5 Tips for Forging a New Brand

8513073813_b06cefeb80I’ve launched a couple of my own companies, and helped more than a half dozen other brands as well as others’ book projects launch. The media landscape changed, but there are common approaches I would execute today if I were to launch a new company and brand.

Here are my top five activities for forging a new brand:

1) Align with stakeholders: Usually a company, brand or service is created with a vision in mind, a way to do things better. But sometimes that entrepreneurial vision is not in line or positioned well with market needs.
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Why I Don’t Blog About Social Tools

John Wall's Sweet J Filtered
I re-edited this John Wall jumper photo with Snapseed, one of my favorite social tools for photo sharing.

People frequently ask my opinion about social networks and applications. While I oblige requests individually, generally I don’t proactively seek to give advice or blog about tools unless the discussion revolves around a macro trend or impacts strategy.

It comes down to positioning, long term viability and personal interest.

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Customer Experience Trumps Content Marketing

Content Mind Map
Image by MindMapInspiration

More and more voices state that content marketing overhype has jumped the shark. They’re right. As a primary strategy content marketing is overhyped. Instead, brands should focus on customer experience marketing.

Before we go too far, let me say I love content, all forms of it, too, not just online, but events, print, and music, just to name a few. Brand developed content (cough, advertising) offers a great tactical toolset, one of my favorites.

That doesn’t necessarily mean content marketing should serve as every company’s primary outreach strategy.

Why not just make Facebook your primary strategy? Should we have that conversation again?

A better strategic approach focuses on marketing tools as extensions of the brand experience.

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Why Your Marketing Stinks and How to Fix It

Trees in the Park
Image by Lune Rambler

The following is a guest post by Erica Mills. She created a low cost tool called the Marketing Tree that forces you through a strategy process. I thought it was pretty cool, and asked her to blog about it.

Please welcome her. Bonus miles, the three best comments will get a Marketing Tree process mailed to them.

Since we don’t really know each other, it’s probably rude of me to say that your marketing stinks. Fair enough.

The thing is, I’ve taught thousands of organizations and businesses how to do effective marketing and here’s what I can say: your marketing might not stink, but you’ve probably got some Extreme Marketing Mayhem going on.

Why the mayhem? Because if you’re like most people, you head straight for the latest, greatest shiny objects and skip over all that boring planning and strategy stuff.
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Break Open and Dominate Your Market

Congratulations to Michael Phelps

Win one of 10 free autographed copies of Marketing in the Round on Goodreads!

Brands often falter after they achieve success and notoriety.

This represents a classic strategic error. Once a market breaks open, a brand should push through, separate from the pack, and absolutely dominate its marketplace.

That’s what makes for a company that becomes a permanent force in its market.

First place is the envy of all competitors in business.
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Influence: The Importance of Consistency

Consistency: a Motivational Poster
Image by jot777stan

It’s funny how much we talk about content frequency, retweet ratios, comments, etc. as key determinants of influence. What really matters in interactions with people, particularly as a content creator, is consistency.

Not that content, retweets and interactions aren’t important. They are (depending on your goals).

They’re just public and measurable, making them easily quantified. Go Klout.

From a psychological perspective, when trying to develop influence and loyalty we need consistency in those acts. We trust people that deliver reliable consistent acts, and are even lulled into trusting them without thinking about it (groupthink).
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