Archives for July 2007

The Secrets to Bootstrap Marketing – Part 1

So you’ve opened your doors and you are up and running…now the fun really starts in terms of marketing.

Now you’ve got to tell the world you are here but …the budget is limited.  Don’t get disheartened, this is where you can let your creative side really run riot…get ready to have some fun!

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Visual Branding: What message are you sending?

It is being said that design is being taken more seriously in today’s business environment. Design professionals are playing an increasing role in brand development in areas not traditionally seen as the visual parts of a brand. Where as we might expect to see good design with regard to logos and marketing materials, we now see design as key to brand success in sales and presentation, product development, HR and most anything to do with business that sets the personality of the company.

Visual Branding [Read more…]

The Art of Writing With Brevity

I come from the world of Public Relations, which I believe is all about succinct, clear communications to external audiences. From my years in the field, I learned an extremely valuable lesson for effective communications that has carried with me ever since and will most certainly be a constant theme throughout my career. What I learned is that brevity is king!

Just like people typically don’t like all the endless pages of detail in novels, people don’t like to be overwhelmed with unnecessary fluff in business communications either. Much like the 10-second elevator speech, you need to keep your sales, marketing and website copy short and directly to the point.
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How Can Branding Help You Avoid A Bad Customer?

I hate Steven singerMost bad customers are not really bad customers. They’re just bad customers for you. They’re a bad fit. And it’s your fault.

Many businesses don’t want to miss out on any sales opportunity, so they say they can do everything. They don’t want to define themselves and risk losing a customer. So the poor customers are out there trying to comparison shop and everyone looks the same. So they take a stab at it and sometimes they guess wrong. Which means you have a bad customer on your hands.

Think of all the jewelry stores you can. Now, think of their advertising and positioning. Pretty much the same, aren’t they? Love, romance, tell her how much you love her…etc. etc. etc.

Now picture their actual stores. They blend together, don’t they? The merchandise is about the same; the clerks are about the same. They don’t make a point of standing out.

So how can a consumer tell if they’re a good fit? They can’t. Hello bad customer.

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5 minutes of Focus Pocus!

5 minutes – that’s all it takes to start you on the path to concentration success.

Ok so what am I talking about? Well when I first started out I found that I had so many areas of the business that were all vying for my attention that it was really hard to focus. No I mean really hard…on top of that I had other external issues wanting my attention too, kids, housework, leisure time etc…there just never seemed to be enough time in the day for everything. I’m sure you’ve been there, done that right?

It was then that I decided to focus.

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Does Your Brand Suffer from IDD (Identity Deficit Disorder)?

It’s a pervasive problem. Identity Deficit Disorder afflicts many brands. Do you suffer from IDD? Here are some of the most common symptoms:

    1. Lack of focus – it’s not clear what the brand stands for.
    2. Has trouble organizing – can’t seem to look at the big picture and ensure that a coherent identity and message carry across all brand communications.
    3. Inattention – can be told, by clients and others, how best to grow the brand, but can’t seem to listen.
    4. Impulsivity – today, the message might be one thing, but the next day, that’s forgotten because something new has come up.
    5. Impaired performance – cannot reach potential in the marketplace, because it’s not clear where it belongs.

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Customer Service Branding: How bad can be great!

There are times when things just don’t go according to plan. We’ve all been there. Perhaps you’re experiencing it right now. If you are, take this opportunity to do your brand good. When things go well, your brand appears to pretty much take care of itself. But when the “!!!” hits the fan, all hell breaks loose. Damage control takes over. Many companies suddenly have fingers in a frenzy pointing outward. Who’s to blame? – how do we stop the bleeding? – Heads are gonna roll!

Instead of panicking and driving up your blood pressure, perhaps it might be a good idea to make a silk purse out of this sow’s ear. You, I and most people (this includes your customers) are especially impressed by how a company handles a problem. The last time you had an issue with a supplier and they initially didn’t accept blame but tried sloppily to hedge responsibility – how did you feel towards them. With myself, it made me very uncomfortable. I was anticipating a fight.
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