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What many brands and services suffer from is a seemingly benign form of narcissism which can actually cause the demise of your product or offering. Narcissism? That sounds a little harsh. What I mean is that we tend to tell people what we think they should know about what we offer, without first finding out about their wants and needs.

This is particularly so for new entries for products as well as job applicants, who feel driven to prove their worth by spouting all their features, benefits and credentials that they believe attest to their superiority. And they may actually be superior, but . . . the truth is there are many options that can site the same features, benefits and experience that you can.

So how can you stand out?

If you have not spoken to key players in your industry – your loyal fans, your prospects, the people who are considering hiring you, those who make the decisions about selection. . . then you may be barking up the wrong brand.

Who DO you serve? Do your research. Who are you appealing to? The first step is to define your market so you can identify their decision strategies which may or may not be conscious to them.

Then, to effectively draw these people to you, you need to know what would make their lives better in some meaningful manner? What do they say they want? AND, more importantly what do they really want?

When you ask people directly why they buy a particular brand or how they decide, they will site the features, but in fact, the real reason they choose one brand over another is the way it makes them feel about themselves.

People tell you they decide based on facts, but research shows that we actually make split second decisions based on subconscious emotional reactions and then we justify our choices based on facts and logic.

“The emotional tail wags the rational dog.” ― Daniel Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow

How does your brand, your set of accomplishments and abilities resonate emotionally with your markets?

What differentiates you in a way that will strike a key emotional chord; that will help your target audiences feel better about themselves for going with you or your product?

One technique is to invite your fans and prospect to tell stories about positive experiences with solutions that have worked for them. That can include using you and your product, of course. In their narratives, invite them to give all the details of the situations including how it made them feel. These stories will reveal the keys to talking to them and telling your story more effectively. It’s customer focused communication that allows you to connect to them.

Contrary to what our rational personas would like to believe about ourselves, people buy feelings, not things. Stories pluck emotional chords. Tell the story that resonates with your audience.

And if you need help with telling your story for your brand, please feel free to contact me directly at Or call 201 614 4439

To your success!

Sharon :)

Dr. Sharon Livingston

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