...comfortable enough... is a risky proposition.
Changing something that is not really "broken" could be:
(a) a waste of time and energy
(b) a complete and total failure
(c) a fabulous success
(d) a learning experience

What if we reframed our ideas about concepts like "waste of time," "failure," and "success?" What if we decided that (d) a learning experience = (d) all of the above?
How would that impact the way we work? How would it impact the way we teach?

I think this is one of the core values of what we often refer to as "21st century learning." In an ideas and innovation-based economy, we don't thrive on "it's not broke." This is a big shift for me. Change makes me nervous. I feel most comfortable when things seem stable. People like me don't invent wonderful, crazy new things; we make do with what we have.

These thoughts are arising as I ponder the future of my personal brand. Believe me, I am aware that "edtechworkshop" isn't anything earth-shatteringly interesting as far as teacher-brands go. However, I have been blogging for over three years now. I have subscribers, and I fear "losing" them were I to move my site. (Yes, even as I write it, I realize how silly this is.) This feeling of wanting to "hold on" to something, even as I realize the total pointlessness of it (like holding onto life itself) is what keeps me from feeling free to experiment, reinvent myself and play around. In other words, it limits my ability to learn and grow.

According to personal-branding guru, Dan Schawbel, your online presence will replace your resume in 10 years. I disagree with his assessment that it will take ten more years. I think that for the best jobs, the most sought-after positions, a strong online presence is already more important than a resume. Think about it. Where do we go to find things? Where do we go, more and more, to find people? We go to google. And if you're not google-able, you won't be found.


IMC Guy said...

I say make the change and go for it. One of the things I like to do is change the look of my blog. Even it's a simple color scheme change or a change in the header image, mixing it up every once in a while can be fun. I really enjoy tweaking my blog - it's fun for me and while I think a cool looking blog is important, it's the content that keeps people coming back.

I wouldn't worry about losing readers. If they like you're stuff, they'll stay. The rebranding of your site might also bring in new people, which would be a bonus.

If you make a change and it's not working, you can always switch back. Be flexible, learn and unlearn.

Pamela Leasure said...

Hello again. I am a student in Dr. Strange's EDM310 class at the University of South Alabama. I have to agree with you. Risk is necessary to achieve gain. Most of the time. If we temper this with wisdom gained from past failures then success is sure to out pace failure more often than not. I am posting a summary of your post on my class blog. I would love to hear your comments. Thanks again for sharing. My Class Blog

Heath said...

Hi. I am a student from Dr. Strange;s EDM 310 class at the University of South Alabama. Change is something that is inevitable. I do however agree that too much change is not always a good thing. I completely believe that there is always room for improvement, but trying to make something happen that just is not there is a common problem in the american industry.
Twitter: @heathmo17
my blog:

Charlie Argo said...

Hello Ms. Hernandez,
I agree with you that sometimes change is not what we want to do. We just want to hold on to what we are comfortable with. Although change can be a great thing and can better what you are trying to accomplish. I hope you have a great week.
Charlie Argo
my blog