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Category Archives: branding

Show me you understand me and create moments that matter.

By | branding, customer centric marketing, Customer experience, Uncategorized | No Comments

It is often when we are in holiday mode that we get the chance to look at everyday activities and interactions with an open mind. I love the chance to slow down but even with the change of pace I still can’t help keeping an eye out for marketing ideas.IMG_0725
The biggest point of difference going forward for all businesses is the customer experience and being able to show your value, show that you know your audience and deliver some special insights that delight them. Learn more here re predictions for 2015.
While I was having a cup of tea these holidays I came across this tea bag. Each one had a different saying on the tea bag ticket. What a clever and simple way to show that Tetley actually understood that having a cuppa is a moment in time, an experience that we want to escape, reset and enjoy, not just a beverage. Every product and service can use this customer insight to create those moments that matter, that set them apart from others.

We have been staying in a holiday cottage by the sea and the owners have gone to great lengths to think of those creature comforts that make the memories we share here special. Little things like a selection of CDs, magazines, hot water bottles, dominos, extra cushions and blankets, tea and coffee and condiments. They have even developed a little guide for activities and how to get down the the water via a track only known to residents.

Creature comforts

Creature comforts

Gartner has found that for most brands, 80% of your future income will come from your existing customer base. This is why the most brilliant marketers focus their efforts on customer satisfaction strategies.

How do you show your customers that you understand them and create moments that matter? Love to know?

What is a brand? Key functions

By | branding | No Comments

What is a brand?

The collections of perceptions about your company.

Brand is not just a packaging, tag-line and logo. Brand is every interaction with your customers. The perceptions your customers have about your brand, influences whether they choose you over a competitor.

Brand is more than a logo

Do you have brand recognition or awareness or just a corporate identity with a logo. Many small businesses spend a lot of time on their logo or website without considering the messaging to the target audience to see if it will resonate and any time promoting their communications. A brand is not just visual, it is behavioural. Are you listening to your customers?

I bought an Apple Mac computer this week. Until then I had a Dell and had been very happy. The support was fantastic, they were proactive with their sales calls and not pushy. Despite enjoying my Dell laptop it did get viruses and I didn’t feel as cool as I might. I even stuck on a Apple logo on my Dell saying to clients ” I want to be an Apple computer”. So you get the picture. So the time had come and I ventured into their Chadstone store.

The store the atmosphere and the branding everywhere made you feel like you were somewhere special. The uniform of the staff being hip and the furniture and layout super cool. Then  I met a salesperson called Clay. He was helpful but not energetic like I imagined a Apple person to be. I felt like I got the right technical advise but the service  left me feeling ripped off. First I asked Clay if there was anything else I needed (perfect up-sell opportunity). I thought at the end of the conversation I had everything only to discover when I got home I didn’t. I didn’t have the extra software I asked for and I didn’t have a mouse which I think is key. What’s more the 1 to 1 registration that we did for extra support in the store had locked me out on my new computer at home. All of this I could live with but then I experienced more dissatisfaction when I went back into the store for the second time in 2 hours. This time Igor told me I had to bring in my old laptop with my new laptop so they could see how long the appointment time would be for support which I then had to book! Holy cow, totally rubbish support and not only that, apparently wrong. I spoke with another salesperson when getting my wireless mouse and he (Chris) said I could book the support/ lesson on line. Come on Apple what is going on. I tell this story because Apple have nailed their physical brand. The logo, tag, store and salespeople appearance, but it all is devalued the moment you experience less than satisfactory customer service. Someone needs to start training these geeks in customer service fast!!! Interesting also is there is no where on the Apple website to make a customer compliant. Not at all promoting the right image in assisting customers.

Brand attributes: for a brand to do its job well it should have the following benefits.

  • Recognition/ awareness: Does the market know you exist? Have you heard of x company?
  • Top of mind awareness: memorised your brand
  • Brand preference: choose you over others, they need what you do.  They like you.
  • Differentiation: they believe you are different to the other choices.

Remember the famous McGraw Hill ad from about 30 years ago? The one with the grumpy, old man saying, “I don’t know you. I don’t know your company. I don’t know what you stand for. Now, what was it you wanted to sell me?”

Brand can help give you sell you service by providing a level of trust and comfort in the eyes of the customer.

What does branding do?

1.Branding – draws clients to you and gives you opportunity to meet face to face with customers.

