The Brand Creation Process How To Evaluate Elect And Embody An Unforgettable Brand

The Brand Creation Process: How To Evaluate, Elect And Embody An Unforgettable Brand

Approximate read time: 55 minutes

Creating an unforgettable brand is important because it helps prospects and customers at the Awareness and Evaluation stage of their Solution Journey.

A while ago someone asked me about my thoughts on personal brands and branding…

I regularly see businesses undertaking a re-brand, but there is a lot of misinformation on the topic.

They focus solely on what they want the brand to look like.

A fatal mistake.

Brands have nothing to do with what you want…

…they have everything to do with what your prospects and customers want.

Leave the ego at the door!


So let’s start with defining what a brand is.

The word brand and branding is used as a:

  • Noun – a person, place or thing;
  • Verb – a description of an action;
  • Adjective – an attribute of a person, place or thing; and
  • Synonym – a substitute for another concept.

And this can be very confusing for understanding what a brand is!

A brand is the real-time, sum total experience, perception and related story that prospects and customers create about something or someone that exists in someone else’s mind.

Or the idea or concept of you inside the minds of your prospects and customers.

It could also be a point of differentiation.

To illustrate by example, on a farm with thousands of cattle that all look the same, it is hard to find one that is different or that stands out.

Now, when a farmer puts a “brand” on cattle, the branding differentiates that cattle and helps the farmer identify it from all the other brands.

It gives the farmer a reference point or a position that they can relate all other cattle to.

It helps reveal the needle in the haystack, so to speak.

When a company has a brand for their product, service or solution, the branding differentiates that product, service or solution and helps prospects or customers identify it from all the others.


Brands are not static; they can change and evolve at any moment.

This means you should not fall in love with your brand.

Most leading brands have been through some sort of rebrand at some point in time.

They have been recreated and redefined in order to survive.

Brands change when people decide to change their experience, perception and their related story about the brand.

On a one-on-one prospect and customer level, the following progressive model may help you visualize this experience change:

  1. Enemy;
  2. Evaluator;
  3. Endorser;
  4. Enthusiast; and
  5. Evangelist.

What do these mean?

  1. An Enemy is someone who doesn’t like your business due to a bad customer experience;
  2. An Evaluator is someone who is a first time customer for your business;
  3. An Endorser is someone who enjoyed their first contact with your business and is now a second time customer;
  4. An Enthusiast is someone who is a repeat or regular customer of your business; and
  5. An Evangelist is someone is continuously referring new customers to your business through word-of-mouth.

Prospects and customers can move up or down these steps depending on how they experience your business.

As prospects and customers progress up a step, they become more engaged and you create more trust.

And vice-versa, as prospects and customers progress down a step, they become less engaged and you remove trust.

Let’s look at an example of this in action…

You made someone or many feel bad?

Yep, you messed up and your brand suffers.

Endorsers turn into Enemies.

You made someone feel good?

Yep, you did well and your brand recovers.

Evaluator turns into Enthusiasts.

This all reflects values people have about your brand.

Humans engage with the world and develop associations with it – they then share this with their environment and form relationships.

And this means people assign meaning to you brand.

Meaning is created by connections.

However, a brand is not visual branding (visual identity) in the case of the cattle, AKA a logo (sorry if I irritate my graphic designer friends by saying this), although visual branding can be a part of a brand as we will explore later.

But a small part!

Why is a brand not only a logo?

For starters, a personal brand is just a person, not a logo.

The person may have a logo to augment their personal brand – but only to augment it.

A brand is also not a feature set.

Every interaction, whether is it positive or negative, a prospect or customer has with your brand shapes your brand.

These interactions are touch points.

And at every touch point, or activity, you need to be conscious of what you are projecting.

A brand could be:

  • Name;
  • Tagline or slogan;
  • Logo;
  • Logo colour; and
  • Jingle.

It could also be:

  • A perception;
  • A projection;
  • A expectation;
  • A reputation;
  • An experience;
  • A story, idea or concept;
  • Reputation;
  • And so on…

These are all present in relationships.

Therefore, it could be said that a brand is a relationship.

It’s a relationship between company and audience, based on shared values and shared value.

It’s the connection with your brand is and what your prospects and customers want to aspire to be.

Brand Control

Brands think they have 100% control over their brand.


They have influence over their brand at best 50% because it is shared.

All your prospects and customers collectively define your brand, not just you and your brand.

Using colours is an analogy.

A brand lives in a relationship.

Your customers think you are blue and you think you are yellow.

Your brand is probably as shade of green (blue and yellow mixed creates green).

Your brand is part what you say and part what they say it is.

There is a saying “no man is an island.”

Meaning no person (man) is self-sufficient and everyone relies on others.

We could adapt that to no brand is an island meaning that it relies on others.

Brands exist dependent on prospects and customers.

Relationships are created, shared and maintained by two parties but never owned by either one.

This means that brands live with both the brand and prospects and customers.

Both are equally responsible for how they go.

This means it is an equal part of what both parties say it is.

Relationships are subtle and often hidden between two people and thus are omnipresent and ubiquitous.

Relationship is how we relate to a brand.

Relationship’s primary word is related.

It is how we relate and add meaning to something.

Of course, brands and relationships are different to everyone, but brands are, on the whole, the common denominator of all of those relationships.

The question you may be asking is how do you influence the idea or concept of your brand inside the minds of your prospects and customers.

The answer is positioning.


It could be said that there are two types of value:

  1. Functional (or practical) value; and
  2. Emotional value.

Both are quite distinct forms of value.

Value is the difference between a prospects’ pain and gains.

The realization of that value is money used for payment.

Functional value, on the one hand, is what your product, service or solution delivers to your prospects and customers including all its features.

It is the difference between the pain and gain prospects and customers want to be solved.

Emotional value, on the other hand, is all of the intangible, emotive and irrational things your prospects and customers want in addition to the functional value.

This could be things like their:

  • Wants;
  • Results;
  • Desires;
  • Aspirations;
  • Hopes;
  • Dreams;
  • Goals;
  • Fantasies;
  • And so on…

It can also mean the relationship that prospects and customers have with your products, services or solutions.

These emotions are the really true value of your product, service or solution and everything else is tertiary.

Prospects and customers want to feel these things more than they actually want something solved.

It’s the emotional value that creates a perceived value that allows your brand to charge a premium price for similar products, services or solutions to what your competitors offer.

