We are social creatures. We are naturally wired to find it easier to interact with people. We engage with people naturally.
But it’s far less natural for us to engage with faceless corporations and brands.
This is the reason why Apple Keynotes were such a big deal during Steve Jobs’ reign – and such a non-event after his passing.
This is the reason why companies who measure their return on investment from advertising will often place their CEO front-and-centre in ads.
And it’s the reason why I promote my own marketing advisory services under my own name – “Brent Hodgson” rather than something more corporate, like “Hodgcorp”, more descriptive like
“Performance Driven Marketing Advisors”, or something made-up or esoteric like “Three Ducks”.
Even though it makes me look smaller, my high-end clients respond better, and it means I make more money.
In many ways, people don’t buy your product, service, brand or pitch. They buy a piece of you.
Over a decade ago now, an entrepreneurial acquaintance (who I’ll call “Alexander”) was searching for a name for his new menswear store.
He purchased tickets to attend a seminar run by an internationally respected expert, who had flown into Melbourne from the USA. The expert promised to share his insights on marketing, branding, positioning, and sales.
By all accounts, it was a brilliant presentation.
The expert wowed the audience with tales of incredible fortunes, and the brands that created them.
But it didn’t answer Alexander’s big question: What Should I Call My Business?
Waiting until the end to ask his question, the entrepreneur approached the expert to ask his advice.
Spinning through Alexander’s head was an endless web of questions – tying themselves in knots of confusion:
With decades of marketing and branding experience – what would the expert say? How will he reflect values that my customers would respect? How would the brand name he helps me to pick translate to a promise that the customers could rely on? How would the brand name help gain initial traction during the crucial early years of his business? How will I know if it’s the right brand? What if the brand changes over time – will I need to rebrand? Will the brand be attractive to a potential buyer later if I choose to sell the business?
But no sooner had Alexander stuttered out his question that the expert smiled, and pointed to the entrepreneur’s name tag.
“‘Alexander’s’… That is what you should call your brand.”