branding posts

Steve Jobs Challenged Us To Believe

What do you believe in? There are an abundance of articles and incessant talk about corporate vision and values. In fact, it seems as though every annual strategic planning session devotes some time to reviewing or revising those beliefs. And yet how many leaders actually run the company, AND make decisions, AND plan the path, AND focus the organization every day based on THEM?

Steve Jobs did. And while in his role as Apple CEO, he gave us all the gift of demonstrating those beliefs in everything the company did and said and produced.

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What are you selling? The answers may surprise you.

Pop quiz! Right now, right after you finish reading this article, go to each member of your leadership team and ask them this question: What are we selling?

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Have the Courage to Create a Brand!

Branding is a tricky subject to discuss with small to mid-size companies. It’s a concept that’s more easily associated with consumer products, packaged goods, or the Fortune 500. Branding books use examples like Starbucks, Apple or Dell – examples that don’t resonate with midsize service companies, B2B companies, or industrial product companies.

Many of these types of businesses think of a brand their logo, the look & feel of their web site, or their slogan. Unfortunately, a brand is none of those things. Instead, we define a brand as the combination of what you sell, how you sell it, and to whom. The result is an experience that your customers trust, and it can create substantial value because the right customers will be willing to pay a premium for that experience.

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“We have plenty of leads but can’t seem to convert!”

Recognize this sales funnel? I call it “the desperate pipeline” because it’s wide enough to catch any breathing soul who meanders by! You know what it’s like to be caught in one, receiving endless calls and emails because sometime, somewhere, you accidentally crossed a seller’s path.

Don’t be one of those desperate companies. A fat sales funnel has dramatic hidden costs and creates a barrier for consistent, profitable revenue growth. Marketing programs that focus on attracting as many leads as possible are no different from aggressive salespeople who pitch every breathing soul at every trade show, networking meeting and playground.

The solution? Shrink your pipeline!

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