August 08, 2009

The Brand Called You (Shouldn't Be All Me, Me, Me)

Mirror, mirror, on the wall...

Is brand vanity getting in the way of your relationship with your customers?

Rebecca Morgan, writing in SpeakerNet News notes how some presenters insist on pushing their own brand at the expense of those who hire them:

"Once in a great while a speaker insists we use their brand in the title, even though the brand is not compelling to our readers, nor does it say anything about what they’ll receive for attending.

It appears that the person is more interested in cementing their brand than creating a win/win. We often include their brand phrase in the copy, but not the title. If you are insistent about using your brand in your presentation titles to position YOU, know that it can be off-putting to not only your client but also to those who may have been motivated to attend your session. If you’d created a different title that has more to do with the benefits to the attendee, not just to you, you’d had more exposure, which would have led to more people recognizing your brand."

Of course, it's not just speakers who get this wrong. Too often, brand owners promote the package over the content of their offer. A healthy pride in how well the brand presents to the world can easily turn to vanity as the owner spends more time gazing in the mirror than meeting the eyes of the customer.

We've all visited a house-proud relative or friend who's so busy staging the perfect meal that we felt somehow left out despite the exquisite food and entertainment that was on offer.

Over the years, I've often had to gently remind clients not to grow too preoccupied with the details of design and presentation. Of course, a well turned-out piece of packaging or promotional material goes a long way to setting the right expectations but all of that hard work can be wasted if the seller doesn't devote even more attention to the customer.

Paying too much attention to ourselves, and not enough to those we're providing for, can leave us looking shallow and self-absorbed.

Whatever you do, don't vie for brand perfection if it means taking your eyes off the customer; you'll leave them feeling left out and open to the attentions of others.

And inclined to take their business elsewhere.

Over To You: What brand-vanities leave you out in the cold?

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