Always wear a name-tag (or be ostracized from conversations)



It's (likemind) unless you don't wear a name-tag.

It's (likemind) unless you don't wear a name-tag.


This morning, the partisan and I attended (likemind) ny at sNice, 45 Eighth Avenue, at West 4th Street. As we sauntered in casually: he in a spiffy sport coat, trousers, tie and dress slacks, and I in an adidas jacket, Levis and sneakers, we were ready for some good java and better conversation.

I ordered a large cappuccino and a toasted cinnamon raisin bagel with butter and jelly. The partisan opted for the cafe mocha. We sat at a table on the periphery of a congregation of folk engrossed (clan-like) at a table to our left, and began our conspiratorial discussion of brand (and world) domination.

The topic of our discussion was Twitter and the proper type of engagement a brand should court using the platform (Go Oprah!). How many followers can a brand practically engage?  How many people can you actually follow before it’s just noise?  Where is the Twitter sweet spot?

What started as an intimate gathering of about 8 to 10 people swelled quickly to a respectable crowd of 20-25 in minutes, and upon reconnecting with the matrix, we found ourselves amidst a sea of name tag-wearers.

“So what do you do?” “Where are you from?” “What brings you here today?” (says one name-tag-wearer).

“Oh I’m a brand strategist.” “I just flew in from Chicago.” “I’m just tagging along with my friend, who heard about it.” (replies the other)

For some inexplicable reason, none of the name-tag-wearers approached the partisan or I. Was the absence of the blue-trimmed tag a scarlet letter?

Had we missed the memo that no name-tag equalled no engagement? Were we interlopers in a private club?

Reading about (likemind), I was impressed by the highly informal and organic nature of it all.  Hmmmm….there was a name-tag in the picture…

Attending (likemind), I was somewhat dismayed (is that too harsh? bewildered perhaps?) by its formulaic (and dare I say ‘forced’) execution.

Today the partisan and the proletariat observed.  

Next 3rd Friday of the month, we shall wear name-tags.  

And engage.

And report.


Filed under branding

3 responses to “Always wear a name-tag (or be ostracized from conversations)

  1. Ben

    Piers – Thanks for taking the time to comment.

    Stephen – Why are you always so critical?

    First let me identify myself. I am the aforementioned Partisan (feel free to call me Ben). Upon arrival we definitely made a conscious effort to sit next to the already-formed circle of conversation, rather than interject ourselves into it.

    The strategy was to first observe, then engage. Who exactly are these like-minded creative heads descending upon ‘sNice at 8 am on a Friday?

    Observation gave way to conversation, which in turn, gave way to a rant or two. Before we knew it we were surrounded by a sea of name-tags.

    Had we not had to leave at 9 to get to the office, I’m pretty sure we would have worked our way into one of the many banter sessions. Let’s be honest SC, you aren’t one for sitting on the sidelines.

    Anyway, I’m not trying to dwell on this, but I wanted to make sure I thanked Piers for his words. Looking forward to next month.

    As a side note, Stephen – Did you know the BMW ad you wrote about 2 days ago (who sent you link to that image by the way???) came from, which is run by Piers? Small world.


  2. schukumba


    Hats off to you sir, for your timely and diplomatic response. It’s nice to know you’re paying attention.

    We became aware of the name-tags only after we were seated and ensconced in conversation.

    Since we weren’t approached when we arrived (or see any name-tag station), we figured we’d be taken as we were.

    But now we know. And I will definitely post my part II in a month!

    Thanks for caring!

    The Proletariat

    BTW, name-tags aren’t dorky. The attack on name tags was my attempt at wit (c:,’


  3. Hey,

    I think I spotted you guys sitting on the edge but I thought you were just cafe dwellers not people who had turned up to come to Likemind. So apologies if I didn’t come and chat.

    Wearing the badge might look or even feel a little dorky at first but I suggest you try it. There’s an obvious reason why we ask people to wear it.

    I’d love to read the difference in experience on this site, next time.



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