When NSA takes a credibility hit, it’s per- sonal. For me. For you. Think about it. We (the members) are NSA. Sure, there’s
a headquarters office and team. But the members’
brand reach and market penetration are exponential
in comparison. What each and every member does
and says affects the organization’s reputation and
credibility—the brand. For good or bad.
This notion is akin to the revered Woody Guthrie
folk song “This Land Is Your Land.” Yes, there’s a
government. But “this land was made for you and
me.” Issues such as littering, hazardous waste, and
pollution get us highly emotionally charged. It’s
personal. This is our land.
And this is our brand.
WE STAND FOR THE BRAND
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office defines a
trademark as “a brand name. A trademark or service
mark includes any word, name, symbol, device, or
any combination, used or intended to be used to
identify and distinguish the goods/services of one
seller or provider from those of others, and to indi-
cate the source of the goods/services.”
And with any source there is a perceived level of
quality. As Bruce Turkel, CPAE, pointed out at Brand
Lab in 2018, a brand is what you stand for. It’s why
you matter to the client. We take that seriously where
our own business brands are concerned. We should
do likewise with our NSA brand.
When a member is difficult to work with, our
brand takes a hit.
When a member is unprepared and/or
performs in a sub-par manner, our brand
takes a hit.
When a member cavalierly uses the
material of another source without permission or without giving due credit, our brand
takes a hit.
Trust is eroded, not only for the individual, but for all of NSA.
We love our organization. We take pride
in NSA. But all the organizational pride in
the world cannot deflect public perception.
A perception that for them is reality.
Will we ever be perfect? Of course not.
But can every member do his or her part to
foster our brand in the minds of those we
serve in the marketplace? Absolutely.
It matters! And it’s personal. ■
JD, has practiced
intellectual property law
for 27 years. He is vice-chair of the Speaker
a member of the NSA
Board of Directors,
immediate past chair of
the Chapter Leadership
Committee, and a past
president of the North
BY RUSS RIDDLE, JD
Every member has responsibility
for the health of NSA’s brand