What? You can’t believe that title, right? Maybe you’ve heard of the spray-and-pray method. Maybe you’re uncomfortable with the idea of leaving people out, or with summoning disapproval from any single party. Maybe you always try to please everyone. This may make you a nice person, but it’s not good branding strategy.

Any branding strategy should focus on building your brand identity; however, it can’t stop there. It should also establish boundaries for that brand identity. I supposed a more appropriate title for this article would be The Best Branding Strategy Excludes SOME People.

Please ONLY the Right People: A Branding Strategy

You’ve probably heard that ‘you can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.’ Whether he knew it or not, poet John Lydgate had his finger on a piece of branding wisdom.

If you approach the building of your brand identity with the attitude that you will try to satisfy everyone, or create a product that meets the needs of everyone, you will dilute your message and its effectiveness.

You’ve heard us say that when your brand speaks (no matter if it’s in speech, writing, or non-verbals), your ideal client should feel as if you’re speaking directly to him or her. This raises the question: How are you to accomplish that if you don’t speak in a language created specifically for your ideal client? This will naturally leave some people out – and you’ll have to get past the idea that exclusion, in this realm, is a bad thing.

Here’s the intrinsic beauty of this branding strategy: By excluding some, you will hyper-include others, making your brand message more effective in all the right circles.


When your branding strategy speaks directly to your target audience, you give yourself the opportunity to cherry-pick your clients.

An Exclusive Branding Strategy makes you Ultimately Indispensable

If you want your brand identity to be ‘branded’ onto the brains of consumers, it must have boundaries that may exclude the attentions of a certain portion of the population. In other words, the most effective branding strategy caters to a certain demographic, meeting specific needs experienced only by those people. Your product or service will be ultra-important to them and they’ll have difficulty finding an identical service, making you and your brand ultimately indispensable.

If you try to be everything to everyone, you will eventually find that by spreading your talents across the figurative board, you will only be able to offer part of yourself and your services to every person, leaving every one of them dissatisfied or unsatisfied.

Caveat: By exclusion, I’m not suggesting that you attempt to scare people away from your brand, or exclude people through uncharitable relations. Remember: many of your ideal clients will be found through those people who will never personally connect with your brand. Put your authentic, targeted message out there and those who aren’t interested will naturally remove themselves from the equation.

Instead of trying to please everyone with your branding strategy, aim to please a select few. And when you find them, treat them to Golden Rule Branding. Your brand identity’s uniqueness will become evident and your clients’ loyalty will multiply.

For more information on how you can build a branding strategy that includes all the right people, contact How to Build a Brand on +44 (0) 208 123 6776.

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