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Branding Rule: One Chance, One Message

2014 Branding Rules eBookThis post is an excerpt of our Branding Rules eBook.

Branding means so many things to different people that it has become nebulous. It’s called the “secret sauce” of marketing, but what does that mean?

“Secret sauce” might mean sriracha to some, Tabasco to others, or the intangible and often unidentifiable ingredient that we all seek and/or covet.

We cleared the confusion by gathering 14 branding experts and asked them a question: “If you could impart only one piece of advice about branding, what would it be?”

We compiled the results, added illustrations by Gapingvoid’s Hugh MacLeod, and created the 2014 Branding Rules eBook to provide a resource filled with timeless advice to guide your business’s branding efforts.

Here is advice from Erin McCahill, the Vice President of Marketing, Brand and Creative at Vocus.

Branding Rule - Erin McCahill

Erin McCahill uses a bit of pop culture to illustrate her point:

“Remember the scene from City Slickers? (Yeah, the first one. If you haven’t seen it, you’ll get it anyway.) Curly and Mitch are riding across the Wild West, and Curly, a man of very few words, says what I think is the most important rule and/or principle of branding and creative work.

Curly: Do you know what the secret of life is?

Mitch: No… what?

Curly: This.

Mitch: Your finger?

Curly: One thing. Just one thing. You stick to that, and everything else don’t mean s**t.

Mitch: That’s great. But what’s the one thing?

Curly: That’s what you have to figure out.

Now Mitch was in midlife crisis and trying to find the meaning of life, and we are marketers trying to sell something and create engagement, but the principle and sometimes the pressure are the same.

Substitute the word ‘life’ with ‘message,’ and you’ve got the Principle of ONE. You get one message and sometimes just one chance to connect with a target audience, prospect or customer.

We often get lost in trying to say everything at once. Our briefs ask us to reach everybody, and we talk to ourselves much too often. If you want someone to remember your brand, engage with you, buy from you, or just tune in – be creative, be relevant, be smart and know that if you do all those things right, they may remember ONE thing (that’s just the way humans work), so you better make sure you know what that one thing is and drive it home.

Want more branding advice? Get your free copy of the Branding Rules eBook now!

About Brian Conlin

Brian Conlin is a content marketing manager for Cision. A former journalist, he enjoys researching and developing accessible content. When not writing, you will find him watching baseball and college basketball, sampling craft beer and enjoying Baltimore. Find him on Twitter @BrianConlin13.

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