#55 Guru Talaya Waller: The Future of Branding is Personal
June 21, 2022
Play Video

Did you know that the average person gets 561% more engagement when sharing a brand message than that same brand would get sharing the same message?

Did you know that the average employee has ten times as many followers on social media than their company?


In our post-recession and (almost) post-pandemic economy, innovation and changing realities are disrupting the way the world does business and corporations are turning to personal branding to give them an edge in building consumer trust. 

Guru Talaya Waller is an international personal branding consultant, speaker, and award-winning research scholar, and she believes that an incredible power can be released when corporations and consumers work to develop truly personal and authentic brands. 


Don’t Sell Lemonade. Sell a Lifestyle. 

In the 1970s, the average consumer would see roughly 500 brand messages per day. Now, the average consumer sees over 5,000. Today’s consumers are smart, thrifty, faced with an unbelievable number of choices, and have access to an abundance of information to make informed decisions. 

The approach used in the 70s, marketing the functionality of a product or service, will no longer work in our modern world. In today’s world, brands need to pivot away from showing how a product can make your life better toward how a product makes you FEEL. 


To be successful in today’s modern economy, brands need to stop selling lemonade and start selling a lifestyle. 


It’s All About Trust

We’ve all heard the adage – people do business with people they know, like, and trust. That is now the fundamental idea behind brand marketing. 

Beyond just getting consumers to know them, brands now also need to convey what they want to be known for. They need to clearly and effectively communicate their principles, morals, thoughts, and beliefs. 

Those fundamental beliefs, however, MUST be in line with consumer sentiment. Consumers have to actually like a brand, similar to how they like a friend. Barbie is an excellent example of this phenomenon in action. The company has received loads of negative feedback in recent years because of how their dolls depict the female form, but in the past, the company was well-loved because they knew that young girls wanted to see their future selves represented in that stylized way. 

Company CEOs are no longer just shadows in a boardroom. They’re people just like us, with faces and personalities, and just like with other people, we will either trust or not trust them. In 2017, when Uber CEO Travis Kalanick was forced to resign due to scandals, consumers responded swiftly. Kalanick lost their trust and they responded by pushing Uber’s market share from 95% down to 75%. 


The Bottom Line

Consumers don’t expect brands to be perfect, but brands that choose to lie or fail to empathize with other people, create a manipulative relationship where trust becomes broken. In the modern world, brands need consumers to help them build trust with other consumers.