Branding – You`re Doing It Wrong: Why Your Brand Is Not What You Say It Is

March 29th, 2014          No Comments

“Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room” -Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon

It’s funny, when you think of “branding” as it relates to business, marketing, advertising…the first things that come to mind are logos, tag lines, and font choices.

We spend meticulous hours behind closed doors, focusing intently on “building the perfect brand”. Everything has to be exactly right. It has to emphasize exactly what our business stands for.

But in reality, it doesn’t matter what you think your brand message says about your business. Not an ounce.

All these things we do in branding, marketing and advertising are aimed at one goal: creating an emotional connection with consumers. That’s what a brand really is.

The quote I mentioned above could not be any more true. Brand is not for us to decide. No matter how amazing we think it is, none of that matters if the consumer feels differently.

Building A More Solid Brand Message

So what do you do if all this is true? How can you establish a brand if you’re not the one deciding its meaning?

It’s quite simply really: ask. Ask your current clients & customers. Survey a portion of visitors to your website. Get creative with it.

Ask them questions like:

  1. What in your eye does our company represent to you?
  2. How would you describe our company to someone new?
  3. What made you decide to work with our company?

Once you’ve begun to collect this data, there are two possible routes you can take:

  1. If you are happy with what you hear, you now have clear direction as to the types of things you’ll look to incorporate into your brand & marketing messaging moving forward. Your consumers have created a destination & your messaging will become your roadmap for others to follow suit.
  2. If you are unhappy with what you hear, you now have grounds to steer your branding & marketing efforts in another direction in order to find your center.

At the end of the day, maybe you’re right on point, maybe you’re dead wrong. That doesn’t matter, so don’t beat yourself up over it. What does matter is that by finding out what consumers really think about you, there’s a better chance you can not only deliver what they expect from you, but work to change that expectation over time.

Build a better brand, one that actually resonates with your consumers, the people that are ultimately the reason for your success in the first place. The customer is always right, right?

About Josh Patterson

Josh is a young entrepreneur & inbound marketer from Baltimore, has an unhealthy obsession with tacos, a love of craft beer and is known to occasionally grow a pretty mean mustache. Founder @Steamloft.   


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