Branding 101 – The Law of the Word

Published on Feb 29, 2008   //  Marketing Tips

Branding 101The law of the word in regards to branding is that you should strive to own a word in the mind of your consumers. The one industry you see this a lot in is car manufacturers. Vehicle makers strive to own words to capture customer verticals.

Test your knowledge and guess what word these 3 aim for:

Mercedes
Volvo
Nissan

A great example of owning a word was how FedEx dominated the business world for deliveries. Competing against UPS and Purolator, FedEx did a bold move and guaranteed over night deliveries. By doing this they owned the word overnight and there was a point where you would hear just “FedEx It” instead of “Ship it overnight”.

If you own a business or web site then find a word that you can own. Then build your branding and business culture around that word. If your going to choose ‘Fun’ as your word then make sure that your business, product and customer experience is fun.

We picked the word community evolved (yeah I now it’s 2 words). Do you think that applies or should we go back to the drawing board?

In The Sphere: Improve Your Writing Ability Right Now

Published on Feb 29, 2008   //  In the Sphere

Welcome to leap day! We only get to say this once every four years, so you might as well enjoy this extra day in February. Going further, I wonder how often Febrary 29th lands on a Friday… Anyways, on with the happenings in the blogosphere!

Rob Siders of 52Novels.com has a great guest post over on ProBlogger where he outlines 5 killer ways to improve your writing right now. You don’t have to be a freelance writer to be concerned about your writing ability; all bloggers could stand to improve their articulation skills.

Bob Buskirk recognizes that it’s important to start your day off right. I don’t know about you, but I struggle to get out of bed in the morning. Wouldn’t you rather feel energized and revitalized when you arrive at work first thing in the morning?

Jeff Kee is very happy to be working for himself these days, but he did spend a fair bit of time in a conventional 9-to-5 job too. In one of his recent posts, he discusses things he learned in the corporate world. Perhaps the greatest lesson is that “rules ARE bendable depending on your people skills.”

Shama Hyder of AfterTheLaunch.com took a stroll through FreelanceSwitch to write about 10 phrases every freelancer should kick out of their vocabulary. If you want to be taken seriously as a professional, you should represent yourself as such.

Bloggrrl has discovered seven surefire ways to make teenagers hate you. We all know how challenging it can be to deal with some teenagers, but how about we cut them a little slack and give them the power of choice once in a while?

Keys to Success: Be Exceptional

Published on Feb 28, 2008   //  Business Topics

Keys to Success

It was posted earlier today in Marketing 101 about how the Microsoft launch of the Zune in Canada will be a marathon instead of a sprint. I have been involved with several Microsoft product launches dating back to the Windows 95 launch. Microsoft staff would agree that the best launch of any product was by far Windows 95. When it was launched Microsoft spent millions of dollars to mass market the software. At that time Windows 95 was something exceptional on the market and the buzz from the launch trickled out to many sales.

Fast forward to today instead of spending millions of dollars on a mass market approach Microsoft is doing a marathon marketing campaign. One reason I believe that the Zune launch will be a marathon is because most people do not think of MP3 players when they think of Microsoft’s branding. Also I do not believe the Zune is currently an exceptional product. With 100′s of competitors in this space Microsoft created an average product.

If you are going to create a new vertical market for your business then find something unique that you can do and be exceptional in doing it.

What advice would you give to Microsoft to make the Zune exceptional?

Marketing 101: A Marathon And Not A Sprint

Published on Feb 28, 2008   //  Marketing Tips
Off

I had the opportunity to meet up with Microsoft Canada the other day, because they wanted to outline some information concerning the launch of the Zune in Canada. We walked through some of unique features that this portable media player would be able to offer to the marketplace, including a heavy social aspect where music enthusiasts would be able to share their preferences, play counts, and so forth.

In talking about how Microsoft would go about marketing this launch to Canadians, the product rep said that the company was going to go about this as if it were a marathon and not as if it were a sprint. By this, he meant that Microsoft doesn’t plan on having a huge marketing blitz surrounding the Canadian launch of the Zune, but is rather going to focus their energies on firmly establishing the Zune as a viable alternative to that other portable music player that everyone seems to have.

In the long run, this could prove to make better business sense, because you don’t want to expend all of your marketing energies in the first day (or week) of your product launch. It is far more important to sustain your presence in the marketplace and look toward long-term goals. We’ve talked about the importance of planning before and this clearly applies to the marketing and advertising of your company (or product) as well. What are your long-term marketing goals? After all, what’s the sense of getting all sorts of attention in the beginning, only to have that spark fizzle down to nearly nothing a short while afterwards?

WordPress Wednesdays: Link A Dink

Published on Feb 27, 2008   //  WordPress

If you monetize your blog using affiliate marketing techniques, you may already be making use of banners and other methods for driving traffic toward the deal page. On my blog, I have a link to the BlueFur affiliate program in the sidebar, for example. Even so, it has been demonstrated that in-post links tend to be among the most effective. Unfortunately, it can be quite a pain having to type out the link each and every time.

The Link A Dink WordPress plug-in addresses this issue directly, because it “replaces words in your posts with anything you want.” In this way, you can ensure that every instance of term “web hosting” is a hyperlink to your BlueFur affiliate URI. The same can be done for all the other affiliate deals that you may be running on your blog.

Even if you’re not in it for the money, you can use the Link A Dink plug-in to point visitors toward certain webpages on the net. For instance, if your blog has multiple authors, you could have each author’s name automatically link to their respective biography page. This is very handy and what’s more, the Link A Dink plug-in also appears to work with comments. If a visitor makes mention of one of your keywords, their text automatically turns into a link too.

Download Link A Dink here.

Community Poll

Published on Feb 27, 2008   //  Polls
Off

Weekly Community Poll

Last week we asked if we should keep our Geek of the Week contest running and 71% of you said yes so the Geek of the Week will resume this week. New rules will be posted on Sunday for season 2.

This weeks question is…

{democracy:18}
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