What is your brand? What is your story?

I've been wanted to write this blog for a long time. A question on the voices.com finally moved me to do it. The Vox Daily wrote:

> I find it interesting that while many voice over professionals pride themselves on their ability to tell someone else's story well, many of them find it hard communicate their own stories.

This was my response:

It's my job to help clients tell their stories, figure out what separates them from their competitor, and I still have trouble doing this for myself. This is probably why we need coaches: an objective view.

In terms of branding, all of my clients have the same belief. They are the best at what they do. They offer the friendliest service. Great selection. They are knowedgable about what they do. They have a helpful staff. BORIIIING. All of that is expected of you. None of it separates you from the pack.

Consumers don't buy Coke because they enjoy sweet, sticky brown liquid in a can. They buy into youth and, once upon a time, 'peace and harmony.'

Michelin doesn't sell tires. They sell safety. Remember the baby sitting in the tire?

Sleep Country U.S.A. (or Canada) doesn't sell mattresses. They sell a better night's sleep.

What do you sell? What problem do you solve for your target audience? What is your emotional hook?

Do you have a slogan? Is it working for you?

Hugh Hefner is not just a man. He is a brand (like you). And he represents a lifestyle.

Sir Richard Bransen is also a brand. Move over, Bruce Wayne. This guy is the real-life millionaire playboy (no offense, Hef)! He seems as cool and fun as his Virgin airlines.

Rachel Ray makes 30 minute meals with store-bought ingredients and proves that you don't have to be a gourmet chef (or have tons of free time) to cook a delicious dinner.

Branding yourself is difficult. You may not have captured what it is that makes you special. It's tempting to knee-jerk and change your slogan, or your website, in hopes of creating an increase in business. But branding is about the long haul, building awareness over time. And yes, telling a story. I'm still trying to decide how to tell my own story better. Maybe I need a coach.

For those interested in marketing and branding, I reccommend reading every book by Seth Godin. They are short, easy to read and full of good info and TONS OF INSPIRATION! You can get started by reading his blog at www.sethgodin.com

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