December 2019 Newsletter

New Year Issue

The One Thing You Can Do Now to Rock 2020

Since we’ve been listening to Christmas carols for three months now, it’s time to talk about The New Year. You knew this was coming. We’re all ridiculously busy this time of year, so who has time for more lists? That’s why this month we’re sharing with you the one thing you can do to make your brand more successful in 2020.

Get crystal clear on what you’re really selling.

“Gosh, that’s easy,” you may be thinking. “We sell legal services.” or “We sell research.” No one sells legal services or research. Let’s look at a few examples.

Very few organizations market what they’re really selling…

A colleague recently told us about a salesforce app they had developed, that in essence, lets small businesses in the trades send customers real-time updates about service appointments. Real-time notifications are not what they are selling.

Here’s another one: A trade association came to us because their numbers were dwindling: older members were retiring, existing members weren’t renewing, and younger professionals weren’t joining. “What’s the main benefit of membership?” we asked. “Our events!” they replied. Wrong.

We once had a client whose SaaS platform helped large organizations calculate how much space they needed. What they sold to senior facility managers, however, was something else entirely.

So, what are these organizations really selling?

  • In the case of the salesforce app, they were not selling real-time notifications. They were selling the ability for small businesses to compete with the larger ones.
  • As for the trade association, they were selling what the events nurture: Professional connections, access to unlisted job opportunities, mentors or mentees.
  • Finally, what about the software company? They were selling an opportunity for facility managers to shine, to earn the respect of their management team. They were selling credibility and respect.

Very few organizations market what they’re really selling: the transformation their product or service delivers.

Spencer Brenneman, for example, does not sell brand strategy consulting. We sell stronger, more profitable connections between organizations and their customers and employees.

What are you really selling?

In Case You Missed It

Still Thankful

It’s been five years since I acted on the audacious idea that lead us here: convene a group of professionals to help smaller organizations get the brand strategies that large institutions pay millions for. Five years! We made it this far, and I am thankful.

Read More

Recession Reminder!

Just a reminder that our newest white paper, “Succeed in a Recession” is available for download. It shows how having a strong brand can help companies survive—and thrive—during a recession. It also details how to overcome the emotional response to a recession by focusing on and strengthening your brand now.

By the Numbers


US retail sales will climb 3.8% this holiday season to $1.008 trillion.


Cyber Monday’s 2019 total, slightly lower than the estimated $10b.


Holiday ecommerce spending will rise 13.2%, more than 3x the rate of retail.

Source: eMarketer

Spencer Brenneman, LLC
© 2020

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