Why You Have Branding Wrong and How to Get it Right for Massive Growth

Author : , Date : September 21, 2015



In 2010 John had a high paying job in the corporate world. But after being laid off in 2012 he had no idea what he was going to do when after being out of work for nearly 15 months.

Unemployment was not enough to sustain himself and his family. In all, it was just a fraction of his financial needs. He had put in what felt like hundreds of applications, and every time he went on an interview the room was packed with candidates.

The odds were stacked way against him and he knew it. He didn’t want to take a low paying retail job and when he tried they wouldn’t hire him because he was “over qualified.”

So, he decided the best way to make it was to start a business.

He found a niche he felt was underserved in the company he previously worked for and decided there was a need for someone to fill and hence his new business.

Unfortunately, after 24 months he was struggling like it was the day he started.

What he learned after reaching out for help was that he prospects didn’t understand what business he was “really” in because he couldn’t effectively communicate it.

When the business is confused or inconsistent about how to communicate what it does you can bet the audience will be as well.

Whenever John spoke with someone is was as if the person he was speaking with glazed over and he knew he was losing him or her but he was helpless to do anything about it.

Traffic on his website was virtually non-existent and his blog wasn’t any better.

Social media?

No one followed his pages and those who did only did it in hopes he would follow them back.

What was the issue?

Why weren’t people in love with he had to offer?

He knew he had something special but for some reason people were not connecting with him and his pocket book and his check account suffered as a result.

Month-after-month, after month the frustration grew as the bills got behind. His family was feeling the pressure and the hopes and dreams he had felt in the beginning was now more of a nightmare.


Where the Problem Began


When John started his business he was full of hope.

Who didn’t need what he was offering? He told himself.

Once he made the decision the first thing he did was spend a few days to build his website.

That didn’t go as planned.

After he decided on what he wanted it to look like he hit his first challenge…



“What do I put in the website or in an advertisement for that matter?”


That’s a normal and familiar refrain. Who hasn’t struggled with that question?

This is where John’s problems began.

Instead of focusing on what, who, when and where he jumped straight to the “How”.

His first and REAL problem is that he didn’t know what a business is really built on…


A business first and foremost is built on a message that is created by the owner or entrepreneur


Mass Marketing Mindset Takes Over


Since the day the printing press first arrived and news became possible through newspapers mass marketing has been with us.

Mass marketing is nothing more than presenting a product or service to a broad audience in hopes of reaching just a few who are able, willing and ready to buy.

The-Shift-Bookcover-smallFor nearly three centuries we have been beaten into submission by mass marketing. I cover this extensively in my eBook “The Shift – Making the Fast Paced Transition from Mass Marketing to Context Marketing.”

But marketing is evolving and changing and the old rules are quickly fleeing.

What John did was just a form of mass marketing.

He took his idea and transferred it to the “how” before he was ready.

His website, blog, social media, advertisements, etc., were nothing more than flyers that in our times say nothing, mean nothing and help no one.

Ultimately, there is no message or brand and no reason for someone to buy from you when they don’t consistently understand who your business is and what your business can do for them.


What is Branding in the Traditional Sense?


In a traditional sense, branding has been a consistent, visual representation of a company that over time seeps into the minds of an individual so that when you think of what they offer you think of them.

It’s heavily used by corporations with bug budgets and it is often used on a much smaller scale in small business.

The problem for small businesses is many feel that they have to do what big businesses do if they are going to be successful without realizing as I’m going to share in just a bit that they can leverage and benefit themselves better in many instances than a big business can.

At the corporate level, think of logos that are designed to be memorable and identify who a business is through it.

southwestTake for example an airline. When you think of Southwest Airlines you may think of a plane, their color scheme, the “heart” and their logo.

But also think of the experiences many have that play into their brand… fast turnarounds of flights, on-time 90% of the time, flight attendants who love to have fun, sing or make special announcements.

