Friday, July 20, 2007

When is change a good thing?

You've heard that commercial a million times. That ad is starting to look old. Your logo - does it really address who we are? The Sales Manager doesn't seem so hungry anymore, blah, blah blah. What is really going on here? Do the marketing materials need a kick in the pants? Well maybe, but let's hold our horses a bit. Remember, you live with your brand day-in and day-out. Your prospects aren't as aware of your brand as you are. My rule of thumb is, when you starting to get sick of your message, target customers are only now becoming aware of you.

It is so easy sometimes to change the commercial, change the advertising and logo, when you really must look deeper into your brand. Discover what about your brand is holding you back. Only careful analysis and stakeholder research will give you the answers you're looking for.

What you have to do is analyze your brand and determine if you are benefiting from a differentiation strategy, or are you blending in with all the competition in your category. If you are blending in then you know doubt have become simply a commodity item to your customer and this "lowest price trap" is the cause of your doldrums. The only way out is to develop a uniqueness that compels them to buy from you. It is your positioning strategy that must change - with marketing materials following its lead.

Of course it could be that sales manager. The mortgage is paid, the kids are out of the house - what's his incentive? This is a good topic for a future article.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Don't just sit there, grab your million!

I was watching one of my favorite shows the other night. It's called, The Big Idea - Donny Deutsch. Tonight's show centered around something all of us say from time to time and that is "Why didn't I think of that!" I've read from time to time that we should all keep our ideas written down. I think keeping track of your ideas should be your first big idea. I have ideas in my digital recorder I keep in the car. After watching the show, I think I will start an idea journal. These little gems may be just the opportunity I need at some point in time. There is something magical about writing down your ideas.

Have you seen ideas that you considered but never acted on, come to pass and make millions for whom ever? On The Big Idea Website linked above are a few of the example featured on the show. What is funny is how some of them appear so stupid yet it made millions for their authors. It appears that there is a market for almost anything. What I did find inspiring is that all of these folks achieved their success through good hard work and perseverance. There didn't appear to be any cases of money making money.

If you're from Canada like I am, you might be interested in a good blog from Sander Gelsing, on the topic of Canadian patents, trademark and copyright. The blog is called "Now, why didn't I think of that?" It is a great starting point for any ideas you want to start developing. The Big Idea's site has links to resources also.

Many of the very successful ideas featured on the show, stressed taking their brand images very seriously by hiring professional help. I guess it's the old adage - go big or stay home.

What's your Big Idea? Don't just sit there, grab your million!
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