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I’ve Got A Branding Problem. And At Least $600 For You, If You Help Fix It.

February 4th, 2008

at least $600 cash in prize moneyLast week I got an excellent e-mail that had me ROFL. The timing couldn’t have been better, as I have already had this contest in mind. Here’s the e-mail:

Dude – What does this site do? You need to put the value proposition on the front page, in as few words as possible, so I don’t have confusion as my first emotion upon visiting. At the very least, the About Us should start with that. Later, you can get to the whole “I was born the son of a sharecropper, blah blah” I *think* you have interesting stuff: let me know it for sure, right away. OK, now, I’ll go back to the beginning and try to figure it out :-) -Dave

Dude. Called on the carpet. Again.

For all the blog posts I’ve written on personal branding, elevator pitches, bragging and the like, I’ve grossly ignored the essential branding message.

And Dave hit it on the head. This is a problem I’ve been dealing with for almost two years now. In fact, it’s probably the reason why Cheezhead, a popular HR/recruiting blogger hasn’t written about JibberJobber. And it’s probably the reason Michael Arrington and the folks at TechCrunch haven’t written about me.

Because when you come to JibberJobber, you can’t really figure out… What’s In It For Me?

In all fairness, the reason it’s been so hard for me to communicate this to you is the same reason you have a hard time figuring out what YOUR value proposition is:

  • We’re too close to it.
  • There is way more that we want to communicate than what we could say in just a few words.
  • What about “the rest of the story?”
  • We don’t want to have a cliche, me-too value prop filled with meaningless jargon.
  • It is such a draining mental exercise that we go on to other projects, only to leave this critical task on the back burner.

Alas, it’s time. For Dave. And Cheezhead. And Arrington. And the thousands of people who may have come to JibberJobber and left, saying “huh??”

It’s time, for this task to get done right, so we can move on.

But I would love to get your help. So, I’m announcing a fun contest. I want to get your ideas. Perhaps you can help me in ways that I don’t know.

Here’s the outcome I want:

To get a concise, properly-worded, compelling value proposition that I can plaster on the front page of my website, and in my marketing material, and anywhere else I need to put it.

The rules are simple (updates will be posted in later blog posts):

  1. Enter your submission (and any other ideas for JibberJobber branding) on the Contact Us form. I will confirm receipt of each entry.
  2. You can enter as many value-prop/branding-statements as you want.
  3. JibberJobber LLC gets the rights to use any and all branding statements submitted in our marketing material.
  4. Proposed branding statements must be original, not currently used, trademarked or copywritten. For example, you can’t submit “Relationships Matter,” since that is already used by LinkedIn.
  5. Winners will be chosen by vote. I’m not sure how I want to do this yet, because I don’t want to allow people to solicit votes from friends (thus becoming a popularity contest).
  6. I reserve the right to use whatever statement(s) I want in my material, regardless of the winner, voting, etc.
  7. All submissions need to be sent to me by Monday, February 25th. We’ll vote, beat them up, chew on them, and figure out who wins by Monday, March 10th, when we announce the prize winners.
  8. Cash prize winner must provide me with a physical mailing address or PayPal account to send the money to, as well as possibly provide information needed by the IRS for tax purposes.

The prizes include:

Executive Power Brand, Deb Dib's companyThis is going to be fun, and hopefully an excellent experience for all involved! I should mention that I’m going to lean on some leading branding experts to help me figure out which I should eventually choose. One of these experts is a long-time JibberJobber partner, Deb Dib, who’s company is a sponsor of this contest.

Deb Dib - executive coach, personal branding expert, resume expert, career expertI’ll write more about Deb Dib later, but for now I want to share with you that she is one of the most significant contributors to the career space. She works exclusively with executive clients, and has expertise in (amongst other things) resumes, job and career coaching, and personal branding. I’ve gotten to know her quite well over the last year and am excited and honored to have her sponsoring this contest. Like I said, more later.

What are you waiting for? Submit your idea for JibberJobber’s brand statement, value proposition, bumper sticker or whatever you want to call it now!