With sports teams you may think of the team logo, colors; or other things “winner” or “loser”; or you may think of your favorite or least favorite athlete.

Here is the heart of branding…


How do you feel about these brands when you think of them?


You may have a strong emotion that is either positive or negative or if the business is not known to you the reality is you don’t have one at all.

Branding as a form of marketing ought to be designed to evoke an emotion. But, the emotion is always tied to an experience.

Let’s talk about a small business for a moment. Many small businesses may brand through:


  • Logos
  • Sponsorships
  • Local participation in events
  • Newspapers
  • Low cost TV ads
  • Radio


Here is one thing I can assure you, branding is expensive if you see it as mass marketing! But, as I have already said, marketing is changing and the majority of us are not ready for it to our own detriments.


How is John Supposed to Brand When It’s Changing? What are the Changes?


John is figuring out the hard way that everything is changing.

People are consuming advertising and our marketing differently than they ever have before. We are in the midst of another transition much like when radio was introduced and later tv.

When you consider that the average person is bombarded nearly 55,000 times per year with advertisements in all kinds of venues and formats they simply cannot see or retain it all and nor DO THEY WANT TO.

In a study a few years ago I saw from Harvard Business Review they said on average a person has to be
“touched” more than 150 times before they begin to identify with a brand with a product.

That is a massive amount of expensive exposure that has to consistently be exposed to the masses over-and-over again.

In Googles Zero Moment of Truth Research in 2011 it said on average a online person has to see 10.4 pieces of content before they are familiar with your brand.

Content can be a website, landing page, blog article, social media post, video, podcast, blog comment, etc.

In a world where your site visitors come from a search engine, social media posts or through another means to either find a specific solution to a problem or fulfill a need; the average person visits a site once and many times returns from where they came.

In the 2015 B2B Web Usability Report, surveyors said the #1 reason they leave a website immediately is because of a lack of message.

Think about your own habits when you go on a search. Aren’t you the same?

John certainly is but he never really pieced together how his message, brand and delivery all work together.

This makes branding very difficult in a changing world where people are searching in ways they never have before and we have to attract instead of hunt.


How is branding changing and what is John supposed to do before it’s too late?


Branding is more than ever not just a visual representation of your business. Its primary core function in my opinion is now messaging.

Your message is your brand and your brand is your message!

The visual representations of your business (like a logo) will reinforce your brand, not the other way around.

What do I mean by message?

When someone sees your website, landing page, blog article, social media post, video, etc., what do you have to say to them that leaves them feeling you’re competent to help them solve their problems or meet their needs?

What are you saying to them that strikes an emotional and cognitive cord and leaves them feeling that you are amazing and that you really understand and identify with them?

How are you identifying with them in a way that is relevant, compelling and inspiring?

Your message is now what defines you because that’s what people are looking for?

Want some proof?

Here is what they are saying:


  • 70% of consumers learn about a company through articles rather than ads
  • 81% of U.S. consumers trust advice and information from blogs


In the offline world I identify what a person’s brand and message is when I ask “What do you do?”

In most instances, people don’t really care? It’s a pleasantry or a way to find out how they can potentially sell you something.

However, when a message and brand are so tightly tied together that I can answer the question by discovering their need and talking to it I have the opportunity to attract them.

I earn the right to share with them, about them, and for them.

Messaging and branding is now about building in the mind of each prospect how we can make a difference for them because we relate to them.

This is what it means to understand what business you’re “really” in.

Last fall Ryan Biddulphof of Blogging from Paradise tagged me as the “clarity guy who understands what business you’re “really” in.”


Because at my core that’s my message and in over ten years of entrepreneurship and in owning seven businesses and working with hundreds of clients (and talking with thousands) I’ve seen people make the same mistakes over-and-over again that John made.

They skip thinking about the foundation of their business and run straight to strategies. The strategies never work because they are not tied to brand or message and the audience doesn’t know what to do with them.

