Corporate Eye

2010 Branding Challenge – Don’t Let Them Say ‘So What’

The first decade of the 21st century is coming to a close, so I thought it would be a good time to think about, I mean really think about, your brand message, image, promise and positioning as we begin 2010.  To do so, consider the brand kiss of death.

What’s the brand kiss of death?  Simple …

When a brand name is mentioned, the common consumer reaction is to think, “so what?”  And asking “so what?” about your brand, is the brand kiss of death.

In other words, you never want anyone to think, “so what” after they hear your brand name or any kind of messaging related to your brand.  Your goal for 2010 should be this: make sure that your brand image, message, promise and position is so clear that no one ever has to ask “so what?”

Let’s take a step back and consider why people ask “so what” after hearing about a brand, product, etc.  It’s actually very simple.  People want to know “What’s In It For Me?” (WIIFM) if they take out their hard-earned money and choose your brand, product, etc.

I talk about the WIIFM concept a lot in my book about copywriting, Kick-ass Copywriting in 10 Easy Steps.  In short, the concept tells us that no one cares about you.  They care about what your brand, product, service, etc. can do for them.  They want to know how it make their lives easier or help them.  If they don’t know what’s in it for them if they choose your brand or product, then they’ll ask “so what?” when they hear about it.

And that’s what you don’t want to happen.

So I challenge you in 2010 to create a strategic goal in 2010 to ensure no one asks “so what” about your brand before the year is out.  Do you think you can do it?

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.