Seth Godin made an excellent point on his blog recently, noting that we expect artists and painters and craftsmen of all kinds to sign their work product and take credit for it. But what about brands? The whole idea behind a “brand” is that a company is leaving a mark of ownership with its own unique logo. But how is your business owning its product or service and taking credit for the work?

In the modern economy, consumers are placing more and more importance on the real people that make up their favorite brands or companies. It’s no longer enough to see the Nike swoosh, we want to hear what the CEO has to say on Twitter. There’s a human element that people very much want to see in the companies with whom they do business, especially in a world where it’s so easy to hide behind a screen and interact using an anonymous moniker.

If your company is producing products or services that are put together by a team of real people (as opposed to elves or futuristic cyborg robots), then we want to know that and see that. Let your staff take credit for their part of the process and stand out for recognition. When you sign your work with your brand or your own name, you’re saying that the thing you made is something you’re proud of, that you stand by your work, and that you are confident that it will be valued in the marketplace.

The value and importance of putting credit where credit is due will go far in the realms of public relations and social marketing. We recommend that every key member of the company have a social media presence that is linked to the company. Let each person on your staff represent your brand and the values of your company. If consumers can connect to real people when they’re buying, they will internalize that relationship and connect it to brand loyalty.

The modern world is more social than you might think and owning what you do and standing by your team and your work speaks volumes for the character you bring to the marketplace.

So sign it. With a big ole loopy signature. John Hancock style.
Your customers will reward you for the boldness.

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