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It’s a random Saturday night a few months back & I’m sitting at my girlfriend, Gillian’s birthday dinner. The table is beautiful- stunning really- filled with very nice, approachable people. The music is right. The food is right. The vibe is right. Across the table I half-ish hear this cool-looking guy say the word branding.

Of course, you guessed it: my head whiplashed around faster than you can say ‘vodka soda.’

( Vodka soda because that’s what I was drinking- with four lemons & a splash of bitters, if we’re getting specific? ).

Anyway, it goes something like this:

“Sorry to interrupt but what did you say- I love anything to do with branding?” ( “Is this rude to butt into a conversation,” I think. “Shit, I can’t help myself” ).

“Oh, ya I was just telling _________ about this book I read that changed my business.” He says.

“OHHHHH what is the book?” I ask like a total nosey fucking Nelly.

The Brand Gap,” he replies.

So he tells me about how it changed his business & really gave him perspective on branding. The cool-looking guy all ABOUT this book goes on about how he had his team read it too. He is smart too…using a lot of big words.

Meanwhile, I’m literally ( no literally ) ordering the book as he’s talking to me. ( THANK YOU AMAZON & JEFF BEZOS & FASTEST CHECKOUT EVER ). He’s still telling me about this book as I glance down to view my order number.

Ok order complete.

Later, I found out he started the widely successful brands DC Shoes ( which sold to Quicksilver ) & InCase Designs. His name? Damon Way.

He is so humble! Like WOW humble. ::VERY IMPRESSIVE:: And me? Well, I’m waiting impatiently for my book to arrive- duh.

Branding Insights via The Brand Gap | by the skinny confidential 4

A day later…The Brand Gap arrived!

Well you can see that from these pictures, I guess. So ya, I devoured it in one weekend- dog-earing the pages, so many pages. Embarrassingly the whole book. Like bookmarks galore!

The reason I like this book? Because it’s simple.

A good brand is just that, isn’t it?

It’s simple.

Why over-complicate it?

And on The Skinny Confidential I sure love to do posts on branding. I most certainly DO NOT know it all- but it’s definitely a favorite topic of mine to discuss. I like branding. If I wasn’t a blogger perhaps I’d be a branding specialist ( is that a thing? )…or maybe an interior designer. But you kind of are branding when you’re doing interior design so they’re sort of connected if you think about.

OK, the point is I did a post a month-ish ago & promised a more in-depth post on branding. I figured I’d give you TSC SparkNotes of this book to keep it simple!

Improve Your Branding With The Brand Gap | by the skinny confidential 3


♡ A brand is not what you say it is, it’s what the consumer says it is. It’s the emotional reaction individuals feel when they see your brand. LISTEN to your audience.

♡ Branding has nothing to do with data, numbers, & excel sheets. Nothing at all. It’s about the people who experience the brand- not the numbers. Quit it with the data, look to the people.

♡ A typical design has four goals: to identify, inform, entertain, or persuade. However when it comes to branding, there is a fifth: to differentiate. THIS COMES DOWN TO STRATEGY. Why do you like Nike over other shoe companies? Because Nike has done an incredible job of differentiating its brand.

♡ Brands can become small tribes if they’re done right. YOUR VIBE ATTRACTS YOUR TRIBE. Community is key.

♡ It takes a village to build a brand- take ego out of it. Not one person can develop a powerful, lasting brand without a strong team of people around the brand’s message. Collaboration is incredibly important- & of course, engagement.

♡ Think in fresh ways- the fresher the better. Evolve quickly, think fresh.

♡ Pick a strong icon…& name. Criteria for a good name: distinctiveness, brevity, appropriateness, easy spelling & pronunciation, likability, extendibility, & protectability.

♡ The brand ( at times ) can be inconsistent- AS LONG as it does not abandon the defining attributes.

♡ Creativity is one of the most difficult parts of branding- but it’s MAGIC when it happens.


♡ Ultimately it is design, not strategy, that people get excited for. Always INNOVATE…that’s where the brand becomes truly magical.

+ + + + +

I don’t know about you, but I kind of want to tattoo these tips on my left forearm? I just feel like even though they’re simple, sometimes we can get caught up & forget them…Daily reminders on these branding principles are SO NECESSARY.

For me when I launched The Skinny Confidential, branding was hands down the most important thing. Not money. Not being an influencer. BRAND. Brand & the readership. I’m very glad I led with brand- obviously I have a long, long way to go but I do believe brand is the foundation. A good brand attracts the right people ( going back to YOUR VIBE ATTRACTS YOUR TRIBE! ).

What about your brand? Are you a blogger? A dentist? An artist? How are you branding yourself? As always, love when you guys weigh in.

OK I AM GOING TO WATCH The Keepers– it’s so scary? Like why am I watching it with the lights on? Also I have a Justin’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup next to me that’s very frozen & ready to eat ( TRY THIS IF YOU HAVE NOT )- just thought I’d mention that.

