Branding, Marketing, Advertising, And Salesmanship

 
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Old 04-16-2009, 08:34 AM   #1
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Branding, Marketing, Advertising, And Salesmanship


First and foremost, I am not a expert on this subject; however, these are a few of the things that have I have observed.

Branding--the look you want the customer to remember your biz by. First, your logo-should be as simple as possible, preferably black and white. To brand can also be the color of your overall company look. Example-HO says to his wife, "Why don't you call the company with the little house thingy on their flyer"--you've just succeeded in branding your biz. It is the immediate picture someone can relate to your biz without even knowing your company name.

*p.s.-the best posters on this forum (in my mind) have branded themselves already, because I follow the stuff that they post and I am always searching for their threads. Well, what do you see when reading their threads?--Their avatar and related info at the upper left corner of the post.

Marketing. The total act of activities related to getting customers to know your company, call your company, and hire your company. After all, you could be the best company at what you do but if a prospect can't find this out, what good will it do you?

Advertising. The actual physical stuff you pass out, mail, or send to potential customers. Could also be physical acts created to get customers.

Salesmanship. What you do as a company representative to get your company business when meeting with potential prospects. To me, this is a very important step that should be rehearsed over and over.

I could go longer on the latter 2, but now I got to go to work. What are your thoughts?
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Old 04-16-2009, 10:48 AM   #2
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Re: Branding, Marketing, Advertising, And Salesmanship


Darwin, I like your ideas but think branding is much more than first impressions and logos. It is actually closely tied to the client experience with your business. If your experience is good for your customers, your brand will likely be great; even if your logo is a hand-scratched thing done by your child.
The experience is all the stuff that adds up to enough enjoyment and satisfaction (and even better, 'wow, this is wonderful' reactions by your current clients that they will enthusiastically refer/return for more. The brand IS the experience.
Fortunately, I think most people on this forum get the branding idea right -- they care enough to learn about their business, and share insights, and presumably have the same respectful attitudes to most of their clients (not all clients are worth keeping, I realize).
When you combine good branding with solid ongoing marketing, you will hit the home run. Selling, then, becomes easy, because clients WANT to buy from you (and often won't even consider calling your competitors, regardless of price.)

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Old 04-16-2009, 11:49 AM   #3
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Re: Branding, Marketing, Advertising, And Salesmanship


Darwin, I think your PS in branding says it pretty well too. Branding is definitely more than just the look or logo, it is the overall perception that customers have. A visual, strategy, or slogan may come to mind quickly (like golden arches for McDonald's, driving custom VW Bugs for Geek Squad, or "fair and balanced" for FOX News), but all the associations that people make with those are part of the branding.

I would add "reach" to your list too. The branding is something every business owner is doing whether they do it consciously or not. It's just the reach that varies. The reach could be to only 10 people or 10 million, but once you have decided what your brand is, and systematically begin building the brand, then it's time to extend the reach. The seasoned business owners here don't need to be told this, but if you're newer to business, it's a good thing to know as you seek to build your brand.

Your brand starts with your first customer. For this reason, new business owners need to be careful about working cheap because they immediately have branded themselves that way. The customer you get as a referral will expect the same, and your reach is now two people for your cheap brand. OK, I wasn't intending to say all that, but I hope it helps someone here because every business decision affects your brand even if you don't think of it that way.

I just wanted to quick comment on the logo being in B&W. That would be a matter of personal preference, but I would say that a logo should look good in B&W. A lot of so called logos don't. A sure sign of a bad logo design is one that doesn't still look good without the color.
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Old 04-20-2009, 09:03 AM   #4
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Re: Branding, Marketing, Advertising, And Salesmanship


Branding is indirect.

Marketing is direct.

Branding - think of building a brand.

Now think about what a brand is. A brand is a perception in the market place.

Think about the airlines -- for the most part they have destroyed their individual brands, there is no brand. Who thinks of United Airlines and associates anything with them? You associate nothing.

Now think about beer. Think about Budweiser what do you associate with them? Good times, hot women, having fun... big ass horses... the super bowl... etc...

That's what branding is. When somebody thinks of your company what do they think about.

For 99.99% of us branding is out of the question and fool hardy. The vast majority of us have not the huge financial deep pockets to create a brand. Branding costs more than any other form of marketing. For most of us our businesses are too small and wouldn't benefit from branding.

McDonalds spends over 4 billion dollars a year keeping their branding going. Think about it, would anybody not know what McDonalds is or does if they cut their budget to zero for a year? Over the short term it wouldn't matter, but over the long term they would suffer.

Now marketing is direct. Marketing is usually a function of spending X amount of dollars to generate X amount of measurable return on your marketing spent. Marketing is about doing 1 thing to get another to happen immediately. It's measurable and tangible.

