5 Reasons Why Branding Won’t Work.


They’re never going to buy you’re the expert.

Here’s the thing, you really are an expert in your field, but here’s the rub – YOU don’t believe it. If you don’t believe in yourself , don’t expect customers to believe in you either. You have plenty of sales-worthy knowledge and a waiting audience. Roll up your sleeves and jump in. Failing isn’t the problem, refusing to get back up is.

You’ve got a wild idea, but nobody’s going to buy it.

Isn’t it better to try your idea and fail KNOWING they don’t like it, rather than presuming to know they don’t like it and never really finding out?

The timing isn’t right.

That’s the same as giving me a dozen reasons why you CAN’T do something rather than reasons why you CAN.

Branding is expensive.

Ignoring your brand is the real money pit. Placing ad after ad saying nothing special or countering a competitor makes you a follower. The competitor is actually defining your brand and you’re throwing money at defending yourself rather than leading with a strong positioning strategy, which gives your customer a compelling reason to buy from you.

I tried re-branding: I got me a new logo and tag line and guess what? Nothing changed!

What did you expect to happen? Your brand is your REPUTATION not your logo. All you did was spend some cash putting a new face on an old problem. If somebody tells you that re-branding is changing your logo – RUN as fast as you can – they have no idea what branding is!

As much fun as this post was to write, the honest truth is that all of us have to pay very close attention to our brands, how we sell ourselves and be open to new opportunities. Stop blaming the economy, stop blaming yourself and stop blaming finances. If you try and win – great! If you fail – so what? Keep moving, keep learning. You can’t reach your goal by standing still and that I can guarantee you.


  1. LOL! Branding is more than a logo. Its how your business is percieved by potential customers or customers.

  2. How many times do we hear and see this – designers who are “branding experts” because they design logos. Sad commentary on the industry.

  3. I believe branding can be associated with quality. It is that best first time impression we can make to a customer which will make them customer for life.

  4. I actually hear this a lot. I am a virtual assistant and help small businesses and entrepreneurs with many different items. People are an expert in what they do or provide not necessarily in how to brand their business. That is why it is a good idea to seek the assistance of an expert. One that you can talk to about your business, your business goals and how you want to be represented and most importantly what you want to stand for. They can take all this information and lead you in the direction you had in mind with a pre-set plan. Virtual assistants that specialize in branding are great for this, especially if you want to create a “web presence” for your business. If you would like a quick over view of what a virtual assistant is you can take a look a VAnetworking.com for some great information. There is a free ebook you can download at http://www.vanetworking.com/find-a-virtual-assistant/ on how to find the right VA for you.

  5. Hey ED,
    Just a few thoughts you might like to give me your experise on:-
    Branding should be the culmination of lots of marketing communication targeted to taking a customer on a journey. Interuption marketing tries to do this in a few advertisements. Permission marketing goes the journey
    So many people I come across think that BRAND is a logo or a catch cry but fail to realise its about the emotional message we carry to our customers.

  6. Andee,

    Interruption marketing (if I understand your definition correctly) generates awareness and in many cases is the markets first exposure to a brand. Visionary products (ie: Apple) find their way into our consciousness this way. It can set the tone for your brand.

    Permission is effective once a basic trust has been established. I think both work in tandem and work nicely to make your brand experience rich.

    As you can appreciate, my efforts to advance my brand as a consultant is powered by all my avenues of promotion. I am 100 % aware of my brand every time I put my messages out there – including how I am replying to comments on my posts.

    A good example of this synergy between Interruption and permission is public speaking.
    The audience is attending at their own free will to get some information that I possess. This is permission based. At the end I briefly pitch my services while I still have their undivided attention. Interruption. I also subtly have my brand and services through out the presentation which builds additional trust between my audience and myself.

    Post seminar, if they visit my online presence and subscribe to my list, then my brand is again strengthened. As you so aptly put it, “permission marketing goes the journey.”
    We only have their permission when we also have their trust. Betray that trust and you have nothing but snake oil.

    Break the ice with Interruption, take them downtown with permission. What a branding story!

  7. Hey Ed,
    Thanks so much for your comments. They really resonate with me.

  8. Your welcome Andee. That was a great question.

  9. Honest Contractor says

    I learn a lot from your post. I will definitely note all those tips. thanks!

  10. Thank you HC. Thank you for commenting.

  11. Great post. Like any thing worthwhile, effective branding takes dedication. It won’t happen over night, but when it does, it will be worth all the hard work.

  12. It’s very interesting posting! Thanks for the information on branding .. but I don’t accept that branding is not at all required for business development!!

  13. Your first paragraph hits it on the head – if you don’t believe in yourself, you can hardly expect anyone else to believe in you.

  14. I have been freelance for a fre graphic design projects. I’m aware that branding plays a big part in design studios now. I have read a few books about branding and briefly knows what is it about. I cant find any realstic examples of branding proposal.

  15. Dennis Lex says

    Branding has much to do for the performance of a product. All should seek ways to promote the brand than increasing the sales in the beginning of a business.

  16. I think your brand is your promise to your customer.

    It tells them what they can expect from your products and services, and it differentiates what you are offering from your competitors.

    In small business your brand is derived from
    who you are,
    who you want to be and
    who people perceive you to be.

  17. Yes, i completely agree, you cant ever saturate with your efforts to build your brand. It should be an on going process.

  18. Dennis – Many business at the beginning appear to let the brand take care of itself. I think this is a loose end that deserves more attention.

    Trevor – Lets hope your their brand differentiates them. I agree that perception is reality with a brand.

    Brendon – Like the Energizer Bunny, your brand efforts keep going and going.

    Thanks for commenting!

  19. I think branding is still a viable way to promote your business. True people may not trust that you are an expert, but if you can keep the product or service on their mind they will soon develop a connection to it. which will help your brand.

  20. I also have come to believe the more a person writes and contributes to their field (case studies, personal experience or research) the more quickly they establish themselves as an expert.

  21. Sorry I appear slow to respond to comments as I have been away on business/pleasure.

    Jack – that dedication you speak of is dedication to yourself. What better target?

    Steve, I agree that branding is only a segment of an overall business strategy.

    Barbara, we can probably blame our Mom’s a little for this, because she always told us not to brag. But down deep I think we all have the confidence – we just lack to skills to draw it to the surface.

    Health and Safety – I don’t know – from my vantage point, not many design OR advertising firms take branding too seriously yet. They both touch on elements but are essentially focused on the image component – the visual. This may sound stupid but a good book on branding is the “Idiot’s Guide to Branding.” What are you searching for in terms of a branding proposal?

    Promotional Products – you are referring to the “relationship” which is the core of how you deal with your customers and helps to keep you away from being viewed as a commodity.

  22. I’ll agree with that Abendego. It also shows a keen interest in helping people by giving first.
    It should be first on the list for anyone wanting to build a positive personal brand.

    Thanks for your contribution to this discussion.

  23. I learn a lot from your post. I’ll bookmark your blog to get more good and useful information!

  24. I’m glad I was able to help Kreuzfahrt. Thank you for your comment.