Connect with us

Business Marketing

Context = Clarity = Trust = Attraction. Read Why and How.



Contex and ClarityContext Sharpens Clarity.

Clarity Creates Understanding.

Understanding Creates Trust.

Trust Attracts.

Attraction Leads To Employment and Referral Recommendations

Blah, Yada!  If you’ve been around the block, you know about the importance of sharing the benefits of all your features.  It’s wise.  Do it!

If you want to pogo to the pro level, you’ll want to focus your brand, marketing, presentations and conversations with the clarifying lens of context.  First features, then context, then benefits.

Context Sharpens Clarity

Minus context, our messages are recieved as fuzzy, out of focus and either uncertain, untrue or BS.


Fuzzy: Mortgage rates are at an all time low.  Mortgage rates are at 5%, buy now.

Focused:  Mortgage rates are at an all time low, can you believe they’re interest rate is only 5%?  That means for every $1,000 dollars borrowed on a 30 year loan, the monthly payment would be a mouse sized $5 per month.  A $300,000 mortgage payment would only be $1,500 a month in principal and interest.  People can afford to buy homes they only dreamed about when rates were higher and appreciation soared.

Fuzzy: We sell homes for Top Dollar.

Focused: We sell homes for Top Dollar.  That saying is cliche’.  To separate the bullshit artist from the performers, take a look at the track record for the Original List Price to Sold Price Percentage.  Our firm is averaging 96.5%, which is higher than our competitors and the MLS average of 94.5%.   Take a look at this graph.  What this means is that with an average sold price in our market of $332,094, a 2% difference would equal over $6,000 in net proceeds for the seller.  Take a look at this chart*.

Fuzzy: The Federal Bailout only costs $700 Billion.

Focused: The Federal Bailout only costs $700 Billion. If paid back at a hefty rate of $1 Million per day, it would take 1,923 years to pay it back. That’s with no interest.

Fuzzy: Today we’re going to look at 8 homes.

Focused: I spent yesterday afternoon doing research for our house hunt.  There were 38 homes that fell into your price range and general criteria.  I eliminated 8 of them because they backed to a busy street, which you didn’t want. I whacked 7 of them because you want a master-up and these were down.  12 didn’t have a pool and 4 have dated kitchens, which you hate.  So that leaves us with 8 homes that closely match all the things you want.  I have these two here I wasn’t sure about, take alook at this information and see if you’d like to include them. [For added context, I’d show them the individual printouts of the eliminated homes, with a big red Sharpie slash through them.*]

Fuzzy: We sell homes fast.

Focused: We sell  homes fast, with favorable terms.  The Average Number Of Days On Market (DOM) for all Active Listing Inventory in The Woodlands is 127 days.  In our market, The Woodlands TX, the DOM for sold listing average 87 days.  Our average is 79 DOM.  Here’s a  printed chart comparing our Average DOM to our competitors*.

*NOTE:  Generally speaking, we believe less about what sales person “tells us” and more about what a sales person “shows us”.  Anytime we can use third party proof, we should.

Clarity Creates Understanding

Including context makes an otherwise featherweight message heavywieght with meaning.  Meaning leads to understanding.

Understanding Creates Trust

When we understand, we’re more likely to trust the message or the messenger.

Lack of trust blunts our ability to connect and retards progress.   In some cases, lack of trust prevents progress completely.  In worst case scenarios, lack of clarity and trust causes people to runaway from, avoid and or, ignore the messenger.

Trust Attracts

Our subconscious radar is keenly tuned to detect bull-shit, we ping constantly for suspicion, cynicism, doubt and uncertainty.  We are bombarded with thousands of marketing messages a day.  Generally we ignore the common, avoid the uncertain and shun the unsafe.  As sales people, if what we share is perceived as common, uncertain or unsafe, we’re in BIG trouble.

We’re attracted to people and things that ring safe.  We’re attracted to people and things we trust.  We buy things and hire people we trust.  We also share, refer and recommend trustworthy things and people to other people we trust.

Context Conversion

Including context in your marketing messages isn’t that difficult.  Don’t get me wrong, it takes effort and commitment, but it’s not hard, it a matter of execution and habit.