The difference between functional and emotional values are both minor and “cosmetic” differences.

Therefore, a premium position is the combination of functional and emotional value.

The term positioning was arguably coined by Al Ries and Jack Trout in their book, Positioning: The Battle For Your Mind.

Positioning can be defined as the process of influencing a perception of a brand so it has a certain position and related attribute (or attributes) in the mind of prospects and customers.

This position and related attribute (or attributes) could be based on price, quality, service or any multitude of other options.

So, why should you care about positioning?

Here is the reason…

We have recently seen a flood of new products, service or solution and subsequent marketing messages (even the human body can be used as billboard now).

But, attention is scarce and limited – prospects and customers can’t digest it all.

They see on average 362 marketing messages per day.

That is approximately 100,000 marketing messages per year!

It’s impossible to take all of that information in and process it.

“Ad blockers” and native content are on the rise to combat this situation by both prospects and customers and brands, respectively.

Cognitive psychologist George A Miller said the human mind can only hold on average seven individual units of information in working memory at once.

99% of these messages will be missed by prospects and customers.

So, unless your marketing message stands out, as you can probably guess, it will be lost forever.

Therefore, positioning helps simplify a marketing message, make a good impression and break through all the other competing marketing noise.

Let’s look at how information is absorbed and perceptions are formed…


There is a saying in philosophy that “perception is reality…”

…And in marketing, this is especially true!

Absolute objective truth does not matter and therefore for most marketing purposes, it does not exist.

The only sure reality is prospects’ and customers’ subjective perception of your brand.

The Understanding and Misunderstanding Effect, as described in Tony Buzan’s book The Most Important Graph in the World, says individuals have different associations with different words.

When I say the word “apple”, Person A may have a different association with the word then Person B, depending on their past experience.

This means there are different perceptions of the same situation.

For example, one person gives a book a one-star review and another gives it a five-star review.

Who is right?

Who is wrong?

It’s the same product, service or solution, just a different reaction to or perception of it.

Let’s look at another example using, and analogy, if one person says you have a tail, they are probably insane, because humans do not have tails.

However, if ten people say you have a tail, they are probably right and you better turn around see if it’s true, as they may be on to something!

It follows then that everyone has a perception of your product, service or solution.

When a child is born, a process of “limbic imprinting” occurs.

Limbic imprinting is where the human nervous system memorizes new data and stores it in their formative period.

For example, you usually always remember the first times certain milestones happen – your first tooth lost, your first kiss and so on.

Children learn very quickly in their formative years because they have a lot of these first experiences.

The same happens with prospects and customers when they first come across something new like your brand.

Once that imprint has occurred, it’s almost impossible to delete or reposition what is already perceived and formed in the prospects’ mind.

With this considered, you never get a second chance to make a first impression with prospects or customers.

First impressions matter and first impressions last!

This is called the Primacy Effect in psychology.

And you probably already know it’s hard to change someone’s mind (or perceptions) once it’s made up.

Your brand cannot be different in their mind from then on.

Look at politics, money, vaccinations, abortions, religion, sex, drugs and so on!

People are willing to die for their perceptions and beliefs on these topics.

This means that something new can only be related to something that is already in one’s mind, such as prior knowledge or experience.

In other words, humans can only understand a new data if it is relative or related to something else they understand.

The Interest Effect, as described in Tony Buzan’s book The Most Important Graph in the World, says that the more someone is naturally interested in something, the more they will retain on the subject.

In humans, this is called the Reticular Activating System.

The Reticular Activating System is the way a human brain controls what it gives attention to.

Only 2,000 pieces of information are processed by the brain per second out of 400 billion (400,000,000,000) pieces of information that they are exposed to each second.

This is the reason why advertising or constant marketing and sales communication works.

You, as a brand, have no idea where a prospect is at metaphorically or when a need arises, so using advertising or constant marketing and sales communication helps you catch prospects and customers at the right time for them.

One of the jobs of marketing is to help prospects become aware of their needs as well as be at the right place at the right time for when they do become aware of those needs.

Prospects and customers believe and see what they want to believe and see.

The mind accepts consistencies and ignores the rest.

Differentiation exists only in prospects and customers’ perception.

Again, similar to the Primacy Effect, children learn really quickly in their formative years because they have a lot of interest in new things.

This leads us into exploring the prior experience of what perception is already in prospects’ and customers’ mind about your brand’s marketplace.

Marketing’s job is to manipulate these perceptions.

The rest of this guide will explore this manipulation…

And, as I alluded to previously with the Understanding and Misunderstanding Effect, don’t be fooled; the word manipulation may have a negative association with you, but I’m not intending it that way in this context!

So how do you create a brand?

You have to make it so that the sum experience and perception of everyone who interacts with your brand is 100% congruent and consistent with itself.

That could be visual branding.

But there are many other factors which are so much more important, such as the way you or your brand makes people feel (visual branding can contribute to this).

This feeling is really about helping them align with their world view and story – whatever that is.

Brand always live in someone else’s mind, so you need to realize that whatever you do is always being filtered through their world view and story.

There are lots of ways to create and re-create solid brands.

Here are the elements:

  • STEP 1: Evaluation;
  • STEP 2: Election; and
  • STEP 3: Embodiment.

Let’s begin with…

The Brand Creation Process Evaluation

1) Evaluation


This step is about evaluating the perception of where your brand is in relation to competition in the market.

You need to discover the attributes, and the important attributes, that prospects and customers want in a product, service or solution.

This is done through market research, such as through survey, your own understanding of the market or a competitive analysis, to give clues as to what these are for both you and your competitors.

Once you have a list of attributes prospects and customers want, document them.

Important Attributes

Once these attributes have been listed, you need to discover the most important attributes prospects and customers want, over and above the long “laundry” list you complied in the previous step.

Important attributes could be based on criteria such as:

  • Price;
  • Quality;
  • Speed;
  • Specialist;
  • Automation;
  • Age;
  • And a whole multitude of other options…

These important attributes are what you should segment prospects and customers by.

Again, an effective way to do this is by survey.

You should have between five and ten attributes only.

Once you have a list of important attributes prospects and customers want, document them.

Current Attributes

The Johari Window is a psychological tool developed by Joseph Luft and Harrington Ingham that helps two people, in this case, your market and your brand, understand what each other are communicating.

