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A Fashion Manifesto: How Clothing Can Be Part Of Your Brand

I was recently speaking at the Sales 2.0 Conference, primarily about the connection between sales technologies and the talent that uses them. It was interesting to look around and be the only one in the room wearing designer jeans, a #GetSomeIaaS t-shirt and non dress-up kicks. The other attendees and speakers were clad in suits and ties.

It was also interesting that at the ripe old age of 29, I was an absolute baby in the room. When my panel started, I had to contain myself as I desperately wanted to jump up and inject some energy into the proceedings. For a show dedicated to new school selling and the tools at our disposal, I noticed a lot of people were stuck in the past. Even more so, I got some strange looks for dressing the way I did.

This got me thinking: maybe I need to explain the method behind our fashion statement madness.

It’s simple to us: people buy from people they like and stick with companies they enjoy doing business with. We rock jeans and Dyn t-shirts to client meetings, trade shows and speaking gigs because we desire to look, sound and act like our clients. We work with a lot of startups and cutting edge innovators who look at neckties as foreign objects.

Kyle York (left) rocking jeans and a t-shirt at a speaking event.

Since we don’t sell to stiffs in suits and ties, it doesn’t make sense for us to do that. We expect our employees to be exactly who they are at night and weekends with their family and friends.

Our primary goal is to develop long lasting and real relationships with the best web companies in the world. You’re friends with people who are real, so because it’s who we are, we try to keep it real.

I am not saying to burn all of your ties. If you’re a tie guy, rock the hell out of it but if you’re a jeans and t-shirt guy, be proud of that and don’t change who you are to fit into a mold.

This is all part of our big, bold strategy to disrupt the status quo of a boring and stodgy IT industry and infuse it with style and bravado. Judging by our client roster, I’d say it’s working.

While it’s our brand positioning, it is also who we are and we do our best to stick to it, even if we have to endure the eye rolling, snickers and questioning that comes along with it.

Mark Twain once said (and you know if he said it, it must be true), “All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence and then success is sure.”

We are both ignorant and confident in our strong belief that you should be cool, calm and confident in your day-to-day work life. What’s your dress code? Does it take a suit and tie to prove you’re credible? My idol Richard Branson doesn’t think so and neither do I.

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Kyle York
Whois: Kyle York

Kyle York is GM & VP, Product Strategy, and has been a long-time executive, having joined in 2008. Over the years, he has held go-to-market leadership roles in worldwide sales, marketing, and services. In his current role, Kyle focuses on overall corporate strategy, including: positioning and evangelism, new market entry, strategic alliances and partnerships, M&A, and business development. Outside of Oracle Dyn, Kyle is an angel investor, entrepreneur, and advisor in several startups.