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tiedeman
04-10-2006, 12:24 AM
Is marketing a waste of money? Should you only network, compared to doing such things as doorhangers, postcards, newpaper ads, yellow pages and other marketing techniques?

Steve
04-10-2006, 01:56 AM
Well, I think part of your goal should be to build brand awareness. You want people to have heard of your brand. Then as word of mouth spreads, it reaffirms to the person that the company they have heard of is good.
Think back to times when someone said to you "Oh Troy, you totally need to try this **** or that ****." If you had heard of it in the past somehow by seeing a commercial for it or something, you would be more inclined to try it than if you hadn't heard anything about it.
When you are a brand you can command a premium for a service or product. This is because your brand stands out. Your marketing and advertsing help promote your story. How you are different. What makes you better. It hypes your company.

One would be hard-pressed, for example, to fully distinguish the brand of airline travel offered by Southwest Airlines solely by gazing at its logo or reciting its slogan. The light-hearted nature of Southwest’s TV commercials is a bit more descriptive but still not complete. Far more descriptive and most telling of all are Southwest’s day-to-day practices, its procedures and, certainly, its employees. Indeed, they are the brand and give it substance:

Walk on board almost any Southwest flight and you’ll be greeted by a cheerful crew in khaki slacks or shorts and knit shirts. You’ll hear delightfully entertaining deliveries of federally required safety information, such as, “There are 50 ways to leave your lover, but there are only four exits off this Boeing 737 aircraft.” You’ll hear otherwise mundane instructions presented with such words as, “If you are holding a child, sitting next to a child, or sitting next to an adult acting like a child.… ” And after your flight touches down, you also may hear flight attendants thank you for your patronage by bursting into song.

Southwest’s repertoire is the quintessential example of how a brand is really conveyed: It reinforces its distinctive culture – in this case, “We’re having fun and welcome to the party” – and relies on hiring a certain kind of person. And it is reinforced by its advertising, and by its customer relations. The brand is so distinctive, in fact, that it’s hard to imagine a competitor duplicating it. Southwest’s example also reaffirms a critical truth about any brand:

You can create award-winning advertising campaigns ’til the cows come home, or design a logo for the ages. Yet, if daily activities don’t support and reinforce such messages, they won’t mean a thing. Far more powerful are your customers’ experiences and the perceptions they prompt. From this article http://www.refresher.com/!branding.html

As a branding example, please tell us what makes your company different from the rest? Then you can focus on promoting that and creating your brand.