Blake Dowling: It’s all in the brand

Kiev, Ukraine - February 21, 2012: A logotype collection of well-known world brand's printed on paper. Include Google, McDonald's, Nike, Coca-Cola, Facebook, Apple, Yahoo,  YouTube, and other logos.
I make sure to brand our business whenever possible.

Branding — and the various technological tools available to push forward that brand — is one of my favorite things about doing business in Florida.

I make sure to brand our business whenever possible.

Our business (like most others) is very serious, so I jump all over any opportunity to lighten things up with a podcast, column, speech, video, advertisement, post, sponsorship, etc.

From videos featuring Megadeth (hard drive destruction as a service) to opening every podcast with a joke — it’s all part of the branding game to try and get through to our audience while not appearing too serious.

Or we will go in the other direction to co-brand and support a cause we believe in. While the goal is to promote and/or entertain, our concurrent objective is to make sure when someone has a question or need in the technology space they think of me and Aegis.

We have certainly had some swings and misses over the years.

Working on location on Bimini with Bradley Beesly and his team.

Our collaboration with Florida Politics on the island of Bimini was a home run. It led to work (and friendship) with Austin-based filmmaker Bradley Beesly (HBO, Travel Channel, Flaming Lips) on a documentary about the island.

He saw my piece on FlaPol and flew me down for several days of filming and Kaliks.

For more on that collaboration, the follow-up column is here.

Our co-branding effort with Big Brothers Big Sisters last year got some amazing traction, and last month the Democrat story I co-wrote with Dr. James Harding on the 30th anniversary of the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) had a massive amount of shares across the nation through social media.

But what happens when branding goes south?

The Biz and Tech podcast — branding, branding, branding — for Aegis and our guests.

As the Coronavirus continues its crawl around the world, Corona beer just happens to be launching a new Corona seltzer with the slogan “coming ashore soon.”


I went to screenshot the tweet mentioned in this CNN column, but it was removed; assuming because of the negative comments that followed it.

Another gem from the same article is this quote on American’s view on the Corona brand during this time.

5W Public Relations said that 38% of Americans wouldn’t buy Corona “under any circumstances” because of the outbreak, and another 14% said they wouldn’t order a Corona in public.

The survey encompasses polling from 737 beer drinkers in the United States.

The sharing started on my personal FB page, with 115 shares which led to it spreading across the nation.

Speaking of branding whiffs, sports teams in Florida know a thing or two about branding strikeouts.

Last year, the University of South Florida took a lot of heat over its “bullish” rebrand. I am sure Florida State University fans also remember the outcry from the fan base about its new logo a few years back. Our soon-to-be friend BluLeadz in Tampa breaks down some of the biggest marketing fails of all time in a write up last month. Nice work Micah.

In the political world, have you heard of the Center of American Politics and Design?

They not only archive and study trends in campaign branding but they provide resources to those seeking office that might be limited in budget. Their homepage is a feast for political branding junkies. (I am sure that is a thing, right?)

I used the filter for Florida and these are my four faves from an image and brand standpoint.

Back to our firm; I will be the first to say we can overdo the silly quotient in our branding.

But, you know, so what?

Our careers are supposed to be fun on some level; or at least we should enjoy what we do at one point; and, man, I love these types of engagements.

I love our team, love collaborating with them (see our The Office parody intro) and the same goes for our community partners.

Yes, the coronavirus is very serious, cybercrime is serious, and politics is very serious.

That said, we must quote the beloved Sgt. Hulka from (the film Stripes, which my wife had never seen until last Christmas). Sarge offered this sound advice when Francis became too serious, he simply stated. “lighten up, Francis.”

Life is short, let’s take the sarge’s advice and have some fun while we are here.

Cheers to ‘ya.


Blake Dowling is CEO of Aegis Business Technology, the host of the Biz and Tech podcast, enjoys working on location in the Bahamas, and writes for several organizations. You can reach him at [email protected].

Blake Dowling

Blake Dowling is CEO of Aegis Business Technologies. His technology columns are published by several organizations. Contact him at [email protected] or at


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