Worse yet is that because there is no message or brand tied to the strategies they end up chasing technology and blaming it when it does not work.


How Do You Learn Your Message and Develop Your Brand?


Because messaging and branding are now tied at the hip and are more than just logos, sponsorship’s and other forms of mass marketing we have to think deeper about this issue.

How do we develop our message and brand?

I will explain but please recognize that doing this by yourself is nearly impossible. I have a new clients I spoke to initially about this a year ago that are signing with me now because they have learned this the hard way.

Here is the process:


  1. What specific problems are you passionate about solving?
  2. What tangible values do your customers experience and how did they feel about the experience?
  3. What problems does each tangible value “specifically” solve?
  4. Who do you “specifically” solve them for?
  5. How is your product or service “a” solution?
  6. Define what business you’re “really” in from your customers point of view


Once you have learned the answers to these questions, in order, you will start to see your business very, very differently.

As you do, you will begin networking offline and online differently and your message will radically change from talking about you to talking with your audience about their problems, needs or desires.

When your emphasis changes so does your message and so does the perception about your brand.

When your message changes so does your marketing strategies.

As you begin to engage, connect, and resonate you give the technology a chance to work for you because you realize that in today’s world the way the technology ought to be used for growing your business is the same way it’s always been offline… one person at a time.

It’s only the tools that are different and the opportunities for massive exposure when done well.

Mass marketing does not require you to know the answers to the questions above in detail because you’re simply hunting for the one meal that is on a million acres of land. Good luck with that.

It’s now harder and harder to do.

However, you can create a dynamic offline and online presence that will attract your audience instead of repel them.

Consider this for one moment:


When your audience understands your brand you make word-of-mouth opportunities easy!


Isn’t that you want?

Every day people include me in their blog posts via quotes and links and share me on their social pages.

Check out a few here:










I get invited on major sites like SEMrush to contribute blog posts and present through podcasts and webinars (fyi I have an article coming up on in the next two weeks and another webinar with them on October 15th).

In addition I’ve been invited to contribute to instantetraining.com and I’ll be doing a webinar very soon with Roger Gauthier with Trivision Global.

There is a lot more…


The point is that my brand and message are aligned into one and that’s what you want. When you understand the answers to the questions I asked earlier you ultimately create amazing opportunities for you and your business no matter if you’re an offline, online or combination business.

If you’re just indulged by mass marketing in a world that is rejecting it more and more you are not in a position to demonstrate how competent you are to help someone or make a difference for them. You’re just looking for numbers that don’t matter.

How cares how successful you look if it’s not real? Anyone can get social media followers but what does it mean if they don’t engage with you and ultimately what does it matter if it’s the wrong audience who isn’t able, willing or ready to buy from you?

You’re a business and your goal is not false metrics… it’s building a tribe of those who either are able, willing and ready to buy from you or who serve the same audience you do but in a different way who are willing to introduce you to their audience you for them.


If you’re like John who is chasing the wind in vain, losing money and time and you’re ready to invest in yourself so that you can grow your business then I would love to chat with you.

I will give you without obligation or commitment up to one hour of my time to learn more about you and your business as well as offer you at least one idea that you can implement immediately.




You can also learn more on the “Begin Here” page.

I do hope to hear from you and I want to learn more about you and your business so be sure to click here and schedule one hour with me.

I hope to meet you soon!

~ Don Purdum


Do you have a question, comment or idea you would like to share? Please, engage with me in the comments below and talk about it!!! 

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Don Purdum

Don Purdum

Don works with businesses to help them discover who their customers are and what business they are "really" in. He is an award-winning blogger and branding / marketing consultant.
Don Purdum
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31 thoughts on “Why You Have Branding Wrong and How to Get it Right for Massive Growth

  1. I Don, I first saw your link at Kurt Kummerer’s blog and follow you here.

    Branding for me is all about the person who hold the reputation of that company or brand. I guess, the logo’s and colors of your brand is not enough if the reputation of your brand was negative to the eyes of the people or customer you are engaging.

