By Larry Engelmann This article is a part of the July/August 2018, Volume 30, Number 4, Audiology Today issue. In the United States, distribution of hearing aids is facilitated primarily through audiologists, physicians, and hearing aid dealers. There is confusion, however, in the marketplace over the “branding” of each group. Proper branding addresses inaccurate statements, positions, and perceptions, while differentiating between the profession of an audiologist and the occupation of a hearing aid dealer. Williams (2016) defines branding as “…your promise to your customer. It tells consumers what they can expect from your products and services, and it differentiates your offering from your competitors. Your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be, and who people perceive you to be.” Since audiology’s inception during World War II, audiologists, as well as their representative state and national organizations, have invested multimillions of dollars “branding” audiologists’ multiple roles in society’s health-care system. Branding continues through the education of consumers, legislators, third-party payers, and colleagues, through the recognition and public awareness of how audiologists diagnose and treat patients with audio-vestibular disorders, and through explanations of how audiological care improves consumer’s quality of life. Hearing aid dealers have existed for more than 100 years as retail salespeople selling a retail product (branding the truth). Over the past several years, attempts have been made to elevate hearing aid dealers’ recognition as members of the health-care community, rather than as a retail salesperson’s occupation (branding the lie). The passage of the Over-the-Counter (OTC) Hearing Aid Act (2017) will create additional confusion through the development of a new channel for hearing aid distribution. Therefore, it is essential that audiologists properly “brand” and differentiate our role from others involved in hearing health. The desired outcome of this two-part series is branding the truth by the following: Rejecting deceptive and fraudulent language and understanding legal language (Part 1) Identifying health-care language, and describing professional/academic language compared to occupational apprenticeship/vocational/technical language (Part 2) While this two-part article focuses primarily on those who work with hearing-impaired consumers, much of this information can be generalized to any of the technical/vocational occupations, allied health professions, and the healing arts doctoring professions. This content is an exclusive benefit for American Academy of Audiology members. If you're a member, log in and you'll get immediate access. Member Login If you're not yet a member, you'll be interested to know that joining not only gives you access to top-notch resources like this one, but also invitations to member-only events, inclusion in the member directory, participation in professional forums, and access to patient resources, tools, and continuing education. Join today!