Branding: Who Are You At Your Core?

by Ruth Klein on August 10, 2010

By Ruth Klein, Integrative Brand Strategist & Productivity Coach

Branding puzzle marketing ruth kleinWho are you really…at your deeper core? I know that may seem like a funny question when you think of branding your business or your book, but this is one of the biggest pieces that is left out of the Branding Puzzle. And yes, it is a puzzle as all the pieces need to fit into a picture…the picture of you, your values, your experiences…everything that make up you!

Now, I’d like for you to think about your business…what is your business really. And, how do you and your business fit? For example, what are your three main values…and what are the three main values of your business or book? Is there any disconnect? Both sets of values don’t have to be identical, but they do need to work synergistically together and make sense for you and the people you serve. If there is a disconnect, then your clients and prospective customers will notice, and more times than not, you will lose the opportunity to work with that person or company. It doesn’t matter how competent and talented you are…or even how much you can help solve their problem. The disconnect is translated most times as “I just don’t trust them.”

In social psychology this “disconnect” is referred to as Cognitive Dissonance and it comes into play when there is a conflict between incompatible beliefs. People like balance…cognitive consonance in their lives and especially when they make decisions.

How does this apply to your Brand?

When a prospective customer/client believes that your Personal Brand is not consistent with your Business Brand, then there is a high likelihood that they will reject what you have to offer so that they can retain psychological balance between what they perceive as being different and not consistent between the Inner Brand and the Outer Brand.

Buyers Remorse is a classic example of cognitive dissonance.

What does that mean to you and your business….products, services, books, etc.? When you have clarity and focus on what you really do and what your business really does, then your clients and potential customers will be attracted to what you do because they see three things:

  • Your unique value
  • How you can solve their problem
  • Consistency between your Personal Brand & your Business Brand

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Lisa-Catherine Cohen September 24, 2010 at 3:24 am

I set about answering Ruth’s questions as to my top three values, both personally and in my business/professional life. That gave me pause…would they be in sync or disconnected, or not aligned? If not, I was, as Ruth predicts, going to be up the creek, so to speak. To my great relief, however, they were! In fact, they’re exactly the same!
In thinking about what they are, I wrote all over an 8 x 11 piece of paper, up its sides and along the bottom in such tiny writing, I hope I can decipher what I wrote. That question opened such a Pandora’s Box—if that’s the metaphor I mean it to be. If not, what I do mean is that answering her question unleashed a torrent of creative brainstorming with my two selves, and then unified them. This 2+2 added up to 4, because, as it turned out, the border between my personal and professional lives is quite indecipherable; my friends are my collaborators and co-workers, and vice versa. It’s rare for me to know someone well with whom there isn’t some creative connection.
Although I’m tempted to tell you what the values I landed upon are—and in so doing broadcast them throughout the Internet (am I being too opaques and untransparent here?) and its billions of peephole-peekers (well if Ruth—is very fortunate (and I am, too), a billionth of that many are reading this—I think I’ll let them marinate, overnight at least—unless someone comments on my comment and yearns to be let in on them. Be it known, though, that just answering Ruth’s incisive question told me volumes about both my personal self and my professional one—and told both of us unequivocally how clever Ruth is! As is often the case, finding the right answer tells us less than does the discovering the right question.
So, thanks again, Ms. Klein, for asking it!


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