I’m Gordon and I’m a brand coach, writer, blogger and copywriter. Whew!…..
It wasn’t always this way. My original intent was to be a cartoonist. Yep, Beetle Bailey, Dagwood, Peanuts, et al. I even took a cartooning correspondence course in high school, then applied to art school. They rejected me.
Not good enough, they said. What to do? I enrolled in Liberal Arts in college and figured I’d work it out later. Later was my freshman year. Met a dorm mate who was majoring in advertising. I thought, “Hey, that sounds cool, and still sort of creative.” So, off I went and got my BS in Advertising.
After working for a couple of newspapers selling ads, then a Promotion Director’s position, I finally landed in an ad agency. I had arrived! But hold your horses, Gordy. After three years, they lose their biggest client, which I had nothing to do with, and I’m kicked to the curb. What? But I had nothing to do with it! Tough Doo Doo, Rover!
So what to do? There are no jobs to be had. So what does smarty pants do? Opened my own shop! Am I crazy? I’d been in this business for three years and I was taking on the world. Nuts, I say! Well, I had no choice. I had to take on David Ogilvy as an equal. Here goes nothing!
Twelve years later, I’m sitting in my semi-plush office, with twelve employees reporting to me and I am the Owner, Creative Director and Copywriter for a pretty successful ad agency. And making a pretty good name for ourselves as “positioning” experts. You know, the Trout and Ries guys with their famous book titled “Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind”. Anyway, it seemed to be working for a lot of our clients.
But then, the bottom fell out of the market again and we lost our biggest client. We had to do something. So I merged with a larger agency, which lasted exactly two years, then back on my own, starting all over again. Now positioning was taking on a new name. “Branding” was the new thing. OK, let’s see where this goes.
Nine years later, the dot com crisis hits. I turn 180 degrees and start working with real estate clients, only. But I was working with great clients, getting the hang of this branding thing, doing great work and winning awards.
Then, wouldn’t you know it? Another crisis! This time, it’s the big one. Not a recession, but verging on a DEPRESSION…and I have all real estate clients! There goes the business and my financial existence.
So now what? As I was planning my next adventure, I read a book.(What else do you do in the middle of a depression?) The title was “Becoming a Category of One” and it hit me like a ton of bricks! “This is what I’ve been doing for the last 32 years-helping my clients brand themselves to become Category of One companies.” And I had lots of past clients with success stories to prove it. I’ve now read this book four times.
So, here we go again. The company is still BranWorks, and I’m still helping companies improve their brands and their position in their market. Except now, I’m helping them take one more step and become Category of One companies.
Maybe, I should end this with a cartoon. I’m working on that, Garfield.