PNI_BzzAgentLogo.jpgWhen we set out to build BzzAgent in late 2001, we wanted to build the first WOM brand. Not the first brand built by WOM, as that’s happened hundreds of times, but the first brand that stood for WOM. So, we created a cute name, a memorable bee logo and came up with snappy copy about hives and honeycombs.

The Bee Logo, the cornerstone of our brand, was developed to near perfection in under an hour, but we spent days refining it. He looked terribly upset. We messed with his forward-arching eyebrows, but every variation made it look like our bee was high on ecstasy, so the glowering low eyebrow look stuck.Whenever anyone told us the bee looked irritated, we responded by saying, “he’s not angry, he’s just determined.” Our brand was memorable, sure; but without even realizing it, the germ of our personality had begun.

Personality is the dialogue that happens around a brand, and the reasons that a consumer can feel connected to it. Sure, a brand can be updated and upgraded and new-era-ized such as when Burger King’s logo went from square and rigid to all curvy, bulbous and hip, and but that’s not personality. All the plastic King masks’s and Suberservient Chickens in the world won’t create personality. What your friends think of BK’s new 730 calorie breakfast sandwich or whether the CEO backdated stock options is where personality comes from.

So while BzzAgent’s brand stands for WOM, our personality is comprised of something incredibly different: innovation and transparency.

The innovation part is the very fabric of the business, as our model is distinct and pioneering in an industry that is still very much in its nascent stages. People have to theorize, postulate and debate about what it is we do. Media trendspotters like Chris Tuff from Moxie/Zenith educate their clients about it. Pundits want to argue that WOM can’t be coordinated. Professors use BzzAgent to teach cognitive dissonance. Moms who participate use their involvement as a badge of honor. Regardless of your interest, innovation is a natural output of what we do.

But while a personali