Dave Murray

Missions, Values, and Visions, Oh My!

Missions, Values, and Visions, Oh My!

In Randy Pausch’s Last Lecture, he talked about the head fake, saying, “Most of what we learn, we learn indirectly.” See if you can spot, from his Ann Arbor classroom, the head fake in Professor Dave’s lecture, “Missions, Values, and Visions, Oh My!”

Mayniax Branding - Randy Pausch Quote: "Most of what we learn, we learn indirectly (or by 'head fake')."

Referring to myself in the third person isn’t a sign of narcissism, is it? Whoa, turns out it’s not! And cookies for dinner are kinda tasty.



The mission of your brand is based heavily on the “why” of it. I write a ton about the “why,” so here’s a link to the latest blog post about it: The New Rules of Branding

Our “why” is always about entrepreneurs because we believe they’re the keys to the world’s happiness. So our mission is all about entrepreneurs and what we do to help them: The world is broken, and we believe entrepreneurs are the only ones who can fix it. But they’ll never get that chance if no one cares about their brands. So, with a little bit o’ nuttiness, a little bit o’ research, and a lotta bit o’ guts, it’s our job to make people care.

Our So you can see, our mission is based around our “why.” Find your brand’s “why,” and your mission becomes easy.


Values are your brand’s way of letting the world know what’s important to it! A lot of times, it’s not even about business.

Our brand’s values are pretty straight-forward.

1. We’re about health – We want to foster a culture where people are able to take care of themselves so they’ll be around for the people who need them.
2. We’re about a team with a common cause – Our qualifications for our team will always be if we like you, if you can do the job, and if you believe in the mission, you’re in! Unless you’re like, four or something. I think they have laws against that.
3. We’re about benevolent entrepreneurs – If you’re passionate and have a strong “why” about what you do, we’ll help you. If you’re just in it for the money, or you simply know how to do whatever, go somewhere else.
4. We’re about consistency. We’re branders. Everyone should be treated exceptionally well, and every process should be followed, otherwise we’re not very good branders.
5. We’re not about bigotry. If anyone shows any hate toward someone because of something they have no control over, they’re out. Period.

So, what’s important to your brand? What does it stand for? Remember that values not only communicate what’s important to your brand – they also give people additional reasons to want to meet with you. But here’s the thing: like your mission, they must be 100% authentic. Don’t fake any of it, because people will sniff you out.


What’s the overall vision for your brand? When all is said and done, what should your brand achieve? Ours is simple: we want Mayniax Branding to contribute to leave a measurable impact on the world’s happiness. That means Mayniax Branding will likely go on for a good long time, because unless Google comes up with a happiness algorithm, that’s gonna be tough to measure!

What mark will your brand leave on the world?

Oh My!

Brands grow from within. It’s up to you to make sure your people – and that includes clients – are on board with the brand’s mission, the brand’s values, and the brand’s vision, or they’re just words that mean nothing. And then you’ll be just like every other entrepreneur out there, working 80 hours per week for the rest of your life wondering where you went wrong.

Did Ya Catch the Head Fake?

I typed a lot about the brand, but absolutely nothing about products or services. That’s because they’re practically inconsequential to the mission, values, and vision of a brand. But that’s not the head fake.

The brand is you! Your “why,” your mission, your values, and your vision for the world are the backbone of your brand! What your brand does is just a tool to help make those things – the things that are truly important to you – happen.

That’s why we build brands around who our entrepreneurs actually are. And that’s why I have such a tough time with the concept of “personal branding” – it seems to imply making you, and consequently your brand, into something you’re not. And speaking of my frustration with “personal branding”

In Closing

Remember that your brand is ultimately you. And you’ll find the right people – teammates and clients – to work with if you’re just true to yourself. Because honestly, when your parents first looked you in the eyes and said, “Be yourself,” they taught you everything you needed to know about personal branding.

And possibly why you occasionally – since you’re may be all about health – enjoy cookies for dinner.

Stay gutsy, gang!

The world is broken, and we believe only entrepreneurs can fix it. But they’ll never get that chance if no one cares about their brands. So, with a little bit o’ nuttiness, a little bit o’ research, and a lotta bit o’ guts, it’s our job to make people care.

Wanna set up a happy fun time chat with Ann Arbor’s favorite branding team? Then click here, fill out the form, and we’ll get back to ya!

