“Design should never overshadow the story”
(n.d. HOW Magazine).

Branding and marketing — I liken them unto dating.

YOU are a unique individual. You. You are the only you out there. God has no Plan-B. You’re it.

You wake up each day with the fierce determination to own your eccentricities, to flaunt them even. You delight in all of you. And the social being that you are, you desire to share in this life with others, particularly one whom you can call yours.

You set out to find “him”. You selfie the most perfect pose and cast your net wide in the cybersphere, trying a variety of dating sites. Likes, Secret Admirers, and Smiles abound. There are the few whom you grimace and shake your head at in disbelief, thinking inaudibly, “They do exist?!” Then a master of a specimen appears on your match list and quite audibly you exclaim, “They DO exist!” Alas, he did not Wink back at your Smile, so the hunt continues for him. You change strategies and decide in-person interactions may give you an edge — by all means, once they see you in person, who wouldn’t love you? Six speed dating circuits behind you and still no him. One Sunday, you confidently stroll into your second home, your neighborhood Starbucks. Donning a most beautiful red scarf tied loosely around your neck, a white blouse, faded black jeans with frayed hems, and worn black penny loafers, you claim this day as yours and confidence radiates from your eyes and smile. The barista hands you your latte, marked with your misspelled name — “Gin” instead of “Jen”… and somehow you believe they get you — and you accidentally bump the hand of the gent who thought they were calling his order. Conversation ensues, and he asks for your number. Eagerly you share your digits and linger just a few minutes longer than you should, surely not to arrive at your next destination on time. You recall his five o’clock shadow, his chestnut eyes, his deep voice. He’s enticed by your confidence, uniqueness, and gentle voice. Match made in Starbucks.

How in the heck does this relate to branding and marketing?

Branding is “you”. Everything about you. Your quirky humor, your gorgeous smile; your fashion sense and taste in coffee drinks. You are known for your warmth, and places as intimate as Starbucks seem like your natural habitat. You value relationship and trust; you promise a level of integrity and confidence with those whom you interact with. You are your own product, and other’s perspective of you is influenced by your consistency, appearance, and lifestyle. With your goal to find romance, you set standards by which you judge a worthy suitor. These standards are every bit as representative of who you are. The speak louder than words. With a clear understanding of who you are and who would complement you, you choose the channels by which you’ll find him. This is Marketing. It’s how you put yourself out there; it’s how you play the game.

A house is not built without a blueprint, nor is a business built without a strategy. Branding is more than visual. It is every interaction you have with anyone at any time. It is something you have no control over; you simply pray you can positively influence it. It is, at its essence, a gut reaction. Once you have a clear sense of identity, you begin to market yourself to those who complement you, for it is really only those specific individuals who’ll pay you the attention you long for and give you the respect and love you deserve.

Here are a few of my own takes at being a yenta. Enjoy.

Photo by Jordan Whitt –

Jennifer Wiggins
Principal, J. Wiggins Designs. Jesus lover. Proponent of design, strategy, & servant leadership. Believes God & art call us into a story greater than ourselves.