    And last, I really love the words you said, “When your audience understands your brand you make word-of-mouth opportunities easy!” – that is very true.

  2. Hey Don,

    This was a great piece here.

    I had a conversation with Adrienne recently, and she helped me realize that I needed to focus on what my overall message was for my site. Because it clearly wasn’t clear.

    After I talked with her, I looked at my site for the first time and critiqued the heck out of it and it was clear that I wasn’t clear what my message was. People wouldn’t know what I’m about or my brand by just looking at it. And I know that I was just writing strategies first, and not putting any stock in building the foundation/brand.

    You’ve provided some great tips and I’m in the process of rebranding my entire site right now actually. Hopefully with the rebrand, I’ll be clear on my message and people will immediately know what business I’m really in.

    – Andrew

    1. Hi Andrew,

      I’m glad you had an opportunity to chat with Adrienne. I really enjoyed coaching her and she’s sharp at identifying that issue.

      Getting clear will not be as simple or as easy as one might think. Every client I have had thinks the questions at first are easy until they get into the process and realize it’s much more mentally stimulating than they planned for.

      I can tell you that I have yet to meet someone who could gain the clarity they needed on their own because they cannot think outside of their own box or see their business from another perspective. Simply stated; you only know what you know and it’s what you don’t know that is the difference maker.

      I appreciate your kind words Andrew. If I can be of any help please let me know.

      Have a great weekend!

      ~ Don

  3. Hi Don,

    What an amazing piece.

    You once said to me in one of your comments on my Blog “You just don’t know what you don’t know”

    You may not know it but that statement made quite an impression on me, even though someone can finish reading a post like this and decide to do a thing or two to better their brand, but the fastest way forward is just to hire a coach to help you out and refine your message.

    You taught me this Don and I’m grateful.



    1. Hi Dan,

      It’s the truth; I know what I know extremely well but outside of that I really don’t know very much. That’s why learning, growing and adapting is so important.

      I’m glad it made an impressions on you.

      I hope you have an awesome week ahead Dan.

      ~ Don

  4. Awesome post Don!

    And such a great topic.

    You are right, many people think a brand is about a logo, corporate colors etc, but that is only part of the story.

    To me a brand is the ‘essence of you’ or as you say ‘it’s the message’.

    Your 6 step process is right on the money – identifying the pain and the hurt is crucial, but I think you made it clearer by asking this question:

    ‘What specific problems are you passionate about solving?’

    Solving problems is our raison d’etre but by adding the ‘passion’ you’ve taken this point or step to another level. If we’re not passionate about solving the problem we won’t have the belief and the enthusiasm to get people excited about our solution.

    People are not idiots and they can detect a phony a mile off. It’s as though they have a sixth sense and the best prospective customers will tend to gravitate to those who have a compelling message fueled by passion and belief.

    Great stuff Don!


    1. Hi Kim,

      I like your definition being one of “essence of you.”

      I do think though that branding is predominately what people think and how they feel about a business. It’s deeply tied to experience.

      I was just reading last night how a person flying on United found a doggie bag full of vomit stuffed into the front seat pocket in front of them and the person who discovered it had it spilled all over them by accident.

      The airline simply offered them another seat; never mind a few people had someone else’s gross and smelly body fluids on them an entire flight because the clean-up crews didn’t do their job.

      Here is the sad part, this hasn’t happened just once. In fact it’s happened several times over the last six months.

      Now, how is their brand perceived moving forward now that hundreds of thousands have heard about it via the media. If you’re flying United are you a little more thoughtful or conscious?

      It’s not good, right?

      So right Kim, detecting a phony is easy when they don’t have any idea what they are doing other than just selling, or scamming people. Yet, they get away with it sometimes.

      I appreciate your kind words and I hope you have a great week ahead Kim!

      ~ Don

  5. Hi Don,

    You sure pulled me in with the story. It’s sad that John has been spinning his wheels for so long.

