New website launch today. And everyone at Combustion is pretty pumped. After existing (in several incarnations) for about 8 years, we’ve finally figured out EXACTLY who we are – and this is our chance to sing about it.
When I launched my first training company, I spent a lot of time worrying about ‘positioning’. As a former agency CD, I was hyper aware of the fact that I was trying to build a distinct brand and every decision I made could be a critical make or break one. What I forgot was that just by ‘being’, my corporate brand was being built – one hug, one f-bomb and one smartass joke at a time. And that brand was slowly taking on a life of its own and living beyond even my larger than life persona. But still, I kept the look, feel and messaging on the website relatively tame – worried that I might somehow put off a browsing prospect if I didn’t appear to fit the corporate bill. So aside from the color palette and weird workshop names, I confess we kinda hid behind a bullshit façade littered with empty business-speak.
Then, about a year ago, we decided it was time for both a face lift and gut check. We asked a few of our biggest clients a coupla questions about how they saw us. What made us different? And what kind of difference had we made for them and their people? Surprisingly to us, we got almost the exact same response from every client. They told us that they loved our passion, that we were unapologetic in the pursuit of real transformation, that we were so irreverent but so effective and that we truly did ‘love the people’ as our number one value espoused. And that we had really helped their orgs to be more true to who they were, from presentation skills to creativity and back again.
My reaction? Fuck it. Yup. Fuck it. Fuck the façade. Fuck the worry. Fuck the need to please everyone. I realized it went directly against everything we were training people to be; authentic, honest, revealed and fearless. And here I was virtually pretending to be something we were most definitely not.
Cut to today. Presenting the new, true (virtual) face of Combustion! “A kick-ass creativity-fueled training company that transforms people so they can transform their organizations. Training brains. Changing minds.” We make no other claims, keep the bullshit biz-speak to an absolute minimum, swear our bytes off, and make no apologies for the crazy ‘mango-talkin’ freaks that we are. (Ask us what this means. It’s a good story) Each and every person who works here is a one-off and we all fly our freak flags high. That’s what the brand of us is. And we’re all crazy proud of it. We hope you dig it too.
Lesson learned (cuz there always is one) is that when building a strong brand, you can’t talk out of both sides of your face. You are who you are. The key is in figuring out what that really, truly authentically is and then owning the shit out of it. Get right into it under the skin and inhabit it. Shimmy it into the biggest life it can have – whether it’s a cookie, bank product or your persona. Don’t expect it to please everyone. Allow it to seduce a few and let those few be your evangelists. Know who you are before you go out to play so you make the right friends when you do. And never, ever apologize for being true.
Let us know what you think of the new site. Feel free to swear.
(PS – Thanks beyond measure to the powerhouse and endlessly patient team at Lush Concepts for making this site happen. You rule.)