You may not like labels. You may have had a bad experience with labels.

But your brain likes labels.

Labels are how we categorize and associate information…

When we meet a new person, we subconsciously assign labels so we know how and when to think about them.

For example, if you’re in marketing, and you always talk about marketing, people will probably categorize you as “a marketing person”.

That’s a label we try to spread when networking and it’s desirable to have as many people as possible assigning that label to you and spreading it around.

Some labels are not as helpful, and some labels are neither good nor bad.

Some labels people may subconsciously apply to me that are not good or bad:

“Blue Eyes”

Depending on when people see me, any or all of these labels may come to mind immediately and will help the person understand how to remember me.

As we talk and they collect more information about me, more labels may be assigned to their mental file on me:

“Likes coffee”
“Works in marketing”
“Loves music”
“Plays video games”
“Lives in Ozark”

While the first labels may affect whether someone likes me, these labels may be more likely to shift someone’s perspective of me.

People are more likely to trust and prefer things (or people) with which they’re more familiar because familiarity brings security and comfort.

If the subconscious labels someone assigns themselves align with the labels they assign you, they’re more apt to like and trust you.

Like it or not, this is how the mind works.

Rather than trying to fight labels, try uncovering the labels your customers are assigning to your business and leaning into them with your messaging.

That’s the essence of branding.

What labels would you assign to your business?

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