Marketing

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2012 – Seven Steps to Extraordinary | Extraordinary Business

imageThe year-end/start of the new year often marks a mile-marker for people in all walks of life.  New tax year.  New goals.  New expectations.  New resolutions.  I believe that many of us create expectations for ourselves that we have every intention of pursuing, but neglect to think in terms of how to actually accomplish them.  One of those has to do with personal or professional improvement.  While it might be great to increase revenue or increase productivity, the “how” is often the debilitating factor.  I am not suggesting that the goals are logically impossible or impractical, but rather, without evaluating the “whole picture” the goals are idealistic and success unlikely.

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Seriously! Jump!! | Extraordinary Business

image One of the parenting techniques my mom and dad used after my “everyone else is doing it” line of reasoning was, “if all your friends were jumping off a bridge, would you?”  I, of course, having been reduced to a cliché, would have to say, “no.”  Great.  Another one bites the dust.  However, that cliché probably saved my butt more times than hot.  (Note: I have only used that line a couple of times with my own children.  On each of them.)

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Seriously! Jump!! | Extraordinary Business

image One of the parenting techniques my mom and dad used after my “everyone else is doing it” line of reasoning was, “if all your friends were jumping off a bridge, would you?”  I, of course, having been reduced to a cliché, would have to say, “no.”  Great.  Another one bites the dust.  However, that cliché probably saved my butt more times than hot.  (Note: I have only used that line a couple of times with my own children.  On each of them.)

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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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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 inf[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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Carving the Elephant | Extraordinary Business

Q: “How do you carve an elephant?”  A:  “First, get a block of marble and then remove everything that doesn’t look like an elephant.”
In conversations with many business owners, I often get the impression that there seems to be some confusion about what they are selling and who they are selling to.  While that seems rather silly, if you think about it, why do most people do business with your business?  Is it actually the product or service you deliver?  Is it the way that you run your business?  Is it the experience?
Many times, especially when talking about “younger” businesses, we miss that when we start defining who our clients or target markets are.  We’ll start talking in terms of industries that we’ve served or geographic locations instead of truly boiling down to why people do business with us.  While this is a way of reducing the size of the target market, providing further specification to your definition of your market will be very helpful in crafting your message and matching your products or services to their needs.
In the same conversation, you must consider the types of businesses you like doing business with, and what the criteria for that is.  For example, if you were an artist, while you could probably paint or draw on a myriad of different surfaces with different brushes, paints, lighting and a number of different variables.  However, you probably have a certain set of specific tools and surfaces that you prefer to work with.  When you tell people what you do, that is specifically what you would say.
If you were to do a “personality test” such as a PEP assessment on the businesses (or people) you’ve worked with in the past, you would probably find that the personality or company culture that you worked best with in the past are similar – like or complimentary to your own.  You will probably find that your business will have a hard time relating to businesses that have certain types of company cultures.
Your final test will be the most important – does the market you are targeting have a need, whether realized or not, and the ability to pay?  While you as a business leader may run into the first more often then the second, the second is usually the deciding factor, which, for some people, surpasses all other criteria listed above.
Like carving an elephant, carving out your target market is a matter of knowing what to carve away from the rest of the world.  Being able to articulate a specific target market – where they are, why they do business with you, what their needs are and that they can pay – is an essential element to your business now and in the future.  Being able to identify them means that you can predict and provide solutions for their needs as they arise.
Be extraordinary.  Carve elephants.  Know your target market.
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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Regardless, once you’ve

Technorati Tags: Extraordinary Business,Target Market,Marketing
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Carving the Elephant | Extraordinary Business

Q: “How do you carve an elephant?”  A:  “First, get a block of marble and then remove everything that doesn’t look like an elephant.”

In conversations with many business owners, I often get the impression that there seems to be some confusion about what they are selling and who they are selling to.  While that seems rather silly, if you think about it, why do most people do business with your business?  Is it actually the product or service you deliver?  Is it the way that you run your business?  Is it the experience?

Many times, especially when talking about “younger” businesses, we miss that when we start defining who our clients or target markets are.  We’ll start talking in terms of industries that we’ve served or geographic locations instead of truly boiling down to why people do business with us.  While this is a way of reducing the size of the target market, providing further specification to your definition of your market will be very helpful in crafting your message and matching your products or services to their needs.

In the same conversation, you must consider the types of businesses you like doing business with, and what the criteria for that is.  For example, if you were an artist, while you could probably paint or draw on a myriad of different surfaces with different brushes, paints, lighting and a number of different variables.  However, you probably have a certain set of specific tools and surfaces that you prefer to work with.  When you tell people what you do, that is specifically what you would say.

If you were to do a “personality test” such as a PEP assessment on the businesses (or people) you’ve worked with in the past, you would probably find that the personality or company culture that you worked best with in the past are similar – like or complimentary to your own.  You will probably find that your business will have a hard time relating to businesses that have certain types of company cultures.

Your final test will be the most important – does the market you are targeting have a need, whether realized or not, and the ability to pay?  While you as a business leader may run into the first more often then the second, the second is usually the deciding factor, which, for some people, surpasses all other criteria listed above.

Like carving an elephant, carving out your target market is a matter of knowing what to carve away from the rest of the world.  Being able to articulate a specific target market – where they are, why they do business with you, what their needs are and that they can pay – is an essential element to your business now and in the future.  Being able to identify them means that you can predict and provide solutions for their needs as they arise.

Be extraordinary.  Carve elephants.  Know your target market.

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].
AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Regardless, once you’ve

Technorati Tags: Extraordinary Business,Target Market,Marketing
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