Don’t think speed dating and branding have anything in common? Consider this. In a typical speed dating scenario, you walk into a room, you see 20 different people you don’t know anything about, and you get to spend about 60 seconds with each one. Then, you decide if you want to build a relationship with any of them.

Sound familiar?

It’s a lot like introducing your brand to consumers. You’re up against lots of other brands, you’ve got about 60 seconds to connect with them, and you have to make one hell of a good impression. So here are a few speed dating techniques you can effectively apply to branding.

1. Be interesting and engaging. Have a real personality…YOUR personality. The last thing you want to do is have people forget you 30 seconds after they meet you. Find a way to stand out and be memorable.

2. Don’t tell your whole life story right away. Can you imagine how boring it would be to listen to someone babble on and on about every detail of their lives? You’d tune them out incredibly fast. Yet, that’s what a lot of brands do—try to tell the consumer every feature, every benefit and every difference the very first time they meet.

3. Look good…no, GREAT. Make sure ALL your marketing materials—from business cards to brochures to your web site — make you look absolutely stunning. You’re not going to get a second date if your web site is dressed in 70’s disco pants and a mullet hairdo. (Unless, of course, you’re selling retro disco fashions!)

4. Be yourself. The more true to your brand you are, the more people will feel you are authentic, and will connect with you.

Speed dating has some great techniques you can use to introduce your brand to new customers. If it’s done right, it leads to the ultimate branding goal—a long term, loving relationship.

Erik Meade, MindFire Communications