The Greed Generation

Branded as Greedy

A Lesson in Branding that really hits home!

Recently on an evening Cable News program, former Senator Alan Simpson of Wyoming, offered some suggestions as to how to correct the deficit.  When he ended his commentary he said we were a Generation of Greed.  So have we gone from The Greatest Generation to The Greed Generation.  Well we can have a different opinion, we can debate it, or we can be horrified at being branded as Greedy.  We could go on, but the negative Branding has taken place.  He is not wrong or right, he spoke rendering his perspective as he sees this generation, his perception reflects exactly what he (himself) has observed. 

For the past few days I have tossed these comments around in my mind and realized that this is the most impactful Branding example I could use to show how it can take only a few or a minority to negatively ruin a Brand.  Sen. Simpson didn’t harm our Brand….a certain few in our Nation did and he stated how he sees it.  This is exactly what can happen to YOUR company brand or personal brand. 

This branding of The Greed Generation was inevitable don’t you think?  We must have seen it coming.  BUT if you were like me, I was thinking “Well that is all those other people who are living above their means….doesn’t effect me.”  Well as you can see, it only takes a few to cause others to negatively Brand all of us.  Same holds true in your organization.

As an example, let’s look at our Nation as your Company.  We really only had a small percentage of people that caused some of the financial issues because of their Greed but look who takes the blame…..we all do.  That will work the same in your Company.  If you do not set a policy that is reviewed frequently, I say quarterly, with all staff that sets forth the Company’s Branding initiatives, you risk your competition stating what your Brand is. 

As I mentioned in my Quarterly Newsletter, The Hot Iron, there has to be a total buy-in by your staff as to how you wish your clients and the business community to view you.  Branding for some only means the logo and the colors of the logo.  It is so much more than that and the way one person speaks to another at any level, how issues are handled, effective communication, presentation of product and self, consistency and so much more than logo. 

When you identify an issue….address it immediately.  Negative branding can be turned around.  I say we can change that concept of The Greed Generation by addressing, realistically, what caused us to get to this point….but it takes courage.  Maybe we could then be branded The Realistic Generation.  With all these reality shows, I’m surprised that hasn’t been written somewhere.   

Taking some courageous steps toward protecting your Brand is imperative.  Tough to turn around once it is damaged.  Protect your business with kindness, consideration, caring, fairness, professionalism, honesty, integrity and give and take.  When you hear an alarm….pay attention!!  Don’t let your business be Branded by anyone else but YOU!!

I would be very interested in your thoughts. 

What’s New?!!

After 10 or 20 years, how is the best way to answer the question ~” What’s new?”
What's New! What's the Answer!!

What's New! What is the Answer!!

 As I am sure many of you have experienced the “What’s new” question, it is particularly apparent during the Holidays.  Visiting for our holidays, were many cousins, aunts and uncles that we haven’t seen for many years. 

Now because I believe in A Plan and Strategy, not to mention my personal BRAND, I was fully aware that these questions would come on Thanksgiving weekend.  This took many hours to prepare myself for the inevitable. 

 
 
Plan ~ Be courteous and respond poliltely; be brief but good content; get them talking about themselves
Strategy ~ If I talked about my 5 years in Marketing/Promotional Product business and my love for Twitter and Social Media, my plan to get them talking about themselves would fall into place….because who doesn’t want to talk about themselves.
Brand ~ Being a good listener, interested in what others have to say and getting enthusiastic about others’ accomplishments is a part of my Brand that I enjoy to hear being communicated about me. 
 
RESULTS:  I know so much more about my cousins, aunts and uncles that we haven’t seen for awhile and they are all lovely and wonderful people that have interesting lives. 
“What’s New?” really means I would love to talk to you but I am not sure what to ask.  Telling a little about yourself is fine but by engaging them and listening well, will forever BRAND you as a loving and caring relative and friend…..AND you just may have a cousin in Minnesota who is an Executive in a large corporation, who is organizing a Golf Outing in May, and who needs golf shirts, hats and other items. 
Listening is a powerful communication tool that rewards.  I was listening but so was the Executive….a win/win!!
How did you answer,  “What’s new?”

Innovative Go Green Idea for Businesses

Go Green ~ Plant a Tree

Go Green ~ Plant a Tree

 Give your clients a Branded card with your logo, they are sent to a Branded site with your logo and they receive a Branded certificate with your logo thanking them for their donation. 

 Plant-a-Tree Cards are an easy-to-use online promotion that is delivered through a branded card and unique Reward Code. Card holders simply go on-line and show their support by planting a tree for free in a global reforestation project. Upon redemption, consumers can download a branded certificate in honor of planting of their tree. Altered expiration dates, custom shaped cards and rush service available. Seeded paper cards available.   2 1/8″ L x 3 3/8″ W x 30mm Thick    Click here for more specific info =>  seedthefuture   Please inquire Diane@marketingbyDM.com

Just had to share this with you because it is such a unique, innovative, impressive, inexpensive give-away with lots of rewards.

What do you think?

