Extraordinary

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Extraordinary Business: Just Eat It!!

When someone presents a three year old with fresh vegetables, many times, the child will push it around the plate, play with it and perhaps even mash it up.  But more than likely, it won’t make it down the passageway behind the teeth.  Parents, who (typically) understand the nutritional needs of a three year old, have been known to launch into the battle, ultimately telling that three-year-old, “Just Eat It!!”image

Many business leaders take on the same mentality when dealing with their customers and clients.  This could be in customer service, product or service delivery, branding, marketing, networking, etc..  Whatever process is required is created without consideration for the end user, other than having and understanding (or a feeling) that they should buy it, use it, love it, and tell five people.

Obviously, this is not smart business.  As a matter of fact, just the opposite is true.  J. D. Power III, Consumer Reports and other companies have built successful businesses out of helping consumers choose the best product or service for their money.  While many goods and services do fly below their radar, it often takes one bad review to damage a company brand.

Consider this: typical consumers are not screaming three-year-olds – who many parents often give in to.  No matter how much your tell them to “Just Eat It!!” you are fighting a losing battle.

Build an Extraordinary company: Listen to your consumers.

Aepiphanni Business Consulting: The Business Strategy People is a Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of small to medium sized business leaders and executives. We specialize in helping leaders create extraordinary businesses.  We welcome clients in the personal and professional services industries, including Creative and Design Services, Software & IT Services, Professional Services and Healthcare Services.  As always, we welcome your comments, thoughts, questions and suggestions.  If you are seeking a business assessment, or have further questions about creating your strategy or developing your vision, please give me, Rick Meekins, a call at 678-265-3908, or email us at [email protected].


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Technorati Tags: Extraordinary Business,Customer Satisfaction,Consumers,Listen
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Extraordinary Business: Sell Happiness

In this week’s Business week, there was a story that centered around Apple called, “They Still Believe in Steve.”  The gist of the article centered around the Apple brand and the fact that despite “Antenna-gate,” the company reported profits of $3.25 billion on $15.7 billion is sales.  According to the article, COO Tim Cook said that Apple is, “selling every unit [they] can make.”

Consider, for a moment, what kind of brand power this company has.  “’For many people in this economy, Apple is what makes them happy,’ says Kaufman Brothers senior analyst Shaw Wu.”  This is the emotional response brand experts strive for when they work on a branding campaign with a company.

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Extraordinary Business: What’s Your Brand?

In this society, we are exposed to more media and commercials than ever before in the history of the world.  In it, we are bombarded with commercials for everything from bleaches to sodas to department stores, etc.  If you think about the purpose of these commercials and presentations, much of it has to do with building their brand.  While these are only tags – only part of the brand message, think about it:

  • Just do it…Nike
  • Fly the Friendly Skies – American Airlines
  • Don’t you feel good about – 7up
  • I’m a Phoenix – University of Phoenix
  • Broadcast Yourself – YouTube

If you’ll notice, these tags don’t have anything to do wit the products or services.  Instead, they represent the way they want you to think about their products or services.  They are seeking to draw an emotional response to help you as a consumer fulfill some need – whether physical or emotional – that is attached to their product or service.

When you think about your product or service – what emotional attachment are you asking potential consumers to buy into?  Is your message the right message for your target market?

Burger King’s goal is to connect with young adult males, so their commercials are edgy, filled with thin, attractive people who tend to go against the grain.  These are the people they want to come into their stores and buy their burgers.

Nike seeks out athletes and want to be athletes with their motivational messaging, often depicting the work behind being the best in a particular sport.

Notice in these examples, none of the companies mentioned have fragmented branding, that is, branding that is inconsistent depending upon who they are talking to, where they are and what medium they are broadcasting their message through.  All of their paperwork, their websites, their clothing, uniforms or lack thereof tends to speak the same message.

Consider this: If a client cannot understand your brand and see the consistency of the brand across everything you are doing, they are less likely to trust you and thus, less likely to do business with you. 

Think about it: Toyota boasted that they were in “Relentless Pursuit of Excellence.”  Very admirable.  Unfortunately, with their current safety issues, they are in relentless pursuit of damage control.  Their new campaign has the sole purpose of restoring the trust their brand has been known for.

While there is a cost and commitment to building your brand, building a solid brand is what separates typical companies from those that are extraordinary.  These are the companies that stand the test of time.  These are the companies who’s target market trusts them and will recommend them to their friends.  These are the companies who consistently bring all they have to the table, every day.

Be extraordinary.  Build your brand.