Here’s A Simple 5 Step Process

  1. Evaluate your marketing messages.  Examine what you write, what you say, how you present, how you market and advertise.
  2. Look for the loosely defined and fuzzily described.
  3. Figure out how and where to add context.
  4. Add context.
  5. Re-create, Re-Launch, Re-Engage and reap the rewards Context > Clarity > Understanding > Trust > Attraction > Employment and Referral Recommendation.

Get Crack’n & Share

Good luck.  Get started today.  Share this with a friend and if you have some tips on how you sprinkle your marketing message with Context, we’d love you even more if you’d leave you gift in the comments.

Cheers and thanks for reading.

Ken Brand - Prudential Gary Greene, Realtors. I’ve proudly worn a Realtor tattoo for over 10,957+ days, practicing our craft in San Diego, Austin, Aspen and now, The Woodlands, TX. As a life long learner, I’ve studied, read, written, taught, observed and participated in spectacular face plant failures and giddy inducing triumphs. I invite you to read my blog posts here at Agent Genius and On the lighter side, you can follow my folly on Twitter and Facebook. Of course, you’re always to welcome to take the shortcut and call: 832-797-1779.

Continue Reading


  1. egoldre

    December 21, 2009 at 8:05 am

    Good Stuff as always Ken. I’m sharing this with the other agents in my office!

    • Ken Brand

      December 21, 2009 at 8:21 am

      Thanks. Glad you found it helpful. Cheers and Happy Holidays:-)

  2. Missy Caulk

    December 21, 2009 at 10:22 am

    Ken, cliches don’t make money or explain a darn thing. They are passed over. You gave some great illustrations on how to build trust.

    • Ken Brand

      December 21, 2009 at 2:33 pm

      Good point Missy, TRUST is the straw that stirs the drink, and the ice cubes and the mixer and the al-ka-doll, I guess we’re the glass and our SOE is the party. Who’s thirsty? Thanks for the compliment and cheers for a Merry Christmas.

  3. Fred Glick

    December 21, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    Your problem is you are correct!

    I only say that because there are too many people that believe the simple things out there and get bamboozled by bad agents.

    But, we have to keep on pushing the truth!

  4. Ken Brand

    December 21, 2009 at 3:59 pm

    Amen Fred, the “truth” will set you free, the days of BS, sucking up, posing and generally being faux are bye-bye, if you want to succeed anyway. Merry Christmas to you and yours.

  5. Ken Montville

    December 21, 2009 at 4:10 pm

    I love the post and the concept. Now, Ken-to-Ken, your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to explain how you can get from Context to Trust in 60 seconds. That’s about how much time any of us have to get through to someone before their eyes glaze over and they get bored.

    Oh, can I really use words like “bullshit” and “whacked”. I’d love to.

    Merry Christmas, Ken!

    • Ken Brand

      December 21, 2009 at 4:34 pm

      60 seconds from Context To Trust. You know what? I think it happens that fast. The in-between stuff; clarity and understanding is the subconscious connecting the nano-dots. Add context, not just the good, but the bad and ugly, people will respond positively.

      As for bullshit, whacked, WTH, crap sandwich, douche bag, etc., most definitely use the correct words (sparingly), it’s surprising and therefore attracts interest and makes you Top Of Mind Awareness sticky.

      Of course, avoid overuse and unnatural adjectives, verbs and nouns, doing so is viewed as crass-punk-ass-grand-standing and generally being a “dick”, which of course is counter productive and self destructive.

      Merry Christmas to you too Ken.

      PS. Have I ever told you what a cool name you have?

  6. Gwen Banta

    December 21, 2009 at 8:04 pm

    Well said, Ken. Educating clients with facts and clarity is as important as educating ourselves. Too many people in sales spew so much bull they can no longer discern the truth themselves. My grandfather used to say, “If you are going to throw around a lot of bull, you’d better wear galoshes.”

