Today, I stumbled on a professional consulting website that is overwhelmingly masculine. Clearly the business does not intend to work with only men, but their website will absolutely turn-off women, perhaps men too. The branding impression is that: “We’re aggressive guys, we only understand aggressive guys, we’ll treat everyone like they’re an aggressive guy and our consulting will be aggressive guy tactics!”
I’m confident that the business does not intend to turn off half of their prospects, but given that women hold 51% of all the professional roles in the U.S. that’s exactly what they’ve accomplished.
Let’s learn from their mistake! Take a good hard look at your website and marketing material and ask yourself some pointed questions:
- What images are displayed?
- What words are used to describe your services?
- What do your clients & fans think?
- What kind of brand image do you want to display?
Branding is an art and there are many interpretations of good branding. Be prepared that marketing professionals will have diverse opinions. You may feel confused by not getting a definitive right answer. I’ve been researching branding for years and I’ve still not found the ideal brand formula.
But you know your niche and clients better than anyone. Listen to your advocates, clients, and your own interests for image in the marketplace. Be confident in pursuing that look. Branding is supposed to reflect the real you!
If you’d like to boost your brand personality* (a branding term for image in the marketplace) check out these branding worksheets which includes the Brand Personality Dimensions: Maximize Your Brand
The website that I found today had a singular brand personality: Ruggedness which is masculine, tough, rugged, outdoorsy & western! It’s doubtful they intended to create this image for their professional consulting business. Most likely, they were not intentional about their brand personality.
Since we have 6.5 seconds to make an impression (according to leading ad agency FCB) it’d be ideal to be intentional. What’s your brand personality? Does your website display it well? Does it appeal to all your prospects?
By the way, that website is not linked here, because that would be worthlessly snarky and embarrass this business. Since, I spend my days helping people grow positively, nastiness goes against everything I stand for in work and life.
* Brand Personality was pioneered by Jennifer Aaker in her seminal article: Dimensions of Brand Personality