Not Just Pants. Anyone else remember the ads for a store called Just Pants? That’s how the jingle went: “Just Pants . . . not just pants.” Talk about an identity crisis. If they wanted to sell more than pants, why didn’t they call themselves Not Just Pants?

Last week I went to hear a speaker talk about branding which led me to try to figure out how to create the brand named Trina Lambert. That means you will know what my various “products” are or mean to you based on my name, just like you know what Nike means or what Apple means. In accounting talk, that’s goodwill you can put as an asset on your balance sheet.

I’m all in favor of goodwill, but I’m afraid to brand myself like Just Pants—and then realize down the road that I want to sell more than pants. (OK—don’t worry, I don’t want to sell any clothing!)

I went to a liberal arts college where I “got to” learn about something from each discipline—whether I liked it or not. Sometimes the classes themselves were painful to me, but I don’t regret what I learned in them.

One of the first classes I took was Philosophy of the Greeks and Romans, taught in the dreaded post-lunch hour by a man who talked like he was stoned—which he probably was. I may have slept through many of the lectures, but I will never forget the cartoon we watched on Plato’s Cave. True confession: the understanding for one of my favorite “intellectual” discussion topics comes from a cartoon! Just ask those who know me too well, I can go on for hours about the Cave.

The liberal arts student in me is afraid to limit what the brand named Trina Lambert means. I like to think that with access to the proper resources, I can write about almost anything, even if it’s new to me.

Tune in tomorrow as I ponder what I’ve written, what I already know about, and how I figure out how to brand myself loosely enough so that in the future I don’t have to create a jingle about my brand that ends with “not just . . . “