    • Ken Brand

      December 21, 2009 at 8:27 pm

      Ha, yeah, sometimes the galoshes need to be hip-waders. Cheers Gwen;-)

  7. Ryan Hartman

    December 22, 2009 at 11:22 am

    Damn Ken. This was solid solid. Thanks. As more agents become content creators posts like this message should resonate stronger and wider…

    I’m gonna plug it to me list 🙂

    [Plus “bullshit” and “douchebag” certainly make for a more trustworthy read imo… Who can trust anyone who doesn’t use these words regularly?]

    • Ken Brand

      December 22, 2009 at 4:22 pm

      Thanks Ryan. And, Damn-Straight, when someone is pristinely correct and poofy-proper…you gotta wonder?

      Cheers and Merry Christmas

  8. Houstonblogger

    December 22, 2009 at 5:04 pm

    I enjoy it whenever I can use the word “douchebag”. ‘Tis one of my faves.

    • Ken Brand

      December 22, 2009 at 5:15 pm

      Yeah, me too. It sorta rolls of the tongue and makes you laugh-inside when you say it. I think the same thing when I call something a crap-sandwich.

      Merry Christmas to you. Cheers

  9. Joe Loomer

    December 23, 2009 at 6:47 am


    You peggged this 21-year Navy man between the eyes with your bullshit, woke me up, got me FOCUSED!

    I certainly liked: “Anytime we can use third party proof, we should.” This solidifies your place as the market expert, especially when you show cause and effect…. As you can see (from the chart provided), the increasing inventory of homes in that area has pushed prices down, and Days On the Market is up, if you want to sell, you’ll have to price ahead of the market….

    Navy Chief, Navy Pride

  10. Terry

    January 4, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    I am going to start reading what you have to say not sure I understand everything. Have to get into this blogging and twitter stuff.

  11. Paul

    February 7, 2011 at 5:43 pm

    Holy Shit Ken,
    That was awsome stuff. I see it to be a far reaching problem in our world. I like to call it completing an idea or one’s thoughts by including the context for clarity purposes. Anytime I proof someone’s writings it is almost always my number one message to the writer and that is to finish the idea, thought or complete the sentence. Don’t leave the reader hanging and or make the assumption that the douchebag reader has any idea what it is you are trying to say. Leave nothing to chance and make sure you spell it out for them. Only then will they get it and you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Business Marketing

How to make sure your newly remote team stays productive.

(BUSINESS MARKETING) The tide of change is rolling in and may never recede again, so managers should know how to handle the new normal, here’s some advice.



managers new role

The Coronavirus pandemic has changed the way people work. Working from home is the new normal. It’s not only employees who have to think about how they perform, but managers have to learn new skills to keep their team engaged and efficient. I’ve worked on remote teams for over 6 years. Here are some things that have helped me.

Ask “What can I do to help you?”

I’ve worked with some great managers and some awful ones. The best ones had a collaborative attitude when discussing problems. Instead of laying blame, the question was “what can we do to correct this?” It takes a little longer to think in those terms if you’re not used to it, but it reduces stress. If you’re communicating through email or message apps, it pays to reread before hitting send. We’re all learning new skills in this new normal.

Make sure your employees have the technology they need

One of the companies I work for has specific programs they use and technology requirements. Before I was allowed to proceed through their final onboarding, they made sure that I could access their technology. If your team is working from home, they need to have the resources to be productive. It’s not just computers and software, but access to internet. One of my friends said that it took them over an hour to upload a 5-minute video to Facebook.

Define success; don’t micro-manage

As I’m writing this, Ask a Manager’s Alison Green posted a question about “what’s reasonable to expect from parents who are working from home. Just a reminder that managers may have to lower expectations from their team, not only for parents, but for everyone. I don’t have kids at home, but there are many distractions out of the ordinary. Managers have to accept that people aren’t going to be as productive in these not-so-normal-times. Identify priorities. Check in when you’re on a deadline. Find a balance between managing and micro-managing.

We’re all just trying to do the best we can

It doesn’t matter who you are or where you work, I think it’s safe to say that we’re all adapting to these crazy times. How managers handle their teams will set the tone for years to come. If you want to keep those employees who have been hard workers, you’re going to have to adjust to give them the benefit of the doubt.

