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Original articles from Megan Tackett.
 
Shine a Light on Your Brand
"Vision without execution is hallucination." Don’t take my word for it; those aren’t my words. They belong to Thomas Edison, certainly a man who knows a thing or two about vision (and implementation!). The same man made 5,000 attempts at implementing his vision before he finally got it right — after a dream he had during an afternoon nap. So what lessons can we take away from Edison’s words and experiences? Well, there are a few, and they all apply to marketing and bolstering your brand.

Can Your Customers Understand You?
A commodity supplier is someone who believes that the merit of his or her product is all that's needed to close a sale. "Why wouldn't everyone want this incredible widget?!" is the bread and butter of the marketing message, and that's the end of it. You, however, are no mere commodity supplier; you are a reliable resource that offers real solutions to real problems. In order for your clients to be able to identify the solutions you offer them, you need to first identify their problems that you solve. It's all about framing. Take another peek at your company's website. Say you specialize in client relationship management. Is the main key word for your website "client relationship management?" Ouch.

Hire Happy
"Hire happy." It's the best advice I've ever heard, whether you're a business owner or in human resources. If propelling a brand is part of your job, remember to hire happy. Your employees will be the most effective messengers in your entire marketing strategy, if — and it's a big if — you hire the right employees. During a time in which "recession" and "unemployment" dominate the media verbiage, competition for jobs is more intense than ever. The most important factor a candidate needs to demonstrate is enthusiasm.

Want to Ace that Product Launch? Do Your Homework.
Remember that kid in your class that always had a "dog-ate-my-homework" excuse when it came time to turn in an assignment? That child most likely did not grow up to become a Coca-Cola employee. The beverage behemoth didn't grow to represent a 70% share of its industry without plenty of homework along the way.

Stepping Out of Sarah Palin's Shadow
Sarah Palin may have told Congress "'thanks, but no thanks' on that bridge to nowhere," but her hometown is lobbying hard for a $715-million bridge that would halve the trip between Wasilla and Anchorage. It's all part of Wasilla's rebranding strategy, spearheaded by Mayor Verne Rupright. Mayor Rupright is actively working with a new breed of businesses to steer Wasilla through a post-Palin identity crisis.

Babies: The Ultimate Brand Loyalists?
Consumers, in the traditional sense of the word, no longer have much of a demand for traditional manufactured products. In a consumer-based economy that hinges on production, how are companies to grow if demand is shrinking? By selling new needs to a new consumer base. And in the pursuit of new customers, companies are shifting their marketing strategies.

The Magic of a Story
Ten days ago, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 enjoyed a record $43.5-million premiere -- and that was just the midnight showing. By the end of the first day at the box office, the final Harry Potter installment had earned a whopping $92.1 million. While Part 2 exceeded anyone's expectations, the success shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone following the $15-billion brand empire built around The Boy Who Lived.

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