Let's imagine you're sat in a bar, but this isn't just any bar, this bar is where you go to 'listen' to what people are saying about 'brands'.

What would you want them to say about your brand, what are the key attributes of your brand that they are saying, what do they think you are famous for, what type of people are talking about your brand in a negative way, what type of people are talking about your brand in a positive way?

In hindsight, it’s easy to see the disruptive signals that toppled many leading retailers.

But in reality, these signals were often faint and hard to spot. And as we now know few companies even knew to look for them.

These are all an important part of understanding a 'brand persona' and its one of the most vital things an existing, or new brand can better understand in order to better resonate with its potential tribe.

What we often see is companies who are lost in the marketing of what they 'think' they're brand is rather than really taking time out to listen to 'what others are saying their brand is'.

They seem to have lost sight of what the brand persona is, and why it no longer resonates with people in favour of something similar. 

Is this because every marketing person's role has moved on from the 'why' of what the brand is all about, and are now spending more time on the 'what' so they overload us with intrusive marketing messages which are all about them?.

Brands need to worry about our relative performance to their direct competitors and have to ask themselves if they’re telling their story through their retail experience in an engaging, inspiring, and memorable way. 

Do they make their customers crave for the next experience? Are they inspiring them so much that they would wait in line for an hour to experience our brand? 

And do they inspire them to share their experience with everyone else, telling the brand’s story in their own words, but consistent with how they want the world to see them?

As far as I know there isn't one Tinder profile that explicitly say's, “Go on a date with me and fall in love with me”. It rather a profile saying, “This is what I am. If you think you could dig this, then let’s try things out.” - that's branding in it's simplest sense.

When you’re on a date with Tinder guy/gal, maybe they’ll say something like, “I’ve always wanted to go to the local art gallery downtown, we should go together sometime!” the request is still true to his/her personality/brand, but it's also used a tactic to push you onto a second date with him/her - and that's marketing.

So, why is that brands jump straight to the marketing bit way before they even consider how to draw me in with their 'brand persona'?

Why is it that far too many people on LinkedIn think its OK to connect and sell to me right away?

C'mon guys and gals, let's just be social first, maybe, just maybe we can date after - so to speak.