Aepiphanni Business Consulting: The Business Strategy People is a Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of small to medium sized business leaders and executives. We specialize in helping leaders create extraordinary businesses.  We welcome clients in the personal and professional services industries, including Creative and Design Services, Software & IT Services, Professional Services and Healthcare Services.  As always, we welcome your comments, thoughts, questions and suggestions.  If you are seeking a business assessment, or have further questions about creating your strategy or developing your vision, please give me, Rick Meekins, a call at 678-265-3908, or email us at [email protected].


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Technorati Tags: Extraordinary Business,Branding,Business Development Strategies,Marketing Strategies
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What are you REALLY Selling?

Again – What are you really selling?  Are you selling marketing or architectural designs or is it something more.  Think about the most memorable things you’ve done, be it an amusement park, a great restaurant, a cruise, etc.  Was it the ride you remember or the experience.

What is it that your clients are actually purchasing from you.  What is the experience they are seeking to have with you or your business?  Is it your intelligence, your ability to lead, is it the time and attention you give them or is it something else.

This is a most important piece of information that you need to get from your clients, your peers, your employees and other stakeholders.   Your clients and former clients will probably give you the most objective and insightful responses.  Give those responses the most weight, but don’t throw out the responses from other participants.

Once you learn what this, exploit it.  Learn more about it.  Develop it.  Identify ways to convey this message to your target market.  Think, for a moment, about Disney Land…the Magic Kingdom.  They position themselves as an organization

that will make all your dreams come true.  Their employees are called “cast members” so that they are always in character when they are on the premises.  They have creative staff members known as “imagineers,” and promote themselves as THE most important thing on everyone’s bucket list.  Think about this interview after many major accomplishments

What will your clients experience with your company be?  Will you make dreams come true?  Will you help your clients reach a memorable levels of entertainment, or be able to do something remarkable as a result of an engagement with you?  How do you position it?  How will your organization present itself as the extraordinary business that provides an experience to its clients that they can get no where else in the world?

Be Extraordinary.  Know what you are selling.

Aepiphanni Business Consulting: The Business Strategy People is a Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of small to medium sized business leaders and executives. We specialize in helping leaders create extraordinary businesses.  We welcome clients in the personal and professional services industries, including Creative and Design Services, Software & IT Services, Professional Services and Healthcare Services.  As always, we welcome your comments, thoughts, questions and suggestions.  If you are seeking a business assessment, or have further questions about creating your strategy or developing your vision, please give me, Rick Meekins, a call at 678-265-3908, or email us at [email protected].


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Technorati Tags: Extraordinary Leadership,Products and Services,Target M,Product Development
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Chaos in the Marketplace | Extraordinary Business

I was speaking with marketing guru Joel Alpert of MarketPower at an event last week, discussing the idea of positioning and clarity of the marketing message. During our conversation, Joel was kind enough to give me some marketing pointers (I am a strategist, not a marketer, Joel!), one of which was the  importance of presenting your goods and services in a manner so that people can quickly ascertain what what your company offers and who it is targeting.
For example, Aepiphanni is a business strategy company.  We help business leaders create extraordinary businesses.  If we decided, suddenly, that we wanted to sell memberships to timeshares, potential buyers would begin to doubt us as a company because they couldn’t make the connection between business strategy and timeshares.
While, logically, maintaining consistency with your brand is a no-brainer, I cannot tell you how many business leaders I run into who are trying to sell so many things that they really have no identifiable brand or trademark expertise.  Their projects, products or services, while good, don’t ever reach the potential that they could because the business leader cannot devote enough time to a single focus in order to make it exactly what it needs to be.  People are hesitant to purchase from their companies because they don’t truly understand what it is they will be purchasing.
This is especially important in the professional services industry, since we are selling experience, education and Aepiphanni’s.  If we decide that our organizations need “multiple streams of income” and they have nothing to do with our core business, nor serve our core market (see your mission and vision statements!), something is going to suffer.
Keep in mind – the clearer and more aligned your business is, the easier it will be for your potential market to purchase from you.  The more scattered your sources of income, the more confused you and your business will appear.
Be extraordinary.  Avoid the chaos.
Aepiphanni Business Consulting: The Business Strategy People is a Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of small to medium sized business leaders and executives. We specialize in helping leaders create extraordinary businesses.  We welcome clients in the personal and professional services industries, including Creative and Design Services, Software & IT Services, Professional Services and Healthcare Services.  As always, we welcome your comments, thoughts, questions and suggestions.  If you are seeking a business assessment, or have further questions about creating your strategy or developing your vision, please give me, Rick Meekins, a call at 678-265-3908, or email us at [email protected].
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Technorati Tags: Extraordinary,Focus,Mission,Vision,Market,Marketing,Products and services
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Chaos in the Marketplace | Extraordinary Business

I was speaking with marketing guru Joel Alpert of MarketPower at an event last week, discussing the idea of positioning and clarity of the marketing message. During our conversation, Joel was kind enough to give me some marketing pointers (I am a strategist, not a marketer, Joel!), one of which was the  importance of presenting your goods and services in a manner so that people can quickly ascertain what what your company offers and who it is targeting.

