Introducing Tenacity5 Media

The Lady Soleil logo and naming kerfuffle a couple of weeks ago sent me in a different direction. Since then I developed and built a new brand for my company, “Tenacity5 Media.”

What does Tenacity5 Media mean? Tenacity and media are self evident, but the five is unique to me. The number represents the five principles I believe brands should keep an undying focus on to achieve their missions. They form the core of my company’s mission to develop great marketing campaigns.

The five tenacity maxims are:

1) Courage: Companies must be strong in the face of fear. Bold marketing wins, while safe approaches often guarantee middle-of-the-pack performance, or worse.

2) Resilience: Marketing takes time. Quick successes validate programs and are necessary, but to win a community’s loyalty, companies need to commit for the long haul. Smart brands attend to the now while building for the future.

3) Attentiveness: In an attention economy that depends on what others say about you, companies need an unrelenting focus on the customer. From research to outreach to service, marketing revolves around the customer experience.

4) Fluidity: Technology and media are in a consistent state of flux. As a result, norms for communication also change continually. Companies must adapt to evolving media.

5) Mindfulness: Every company is made up of people, and every person lives in a larger world. Our actions create impact, both positive and negative. Mindful companies build products and services that contribute to the larger welfare of our collective community.

Moving forward, you can see the company’s web site. It includes the services my company will offer in the near term. There are also links to Tenacity5’s Google+, LinkedIn and Twitter pages. While a Facebook page has been created, I am not going to maintain it in the short term.

The Tenacity5 Media brand is a trademark of Lady Soleil, Inc., which was the fastest most affordable way to approach the rebrand. As my independent publishing is also maintained by the company, I intend to build out a Lady Soleil, Inc. web site to explain the business and claim its brands publicly.

I do want to thank everyone for their feedback. And I want to thank Aaron Mahnke at Wet Frog Studios for his quick work on the logo. In the end, I feel like I ended up with a brand that is much more authentic and representative of my approach towards marketing and media.

Will There Be Any Difference?

Tenacity5 represents my third attempt at scaling a company. The first concluded with the sale of Livingston Communications to CRT/Tanaka (now Padilla/CRT). The second ended for me when the three founders of Zoetica split ways.

It’s fair to ask, what will be different about Tenacity5?

First, I have zero intention of ever selling the company, or bringing on equity partners. Never say never, but there is no exit plan, rather a commitment to build something to last through the decades. I don’t enjoy employment, and I know this intrinsically. This is my path.

Second, I want to scale this company, and build something significantly larger than a boutique shop. In studying others who have built social media empowered agencies of 30 or more people over the past decades, I have noticed a unifying characteristic: They focus relentlessly on contributing to the market with ideas and best practices. At the same time, they tend not to get distracted or caught up in the day-to-day hubris of the sector. They rise above politicking and gossip even though they may be the subject of it. Some are A-listers, others are not.

This personal brand/reputation issue has been a problem in the past.

Personal attention can become an unnecessary distraction on the road to corporate growth. You can have both, but I see many A-Listers with really small boutiques, and as many large agencies with no well known employee in the blogosphere. Building a company around an omnipresent personality can be helpful, but it is not a necessary component of attracting customers and building a scaleable company.

Third, in the past my efforts included an unfortunate tendency to keep projects too long; specifically, employees and clients who did not perform well. These difficulties were crippling (in my opinion).
In the past I cared too much about those that should have moved on, and kept investing in them, partly out of guilt. By doing so I excerbated situations and probably made them exponentially worse. I think all parties suffered greatly as a result.

This is a core business issue. Effective business managers let people go when they aren’t working out. Building a great business revolves around hiring strong talent that delivers, nothing less and nothing more. A great executive knows this, and manages their roster accordingly.

You can always help someone after they leave with decent severance, out-placement, references, etc. And doing unlikeable things is part of any job.

What principles govern your business?

The Age of Authenticity Washing

Two x Two Faces
Two x Two Faces by J.D. Hancock

There have been a couple of recent posts acknowledging the decline of authenticity on the social web. In reality, authenticity as it was preached in the mid 2000s for all intents and purposes is a lost art. Today, we have formulaic gestures, and acts and boasts of authenticity instead of people being people.

Authenticity washing is abound. Whether it’s a demonstration of flair, declarations of being the real thing, and even protests of being flawed, one has to wonder what we’re seeing. Many people claim to be nice in the social media blogosphere while they curse out their peers in emails or police contrarian opinions through flash mobs.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. To say more would not be mindful. The real behavior is nothing worse than the scandals we see played out in the media, and is simply a demonstration of the human condition. But what we are told is not authentic.

There are a few reasons for this decline in authenticity. One is the over-commercialization of the social web. The second is the rise of the personal brand movement. No matter how many personal branders claim reputation based on actions, the practice encourages putting forth a contrived image to the marketplace. In the end, authenticity has declined because people are afraid of looking bad. Courage — the ability to act in the face of fear — has and will always be at a premium.

So the authenticity washing will continue. There is no formula for being authentic, folks. Authenticity is simply being you, good and bad and everything in between. Be you.

In the end, talk is cheap on the social web. Actions are not. Watch what people do, not what they claim.

What do you think about the state of authenticity on the social web?