Image a bird’s eye view of a four room house with rooms all of the same size.

Each room has 2 windows facing outside – eight windows in total.

The left side is your market and their perceptions of your brand, in other words how others perceive your brand.

The top side is your brand and what it is trying to communicate to the market, in other words, what you brand wants to communicate.

Looking through Room 1 window, reveals both your brand and the market’s known attributes about your brand.

Looking through Rooms 2 window, reveals your known attributes about your brand that your market does not know.

Looking through Rooms 3 window, reveals what your market knows about the attributes of your brand that you do not know.

Looking through Rooms 4 window, reveals the attributes about your market and your brand do not know about each other.

The following steps will help you discover what is in “Room 3,” that is, prospects’ and customers’ perceptions, and communicate what is in “Room 2,” that is your brand’s values.

So to do this, rank only the important attribute from the previous step, both those you and your competitors currently possess, on a scale or graph from high too low for each attribute.

If you are rushed, you can graph these attributes from your own point-of-view or by comparing to competitors, but this could be biased, so attempt to ask prospects and customers to rank these attributes to find out what the market thinks.

Remember perception is reality here.

What you and your prospects and customers think may well be very different.

Again, brands only have something to do with what you want.

They have everything to do with what your customer wants.

So, the action step here is to ask people about their experience with your brand and where they are currently at in relation to it.

Are they an:

  1. Enemy;
  2. Evaluator;
  3. Exponent;
  4. Enthusiast; or
  5. Evangelist.

Then, ask what experience they have had with your brand.

Then, ask what perception of your brand they got from that experience.

Finally, ask what story they told themselves about that experience and perception.

This will give you many insights into their world view.

This graphing process will give you insight into the attributes and words you and your competitors currently possess and in relation to each other in the perception of the market, compared to what you are trying to project.

Is there a match?

Once you have a list of current attributes, document them for both you and your competitors.

Ranking Attributes

Based on the graph, determine if your brand or your competitor’s possess the 1st and 2nd spots or positions for each attribute.

Next, once you know who possesses the 1st and 2nd spots for each attribute, determine the strengths and weaknesses are of the attributes and the current attribute gaps or and hence market opportunities.

  • Where are the Blue Oceans?;
  • What position do you want in the future?;
  • Who has no strong hold and who do you want to outgun?; and
  • Do you have enough money for market domination?.

In other words, where is there is no market competition?

Can you stick it out?

NOTE: Blue Oceans is a term from the book Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne who suggest, like Al Ries and Jack Trout, that brands succeed by moving into uncontested markets.

Once you have ranked attributes, document them.

Of course, the exact details of how to do this are beyond the scope of this guide.

So in summary, this step is about evaluating people’s experience with your brand, which leads us to the Election Step.

The Brand Creation Process Election

2) Election

Position Choice

This step is about choosing the future brand you want by selecting a word or attribute you are looking to own.

This is important because it allows you to influence (but not control) the perceptions you want prospects and customers to have that may lead to different positioning.

Now that you know the current landscape of perceptions and the current gaps or market opportunities, it’s time to blast your way into the minds of your prospects and customers.

How do you do this?

Let’s explore….

Once you have evaluated people’s experience with your brand, you then need to decide what brand experience you want people to have in the future.

Based on the graph is Step 1, you need to determine the attribute, word or category you want to own in the future to “hang your hat on” and to establish that position in the perception of your market.

However, you do not simply pick an attribute, idea or word at random or pick one you want to have!

You need to pick an attribute that no one competitor owns, based on what is important to prospects and customers.


Brands only have something to do with what you want.

They have everything to do with what your customer wants.

The rule of thumb here is to pick the opposite attribute to what your competitors own.

Where there is no competition, it still must have value for prospects and customers.

You want to create and own that market category by being the first brand to address that attribute.

This is the alternative to current perception.

It is a way to re-position your brand or “eliminate” competitive brands.

Here are some guidelines.

Your chosen position should be:

  • Specific;
  • Contrasting;
  • Narrow;
  • Simple;
  • And so on…

It could be:

  • Exclusive;
  • Rare;
  • Exciting;
  • New;
  • Original;
  • Contrarian;
  • Affinity;
  • Mysterious;
  • Forbidden; and
  • Popular.

Now, what is your desired position?

It could be one of these niche levels:

  1. Generalist – This could be a General Practitioner Physician;
  2. Specialist – This could be an Otorhinolaryngologist who deals with ear, nose, and throats;
  3. Authority – This could be the best local Otorhinolaryngologist; and
  4. Celebrity – This could be someone Like Dr. Oz.

Having said that, these do not necessarily related to being the best or functional value, as discussed previously.

They relate to positioning.

Niches, mean your brand becomes specialized not generalized and this implies quality.


The Von Restorff Effect, as described Tony Buzan’s book The Most Important Graph in the World, says the brain remembers things when they stand out relative to everything else.

These are the things that are highlights and out of the ordinary.

By being first in an attribute category means you stand out from the ordinary and the competition.

By virtue of re-positioning your brand and being the first, the perception automatically is one of authenticity.

This is because you are a “pioneer.”

The first.

Pioneers break new ground that no one else has and thus have implied expertise, legitimacy and credibility that justifies their authenticity and assumed quality.

This positioning frames (like you would a picture) everything else and provides the standard that everything else should be judged by.

This is the same reason why you should always go first in a series of presentations – you have nothing else to be judged and referenced by, therefore, you tend to be looked at more favourably.

Again, this is the Primacy Effect in action.

Think about Coco-Cola, the first cola.

They are “The Real Thing”!

That’s also their tagline.

Everything else is an imitation.

Quality also implies a higher and premium priced product, service or solution.

Once you have picked the position you want in the future, document this.

Brand Story

A brand story is a framework that may help you find your positioning.

A brand story is important because prospects and customers want to be part of, connected to and share that story as if they own it.

If prospects and customers are satisfied with your product, service or solution, then they want to be part of that culture, story and narrative.

Aspiration, in the context of a brand story, helps an audience care about why it may benefit them and connect with you.

And aspiration is a strong motivation.

The purpose of a brand story that that motivates is to inspire prospects and customers to see if your brand aligns with their pains and wanted gains.

A brand therefore, is party reflected by your unique brand story.

Wisdom has been passed along through generations through stories.

Stories are one of the easiest ways to create a connection with someone.

