Justified Swagger

Pat Bowen
Pat Bowenposted on on June 17, 2013

Ever watched Justified? Yes? Then you’ll follow this post quite easily. No? First, I recommend you do. Second, it’s a show about Kentucky ‘law man’ Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant). He’s a gun slinging U.S. Marshal with not only one of the best shots, but in my opinion some of the best come backs and one-liners on television. As my wife puts it “He’s got swagger.” Yep, he’s got it. The walk, the talk and an insane level of confidence in his ability that backs it all up. The other thing my wife says to me is “You need more of that.” Unfortunately when I last checked people find about as much swagger in coding as they do in Napoleon Dynamite’s nunchuck skills.

Maybe it was coincidence, or maybe Seth Godin has weekend marathons of FX TV shows like my wife and I do, but right in the middle of a watching a large number of Justified episodes over a recent weekend one of Godin’s articles caught my eye. The title? Swagger. In this article Seth talks about two things: Swagger and substance. Godin points out that swagger helps you sell or promote, but you need substance to back it up.

“Substance without swagger slows you down. But swagger without substance can be fatal. Right now, we’re seeing more swagger than ever-but it’s rarely accompanied by an increase in substance…”

My most recent TV binge left me wondering how much longer Raylan could keep up the swagger. The longer the show goes on the deeper he gets. Understanding it’s a TV show my guess is things will continue, but there comes a point when your swagger might outgrow your substance. And that got me thinking about how I can 1) increase my swagger (without wearing a Stetson) and 2) help our clients utilize the web to not only increase swagger, but build substance appropriately.

I’m not sure that I’ll ever have that swagger, but I would say I’m confident in building a site that delivers swagger and substance. Here are a couple thoughts:

  • Understand that your company’s substance isn’t just the product or service offering you sell. It’s the experience around that too. When Pageworks starts a rebuild process we start with discovery. That discovery includes time spent understanding as much as we can about your market, operations and interaction with customers. When we start designing a solution we bring all of that together to help your customers have a better experience. That may be easier purchases, a robust online support solution, or a more engaged social media presence. The support and extra value provided matter.
  • Your presentation matters. If Raylan Givens started wearing a clown suit rather than a blazer and cowboy hat he might have problems. Your swagger is as much about a consistent and polished look as anything else. When we design a solution we ensure it follows your brand standards so that visitors get the same feeling whether they’re meeting with a sales rep, going to your brick and mortar location or shopping online. Consistency makes style and grows confidence.
  • Stop chasing and imitating. When your company follows trends or acts because your competition acts you run a higher risk of out swaggering your substance. This doesn’t mean there aren’t great new tools that you should always be investigating or trialling from a marketing perspective, but it can also lead to some empty promise. Our team has most likely knowledgable on these “must have” things and can help your either 1) implement them properly and in a way that fits your operations or 2) find a solution that fits your needs better. Remember, being you (or your brand) is much easier than always trying to copy someone else.

When we put those three elements together online we end up with something that is swagger worthy and substance filled: An authentic site that shows off your company in a way that you can be proud of and confidently back. If you want to talk about building a swagger site let us know. We’re glad to talk… if were not watching Justified.

  1. Justified: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1489428/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1
  2. Swagger: http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2013/03/swagger.html