Building A Brand

I started this blog a few short months ago with a simple goal — share my ideas and opinions.  I needed a name, so I started to think about what my topics would be and I would base my name on that.  I started listing my ideas and that was really no help in the naming decision.  Why was it not helpful?  I have too many ideas!  I couldn’t focus on just sports, programming, news or life.  I wanted something that represented ALL of me and ALL of my ideas!  That’s when I decided to focus less on my topics and more on who I am.

Who am I?

I am an artist, a programmer, a warehouse worker, a father, a husband, a slacker.  Hmm, so how can I describe that in one short name?  Maybe an acronym?  SHWAPF!  Yea that’s the name, SHWAPF (Slacker Husband Warehouse Artist Programmer Father).  Ok, that’s ugly and hard to read.  Back to the drawing board.  What represents me? AMERICA!  Yes!  America is a great symbol.  Not only do I live in America, it is symbolic for diversity, prosperity and freedom.  So I thought I would try “Made In America”.  I could even make my first rant about how everything seems to be “Made In China”.  Well that name was taken, so I mixed it up a bit.  Thus, “America Made Me” was born (or reborn, since I’m probably not the first to brand my self as “America Made Me”).

What comes after the name?

Choosing a name is just half the battle.  Now I must build my brand around it.  I like the name more than just a blog.  I imagine the name being a part of a bigger image.  I now must grow my brand with advertising, promotion and material.  My first efforts began with this blog.  To promote my opinions and ideas.  I am about 500 articles short of having a solid blog foundation, but I’ll get there.  In the mean time, I have moved forward with phase two: brand promotion.  I have branched out to social media and created a logo.  I hope to build a secondary audience on these platforms.

How can I leverage the brand?

Once a solid following is built around a brand, leverage is simple.  I have to figure out what attracted my audience and give them more of that.  Focus more on what they want and phase out everything else.  If it was funny pictures or personal stories, I will create more content like that and find new ways to deliver the material (i.e. turn funny Instagram pics into funny t-shirts).

How can I expand the brand?

Remember how I said to phase out what my audience doesn’t like?  Well that’s good for short-term momentum, but not long-term growth.  Eventually my audience will want more or maybe I just need a bigger audience.  Either way, the best way to find out is to generate new ideas and new content that my current audience may have not shown interest in before.  Who knows, maybe a year later they have changed their minds.  Maybe now I have gained enough attention that trying new things will not affect my overall brand in a way it would have during the leverage period.

Small ideas are important.  They are the starting point and the first stepping stone to something much greater.


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