Their power comes from noticing a share common experience.

And it could be said that humans are hardwired to learn through stories.

So your brand needs to be a great storyteller.

When we meet someone for the first time, we generally share our stories as a way to get to know each other through looking for common ground or a rapport.

Stories have layers and as we to get to know someone and establish a relationship, we continue this storytelling and sharing process and peel back the layers of who we are through our stories.

Story has the ability to engage, delight and relate to your prospects and customers.

Of course, each prospect or customer have a story, idea or concept of your brand, independent of your brand that is at best only 50% accurate.

This means your brand can only direct that partial the story they have of your brand.

As you may have guessed, one way to direct this is through storytelling.

This is a way to differentiate what your brand is doing and explain in a way that prospects and customers can understand, but most importantly, create an emotional connection with them.

Storytelling acts as a lens for prospects and customers to see you clearer and more accurately than their story, idea or concept of your brand.

Storytelling also gives your prospects and customers an easily remembered tale to tell your story to others.

The following questions could help you think about your brand story:

  • Who your brand is;
  • Why your brand exists;
  • How your brand got there;
  • Why your brand is doing what it is doing;
  • What motivates your brand;
  • What your brands’ plans are for the future;
  • When your brand will get there;
  • What value your brand delivers;
  • What your brand solves;
  • How your brand solves it (benefits);
  • What your brand does (features);
  • Why your brand cares;
  • And so on…

These questions help you articulate:

  1. What your brand stands for; and
  2. What your brand stands against.

A good brand attracts and repels potential prospects and customers at the same time based on the alignment of similar values.

This helps segment those prospects and customers based on alignment with the way prospects and customers view themselves (their best version) and how they want others to view them as well.

It also helps inspire prospects and customer by giving them a reason you join.

Seth Godin once said in his book, All Marketers Are Liar that stories align with prospects’ and customers’ beliefs rather than create those beliefs.

Your brand is not for everyone, so what storyline speaks to your prospects and customers?

This isn’t a place product, service or solution features.

This means you don’t make up your brand story; you to focus on what is different about your brand in the marketplace.

The story doesn’t need to be a literal version, but, your brand story needs to be an authentic account, not a polished version that misses all the warts.

People fill in any gaps of your brand narrative with positive or negative perceptions, so it’s important for you to give as much brand story as possible.


A simple story to use is your brands Creation Story.

This type of story has the following components:

  1. A character – this is the protagonist;
  2. A setting – this is the time and place;
  3. A plot – this is a series of events in the setting; and
  4. Conflict – this is the character’s struggles in the setting and plot.

A complete story arc for your brand could look like this:

  • The original situation;
  • What you tried;
  • What didn’t work;
  • What worked;
  • What results did you start to get;
  • When the results became consistent; and
  • Why you created your product, service or solution (i.e. to help others in the same original situation, who have tried solving their struggle but have been unsuccessful).

This particular story can be distributed through your educational and information marketing and sales content, for example.

If you are struggling to find your story, here are some additional suggestions…

In Christopher Booker’s book, The Seven Basic Plots, he suggests some of the most common and compelling story plot lines that exist.

They are:

  • Overcome the enemy (AKA us vs them)  – this is about a protagonist setting out to overcome a threatening enemy;
  • Rags to riches – this is about the oppressed protagonist receiving a special invitation and is transformed from having nothing to something;
  • The Quest – this is about a protagonist setting out to conquer something important or find something they seek;
  • Voyage and return – this is about a protagonist setting out to a strange land and returning with wisdom;
  • Comedy – this is about a funny protagonist having a pleasant ending;
  • Tragedy – this is about a protagonist with a flaw or who makes a mistake which they take as a fall from grace; and
  • Rebirth – this is about a protagonist who faces a major event which changes them for the better.

In addition to this, in Scarlett Thomas’ book, Monkeys With Typewriters, she suggests two additional plots to supplement Booker’s list.

They are:

  • Coming of age – this is about a protagonist who doesn’t have certain knowledge, skills or experience, seeks them out and is transformed by discovering them; and
  • Stranger comes to town – this is about a protagonist coming to a new environment but is rejected when they challenge the new environment.

There are other stories types, but these should be enough to get you started.

Your story must relate to the attribute you want to own.

Keep the message simple and its promise clear.

There can be no vagueness, ambiguity or confusion.

People need to know what they will get each and every time – congruence and consistency.

And this must be authentic, not a polished version that only highlights the best parts.

Articulate and document your story.


The psychologist, Carl Jung suggested that there are 12 primary universal archetypes that describe all human psyches, behaviours and motivations.

Each archetype has specific values, meanings and traits.

The 12 archetypes can be divided into four directions, namely, Ego and Social on one axis and

Freedom and Order on the other.

The archetypes are divided into three sets, The Ego, The Soul and The Self…

The Ego:

  • The Innocent;
  • The Orphan;
  • The Hero; and
  • The Caregiver.

The Soul:

  • The Explorer;
  • The Rebel;
  • The Lover; and
  • The Creator.

The Self:

  • The Jester;
  • The Sage;
  • The Magician; and
  • The Ruler.

Each of these archetypes has a distinct character and story, which can guide your brand story.

Of course, the exact details of how to do this are beyond the scope of this guide.

So in summary, this step is about electing the brand you want to have, which leads to the Embodying step…

The Brand Creation Process Embodying

3) Embodying

Your brand is always communicating something.

Even when you think you are not communicating, that “not communicating” is still communicating that you are not communicating!

Everything your brand does or interaction it has with prospects and customers leaves some sort of memory.

These memories are Memory Reminders.

They are Memory Reminder because they remind your prospects and customers of memories, either positive or negative, of their relationship with your brand.

As you know, humans interact with the world.

Based on stimulus and response, humans interpret and experience that world.

Humans, by their nature, have predicable and consistent responses to stimuli and experience.

This creates memories, either positive or negative.

This is generally referred to as a recollection.

For example, having a positive experience with coffee stimuli in the past can make coffee smell trigger a Memory Reminder.

They can trigger an association – this cue or stimuli could be the human sense:

  1. Smell;
  2. Sight;
  3. Sound;
  4. Taste; and
  5. Touch.

Memory Reminders can project your story and relationship like experience with coffee does.

Memory Reminders take an abstract and complex concept of meaning, like a relationship, into a simple cue and vice versa or a simple cue into an abstract and complex concept of meaning like a relationship.

