All Articles Tagged "brand building"
The new Barclays Center arena is opening this Friday with a sold out Jay Z concert, prepping everyone from the investors to the Brooklyn Nets basketball team to local businesses for a windfall of cash from the influx of new visitors. And every day, there seems to be a new announcement that further amps up the excitement for opening day.
Already, there’s been a lot of talk about how the Barclays Center threatens business for Madison Square Garden. Barbra Streisand, Rihanna and Justin Bieber are some of the other big-name musical acts that will be performing in the coming months. World Wrestling Entertainment will be there, along with the Golden Gloves, which dumped MSG after decades of hosting its finals in Manhattan. According to CBS, tickets to that Streisand concert are selling for as much as $600.
Of course, there are lots of events, lots of musicians and so lots of chances for everyone to draw crowds… not just Barclays and MSG, but also the Prudential Center in Newark.
But back to the question in our headline — What do you think about the Brooklynettes uniforms? Sure, they’re just the cheerleaders performing during halftime at Brooklyn Nets games. But, they obviously want to stand out from the usual short skirts and pom poms that cheerleaders typically wear. In addition to the picture above from a photo shoot for the New York Post, you can visit Business Insider for images from the complete line of seven outfits that include fingerless gloves, boots and leggings.
Besides generating buzz and lots of ogling, the Brooklynettes could end up generating a chunk of money too. The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders have been around for decades. The troupe has a calendar, a reality show that airs on Country Music Television, a trademark on their uniforms and has sold everything from gum to clothing. The bold Brooklynettes outfits could be the first step toward building a similarly strong brand.
Suzan McDowell, CEO and President of Circle of One Marketing has worked with companies like the City of Miami Gardens “Jazz in the Gardens” festival, the City of Rivera Beach Jazz and Blues Festival and the AHCA Medicaid Reform along with Fortune 500 companies and community organizations. She talks with us about working with clients, building a brand, and the basics of marketing.
MN: What initially attracted you to marketing?
SM: I was attracted to marketing because my father told me to hurry and pick a major when I was at the University of Texas, so I chose the one that was farthest from math: advertising. But it turns out that I’m a natural-born sales person, which is a big part of being a marketer. I love [moving] people from point A to point B. I get really excited about the creative process, about getting to work on a project from inception to crazy success.
MN: Why did you decide to start your own marketing agency rather than work for a large, established firm?
SM: I did work for large established firms for years: Harte Hanks, the LA Herald Examiner and Cox Radio. Those combined working environments prepared me to do what I’m now doing. I decided to start my own agency because just selling radio became too limiting for me. I wanted to be able to create marketing campaigns where I had input in the entire process. South Florida is one of the largest Black markets in the U.S and [when] I opened The Circle there was (and still is) only one other Black owned agency in Miami.
MN: Visitors see these words when they visit your official website, “Though we’re a small agency, our size has very little to do with our might.” Which business strategies allow you to add large-scale services for your clients?
SM: Well, as one of my former staff members said to me, “Suzan….you girls work like ants!” That’s the first thing. I think we have a good reputation for turning out a quality product and being fastidious with our presentation, especially when it comes to an event that we market and manage. We have really tried to establish a brand [that is] resourceful, unafraid to try something different, and sometimes crazy in order to get done for our clients what is most effective.
I recently launched an online classified ad service in California. However, I have not received the market response that I so desperately need to generate cash flow. I have used Twitter as a means to drive traffic to my website, but for some reason, I am not getting any posts to my site nor many visitors. Do you have any suggestions on how I can spread the word about my website? Thank you.
I feel your pain. It’s a bummer to start a business with excitement and a belief that it is instantly going to take off only to find that you are not getting the response you expected. Don’t worry though; you are not alone — nor are you the first or last entrepreneur who has had this experience. In fact, successful entrepreneurship is basically successful experimentation. The key is to launch your idea as inexpensively as you can so you can get market feedback and figure out what you need to change to build a customer base, or whether to scrap the idea all together and start over. So you’re on the right path and you’re doing the right thing by not suffering in silence.
I believe there are a few reasons you are not getting the response you are looking for right now. Before we discuss them, grab a piece of paper and a pen. I want you to write down your responses to what I am about to ask you. Don’t analyze. Just write down the first thing that comes to your mind.
Ready? Here we go. What do you think of when I say:
Your answers may be slightly different than mine, but I bet if our answers don’t match perfectly that my responses would be your second choice. My first thoughts were Oprah, Nike, McDonald’s and Craigslist. You know why? That’s the power of a brand. These entities have branded themselves so well and differentiated themselves so well that they stand out in my mind and the minds of millions of people. Does that mean that other people and organizations in these same categories can’t be successful? No, but it means they have to find another way to stand out.