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Old 04-20-2009, 09:13 AM   #5
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Re: Branding, Marketing, Advertising, And Salesmanship


I may be looking at this the wrong way, but I give out a bag of "WoW" coffee when I do a home visit. Coffee=kitchens=bath (morning coffee).
I have been calling that branding, I have no advertising on my coffee giveaway except for a wow sticker which I consider branding?
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Old 04-20-2009, 09:21 AM   #6
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Re: Branding, Marketing, Advertising, And Salesmanship


For the most part what you are doing and getting is an immediate return on your gesture.

You are getting - hey thanks for the coffee, or... he gave us that nice coffee

You aren't getting - Oh yeah, Silver Tree Construction, those are the guys who give out the coffee, we heard about that, or we saw that...

The latter would be a result of branding. The latter is going to take a sh*t load of money to accomplish.
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Old 04-20-2009, 09:40 AM   #7
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Re: Branding, Marketing, Advertising, And Salesmanship


No problem, at the least it may impress someone. Its better coffee than you could get at the store and it costs the same as a presentation book which I don't believe in anyway. We agree on branding is for companies with deep pockets, but most business owners still use platitudes to promote and branding should not be cliches.

Quality-Factory Trained-Experienced-Old World Craftsman-
What the hell does that have to do with meeting peoples needs.
Who gives a rip about a "Mission Statement" another cliche tact.

"Don't worry ma'am, read my brochure all my guys are old world craftsman and our mission is to exceed your expectations"
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Old 04-20-2009, 09:44 AM   #8
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Re: Branding, Marketing, Advertising, And Salesmanship


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Originally Posted by silvertree View Post
No problem, at the least it may impress someone. Its better coffee than you could get at the store and it costs the same as a presentation book which I don't believe in anyway. We agree on branding is for companies with deep pockets, but most business owners still use platitudes to promote and branding should not be cliches.

Quality-Factory Trained-Experienced-Old World Craftsman-
What the hell does that have to do with meeting peoples needs.
Who gives a rip about a "Mission Statement" another cliche tact.

"Don't worry ma'am, read my brochure all my guys are old world craftsman and our mission is to exceed your expectations"
If you think that is interesting read this:


RMB Mission
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Old 04-20-2009, 09:54 AM   #9
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Re: Branding, Marketing, Advertising, And Salesmanship


Mike, you have a good and blunt approach with your core values, which is a mission statement. But I ask, do people really read these and do you think it convinces them to act on your statement?
You could say we all have one, I call mine the Silvertree Philosophy

We believe that there are five components to a successful design:
  1. Listen Carefully.
    • We listen to wish lists and ideas our clients may find hard to articulate. We translate these into the functional and aesthetic goals for each design.
  2. Plan Thoroughly.
    • We cover the details that allow a project to move forward with the right product at the right time.
  3. Budget Effectively.
    • We design solutions that fit within the overall budget for the project.
  4. Think Long-term.
    • Our designs are created to be flexible and adaptable to the future needs of our clients. We understand that our design decisions will have a lasting impact on our clients and the environment.
  5. Design Passionately.
    • We strive to design memorable spaces that reflect the tastes and lifestyles of our clients.
I am going to simplify this in the future, I think I have too many cliches.
Plus I have another statement that touches on core values, for me I would like it done in one sentence.
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Old 04-20-2009, 10:08 AM   #10
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Re: Branding, Marketing, Advertising, And Salesmanship


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Originally Posted by silvertree View Post
I may be looking at this the wrong way, but I give out a bag of "WoW" coffee when I do a home visit. Coffee=kitchens=bath (morning coffee).
I have been calling that branding, I have no advertising on my coffee giveaway except for a wow sticker which I consider branding?
Seeing the wow like that, I would expect Batman and Robin to show up to install my kitchen.

Pow
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Old 04-20-2009, 10:09 AM   #11
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Re: Branding, Marketing, Advertising, And Salesmanship


Well, what I showed you is more an internal company device. It isn't shown to customers. It's on the employement page for a reason, but a small one.

What you see there has more value internally for myself and the company I'm building then anything else.

It's isn't our mission statement, it truly is instead our core values.

Like a business plan, creating your core values has more value in the process it takes getting them figured out then actually writing them down. The process I went through was the value. It allowed me to center myself and the company and create the path to follow and created an internal understanding.

Two very valuable books to me are "Good to Great" and "Built to Last". As I recall the creating of our core values was a result of those books. Prior to reading them I thought I knew what I was doing, and where I was going and how to get there, but I really didn't. I can't stress enough the value of those books to me.
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Old 04-20-2009, 10:20 AM   #12
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Re: Branding, Marketing, Advertising, And Salesmanship


I have read Jim Collins, and I'm driving the bus. Just having a little trouble driving between the lines.

