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Branding brilliantly, like a rock star, might sound like something that’s out of reach for a small or mid-size business. But today’s guest says it’s not. When we come back, discover how you can message your business in a way that is both fresh and unique.

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What You’ll Discover About Branding Brilliantly (highlights & transcript):

* The difference between branding, marketing and advertising

* The difference between branding and branding brilliantly

* What keeps us from branding brilliantly

* How to conquer obstacles that keep us from branding brilliantly

* How to differentiate yourself in the process of branding brilliantly

* Best ways to start branding brilliantly

* AND much more.

Branding brilliantly like a rock star might sound like something that’s out of reach for a small or mid-sized business, but today’s guest says it’s not. When we come back, you’ll discover how you can message your business in a way that’s both fresh and unique.


This is Business Confidential Now with Hanna Hasl-Kelchner helping you see business issues hiding in plain view that matter to your bottom line.


Welcome to Business Confidential. Now I’m your host, Hanna Hasl-Kelchner and I’ve got a great guest for you today. She’s Ann Bennett and works with purpose driven entrepreneurs who do transformational work so they can liberate and ignite their unique genius, authentic voice and build a profitable brand platform, a standout brand that boosts their profits.


She’s the founder of Renegade Branding and also an international speaker, bestselling author, coach and brand profit builder whose personal slogan and the cornerstone of all her programs is “It’s smart to fit in, but it’s brilliant to stand out.” So, let’s start branding brilliantly. Welcome to Business Confidential Now, Ann.


Thank you so much, Hanna. It’s my pleasure. My pleasure to be here.


The difference between branding, marketing and advertising


Well, before we really get into this branding brilliantly, let’s talk a moment about branding. What is it and how does it differ from marketing or advertising?


It’s such a great question. Branding sometimes gets – it’s kind of like the stepchild to marketing and advertising sales but really, branding is the foundation of your business. It’s the voice of your business. It’s the energy and the emotion that moves the business forward and really allows it to stand out in the marketplace. I like to say it’s actually the rocket fuel to your success.


That’s an interesting way to look at it. Why is it so confusing?


I think people get confused with like, “Oh, it’s a tagline. It’s my website. It’s a photograph. Branding is an image. It’s colors.” It is all those things and those are the visual side of a brand but the brand itself is much deeper than that. It’s much more about values, your values, the values of your business, what you stand for that really allows you to be more unique in the marketplace from everybody else who might be doing a similar – have a similar product or service that you have.


So it’s really more involved in your personal story. I like to say what breaks your heart and what pisses you off is the beginning point to really look at. What do I care about? Why am I doing this business? What is the bigger thing that I’m actually aspiring to than selling this? Whatever it is. Your service or your product, selling this thing. That’s why people want to be with you. It’s because you stand for something a lot bigger.


The difference between branding and branding brilliantly


Okay. Well, when we talk about branding and branding brilliantly, what’s the difference, Ann?


Speaker3: [00:03:24] I think where people get lost is they just start to look like everybody else, act like everybody else and talk like everyone else when they’re introducing themselves at networking events or they’re saying, “This is what my business is about.” They’re talking about these strategies and tactics and things that don’t really aspire people to anything in particular.


Speaker3: [00:03:50] And I think in terms of being able to stand out with a brand, you’ve got to be unique, you’ve got to be different, you’ve got to say it in a different way than other people are saying it in the marketplace. You really need to spend time. And I think a lot – of a lot of people don’t spend enough time on their values or their principles or what they’re really about so that people can understand the emotion behind what it is they do.


Speaker3: [00:04:19] So it’s like when you think of Harley-Davidson, it’s not just a motorcycle. It’s all about freedom, irreverence, being wild on the road. And everyone buys a Harley for a reason and they pay more money for it than another type of motorcycle. So, when you’re looking at your own business, you want to look at, well, “How am I different from everyone else?” And a lot of times we can’t see that because we can’t really see our own eyebrows but we are – each and every one of us, uniquely different from our life experiences and from the things we care about.


What keeps us from branding brilliantly


Speaker1: [00:04:58] Why do you think people get stuck with branding and are unable to take it to that next level, to that branding brilliantly level?


Speaker3: [00:05:06] I think they just get – well, first of all, we are so constrained by what we think is right/wrong, good/bad. And in reality, that doesn’t really exist. There is no right/wrong, good/bad. It’s what works and what doesn’t work, right, in terms of when you’re looking at the world. But a lot of times we have been taught since we were children really to fit in, to really not rock the boat, to be – women and men have been taught two different things, actually.


