Hello! My Name Is Scott: A story of branding for fun and profit

Building a brand has everything to do with letting people know who you are and making your name stick with them so that when they whip out their wallets, they’re handing the contents to you. So how do you get your name to stick?

Meet Scott Ginsberg.

No, seriously. Meet Scott. He has been wearing a sticker nametag every single day for 17 years. Why would anyone do that, you ask? Because it’s the very foundation of his career.

Scott first decided to leave his nametag on after a seminar when he noted the simple fact that everyone else was throwing them away. You’ve probably seen that wastebasket full of nametags at the end of some such gathering. It’s as if the trashcan is having an identity crisis. For Scott, keeping his nametag on meant being different. This decision came with consequences, some anticipated and some not, some good and some not.

By making himself approachable via his nametag, Scott was quite literally inviting strangers to interact with him. He met the silly folks that you would expect to crack jokes — “Do you forget your own name or something?” — he (kind of) met the folks who looked at him as if he had four heads and might eat their children, and he met the folks who were of the curious, friendly sort. That third group is what turned this social experiment into his bread and butter. It introduced him to a stranger on a bus who knew someone else, and that someone else happened to be the editor of a local newspaper. She wanted to do an article about Scott’s attachment to his nametag, and that publicity helped launch the book that Scott had written about his experiences.

Along the way, somewhere in 2005, Scott got a nametag tattooed on his chest. No, I’m not kidding. Now that’s commitment right there. That was the year that Scott’s business started to really make money.

How committed to building your brand are you? Does it attract attention? Is it memorable? And, perhaps most importantly…

Is it really and truly you?

Check out Scott’s TED talk below to hear more details of his experiences and philosophy. He’s funny, informative, and motivating. It’s worth the 18 minutes.