branding

Are You A Lemming?

Raise your hand if you remember the Sears-Roebuck catalogue.... No? Then how about the Sears catalogue that came out years later?  .... Still no! Yellow Pages phone directory?  Hmm! tough crowd.

Okay picture this, Amazon puts pictures and descriptions of all their products into a large glossy coated paper book and delivers it to your home.  It would be a catalogue so big it would need a forklift but the point is you’d notice it wouldn’t you? And you know why?  Because nobody’s doing that anymore.

It doesn’t mean this approach is ineffective; in fact it’s just the opposite.  It just means that everybody has jumped onto the online marketing bandwagon because; well, because they saw that everyone else did (that’s my lemming reference by the way).  

When everyone’s doing the same thing, that’s your first hint to do just the opposite. Sure emails are convenient, cheap and immediate but it won’t make you stand out. If you want to be memorable do something that makes you stand out.

Print mail would do that, especially when your competition isn’t doing it. Just look at your email inbox verses your home or business mailbox.  You’re physically going to touch whatever is mailed to you at home.  Before you can even decide if it is or isn’t of interest you have had to look at it. An email may get deleted without ever being noticed or go right to spam.  

Print mail partnered with emails is your best solution. An email that preps your clients and prospects that a 50 % off coupon is coming in the mail for that new local restaurant is going to be well received.

How about a new fitness club that’s just opened and you see flyers and posters all around town or a leaflet tucked under your car windshield wiper? When days later you get an email from them to come in for a free visit, that’s a well-engineered marketing campaign. It’s still done because it’s still effective.

Whether your business emails are accompanied with postcards, greeting cards or skywriting you ‘re going to be noticed because you’re this throwback savvy multi- approach marketer.

Just remember whenever you’re going against the flow of traffic you’re either in the wrong lane or more likely you’re making a calculated move to be different and effective.

 

Are You All This or All That?

Dear Diary: “Fred asked me out again today; I guess it’s over between him and Daphne”.

That would have been a younger girl version of me writing about my then heartthrob, Fred Jones of Scooby-Doo fame. Do you remember Scooby-Doo and the cast? Maybe you fed your dog Scooby Snacks or you had a Scooby –Doo Mystery Machine or a Shaggy Doll. You name it; their faces were plastered all over every conceivable toy and kids product going. I’ll bet your children have pleaded (or had tantrums) for this or many other related products (think Ninja Turtles or Barney and Friends). There was a time where your brand meant just getting your face or product picture on as many things as possible, but that was then. 

Branding is now much more about how your product, service or company is perceived and talked about by “the people” than it is about what you say, how much money you spend or many products you can get your pictures on.

Are the Kardashians a brand? You better believe it. The queen of the “selfie”, we won’t name her but you know who I mean, started out as part of a family of oddball characters, which over the years has become even odder as they went along. I don’t even know where to begin with this family, but the most famous of the clan found her own niche in society where  many young women identified with her curvaceous figure. This was at a time where waif thin models still ruled the magazines and modelling industry, now a new face on the scene was preaching    acceptance of your figure. The rest is history; the Kardashians have gone on to become one of the most successful brands in western culture.  But how did the Kardashian phenomenon happen?

The K family followed some simple rules (intentionally or not) and it started with what others were saying about them, and it was  most often occurring through social media.  If the bloggers, tweeters, facebookers and snapchatters are calling you this, then your efforts to appear to be that means changing the public perception of you by influencing this and that. The Kardashians embraced the technology and in fact totally influenced and exploited it. 

The language you use, the specific market you target, the humanitarian causes you support, the website your customer sees, the taglines you use, how your own employees talk about you, the pictures you post and of course the quality of the product or service you provide are all part of a complicated mix that requires industry professionals to navigate.