Everything Is A Branding Lesson

everything is a branding lesson

Everything can be a branding lesson, but not anything can be a branding lesson.

Confused? It’s okay, it took this one a while to crash around my noggin, too. And then it landed, a smooth, sweet glide of a landing that could induce spontaneous applause were my brain fielding a jetliner full of passengers. (What, you don’t ever imagine spontaneous applause for your brilliant ideas?)

Anyway. Everything is a branding lesson. Let’s start with that part of the statement first, yes?

This whole article came about because I went wine tasting with a bunch of women this past weekend. My friend and client extraordinaire, Cher, organized a limo (surly driver and all) and eight women all on the same day. She should win major points because I can barely organize two friends to do anything!

And readers, we had fun. SO.MUCH.FUN. We drank wine, of course. We enjoyed the views with verve. We even played cornhole, which I mention only because it’s the only time I’ve ever won that game. So yeah, oodles of fun. Which is great because if it requires fake smiling, I’m not going.

But the real reason I came up with this post idea? It’s because I decided our little ladies’ trip had a brand of its own. Whole-hearted laughter meets a little bit of irreverence. Rompers and jumpsuits meet 70’s sunglasses. Young 23-year-olds just starting life mixed with about-40s figuring out the next stage.

wine tasting in the willamette valley

Even the three wineries we visited had their brand.

The first, a smaller operation with a tasting room and tank room all in the same warehouse building. A gorgeous patio overlooking a lovely view and stellar, genuine conversation. The staff was wonderful. We were a little sad to leave.

The second, a popular, commercial operation with not a whole lot of personality but a ton of amenities. Good wine of course, but I didn’t feel like they cared that we were there.

The third was the fanciest and ritziest, and truly? I thought they were just stuck up. I was over tasting at that point and just wanted to enjoy a glass and the waitress (oh yes, we had to be seated) scoffed at me. Their bathrooms were full-on-Vegas.

To summarize the three? One: family-run feel and quality offerings topped with a pretty view. Two: commercial appeal with a little something for everyone and overpriced cheese. Three: more appropriate for the sugar daddy crowd.

Isn’t it funny how a little afternoon jaunt turned into a full branding story?

Now for the second part of this musing, and it’s a twister so follow me here, ‘kay?

Everything can be a branding lesson, but not anything can be a branding lesson.

Everything, but not anything.

Let it sit for a minute.

If it’s not hitting quite yet, let’s change it up a bit and see if it makes more sense.

My services are good for everyone, but not just anyone.

Yes, this is where the true branding magic lesson comes into play. Everyone, but not anyone. Every small business owner out there needs branding. But my services are not a fit for just anyone.

The same is true for you. For the health services HR lady turned OBM for biz coaches, you might know that your online business manager prowess could be useful for any coach, but that you’re most effective working with biz coaches in the 250-500K revenue range.

For the high school English teacher turned copywriter, you could technically write for anyone. But you know you’ll never be a good fit for the casual entrepreneur selling her grandmother’s jam recipe at the local farmer’s market. No, you know your best client is a decisive graphic designer building her web empire… with the help of a strategic, trusty copywriter like yourself.

And for the tech product manager turned personal stylist, it would be so easy to turn into a wardrobe consultant for anyone around you. And yet, you know easy isn’t where business success lies. And so you tighten up your ideal client avatar. You niche down (man alive, I hate that word!). You claim it and declare, you’re a personal stylist for over 50 women transitioning from their careers into volunteer work.

Everyone could benefit, but you won’t work with just anyone. You’ll work with those you can BEST serve. That’s where you can make the most impact.

This is the crux of branding. And this is why a montage of 8 women on a tire swing tells you everything you need to know about last Sunday.

Not just anyone will climb aboard, after all.

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