The Recipe for an Awesome Brand

No matter what you do for a living, you’ll never have an awesome brand unless you realize that you’re in the people business.

Connecting, conversing and helping other people get what they want.

Gary Vaynerchuck, the son of Russian immigrants, grew up in his parents’ liquor store. Turned off by the stuffiness of the wine industry–conceited sommeliers and snobby shopkeepers unwilling (or unable) to educate their consumers – Gary rebranded his parents store to Wine Library, and founded to make wine accessible and understandable to all who had an interest.

Down to earth, approachable and irreverent, Gary has attracted a following of more than 80,000 viewers a day. In the name of “expanding one’s palate”, he once convinced Conan O’Brien to lick salted rocks and shared samples of dirt and grass with Ellen Degeneres. He often pans popular wines and interrupts his webcasts with rants about his beloved New York Jets. Sure, Gary is extremely passionate about wine, but he lets us into his life and shares his whole personality. Best-selling author of Crush It and The Thank You Economy, this guy is all heart.

This is not your typical wine expert.

How much of yourself are you really putting out there? If you’re not sure, read on.

I like to call these the Three P’s of an Awesome Brand:

Personality. Let us see the real you so that we can grow to trust you. Have a thing for golf? Let us see your swing. Love to bake every weekend? Give us your best recipes, share your masterpieces on Facebook and send goody bags to your clients. Today’s world is growing more cluttered by the minute and our attention spans are shrinking. Don’t be afraid to get personal and give us a peek behind the curtain. Otherwise you’re just boring us with product features, sleepy content and the same old sh*t that everybody else is doing.

Pulse. Your brand is a living, breathing organism and it exists in the minds of your customers. What experience are you creating for those who come in contact with you? How are you connecting with the hearts of your customers? Share your passion and your beliefs and you’ll connect on a much deeper level with those who share similar values. Your customers won’t consider you awesome until you’ve gotten them to FEEL something.

Promise. Being an awesome brand to your target market directly correlates to how well you can communicate that you are the solution to their most pressing problem, and then actually deliver on that promise of value. Harley Davidson promises FREEDOM, Oprah promises INSPIRATION, and Gary Vaynerchuck provides ENTERTAINMENT and ACCESS, to a once stuffy and snobby pursuit.

In today’s digital world, sometimes you only have seconds to make an impression. Sure they’re interested in your head, but you hook them with your heart.

What other ingredients would you add to the recipe for an Awesome Brand?

©2012 Liz Dennery Sanders


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  1. How about Pride in yourself and your product! Showing your pride shows confidence/self-esteem. People respect and want to follow confident people.

  2. I Love your articles. I have my brand it came out of nowhere. I pride myself in custom events. From Weddings to Social Events.

  3. It seems
    like creating a brand today involves more than just traditional advertising
    ideas. Thanks for the information.

    • Liz Dennery Sanders says

       Hi Nicholas,

      I would say that there are millions of brand touch points – ways in which we create our brand in the mind of the consumer – and advertising is only one of these. Thanks so much for the comment!

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