A brand is a promise. When you start talking about brands, it can be tempting to get into conversations about Apple, and Amazon, and Coke, and Nike, and the potential impact of brand equity on your valuation of your business. But we're not going to do any of that, mostly because it doesn't matter to most advisors. To some, it does, but not most. They're great intellectual conversations, but they rarely matter in real life. A brand is a promise though, and that matters.

It sets up an expectation of what it's going to be like to be around you. Are you graceful? Intellectual? Thoughtful? Rebellious? A teacher? A troublemaker? Do you cuss? Are you always proper? Are you formal? Are you driven by process? Are you tidy? Are you an organizational mess? Are you funny? Are you serious? What's it like being around you now?

Why does this matter? Who cares? Here's a few things to know. First, the brain, specifically the subconscious, it's looking for certain things. One of the things it wants is certainty. It wants to know what to expect. Then when that happens, it feels good. It feels reassured.

If you're very thoughtful and patient with people, and then one day you're not, people are going to be asking themselves, "What's going on with Amber? What's going on with her? She's never liked that." At the same time, if you're impatient all the time and reactive, and one day you're not, people will also be questioning, "What's going on there?" It's not that one is good or bad. They're just expectations. But when you violate the expectation, the brain gets defensive and now it's harder to connect with people.

Here's what's interesting. Let's say you're a bit of a rebel. You like to have clients that really resonate with that and you're likely to already have people like that as your clients. We worked with an advisor who's a total rebel, and confrontative, and willing to argue. Guess what his niche is like? The same. As a matter of fact, they're South African doctors living in a specific town. They're direct, willing to argue, caring, and very smart. It's a great match.

A brand is a promise. It's one you make and keep in every interaction and it helps set the tone for how you market to people. Who cares? Your clients do, but they don't know it until you change the promise. Your future clients do, because the promise of how you'll be is something that they'll resonate with. You should care because it helps accelerate your marketing. It also helps you make better decisions with how to market. We'll get into that later.