The Ultimate Brand Compliment

Stevie Ray Vaughan - The Sky is CryingNicole and I love to get out in our neighborhood during the evening hours and walk. We say it’s for the exercise but I think, for both of us, it’s more to enjoy the fresh air and to walk the beautiful Lafayette River shoreline.

Earlier this week we were walking, occasionally chatting with neighbors passing by, soaking up the warm spring air and listening to a mix of tunes from my BlackBerry I had tucked in my pocket. We were about 3/4 of the way through our trek and a really cool Stevie Ray Vaughan song, Chitlins con Carne, enveloped us like only his guitar can do.

Nicole looked at me with half a smile and said, “Hey, that’s ‘your’ song.” I smiled back at her.

I knew what she meant but I asked her anyway what she was talking about. I wanted to hear her reaction. She explained that the song we were listening to was my song now and it doesn’t matter that one of the ‘greatest guitar masters ever’ actually owns the tune.

Nicole is an accountant by trade, and a very good one, by the way. I tell you this because she doesn’t live in the marketing and branding world like I do. So she really had no idea that she just paid me the greatest compliment any brand manager could ever receive. She recognized that song as the theme song for my Coffee with the CEO videocasts and podcasts and has now subconsciously associated one of Stevie’s great tunes with my brand. And not just my online brand, my overall personal brand.

I smiled again back at her, blushed, and walked on towards home with a grin in my soul. My brand lives. My brand lives even in those that would love me if I didn’t have a brand.

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