Brand on the run
Value leads brand

Fake It ’til You Make It?

It’s a longstanding debate … does brand lead value or does value lead the brand? For many start-ups or new product launches, marketing becomes the first priority of the day. The ol’ “build it and they will come” mindset takes over.

But for many companies, somehow the “it” came to mean a great pitch instead of a great product or service that provides real value to the customer. In today’s “idea explosion” economy, it’s a mad dash to get the big idea to market before someone else steals your thunder.

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It’s Not You, It’s Them

In building a brand, it’s less about what you do and more about why people should care.

When it comes to crafting our core brand messages—especially if we’re introducing a new product or starting a new business—it’s easy to make it all about us. This tendency is often rooted in doubt or fear. Because even when our new product or service has a boatload of science, market research and years of expertise behind it, we still battle that nagging uncertainty that inevitably causes us to over-explain ourselves.

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Own Your Words

I’ve always liked the saying “use your words.” We most often use it when speaking to children (or adults) who may be struggling with or avoiding verbalizing what it is they want or need. Because I believe wholeheartedly in the power of words and how we use them, I regularly preach the importance of making every word we say or write count. That includes not just word choices but also the delivery. So for the sake of this post, I’d like to amend use your words to own your words.  And here’s why …

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Your First 100 Days. How’d You Do?

Back in January, I published a post called The January Effect. The gist of it being that each new year brings bright, shiny plans and budgets for marketers and their target customers alike.

Both make big proclamations about what they’ll accomplish in those first 100 days.

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Brand Balls

Yes, I said it. Is it catchy? Sure. Is it on brand? Maybe not. Let’s take it through the KP Brand 3-Step Headline Test:

  1. Is it provocative for provocation’s sake? Or does it have relevance to my message?
  2. Check the brand mirror … is this me? It’s like trying on a new shirt. In other words, is this style supportive of the KP Brand brand?
  3. Will it connect with my intended audience? Am I going to appeal to my target market and be okay with missing the mark with some outliers?
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Pitching a No-hitter? Rethink Your Delivery.

The elusive elevator pitch. Everybody wants one; everybody needs one. Or so everyone thinks.

It’s often one of the first things a client asks me about during a brand messaging initiative. And while the premise behind an elevator pitch still has merit, the reality of cornering your sales and marketing prey with one nice and tidy 25-word punch that lands a direct hit every time is well, unrealistic. 

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The January Effect

Hindsight is 20/20. At no other time of year is that old adage more accurate than January. We’re all reflecting back on the year behind us, assessing all the right decisions, along with the not-so-great ones. Then using that perspective, we set sail toward new goals with renewed determination and fervor.

If only we could bottle the “January effect” and take a swig throughout the year when we start to lose sight of those bold ambitions and our enthusiasm starts to wane.

In fact, we can. This is where great marketing comes in.

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A (Re)Gift Just for You

It’s the holiday season … time to deck the halls, sing the carols, roast the chestnuts and wrap the gifts—or the regifts, as it were. Come on, don’t make the face. You know you’ve done it.

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Is Your Message Half Empty or Half Full?

How you answer this question can determine the tone, creative execution and success of your marketing efforts, particularly when it comes to social content strategy. Is it more effective to squeeze lemon juice on the wound or paint a reassuring picture of what’s possible?

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Winning Over the Cynics

That’ll never do what it says.

This problem is too hard to solve.

That can’t be true.

Yeah, right!

It seems we’ve all become bilingual overnight, and that new language is cynicism.

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