December 15, 2009

One final idea

Filed under: Marketing Quick-Tip — admin @ 11:49 am


The week between Christmas and New Year’s is traditionally a slow business period. It’s a great time to chill out, but it can also be more than marginally constructive. Use some of your “quiet time” to devise one important new marketing initiative for 2010. Then, be sure to put it into action next year. Come January 4, you’ll not only feel challenged by the year that lies ahead, you’ll feel better for having done something constructive  during this break (you may even be able to take the results to the bank).


December 2, 2009

What message does your brand send?

Filed under: Marketing Quick-Tip — admin @ 9:56 am




To the degree it is recognized, your brand sends a message to your prospects.


It can work something like this in the consumer’s mind:


“(Your brand here) is:

  • a good ‘place’”
  • good, but too expensive”
  • ok, but too cheap.”
  • well-suited to my needs.”
  • not for me.”
  • don’t know what it stands for.”


The possibilities are many and varied, but they don’t have to be. It is within your control to “paint” a clear picture of what your brand will translate to in the minds of your prospective consumers. And here are the “colors” on your “palette” that are available for you to use:


  • Realize you can’t be everything to everybody
  • Select the audience you want – demo-  and socio-graphically –    through your choice of media, distribution methods, marketing style (the latter through words and graphics, in the case of advertising).
  • Though your “look” and/or delivery method of your marketing message may vary  (in fact , that’s desirable), the quality of your message shouldn’t.
  • Use multiple initiatives to support your brand
  • Consistency of message-quality and constancy (persistence) are the keys.
  • Actually delivering what you promise is essential.
  • Delivering more than you promise will win (as customer-relationship guru Darby Checketts professes) “Customer Astonishment.”
  • Customer Astonishment translates to rave reviews.
  • Rave reviews translate to more – and repeat – business.




All of this was brought to mind by an article I read recently which reported that a hotel visitor posted a glowing online review of the Best Western Inn in Sedona AZ after a recent stay. The review stated: “I am somewhat of a snob when it comes to hotels. I was leery of Best Western, but this exceeded my expectations.”


According to the article, understandably, the chain’s President/CEO David Kong cringes when he hears raves like that. “It might be a compliment for the hotel, but it’s not a compliment for the brand,” he said.


What goes around . . .


Now, let’s take the case of Community Tire, a 7-outlet tire and auto service company with centers mostly in the metro Phoenix area, headed by my friend Howard Fleischmann and his partners. Howard is a “hustler,” of the highest stripe, seeing to it that the Community brand message is spread in myriad ways. His latest initiative is transforming his locations into “certified female friendly” places, seeing to it that they create “an inviting and comfortable environment where women feel welcome.”


Howard and wife Patricia, who was the evident inspiration for the program, sensed a need to change women’s outlook on the perceived image of repair shops, and have done something constructive to change it. And, perhaps equally important, they are making sure their market area knows about it. The energetic Howard (can you say, driven)  is proving once again through the firm’s Ask Patty certified service centers and many other ideas that the difference between advertising and marketing is this:


Advertising is selling what you have, and marketing is having what will sell.



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