When I was a kid, there were a handful of misguided entrepreneurs in my neighborhood. My mom called ‘em “no good drug dealing scum” … but that’s not important for this story.
What is important is how those drug dealers remind me of “The Branders.”
You see, the worst of the dealers would “get high on their own supply.” They were wrapped up in the culture of what they did. Instead of being able to talk intelligently about what they do (or just about anything) … they’d make sucking sounds and talk about “how good their stuff was, man.” To a naive outsider, they looked mysterious and cool. To someone with some smarts, they looked like fools.
Not unlike The Branders.
The Branders will give cool and mysterious explanations of what they do and how it is supposed to help a business. But usually, under the haze of thick smoke and giggles, the substance just ain’t there.
Fortunately, every once in a while clarity shines through.
It shouldn’t surprise me that one of my favorite bloggers, the brilliant Tom Asacker, has posted a definition of branding that pretty closely matches mine. The “smoke their own dope” Branders will probably hate it, but I think Tom’s dead-on.
Toms definition: “A brand is the expectation of someone or something delivering a certain feeling by way of an experience.”
My definition: “What a person feels to be true of themselves when interacting with the product/marketing/business.” (See Small Businesses: Direct Marketing OR Branding?)
Since reading Tom’s, I’m amending my definition to start “What a person feels or expects to feel to be…”
Two recommendations. First, read Tom’s full post. It’s got some goodies. And second, Tom has a book out you should buy. I’ve ordered it, haven’t read it yet (it’s pre-pub), but going by his blog… it’s going to be great.