Dave Murray

Personal Branding in Ann Arbor

Personal Branding in Ann Arbor

I love Ann Arbor

I mean sure, it has its problems – For instance, Ann Arbor was voted the most educated city in the United States in 2015. Wait, how’s that a problem? Well, ya see, what that study really said is that people in A2 stayed in school for a really long time. And, when your job is to build brands around entrepreneurs, when many of the most successful ones in history didn’t graduate from college or even high school, that doesn’t impress one all that much.

Then there’s Plymouth Road, where there are blinking yellow lights that are supposed to mean “stop.” And while we all know yellow lights – even the blinking kind – are supposed to mean “caution” or “slow down,” in reality, we all know they really mean, “Hurry so we don’t have to stop!” Hooray for staying in school a really long time, A2 denizens!

And finally, there’s the reputation Ann Arbor has outside her fair limits – a reputation of snobbery. I have to say, I’ve lived here for over nine years, and have yet to come across that. Of course, I’m classically unobservant, so a lot of people have said I probably just don’t notice when people are being snobs. I certainly make room for that scenario – but the fact remains, I haven’t noticed untold snobification.

“Wait, I thought this guy said he loves Ann Arbor?”

Before I go on, I’d be remiss not to mention this blog post was suggested by our social media queen, Stefanie Mitchell – Twitter: @stefcherelle – who sent me an email that read, “Write something like this about Ann Arbor.” “This” is a Forbes article entitled “9 Personal Branding Reasons to Love New York.”


And so I was gonna write something similar, talking about A2’s young professionals and tech scenes. I was gonna write about networking and my firm belief that if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere – thus borrowing from the aforementioned article and proving NYC’s just a proving ground for Ann Arbor. Heh heh.

But I’m not gonna do that. Instead, I’m gonna tell you why I love Ann Arbor – with a personal branding twist, of course. Because it’s actually very personal to me.

Mayniax Branding - Red Glasses and The Cube - a match made in A2!

Growing up in Jackson, Michigan

Yours truly, along with my sister, parents, Hortence and Sniffy – our two cats – moved to Jackson when I was nine. And I was mad! You see, mom and dad had done a lot of research on area schools, and decided to enroll me in Catholic school. I, of course, had no idea what that meant, but I do know that – to this day – I hate navy blue pants. I was mad because I had no idea what Catholic school was, I just knew I’d always gone to regular schools in California and Nevada, prior to moving to Jackson.

I attended Catholic schools in Jackson from the middle of fourth grade through senior year. And I gotta tell ya, while it was never explicitly stated, there was an underlying message: love thy neighbor unless they’re different.

Now before I go on, I wanna say that I got along with everyone. I was – and obviously still am – insanely short, but that wasn’t enough to raise the ire of my classmates. I was, after all, a straight white kid.

In fifth grade, I had to stop a fight because a heavy kid was about to get beat up – in front of a throng of parents.

In high school, more kids sold drugs than we had kids who weren’t white.

Also in high school, a girl committed suicide because she was mercilessly teased for the “sin” of being gay.

Love thy neighbor unless they’re different.

I was lucky to get out of there still being the man my parents taught me to be, but I still fight those with that “love thy neighbor unless they’re different” mentality.

Who Wants a Throwdown?

I argue with people whose asinine beliefs say simply being gay is a sin. How exactly? They’re just out there doing their thing like everyone else. Besides, I’m pretty sure whichever deity’s actually in charge is shaking his head saying, “How the crap could you think I meant that’s a sin!?!” And then he goes to get drunk on whiskey before realizing he created a place where even he can’t get drunk. D’oh!

Love thy neighbor unless they’re different.

And I’m absolutely speechless whenever I encounter racists. Seriously, they make me so mad I can’t even speak. Not to mention I’m in awe of the sheer stupidity required to be a racist. To be a racist, you have to hate just to hate. And have the I.Q. of a dead earthworm, of course. I saw too much of it growing up, and encounter it nearly every time I’m in a rural area. And I simply don’t get it. I never have. And I never will.

Love thy neighbor unless they’re different.

My friend, Chris – Twitter: @radiohostchris – who will be helping us launch a podcast in the next couple months, used to work in Farmington. He told me whenever he’d go for a walk and say hi to a little old lady, she’d just look away and hurry passed him. “But whenever I’m walking around Ann Arbor, if I ask a little old lady how she’s doing, she’ll say, ‘I’m fine, young man. How are you?’”