Check out The Brand Gap: HOW TO BRIDGE THE DISTANCE BETWEEN BUSINESS STRATEGY AND DESIGN if you’re looking to dive further into branding- it’s a good one ( thanks cool-looking guy, Damon, for the rec ). 

Talk tomorrow, lauryn x

+ guys be sure to listen to the latest podcast on skin care!! You have to hear what skin expert, Renee, says about detergents & dairy. Good stuff.

++ read more business posts

SHOP THE POST: pink cover | TSC phone case | book | pen 1 & 2 ( similar ) | FAVORITE desk calendar

The Brand Gap | by the skinny confidential


  1. This sounds like a MAGICAL book. And lol at the mid-conversation book ordering; I literally did that during your Instagram live yesterday hehe. Thank you for always being like my fairy branding-mother!

    xx Pia

  2. Definitely adding this book to my list! I’ve really been wanting to focus more on this, so this post couldn’t have come at a better time!!

    Emma | Seeking the South

  3. Screaming because I read this for my campaigns class and it really resonated with me too. Genius stuff.

  4. As someone starting a new blog this book suggestion couldn’t have come at a better time. There’s so many things I want to write about, but I’m afraid it goes against my “brand” when in reality I can write about whatever I want as long as I stay true to why I started my blog in the first place and keep my voice the same. Thanks for the book rec!

  5. I’ve been struggling for weeks about a podcast name. I listen to your podcast (and love it). I have a blog I’ve had for maybe 5 or 6 years now. I started it initially because I’m a writer and I love to write. And I wrote about things like the time my lady goods turned royal purple (yes, PURPLE) and got so many laughs and responses with that, or the time I locked my 4 month-old in the truck at a Walmart and had to call the fire department to get him out.

    And then in 2014, I was 29 weeks pregnant with my second child when I was diagnosed with leukemia. So my readers were actually following when I was diagnosed. I want to start a podcast where I can talk about life after cancer, help those who may be going through similar situations, but I also don’t want to be limited to one niche. I want to be able to talk about life in general, sex, blogging, and talk about the things that others would never share with the world. I’m an oversharer, I crack jokes, I cry, I talked about why I wanted to kill myself last year, I’m real and raw.

    I was just wondering if maybe you had any advice specifically for me? I’ve always wanted to be an entrepreneur and I’d love to make money–especially with how much time I spend blogging. I would love to write a book one day. And I want to do a podcast next. Making money would be nice but my ultimate goal is to be able to help others out by sharing my stories and experiences.

    And reading your blog has inspired me to try new things and to get out of this funk I’ve been in for the last few months. I’ve been trying out the CALM drink which I love, the acupuncture mat (also a fave), time blocking, shaving my face, and just bout a jade roller. So thank you for doing what you do. You’ve inspired me to try new and different things as I’m still struggling with the side effects of my stem cell transplant (pain in joints and muscles). I’m feeling better and more optimistic trying new things. You rock. Now if only I could think of a clever name for that damn podcast…

  6. This was a fantastic post! & I love the narrative {cool looking guy, vodka-soda, etc – so good!}. I am ordering this book right now. Branding has been a HUGE priority lately and something I have really been tweaking & honing in on so this couldn’t have come at a more perfect time.

    Also, totally see the relationship between branding specialist & interior design – interior design is like the brand of your home so it makes total sense!

    Thanks for the great post, Lauryn! x Shannon || x

  7. Love your thoughts, Lauryn! I always learn something from you. Ever since I adopted the “be authentic” mindset, I can tell my views, engagement, & even the money earned, has grown. It makes all the difference! ♥ :]


  8. So useful! I started a brand that made sense and now I feel lost again. Perhaps I’m focusing on the wrong things and or being authentic? Regardless I’ve decided to continue the journey! The only genius thing is to not give up, right? Thanks for inspo as always, doll!!

  9. I NEED THIS BOOK. I have been actively consuming – LITERALLY FEEDING MY BRAIN – with podcasts, books, blog posts, videos with branding/starting up your business/blog/etc.
    Thank you

  10. I have seen this book pop up in a few places online. I think this is a sign that I need it!! Thanks so much for sharing, Lauryn.

  11. Such a good post, Lauryn! Branding is def not my strong suit and honestly it doesn’t interest me that much. I mean, I know how important branding is and everything and it’s not like I hate working with it – there are just so many other things I love and enjoy so much more 🙂
    So I’m glad I can always count on great and interesting branding advice from you! It sounds like I might need that book – I mean, after all, I do want to be self-employed and have my own business so I better start working more on branding 🙂
    Thanks babe for a great post!

  12. Great summary Lauryn! My ears always perk up whenever someone is talking about branding. I think the most important takeaway from this post was to think about your brand by thinking how you want people to FEEL. That will really set the tone for all the other design elements that go along with branding. I heart boss babes such as yourself for doing what you do! Keep inspiring others! I hope to some day in the near future have a great brand-transformation story to share with you. XOXO Katrina

  13. It was Damon Way and Ken Block. Now, Rob Dyrdek owns a large portion of it as well. I know this because Ken Block is related to my boyfriend. Very kind people.

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