Jerry Springer stood out by inviting the most ridiculous guests ever to his show. Reebok, Adidas and Converse haven’t done bad. Wendy’s and Burger King have managed to make millions despite having the golden arches as their competition. Also, Craigslist is memorable as a brand because of first mover’s advantage and ease of use.
So, I have three bits of advice:
1. On your site and in your marketing, make it clear in one sentence how you benefit the customer and how you are different:
Do you offer classifieds for only a specific product or category? Are your classifieds only for a city or a specific neighborhood? Why would somebody choose to post with you versus your already well-known and proven competitor, Craigslist?
2. Get word out about your site to your target market in every possible way:
Communicate your new, clear, differentiated brand message to your target customers at every turn. You mentioned that you are using Twitter to get the word out. That’s good, but it’s not enough. Use Facebook, too. Take flyers to local businesses that people frequent such as grocery stores, gas stations, restaurants and daycare centers (because I am presuming that your classifieds are for your local area). Also, the United States Postal Service just launched a new service called Every Door Direct Mail where you can send direct mail or postcards to specific zip codes. This makes direct mail a lot more affordable because you no longer have to buy a mailing list. Local post office locations are holding free seminars about the new service, so check their website to register for an informational session in your area to find out if this is a good fit for you to get word out about your classifieds site.
3. Show pictures and testimonials from people who have used your site:
In marketing there is a concept called “social proof.” Once there is “social proof” or evidence that other people are using or doing something new and it has been accepted, then most people are more open to using or doing it too. This happens through word-of-mouth, so you need to actively find a few people in your local area who have stuff to get rid of and get them to list it on your site. Once they list and sell their items, then show pictures and testimonials from these people as social proof that your site is a good place for other people to sell stuff too. Maybe you can host a local “de-clutter” day.
Use these tips to enhance your brand and drop me a line at email@example.com to let me know how it’s going. Good luck!
Note: All advice offered in this column is for general information only. Felicia Joy and The Atlanta Post are indemnified against any and all related claims. Always seek the advice of licensed professionals before making business decisions.
Felicia Joy is a nationally recognized entrepreneur who created $50 million in value for the various organizations and companies she served in corporate America before launching her business enterprise. She is often called on to discuss the ins and outs of entrepreneurial success and has appeared on CNN, FOX and in other national press. Felicia operates Ms. CEO Inc., a business training and development company that helps women entrepreneurs achieve more success, faster — as well as Joy Group International, LLC, a business development and consulting firm. Send her your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org or www.twitter.com/feliciajoy.
(New York Times) — A year ago, Google introduced a smartphone application that lets users take photos of objects and get search results in return. On Tuesday, the company will take that capability into the world of marketing with an experiment allowing five national brands to use the application in their promotional materials. In the early days of smartphones, users could find out about a movie by entering its title in Google’s browser and searching. Then Google introduced the ability to use voice to make a query. Now, the Google Goggles visual search app, available in iPhones and Android phones, allows users to take photos of an object, say a movie poster, and find out more about it in search results.
Jai Jai Greenfield, owner of Harlem Vintage, talks about how she built her business along with co-owner Eric Woods. She used her nine years of experience in finance with Smith Barney and Morgan Stanley and launched the wine store in 2004. The store and its brand have been going strong ever since.
(Mint) — “It’s not bragging if it’s true.”That kind of sentiment has long dominated school yards, fraternity houses and other places where self-absorbed promotion is a cherished survival tool. It’s best kept there, too. When it comes to entrepreneurship, there’s a fine line between self-promotion and off-putting arrogance. Step over it and consumers will punish you for it. The key is to strike the appropriate balance: something that many small business owners and innovators find difficult to master. Tilt too much toward arrogance and you’ll turn people away. Refrain from showcasing your strengths and achievements and you risk missing a chance to turn visitors into customers.
(Personal Branding 101) — June is here – time to celebrate the 10 best personal branding articles written in May 2010. All of these phenomenal articles will fuel your personal brand in some way. Yet, very few of them reference “personal branding” a single time. Why do I include them? Because personal branding is about constant improvement – however you can achieve it. Enjoy!
(Entrepreneur.com) – Chances are that anyone seeking a place to live in and around the trendy Detroit suburb of Royal Oak, Mich., eventually will come across property investment and management company Urbane Apartments. In fact, type “apartments Royal Oak” into the Google search toolbar, and the first result that pops up is the Urbane website–a destination highlighted by photos of the firm’s modern, inviting rental units and the young urban professionals who occupy them.