    If you know you have “something” to offer, but aren’t clear about what exactly it is, it’ll absolutely get in the way of your growth. I know this because it’s something I have to work on as well. I’m still working on te necessary changes (Adrienne gave me a lot of work to do as well ;-). However, I absolutely have value to provide very soon my readers will know exactly what I can do for them.

    When I think about your brand Don, I don’t think about Unveil The Web immediately. My first thought is you and what a knowledgeable and great person you are, and that’s because we’ve been communicating on a personal level. However, if we’d never met your message would still be clear to me because everything in your branding is congruent.

    You nailed it when you said “When your audience understands your brand you make word-of-mouth opportunities easy!” The people who have included you are all great entrepeneurs in their own right, and they know that you have great things to share to their audience as well.

    Can’t thank you enough for providing this much value Don, and I hope you are having a great week.

    – Jasper

    1. Hi Jasper,

      Your introduction to your comment is the kind that gets me excited! I love it when people get it are inspired to think about their own situation because they identify with the content.

      I want to give you one word of advice; don’t waste a lot of time trying to figure out your message on your own. You likely won’t. It’s not easy and the truth is you’re in your own box and can only see what you already know.

      Adrienne is a great example because she admits she wandered for years before she finally worked with me to help her get clear on her message. I just talked with her today and I have to tell you the sky is the limit for her. Big things are happening and it’s exciting to watch what is ahead for her!!!

      The other day I was sharing with a client after she said the lights were finally turning on after years. She had all the passion and value in the world but I said to her that she had an “unspoken passion without direction” and that was one of the things holding her back from the clarity she needs to be successful in her business.

      I think that’s most of us to tell you the truth.

      I appreciate your kind words, sincerity and transparency Jasper!

      I hope you have a fantastic end to your week.

      ~ Don

  6. Hi Don,

    Very well said and done in this post here. You hit the nail on the head in that you’re focusing on building a relationship one-by-one with your branding efforts, much you like do in the offline world.

    It is imperative to make sure that when a reader comes to your blog that they can figure out what you do, and who you help, and how IMMEDIATELY or they will hit the back button.

    I think a perception exists that you throw up a blog or website and people will come. Here’s a simple exercise anyone can do to to help them overcome the issues that John had.

    Drive down the street and as you pass restaurants and retail stores quickly ask yourself “What are these stores and restaurants about” and in seconds you can answer.

    Apply that same strategy to your blog or online business and you’ll be way ahead of the curve.

    The ROI on mass marketing is terrible and as you indicated that is dying. Newspapers are dying a slow death, telephone books are not really prominent any more. It’s all about resonating with that “one” person, instead of the masses. Make that one person feel special and adapt your brand to relate to that person.

    Great post Don. I’ll be sure to share.


    1. Hi Kurt,

      It’s so true, if someone doesn’t relate to the content on a site, they will likely not stay. I LOVE it when people put in the comments, on social media or in an email that they identified so closely with the article or that they felt I understood them!

      That’s what it’s all about!

      That’s the kind of content that invites engagement; attracts those who are able, willing and ready to buy; and then gives them a reason to do so.

      Mass marketing was a great way to reach people when there was no other alternative. However, there are no so many options and ways to do it and the beauty of the web is that we can focus on reaching the right people when we are very clear about who we are and who they are and we bring the two into alignment.

      Thanks so much for your comment Kurt!

      I hope you have an awesome end to your work week.

      ~ Don

  7. Hi Don,

    Powerful story and image you’ve created here.

    You explain so powerfully an all too familiar problem people go through on their blogging journeys. John’s story echoes what’s happening for many new bloggers. They think product first instead of thinking about what their potential readers and clients want – then looking at how to fill this want from their point of view.

