Category Archives: Marketing Stuff

Going Organic?

The latest trend today is to “go green”. That is good. Don’t really know if that help us avoid 2012, but well, we do what we can.

So, thought I seen it all, until I saw this – Organic Cotton BABY WIPES. I am a little too old for this, but it did bring out the giggles. I fully understand the motivation and the attraction of the idea, don’t get me wrong here. But well, baby wipes?

Used to be that Organic Marketing had a totally different meaning. Now, new term like Sustainable Marketing and Triple Bottom Line are beginning to become common. Will it every become mainstream enough that you will not need to Google it to figure out what it means? Who knows.

Will you be on this band-wagon?

Have you heard about the Heart Sales Workshop?

I just saw this very interesting post over at the Versa Blog. It was talking about some sales guru who appeared to have the monopoly on great sales technique… I’m a skeptic, but if Vivienne feels it is good, then there must be something to it. Go read it at Meeting the Heart Sales Guru

Times, they are bad indeed. So I guess any boost that you can give to improve sales would be an improvement. Right?

Small Company, Small Branding – For what?

Many small companies do not think that they need a brand. Actually, this topic has been covered by many speakers and writers who talk about branding.

Mostly, everyone is saying the same thing – you need to brand yourself. And of course, there are a ton of reasons why that is a good thing. So, if you are running a small business, how should you brand yourself and is there really a benefit to spending money on branding?

Paying a few thousand dollars to have a brand guru come in might not be the best option, especially for small businesses.

Before I go on, I want to make one statement – don’t be fooled by the big guys.

You see, many of us look at the big brands and we can understand why they do branding, advertising, marketing and promotions. Then we turn around and look at our little print shop or deli and wonder how that is relevant to us. And we think we do not need branding. After all, Jack comes in every morning for his coffee and Mary takes her bagel, with cheese; and they don’t really care the color of my logo. Actually, I just want to suggest that they do care. But maybe not in a way that you would like them to care. And in many case, you don’t care. And that makes it a moot point, doesn’t it?

Many small businesses do not take their own branding seriously. They do not see how a small business like theirs can benefit from a brand. Branding is a way of telling your customers what you stand for, and therefore, what they are getting. You would be surprised, that when you close your deli, and the new owner sets up shop, Jack might no longer get his coffee and Mary no longer needs her bagel. Why?

For small companies, branding is not about big, glitzy campaigns. Branding is about providing a consistent level of service, quality and value – and doing it with a consistently recognizable “face”. That same cup with your logo (or name, if you don’t have a logo). The same brown, eco-friendly paper bag. The tinkle of the door bell when a customer enters. Yes, even your welcoming smile. It all adds up the the total experience of buying something from you. Over time, that becomes your identity. Over time, you would have established your brand, like it or not.

So, small companies do need to brand themselves. But maybe not in the same way as the big boys do. Do you know what you need to do? If you have no idea, you might want to start with a simple Quick Branding Package which you can do online.

I want to suggest that to have your branding strategy started, do a simple survey as ask:

– what your customers like about your products/services
– what they like about your company
– what your suppliers think about your company
– what your staff like about your product/service

Once you have an idea of what your “brand” represents, you will know the priorities and the choices you need to make in order to maintain it. No need for the big bucks if you are small, but that is no excuse for not doing a few simple things to ensure your brand is clearly and properly communicated.

Marketing StarBucks Brand

It is strange. When we were in school, we skipped as many lectures as we could. Now, I spend 15 mins listening to one and actually liked it.

This post: How Starbucks Uses Psychological Triggers To Influence Customers – Video contains an excellent video of a lecture by Bryant Simon on how Starbucks has used various psychological triggers to successfully market their brand. Excellent stuff.

If you are not smiling after watching this, you don’t love marketing. Go sell cars. :)

Cock Crows, Sun Rise

Every morning, while everyone is still fast asleep, comfortable, warm and in bliss – the cock crows. Grumbling people get out of bed and go about their chores. Why?

You see, when the cock crows, everyone knows the sun is going to rise. Then, if the cock does not crow, or worse, there are no cocks where you live (get your head on straight); will the sun rise?

Sometimes in marketing, isn’t this how it seems to be? You see, we marketers have all these creative ideas, cool slogans and dazzling logos; our marketing {crowing} is irressitible. We hypnotise them with our witty copy, compel them with our TV commercials and of course, endorsements – who can resist when a movie star tells you which soap to buy?

So, it is not surprising, that just as there are some dumb cocks (no pun intended) who think that they are the ones who bring the sun up each day; we marketers sometimes feel that nothing succeeds without our brilliant marketing. It’s exciting stuff, this marketing.

What I want to say here, is that success requires teamwork. Any company that thinks that it can succeed with excellent technology alone, or products, or low cost, or great marketing – are delusional. So, we need great marketers; but these must complement a group of great engineers/cooks/designers…. you get the picture.

One final word on this. A smart aleck farmer hated cocks, so he assigned that crowing job to the ducks. I don’t know how successful it was, his farm is still dark, probably not awake yet.