Never forget how selfish your prospect is.

Posted on Aug 31, 2015

A selfish prospect? There’s no other kind. That’s why marketers are always talking about benefits. All sing praises to the virtues of the products or services delivered by their brand. Okay. Agreed. Clearly that’s a big step up from naively talking about features, which will get your knuckles rapped in Salesmanship 101 class. Features are, […]

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Is your marketing ROI in decline?

Posted on Aug 25, 2013

Do your ads, intended to sizzle, fizzle? Does it cost more, year against year, to get through to your market? When we pose this question to CEOs and CMOs, the answer is a uniform and melancholy Yes. Marketing ROI is declining for companies who are not evolving fast enough. Outbound marketing is less cost-effective this […]

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Is your brand digital-smart?

Posted on Feb 20, 2013

Let’s assume nobody reading this is still on the dinosaur end of the digital bell curve, clinging desperately to traditional advertising. Or printed directories, cold calling, and other circa-1998 antiques. Neither are you likely to be found on the other pointy end of the bell curve, shunning traditional media, uber-active in social media, building dialog […]

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Naming: navigating the minefield

Posted on Jan 16, 2013

It’s very challenging to create company names these days, especially when we insist on making the name available as a .com, be trademarkable, be easy to spell – zig-zagging around dozens of branding landmines. (One acid test: Can you remember a name perfectly, for example, if you hear it once over the phone?) So. We’re […]

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How do you answer “We already tried that”?

Posted on Nov 19, 2012

How do you solve the recurring difficulty of brand stakeholders stuck behind the that-doesn’t-work-for-us barrier? Sure, sometimes it’s legitimate. There are always strategies, tactics, media and processes impractical for a given brand. (Don’t advertise tampons during hockey broadcasts, or reverse mortgages on the Disney Channel.) There are even whole market segments that should be avoided. […]

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Leave company and product naming up to us.

Posted on May 24, 2011

Not that you aren’t passionately concerned with your new name. On the contrary. You’re the one most in the risk/reward hot seat. But naming is not your primary business, so it’s something you should outsource, just as you outsource brain surgery, elevator repair, and dog grooming. There are people out there with skills, experience and […]

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How Customer-Centered hurts your brand

Posted on May 14, 2011

You’re proud of your customer service. What could be wrong with that? Several things. For one, if you are truly “centered on your customers,” offer “great customer service,” or try to stay “close to the customer,” (to quote three clichés), you will miss great growth opportunities, and probably adopt a less-than-powerful brand strategy. To readers […]

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Three strategies for tough times

Posted on May 1, 2011

Current economic conditions mean your category is in flux. You and your competitors face tough choices. You have your brand to protect, so you have three strategic choices: spend less, spend more, or pretend nothing’s changed. Ignoring the fantasyland of choice #3, what’s the best strategy for you? Choosing between cost-cutting and aggression is easy, […]

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What can your brand learn from the Donald Trump brand?

Posted on Apr 30, 2011

The Donald shot to the top of the Republican contenders for the 2012 Presidential election in a few short weeks. Clearly some shrewd marketing was in play. Lesson One: In a weak competitive field, be aggressive. The competitors (some announced, some coyly un-announced to preserve their Rupert Murdoch paychecks) were struggling to get out of […]

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Wake me up when September … begins?

Posted on Jul 29, 2010

Conventional wisdom tells us that “nobody makes serious business decisions in August,” so wait until Labor Day to approach CEOs with matters that matter. Horsefeathers. Maybe that’s true in France, where the whole nation goes on vacation, but any American CEO who goes passive for an entire month just isn’t serious enough about the company’s […]

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