June 24, 2014

Branding Campaign Pointers

Filed under: Marketing Quick-Tip — admin @ 10:44 am

In addition to income creation, the recognition — and strength — of your brand is a major factor in creating equity for your business and adding value in the event that its future sale may be an issue.

Branding campaigns help companies define and communicate the essence of their business by giving it a personality and more clearly conveying what a company is all about. The core concept behind a branding campaign is that if you put a positive message about your company in front of your target market for enough time, potential clients will think about you when it comes time to make a purchase.

Your brand is essentially a promise – a link between your name and what it stands for -to those you engage through your marketing campaign. It will help your patrons and consumers or potential clients/customers distinguish your product/service from others.

The following steps are a required starting point in making the kind of assessment that will help ensure success of your branding campaign:

  1. Know your strengths. What is your core competency? What does your company do better than anyone else? What is your niche? What is your competitive advantage? Why would a prospect choose your product/service over another company’s? What is the first thing that comes to mind when consumers think of your company?
  1. Know your customers/clients. Who is your target audience? Who are you trying to reach? What do they want? Why should they choose your product or service over your competitors? Where do they come from? What do your clients need? How can you better serve them? What may they need in the future?
  1. Determine how you can reach your customers/clients. Where are they? Do they read, shop online and attend events? How do they prefer to communicate? Will they complete surveys, respond to e-mails or open regular mail?
  1. Develop and implement a marketing plan. Once you know your strengths, who your customers are and how to reach them, putting together a marketing plan should be the next step in your brand-awareness campaign.



June 18, 2014

Things to consider before entering new markets

Filed under: Marketing Quick-Tip — admin @ 10:13 am

Look before you leap into a new market (horizontal, vertical or geographic, that is).

There are several key considerations to look at when you are considering to expand your business into a new area. Here is a “Top 48” list to help get you on the right track in your decision making process:
1.      Examine your motives (frivolous, fact–driven or ego–driven?)

2.      Do you trust your instincts?

3.      Consult family / partners / trusted friends / associates / advisors / skeptics / fans / unaffected “brains”

4.      Conduct a background / capabilities “self–exam”

5.      Measure existing vs. required financial and human resources

6.      How will expansion impact key personal and business relationships?

7.      Consider vendor relationships

8.      Go slowly: understand that smart growth takes time

9.      Utilize research, e.g. type of expansion, market–suitability, timing

10.      Economic and consumer conditions and trends

11.      Focus groups

12.      Case histories

13.      Will new skills, techniques and business methods be required?

14.      Seek expert counsel, e.g. accounting, legal, business, marketing

15.      The things that are hardest to change should be left for last

16.      Are you maintaining a consistent bottom–line profit and showing steady growth over the past few years?

17.      Evaluate your administrative systems and management team

18.      Staff reorganization

19.      Staff adaptation

20.      Avoiding the “Peter Principle”

21.      Selecting vendors, employees, partners, alliances

22.      Create a business plan

23.      Create a marketing plan

24.      Include a SWOT Analysis

25.      Entry– and long–term strategies

26.      Setting clear campaign objectives

27.      Goals and budgeting

28.      Assess advisability of product and price adjustments

29.      Consider new products for new markets

30.      Capitalization, e.g. staying power, investors, angels, joint ventures, venture capital

31.      Balance guts against apprehension

32.      Establish initial startup and ongoing progress benchmarks

33.      Make a “why I should” list

34.      Make a “why I shouldn’t” list

35.      Keep meticulous notes and records

36.      Developing qualified sales and marketing leads

37.      Target–consumer assessment

38.      Assess demand for your products or services

39.      In–house vs. outsourced sales/marketing team

40.      Assess your internal sales and marketing capabilities

41.      Traditional vs. unconventional marketing

42.      Cross–marketing

43.      Market research

44.      Creating product– or brand–awareness

45.      Creating “buzz”

46.      Competitive intelligence

47.      Interviewing prospects a) employees, b) customers

48.      Securing the long–term future of your enterprise


June 10, 2014

The Up’s and Down’s of Elevator Speeches

Filed under: Marketing Quick-Tip — admin @ 10:21 am

You probably have an appropriate and effective response to the hypothetical, yet critical question, “Why should we give you our business?”  One of our clients who is skilled at delivering those daunting “elevator speeches” was nonetheless stumped when one of his was not clear to the listener. What more should he say, and quickly at that?

If this should happen to you, your “post-elevator-speech” response may be the last opportunity you will ever have to sell yourself, so it had better be to the point, and laced with relevant claims. Here’s a clue: Build your speech entirely around things unique to you and your business. The only things your prospect is interested in are those things distinguishing you from your competitors.

Vague generalities and meaningless claims are verboten. Be clear, specific and benefits-oriented, rather than features-oriented in your response. And never rely on emotion rather than facts.  If you can’t dazzle your questioner on the spot, at least try to entice them with something of substance in order to “buy” enough time to give more thought to their needs and concerns before giving a more comprehensive response at a future date.

The keys are brevity, clarity, pertinence, and, if more time is needed to develop a truly appropriate response, enough “enticement power” to facilitate a follow-up opportunity.



June 2, 2014

Ask yourself some questions

Filed under: Marketing Quick-Tip — admin @ 10:05 am

Brand Questionnaire


When was the last time you took a good look at your brand and its objectives, challenges and opportunities. You can give yourself a good start by answering these 18 questions:

 1. What are your top four primary communication objectives?

 2. Are there any secondary communication objectives?

 3. In detail, describe your target audience(s)?

 4. How does your target audience perceive your brand?

 5. What issues need to be addressed in order to better appeal to your audience?

 6. Who are your core competitors?

 7. Who are your secondary competitors?

 8.  In relation to your competitor’s brand(s), how would your audience rank your   company?

 9. What is your competition doing right in your opinion?

 10. What are they doing wrong?

 11. What are the key points of differentiation between you and your competitors

12. What is your ultimate desired brand position or status?

13, List as many adjectives as possible you would use to describe your products and services.

14. If your company where an automobile what would it be?

15. What brand of automobile would you like your company to be?

16. What color would you use to describe your company?

17. Are there any elements of your current brand or symbol that need to be maintained?  

18. Are there any mandatory creative elements associated with this assignment (such as the need to keep a certain color or design element)?