Brand confusion in personal development and business

One of the key lessons in promoting any brand is to maintain a core and consistent identity. This means that customers know who they are dealing with. Pretty simple? Well, in many instances there can be some classic mistakes which run the risk of massive brand confusion. I’ll assume that the business owners and trainer mean well, but often they can really destroy any chance of being seen as credible and inevitably lose customer confidence.

There are many examples of this and sometimes it occurs because people try to be all things to all people, rather than specialize in one thing. Other examples occur when a person is seeking imagined status and continues to reinvent themselves, but has not separated out their identities for each concern. I remember one NLP trainer who was fairly established for business, then advertising “hermetic meditation retreats” on his training site. Another example is someone who offered IT and web services then promoting “channeling from the spiritual hierarchy” advice. I make no judgement of the actual substance of any of these concerns, but simply point out that such actions can result in confusing existing customers and in some cases come over as supremely bonkers…

This is why creative artists, authors and some business concerns will have different identities, so a consistent message ensures customer clarity and trust. I’m a bit fan of people exploring a wide range of activities, but sometimes the smart thinking gets somewhat left behind! Any business that wants to be successful in the long term needs to “play the long game” and have a core message. Its also useful not to make unsubstantiated claims as such claims can destroy any chance of credibility.  This is why its useful to engage focus groups for some projects, so you don’t just have one well intentioned but ill informed point of view.

Nick Kemp

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