Branding Lessons from Ben Settle’s Brand Barbarian

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If you have a successful business, sooner or later, you’ll find yourself surrounded by a sea of me-too competitors.

Here’s a truth that many business owners refuse to hear:

If your business doesn’t stand out, you risk becoming a commodity. 

What happens then is that you need to resort to discounting to win business.

But trust me, that’s not where you want to be. 

That’s why recently I’ve been spending more time on helping our clients build a brand. 

By creating an effective brand strategy. 

I picked up one of the best books on the topic. 

It’s from a copywriter called Ben Settle – the book’s called ‘Brand Barbarian’.

In my latest video I share the 5 biggest takeaways from this book. 

Here’s a sneak peek:

  1. The single best way to write ads that get more engagement and conversion, while building a likable brand. 
  2. Learn why typical ad images do not work… and how you can avoid the same mistake.
  3. What every business owner should have on their website so that they can connect with their ideal customers. 
  4. The simple way to stand out and elevate your status.
  5. Why you need to ‘kill the sacred cows’ in your business to make it grow. 

This is a must-watch video for every business owner who wants to stand out and get more customers. 

This could be the best few minutes you invest in your business this year. 

Video Transcript

Branding Lessons from Ben Settle’s Brand Barbarian Book

Hey, it’s Terence from Radical Marketing. Today, let’s dive into my takeaways from Ben Settle’s Brand Barbarian Book.

Unveiling an Unforgettable Read 

I want you to know, this is hands down the most astonishing branding book I’ve ever encountered. It’s a goldmine for both the Davids and the Goliaths in the business world. You see, most other branding books seem to stem from the minds of these big-shot marketing firms. But, let me tell you, they rarely offer practical advice for the small fish in the pond. That’s what sets this book apart. It’s by Ben Settle, and I’ll be frank, it’s not easy on the wallet. I’d estimate around $400 to $500. But trust me, it’s worth every cent.

After the Aha-Moments 

Now, after immersing myself in its pages, let’s talk about some of the ideas I’m eager to put into action within our own business. I’ll be upfront, some aspects still need some polishing. We’re treading new waters here, so bear with me. Yet, the value of these insights is too great not to share.

Facing the Hard Truths 

One revelation hit me square in the face: our business is essentially a commodity. It’s not the most pleasant realization, but admitting it is the first step to change. It’s disheartening that despite our solid systems, efficient processes, and niche targeting, we’re still susceptible to imitation. I’ll shoulder the blame here; my emphasis on direct response and transactions eclipsed genuine branding.

Renewing the Radical

This is where the tide changes. Radical Marketing is about to live up to its name.

5 Tenets of Transformation 

Let’s break down the five pivotal strategies we’re setting in motion.

1. Crafting a Defining Brand Philosophy

Starting with our brand philosophy, we’re giving our identity a clear-cut edge. You know, back in the day, advertising legends like the Mad Men cast had unique personas that shaped their ad style. Similarly, we’re carving a philosophy that centers around crafting direct response storytelling ads. Not mere tales, mind you, but narratives that ignite action.

2. Embracing the Power of Unique Imagery 

Let’s talk about imagery. Enough with the stock photos, right? We’re all tired of them. So, we’re stripping our brand of these generic visuals. While we might dip into stock images, we’re going to reshape them so much that they’re unrecognizable. I’m even flirting with the idea of illustrations—something that truly sets us apart.

3. Elevating Our Origin Story 

Our website’s origin story is far from compelling. Sure, it’s there, but it lacks depth. Allow me to share a personal anecdote. My fascination with direct response marketing started when I was 19. I stumbled upon a direct mail response book at a bookstore. This was back when I was a student. Reading it felt like stepping into a whole new universe—the realm of direct response à la Dan Kennedy. That love affair has endured ever since. Our origin story needs that kind of resonance and explanation.

4. The Gravity of Trademarks 

Trademarking holds immense power. I tried trademarking “Radical Marketing,” but I hit a roadblock due to the generic nature of the words. So, we’re brainstorming a new term—a term that encapsulates our marketing philosophy. This trademark isn’t just a symbol; it’s a badge of uniqueness and credibility.

5. Slaying Industry Norms 

Let’s chat about controversy. We’re grappling with the concept of challenging industry norms. Think about it—what’s considered normal? What’s the unwritten rule everyone follows? We’re toying with the idea of ditching the retainer model. Traditionally, agencies charge retainers, regardless of results. What if we went the other way—a completely no-profit, no-fee structure? It’s audacious, and it could redefine the landscape.

Parting Thoughts 

These are the five lessons I’ve distilled from Ben Settle’s enlightening book. If you get the chance, grab a copy for yourself. But if not, I hope these insights inspire your own branding journey.

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