Take this for whatever it’s worth, as someone could classify me as a “branding specialist.” But this issue has been a growing concern for me, as more and more “ambulance-chaser” “branding experts” are hitting the market with their sage advice.

I believe strongly in the power of branding, so none of this should be misconstrued to be anti-branding, anti-personal branding, nor even anti-branding ‘guru.’ But if you’ve hired a branding specialist, or are one, what does that mean for you?

One in particular that I’ve encountered has a thriving business. They develop strong graphics, websites, collateral… the works. But several brands they’ve developed are set-up for failure or at minimum of an uphill fight as they are positioned with graphics similar to their competitors, names that are hard to pronounce, hard to spell, or impossible to distinguish in the industry (as they are just using common buzzwords as their name.)

I’ve asked them how they are positioning the brand, developing the brand, or what they are advising as a developing brand strategy for the planned scalability of the company. Largely I’ve received responses of “that’s not what we do.”

Okay…. then what does a “branding specialist” do? Help me out. Is a branding guru just the new word for a graphic designer? Should we be defending the industry against the misuse and over simplification of a complex issue.

Maybe just a soapbox. What are your thoughts?

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