Sometimes I get a little too excited about my chosen career.

I was talking to a friend over lunch the other day about my love for analyzing brands. I told him that if a brand isn’t TRUE, I considered it a poorly executed brand. I talked about the need for brand evaluation and strategic planning. I told him about brands that I considered to be TRUE, and others that I would consider “posers.” And as my soup grew colder and my tea gradually warmer, I vigorously went on (and on…) about TRUE branding and how it’s the foundation of the work I do. TRUE branding is a way of life… a passion… almost a religion! My eyes were glaring wildly and my hands flailing around like a manic chimpanzee (I’m Italian and Irish, I can’t help it). true branding… TRUETRUE!

Then I stopped. By now, my soup had that little film-like layer of goo covering it. My tea, once cold and sweet, now had the taste and slight texture of a damp sock. And my friend, you may ask? Well, let’s just say I could tell he was trying to figure out why he accepted this lunch with me in the first place.

“You don’t really care, do you?” I asked cautiously.

And with genuine understanding in his voice, he said, “Obviously, you do.”

Well… I wasn’t quite sure how to take that. My first reaction was, with a smile, because I’d just been caught in a TRUE branding faux pas. I’d just been caught not being TRUE to my personal brand. I had to laugh. “So, who’s the poser now?” I asked.

I calmly backed up my thoughts and walked my friend through my definition of TRUE branding. I explained to him that without Truth to a brand, Relevance to your market, Uniqueness and the ability to Engage your customers, a brand is destined to be boring… just like I was… being. He agreed.

See, although I had Truth and Uniqueness, what I was so passionately trying to say wasn’t Relevant and only slightly Engaging. On a scale from 1 to 10, I had to give myself about a 4.2 for TRUE personal branding. I was being “TUe.”

In past posts, here and here, I’d mentioned TRUE branding, but never really delved into the details of Truthful, Relevant, Unique and Engaging. So, as with my friend, I plan to walk you, my bloging friends, through it.

The next four posts on The Brand Chef will consist of my explanation of TRUE branding. I will discuss Truth of a brand and how it should be the first thing considered in brand evaluation and planning. I will explain how a brand needs to be Relevant to its chosen market. I will give examples of brands that are Unique in a field of like competition. And finally, I will explain how having an Engaging brand can achieve much more return on a marketing and communication investment (ROI).

So, please, join in on the conversation and let me know if you have examples of TRUE branding. Or, better yet, lets see if your brand is TRUE.

Until next time…

Keep Cooking!