    The lack of traffic and interest hurts. Mostly because for most people, it’s a shock and they don’t understand why no one’s interested. You hit the key when you said “working with hundreds of clients (and talking with thousands)”. You activiely seek out what’s at the heart of people’s struggle and problems and fires up their dreams. Then you reflect this back to them in your message – alongside how you can deliver solutions.

    Excellent post, Don. Thanks so much for writing it. It’s clear why your message is sort after.

    1. Hi Tom,

      It’s almost a universal problem that people are starting with their product or service instead of the problems and solutions.

      It’s been an issue for a while thanks to how our culture has been messaged to for several centuries via mass marketing.

      I couldn’t agree with you more Tom. There is so much disappointment centered around unrealistic expectations. Many still expect if they post the money will follow and it just doesn’t work that way. I realize that expectation was created from the infancy of the internet but as it matures so does the evolution of business whereby the way it works offline is beginning to mirror more and more how it works online.

      Great comment and I so appreciate your insights Tom.

      Have a great second half to your week!

      ~ Don

  8. Don,

    What an incredible guide to branding.

    It took me a while to figure out the mass marketing vs. context marketing idea — glad you spelled it out so clearly here.

    I’m going to need to go through this guide in much more detail, but I wanted to say a quick thanks for mentioning our interview — that’s great. And best of luck with SEMrush!

    Chat soon,


    1. Hi Brent,

      Thank you for your for your kind words of encouragement. I appreciate your comment.

      I really enjoyed our interview and I’ll be over soon to catch up on the comments.

      Have an awesome week Brent!

      ~ Don

  9. Hi Don,

    Of course it’s very hard to figure out on your own what’s not your expertise to figure out. I say the same things to my potential clients on my blog posts, especially the personal development ones. For example, tomorrow I’ll be talking about something real deep, and I KNOW that people can’t figure out those things on their own, but I sure can help them to do so.

    That’s the same with you. Oh and, by the way, I know that you’re talking about me here 🙂 So I’ll say it openly. I want to be so clear about my message that the RIGHT clients will basically fall on my laps. Just like I know how you can help someone in your area of work, I know I can help someone in mine with both my coaching and my writing.

    When, we, small businesses try to use the same type of advertising as those big companies it doesn’t work, because as you said, in their case, they are already known for what they do, and we’re not.

    Thank you for helping us all to figure those things out.


    1. Hi Sylviane,

      The old saying is true; you don’t know what you don’t know.

      I learned a long time ago that I know what I know really well, I just don’t know that much. Hence, I need help exposing the areas I’m weak in and about the things I need to learn that me both a better person, business person and leader.

      Am I talking about you? LOL… I love it when people identify with what I’m writing or saying.

      I so appreciate that is what you want and I have no doubt that in the coming weeks you will be earning the clarity to achieve that goal.

      I so appreciate your comment and I hope that you have an incredible week Sylviane!

      ~ Don

  10. Hi Don

    At the time of one-on-one communication there was no space for advertising between its lines. Most of the
    products and services (that too were in limited numbers) were promoted with the word of mouth and on the spot by sellers. The entire preselling was the convincing by seller to buyer to make the latter buy the product and that’s all.

    You pointed right as soon as the message got the power of technology to be communicated at mass level the space for advertising was created & widened and since then there is no limit of advertising that now got the name of marketing because of its all-inclusive factors which earlier were treated separately like product, pricing, publicity and physical distribution.

    When technology was slower and people had to get latest news after 24 hours of its happening competition was not stiff in this field and because of it there were not much products and societies were not consumption oriented that means most of the pleasures were sought with non-product kind of things.

    As soon as the technology got speed everything in the field of marketing got speed and eventually sky becomes the limit. From there the real fight between real marketers and stereotyped marketers started. Those who believe it as just to boost the sales could not have understood the power of branding and kept focusing on four Ps (product, pricing, promotion and physical distribution) of the marketing and they did get success but up to a certain level.