Thumb Band Supports No Texting While Driving

Do You Support Text-free Driving? Thumb Band Says You Do!

 

 

Thumb Band!  An EPIDEMIC that is rapidly spreading across America. Teens and adults alike are TEXTING WHILE DRIVING. The only conclusion is that TEXTING KILLS. More than Just an Awareness Band. IT’S A PROMISE TO DRIVE SAFE. Schools, Businesses, Counties & States have joined forces to stop this problem. NOW IT IS YOUR TURN! The FACTS: Like Driving After Drinking 4 Beers. 23 Times More Likely to Crash. 5 Seconds of Texting at 55 mph is 300 ft of Missed Road. 28 Percent of Accidents are Text Related.

Below is the information regarding these life-saving thumb bands…..Texting Kills; No Texting While Driving, etc.

If you wish to purchase these for a project you are implementing, please contact me directly.  FREE Set UP, FREE PMS match, FREE Shipping, FREE customized message; FREE Debossing

 

Diane@marketingbyDM.com

 

Bands come in three sizes; 60mm, 70mm, 76mm. Teens would wear the mid-size and adults the largest size. 

Pricing:  1,000 @ $.295 each; 2500 @ $.285 each; 5000 @ $.28 each ; 10,000 @ $.265 each and 25,000 @ $.24 each

 

How Can Promotions Make You Stand Out

Wise Decision-making Helps You Stand-out from the Rest

Spending marketing dollars wisely gets you company recognition and client loyalty.

It is that time of year again where you may be asked to come up with a gift of appreciation for your employees and/or a gratitude gift for some key clients or just an overall gift of appreciation for all your customers.

We all know about budgets, however, a note of caution here….decision-making would best be made on quality NOT price.  Quality CANNOT be sacrificed.  Both of these can be achieved as long as you have engaged the services of a Marketing/Promotions expert that exhibits the following:

  1. Understands each level of client and/or employee you are recognizing
  2. Searches for product that will convey a uniqueness thereby exhibiting a caring thought process
  3. Vendor loyalty by a Promotions specialist will not give you the best chance at highest quality choices
  4. Choices from highest rated vendors.  Vendors are rated from A+ – F. 
  5. Listens to you, communicates directly and doesn’t always say “I can beat anyone’s price!”
  6. Builds a relationship not just sells
  7. Evident that YOU will always come first.  It is always about YOU. 
  8. Follow up after you receive product….is it what you expected?

After you are clearly comfortable with whom you are working, now you can discuss price because it doesn’t matter how little or how much you spend for a promotion or ad specialty.  If it is worthless and poor quality it is your hard earned dollar that was wasted.  A true promotions professional will guide you in the right direction.

If you follow the guidelines above, I am sure your Promotions Budget will be well spent.  You will stand-out among the rest and your client loyalty will be evident.

If I “Get” Social Media, Why Don’t I “Get”…..

Why do that to an Ice Cream Cone?

"I thought I asked for an ice cream cone!"

 

 

Every once in awhile it is good to take stock in what we believe we understand or as we say today “GET” and what still puzzles us.

I thought since I seem to GET Social Media, I must now have developed my mind so much so that I am no longer puzzled by the following.  Well I am here to tell you that I still DO NOT GET…

 

 

  1. Why don’t they raise the basketball hoop?
  2. What happened to the jump rope?
  3. What came first…the chicken or the egg?
  4. Why are snowplow drivers so mean?
  5. Ball and Jacks….is that gone too?
  6. Children not outside on a beautiful day?
  7. Where are the honey bees?
  8. Why families are not sitting down together at dinner?
  9.  You never forget how to ride a bike?

Others that I am perplexed about are:

  • Employee health reward…parking spot closest to the door!
  • Someone advising that “You are taking it personally!”
  • Silver Christmas Trees?
  • Speeding up to a red light!
  • Why aren’t there any predators for stink bugs?
  • Cutting back on Marketing/PR/Advertising during economic downturn?
  •  

    As you can see, I have a lot of questions that perhaps some of you can help me GET and if I in turn can help you get Social Media, I definitely would like to try and also introduce you to my friends at Harrisburg Social Media Club.

    Retention… Benefit of Attention

    Standout from the Rest

    Standout From The Rest

    We all know, don’t we, that our clients crave our attention and it is our full intention of giving them the attention they deserve.  However, intentions don’t always result in attention which in turn affects retention.

    Every client is different and requires a certain amount of nourishing to keep your relationship flourishing.  In order for us to prosper and succeed, we have to value all the experts out there that guide us regarding the importance of retention of clients/customers and what we absolutely must do to achieve this all important goal.

    There are some very simple basic guidelines that are worth reviewing:

    1. Truly listen to your clients’ needs
    2. Follow up with them in a timely manner (make sure you understand what their expectations are)
    3. Remember you work for them
    4. Understand their decision-making process
    5. Vary your contact with them; i.e. email, phone, in-person

    I would like to address telephone calls separately because I have read some articles that advocate that you could save time and not answer the telephone.  This is so you can call people back on YOUR OWN time.  I view that is very selfish.  My clients time is just as valuable as mine and if we all did that, we would not connect at all.  The problem with that as well is people pick up on that very quickly and you have now jeopardized retention.  You may just stand out if you are accessible and respectful thereby giving your client the attention they deserve.