Speaker3: [00:05:40] Men have been taught to be mentally which means to speak their mind and be more aggressive, go after what they want. Things like that. Women have been taught to be more demure and not rock the boat. It’s kind of the two opposites, right? So, when you’re coming in looking at the brand it’s like, “Well, I can’t do that.” or people in my field – I work sometimes with – I’ve worked with a lot of PhD psychologists and therapists, and they’re like, “Well, we don’t do that. In our profession we don’t do that.” and I’m like, “That’s exactly why you need to do it.”


Speaker3: [00:06:21] You need to do something that’s different than what the herd is doing. I think it’s like you need the purple cow your business essentially. You’ve got to learn what are the things that really make you who you are, so that you can bring it to your business and feel completely confident in what it is you’re doing.


How to conquer obstacles that keep us from branding brilliantly


Speaker1: [00:06:45] So, how can we get unstuck like these PhDs that you’re talking about? I understand these professional expectations that come with different fields and different industries. How do you encourage people to start branding brilliantly and hang loose?


Speaker3: [00:07:03] Yeah, I think the first thing – it’s such a creative process too. So, for a lot of people, it’s not cookie cutter and it’s not, “Oh, well, this is what Jack or Jill down the street – that’s what they’re doing, so that’s how I should do it.” It’s quite the opposite, actually. So, what I do with my clients is they take a brand assessment, essentially, that I’ve created four archetypes that everybody falls into. So, you’re either a nurturer, disrupter, innovator or a geek.


Speaker3: [00:07:36] And in the assessment, it’s very – we’re just collecting data, people answering very simple questions like there’s nine questions but within that, we can make an assessment as to, “Oh, you’re actually five points an innovator and two points on nurturer.” So, we’re going to move to innovator and develop that as a way of being so that your brand, your message, your product, who you are, everything aligns. So, whether you’re online or offline, you show up as that instead of what happens to a lot of people is they show up as something else.


Speaker3: [00:08:16] It’s kind of like on the dating site, you take a picture and then you meet the person and they’re totally different. It’s really going to break down your trust, right? Immediately like, “Wait a minute. I thought you were like six foot four and buff. And I’m meeting someone who’s five, six and kind of roly-poly,” You’re just like, “Huh?” You don’t want your brand to be like that.


Speaker3: [00:08:44] You don’t want your messaging to be like that. It all needs to really align with who you are and what you do. So, when you can understand that each personality style whether you’re a nurturer or disrupter, innovator or geek – each personality style is very powerful. So, if I were to use like three guys that are definitely in different categories, they’d be like Steve Jobs, Elon Musk and Bill Gates. Basically, in the tech industry – basically, certainly, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates are doing the same thing.


Speaker3: [00:09:21] We’re selling computers, but that’s not really what they’re selling. They’re actually selling something else. So, Bill Gates is a total geek. His stuff is all about research step by step, how to do it a particular way, the levels and folders and all this kind of stuff where Steve Jobs is an innovator. So, everything he does is simplicity; simplicity, beauty, creativity. It’s a totally different feel and a totally different look or like Elon Musk, of course, he’s like a disruptor.


Speaker3: [00:09:53] He’s a bad boy. He’s like, “I’m putting cars on Mars” and “I’ve got a button on my Tesla. This is ludicrous.” It’s crazy stuff, right? Because it’s very disruptive to what we normally think of our car is supposed to be doing. Like Elon Musk’s car actually dances and plays music very, very out there.


Speaker3: [00:10:15] Each one of those guys is totally different or if you’re looking at women, we’ve got all these Oprah’s the nurturer because she’s your BFF, your best friend, the girl next door, the person that they walk into a room and you don’t know why you know them or you think you know them. You just feel like you know them because she’s that warm and open. And then you’ve got Madonna, who’s complete disruptor, and we follow her because she’s sassy. She’s on the edge, she’s controversial.


Speaker3: [00:10:48] We want to know what she’s going to do next. Unpredictable,  things like that. So, you start to see these different personality styles and how – when I work with people, we develop their language because each one has a language that sounds different, but the nurturer is going to be very warm and everything is going to be positive and warm and fuzzy.


Speaker3: [00:11:13] And their photographs and the words that they use, and how they present what it is they’re doing is going to be – the girl next door is going to be your best friend, whereas a disrupter is going to be sassy and the kind of pushing the envelope and they might make you a little uncomfortable, but they’re really exciting. So, there’s these different elements that come into the attraction of why people want to work with you.