2.Brands pulls everything together in a cohesive package which gives the your business a visual identity.

3.Brand can make price less of a consideration in the buying cycle.

4.Brands increase sales effectiveness. Brands help generate leads. It makes lead generation programs work better.

5. Brands helps you beat the competition.

6. Brands facilitate repeat purchases as customers prefer to buy from you.

7. Brands attract the best candidates.

8. Brands increase value of a company.

Brands have many long term financial benefits. So as a small business think about brand as more than the physical elements and put as much effort or more into the messaging about what you stand for and delivering the brand promise to your customers.

Insight taken from Professional Service Marketing by Mike Schultz and John Doerr

Fun is the core of a successful business.

By | branding, small business marketing | No Comments

“Fun is at the core of the way I like to do business and it has been the key to everything I’ve done from the outset. More than any other element, fun is the secret of Virgin’s success.”

—Richard Branson, CEO of Virgin

What is your culture like? More than  any other element I believe it shapes your success as a business. The way your employees interact with one another and the values and vision they share is key.

Here are some other organisations that inspire me with their culture.

Red Balloon culture is a fun culture.

Microsoft innovation

Virgin Blue fun, opportunity, culture

Google fun, creative, exploring

Starbucks , fun, passionate for the customer

What is your culture like? Take the survey.

Your personal brand Vs your company

By | branding | One Comment

I was speaking with a client the other day and he suggested I need to separate  me Dan the person,  from MacInnis Marketing the brand. This statement got me thinking. Is this advisable or even possible when you are a small business delivering a service?

The personality of the brand MacInnis Marketing is all tied up with who I am and my values. My value is intricately tied to that. The very reason clients choose to use me as a consultant is I would argue because of who I am? Obviously this is different if you run a  large company with a number of employees, but in a small business doesn’t the person count more? Isn’t it more relationship based? Do you choose your dentist, accountant, lawyer and doctor because something about their personal brand resonates with you?

Tom Peters from FastCompany says how important it is to nurture your personal brand “Regardless of age, regardless of position, regardless of the business we happen to be in, all of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You.” Tom explains in today’s world of self publishing, of social media, of 1 to many everyone has the chance to stand out as a brand.

Anyone can have a website, twitter account, Facebook page and as Tom explains, any body does, so how do you know which one is worth visiting or following? The answer Tom suggests is branding. The branding is the promise of value you receive so you go back again and again. Professional service firms are all about delivering an intangible service and so to stand out it is the individual that must distinguish him or herself. As Tom explains “if you’re really smart, you figure out what it takes to create a distinctive role for yourself — you create a message and a strategy to promote the brand called You.

What if you don’t want to grow beyond yourself as a entrepeneur. What if you are not looking to hire, then what? Laura  Bergell’s wrote a great article on discovering your brand and Laura would suggest the essence is knowing who you really are and how your customers see you.

Here is how my customers say they see me:(worlde)

So I believe your personal brand is all wrapped up in your company when you are a small business and particularly a sole practitioner so here are some ways you can work on your personal brand:

1) Identify the qualities that makes you distinctive from others.
2) Think about the things that can add remarkable,measurable,distinguish and distinctive value in you.
3) Increase your visibility
4) Analyze the feature and benefits you are giving to your customers.
5) Continuously evaluate your self,how you as a brand is doing.
6) Never limit your scope. (Thanks Kuldeep-Kashyap – student)

So I guess thinking about my client’s comment I am really glad that my personality, values and strengths are part of my brand and I hope to evolve and grow by the gift of feedback from my clients. I don’t think can separate myself from my brand and in fact I want to do the opposite and use forums like this to further build my profile and identity with others.

Good food for thought!

Meeting unmet customer needs, creates market leadership

By | branding, small business marketing | One Comment

Chip Conley in his book Peak uses Maslow to define how companies should be reviewing their marketing strategy.



Basically he asks a couple of key questions. One taken from Peter Drucker is for companies to ask:

What business are we in? And what are the unrecognised needs of our customers? Conley then gives some great examples how companies have moved up the pyramid to delight and surprise customers by doing some creative thinking and mind reading to exceed their expectations and gain a brand passion.

He talks about Apple and Target as examples of how to use the Maslow framework to understand customers and their desires.

It might be an idea to put your company into the framework and see if you are more enlightened by this exercise.

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