This distils your brand into important elements that prospects and customers can engage with.

These Memory Reminders are generally the first touch point new prospects have with your brand, product, service or solution.

And it’s how existing customers distinguish your brand quickly from your competitors.

Your product, service or solution is only a small part of your brand.

This may be one of the first interactions that prospects and customers have but it is certainly not the only thing…

Memory Reminders can be:

  • Static – meaning one dimensional; or
  • Dynamic – energizing – helping invite people to engage – moving to many dimensions (looks up) and sense.

They can also be:

  • Temporary (event or experience); or
  • Permanent.

You want to get your relationship with prospects and customers correct and aligned first then explore what Memory Reminders you can create beyond your actual product, service or solution.

So, don’t create or improve Memory Reminder without understanding your prospects and customers.

Of course, there are almost unlimited options in terms of Memory Reminders you can choose.

The main Memory Reminders this guide will cover is:

  1. Brand Names;
  2. Brand Tagline;
  3. Brand Logos;
  4. Brand Logo Colours;
  5. Brand Jingles;
  6. Brand Congruence;
  7. Brand Consistency; and
  8. Brand Promotion.

All of these are small reminders of your brand and underlying relationship to your prospects and customers.

And these Memory Reminders reflect your brand, story and relationship.

None of them alone or in combination create your brand, only remind people of and express its essence.

They only reflect a brand, never create a brand.

Each of these experiences with Memory Reminders should feel familiar to prospects and customers.

This should be done in a memorable and symbolic way.

And a lot of brands can get hung up on what they want their Memory Reminders to be.

These thoughts are entirely are subjective, so leave your ego at the door!

Remember brands have nothing to do with what you want…

…They have everything to do with what your prospects and customers want.

Without further ado let’s explore some of the more common Memory Reminders.

This step is about embodying the brand experience you want people to have.

Embody means to exemplify something in concrete form.

You need to establish the word you want to own and make it tangible.

Once you have decided on the brand experience you want people to have in the future, you then need to justify and embody the story, experience and perceptions.

There are several tools for this:

  1. Brand Name;
  2. Brand Tag Line;
  3. Brand Logo;
  4. Brand Logo Colour;
  5. Brand Jingles;
  6. Brand Congruence;
  7. Brand Consistency; and
  8. Brand Promotion.

Let’s get granular and explore these one at a time…

Brand Name

So, right now I have the song Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious from Mary Poppins stuck in my head.

Strange right?

But this is an important brand lesson…

Having an unforgettable or notable name is really important for your brand.

A brand name is arguably one of the assets that provide you with the most return on investment and leverage.

Something that could take a day to find can create years-and-years of perceived value.

A brand name is a condensed and distilled concept of the essentials features or benefits of your product, service or solution.

It goes without saying, if you have a new brand you are launching and trying to establish, you automatically do not have brand recognition salience in the market.

You are starting from scratch.

So in order to have the best chance of recognition, you need to be smart about your brand name.

However, as you can guess, most brands get their name wrong!

That’s a big call I know, but after this guide, I hope to convince you of this claim.

So how do they get it wrong?

They name their brand something clever or worse still confusing.

When prospects and customers spend money on your product, service or solution, it’s highly important to them.

They are trying to solve a pain or reach a gain.

Solving their problems and getting results is serious to them.

Spending money represents changing one currency, such as time and labour, into another, that is money in exchange for a product, service or solution.

People’s time and labour, and thus their money, are really important to them and they treat it that way.

A clever or confusing name doesn’t do anything to building trust with your prospects and customer that your brand can solve their pain or gain.

So you are probably thinking how do you get a name right?

We’ll discuss that in turn, but let’s first look at some theory…

Humans have something called the phonological loop.

The phonological loop is a short-term, verbal memory system in the auditory cortex of the brain.

The auditory cortex is located in the temporal lobe.

It acts as a “recording device” that records incoming auditory data continuously coming into the ear.

Sound enters the ear and bounces around before it is processed by the brain.

From the phonological loop, the brain processes the information and decides what to do with it.

It could be forgotten or stored in longer-term memory.

Sometimes, some sounds stay in short term memory for longer periods of time than others.

Why is this?

Those sounds are not automatically processed, but they are repeated as if they were.

This is a strange phenomenon!

Dr. James Kellaris from University of Cincinnati discovered what are called “Ear Worms.”

Earworms have audible properties that stimulate the phonological loop more than other audible properties, and stay in the short term memory for longer periods of time than others.

They capture attention and repeat in the phonological loop (i.e. in your head) for about eight seconds.

It’s involuntary.

Self-repetition does not remove the Earworms, but rather makes it stay longer in the ear.

It’s like an insect bite – the more you scratch, the more itches.

The loop scratches the “itch” by replaying it over and over.

The more an Earworms plays, the more it plays!

The more they scratch, the more they itch.

This is why you say “I have that song stuck in my head”, just like I did with Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious from Mary Poppins.

This is also why a DJ pulls the music out for a slight second to allow a sing-a-long; when you hear a song you can fill in the rest even after the song stops playing.

It keeps your brain busy when thoughts are idle, stressed or tired.

Earworms could also be called the unscientific terms of: “repetunitis” and “melody mania.”

It’s clear that the longer sounds stays in the phonological loop, the higher the chance of being remembered, or better still, not being forgotten.

The latter, not being forgotten, is more insidious as it exists and needs to be forgotten, rather than it simply existing and needing to be recalled.

It takes less cognitive power.

So how do you create a brand name where the sound stays in the phonological loop and is really hard for prospects and customers to forget?

Let’s discuss how to create a notable & unforgettable name.

As we have learned, it is possible we need to extend the time the sound stays in the phonological loop.

Here is how to do that and thus create Ear Worm for your brand name.

It’s important to note that humans communicate via speech for far longer than they do in written form.

This evolutionary fact means humans understand speech through hearing much more effectively and efficiently than in the written form, such as a logo or slogan.

Someone can be illiterate and still communicate, but it’s rare for a situation in the reverse.

What this means in terms of brand names, is that the name should sound good before it looks good as a logo.

Logos don’t get into you head like songs and song lyrics do – they are easy to forget.

This is the phonological loop in action.

But logos have their place and we’ll cover them shortly.

