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What the heck is branding, anyway?

What the heck is branding, anyway?

  • An expensive thing you do that doesn’t get you anywhere
  • My logo
  • I really have no idea, but I pretend I know what it is

It’s surprising how many people fall into one of the above. It’s like the term “marketing,” in that it has come to represent many different aspects.

This is important: you can do many marketing activities that will drive traffic, but that’s not enough anymore. In order to capture the right people and get the actions you want, you need to communicate a story that people connect with.

Put simply, marketing invites people in, branding is the reason they engage. It’s the story you tell of your business.

But let me be clear, and you’ve heard me repeat this a zillion times, you have to communicate that story in a benefit-oriented way, vs. a feature-oriented way. If people don’t appreciate what’s in it for them from your brand, you won’t capture them. What are the benefits of your features?

So you have to tell the story of your business in a benefit-oriented way. Super easy, right? Nope.

I get a lot of business from people who don’t know how to talk about what they do. Some provide a lot of services and don’t know how to talk about them without downplaying something. They’re not sure what their story is, or how to communicate it in any environment, so instead they blather on listing all of their services.

But here’s the thing. If you don’t develop a benefit-oriented brand story, and skip the whole branding thing altogether, you are still left with a brand! Albeit a blank slate one. Probably one that blathers on about itself. And one that is not developing engagement.

It’s a big missed opportunity and money left on the table in this age of virtual meetings where we have to work harder to develop relationships.

What people see, read, and feel when they encounter your business -anywhere- is the brand promise you are making to them about what kind of experience they can expect from working with you.

  • Featured-oriented = all about your business.
  • Benefit-oriented = what’s in it for your client.
  • Blank slate = unfocused, confused, or nothing at all (so why should they choose to work with you?).
  • Unprofessional or old website = outdated ideas.
  • No social media presence = not a people person.
  • No or weak LinkedIn profile = what are you hiding.
  • Inconsistent messaging in different channels = unfocused, possibly poor communicator.

Yikes – I know! This is not good! Especially when we’re doing so much online now. Please contact me for a complimentary consult and we’ll see about developing your story.




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