You NEED To! You HAVE To! Or Do You?

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You see it all the time: Business advice that states that say you MUST do something, or suffer the consequences!

“Five Things Every Business MUST Do to Succeed in 2012!”


“Twenty Social Media Tactics You NEED to Employ – or Your Abject Failure Is a Foregone Conclusion!”


“Ten Things You MUST Do to Build Your Personal Brand – or Risk Career Suicide, You Miserable Wretch!”

You know who talks the most about how you NEED to brand yourself? Personal branding “experts.” And literally nobody else I’ve ever met.

And it’s true that some businesses need a fully developed social media strategy. Others succeed with only the basics, or none at all.

The point is this: There’s no pre-baked, fully accurate list of things every brand or business MUST do.  Strategy is situational. So are tactics. Your business has its own history, objectives, strengths and challenges. What works for another may not work for you.

When you come across an article or blog post with this kind of tone, check the motivations of its source. What do they have to gain by telling you what you HAVE to do?

Until we’ve spent some serious time together, I don’t know enough about your business to tell you what it needs. Nor does any other stranger. Anyone who opens the conversation with an uninformed imperative is setting you up for a sales pitch.

About Matthew Fenton: Matthew helps challenger brands to focus, grow and win.  Since founding his consultancy, Three Deuce Branding, in 1997, he’s helped hundreds of brands to achieve “brand clarity.”  His consulting services and speaking engagements help brands to focus on what matters through positioning, strategy and ideation.  Contact Matthew here.  He calls Chicago home.

Copyright 2012 – Matthew Fenton.  All Rights Reserved.  You may reprint this article with the original, unedited text intact, including the About Matthew Fenton section.