Here are some devices that help Ear Worms and name recall…

Start with the benefit, result or outcome your prospects and customers want.

Document all these words that relate to benefits, results or outcomes.

Next, take the list you just created and gave each word an emotional value on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the most and 1 being the least.

How much emotional power does each word have?

For example, the words “like” and “love” have very different emotional power when you think and say them.

Next, discard all words that have a score of five or below.

Document emotional value of those words.

Next, look at your list of words and see if you can link any of them together, so they still make sense using the following Ear Worm devices.

These devices make Ear Worms even harder to forget:

  • Repetition;
  • Rhyme;
  • Alliteration;
  • Association; and
  • Rhythm.

Here they are…

Repetition & Exposure: Repetition is using the same words more than once, to help with clarity and exposure.

Repetition of words creates a predictability of what will come next.

It creates a familiarity.

The Repetition Effect, as described in the book The Most Important Graph in the World by Tony Buzan, says the brain will remember things that are repeated often enough.

This is why repetitive advertising works.

To quote William Rastetter: “The first time you say something, it’s heard, the second time, it’s recognised, and the third time, it’s learned.”

The story of the Three Little Pigs is a good example of this.

A variation of Repetition could also be Rhyme and Alliteration…

Rhyme: Rhyme is a repetition of similar or same sounds in more than two words.

This is commonly the last syllables or end of words.

Rap songs are a simple example of this.

Alliteration: In comparison to Rhyme, Alliteration is a repetition of similar or same sounds in more than two words.

But, usually, this occurs in the first consonant of the start of words.

Association: An association is a connection or link between something.

The Association Effect, as described in the book The Most Important Graph in the World by Tony Buzan, says the brain will remember things that have associations, connections and links to other things in memory.

In regards to naming, associate powerful words with famous people, places or things.

So, can you use the same first or last name or juxtapose them?

Rhythm: Rhythm or beats include the same number of syllables.

Songs or jingles with a rhythm or beat are easy to remember.

I’ll discuss brand jingles shortly.

These five naming devices help addictive and play over in your prospects and customer head.

And of course, an addiction is an impulsive action in rewarding stimuli, despite adverse consequence.

An Ear Worm!

Can you get the Internet domain name and related social media and other web 2.0 properties?

Document all word combinations that relate to benefits and emotion values.

Next rank these word combinations based on the following factors.

  1. Results and benefit orientated;
  2. High emotion value;
  3. Rhyming;
  4. Rhythm;
  5. Alliteration;
  6. Association;
  7. Repetition and Exposure; and
  8. Domain name…

Finally, pick the name that scores the most in the ranking process.

List words, and then pick one that just encapsulates it all.

Having said all of this, there is no perfect brand name!

Of course, the exact details of how to do this are beyond the scope of this guide.

Brand Tagline

A brand tagline or slogan is a short descriptor that represents your brand promise.

A brand promise is as it sounds – a promise to your prospects and customers of the things, experiences and qualities and so on they expect when interacting with your brand.

A brand taglines or brand promise is important to have.

Only create your tagline after you are clear on all the steps previously.

Of course, the exact details of how to do this are beyond the scope of this guide.

Brand Logo

A Brand Logo or logotype is the condensed visual concept or symbol or feeling or reminder that represents a brand similar to a brand name.

Brand Logos are optional.

Logos don’t make a brand, but a brand makes the logo.

The majority of prospects and customers don’t share or engage with a logo because logos are so commonplace and usually unforgettable.

A logo could be a:

  • A name (wordmark);
  • Image;
  • Design;
  • Symbol;
  • Word;
  • Typeface;
  • Icon;
  • Badge;
  • Sign;
  • A combination of the above;
  • And so on…

It could also be a trademark, either registered or unregistered.

A Brand Logo could also be called visual branding, like branding cattle with a visual cue.

It is a visual Memory Reminder that points to a relationship.

Logos are also optional.


A personal brand may or may not have a logo.

Here are some additional guidelines to create a logo…

The human eyes are situated horizontally, giving you horizontal peripheral vision.

This physiological fact means a logo should fit between the eyes in horizontal fashion with an approximate 2:1 ratio of size, just like how the eyes are positioned.

Vertical logos simply go against human sight physiology.

As we have learned, the meaning of a word is how it sounds not how it looks.

One of the simplest logos is the brand name, which helps reinforce the Memory Reminder.

Symbols, images and logos are associated with a name (sound) and not vice versa.

This is described as a Rebus.

A Rebus uses pictures to represent words.

Logos should represent personality, be simple and show the brand name over top of the logo.

Any logo design needs to be congruent with your story.

Of course, the exact details of how to do this are beyond the scope of this guide.

Brand Logo Colour

Brand Logo Colours could also be called brand identity.

Meaning that you can recognise the brand even if doesn’t hear the name or see logo.

This recognition could be colours, smells, tastes, fonts, typography and so on.

Again Brand Logo Colours are optional, just like Brand Logos.

For example, personal brands may or may not have Brand Logo Colour.

And if you don’t have a brand logo, obviously there is no need for brand colour.

Colours are made up of primary colours.

The primary colours are:

  1. Blue;
  2. Yellow; and
  3. Red.

Blue represents trust and is corporate in nature amongst other things.

Yellow represents energy, youth, optimize or caution amongst other things.

Red represents passion, urgency or impulse amongst other things.

When primary colours are mixed with another primary colour, they give secondary colours:

  1. Blue & yellow create green;
  2. Blue & red create purple; and
  3. Red & yellow create orange.

Green represents nature, balance, relaxation, wealth or sex amongst other things.

Purple represents calm, soothing, beauty, creativity or wisdom amongst other things.

Orange represents call to action, impulse, confidence, caution or aggression amongst other things.

When all primary colours are mixed together they create black which represents luxury amongst other things.

White represents purity amongst other things.

Here are some guidelines to choosing a brand colour.

Colour should be:

  • The opposite or at least very different to competitors; and
  • Symbolic and representative of the industry or category of your product, service or solution based on the examples previously described.

Of course, the exact details of how to do this are beyond the scope of this guide.

Brand Jingles

A Brand Jingle is a short song used in marketing as a Memory Reminder.

A jingle should:

  • Be concise and simple;
  • Under 30 seconds long;
  • Have a hook;
  • Talk to prospect and customer benefits and needs;
  • Employ naming tactics, such as repetition and rhyme;
  • Promote the product, service or solution; and
  • Include a tagline or the name.

