Presenter’s Manifesto: Bury The Brand

Before diving into Tip 12, fair warning must be served to readers in the marketing profession: We are about to speak heresy, and it may make you angry. If you need to unsubscribe, I totally understand. In fact, you may want to hit the Back or Delete button now.

Courtesy billingsgazette.com

Courtesy billingsgazette.com

But if you’re still reading, let’s jump right in. Tip 12, Bury the Brand states that no one, except perhaps other marketers at a marketing conference, cares about your brand when you are presenting.

No one.

No one cares about the carefully coordinated colors between the corporate logo and the corporate slide master. No one cares that every slide looks precisely the same.

What people do care about is what you have to say as it pertains to them. What value are you bringing to them in exchange for the valuable time they’re giving to you?

The problem with brand stems from a misunderstanding of what brand really is. Brand is not a logo and a set of colors. Brand is not carefully coordinating everything the company does with that logo and set of colors. Brand is the sum of the customer’s experience with you, including the presentation you’re giving. It is what you are known for. That, and that alone, is your brand. Everything else is superfluous, annoying, noise that detracts from the message you are trying to communicate.

Why? Because the audience doesn’t care about your company; they care about what your company can do for them.

Tip 12, Bury the Brand, was hard to write and probably equally hard to read. But in this day of brand malpractice, the successful presenter is the one who is focused on bringing value in a clear and simple manner with minimum “salesy” schtick. As good presenters, we avoid overdone branding, so as to avoid the Wilhelm scream from our audience. Carefully thought out logos and colors are fine to have, so long as they are the tail, and not the dog.

This post is part of the series “The Presenter’s Manifesto”.  You can find the beginning of the series here: Presenter’s Manifesto – Prologue