Top Value Brands — Part 2 of 3

t_newhard_kValue is something that is perceived. It is not a product feature or physical thing and it happens in the mind of the prospect or customer. This makes it hard to plan for. However, the companies listed in the aforementioned article have done this. This part of the article series will focus on how these value brands have positioned themselves in the minds of their prospects and customers in a way that maximizes value perception.

A review of positioning

I annoy my wife with a game I call “Will they make it?” We play it when we are driving around town. The objective of the game is to spot a new or old business and discern whether that business will make it or not. Judgments are based on previous knowledge, location, facilities, outdoor signage, anecdotal evidence, and so forth. If we deem that a particular business will not make it, we have to give our best guess as to how long it will take that business to die.

We have been wrong and right with our predictions, but the fundamental question we try to answer is: What does (insert business name) mean?

This is the fundamental question of positioning: What does your company mean? Continue reading

The Advanages of Originality

t_newhard_kOne of the best marketing tactics you can use is to be first to the market. Being first to the market will help you sell more and simplify your marketing efforts.

It is a well known fact that the second product to the market will achieve on average 71% of the sales of the pioneer product. Never heard this before? Now you have. Many products are considered successful with about 5% of the pioneer product’s sales. I’m thinking about Apple and their OS.

Being first to the market is perhaps the most important thing you can do to help your business sell more of whatever you are selling. But there can be only one pioneer, right? The rub here is that pioneer products do not have ultimate dominion over an entire product category. Continue reading

You are an Educator


How many times has a sales person tried to sell you something that you don’t need? This is not only annoying, it’s bad salesmanship. I have been stopped by cellphone salesmen at the mall while I was talking on a cellphone. Is common sense dead?

Good marketers and sales people are educators not annoying cellphone sales people. Studies have shown that a prospect’s intent to by and ultimate purchase of a product increase as the prospect learns more about the product. This flies in the face of the traditional notion that consumers make their minds up quickly, like within seconds, and do not want more information than “necessary.” Continue reading

The Proliferation of Meaningless and Mindless Marketing, A Love Story, Part 3

t_newhard_kNow that we are all savvy on what meaningless and marketing are and why they are bad, let’s take a look at the solution: Meaningful Marketing.

Meaningful marketing is smart marketing. It is based on the real benefit of your product or service and how that suits the need of prospective customers. It is not based on deception, gimmicks, shock, or impulse. You cannot fool a prospect into making a meaningful decision. Continue reading

Top Value Brands—Part 1 of 3

A recent study published by the Integer Group and M/A/R/C Research (as cited by Straczynksi 2009) listed what they refer to as “top value” brands. Those brands that made the list included those most frequently cited by approximately 20,000 respondents as delivering value as well as those perceived to deliver the most value within their respective product categories. Wal-Mart topped the list, being named most frequently as offering value with 18 percent. Target (10 percent), Sony (nine percent), Kroger (five percent), and Kellogg’s (five percent) also featured prominently as top value brands.

Although published findings confirm that which we already suspected, they beget a series of other questions that deserve exploration. For example, what does value mean and how can that be translated to help other businesses? How did some of these companies come to be perceived as providing value? Does that value translate into success and on what levels? After all, these companies are not necessarily the cheapest vendor within their product categories.

Continue reading

Viral, Brilliant, or Mindless?

Brandt Andersen, owner of the Utah Flash, an NBA D-League team, thought it would be fun to have Micheal Jordan and Bryon Russell play a game of one-on-one during halftime of a Flash game on December 7th. Andersen reportedly offered $100,000 the winner’s charity of choice. Sounds like a good idea right? The only problem is that Michael Jordan never agreed to participate in the event.

In an attempt to be creative and viral the Flash’s marketing team decided to hire a Jordan look-a-like to loaf around the greater Orem-Provo area in order to drum up attention. This idea would have been far from iron clad even if Jordan had agreed to come, but the fact that they planned on pulling of this stunt whether he planned on coming our not reaches new heights of mindlessness and absurdity. Continue reading

SEO and Your Marketing Strategy

A wise man once said that your business does not truly exist until it exists virtually. In other words, your business is legitimized, nowadays, by having a website.  In terms of your overall marketing strategy, a website plays an integral role in your business’ branding, positioning, customer engagement and ecommerce activities.

It’s highly likely that you have a website for a reason. Hopefully, you know exactly WHY you have a website and HOW the website can help your business.

If that is the case, you then have a reason to have a website, and therefore should have some goals for your site. While the benefits of having a site are too numerous to discuss here, ALL websites can benefit from getting more traffic. Continue reading

The Proliferation of Meaningless and Mindless Marketing, A Love Story, Part 2

t_newhard_kAdvertisers have run into three problems related to the proliferation of choice and media: Human sensory adaptation, the proliferation of poor choices, the advancement speed of new media.

Human sensory adaptation

All living organisms encounter thousands of stimuli from internal processes and the external environment. These stimuli tell us what is going on. Our five senses account for the collection of a portion of the stimuli we encounter on a daily basis. In order to keep us from becoming pre-occupied biological multitaskers our bodies learn to ignore certain types of stimuli or make the reaction to some stimuli automatic. Our senses adapt in order to help us consciously focus on the important things like being thirsty, hungry, and sleepy. Continue reading

The Proliferation of Meaningless and Mindless Marketing, A Love Story, Part 1

t_newhard_kHave you ever taken a “staycation?” It is when you take a vacation, but then just stay home. The worst part of a staycation is daytime television and the worst part about daytime television is the commercials. To me, these advertisements represent a part of what I call a de-evolution in marketing. A de-evolution and proliferation towards mindless and meaningless marketing.

Let me caveat that all not all advertising is mindless or meaningless. Let me caveat again that these principles are not my ideas, but the centerpieces of the marketing masterpiece, Meaningful Marketing by Doug Hall and Jeffery Stamp.

What is mindless marketing?

Mindless marketing uses gimmicks, tricks, novelty, and deception to cast a spell on the prospective costumer in order to get that prospect to buy based on a false sense of need, emotion, or pressure. Mindless marketing are tactics used by producers that do not have faith in the benefit of their own product. This type of marketing has short-term gains but long-term depreciation. Continue reading