9 Comments »

9 responses to “I’ve Got A Branding Problem. And At Least $600 For You, If You Help Fix It.”

  1. Jason –

    Shoot me an email when you get a chance. I’ve studied small business branding under Ben Mack (corporate branding expert involved in for driving roughly a quarter billion in sales) and I’ve worked with him as a guest speaker at one of his branding seminars.

    A few back-and-forth emails and a phone call or two could probably get you 80% of the way there and help you crystallize how you really *want* to brand yourself (as opposed to being driven solely by the varying expectations of readers). You want to really nail this one right, because it will drive a lot of perception/first impressions.

    No charge, either. Good business karma is enough.

    Keep it rocking –

    Dave

  2. Linsey says:

    Hi Jason,
    I’m wearing my career counseling hat when I say I believe this should come from you…not from others. I think you, and jibberjobber, are a work in progress…kind of building yourself based on reactions from others and the market. I would suggest some serious career assessment exploration to see what YOU really want, and who YOU really want to become, since you are in the process of transforming.
    Once you do that, your branding will be easy – and authentic!

  3. Interesting idea. I like the thought of getting your community’s perspective on what you do. But Linsey has a point that it’s important for your message to get across too. Perhaps if you provided a list of value propositions, keywords or take-homes and had a dual approach it would produce better results? Either way, interested in seeing the outcomes!

  4. Jason Alba says:

    @Dave – I shot you an e-mail.

    @Linsey – I totally agree, the purpose of this contest is to get input, suggestions and perception.

    @Tiffany – Those are coming in a future post.

    I had a follow-up post with Q&A here.

  5. […] JibberJobber has a branding problem. Apparently they also have a cashflow problem, because they’re asking the blogging community at large to give them a solid value proposition rather than hiring someone to do it. It’s an interesting concept, I must admit, and their Jason Alba is pretty frank about how desperately they need our help: Last week I got an excellent e-mail that had me ROFL. The timing couldn’t have been better, as I have already had this contest in mind. Here’s the e-mail: […]

  6. Leah Britt says:

    Dear Jason:

    In the many months I have been “reading” you and appreciating your work, research and insights – you have never asked ME for anything.

    I am far from flush and yet you still allow me access to JibberJobber – and I can also access free webinars.

    I, personally, benefit from your experiences, mistakes and entrepreneurship- at no cost.

    I,personally, benefit from your connections, your partnerships, & your hard work- at no cost.

    I doubt I am alone – judging by your readership, there are many of us.

    And interestingly, today, you are being slammed for this “branding” excercise – your business/marketing plans are called into question, as well as your cash fluidity & moral/ethical character.

    Maybe, just maybe, a savvy marketeer would see this as the AMAZINGLY HUGE & GLOBAL OPPORTUNITY it really is…a chance to become “one” with an ALREADY world-wide branded “name.”

    If we are honest, we will all admit….there are far worse business assoications than with YOU….a man who plasters all his connections all over his site, as well as contributing to THEIRS.

    Just FYI: as a hospitality recruiter, I speak daily with people around the world. A few days ago, a CEO friend in Portugal ( annual rev in his compnay over $12 mill ) asked me if I had heard of you and JibberJobber…..his HR person was interested in the site.

    Years ago, I developed business & marketing plans with the creator of a very succesful concept – and we still keep in touch. If we come up with something, and you go that way…..please feel free to keep any “prize monies.”

    I will consider it “your due” for sticking yourself out there w/o a safety net, while everyone else was collecting a paycheck and using your ideas to get ahead.

    Leah

  7. […] About a week before I started The Branding Contest I was on a 2.5 hour call with Mark Hovind. The question became “what is JibberJobber? What does it do for my client?” […]

  8. […] Regarding the branding contest, I think I’ve received over 100 submissions – some are short taglines, others are long explanations.  WOW.  Very awesome, I’m excited to write more about it soon. […]

  9. […] I’ve Got A Branding Problem. And At Least $600 For You, If You Help Fix It. […]