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Posts Tagged ‘Marketing’

Brand Tags


Seth Godin mentioned Brand Tags in his blog a while back. I thought it would fit nicely with what I wrote about Joe Dannelly’s Two Columns branding exercise. Hop over to Seth’s blog and read his post, then give Brand Tags a try.

To view what others say about the different brands, click the link on the top of the page that reads, see what other people have tagged it. This exercise will help you see how you, and others, view some of the most popular brands on the market; which will help you brand yourself better.

Image: mleak

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Brains on Fire®

I attended an Upstate Entrepreneurs and Small Business Owners meeting a few months ago. Joe Dannelly was the speaker. Joe works with one of the most progressive Idenity and Branding Companies I know, Brains on Fire®. Hearing Joe speak was a real treat for me because while I’d love to be able to hire Brains on Fire® to help me brand Wolff, with a starting price of $85,000.00, they are a little out of reach for my budget! Just the same, even though Brains on Fire® caters to high ranking companies, both nationally and internationally, they showed concern for local small business as well when they agreed to speak to this group.

Fisk-A-Teers

During Joe’s presentation, he talked about the work Brains on Fire® did with Fiskars® Shears. They helped Fiskars® develop a Community Website for Scrapbookers called Fisk-A-Teers. It’s a brilliant marriage between a hobby and a supplier that does two things as far as I see it:

1. It’s an excellent way to promote the Fiskars® brand.
2. It provides a powerful medium for Scrapbookers to learn, swap ideas, show off their crafts and build friendships. These things lead to loyal customers!

Two Columns

One more thing I wanted to share with you from Joe’s presentation was an exercise he had all of us perform. Each of us had to take a sheet of paper and draw a line down the middle of it. In the left hand column, we wrote down 3 or 4 of our favorite brands. In the right column, we wrote what we loved about those brands and what draws us to them. After a time of sharing, Joe told us to fold the paper in half and ask ourselves, “Does this list of things I love about these companies describe my company?” It was a great exercise!

I could go on and on about Joe and Brains on Fire®, but the best thing I can do is point you to their blog. It’s an excellent source for anyone in business!

Image: cssa_ucsd

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Yesterday I shared a post Mike Dandridge wrote about customer service and an article Jeffrey Gitomer wrote about the same. Mike wrote about first impressions and Jeffrey wrote about how good service is hard to find. Well I’m happy to say I had the opposite experience today.

I had a morning meeting in Greenville, SC today. We met at a hip little Coffee Shop called Coffee Underground. When I stepped up to order I didn’t know what I wanted. The young lady behind the counter made some excellent suggestions, so I told her to go for it. I asked her to include what my friend was having on my bill. She looked up, called him out by name (he frequents the place) and asked if he’d have his usual. Less than a minute later we had our order and this time I was called by name. Cool!

After my meeting I went to see my website provider. I had some questions, and since I was in the area I figured I’d just drop in and see if they could help. My contact dropped what he was doing and walked me into the conference room. When I told him what I needed, he said he could show me some stuff right then, but it would be better if we set up an online training date so he could have a team put together to help me. He also said that they would record the training, burn it to a CD and send it to me so I could reference it in the future. Wow! I told him I’d call him later to set up the appointment and moved on.

My next stop was my customs broker. My brother-in-law lives in China and he’s starting an export business. He was looking for some contact info. She got me what I needed and had me in and out in ten minutes. Fast and friendly!

My final stop was the bank. I used to hate going to this bank because the teller was detached and I always felt like I was an interruption instead of a customer. I guess they fired the old teller because there’s a new fellow working the drive-through and he’s dynamite. I actually look forward to going to the bank now and all he does is smile, calls me by name and says thank you. Real hard huh!?

As you can see, none of these things took a lot of time, but all of them made an impression. I know this is an overused cliche, but it really is the little things that mean a lot. What little things are you and your company doing to make a good impression on your customers?

Image: CustomersRock

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Recently on Jim Sharp, I wrote an article on filling your Sales Pipeline. In the book I’m reading right now, Meatball Sundae, Seth Godin wrote a short section that fits well with this theme. (Click here to go to my Squidoo Len and see the book) This is what he wrote:

“Every business has its 1 percent. Every business has a group of customers so motivated, so satisfied, and so connected that they want to tell the rest of the world about you and what you do.

Your challenge is to give these people a megaphone. To switch your view of the market from a vertical funnel (attention at the top, sales out at the bottom) to a horizontal one, in which ideas spread from one prospect to another.” *

He makes a great point. We all have customer advocates, and those advocates can be a sounding board that can make your business or your sales boom. Word-of-mouth and word-of-mouse are two powerful tools. Work to over deliver and excel in what you do, and these advocates will propel you to the top!

* Meatball Sundae, Seth Godin, Page 84

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One of the best ways to get known is to get published. Jeffrey Gitomer touches on this point often. His column, Sales Moves, is published in a number of Trade Journals around the country. He also writes an E-zine called Sales Caffeine that is distributed electronically to well over 100,000 subscribers weekly. He practices what he preaches!

Another way to get published is blogging. That’s what I do. But how can someone just starting out drive some hits to a blog like mine, or to a page to sign up for an E-zine like Jeffrey’s? One way is submitting articles to Article Submission Sites. These sites are places you can go to submit free reprint articles to promote yourself by sharing what you know about what you specialize in. Sites like these are an outlet for companies that write E-zines or blogs. Many of them are on the prowl for good content they can use as a filler. This makes producing their publication easier for them, because they don’t have to come up with all the content. And it’s a great opportunity for you, because if a company includes your article in their publication they’re required to include your byline, which can lead people to your site.

Here is a list of Article Submission Sites. Some are active, and others are dead. There are many more, but this is a good start. Part of networking is getting known. This is just another way for you to get the word out about yourself.

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