Speaker1: [00:11:38] It sounds interesting. You’ve got these archetypes and there’s a handful of them, so we’re going to fall into one or maybe have a pinky and the other, another archetype as well.


Speaker3: [00:11:52] Right. You can have a primary – a primary and a secondary, but you got to lead with the primary.


Speaker1: [00:11:59] Okay.


Speaker3: [00:12:00] Followed with the secondary.


How to differentiate yourself in the process of branding brilliantly


Speaker1: [00:12:01] Let’s say hypothetically that you and I were to have the same archetype for an example. How do we make sure that our messaging isn’t the same? How do we then differentiate ourselves so that if you’re a disruptor, you don’t sound like Madonna or Elon Musk? How do you make it more unique and fresher to you so that even within the archetype, they don’t all sound alike?


Speaker3: [00:12:24] No, I think that’s great. So, the archetypes are going to be kind of an umbrella of how you sound and you look, and you feel. So, it’s more of a feeling. And then when we dial in the specifics based on that, your way of languaging something – say you and I were both disruptors, but we’re doing something – and been doing the same activity, actually. We have the same service. We’re going to even dial in deeper and look at your life experiences and how you view things.


Speaker3: [00:13:00] Like for me, I have the saying “I never followed the rules, I never have and I never will.” So, all the rule breakers and all the people that want to live a life where they are the ones that are creating it, are going to be attracted to that. People that are like, “Oh, that’s really too much” are not going to be attracted to that. So, depending on – there’s all sorts of levels within the archetype of how far your languaging wants to go and how far you want to push.


Speaker3: [00:13:30] So, not everyone is going to stand totally out on the edge, but when we’re working together, we’re more in a collaborative situation where I’m throwing out ideas and you’re throwing out ideas, and we come together to decide on what’s really going to work for you. Does that make sense?


Speaker1: [00:13:51] Yeah, it makes sense. But I’m going to be a little contrary for a moment and say it sounds a little bit like “If you build it, they will come.” What if they don’t come? How long do you give your brand? How much time to know whether or not you’ve nailed it?


Speaker3: [00:14:10] Well, I think that’s a really great question. Time is a really interesting question, of course. But I think in terms of your brand and nailing it, you want to make sure that it’s causing curiosity, it’s causing surprise and delight, and it’s also bringing value. So, there are certain elements that it has to do and if it’s not doing that, it needs to get tweaked. People often think that Nike “Just Do It,” happened overnight or like one person wrote, “Just Do It.” That was like a team of about 35 people.


Speaker3: [00:14:49] And looking at what Nike really stands for and what Nike was all about, and then melting it down into the simplest three words. Yeah, that’s a three word. A lot of times three-word titles or really short expressions are what causes the attention for people. It’s kind of hard to explain, really, but you know when you land on something and it lights you up. Like if you get – if you light up over a concept or an idea, or a phrase, or saying, it’s pretty spot on. And you can test that in the marketplace as well.


Speaker3: [00:15:28] So, you can go out and go say it to somebody or say it to a group of people and see what they do and see how they respond. I mean, I think a lot of – a lot of marketing as well as – when you’re looking at your brand and how your brand lands for people because there’s so many different ways to do something. And I think people get stuck on, “I have to do it the way Elon Musk did it in order to be successful.” and it’s just not true.


Speaker3: [00:15:58] There’s a million ways to do something. There’s a million ways to say it. There’s a million ways to be about it but when you really have it dialed in is when it totally lands for you and when you say it, it lands for other people. When they see it, it’s like, “Oh, that’s really interesting. I want to know more. I want to get closer to that person” or “I want to find out what they’re really doing.” That’s when you know you’ve landed on something. If it’s just like “Yeah.”


Speaker1: [00:16:28] Yeah, you don’t want that “Uh,” kind of reaction. You want “Oh.” You want excitement. You want enthusiasm.


Speaker3: [00:16:35] Yeah. You want – I mean, exactly. It’s kind of like – you used to call it the “Wow factor.” I call it the “Kapow factor.” It’s got to be even bigger an emotional response than ever before because we have – I think, it’s 2 billion websites. I don’t know how many podcasts we have, but we have a lot and growing, right? And so it’s like, “How do I capture that attention in the marketplace?” And that’s what a really brilliant brand actually does. You stand out, you distinguish yourself from everyone else.


