Blog: Business & Marketing

Tell The Tale

Without stories, brands offer almost nothing for their fans to remember them by. Stories create memories, and if told correctly, people will want to share them.

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Wham-Bam, Thank You Ma’am

In a slow economy, it’s second nature for business owners to focus solely on their operations and put marketing on the back burner. But to the public, they are communicating exactly what they are doing: focusing on their current clientele (billable time or cash flow) and ignoring their new customers (operations). There’s no overarching marketing message here, folks.

They are only concentrating their efforts on the inside and not really viewing their company from a their customers’ point-of-view.

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DIY SEO: Achieve High School Style Popularity On The Web

Being popular takes work.

You’ve got a spectacular new Web site with all the bells and whistles. You’re ready to ‘wow’ them and rake in the dollars. But all you’re hearing is… crickets. Perhaps it’s because your site is floating on a small raft in a sea of similar businesses in Google. Every time someone performs a search for your product or service, there’s 46 pages and 35,000 search results before yours. Sigh.

What you crave is popularity. For your site to be seen, you’ll need some brains to go with your beauty.

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Transcending a Sea of Commodities

Alice Chocolates redefines the Swiss chocolate experience with their Sliding Case ($30).

In the mid 1980s, I used to walk to the local Circle K to grab a bar of chocolate, and knew it was going to be a Hershey’s bar. The choices were: milk chocolate, and milk chocolate with almonds. They didn’t even have dark back then. Who would want dark? If I wanted toffee, it would be a Heath bar. If I wanted rice crispies in it, it would be a Krackel… peanuts? Mr. Goodbar. I don’t like coconut so Almond Joy and Mounds were out. So, as usual, I’d end up with a milk chocolate Hershey’s bar, for about 50 cents.

All those bar products are owned by one brand, Hershey Foods. Now, in 2011, there are well over 300 brands of chocolate. That’s BRANDS, not products. The market is saturated with chocolate brands and they all have their own place. Some are known as old timeorganicartisanal and some gourmet. The list of chocolate bar trends goes on from there. What’s currently in fashion for chocolate flavors is very dark and extra bitter, savory (additions of bacon, sea salt, cheese, cayenne and other chili powders), fair-trade, and vegan/nutritious chocolate.

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They’ve Got A Spell On You

Target’s brand identity follows a series of visual indicators (design guidellines) that signal our brains and make the emotional connection.

Why do people buy (or vote with their dollar)? There’s many factors, but overall people because of the promise of something better. It’s the promise of true change (Obama), impressing others (luxury brands), building wealth (Charles Schwab), saving money (WalMart), saving their soul (religion), or saving the planet (Toyota Prius or Whole Foods). Marketing guru Seth Godin says that people buy lottery tickets for the “thrill of possibility, the chance for recognition, the chemical high of anticipation.” People buy hope. And most purchases are purely emotional. The whole self-help book industry is fueled on this human instinct.

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