Branding – It’s not about YOU.


Branding – It’s not about YOU.

Listen up, entrepreneurs: branding your business is NOT about you.

You might have built it on blood, sweat, and tears. On late nights and missed vacations. But it is not about you. Sorry to break it to you, but it’s true.branding

It’s a tough pill to swallow, I know. But once you take yourself out of the equation and step back, you enable your business and your brand to elevate and resonate.

Which means, you empower your business to grow.

The most important thing that you can understand about branding your company is that you’re not marketing TO an audience, but FOR a customer.

So it’s not about what you like (red and blue together, purple flowers, cursive fonts). And it’s not about your preferences (conservative design, one-sided business cards). And it’s not even about the media strategy that you like (backlit signs, direct mail campaigns).


It is 100% about your customers.

It’s about what touches them. It’s about what’s meaningful and resonant. It’s about their wants, needs, and desires.

It’s about what compels them to purchase or to refer or to be loyal.

So, let go already. Injecting your personal opinion can be harmful to your brand.

You want your brand’s fonts and colours to appeal to your customers, your brand’s voice to speak intuitively to them, and your media strategies to reach your target best.

Your brand isn’t yours at all. It’s theirs.

When you cater your brands look, feel, voice, and marketing strategy to your customers, your business is likely to grow in spades.

So who cares if you love blue? If your customers relate to red, give them what matters to them. And save the blue for after hours.

Kim McMullen is a creative innovator at Flipside Creative. She leads a talented team of designers, writers, and suits in a pursuit of the studio’s foundational philosophy: Great creative for good people. No jerks.

Kim McMullen – who has written posts on Owen Clark.


  1. Pat says:

    Great point of view and great reminder of why a person is a business owner!

  2. Bosco Anthony says:

    This is so true! When clients come to me the first thing we do is loose the I “wants” and focus on the I “need’s”

    Great article – coming from an internet marketing background i can honestly say that entrepreneurs should focus more on the business model rather than the looks and feels of their website

    Good stuff Kim!

  3. Kim says:

    Thanks Bosco + Pat! It’s hard to separate yourself from business – but great things ahead when you do. Needs first, forever!

  4. Wayne F says:

    “So who cares if you love blue? If your customers relate to red, give
    them what matters to them. And save the blue for after hours.”.

    AMEN to that Kim.  As it applies in marketing, so it applies in web-building (an extension of the same thing).  I have one ongoing client in particular that hired me specifically to replace their (HORRID) website – and then continue to tell me “but we like our blue better”  etc.  I can’t count how many times I’ve had to find yet another way to discretely say “its not about you (your tastes)…”.

    Have you written a manual yet for the Client side of this conundrum?

  5. Hmm. In principal I have agreed with this, but now I am not so sure it’s quite as clear as that. I recently saw Simon Sinek’s presentation at the 99% Conference where one of his central messages was to express yourself authentically. When you start marketing to what marketing research shows, there is the danger of an inauthentic message emerging. Your color analogy is simple so to carry that a little further – if you are truly passionate about blue and it IS the colour that lights your fire and inspires you, AND you truly hate red it would be inauthentic to promote red. So on a level, it IS still about you. If all the people you are marketing to like RED perhaps the answer is not to promote RED but to promote elsewhere. Perhaps you have not found the BLUE lovers in the world. Marketing gets down right weird when you stop to think about the convolutions we go to to have people tell us how to present ourselves in business. Would you approach a best friend and ask them how you should dress and talk so they will like you more? Isn’t good and fulfilling business ultimately about high quality relationships which would be authentic relationships. So if you believe in BLUE and it turns out nobody else does, perhaps you just don’t have a business or you’re simply not sharing blue with the right people.

    This video is worth watching


    1. ByzhubOwen says:

      Nicely said Craig

    2. WayneF says:

       That all sounds good… but when you are marketing fiber optic connectors you are selling not only to techies, but to buyers representing techies.  That’s a very focused group, and they expect technical expertise and professionalism.  Clients do well here to get themselves out of the way.  Nothing inauthentic in conveying those things – and leaving it to someone who knows how to, more effectively than techies.