IS BRANDING A BUNCH OF BALONEY?

The simple task of getting the right shampoo is overwhelming. There’s just so much to choose from!

I just came back from the supermarket, and all shampoos promised to do amazing things for my thinning hair and sensitive scalp, so what made me reach for this particular bottle?

It’s the BRANDING!

I mean, who doesn’t want to have News Anchor Thick Hair?

Fellows, are you with me?

I love it when a brand doesn’t seem to take itself seriously. On the back of the bottle you’ll find the following message:

“A man with a head of thick, healthy hair does not need a motivational quote to start the day. Duke Cannon’s News Anchor 2-in-1 Hair Wash is formulated with premium ingredients for hard-working men whose hair commands the respect of others. Your hair is a weapon.”

There’s also a silly sign on the back label that says: “Not for clowns.”

Here’s VO colleague Ken Scott, the voice of Duke cannon.

Of course all of this may look like a fun gimmick, but the bottom line is this:

It worked!

This shampoo came home with me, and that’s the idea of effective marketing. It makes you and your product STAND OUT from the rest of the pack in such a way that people are compelled to buy it.

This is precisely where most voice overs have a hard time. They will all read a script for money, just like all shampoo will clean dirty hair. It’s a solution to a problem.

The challenge is to distinguish yourself from all the thousands of other voices on this planet, to make clear that you are the perfect solution to a specific problem.

BUILDING A BRAND

So, who’s going to do that, and how?

Here’s the thing. You are probably the worst person to brand your business. Why? Because you are way too familiar with what you’re offering. You can no longer see what makes you special because to you, special is normal.

The second worst thing you can do, is ask family and friends to chime in. They too, know you inside out, AND they don’t know the industry you want to make your mark in.

You need someone who can think like a client as well as an industry insider. Someone who immediately picks up on what makes you YOUnique.

This branding specialist needs to translate that into a consistent, succinct, and memorable message that’s both verbal and visual.

CELIA SIEGEL TO THE RESCUE

One of those specialists is Celia Siegel, author of “VoiceOver Achiever, Brand Your VO Career. Change Your Life.” For my review of her book, click here.

If you’re struggling with branding, give Celia a call, or at least read her book.

Now, for branding to be effective, your product has to be stellar. You can polish a turd, but it will still smell bad. Secondly, branding is just ONE element in your marketing strategy.

If all I would would do, is walk around in Dutch clogs, people would think I’m silly. But once they get that I am a Dutch voice over, it reinforces my image and makes me more memorable.

Remember: Effective branding is sending a clear signal in a world of noise, whether you’re trying to sell your talent, or a bottle of shampoo.

As the actress Melanie Griffith once said:

If you want to get ahead in business, you’ve got to have serious hair.”

Paul Strikwerda, ©nethervoice

PS Some of you have asked if I will be taking part in VO Atlanta 2021, the virtual edition. The answer is NO. As many of you know, I love VOA dearly, but this year, the conference coincides with a period in my life in which I won’t have any time for such events. Of course I will continue to blog on my website and on Instagram, so, let’s stay connected!

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About the author

Paul Strikwerda

is a Dutch-English voice-over pro, coach, and writer. His blog is one of the most widely read and influential blogs in the industry. Paul is also the author of "Making Money In Your PJs, Freelancing for voice-overs and other solopreneurs."

by Paul Strikwerdain Articles, Career, Promotion, VO Atlanta

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