Marketing Is In The Packaging Too

Packaging Leaves a Lasting Impression

Packaging Leaves a Lasting Impression

Is your first impression a positive Lasting Impression?

While we seem to get lots of guidance regarding our “personal” first impression, what seems to be lacking is our first impression regarding presentation opportunities, delivery of special client gifts, sponsorship packages and presentations,  new Board Member guideline packaging, and much more. 

Let’s take a marketing strategy presentation you are putting together for a potential new client.  You and your partners are professionally attired, the conference room is neat and ready, your PowerPoint is flawless….but what differentiates you from your competitor.  Sure, the difference is hopefully within the presentation itself, however, what has captured their attention right at the START. 

You probably spent a whole lot of time, getting yourself presentable and groomed perfectly just prior to the meeting.  Why not treat the presentation itself to a “makeover”.   If you just stapled a few pieces of paper together and have them follow along with your PowerPoint presentation, you have done nothing to capture their immediate attention.  As soon as they walk into that room, your potential customers have to be drawn in by some sort of creativity.  Perhaps those same papers spiral bound in a journal with your company name on it.  How about laminated and held together at the top lefthand corner by a metal ring.  If prefer a binder….make it a full color binder with your company name welcoming the potential client.  Have notepads at each seat that are personalized for each attendee.

When creativity like this is shown, it becomes immediately evident to them that you will go the extra mile for any project they ask you to work on.  As they walk into the conference room, they will be remarking how great the table looks set up to greet them. If they don’t say it, believe me they are thinking it.

Same with sponsorship packages.  Don’t be like everyone else.  Make your package so interesting it will stand out on the potential sponsor’s desk.  You know they get numerous requests and everyone’s multi-tasking these days.  The individuality of your “ask” will put you on top of the pile.  Easiest way to get creative with your sponsorship packages is to come up with a theme.  If it is a get healthy initiative by moving more….tie your sponsorship package with sneaker shoelaces with your name repeating on the laces.  If it is a beautification project, put all your sponsorship materials in a “collapsible” foldable vase that can be brought to a potential sponsor or mailed.   Golf events specifically appeal to sponsors but why choose yours?  Capture their attention by mentioning 18 reasons they should sponsor your golf outing…..BUT printed on a velour Golf Towel.

DON’T FORGET THE PACKAGING!!  It’s powerful.

Expert’s Expertise Must Equal Your Needs

 
Experts Are Many But What Are Your Needs
Choose Your Expert Wisely
There are many, many experts out there and friends among us that are experts, but what are their specific strengths.  I often think of something I heard years ago, that being humble isn’t denying what your are really good at but sincerely uncomfortable about praises in areas where your expertise is lacking.  Many times when we are seeking information we want through a “one person shop” discussion and tend to ask directives from Experts….yes but perhaps not in the area that you need the best possible guidance toward a successful outcome.
We are so fortunate in the 21st Century to have access to numerous CEO’s, CMO’s, CFO’s, Marketing Directors, PR Leaders, etc. but there is no need to assume that let’s say the “expert” CFO will naturally also be able to lead you in the right direction when it comes to Advertising, Marketing or PR.  A successful leader, yes, but why would you not even attempt to get the best advice when it is so available today.  Connecting on varied Social Media platforms offers that opportunity and it goes without saying that you should be well aware of who you would go to based on the results you seek.
Striving for excellence in everything we do that affects our business is a goal we all work to achieve.  Excellent job  is preceded  by your choice of expert consulting. Don’t waste your time or the experts!
Excellence isn't such a puzzle
Is it getting more confusing?

Debt Crisis IS a Teachable Moment

What has the Debt Crisis taught us about our own Busines
Debt Crisis is truly a Teachable Moment for our own Business

      One of my previous posts http://bit.ly/ghKtW2 discusses how we in Marketing have to monitor various communications with our clients in particular to determine if they are in fact teachable moments.  The Chart to the left here is purposely left blank so how about we start to fill in the blanks.

Let’s for example fill in the red circle as our business and for fun put (Debt Crisis) in the same circle.  So what have WE learned this past month that we would never want to happen to our business integrity, branding and ethics.

How about we fill in the rectangles with standards that would never be acceptable to us or our clients.

1.   Employee total disfunction.  Imagine having your employees only engaged in not getting along.

2.   Spending out of control.  Doesn’t matter whether you have the money or not….you WILL spend.

3.   Your employees don’t answer any questions you ask….they keep repeating one sentence over and over again.

4.   None of your employees lose their job, nor do they care.

5.   Your clients can take it or leave it.

6.   No one is interested in what they were hired to do….they just wanted the job.

So what have we learned?  Certainly no way to run a business….in fact, we would be run out of business.  But then you know all this.    So is it really a teachable moment?

Being Brave Might Mean Honeysuckle

2011 Color of the Year

Toward the end of each year, I shudder somewhat at the thought of finding out what the trend color will be for the following year.  Last year it was turquoise and now this year it is honeysuckle.

Shudder you say?!!  Last year’s turquoise wasn’t too bad but the year before it was celery and the year before that it was pistachioCome January I will be contacted by various clients that are having their Spring golf outing and they will (yes they will) ask me what the newest color is for Spring so that they can get golf shirts for participants.  Unless it is a Ladies Golf Outing, I have spent the last three years shuddering when that question has been presented to me.

During the celery year, I learned to say “light green”.  That worked well with pistachio also.  Now comes Honeysuckle

First, most men are not going to know what color Honeysuckle is.   I have had so much fun with taupe.  What I have learned is that the “Mother” color for Honeysuckle is red.  So am I misleading my clients if I say a softer shade of red

The shades of colors, or I should say the names we give them, always becomes an issue with the gentlemen and the ladies it is the styles. 

Thanks to all of us out in the field, we finally instilled in the vendors that our female clients deserve equal attention to fit and style.  I don’t know about you, but only several years back when we participated in any charitable event, we always got the “adult” shirts, jackets, vests, etc.  Adult means “men’s”.

So I have filled you in ever so briefly on one of my 2011 changes that I will have to deal with.  Have you determined what is new in your industry and how you will have to adapt?  Love to hear your comments.

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.

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.