09th Nov 2015| by

What are people saying about your brand when you’re not in the room?


If I were to say “Gee that Peter is such a little bitch”…………… (not that I ever would, and sorry to all the Peters out there) would you begin to form a picture of the sort of person Peter is? Same goes with brands.

Jeff Bezos founder of Amazon famously said “A brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room”. I quoted this line recently to a boardroom full of blank faces. So we started talking about how we all shape and mould our own personal brands; how people see us and how they would describe us behind our backs. We shape our own brands inherently, by living by our values, through our personality, expressing our views and importantly, how we choose to act. We even shape how people see us by the car we drive and the clothes we wear etc etc. As individuals we each have control of our own destiny in terms of how other people see us….and talk about us. It’s the same philosophy with brands. The person I would now describe as a most inquisitive and intelligent individual in the boardroom (‘self excluded) twigged and suggested that in all likelihood ‘no one would talk about us/our brand when we’re not in the room”. Exactly. And that’s why I was there.

At Brands to life™ we think about brands as people, in fact we use this kind of thinking as the foundation of our brand planning approach. It’s far easier to know how your brand should look, feel, sound and act if you’re picturing it as a person instead of an ellipse/pyramid/onion (that’s one for the marketers in the room). Once you have defined your brand as a person and instilled it with values, personality, a purpose and (while we’re playing Frankenstein creator) a soul, you have a blueprint and a persona for how you want people to talk about your Brand. You have a plan for how to emotionally connect with your target audiences and every single time someone comes in contact with your brand is a chance to educate and reinforce the way you want them to describe you. From the obvious touchpoints like your advertising or website to the not so obvious like your choice of on hold music or your out of office message. The great thing about humanising your brand is that everyone within your business can understand who it is. With everyone on the same page you can develop consistency of how you look, sound and act. Combine this with a healthy dose of creativity (and we can help you with that), and you have set the stage for what people say about your brand…. whether you’re in or out of the room.


Anna Rogers
Anna is the Managing Director at Brands to life®, an award-winning branding agency that creates memorable and authentic brand experiences.  With over 25 years in the communications industry,Anna is focused on the emotional connection between brands and people. Launching or relaunching brands, making them relevant again, helping brands catch up to and surpass the competition or just breathing some new life into brands. Refining brand strategy to solve problems and drive growth for businesses is what gets Anna up each day. Usually way to early.