As outsourcing of branded content grows, for-hire writers of branded content for the Web are finally coming into their own. So are digital management companies. Both reflect the importance of the Internet as an image management platform.
Managing your image.
Enhancing your influence.
Posts Tagged ‘image’
Entrepreneur Elon Musk is a leader in space exploration and founder of the pioneering electric car company Tesla. Yesterday David Brooks explained why Musk represents the best aspect of capitalism. Brooks was inspired by Bloomberg tech writer Ashlee Vance, whose comprehensive profile of Musk was published a week ago.
Both articles provide insight into the myriad elements that influence how today’s visionaries are perceived. Musk’s public image has been built from such elements as views from friends and colleagues like Silicon Valley venture capitalist Peter Thiel and WebTV co-founder Bruce Leak, skeptical voices on the Tesla Death Watch blog, his frank acknowledgement of two divorces (one in which both he and his ex-spouse blogged about the divorce negotiations), unhappy employees who have filed lawsuits and blogged about Musk’s demanding CEO style (which some say compares to Steve Jobs’), the need to schedule 10 hours a week to dating, and his goal of establishing a colony on Mars within 15 years.
Musk is part of the new era of entrepreneurs using technology to lead the way into a better future. He is self-made and has been involved in launching successful ventures that have gone public, enabling him to fund his current undertakings. Articles on his personal and work life may not be on everyone’s reading list, but they may be the best information investors and entrepreneurs who hope to follow his lead in business can find.
It looks like Prince Harry has gotten himself into trouble again. But this is far from a crisis.
Prince Harry is the wit in a sea of English Breakfast tea, the tingling gin and tonic at lunchtime on a humid day. He has never tried to project an image of being anything but what he is: a rogue. The pictures capture the Prince Harry we know. More of him than we ever expected to see, but nothing, we expect, that will ruin his reputation. (Though it might reduce the number of his official duties….indefinitely.)
Reputation management is ultimately about being authentic. Prince Harry’s Las Vegas vacation may not be representative of Royal tradition, but he has never been traditional. Even Royals are human; Harry, especially so.
Bloomberg Businessweek writes that “Microsoft Tablet Must Shed Office Image to Challenge IPad.”
Microsoft is expected to soon begin previewing a tablet. But for too long the company been associated with the workplace, and it needs to build on the entertainment bona fides it established with the Xbox if it wants to compete with Apple in the tablet market.
For so long Microsoft had the image of being the business brand, and Apple as the lifestyle brand. But now that computers have become interwoven in all parts of our lives, the office is no longer enough.
With factories at full-throttle, jobs on the rise and annual sales looking up, the Detroit auto industry is regaining its status not only as a major economic driver but also as a point of national pride. For over a century, the major Detroit automakers have had a powerful, if ever-shifting, image in the U.S. marketplace. And as the Big Three accelerate again, they are adapting their image to new circumstances.
In their earliest years, American automobiles were touted as symbols of status and success. Take this excerpt from a 1900 Oldsmobile advertisement: “You see them everywhere—Doctors, Lawyers and Merchants find the Oldsmobile the most practical vehicle for business purposes.” Ford’s widely successful Model T traded in that exclusivity to present the automobile as a more widely accessible part of the American Dream. Once a car was parked in practically every driveway, GM was the first to introduce annual models, an approach that encouraged customers to buy new ones more frequently and continues to play a major role in our economy today. With new styles and features debuting each year, American automakers began focusing more on youthfulness and power, culminating with the muscle cars of the 1960s, like Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro.
The 1970s were a time of crisis for the American auto industry. An increase in foreign competition and the oil and energy crises were exacerbated by a series of missteps from the automakers. The dangerous gas tank in the design of the Pinto badly damaged Ford’s image, and GM faced similar bad publicity over its Cadillac Cimarron. With the closure of many Detroit factories and the loss of many jobs to cheaper foreign operations, automaker integrated patriotism into calls to “Buy American.” In the next few decades the industry recovered more ground by crafting a bold image around the size and rugged capabilities of minivans and SUVs.
But in the wake of financial crisis and renewed concerns over the cost of energy, Detroit has moved in a radically different direction. The automaker’s new campaigns celebrate the ups and downs of Detroit’s long history, as well as the iconic status the automakers helped the city to earn. Chrysler’s “Halftime in America” and “Imported from Detroit” Super Bowl commercials are a couple of examples. They use the American auto industry’s turbulent history it to present its fate as part of a larger struggle for American excellence. When Clint Eastwood says, “Our second half’s about to begin,” it’s clear that while American automakers don’t have the industry dominance they once did, they are unmatched in shaping a powerful and effective message.