    Businesses built around the philosophy that the customer is worthy of “whatever it takes” also builds an in-house respect for quality service and these companies, even in times of economic downturn, continue to grow.  There is a business culture established that we are in this together.  I’ve seen it!!

    Re-examine your marketing strategy to see if you are implementing at least the basics for retention of your clients.  It is so much more costly to seek new clients and build relationships instead of nourishing those that you have at hand.

    What are some of the key elements of retention you would like to share?

    Branding Your Logo ~ Coated or Uncoated

    Standard PMS Colors

    PMS colors ~ Coated or Uncoated Makes a Big Difference

    When it comes to your Logo, you are most likely very aware of what your PMS colors are….if not, please check with your graphic artist and then also consult a PMS chart.

    There are several tips I would like to share with you regarding your logo colors:

    1. Understand exactly what you are getting when you are told by a Printer or Distributor that they will do a closest match for your color. 

    This is usually at no cost to you, however, depending on vendor, “closest match” could be very different than what you expect to see.  Another factor is that you continue to see your incorrect logo color and then lose sight of your Branding.

    2. Is your PMS color “coated” or “uncoated”….i.e. PMS240 C or PMS240 U

    Although the same number, they can be very different colors and depending on paper or product it is to go on, it could have a totally different affect.  To solve this problem, you must ask if vendor is using Coated or Uncoated.   If it is opposite of what you have, review the PMS Chart to see if there is another PMS number that more closely matches.

    3. Be Consistent ~ Closest match is OK as long as you take steps to get your PMS color truly as close as possible. 

    Do not alter your logo colors to match a particular piece you are using for promotion.  What you may do without affecting your Branding is use Black, White, Silver or Gold ~or~ you may use tone-on-tone, which is used a lot on wearables; i.e. tan windbreaker w/tan logo embroidered.

    While Logo PMS color is not the definition of Branding, it is a factor that impacts your company’s image and triggers a connection to your customer and potential customer.

    Social Media Platforms Are SBNBF

    Social Media Small Business New Best Friend

    Social Media Platforms ~ Small Business New Best Friend

    Lately we have been hearing from the media, business analysts, Wall Street experts and the like that the corporate sector is still hesitant to hire so therefore the economy continues to be very slow to recover.  So that being the case, why do Small Business owners, who are engaged in Social Media, hear of growth, success, and establishing business relationships we would not have ordinarily if we were not engaged in SM platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and/or LinkedIn. 

    Could it be that Small Business has truly embraced their New Best Friend, whereas big business for the most part is still out of touch with the 21st Century?  It is not that most of these corporations have realized a loss this last quarter so why should we still not see job creation.  Still scared?  Afraid of change? Same old, same old?  Likely. 

    Small business, Sole Proprietorships, Start-up businesses do not have the luxury of sitting back and accepting scared, afraid and same old business as usual.  In fact, we are the ones hiring.  Unfortunately, we are only in a position to hire a few people.  Point is…..is the economy slow to recover or is big business not willing to accept they must listen, learn, understand, engage, connect, and give various Social Media Platforms a place in their Marketing Strategy. 

    Social Media has given small business the “thinking outside the box” capability by utilization of numerous customizable applications…most of which are FREE.  Just to mention one….Foursquare….at the very least is a tremendous value to any retail establishment.  Connecting on the various platforms opens up communication lines that has many “fingers” that can give you the warmest handshake you have ever experienced.  

    Difficult decisions come from strong leadership.  If, in fact, implementing Social Media into your Marketeing Plan is a difficult decision, why not take the opportunity to exhibit your leadership skills and move your company forward. 

    Let me know your thoughts.  Is Small Business the leader in utilitzation of Social Media?

    Social Media Positive Impact

    Marketing by DM TV Interview on Social Networking

    Social Media ~ It's All Good!!

    Marketing by DM recent TV Interview  ~ I was recently asked to share my experiences with Social Media and how it impacted my business.  This TV interview is in 3 segments of approximately 7 minutes each.     

    The breakdown is as follows:    

    Segment 1 ~ My initial introduction to Social Media, in particular Twitter.  Click Here     Segment 2 ~ Marketing by DM beginning to engage on Twitter.  This segment  Click Here    make references to  Jamie Crager , Anne Deeter Gallaher, Deeter Gallaher Group  , Ford , Howell Marketing , and others.    

    Segment 3 ~ Some of Social Media’s most recent impact on a small business such as Marketing by DM and the effects of truly being engaged.  Click Here .  Recommendations made to listeners regarding SMMmagazine   and Harrisburg Social Media Club.     

    I was delighted to tell my story and in the end perhaps help others to view Social Media in a positive light.  It is worth the time investment….everything else will come.    

    Love to hear your story.