The Reality of What’s What – Branding, Social Media and Humans


A hundred goals (maybe more) exist in the heads of those who are going bigger, conquering the world or changing the community. It can be difficult to line up the goals swirling in their heads. These goals are in the same mind soup, side by side with ‘old truth’ vs ‘new truth’, rumors, advice from future experts, news, big data, and ideas from a bestselling book.  (With potential distractions from ‘competitors’.)

As a result, the goals are not always aligned, and it is tempting to get ‘speed think’, make a decision now to get things done.

Today we want to remind you that ‘It is still a pig”, and a few other observations to keep it real for you about branding, social media and humans.

  1. A company brand is not determined by a designer. A designer who sells ‘create your brand’ could be trying to put lipstick on a pig. It is still a pig.

  2. Creating a website (or redesigning) before a brand strategy is developed is like buying a hat before you know where you are going. Don’t buy the hat until you know your destination.

  3. The power of social media relies less on the quantity of posts (activity) and more on how, when and why ‘others’ use social media to cheer, applaud and point to you. A company with a flurry of social media posts will look busy successful as they ‘promote’, say hello or rant. Look deeper at the followers and responses.

  4. Humans continue to appreciate personalized service, what’s in it for them, exclusivity and being treated as someone special. Investing in a team, training, and tools should help to enhance the experiences of ‘special’, not lump everyone into one group like cattle.

  5. If ‘anyone’ can do it with a click, there is a high likelihood it has low value. Unique today easily becomes ‘ho-hum’ tomorrow. Unique based on ‘the latest’ has a short life. Those are already looking forward to the next.

  6. If you use the tools (email, website, social media, digital) to tell a story, but there is no story to tell, humans will have the savvy to recognize it as fluff and likely a waste of time. “I am friendly, likeable, and nice looking” is like a pretty flower in a vase. Nice to have on the table but not a replacement for the meal.

  7. Relevance, while it may be most important, can be fleeting. The needs and wants of humans can change hour by hour. Availability 24/7, 365 days a year is a new normal.

  8. Ridiculous statements do not appear to be so and are often unprovable to be anything but true. Take for example Ancestral DNA Testing. When you review the test results, how do you validate or test it? “It must be true because I can’t prove its not” is not helpful to decision making. Enter: Big Data, Social Media Marketing, Artificial Intelligence.
  1. “Competitors” can create smoke screens (intentional or not), which easily become a distraction. A savvy ‘competitor’ understands their activity can also provide a misdirection which can provide positive branding and yet add confusion to their ‘competitors’.
  1. “The mission”, the commitment, community impact, the work and the results… are all part of an important story. There is no ‘competition’. Reflect these in the new world of media and others will be compelled to share, cheer and refer as they make a choice to be a part of that story.

‘Truth’ varies based on world views, experience, wisdom and circumstances. The truth about “What is the next best step?” is likely not based on a competitor or a best-selling book. (Though they can provide insights.) Everything is connected (designers are still important), and you are creating a brand without realizing it (regardless of a designer).

What’s your story? Do you need help telling it? Let me know. We will find opportunities to discover new avenues for growth, attract and retain top performers and gain enthusiastic advocates (not just customers).


Topics: Brand Management Strategy Brand Integrity Social Media