On Branding The Hub

From Monica Hebert, founder of the Hub:

Do we want a "brand" or…do we want relationships?

What if a business could be created based solely on the quality of the business relationship with the customer?

The NRV Hub ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce What if the business could thrive solely on the basis of the quality of relationships?

These two questions have been on my mind for a while now. I’ve made my choice: I want relationships, not a brand. Every time I hear the word "brand" I think of the cows, that awful sound they make when branded by the owner. Ouch.

Recently, at a staff meeting for the Hub, I announced to everyone that we are not chasing the golden ring of success promised by clever Internet marketing that promotes the idea that we should be selling a brand or marketing a brand.

We are in the business of creating and nurturing relationships. Forget branding, forget savvy marketing.  Forget it all. We're focusing on the relationships right before us.

The Hub is entirely about relationships; the most important one being between the user/member of the Hub and the Hub. Everything, each and every aspect of our work, is all for the good of that relationship.

That means we push the envelope, ask the hard questions, and encourage readers’ comments, opinions, thoughts, suggestions and ideas. 

And that means we will respond with genuine responses, not robotic, automatic replies.

I encourage all who participate on the Hub to enjoy new opportunities to develop relationships beyond their normal daily grind. There are fabulous, wonderful people in the New River Valley of Virginia.   Hopefully, the Hub will provide the platform for each us to get to know one another, with our common bond being the profound delight of living and working in the New River Valley.


The Hub went live at 5:30 PM on Monday, October 19, 2009.

To read more about Monica Hebert's views on branding, paired with those of Tim W. Jackson, feel free to read Two Are Better Than One on the Hub.

The Hub, a web portal web designed to bring immediate news, information and interactions to the New River Valley of Virginia, is a client of Handshake 2.0.

In the photograph of the Hub's ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce on Thursday, October 15, 2009, Monica Hebert is second from the left in the front row.

We wrote about the Hub as hyperlocal news, about the pre-launch party, and presented the Hub launch video.

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  1. Anne: Thank you for the opportunity to shake hands with you! A good example of relationships at work!

  2. Online, it’s still who you know – and I’m so enjoying knowing you!

    Very exciting to be part of these start-up days of the Hub. Very, very best wishes to you!

  3. Monica,
    Now you’ve got me wondering, which comes first: the brand or the relationship?

    Congratulations on the launch of the NRVHub!

  4. Thanks Kelly.
    In my 30 years of experience I have come to the realization that the brandis the result of the relationship.

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