Resources  >> 2 Brand Categories That Spell Disaster

About Vickie Sullivan

Vickie Sullivan is internationally recognized as the top market strategist for thought leaders, professional speakers and B2B professional service firms. Specializing in brand and message strategies in crowded markets, she has helped thousands of talented people outsmart their competition since 1987.

Written by: Vickie Sullivan  |  April 27, 2017

2 Brand Categories That Spell Disaster

Success doesn’t happen by accident.

When I talk to folks about their platform, there are usually some awkward moments. They ask me what I think. And I quickly calculate how much trouble I’m willing to get into. Not easy.

The problem: People create their market strategy in a vacuum. They confuse their calling with a concept and call it clarity. They don’t take into account the market forces going on around them. At best, it’s too much hustle for too little. At worst, they get left behind.

So, here’s what I want to say: Success doesn’t happen by accident. Here are two brand categories many thought leaders fall into by default. These perceptions make us vulnerable to disruptions.

1. Talented but nondescript. Thought leaders here think their brilliance in raw form is enough. So, their writing is a collection of unrelated insights with a strong voice. This creates attention—kudos, but not cash—also known as fame without fortune. The problem: People need to know what to do with your gifts. The right platform will give the market that direction.


Listen: 2 ways to fix a wrong market strategy


2. Old wine in a new bottle. This is very common in self-help and coaching segments. Thought leaders here focus so much on their story that their platform sounds like everyone else. Again, a strong voice and story will create a following. The problem is that buyers will consume the free content and won’t buy. The best platforms will showcase how the thought leader adds to the conversation.

In both scenarios, free solutions rule. Anyone getting paid can be easily disrupted by bigger competitors that give away more stuff.

Sought-after thought leaders are the lead singers, not part of the choir. When buyers know what to do with your unique contribution, great (and lucrative) opportunities come to us.


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About Vickie Sullivan

Vickie Sullivan is internationally recognized as the top market strategist for thought leaders, professional speakers and B2B professional service firms. Specializing in brand and message strategies in crowded markets, she has helped thousands of talented people outsmart their competition since 1987.