A Skeptic’s Guide to Branding

17 February 2016

Talk slides are here.

A picture of Zoe Landon

Our speaker, Zoe Landon, @hupfen

Our Topic Was …

There are few things given more skepticism by the geeks of the world than marketing. Indeed, we like to see ourselves as above the buzzwords and cheesy stock photographs, safe in a world where the empirically best solution is the one that will win out.

But there’s a problem. Marketing, and especially branding, is critical to the geek’s career. Indeed, geeks from John Gruber to Jeff Atwood have become big names in programming, and it’s not by accident- they know how to make and expose a great, genuine professional identity. Projects turn from hobbyist hacks to enterprise concerns thanks to their clear, strong branding. For the successful geek, branding is essential, but we can be just too skeptical to take advantage.

Well, no longer. I’ve trudged through the marketing landscape and found the bits that anyone can be okay with applying. I’ll go through finding an authentic identity for yourself or your next project, so you can put together an appealing image without having to lie through your teeth. And I’ll back it up not with lofty promises, but with a skeptic’s favorite thing: science.

Our speaker, Zoe Landon

Zoe Landon has been messing with computers since childhood and making them work more or less correctly for the last 8 years. She has a Software Engineering degree mostly used for front-end web development, and a Creative Writing minor mostly used for confusing people. Zoe’s many entrepreneurial efforts have resulted in an interview with Sir Christopher Lee, vulgarities from a British rock band, and other minor successes.

She can often be found partaking in trivia and wearing a silly hat.

Follow Zoe on Twitter.

Our venue, FINE

Thanks to FINE for hosting us this month! FINE is located at 1140 SW 11th Ave, Suite 200, Portland, OR 97205.