Mayniax Branding - Chris Lee Potcaster Extraordinaire and Lover of Our Logo

I’m not one who likes the words “tolerance” and “acceptance” – I think they denote having to put up with something. But Ann Arbor, in spite of the problems I mentioned at the beginning of this post, doesn’t seem like it’s accepting or tolerating anything. Instead, it seems to be welcoming, even embracing, everyone.

And Ann Arbor’s not just about embracing people for things they can’t – nor should they want to – control. Nope, Ann Arbor’s gonna welcome the weirdest, craziest people they can find. Hell, Ann Arbor welcomed me! And no one bats an eye when I walk around downtown with a red t-shirt and red Chucks. Because Ann Arbor doesn’t care. Ann Arbor’s cool with ya just being you. And that’s the greatest thing ever for a personal brand – told ya I’d get there.

Mayniax Branding - The Michigan and State Theatres

Your personal brand is simply who you are. And when you’re in an environment that won’t judge you for being that, you actually get to BE who you are. I never felt like I could truly be me in Jackson. There was too much I didn’t like about my experiences there. Too much “love thy neighbor unless they’re different.” Ann Arbor’s not perfect, and I’m not ignorant enough to think racism, homophobia – not to mention a whole lot of other judgment – doesn’t exist here, but I don’t know anyone who would use those words to describe it.

So why do I love Ann Arbor? Easy: I get to be me. And there’s nothing cooler for a person, or a personal brand.

So sayeth King Dave of Ann Arbor!

Dave Murray Mayniax Branding King Dave of Ann Arbor 2

Stay gutsy!

If you’re looking for branding help in the Ann Arbor / Ypsilanti area, feel free to get a hold of us at And don’t forget to visit our About page, just to see if you’d wanna work with us, anyway.

Oh, and you should probably fill your coffee cup. It’s getting low.

Dave Murray

Dave’s Talking Branding on March 8th!

Dave’s Talking Branding on March 8th!

My name’s Dave Murray, and I’m an incorrigible smartass. But I take branding very seriously.

Dave Murray Mayniax Branding Incorrigible Smartass

As The Big Guy at Mayniax Branding, I believe the world’s broken, and entrepreneurs are the only ones who can fix it. But, if no one cares about their brands, those entrepreneurs will never have that chance. That’s why I do what I do. And that’s why Mayniax Branding does what it does.

Also as The Big Guy at Mayniax Branding, I’m constantly having to teach gutsy entrepreneurs the immense importance of telling the world why they got into the entrepreneurship game in the first place. They fight it. They resist it. They tell me I’m full of things unsuitable for typing on the interwebz.

And then their businesses don’t grow.

Mayniax Branding believes your "why" leads to your passion, which leads to your mission, which leads to your culture.

For pre-gaming purposes, read Your Brand’s “Why” & Meppy Chriswanzukah! You’ll see why we think the, well, “why” is so important. Plus, you’ll get a happy little image of Vanessa and I being, well, Vanessa and I during the 2015 Chriswanzukah season.

Personal Branding

I’m also gonna talk a little bit about personal branding, how I got to be King Dave of Ann Arbor, and how to figure out your own personal brand. Hint: It’s a whole lot easier than you think. It’ll be slightly more in-depth than my last blog post: Let’s Talk Personal Branding, but reading that’s a good warm-up.

Dave Murray Mayniax Branding King Dave of Ann Arbor 2

What You’ll Learn

1. The three reasons your why is so important, and the two whys that don’t cut it.
2. The best way to structure your elevator pitch, using your personal brand.
3. Whatever my weird brain thinks of on March 8th

Details Galore!

What: Ann Arbor Connectors’ Club Lunch and Learn – Personal Branding and Communicating Your “Why”
When: Tuesday, March 8th, 2016 • 11:15 am – 1:00 pm
Where: Buffalo Wild Wings • 3150 Boardwalk Dr, Ann Arbor, MI 48108
What you need: Lunch money! And pants. Or not. I don’t judge.

So plug March 8th into your phones, and get there early, as seating is extremely limited. And hey, while you’re there, enjoy some wings and beer. Unless you’re a vegetarian. Then you’ll probably just want the beer.

Stay gutsy, gang!