And Rory, do you think if I showed up dressed as Batman people would remember me?
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Old 04-20-2009, 10:22 AM   #13
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Re: Branding, Marketing, Advertising, And Salesmanship


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I have read Jim Collins, and I'm driving the bus. Just having a little trouble driving between the lines.

And Rory, do you think if I showed up dressed as Batman people would remember me?
Depends on how you filled out the tights Boy wonder
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Old 04-20-2009, 10:36 AM   #14
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Re: Branding, Marketing, Advertising, And Salesmanship


I was beginning to think this thread would not get much discussion. Marketing probably isn't the most exciting subject, but I learned many years ago with my first business that if you're not marketing well enough, you will suffer for it.

Mike, I think your comments about small businesses not being able to brand is a common misconception. Maybe we're just talking about technical differences here, but everything you do in business, every promotion, every ad, every time you answer the phone, it's all branding. You are creating a perception of your business just as you stated.

The difference is in the reach. You're right that it would be foolish to pour out money like McDonald's, but that is reach and not branding. Every business needs a brand. Without it, you have no way to stand out from the competition. The brand can be either planned and controlled, or it will just happen, but the latter is bad because no one will be able to know what the brand is.
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Old 04-20-2009, 03:12 PM   #15
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Re: Branding, Marketing, Advertising, And Salesmanship


Mike and Paul, if you are noticing a sudden uptick in website hits and page visits, don't get too excited, it's just me. Aside from enjoying the benefits of your dialogue in this thread I am trying to build my own website. You both have excellent sites in my mind.

More on topic, I agree that brands are built everyday with or without effort. Consider this forum as an example market. Certain posters will have at least most of their posts read by some based solely on the name of that poster. That is the brand built here with no more effort than participation but based on one's opinion and style of presenting it. Some will be read more than others based on that branding.

Same is true with our business'. The way we conduct ourselves and the end product itself will establish brand for us. We can choose to elaborate on that or not, but a brand will happen regardless. As Steve stated, it might not reach very far but it is within our circle. With marketing we can work on expanding our circle and the brand will go with it. Whenever one client refers us to another they are extending our brand, making it easier for us to sell.

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Old 04-20-2009, 05:10 PM   #16
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Re: Branding, Marketing, Advertising, And Salesmanship


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Mike, I think your comments about small businesses not being able to brand is a common misconception. Maybe we're just talking about technical differences here, but everything you do in business, every promotion, every ad, every time you answer the phone, it's all branding. You are creating a perception of your business just as you stated.

The difference is in the reach. You're right that it would be foolish to pour out money like McDonald's, but that is reach and not branding. Every business needs a brand. Without it, you have no way to stand out from the competition. The brand can be either planned and controlled, or it will just happen, but the latter is bad because no one will be able to know what the brand is.
No, you've got some things confused.

When McDonald's runs a commercial that says for a limited time come in and get 2 quarter pounders for $1.00 that is marketing. That is a direct call for results. Dollars spent for a direct return.

When McDonald's runs a commercial showing two kids helping out Grandma and to thank them she drops off a bag of McDonalds on their doors step, rings the bell and hides in the bushes and has a tear in her eye as her grandkids say, Aw must be Grandma again!

That's continuing to establish a brand. They are creating an association of many emotional things with Mcdonalds.



As for this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by cbscreative View Post
Mike, I think your comments about small businesses not being able to brand is a common misconception. Maybe we're just talking about technical differences here, but everything you do in business, every promotion, every ad, every time you answer the phone, it's all branding. You are creating a perception of your business just as you stated.
Sure as a small business you are branding in the same way as picking up a penny on the street is making you richer.

Both are true technically but neither is actually effective in the sense of the penny making you actually rich, nor are you effectively creating a brand by answering your phone or wearing a logo'd shirt.

If you can't do a survey in your market asking people to name the 3 businesses in the trade you do that first come to their minds and they can't name you, then you haven't created a brand that has any awareness.

You are invisible, your brand is a ghost, it doesn't exist except in your head.