Best ways to start branding brilliantly


Speaker1: [00:17:08] That all sounds great, but it also sounds expensive. And I mean, if you’re starting a business or you are a small business and trying to grow, and maybe your brand hasn’t quite landed the way you like or – well, I don’t know. You just want to go bigger. Where would you start?


Speaker3: [00:17:29] I think a lot of people get confused and they thought that, they’ve thought that in the past. You had to have a lot of money like Nike or some larger business in order to create the brand and create this persona and create this whole thing for yourself but what we’re what we’re experiencing now is like – it’s all online. It’s not expensive, actually. It’s very inexpensive in comparison, right? So, even it’s a leveling – it’s a leveling playing field right now.


Speaker3: [00:18:03] It’s kind of like when Steve Jobs started Apple, he wanted that to be really affordable for every man to own a computer, every person to be able to be as creative as the big guys. And what we’ve come across now is we all have that. It’s like Andy Warhol, I think it was 30 or 40 years ago, said “Everyone’s going to be famous for 15 minutes.” Well, now we can be famous for 15 minutes online really easily and very inexpensively.


Speaker3: [00:18:34] But if you don’t have the correct brand message and it’s not aligned with everything you’re doing, it’s going to fall flat or it’s going to fall not as successful as it could be. But seriously, now is the best time to brand a message because it is so inexpensive to do. Most of it you can do yourself or hire someone to do for you at a fairly, what I consider, affordable pricing.


Speaker1: [00:19:07] Well, that’s great. So, it’s within reach which is always nice because I do think that – yeah because I think entrepreneurs, there’s just so much on their plate that, “Where do you begin? Where do you start? Oh, it’s one more thing on the to do list” and they’re just busy keeping on working in their business as opposed to on their business. So, it’s nice to know that there would be some options open to that. Is there anything else that…?


Speaker3: [00:19:35] Yeah. Truly, I think…


Speaker1: [00:19:37] Go ahead.


Speaker3: [00:19:38] I think entrepreneurs – sometimes they get it’s just like what you were saying. They get so hung up with the next thing to do, the next thing to do, the next thing to do. And let’s face it, it’s never done. It’s always iterate to awesome. So it’s never really completed or finished. There’s always a new thing. A new way to build what you’re doing. But definitely people have a tendency to go – they go horizontal instead of vertically in what it is they’re doing.


Speaker3: [00:20:10] But the vertical is where the power is. And I think that in terms of your brand and your message, that’s the first thing people see. They make a – in three seconds, they’re making decisions about you. They’re judging you. They’re deciding if you are the real deal or you’re not and the trust factor can be broken in three seconds with what you say, how you show up, what you look like. All these things that we do as human beings very, very quickly.


Speaker3: [00:20:48] And so it’s actually, to me, the most important thing that people should be focused on is how they – how they show up in the world and how their brand and their message needs to really align so that – so it’s just something really solid. So, when people see it, they’re like, “Oh yeah, I get that. I get what they’re doing. I want to find out more.”


Speaker1: [00:21:12] That’s really important. Finding out more. Ann, I thank you so much for your time. I appreciate your insights into branding brilliantly. And if you’re listening and you’d like to find out more about Ann, her contact information is going to be found in the show notes at


Speaker1: [00:21:30] And if you know someone who’s struggling with branding, please tell them about Ann Bennett’s terrific work with Branding Brilliantly. Share the link to the episode. Leave a positive review, so others can find out about her incredible tips too. And thank you for listening. This is Business Confidential Now with Hanna Hasl-Kelchner and I hope you all have a great day and an even better tomorrow.

Best Moments

Why More Businesses Aren’t Branding Brilliantly

How Branding Brilliantly Let’s You Truly Stand Out and Shine

How to Know if You’re Really Branding Brilliantly

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Guest: Ann Bennett

Ann Bennett

Ann Bennett is the founder of, an International Speaker, Best Selling Author, Coach and Brand Profit Builder. Ann uses her marketing and branding genius to help women entrepreneurs (and a few good men) build their STAND OUT personal brands and boost their profits.

Ann works with purpose-driven entrepreneurs who do transformational work, so they can liberate and ignite their unique genius, authentic voice and build a profitable brand platform.

Ann has 25 years’ experience in visual and graphic design and has brought her talents to many major magazines from Popular Mechanics to Vogue.

Ann’s personal slogan and the cornerstone of all her programs is, “It’s smart to fit in…but it’s brilliant to stand out.”


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