    The real marketers were those who have the proper concept of how to win the hearts of buyers before making them buy a product and remain proud of their buying decision and if they feel any problem they just take it a thing by chance and get back to seller for the redressal of their grievance related to product. From there the era of customer care and then on-the-spot or online customer care started.

    So I can say for sure the post you shared above is one of the best ever I read and that is why it sent me to
    my memories of initial learning of the subject of marketing and now when I see its fast pace because of its being online I just try to imagine how would it be in future when our coming generation would be making buying decisions with its help.

    Thanks a lot Don for sharing such a wonderful post and it has become your hallmark to always come up with quite a unique aspect of a widely covered and most popular topic.

    Have a great rest of the week.

    1. Hi Mi,

      WOW! First I want to say thank you for such a well thought out comment that added some extreme value to this post!

      Second, I appreciate you for taking us down memory lane. Your experiences are worth a ton my friend and it shows in this comment!

      I think you hit a real cord here, at least for me. The reality is that we are trying to win the hearts of our buyers both before, during and after they choose to buy from us. Too many of us are trying to fill our own bank accounts without considering the long-term financial rewards of winning over those hearts.

      What does the mean?

      It means we have to resonate, connect, inspire and compel through highly relevant content that initially engages them; and then when we engage because of competency we start the process of relationship building so that we can earn their heart and mind and create raving fans!

      Those fans not only buy us but they also take us with them wherever they go and become our unofficial ambassadors.

      I always appreciate your insights and kind words Mi!

      I hope you have an incredible week!

      ~ Don

  11. Hi Don! What a great message you’re sharing today! I’m curious, is it best to use our “name” or a blog/site name for branding? I know our work should go along with that but, for example, “What am I known for?” Is it my name or my blog? Or is it the type of “dare to be unique” content I share? When it comes to branding, I get confused. You see so many different thoughts on how to brand. Oy vey!

    I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

    1. Hi Brenda,

      Great question. That’s where clarity around your business and the vision you have for the future comes into play.

      The important thing is your message and what people think of when they think about either you or your business. Your message is your brand. The name simply evokes an easy to remember identity and emotion because of the message.

      As I mentioned in the article, what many people in my opinion are talking about is “how” or another way of saying it is strategy. Message and branding don’t deal with that it deals with identity and emotion. What you want to be known for is your message and both you and a business name (if different) carry and represent that message which is ultimately your brand.

      I hope that makes sense? I know it’s kinda going in circles, lol…

      In many cases in can be synonymous. For example: Steve Jobs / Apple or Bill Gates / Microsoft.

      In my personal case I plan to scale and grow significantly over the next few years and it’s my intention that when you think of me you think of Unveil and vice versa. But, it also allows for clarity for future partners, vendors or employees as they communicate and live out the message.

      Does that answer your question Brenda?

      ~ Don

      1. Absolutely, Don! Thank you for that. I had a hunch it was all in a nut shell but wanted further clarification. I appreciate your time to break it down for me a bit further. 🙂

  12. Hey Don,

    There goes that word again. BRANDING. for the longest I didn’t realize how vital incorporating your brand really was.

    After reading a lot of blogs on branding, I started to think of a brand as the message you’re putting out for your audience. If they’re not getting this then you may want to look at what business you’re really in. HA. yes I’m really getting this 😉

    I have seen how marketing has changed. It’s not about pushing your ad massively into a marker now. It’s more about who you want to target and attracting them. We live in an age when this can be conveniently done through the Internet which I love.

    But first we definitely have to figure out what message we’really trying to put out and go from there.

    Thanks for sharing Don! Have a great day!

    1. Hi Sherman,

      It’s very normal that business owners don’t think about it much until it’s exposed to them. Unfortunately, the mass marketing mindset behind it seems to dominate the landscape.

      So glad you’re getting it!!!! 🙂

      It’s really amazing how much marketing is changing and will continue to change over the coming years at a pace unlike we have ever seen.

      All the more reason we must be ready with our message / branding!

      I appreciate your comment and hope you have an awesome week!