For example, Aepiphanni is a business strategy company.  We help business leaders create extraordinary businesses.  If we decided, suddenly, that we wanted to sell memberships to timeshares, potential buyers would begin to doubt us as a company because they couldn’t make the connection between business strategy and timeshares.

While, logically, maintaining consistency with your brand is a no-brainer, I cannot tell you how many business leaders I run into who are trying to sell so many things that they really have no identifiable brand or trademark expertise.  Their projects, products or services, while good, don’t ever reach the potential that they could because the business leader cannot devote enough time to a single focus in order to make it exactly what it needs to be.  People are hesitant to purchase from their companies because they don’t truly understand what it is they will be purchasing.

This is especially important in the professional services industry, since we are selling experience, education and Aepiphanni’s.  If we decide that our organizations need “multiple streams of income” and they have nothing to do with our core business, nor serve our core market (see your mission and vision statements!), something is going to suffer.

Keep in mind – the clearer and more aligned your business is, the easier it will be for your potential market to purchase from you.  The more scattered your sources of income, the more confused you and your business will appear.

Be extraordinary.  Avoid the chaos.

Aepiphanni Business Consulting: The Business Strategy People is a Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of small to medium sized business leaders and executives. We specialize in helping leaders create extraordinary businesses.  We welcome clients in the personal and professional services industries, including Creative and Design Services, Software & IT Services, Professional Services and Healthcare Services.  As always, we welcome your comments, thoughts, questions and suggestions.  If you are seeking a business assessment, or have further questions about creating your strategy or developing your vision, please give me, Rick Meekins, a call at 678-265-3908, or email us at [email protected].
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Technorati Tags: Extraordinary,Focus,Mission,Vision,Market,Marketing,Products and services
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Digging out of the Sales Slump – the 4 “R’s” – from Doug Grady

Getting to the top isn’t ever going to be a free and easy ride.  There will be bumps in the road, there will be pitfalls, detours and everything else.  Doug reminds us that through it all, we need to stay focused.

“You’re ridin’ high in April, shot down in May.” –Frank Sinatra

If you are reading this you are likely in one now currently or are remembering a time when you were. The dreaded sales slump. It happens- even to the best of us. Sales can be a hero to zero business. The highs can be heavenly while the lows are at best bearable. When you find yourself in one, consider the 4 “R”s.

• Remind– Take a big breath. Remind yourself that you have been successful in the past. If you have been in sales for awhile, think back to a time when you were on a roll, in the zone, selling at your best. What was different about your attitude, energy, and activity? What were you feeling, focusing on, and driven toward? Strive to regain that energy and mindset.

“This too shall pass.” –Persian proverb

• Refocus– Set specific, measurable, achievable goals for the next 30 days. There are 2 types of goals to set: activity and outcome. You need both to increase the velocity of getting out of a slump. Activity goals address # of calls, presentations, networking meetings, referrals, etc you are committing to. Outcome goals address # of sales, $ amount and other relevant “bottom line” sales results. Yes, I know this is sales 101, but let me guess- you haven’t done it in awhile. Just do it.

“When you find yourself in a hole…, stop digging.” –Will Rogers

• Re-energize– get back in the gym, go for a run, listen to some of your favorite music. Get up earlier and focus on your goals. Turn off the TV- read and listen to inspirational, educational, or motivational material. Get around inspiring people. Buy yourself something pretty.

• Re-commit– This is more important than the first 3 combined (the first 3 tend to make this one easier). Decide what you are committed to and get to it.

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness… the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.” -Goethe

Pick yourself up, get back in the race, you’ll be “back on top in June.”

Happy Selling,
Doug Grady

Aepiphanni Business Consulting: The Business Strategy People is a Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of small to medium sized business leaders and executives. We specialize in helping leaders create extraordinary businesses.  We welcome clients in the personal and professional services industries, including Creative and Design Services, Software & IT Services, Professional Services and Healthcare Services.  As always, we welcome your comments, thoughts, questions and suggestions.  If you are seeking a business assessment, or have further questions about creating your strategy or developing your vision, please give me, Rick Meekins, a call at 678-265-3908, or email us at [email protected].


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Technorati Tags: Extraordinary Business,Sales Strategies,Commitment,Focus,Vision
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Getting to the Top | Extraordinary Business

Many business leaders go into business with the intention – every intention – of making it big and being at the top of their industry.  They get out and create and hustle their wares, researching and using every rainmaker strategy to get their business from its lackluster startup state to the money-making retirement ship to sale into the horizon.

