Archives for May 2007

Does this Tagline “Get it Done?”

I noticed this week that the big financial group Citi has launched a new campaign. It’s actually quite well done on many fronts (I saw it first in a full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal; however, you can see an on-line version at

The tagline is “let’s get it done.” The premise: Dreams are good (now, visualize the Citi red rainbow-like arc connecting to…) Realities are better. Then they go on to explain that, if this were the day you were to go ahead with one of your dream goals, Citi has all the resources to help you “get it done.”

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Forget the question…Change your answer!

For years, entrepreneurs, business owners and managers have wrestled with a number of questions about maintaining and growing market share and profitability. Here is a very short list of questions countless executives have asked themselves over the decades:

–         How can I increase sales?
–         How can I increase my market share?
–         How can I increase my profits?
–         How can I increase my distribution?

The list goes on and on. Since the beginning of capitalism, those questions have plagued boardrooms and weekend retreats. Those same questions will be with us until the end of time. So I say forget the question and change the answer. The only thing that has changed and will continue to change will be the answers, so focus on the answer, not the question.

Here are a few examples of changing answers:
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Your Brand From The Marketplace’s Perspective

We’ve been talking about whether or not you had a 360-degree view of your brand and we identified that a brand is like a three-legged stool.

To review, the three legs are:

1. The company’s vision of the brand
2. The consumers’ vision of the brand
3. Where your brand sits in the marketplace

In last week’s post we explored the second leg of the stool – the consumer’s vision of the brand.

This week, let’s wrap up this series with a conversation about how to evaluate where your brand sits in the marketplace.

Unless you do business on Mars, odds are very good that you have competitors. Let’s make sure we’re talking about the same things by defining who your competitors might be.
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The Scent of a Brand: Finding Your Brand’s Essence

Are you on the trail for your brand’s essence? Does the scent of it tantalise but elude you?

Perhaps there are a number of ways for identifying a brand’s essence. And perhaps the right approach depends on how the brand came to be in the first place. Some are no doubt created, think-tank style, while others are discovered, or uncovered. This post is about how I discovered mine. If you’re currently searching for yours, then come with me, and we may just track it down.
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Three Degrees of Separation for Creating Customers for Life

The most valuable type of customer your business can have is a lifelong customer. This type of customer provides more value than just money. A lifelong customer becomes a sphere of influence for your company and introduces your products to a whole new group of buyers.

But how do you create customers for life? For years, countless companies have wrestled with that question, and if answered correctly they will become both a profitable and powerful brand.

I don’t know the answer to that question, but I would like to share some clues that I have discovered that may help shed additional light into the darkness.

I believe there are six degrees of separation in keeping a customer for life. Yes, my six degrees of separation is modeled after the Six Degrees theory popularized by Kevin Bacon a number of years ago.

My definition for the six degrees of separation are the steps your company takes to gain a customer for life. As in the Kevin Bacon theory, you are just six degrees from Kevin Bacon, your company is just six degrees away from turning a non-customer into a customer for life. Here are the three I will include in this article.
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Do what I tell ya, and nobody gets hurt!

If you took a gander at my last article outlining the fifteen things to watch out for regarding your brand, you might be surprised to learn that there are other benefits along the road to a focused corporate brand.

The biggest might be employee satisfaction. Many times management leads by pushing down to subordinates. “It’s my company, I’ll choose direction”. When you decide to address brand issues, it is best to do this from a team perspective. This way you will gain a deeper glimpse into the inner sanctum of your company’s personality profile. Have you had the experience of holding a sales meeting and one of the recommendations pushed forward requested more sales staff inclusion? This is a cry in the dark – a symptom of a brand in trouble. Sales are the front line infantry of your brand. They take the heat and have to suck it up when the sh*t hits the fan.
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Re-Branding Chrysler

It’s been high up in the news columns of late – the U.S. car company Chrysler is being split off from its unfortunate marriage to the German company Daimler, and will return to its status as an unwed manufacturer. In fact, the Cerberus Capital Management purchase will give Chrysler a very interesting opportunity – re-asserting the Chrysler brand into the marketplace, unfettered by its Daimler connection and “Dr Z” messaging.

Chrysler has had a very up-and-down, cyclical market experience. After its near-death brush with bankruptcy, it swung back by introducing the minivan. It has had some market hits (“cab-forward” car design – remember that? and Jeep, of course), and it has had unprofitable seasons. The jury is definitely still out on whether it can overcome some of its legacy cost disadvantages and compete in the market, against the slow, steady, successful onslaught of Asian brands.

Here is Business Week’s take on the challenge that Chrysler faces.

But now, it can at least re-launch itself as a company. So, readers, put on your thinking caps. If you were given the responsibility of creating a new marketing message for Chrysler, what would it be? What theme(s) would you choose? How would you appeal to a (perhaps) skeptical market? Would you emphasize engineering? Design? Patriotic themes? How would you position Chrysler in the marketplace? What tagline(s) would you suggest? Fill the comment section with your ideas, and let’s come up with an ad-hoc campaign right now!

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