Sunday, October 9, 2011

Why am I here?

I have decided to start a blog. Why, you ask. Because I read online that it was important to a) show that I am hip with this social media fad (kidding, I know it’s here to stay) and b) to build my personal brand image. The later is more interesting to me as a marketing major. With that, I am here to build my brand image. If, based on the blog, people think I am hip – all the better.
So, now… what is my brand? I never thought this one through before… A brand is an image. What image do I conjure in a person’s mind? What do people associate with Holly (beside the obvious tree)? Hummm…
So for a while I think on brands I know. Coca-Cola with its trademark font is recognized by anyone in the world – regardless of language, culture, religion. When I think about Coca-Cola, I think ‘classic’. Not because they call it Coke Classic but because it is an old American brand and just about as American as apple pie. Next, I think Coke is family friendly. Growing up I remember the ads at Christmas with the red-nosed Santa drinking from the glass bottle and the polar bear – so cute. Yes, very family friendly. So Coke has a signature logo and exemplifies the classic American family. This is a very clear brand image.
Let’s do another. Harley Davidson is an interesting study. They represent much more than leather clad bikers. In my mind, they represent the average Joe – the doctor, the lawyer, the investment banker – who needs to get away from life and let the wind blow through their hair for just a little while. When one mounts a Harley, they morph in to a leather clad biker - rough, tough, and carefree. Harley Davidson, to me, represents escape, strength, and freedom. Another very clear brand image.
Now, understand these are strictly my interpretation of Coke and Harley. Perhaps the companies had something else in mind, but these are the feelings they give me. Although I don’t generally drink soda and I don’t ride a motorcycle, these are brands for which I have the utmost respect. I think they have mastered brand image.
The questions remain, what is my brand? Wow! This is a tough one. Now I look at me. What am I? Today, I am wearing skinny jeans with black knee-high boots with the pant legs tucked in…Very modern. But, yesterday, I was wearing an argyle sweater and penny loafers – totally preppy. I work in healthcare IT, I have extensive experience of medical billing and coding, but In fascinated by marketing, science, sociology/anthropology. I would give up everything just to get a job at the Metropolitan Museum of Art – even as a janitor. I love technology and would give my left arm to work for Google. I am an avid reader. I read because I love to learn – everything. WHERE IS THE PATTERN??? How can you brand something so diverse?
GREAT SCOTT, I think I got it… Diversity.
Do you remember that show in the 90s called Seinfeld – it was a show about nothing. As a person who watched the show from time to time, I thought it was more about everything. That is what I intend for this blog. While my blog will be focused on business related topics - it will be very diverse. Because I am very diverse and diversity is key in business.
I know many businesses focus on having a diverse staff, but here I am referring to personal diversity – diversity in taste, interests, abilities, desires, goals. Who is more boring than the person who knows everything about only one topic? While those who are highly specialized are really great in their way, they seriously need to evolve – use the other 90% of the brain, please! Without personal diversity, how can one be innovative? How can one build relationships necessary for promoting themselves or their business?
While I was thinking on this blog, I did some research, reading other blogs that were focused on individual topics of interest to me. One was about medical billing. I know billing well.The problem was this blog was giving advice to the readers saying (paraphrased) "as a medical biller you are not a credentialing person, you are not a coder, you are not a medical office manager". It advised, stick to your specialty. Well, I have a problem with that. Last I checked, medical billing requires coding to send claims. If a doctor’s credentialing is out of whack, the medical bills don’t get paid. And lastly, isn’t medical billing all about generating revenue? It was my understanding that office management revolves around maximizing profit which directly relates to revenue. Hummmm…Seems to me that you need to be able to expand out of your comfort zone a bit if you want to maximize profit.
So, here’s what I think. A broad range of experience, education, and interests interconnect in ways that are not always immediately clear. Personal diversity and a desire to continuously broaden one’s knowledgebase is the source of creativity and thereby innovation and success.
With that, this blog will be business related (hitting on healthcare – because it is what I know best) discussing the things I learn in my travels and how I connect them – diverse as they may be.


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