It can mix pleasurable memories or benefits through song to create recall and a Memory Reminder.

Of course, the exact details of how to do this are beyond the scope of this guide.

Brand Congruence

Now, let’s say you don’t like how others perceive your brand and you want to create a different brand.

Let’s say Person A wants to be experienced and perceived as “confident” but they are being experienced and perceived by Person B as “indifferent” and Person C as “aloof”.

In this situation, Person A needs to be “confident.”

They are faking something and people know it.

The sum experience, perception and the related story created by Person B and Person C are “indifferent” or “aloof”.

That’s ambiguous and confusing and doesn’t help create a rock-solid brand.

Congruence is the key!

In addition to consistency, your brand needs to be congruent.

That means agreement, harmony, conformity, or correspondence between what you are electing to be and what you are embodying to be.

Or the difference between what you say you want to be and what you are projecting to give a seamless perception.

Congruence with everything you do, and don’t do, say and don’t say.

The way you look, speak and act.

Congruent with the position you want to own.

You need to be congruent at every touch point with your brand.

That could be everything from:

  • Website;
  • Advertising;
  • Publicity;
  • Content;
  • Messages;
  • Storytelling;
  • Marketing Communication;
  • Sales Communication;
  • Product, Service Or Solution Delivery;
  • User Experience;
  • After Sales Customer Service;
  • And so on…

And it can be any sense your prospects and customers use to interface with and perceive your brand.

The way they:

  • Hear your brand;
  • See your brand;
  • Smell your brand;
  • Touch your brand; and
  • Taste your brand…

To illustrate, I had a very powerful experience of personal branding about 18 months ago when I did a presentation in front of less than a dozen people.

At the end of the presentation, each audience member was asked by the organizer to fill out a simple survey of their experience, perception and the related story they created from my presentation.

The only condition was each audience member could not communicate with anyone else in the audience about their experience, perception and the related story they created.

It had to be done in 100% isolation.

I was given the surveys at the end of the day and later that night, while at home, I started to read the results…

Something shocked me.

Every response said the same thing!


As in, the identical keywords.

My initial reaction was “how could this happen”?

And then, “someone must be playing a trick on me!”

But, I knew each of the audience did not communicate to one another about their experience, perception and the related story they created.

I sat and watched and no one communicated with each other.

Further, all responses were written in different handwriting, so I knew the organizer didn’t do a “bait and switch” on me.

As I thought more about the situation, it shouldn’t have shocked me.


Because I realized that what I was communicating AND what was being perceived by each audience member individually was 100% congruent with the total sum of all the audience members.

They all perceived me in the exact same way.

And they all perceived my “brand” in the exact same way.

By the way, everyone has a brand, whether you realize it or not.

You are always communicating, even when you are “not communicating,” you are still communicating something.

In retrospect, any marketer would have been proud of that congruence.

However, that experience, perception and the related story were not created by my intentional design.

It was just who I am.

The majority of people are like this.

Nonetheless, that experience taught me some great insights into what a great brand is and what creates great brands.

If you missed it, a great brand is 100% congruent with itself.

There is no vagueness, ambiguity or confusion.

Its promise is clear.

People know what they will get each and every time.

They will get consistency.

It’s important to mention that if you a zero to hero and have a fancy website that may come across incongruent and thus untrustworthy.

Of course, the exact details of how to do this are beyond the scope of this guide.

Brand Consistency

In addition to congruency, your brand must be consistent.

Consistency is an off-shoot for congruency, in that the congruency must be steadfast for the long term.

Any mismatch between congruence and consistency signals to prospects and customers inconsistency and they will probably lose trust in your brand.

Of course, no brand will ever be perfect but your brand needs to be consistent and congruent with its elected brand as best it can.

Clichéd shampoo instructions indicate you should use the product, service or solution then rinse and repeat the process.

You will do the same here – continuously repeating and refining.

Of course, the exact details of how to do this are beyond the scope of this guide.

Brand Promotion

Marketing spreads your brand and products, services or solutions.

Brand promotion is about getting you brand and position out into prospects’ and customers’ minds.

Advertising works.

John Wanamaker once said, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.”

Amongst marketers and sales people, there has been a long winded battle, which has never been won, about what is better…

Brand awareness or direct response…

I’m going to give you a third option which says both, used in combination.

Brand Awareness

Brand awareness could be described as the extent to which prospects and customers are aware of and familiar with your business.

Brand awareness relies on repetition, familiarity, relationship, credentials, reputation, association, comfort and so on.

In other words, prospects and customers know, like and trust you and you can deliver on promise.

The theory goes that when making a purchasing decision, prospects and customers will choose the product, service or solution that fits those criteria.

So, with brand awareness, you want to have your business familiar to projects and customers.

The problem with brand awareness alone is that it doesn’t ask for a sale like direct response does.

In addition:

  • It takes a long time for it to work;
  • It takes a lot of money to work (especially with a lot of competitors); and
  • It is hard to measure until later.

Direct Response

Direct Response could be described as asking for a specific, measured direct response from a prospect of customer by a business.

Direct Response relies on sending a communication that explicitly asks for a sale.

The theory goes that when making a purchasing decision, you will choose a product, service or solution that asks you to purchase.

So with Direct Response, you want to be making sales offers.

The problem with direct response alone is that it doesn’t build and goodwill.

In addition, it:

  • Can annoy people and drive them away; and
  • Can be untargeted.

Deposits and Withdrawals

Stephen Covey explained a concept called the Emotional Bank Account in his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

The concept describes how building trust works in human interactions.

It is analogous to a bank account where deposits and withdrawals of money can be given and taken.

If a bank account gets filled, it can lead to more trust and likewise, if it gets overdrawn, it can lead to a diminishing of trust.

The same principle applies to marketing and sales.

And we know marketing and sales only happen when prospects and customers know, like and trust your business.

Selling is about relationships, even if you don’t know prospects and customers personally.

Relationships here is defined as the way in which a market and a business are connected.

And relationship should be mutually beneficial so that the sum is bigger than the individual parts.

This is about delivering value.

Relationships are like bank accounts that contain currencies, in this case money and having their problem solved, and has deposits and withdrawals of either of those currencies.

As a business, you want to build a reserve of credit with prospects and customers to draw upon before you ask them to buy.

