Stephen Melanson gave a great presentation on Verbal Branding and the Networking for NonProfits Fun Night Out on May 6, 2010. This is part 1 of his presentation. In it he covers what Verbal Branding is and how it works.
A transcript follows the video:
I’m going to talk to you about Verbal Branding and Verbal Branding as you see are new literally unique in the world as far as I know branding applications. And the goal is as you see there. To simultaneously improve sales culture, what I refer to as Brand Density, and there is even more to it than that. But I’ll talk about everything. I have about twenty minutes with you, I’m going to teach you everything I can in twenty minutes about Verbal Branding. I hope you find it interesting, and I think you”ll find it interesting that you can apply some of these things starting tomorrow for your non-profits.
Now here”s what I believe should keep you awake at night. Your brand being diminished every single day times every single person regardless of how many there are in your organization times every conversation they have. Now I don”t make that up just to make a point I work with a lot of different kinds of companies and firms and organizations. This is the scenario that I see everywhere I go regardless of the situation. So it might now start keeping you awake, but this is what I see everywhere and this is to be avoided obviously for your brand. Now I do work in a specific area of branding. Branding is a huge topic as you know. There is what”s called the identity elements, logos, tags lines, the name of your firm or organization, the colors and the imagery on your Web site, things like that. Those are all identity related, I don’t do any of that work. I do what called positioning, and here is my very simple definition of what position should mean to you in my opinion. How are you different and because of that difference better than the competition whoever the competition is. This is what I use for a definition regardless who I’m working with and it works every time.
The gap in the branding marketplace is a spoken application. Believe it or not in the branding world, full service branding companies do all sorts of work for their clients, they never actually deal with what people say every day to people outside their organization. That”s the work that I do. Again, Verbal Branding is a spoken application, literally a spoken robust application, for this thing that I call brand positioning and that’s what it’s called in the marketplace.
So here”s what”s at issue and everyone will be all relate to this. What conversation do you want or need to have when you speak to somebody? How many conversations do you think you”ve had in your entire business or nonprofit life? Most people say, oh five hundred, ten thousand, things like that. Right? Actually there”s only, two you”re either the same or you’re different, there”s no middle ground. And you should know that when you”re in the field and you’re talking to people there’s only two options, you’re either the same or you’re different from your competition. That’s what goes on in the mind of the consumer. Does that make sense?
OK, now to something I call conversational dynamics, but before I go into that in a little bit of detail, I want you to know this. This is why my best tips and I hope you remember it forever. When you tell someone your name, when you tell them what category your business or your firm is in, your non-profit, here”s what I have to say. No one cares. Ok? No one cares, isn’t that awful? No one cares but it”s true. Nonprofit about X Y or Z, CPA firm, attorney, branding consultant, guess what I don”t even care that I”m a branding consultant. So I never tell anybody that because I know that they shouldn”t care because I don”t even care. I care what my positioning in the marketplace is. It”s totally different and what I”ll tell you and I see everywhere I go is that people sell quote, unquote sell or try to raise money based on category. Listen to what people say in maybe even listen to yourself and you”ll realize that what happens is they”ll tell you what category of business they”re in and then they”ll go about talking about the positive attributes of the category alone and they have not positioned themselves for differentiation in their competitive space. Start listening for that and you”ll hear it everywhere, ninety nine percent of the time. That”s to be avoided.
Conversational dynamics let”s get back to the Verbal Branding. Memory, no matter what you do, people will only remember a couple things, period. End of story. The people that you speak to tonight, if you remember anything about what some people have said to you that”s a good sign, but it”s usually one or two things at most. And the most common thing that happens is, you’ll talk to somebody and you’ll basically not remember anything. This is the single most important thing that I ever tell anyone and it”s a branding issue. So I teach Verbal Branding. I don’t care if you remember my name, I literally don’t want you to remember my company because that doesn’t matter at all. If you remember that I teach Verbal Branding, I win. So if you know that this is true, and I guarantee it is, I have twenty seven years of experience in the field myself and I”ve studied this scientifically, there is a bunch of research out there. This is literally true and if you totally absorb this starting today you”ll start to change the way you communicate with people starting tomorrow. So please remember this, it’s the single most important thing I ever tell anyone.