There are branding coaches, gurus and whole branding departments these days. All clambering to get your dough if you have your own business. But I think it is utter nonsense for most businesses. In fact I am so not obsessed with it, that I am going to unbrand myself.
So in the next couple of days don’t be alarmed to see my current header, The Mind Coach completely disappear ( I’m just thinking up a tagline).
I think too many entrepreneurs are too wrapped up with their ‘brand’ and spend needless amounts of money investing in it. I don’t blame them, after all, there is so much hype out there about why you must develop your brand.
Take the Branding Test
Here is a little brand exercise for you. Just pause for a moment and name me 5 to 10 brands that have stuck in your mind or that you can easily remember.
Did you struggle to reach 10? Maybe McDonalds, Coke and L’Óreal or Mercedes sprang to mind? But how many others? What about that small shop or cafe you went in last week? Or what about the coach you saw? Did their brands spring to the front of your consciousness?
I very much doubt it.
Why I Think Branding is Nonsense
Branding, if you stop and analyze it, is to manipulate you. It is all about them and not about you. It is all designed to make you remember them so you will buy more of their products and services.
If you delve deeper into the big brands, most of the marketing is sold to you on an unconscious level. So they don’t even want you to know how they are branding themselves. Quite ironical.
If you doubt that, then take a look in the background of the next few adverts you watch on TV. Most people don’t notice the subtle colour changes. Your conscious mind is focused on the person or action in the foreground. But your unconscious mind is seeing all of the advert.
That’s how branding works. It is all very stealthy. And powerful.
But it’s not about you. It is all, in the main part, about them.
And when you have your own small business or are just starting out this can distract you from serving your ideal customers with genuine, authentic service.
Of course, if you intend to be the next Apple or McDonalds then fine. But how many businesses really are going to be like that? And do you have their budget to get there right now?
Oh, Branding Is Powerful
A test was done a few years ago in the USA. They got thousands of school children and swapped ordinary, cheaper, rubbish burgers and wrapped them in McDonalds wrappers. They wrapped the Maccy D’s in plain packaging.
In every single test the children said the burgers wrapped in the McDonald’s wrappers tasted the best. Every. Single. Time.
In fact, they even got some kids in a smaller study, to eat vegetables they wouldn’t otherwise eat simply by wrapping them up in McDonalds sleeves. Amazing eh? That is how powerful branding can be. Doesn’t matter whether the product is good for you or not. The branding works.
But how long has McDonald’s been selling burgers for? How much do they spend on advertising each year? Do you have the same budget?
Where My Branding Lies and Where Yours Should?
My branding lies in the daily activities I do on my marketing channels. That means on here in my blogs and on my facebook posts. That’s it. I don’t expect millions of people to remember my logo. I just expect my messages to be consistent with my values and my Purpose.
So what about you? What are your interactions saying about you? If you are too wrapped up with branding I can almost guarantee you, you will be more concerned with how your brand looks to others than being genuine and authentic.
I know a fair few entrepreneurs who have spent so much money, time and effort trying to develop their ‘brand’ yet it hasn’t gotten them anywhere.
Your Purpose is Your Branding
By your purpose, and you should have two, I mean your purpose as to what are you trying to achieve for your customers?
My purpose reads, “To help 1,000,000 people live a happier and more successful life in today’s oftentimes turbulent world, through my blogs, workshops, books, courses, coaching and posts”
So my brand if you like must flow from this purpose.
If I had a cleaning company, my purpose wouldn’t be along the lines of “To make people’s homes sparkling clean”. It would be more along the lines of, “To help people have more time to spend with their family when they get home from a stressful day……etc etc” (That’s just off the top of my head).
But do you see how my daily actions would differ? Do you see how those daily consistent actions would form my brand? Much better than spending thousands upon thousands designing a brand that has nothing to do with serving others.
So my advice to you would be, forget about spending money on branding and more time on how you can do even more for your ideal customers. That will build your business far quicker than branding it.
Double check that your purpose for your customers is in line with your values and what you are wanting and trying to achieve for them. It will pay you dividends eventually.