Can you pass the Kleenex test?

Plan for Success
January 2, 2012
The Courage to Brand
January 16, 2012

IStock_000018351117XSmallAs it is winter now, it is also cold and flu season so there is a lot of coughing, sneezing and sniffling going on out there. One thing you will probably need to stock up on is your supply of Kleenex. Notice I did not say tissues. I said Kleenex. I have to confess that I didn’t even know tissues were called tissues until I was an adult. My whole life growing up I thought those things you blew your nose into were Kneenex. I had no idea Kleenex was a brand name. I thought it was a noun. In my mind Kleenex is synonymous with tissues, they are one in the same. Now that is some powerful branding!

Another example of this pheneomon is Coke. There are many places in the country where people call all cola drinks Coke whether they are actually drinking a Coke or a Pepsi or anything else. Coke is coke. It almost makes you feel sorry for the other guys. Their brands don’t even really exist in those circumstances.

As a brand, you do not want to be lost in the shadow of another brand either. You want to stand out and be recognized. YOU want to be the Kleenex or Coke of your field. In order to do so, you must be so strongly associated with your brand that when a customer is in the market for your product or service type, the most obvious choice would HAVE to be YOU. How do you achieve that status?

First, you must have CLARITY. You must be very clear about what it is you stand for, what it is you have to offer and what it is that makes you unique. And then you must let everyone out there know those things as well. You cannot be your own best kept secret!

Secondly, you must have FOCUS. As a brand, breadth is not your friend. You do not want to be known for copying writing, accounting and graphic design. Coke is known for basically two things, Coke and Diet Coke, period. Any time they have tried to veer from those two main products, they have met with resistance. Even changing the look of their can or bottle slightly has not gone over well.

Finally, you must have CONSTANCY. You must become like Old Faithful. You must consistently and constantly put your message and your service out there for your audience to remember you and rely on you. We live in a very busy, distracted world. If you do not have a constant presence in the eye of your ideal clients, you will quickly be forgotten no matter how good your offerings are.

The goal is to become like Kleenex. You want to be so strongly associated with the product or service you offer that your brand becomes one and the same with that service. Coke=coke, Kleenex=tissue, Your Name=Your Service. Even though it can be cold out there, you can be warmed by the idea of connecting with your target audience.  So ask yourself, how strong is my brand presence today? Am I a tissue or am I a Kleenex?

If you’d like more information about how to find CLARITY and FOCUS with your personal branding to attract more of your ideal clients, you can call me, Heather, at (781) 369-5063  or email me at to set up a FREE Brand Discovery Call to see how we can make your personal brand take center stage.

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