The customer may not be infallible (like you or I?), but it’s a safe bet they know a lot more about their own business than I do. It’s my job to help them realize their vision, not mine. We’re building their brand, not my portfolio. As competition gets more fierce (or if you will, as marketing dollars get more scarce), even established ad agencies are acknowledging that customers must have the final “say” in their own brand. (more…)
I’m often involved in conversations with small business owners regarding their marketing materials, and lately I’ve notice a disturbing trend. There’s an increasing gap between companies who hold integrity dear, and their competitors. A prospect has to dig pretty deep to know who’s good for what, and you’re left with two large responsibilities – business ethics and conveying them so a customer has a clear choice.
When you provide a service or product that exceeds client expectation, you increase your competitive edge by a wide margin. When they can see it coming because of the way you present yourself, you do even better. Knowing how the ‘dark side’ does things helps you stay above the fray and show others what to avoid, too.
When sales decline, budgets tighten and typically, the first area to be scrutinized for cutback is promotion and marketing. Part of the magic of marketing is the ability to create perception. Businesses must create and maintain a perception that they are critical, viable and resilient.
An example of this is your local auto dealership. Even when sales are in a slump, they continue to run weekly ads in local newspapers. Why? To maintain their customers’ perception that things are just fine. Of course the automobile is an intricate part of the American psyche. Give the perception that the local automobile dealership isn’t viable and the ripple effect can reach far and wide. (more…)
As business owners, we work hard to create the perfect picture of ourselves and our company. Call it branding or call it perception, either way it all boils down to getting the details right. One such detail is your email address.
If you have a company Web site, it is in your best interest to use your URL where ever you can, especially in your email address. You’ve invested time and money to build your business, establish your brand and create your Web site, so why not carry that professionalism and pride into your email address? (more…)