Branding Anonymity

Being anonymous has some challenges. As I’ve been blogging regularly since the beginning of 2017 I figured I’d better turn my attention to creating a ‘brand’ which starts, I guess, with the logo I use for my profile picture. I originally chose what (I thought) was obviously an automatically opening door signifying my approachability and availability as an SBM to support. Maybe it was too subtle and it certainly makes for a dull picture.

So, where do I start? For a recent MAT branding at work we used experts in brand design. They were excellent at teasing out what we were about, what our vision was and where we were planning to take the MAT so it makes sense to go back to basics and think about characters that inspire me as a woman and an SBM. (Clearly there are real people that inspire me too but I can’t use them – that pesky anonymity issue!)

So, in a traditional ‘Strictly’ no particular order style, here they are;

Wonder Woman. One of the few brunette female superheroes, DC’s WW has been part of the British consciousness for a lot longer than most of the other comic book characters.  Everyone secretly wants to be a superhero and as a child, I enjoyed the American television series with Lynda Carter. Her ‘Lasso of Truth’ is particularly relevant to an SBM. I was pleased to see that the awful pants have been replaced with a skirt for the 2017 movie.

Lucy Van Pelt. I love the bossy boots older sister from Charlie Brown and she is inspiring because she is so assertive. I like her use of the word ‘crabby’ (something I can often relate to) and that she has very high opinions of her opinions. She is also very supportive (as long as things are done her way – see brackets above).

Pocahontas. My favourite Disney Princess, Pocahontas is free, alive, outdoors and understands that not everything can be bought. I always thought she was way too good for John Smith so in my head he sails back to England and she gets on with her life, becomes the Chief of her village and leads her people on a continuing journey of connection with the natural world and complete absence of capitalism. (I know, I know what really happened, both in the movie sequel and real life!)

Elizabeth Bennett, even at her age, is a modern, no nonsense kind of woman. Forthright, says what she thinks, defends her family, doesn’t tolerate injustice and doesn’t roll over at the first time of asking, (even though she quite likes him).

Ellen Ripley. Of course Ripley has got to be in here. She’s a fighter, protective and proactive, but still manages (to my mind – I was very much a tomboy as a kid) to be feminine. She is the strongest female sci-fi character because she takes the lead and successfully completes the mission, albeit that she is the only one left standing!

Elizabeth McCord. I’ve spent time considering whether Olivia Pope was a more accurate character likeness than Madam Secretary but, what can I say? I want it all. I want to be the power behind the sword and have the happy family life. McCord is the only blonde on the list so couldn’t accurately represent me in a photo but I channel her calm authority, her fabulous dress sense and her ability to always say the right thing (not a forte of mine – ok I’m nothing like this character but I’d like to be!)

So, if we could merge all these characters together into one strong, kick-ass, compassionate, kind of woman who leads with authority and understanding, who doesn’t lay waste to the environment (particularly nasty aliens excepting), who appreciates that she is part of a team, and who doesn’t fall at the feet of the first man she encounters but who has her well-being in a settled family life…Then that is what I’d call inspiring and that would be my brand vision.

Please use the comments box to let me know who inspires you (they can be real or fictitious) and I’ll put a wider list together for a future blog.

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