Consider for a moment – if it was that quick and easy, everyone would do it.  Everyone would create some product or service, use social media and market it for free to their niche, after which, it would take off, virally, and the rest would be history.  Or – they would go to every networking event in town and connect with the top business leaders in their niche, close their deal in a few weeks and have a windfall of business…or it would be joint ventures or something else.

According to the experts, “anyone (everyone) can do it.”  It makes you almost wonder how much is crap and how much is cream?

A great partner of mine, Stephen Jones of Growth Strategies, demonstrated the “real deal” of social media marketing.  Guess what:

  • It wasn’t easy
  • It wasn’t quick
  • The formula had to be tweaked based on response and feedback from potential clients and partners
  • Getting to the point where JV partners would promote products or services took more work than just making a phone call
  • It takes more than one method of reaching out to people to get them to respond
  • Having an enormous social media list does not automatically drive traffic to your site or, more importantly, convert visitors into leads

…and the windfall?  It takes more work.  It takes investment in time and money.  One of the biggest tasks, it seems, is keeping up with all of the leads and moving them through the pipeline.

Building a business that will be a “cut above,” or better said, an extraordinary business, takes extraordinary tactics.  If you focus on doing what everyone else is doing, you’ll get the same results as everyone else.

FYI – If your sales results are not what you’re expecting them to be, Reply TODAY and I’ll arrange an introduction + a savings on social media marketing services because of our partnership with Growth Strategies.

Be extraordinary.  Seek extraordinary measures.

Aepiphanni Business Consulting: The Business Strategy People is a Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of small to medium sized business leaders and executives. We specialize in helping leaders create extraordinary businesses.  We welcome clients in the personal and professional services industries, including Creative and Design Services, Software & IT Services, Professional Services and Healthcare Services.  As always, we welcome your comments, thoughts, questions and suggestions.  If you are seeking a business assessment, or have further questions about creating your strategy or developing your vision, please give me, Rick Meekins, a call at 678-265-3908, or email us at [email protected].
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Technorati Tags: Extraordinary Business,Extraordinary Leadership,Sales Strategies,Pipeline,Social Media,Marketing Strategies
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Getting to the Top | Extraordinary Business

Many business leaders go into business with the intention – every intention – of making it big and being at the top of their industry.  They get out and create and hustle their wares, researching and using every rainmaker strategy to get their business from its lackluster startup state to the money-making retirement ship to sale into the horizon.
Consider for a moment – if it was that quick and easy, everyone would do it.  Everyone would create some product or service, use social media and market it for free to their niche, after which, it would take off, virally, and the rest would be history.  Or – they would go to every networking event in town and connect with the top business leaders in their niche, close their deal in a few weeks and have a windfall of business…or it would be joint ventures or something else.
According to the experts, “anyone (everyone) can do it.”  It makes you almost wonder how much is crap and how much is cream?
A great partner of mine, Stephen Jones of Growth Strategies, demonstrated the “real deal” of social media marketing.  Guess what:

  • It wasn’t easy
  • It wasn’t quick
  • The formula had to be tweaked based on response and feedback from potential clients and partners
  • Getting to the point where JV partners would promote products or services took more work than just making a phone call
  • It takes more than one method of reaching out to people to get them to respond
  • Having an enormous social media list does not automatically drive traffic to your site or, more importantly, convert visitors into leads

…and the windfall?  It takes more work.  It takes investment in time and money.  One of the biggest tasks, it seems, is keeping up with all of the leads and moving them through the pipeline.
Building a business that will be a “cut above,” or better said, an extraordinary business, takes extraordinary tactics.  If you focus on doing what everyone else is doing, you’ll get the same results as everyone else.
FYI – If your sales results are not what you’re expecting them to be, Reply TODAY and I’ll arrange an introduction + a savings on social media marketing services because of our partnership with Growth Strategies.
Be extraordinary.  Seek extraordinary measures.
Aepiphanni Business Consulting: The Business Strategy People is a Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of small to medium sized business leaders and executives. We specialize in helping leaders create extraordinary businesses.  We welcome clients in the personal and professional services industries, including Creative and Design Services, Software & IT Services, Professional Services and Healthcare Services.  As always, we welcome your comments, thoughts, questions and suggestions.  If you are seeking a business assessment, or have further questions about creating your strategy or developing your vision, please give me, Rick Meekins, a call at 678-265-3908, or email us at [email protected].
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Technorati Tags: Extraordinary Business,Extraordinary Leadership,Sales Strategies,Pipeline,Social Media,Marketing Strategies
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