You don’t want to ask them to buy and overdraw your account with them.

In the context of marketing and sales, Covey suggests there are a few things that build up deposits:

  • Understanding people’s needs;
  • Providing value related to their needs; and
  • Apologising when you push too hard for a sale.

This is about building goodwill and giving value.

We will discuss specifics soon.

Again in the context of marketing and sales, Covey suggests there are a few activities that make withdrawals:

It’s best to balance these and at the start; give before you take.

Old deposits evaporate, so keep making deposits.

In other words, fill the “value account” with deposits of value before you make a withdrawal by asking for a sale via direct marketing calls to action.

This is what I mean by giving and take – deposits and withdraws.

But there is no need to micro-manage this process and keep tallies on who has done what.

This is about the overall balance and sense of deposit and withdraw ratio.

It’s always best to err on the side of giving too many deposits.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking deposits are a unique positioning attribute – deposits should be a default attribute for all brands.

When you first start a relationship, your deposit balance is at zero, so add some deposits (i.e. offer value) before take (i.e. make a sales offer).

Otherwise, you’ll go into overdraft very quickly.

In other words, stay out of negative by providing more value than taking.

And don’t ask for sales, until you have given value.

In other words, don’t ask for marriage on the first date.

This is how people move up and down the progressive model discussed.

Traffic leads to educational and information marketing and sales content (large deposit – brand awareness) with an embedded opt-in form (small withdrawal – direct response) and remarketing code.

If the prospect does not opt-in (small withdrawal – direct response) they receive remarking advertisements (both small deposit and withdrawal – brand awareness and direct response) that lead to a sales page (large withdrawal – direct response).

This loop repeats.

If the prospect does opt-in (small withdrawal) they get automatically redirected to a sales page (large withdrawal).

This pipeline combines both brand awareness (deposits) and direct response (withdrawals).


Publicity is really important for creating, re-creating and influencing brand perception especially through pre-framing for a range of reasons.

The most important two are:

  1. Leverage positive third party credibility and influence provided by outlets to objectively position your expertise as a thought leader, and demonstrate your success and expansive market salience to key stakeholders, for free or low cost, without their public message being ignored into extinction; and
  2. Insert your desired narrative in published outlets and get the right stories, get the right coverage with the right outlets to get the attention you deserve.

Followed by:

  1. Increase your brand awareness in niche and core markets, locally, nationally and internationally through a range of modalities;Legitimise your activities via printing on the public record, increase public perception and profile building;
  2. Influence your ranking on Google’s Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) via published backlinks on influential sites with high Page Rank;
  3. Use the coverage to increase Internet traffic to their website, attract partners, investors, or other types of stakeholders; and
  4. Reach more prospects and customers than traditional Cost Per Impression (CPM) advertising or display advertising.

The last two points also act as traffic sources in the marketing and sales pipeline previously described.

The purpose of the publicity is to communicate your brand’s word, attribute, idea, focus or category.

Being the first is in a category is an evergreen publicity content in publicity and will always be newsworthy.

Publicity should also promote the new market category you have created.

Pre-framing is a Neuro Linguistic Programming term for creating a particular situation, interaction, experience and its related meaning in a prospects’ or customers’ mind before it naturally occurs.

In other words, pre-framing is a way of controlling prospects’ or customers’ perception of your brand position before they interact with you, so they perceive you in the particular way that you want, ideally positively.

Publicity also does this well.

One way to achieve this is through credibility indicators such as social proof, scarcity and liking as well as demonstrating that your brand is a specialist, authority or celebrity.

Depending on your outcomes, here are some publicity tools to help you with pre-framing:

  • Media and press – mention your positioning as a celebrity;
  • Endorsements – mention your positioning as a celebrity;
  • Case studies – highlight your positioning as a specialist;
  • Recommendations and word of mouth – ask prospects and customers to mention your positioning as a specialist;
  • Testimonials – ask prospects and customers to mention your positioning as a specialist;
  • Success stories – highlight your positioning as a specialist;
  • Co-branding, co-alignment, partnerships & associations – mention your positioning as an authority and specialist;
  • Celebrity endorsements – mention your positioning as a celebrity;
  • Reviews – ask prospects and customers to mention your positioning as a specialist;
  • Speaking – mention or focus your positioning as an authority;
  • Awards – apply for categories that highlight your positioning as an authority;
  • Credibility – highlight your positioning as a specialist;
  • Formal credentials – highlight your positioning as an authority;
  • Writing – mention or focus your positioning as an authority;
  • Board positions – join boards related to your positioning as an authority; and
  • Customer & client list – highlight your positioning as a specialist.
  • And so on…

An example of this could be a positive introduction to you before you speak that highlights your accomplishments to lower resistance and increase trust.

This pre-framings could be achieved done through all external channels:

  • Advertising;
  • Videos;
  • Interviews;
  • Guest posts;
  • News;
  • Forum contributions;
  • Articles;
  • Association with celebrities;
  • And so on…

Of course, the exact details of how to do this are beyond the scope of this guide.


After solidifying your position and putting your brand stake in the ground via publicity, then it’s time to defend that position against new competitors and make them compete.

When you constantly drive traffic to your brand, it becomes a front of mind with prospects and customers rather than out of sight, out of mind.

However, competition is not a bad thing – it indicates that there is a market who is spending and promoting the category as a whole not just your brand, increases market salience and increases the market pie for all to share.

You own the whole market so promoting the market category should be a no brainer.

This could be through a range of marketing tools, such as:\

  1. Cold Email;
  2. Partnerships;
  3. Advertising;
  4. Search Engine Optimization;
  5. Social Media Marketing;
  6. And so on…

These also act as traffic sources in the marketing and sales pipeline previously described.

Of course, the exact details of how to do this are beyond the scope of this guide.

So in summary, this step is about embodying the brand experience you want people to have.

The Definitive Digital Marketing & Sales Manual Take Action

Take Action

You made it…

You now have a solid plan for creating and re-creating solid brands.

That’s the full Brand Creation Process and will be more than enough for you to get started on your own.

You can get the printed illustrated Process Map of this and 20 others for free, here

And if you’re serious about marketing and selling more, the logical next step is to contact me to help you do it yourself, have me do it with you, or have it all done for you.

This maybe the momentum you need to get great marketing and sales results.

Now let’s learn about The Marketing & Sales Pipeline Process.

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