Sunday, November 01, 2009

OWLGLASS: Creating a Brand, Starting a Business

Years ago, when I bought the domain name 'Owlglass.com', I couldnt' believe that it hadn't already been taken. Stroke of good fortune, no doubt, and with circumstances being as they are—more about that in a moment—it looks even more fortuitous.

About two years after buying the domain name, I was contacted by someone wanting to buy it off me. I wasn't even tempted. The short term gain of a few dollars, compared to the power of a name... I don't think so.

In subsequent years, I added to the namespace associated with 'Owlglass'; which, by the way, translates into the German 'Eulenspiegel'; and, for those who aren't aware of German folklore, there's the figure of one 'Till Eulenspiegel', who was a bit of a trickster and a rogue. So now we have a whole bunch of domain names, all based on the 'Owlglass' name. The one most relevant to this blog is probably OwlglassSF, which is the imprint under which I publish books.

Currently I am in the process of reconfiguring my life and the way I earn a living. Up to now it's been either 'permie' work, or long-term contracting. As of a few weeks ago, however, there now exists a company called, unsurprisingly, Owlglass Pty Ltd, of which I am a director and employee. All business associated with anything having to do with what is becoming the 'brand' name 'Owlglass' will be run through this company. The buttons in the sidebar of this blog give an indication of the scope of this. You can click them and be taken to the associated sites.

In the spirit of shameless self-promotion I'd like to ask my Australian readers, that if you have any business for OwlglassDesign or OwlglassProductions, or know of anybody who might require any such business, including wedding video production, please point them my way.

The development of a business and a brand is a fascinating activity. Until I actually got stuck into it, I never realized just how much work it is either, from the point of view of promotion as well as what I'll call 'administration'. Maybe the most interesting thing is to try and find something that provides some focus, or maybe you could call it a 'theme'. You'd think that, for someone making it a habit of telling stories, that shouldn't be too hard; but it is. Sometimes a picture may work better than words. But there's always a question of how intuitive the image actually is for as many people as possible—at least those potentially interested in the services concerned. So, for example, here's the one from the OwlglassDesign site—which addresses a business run in association with one of my daughters, who is a professional designer. The logo in the bottom right-hand corner of the image is hers.


The amount of just time-investment in doing all this, including getting websites designed and producing downloadable info/promotional materials, is amazing. I've basically spent a full two weeks doing nothing else—something like 80 hours or more—but setting this up. No wonder people who work full time never actually find the focus to get this set up, because it does take it out of you.

Anyway, it's all set up now, though it'll be subject to the inevitable tweaks and adjustments. Wish me luck. It's a big deal, taking that step.

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