Daniel Rothamel is a real estate professional in my community. He is/was the Real Estate Zebra, a brand he developed because of his history as a basketball referee.
In recent history, Daniel was sued for trademark infringement by another firm using the zebra brand 3,000 miles away.
Because Daniel is a blogger and an active social media user/connector in our community, many came to his defense, blasting the frivolous lawsuit and even generating a Facebook page to demonstrate support.
Today, Daniel shared the letter he sent to the attorneys who filed the suit and explained his reasons for deciding, ultimately, to let go of the zebra in his branding.
The conversation will, no doubt, continue as some agree or disagree with Daniel’s decision (let’s remember that it’s a personal decision based on someone with a personal brand.) I’m sharing this story and the example of it as an excellent example of the use of social media in a variety of ways:
- The brand exists and has widely held support because of the blog and the relationships Daniel has nurtured through social media
- People know and follow Daniel — not a zebra — and because of those relationships, Daniel had tremendous support while enduring a hardship
- Daniel used his blog and specifically video to share his story and his final decision, an excellent choice to share the news in a personal, meaningful way
What I love about this the most is that Daniel has learned through all of this that he is the brand, that Daniel Rothamel is the brand — he doesn’t need the stripes or the zebra look, name or identity to be the real, caring professional that he is.
Hats off to you Daniel, for a job well done — you’ve impressed me with your work ethic, your use of social media and the man you are behind the stripes.
Watch Daniel’s video below, but make sure you read the post as well.