Brand is About Being More

Thanksgiving dinner is not a good metaphor for a Brand-building customer experience.

Sliced hamClients and customers want more. Every interaction gives you the chance to make your band more memorable to them. But there is good memorable and not-so-good memorable.

Thanksgiving dinners with their great expectations are like Brand development. Both are fraught with potential disaster if we don’t know the journey of the participants.

Are your customers coming “over the river and through the woods?”  Are they flying in? How often do they come by? Can you remember their preferences? Do they mind waiting? What could you do to make their time with you memorable? How can you impress them? What would make this Thanksgiving more remarkable for aunt Hepzibah?

Every Brand is built with experiences. You must craft those experiences, just the way granny put together those wondrous Thanksgiving dinners. Yes, the meal is important and a great cook is essential to serving up the bird, stuffing and cranberry relish or the ham, collard greens and home-made biscuits.

But what goes on before the feast and the conversations around the table are what we remember far longer. Brand development is like that. Too often we’re worried about the logo and the corporate colors when we should be concerned about how easy we make it to buy. We hyperventilate about what we say on our web site when we should be concerning ourselves with real conversations with clients and prospects.  (see the video for Shell Tain on for straight talk that works)

This Thanksgiving when you’re expressing gratitude, make sure you include all the folks that personally interface with the folks your brand impacts— everyone from the janitor to your CEO. The truth is, they are your product or service in the eyes of your customers.

Thank you for being part of our tribe.


Jerry Fletcher is the founder of  His consulting practice, now in its 26th year, is known for Brand Development, Positioning and business development on and off-line.


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Brand Is Not Talking To Yourself


Brand development for coaches, consultants and professionals of all kinds is not easy.

You don’t have big bucks for advertising. You aren’t comfortable “tooting your own horn”.  But you have to convince prospects to trust you, hire you and pay you for your services.

You have to talk about yourself.

You have to have a vision, the “why” of your organization even if there is only one of you. You need to spell out your mission so you can stay on track. You need to find the “only” in your practice. But first you have to understand who your potential customers are.

Seven keys to building profiles of the customers for your brand:

  1. Don’t try to come up with a single profile. It doesn’t work because you know they come to you for different reasons.
  2. Pick the top three reasons they come to you. Build profiles for each noting the percentage of income each generates for your business. Not enough experience to rate them? Put them in order by your preference. Then talk to folks you think will fit the mold.
  3. Do the research. Learn as much about them as you can. Have coffee with a few of the individuals that have hired you. Ask them the same questions. Note the similarities.

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  1. Determine how many more of them there are within your neighborhood, city, state or region, the geographic area where you are willing to provide your services.
  2. Estimate the time and cost commitments you will have to make in order to reach them. Time must be estimated because you will probably have to spend time that is not billable to bring this off. Cost of items you absolutely must have should be determined as well. That includes well-designed logotype, business cards, letterhead, web site and social media pages at a minimum.
  3. Start connecting by networking on and off-line. Attend local chamber and other association meetings they frequent. Become active in groups where they cluster on Linked In, Facebook and in the real world.
  4. Listen to them first then talk about what you’ve done for others. People want to have a conversation not hear commercials at networking events. Give them the time to tell you what is on their mind. Then if they have a problem you can solve, offer your services. That is the guiding principle of 30-Second Marketing


Jerry Fletcher is the founder of  His consulting practice, now in its 26th year, is known for Brand Development, Positioning and business development on and off-line.


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Trump Brand Won Because of Trust

161110-blog-photoThere are at least a hundred definitions of Brand but only one that in my view encompasses all the possibilities:

Brand, any Brand, is the outcome of Trust.

Fail to get to Trust and you lose.

A Brand that has a singular vision, a mission articulated in a few understandable words, promoted consistently with words and pictures that touch the emotions will triumph if it gets to Trust. (See the video)

Sometimes it is a matter of how the Brand is positioned:

  • The Clinton tagline was: Hillary for America
  • The Trump tagline was: Make America Great Again!

In hindsight we know that he won because the people supporting him were the disenfranchised middle class that are opposed to the elites that they perceive to have hamstrung the government for so many years yielding control to the moneyed interests—the banks that took their homes, wall street and the big box companies that wiped out main street and the manufacturers that off-shored jobs.

The Trump brand was, pretty much, self-funded. It was Republican but not beholden. It was outrageous remarks followed by others saying “what he really meant.”

The Trump Brand was not a voice crying in the wilderness. It was heard by all the citizens out there beyond and within the big cities.” It didn’t matter what your party affiliation was. Your “tribe” was more important.

The Trump Brand is, for about half the population in the United States, a way to Make America Great Again.  Their belief is that an outsider and a business man can clean house in DC. and “straighten out” things that have “been done to them” over the  years, They Trust that they can “Make America Great Again.”

The last word of that phrase is the most important. The target audience, the people that voted in droves for him in the fly-over states are not looking forward. They see the USA as diminished. They want to go back to a different time. Their desire is to get “government off our backs.” Their hope is that the America they believe in, proudly serve, and honor can rise up and “do the right thing.”

Look at the difference:

  • Hillary for America (What’s in it for supporters? “I’m with her” was just as flawed)
  • Make America Great Again (It is what they want done and it implies the supporters will be a part of the solution and not part of the problem.)

The Trump line was carefully emblazoned on every item offered including the signature red baseball caps (and once or twice a camouflage cap). Hillary’s campaign offered nearly a hundred different designs, comments and reasons why. Little, if any of it, stuck to the wall.

They trusted Trump because in his bellicose way he said to them, “You’re right, we need to go back and I will keep shouting for you as long as it takes.”

They Trust him.

As I said, Brand is the outcome of Trust. I evaluate Brand development and report on it at If you’d like a neutral professional to review your Brand, call me.


Jerry Fletcher is the founder of  His consulting practice, now in its 26th year is known for Brand Development, Positioning and business development on and off-line.


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