That's why branding isn't essentially attainable nor required for 99.99% of us.
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Old 04-20-2009, 05:29 PM   #17
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Re: Branding, Marketing, Advertising, And Salesmanship


Solid banding, everyone, is certainly attainable for small businesses. You have it if you have traditionally relied (and earned) repeat and referral business. If clients are so impressed by your work, your quality, and your integrity, you have a great brand. Brochures, "Marketing Materials", advertising, and all that stuff can contribute to your brand, but if your client experience is less than satisfactory you have a crappy brand. If you want to build a great brand, therefore, build a great experience. Like "wow".
So where does marketing fit into the picture? Marketing allows you to leverage your brand. In other words, if you have a good brand, you can use marketing techniques to enhance its reach and attract more new (and repeat) clients. Marketing cannot "make" your brand -- you need to do that through the service you actually offer.
In our business, we have a lot of scuzzy competitors who use the same relationship selling technique we use to set up special feature profiles in the print media. It gets really frustrating at times as we have to overcome client objections because of the problems caused by our competitors.
I could worry about this, but instead focus on teaching my staff to do things properly, treat clients with respect, and deliver the goods. So what happens. People who would say 'no' to the others, say 'yes' to us, and we sell more. (And, alas, some of our happy clients, having enjoyed the experience, actually think the competitors will deliver the same experience, only to be badly disappointed. Then they call us to help clean up the mess of the other guys.)
Readers here know I am building a database of marketing methodologies and practices that any contractor can use to succeed -- and I expect most who receive this information will never do business with us. But those who do, well, if they wish it, they are in for a really amazing experience because we'll provide thousands of dollars of real-life marketing consultancy, for free. That is brand building.
This is the stuff of building and maintaining a good brand. With a solid brand, you can actually screw up from time to time and get away with it (of course you accept responsibility and fix whatever is wrong.)
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Old 04-20-2009, 06:36 PM   #18
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Solid banding, everyone, is certainly attainable for small businesses. You have it if you have traditionally relied (and earned) repeat and referral business. If clients are so impressed by your work, your quality, and your integrity, you have a great brand.

Oh please. What bull sh*t. You haven't created a brand, all you've done is not F&*K up so badly that the customer was impressed with you, the work you did and the price they paid. Nothing more.

Quote:
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In our business, we have a lot of scuzzy competitors who use the same relationship selling technique we use to set up special feature profiles in the print media. It gets really frustrating at times as we have to overcome client objections because of the problems caused by our competitors.
I could worry about this, but instead focus on teaching my staff to do things properly, treat clients with respect, and deliver the goods. So what happens. People who would say 'no' to the others, say 'yes' to us, and we sell more. (And, alas, some of our happy clients, having enjoyed the experience, actually think the competitors will deliver the same experience, only to be badly disappointed. Then they call us to help clean up the mess of the other guys.)
Not a single connection to branding.

If a customer can't name your company out of a blind survey you have no brand.

Wearing a clean shirt with a logo and not kicking the customers dog isn't branding your company.

It's putting on a professional appearance, nothing more.

You want to go get a burger for lunch? Where should we go? I don't know, how about Burger King or Wendys? Where did those names come from? How do we know those names off the top of our heads? You know them because they have a brand.

Jim's construction company who has his name on his truck in nice letters and answers the phone professionally, talks nice to his customers, takes his shoes off or puts on booties, but nobody knows his company from adam, has no brand.

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Old 04-20-2009, 06:51 PM   #19
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Re: Branding, Marketing, Advertising, And Salesmanship


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Mike and Paul, if you are noticing a sudden uptick in website hits and page visits, don't get too excited, it's just me. Aside from enjoying the benefits of your dialogue in this thread I am trying to build my own website. You both have excellent sites in my mind.

More on topic, I agree that brands are built everyday with or without effort. Consider this forum as an example market. Certain posters will have at least most of their posts read by some based solely on the name of that poster. That is the brand built here with no more effort than participation but based on one's opinion and style of presenting it. Some will be read more than others based on that branding.

Same is true with our business'. The way we conduct ourselves and the end product itself will establish brand for us. We can choose to elaborate on that or not, but a brand will happen regardless. As Steve stated, it might not reach very far but it is within our circle. With marketing we can work on expanding our circle and the brand will go with it. Whenever one client refers us to another they are extending our brand, making it easier for us to sell.

Good Luck
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That's how I see it, Dave ... this is all very interesting dialogue for interesting people ...
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Old 04-20-2009, 07:00 PM   #20
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Re: Branding, Marketing, Advertising, And Salesmanship


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You want to go get a burger for lunch? Where should we go? I don't know, how about Burger King or Wendys? Where did those names come from? How do we know those names off the top of our heads? You know them because they have a brand.

Jim's construction company who has his name on his truck in nice letters and answers the phone professionally, talks nice to his customers, takes his shoes off or puts on booties, but nobody knows his company from adam, has no brand.
Mike, you're both right and wrong. While I certainly agree that Wendy's name has been hammered into our mushbuckets long enough that it practically deserves its own dictionary definition, Jim's trucks and cleanly-dressed workers do get noticed over time in a community. That, combined with good word of mouth, does indeed constitute branding.

There are a few contractors like that in this area whose names come up immediately in any conversation related to their field, just as Wendy's does for fast food. But I will admit that it took them more than a decade to achieve that status without exorbitantly expensive advertising campaigns.

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