Continue Reading

Business Marketing

Easy email signature builder quickly updates your info

(BUSINESS MARKETING) When’s the last time you updated your email signature? That long? You might want to look at just sign, a new, quick, and easy, email signature generator.



just sign email

The last thing any of us are thinking about right now is email. While we’re all staying safer at home, though, it’s a good time to think about all the little things that need our attention, but typically get neglected: clearing out the email inbox, unsubscribing from things no longer relevant, and updating our email signatures. Why the email signature?

Oftentimes, we change emails when we change jobs and forget to change our signatures to reflect our new address. The same is true with social media; if we happen to change jobs, due to our own choice or by necessity thanks to the virus, we may need to update our social media profiles accordingly, especially if the new job suddenly makes this a requirement.

One of the fastest ways to update your email signature is with a generator. An email signature generator can help you quickly make a professional looking signature in about half the time it would take you to manually add each individual component.

Just Sign is one of the quickest options I’ve seen. This email signature generator is ultra simple, ultra easy, and ultra effective. It allows you to add clickable social links, a profile picture or logo, and all relevant contact information. It also allows you to choose a color scheme and tailor the formatting a bit to your preferences. As you begin to add options to your signature, you can see a preview of what the final product will look like in the right-hand panel.

Just Sign welcome

This allows you to make any necessary changes before downloading the finished product. When you have your signature perfected, simply click the purple “generate signature” button and you’re ready to go.

Just Sign is an easy, quick way to check another thing off your to-do list while we’re all at home. If you have already updated your signature, you might save this link for later use as it’s a good idea to revisit your signature a few times a year. Oftentimes, I revise mine simply to keep the attached picture updated. Have you updated your signature lately? Do you plan to? Let us know what you think of Just Sign.

Continue Reading

Business Marketing

How one employer beat an age discrimination lawsuit

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Age discrimination is a rare occurrence but still something to be battled. It’s good practice to keep your house in order to be on the right side.



Jewel age discrimination

In January, the EEOC released its annual accounting for reports of discrimination in the previous year. Allegations of retaliation were the most frequently filed charge, which disability coming in second. Age discrimination cases accounted for 21.4% of filed charges. As we’ve reported before, not all age discrimination complaints rise to the level of illegal discrimination. In Cesario v. Jewel Food Stores, Inc., the federal court dismissed the claims of age discrimination, even though seven (7) plaintiffs made similar claims against the grocery store.

What Cesario v. Jewel Food Stores was about

In Cesario, all but one of the seven plaintiffs had spent years with Jewel Food building their careers. When Jewel went through some financial troubles, the plaintiffs allege that they began to “experience significant pressure at work… (and) were eventually forced out or terminated because of their age or disability.” Jewel Food requested summary judgment to dismiss the claims.

The seven plaintiffs made the same type of complaints. Beginning in 2014, store directors were under pressure to improve metrics and customer satisfaction. Cesario alleges that the Jewel district manager asked about his age. Another director alleges that younger store directors were transferred to stores with less difficulties. One plaintiff alleged that Jewel Food managers asked him about his retirement. The EEOC complaints began in late 2015. The plaintiffs retired or were fired and subsequently filed a lawsuit against their company.

Age discrimination is prohibited by the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, (ADEA). The ADEA prevents disparate treatment based on age for workers over 40 years old. However, plaintiffs who allege disparate treatment must establish that the adverse reactions wouldn’t have occurred but for age. Because none of the plaintiffs could specifically point to age as the only determination of their case, the court dismissed the case.

A word to wise businesses

Jewel Food was able to demonstrate their own actions in the case through careful documentation. Although there was no evidence that age played a factor in any discharge decision, Jewel Food could document their personnel decisions across the board. The plaintiffs also didn’t exhaust all administrative remedies. This led to the case being dropped.

Lesson learned – Make personnel decisions based on performance and evidence. Don’t use age as a factor. Keep documentation to support your decisions.

Continue Reading

Our Great Partners

American Genius
news neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list for news sent straight to your email inbox.

Emerging Stories

Get The American Genius
neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to get business and tech updates, breaking stories, and more!