Posted by Admin
This column first appeared in RimoftheWorld.net on Nov. 29, 2009
I’m not sure how I sliced off a chunk of skin from my left index finger while we were at the drug store the other day. But I couldn’t get the thing to stop bleeding. While I was digging in my purse for tissues, my daughter, Lauren, was scouring the aisles when she came across a new product that speeds coagulation. It’s called Wound-Be-Gone.
“Mom, this would be perfect for you,” she said, reading the fine print on the box. “It’s the only over-the-counter product clinically proven to accelerate healing, decrease inflammation, reduce tenderness, and prevent scar formation with both acute and chronic wounds. And it’s travel size, which is perfect for you since you are always hurting yourself.”
Though she sounded like an infomercial, I have to admit Lauren was right. My left hand looks like a “before” picture for burn cream, eczema medicine, and anti-bacterial ointment. The battle scars are from my curling iron, our oven, and several particularly menacing grocery store rotisserie chicken-heating units. So, to my daughter’s credit, Wound-Be-Gone was a lucky find.
Lauren’s slick salesmanship aside, the primary reason I made the jump from casual browser to paying customer was because the prospect of parting with $19.99 plus tax was less painful to me than the embarrassment and inconvenience of hemorrhaging all over the floor at Rite Aid. The manufacturers of Wound-Be-Gone made the sale because they met me at the point of my pain. And, in the end, every sale does the same.
The rub is how to articulate your ability to meet needs. You can do it with the name of your company, the name of your product, your slogan or your advertising campaign. Or, better yet, with all of the above.
Here are some examples of national brands that do this well:
Pain Point: My house is a disorganized, undecorated mess.
Solution: You can do it. We can help. (Home Depot)
Pain Point: I’m so sick that I can’t sleep.
Solution: The nighttime coughing, achy, sniffling, stuffy head, fever, so you can rest medicine. (Nyquil)
Pain Point: I have to deliver this package right away or I could get fired.
Solution: When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight. (Federal Express)
Pain Point: I’m fat.
Solution: Slim Quick
To make sure you are addressing your prospective customers’ points of pain, you need to define your Unique Sales Proposition. The reason I recommend creating a USP as a first step is because it will force you to look at your offering from the end user’s point of view instead of from your own. The good news is that you can create and support a good USP no matter your budget.
Ask your friends and business associates for ideas. A jewelry store owner and former member of my networking group developed a slogan by asking us for ideas. He finally decided to go with Everything Fine at Kelly’s on Vine. And while it isn’t necessarily my first choice, because it doesn’t clearly communicate his Unique Sales Proposition, it’s catchy. So he should use it with abandon. Once you settle on your tag, splash it on your business cards, letterhead and website and in your email signature.
On a Budget
If your budget puts you in an either/or situation, spend it to hire someone to define your trademark instead of on the advertising to promote it. With social media marketing and directory listings, there’s never been a better time to advance your brand for free. And when business improves and your budget increases, you’ll be proud of what you’re promoting.
The Sky’s the Limit
Find an agency to help you come up with a strategy to compliment your USP. One of our clients, Sandra, is a doctor of optometry. Before coming up with a tagline for her practice, we reminded her she is selling more than eye exams, glasses or contact lenses. She is offering the promise of clear vision. To accentuate her goal of superior customer service, we came up with a slogan that showcases her USP, Eye Focus on You. And, I’ve got a great spokeswoman on deck if she ever wants to do an infomercial.
Until next week, I’ll be Bowling for Business.
Tags: BNI, Bowling for Business, brands, company slogans, directory listings, drug stores, home depot, logos, national brands, nyquil, rimoftheworld.net, rotisserie chicken burns, slim quick, Social Media, unique sales proposition, USP, wound be gone
Posted by Admin
This column first appeared on RimoftheWorld.net on Nov. 9, 2009.
Because there were two girls named Kathy in Mrs. Dale’s kindergarten class, my mother agreed to let everyone call me Kathy Ann. The horror of it haunts me to this day.
Don’t get me wrong. Ann is a lovely name. Not only is it my middle name, but it’s the name of two of my favorite aunts. But my weak bladder, coupled with my classmates’ irritating ability to rhyme, produced a moniker that took me a long time to shake…Kathy Ann in the Can. In fact, the nickname stuck until we moved to another school district when I was in sixth grade.
When it comes to people and business, for better or worse, branding happens. And it doesn’t take much to get people to react to an organization’s emblem. Take the controversial 2012 Olympic logo, created at a staggering cost of 400,000 pounds. The image drew fire from a group called Epilepsy Action, which said that a video promoting the logo triggers migraines, epileptic fits and vomiting. The International Olympic Committee is set to investigate the logo which politicians say is childish and “looks like Boris Johnson’s hair.
Although causing people to puke is rarely the objective in professional trademark development, some believe there is no such thing as negative publicity. So, in that regard, the London Olympic logo designer’s efforts were successful.
A more conventional approach would be to create a logo that is:
- Instantly recognizable
Some famous logos that fill the bill include Google, Starbucks, Coca-Cola, Fed-Ex, and McDonalds, whose images you most likely pictured even as you read their names. The reason you recognize these brands, however, isn’t just because their logos are great. Superior products, excellent service and aggressive marketing help. Let’s face it, if your company sucks, coming up with an amazing image for it is lipstick on a pig.
But for a credible organization, finding the right symbol can mean the difference between obscurity and notoriety. This is especially true in the Internet age, where deep pockets to pay for full-color brochures and slick press packets are no longer necessary. Anyone with a computer and a low resolution, jpeg version of their logo can upload it everywhere from A1-Webmarks to Zaadz.com.
But commissioning a classic design can come at a hefty price. So how do you to produce an iconic logo if you’re on a budget? Whatever the price point, you have several options.
- For Free—if you have no money with which to build your brand, proceed with caution. Like it or not, the logo you choose today will be with your firm for years to come. Also, unless your business is graphic design or fine art, don’t buy do-it-yourself logo software in an ill-fated attempt to craft your own. Having access to a logo program won’t make you an artist any more than owning a calculator will turn you into a mathematician.
When money is tight, less is more. So try to find a nice, clean, clear font for your company name and then quit while you’re ahead. Avoid the temptation to add clipart to the mix. Also, when choosing typeface, skip Script and Old English, unless you’re shooting for an Addams-Family vibe.
- On a Budget—while I generally caution clients against ordering logos online, some companies do a respectable job for under $200. The problem is that, when left to their own devices, many entrepreneurs will ask their Internet designer to place their company name inside a blue and red oval, without realizing they like the look because they’ve seen it on cans of Bud Lite.
- The Sky’s the Limit—if you are in the enviable position of actually having money in your marketing budget, don’t skimp on the cornerstone of business communication. Find someone you trust and let them do what they do best so you can do what you do best. The right professional can help you define your unique sales proposition so your logo not only looks great and conveys your message to the intended target, but does so without inducing nausea.
Tags: 2012 Olympic logo, advertising, Boris Johnson's hair, Bowling for Business, bowling on a budget, Coca-Cola, do-it-yourself logo software, entrepreneur, Fed Ed, free logo, Google, graphic design, icon, logo, logo controversy, logo on a budget, marketing, McDonalds, on a budget, online logos, public relations, Starbucks, symbol, trademark, unique sales proposition, USP