      ~ Don

  13. Hi Don,

    Another great marketing lesson from you! As we are in the “information age” we sure better know what exactly our brand is. There is so much information, we do have to stand out of the crowd to get exposure. Indeed, people need to see you many times before they will ever purchase something. This is why we need a business plan that is clear. We need to know what exactly we can provide to our customers.

    When I think of all the moving parts of my business, it can make my head spin. That’s why David and I sit down and plan each and every week. What are our objectives this week? Where are we going to be to talk to people? What are we going to write? We take it week by week and it goes way beyond a blog as you well know.

    In our business I’m the face and David is kind of behind the scenes. Together we can make that machine work. But when we are creating products we are both there. We are also there for our customer base.

    You know Don, when I think of the “umbrella” of all we need to do in promoting our business it amazes me. But staying focused and being on point is the clarity we need to never stray.


    P.S. My heart goes out to John. I was there once a long time ago and know that feeling quite well lol.

    1. Hi Donna,

      You’re absolutely right! I can really see what you are doing as you explain it and I’m certainly not surprised. You and David are magnificent and I adore you guys!!!!

      Your work ethic, continued learning upon your already fantastic knowledge base, and desire to genuinely help those who want you is so evident in everything you do.

      You guys are ROCK stars!!!!

      I love watching your journey and will support you guys in any and every way that I can.

      Have an awesome week my friend!

      ~ Don

  14. Hi Don,

    I’ve heard the word branding several times and I’ve read a couple of posts on it but this one is amazing.

    I used to think branding is more about a blogs colour, logo, design but I now know it’s deeper than that. People will only run to you when they know what you can offer and what they stand to achieve from you.

    A lot of people are like John and are probably learning the hard way. There’s nothing as painful as chasing the wind and wasting all valuable resources.

    Am still in the process of making my message clearer and i know soon I’ll get it right.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Have a great day!

    1. Hi Kore,

      Branding has traditionally been out of the scope of financial possibility for many small businesses. However, that has changed with the power of the internet.

      So, it left us feeling like it was just a logo, layout, coloring, etc… when it’s really so much more than just those things.

      I think in many regards a lot of us start out like John. The good news is that we don’t have to stay there!

      Thanks so much for your comment and for sharing Kore.

      ~ Don

  15. Good morning Don,

    Boy do I ever agree with you. In the past I definitely thought that branding was all about the logos and the designs, it’s how they stood out to me. In reality though, it’s what I also “felt” about that business. Okay, the logo and such helps me recognize what that company is but if I don’t have a good feeling or have had a good experience with them then my first thought will be negative.

    It all should be about what people think of you, remember you for, how you helped them, how you made them feel, etc. It’s been so rewarding for me over the past few years that anytime someone mentioned my name it was in a good context for them. That gets spread around to all of a sudden when someone hears my name, sees my face or my logo they remember the awesome experience they’re had. That’s what is going to help us the most moving forward.

    Your message is always so very clear Don and I can’t thank you enough for helping me be much more clear with my own. I also appreciate the mention here and whenever relevant I’ll continue to mention you as well.

    No one wants to be like John, it’s not fun to put in all this hard work with tactics we all thought was what we were supposed to be doing to move us forward only to learn we’re getting nowhere.

    Thank you Don for continuing to bring us this message we so need to hear.


    1. Hi Adrienne,

      It’s so funny looking back and thinking to myself: I need a logo, business cards, flyers and website. I never once ten years ago thought about branding until people started coming to Chamber meetings saying we had to do it.

      Even then as I listened I knew something wasn’t right with what they were telling me. I never personally understood why I needed a $10,000 logo.

      Over time I learned that as I shared in the article our message coupled with their experience / emotions over time was the real brand.

      John is learning this just like the majority of us do… the hard way. But, once he gets it the sky is the limit!!!!

      I appreciate you and thanks so much for all your kind words. I’m looking forward to chatting in just a bit!

      ~ Don

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