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Blogging Your Brand

It’s widely regarded that blogging for your brand, while not a guarantee of success, is essential for reaching your crowd on a different level and in a different space. Think of a blog like a Victorian courtship versus the one-night stand of direct mail. Results might be slow in coming, but when they do, they’ll have substance and be longer lasting.

Blogging requires some discipline. And if you want a blog to be more than a dog-and-pony show, you have to be able to communicate what you’re an expert at, and understand what makes your audience tick. With that squared away, blogging can be a great vehicle for sharing your magic.

Despite how ubiquitous blogs are, many people are still vexed about their use and intimidated at the idea of blogging. Below are some tips on getting ideas, how to think of a blog and some best practices. Read more

When Naming Does Come Easy

I am yoga

Company naming is no easy task, unless, of course, it falls from the sky and lands at your feet.

Most often, it involves pouring over the company’s how, why, what, who, where. It involves word collecting, list making, searching, listening, vetting and playing.

Does it sound good? Will people like to say it? Not always possible but it doesn’t hurt to start with high standards. I created a brand identity for a climate initiative with a seven-word name. Try to say the name and you stop after the first few words, hoping the person knows what you’re referring to. The acronym is its own tongue twister. Did the committee that selected the name say it a few times aloud?

Is the name easy to remember?

Does it look good when written out?

Will it have longevity? Does it need to? Read more

Adversity, the Gold in Your Brand Story

Landfill Harmonic instruments from junk

If necessity is the mother of invention, then desperation is the mother of necessity. Desperation made MacGyver cool, which is why failure, adversity or lack of good fortune might just be the missing ingredient in your brand story.

Most businesses boast of expertise, awards and successes to the exclusion of all else. People want to buy from successful, capable companies but they also want to buy from people they can relate to, people who act human, which includes failure.

Not every failure should be for public consumption, but think about a time when necessity in your business led to a new idea or better service or product.

Maybe you were forced to scale back because of the bad economy and turned towards specialization, which led to greater success. Or it forced you to get new training that allowed you to add new services or products.

Maybe you tried, and failed, to bring a new idea to life but it led to an even better idea?

Everyone loves a story of transformation or triumph. Take Dave’s Killer Bread, whose wild success came about by the touch of an unlikely person—Dave, himself, who had been to prison and back several times only to reemerge as the Dahl family’s best baker.

We all have a wealth of mishaps, slow periods or lack of resources. Adding them to your brand message in the right way might be the very thing that connects you to your best prospects. Another way of looking at this comes from Seth Godin, who suggests saying the typical message backwards. It not only piques interest but you come off sounding more credible when you’re willing to admit what you can’t do.

(Image is from the Landfill Harmonic. Check them out!)


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7 Ways to Reap the Benefits of Being Small

I can see the overwhelm on people’s faces as we talk about building their small business brand in ways they never thought they’d need to. I can understand. It takes a little discipline.

Your self-imposed plan to tweet once a day will slip. You’ll fail to write that weekly blog post. You’ll get the monthly newsletter out late. It happens.

You want to spend your time doing the work you’re meant to do. Read more