BrandWeek Runs My First Article: You Are the Online Brand in 2008

My first article for BrandWeek is now online, originally entitled, “In 2008 the Online Brand to Focus on is You.”

Here’s an excerpt:

Yes, it’s a new year. And no, this isn’t another “Top trends for 2008” piece. For the last 12 years, you’ve been reading how to leverage online tools to amplify visibility for company brands. In 2007, it was all about how to leverage Social Media to “engage” brands, and the people behind them, in the “conversation.”

Well, this isn’t another one of those articles, either.

Instead, we’re going to focus on you. That’s right. In 2008, the most important online brand to focus on is you.

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  • Deirdre Breakenridge

    I liked your article very much. I think as communicators we sometimes lose our identity when we wear marketing hats. I think that the best conversations online require that you shed your skin (like the peels of an onion) to get to the heart of who you are and what you believe. Similar to the organizations that are command and control and stifle communication, many of us have been trained how to act and what to say (not necessarily say what we feel). It’s nice to talk to humans and have deeper conversations and get to know real people.

  • Peter O’Connell


    really nice job on the content, well done and I’m looking forward to more.

    best always


  • Geoff_Livingston

    Congratulations, Brian. This is big.

  • Anonymous

    I used to be the Marketing Director for a Law firm and one day I decided to Google the firm – THE FIRST THING THAT SHOWED UP was our receptionist’s MySpace page – a very young and beautiful Asian gal who looked great in very little and those sorts of pictures were all over her page with friends similarly clad for clubbing. Great image for the attorney – her page made us look like we were perhaps hosting a brothel!

    Thanks for sending this along. Very interesting to know that what is posted will follow you for years.

  • Brian Solis

    Deirdre, I think the onion metaphor is exactly right on. It is also the same for all of social media…peeling back layers to uncover the true essence of character. I think what media training has been to PR, online participation training needs to be implemented across businesses. Right now the only way people are learning that this “isn’t” a good thing is through the hard way.

    Peter, appreciate it. Thank you.

    Geoff, thanks! Imagine when entrepreneurs build upon this idea by using SEO to promote strategic and targeted personal identities across the web in a way that proactively shifts the whole process.

  • Jay Deragon

    We are free from traditional influencers and we have become the influential. We the people

    Major media has noticed the shift and are using our medium of open and unrestrained conversational content to gage the influencers on all matters that influence “we the people“. The growth and influence of Web 2.0 in the hands, hearts and minds of “the people“, while in its infancy stage, it will continue to reshape markets, influence politics and last but not least change the rules of business.

    Historically business models and structures have followed form with traditional media. The few at the top controlled the conversational content and direction aimed at influencing the masses to behave according to the needs of their markets. Now the masses are the markets and the conversations can not longer be controlled rather the conversations of the people will influence the business markets.

    Businesses that understand this shift will make the required transformation in models, structure and most importantly the conversations. These businesses will gain market share quickly by adopting the new conversations of the relationship economy. However, this will require a generational shift in leadership because the minds of today’s generation of business leaders has been molded in the past and few will allow their molds to be transformed into new ones. The difference between those that do and those that don’t will be their ability to listen.

    What say you?

  • paraskevi

    an interesting posting some years ago on the subject..

    thanks for reading.


Brian Solis is a digital analyst, anthropologist, and also a futurist. In his work at Altimeter Group, Solis studies the effects of disruptive technology on business and society. He is an avid keynote speaker and award-winning author who is globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders in digital transformation.

His most recent book, What's the Future of Business: Changing the Way Businesses Create Experiences (WTF), explores the landscape of connected consumerism and how business and customer relationships unfold in four distinct moments of truth. His previous book, The End of Business as Usual, explores the emergence of Generation-C, a new generation of customers and employees and how businesses must adapt to reach them. In 2009, Solis released Engage, which is regarded as the industry reference guide for businesses to market, sell and service in the social web.

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