Tag Archives: remarkable

Which came first the egg or the credit card?

I’m often surprised by how many times I’ve been asked by friends & clients to help them name a business or service, as they believe, once they have the name sorted, everything else will fall into place, but this isn’t the best way to do it (but it can work sometimes). What comes first the product or the name? (when I say product I’m referring to your company, services, products), hopefully you will say the product.

Depending on how you market yourself, ie your company name explaining what you do as a company may be vital, or it may be irrelevant. eg Kwik-Print informs you that they’re a printers and they’re quick, while the name MacDonalds has nothing to do with fast food. You should try avoiding negative connotations within the name, and if you’re using a descriptive name you need to get to the point, plus whatever you end up with it should be as memorable as possible or even unforgettable.  Of course you can break all the rules and end up with a name that’s descriptive, an oxymoron, has negative connotations yet still unforgettable. I own no paper™, it has the word “no” in the name (can’t get much more negative than that!), it’s descriptive yet an oxymoron, as it says exactly what we don’t do as a company, we don’t do anything that involves using paper, yet it’s unforgettable.

So if you agree that the product comes first, then surely the next step is, defining your goals, your service offerings, your branding etc well, not exactly, the most important aspect of your business, no matter what industry you’re in, it’s your customers, without them you don’t have a business, plain and simple, so what your customers get out of your product is key to everything. The more you can make your name about what they want & not what you do, the better. Here’s an example, if the benefits for you customers is to help them in their day to day lives and to help them achieve new goals etc, then you’re obviously having a positive affect on them. So, you should be focusing your naming efforts on the outcome for your clients and not on you & your services. You should be looking at the positive results of your service, not the service itself, your audience & customers will only be interested in the results, so that’s where you need to hook them.

Here’s a list of things you should consider before finalising your name and in this order as well.
Your Mission
Your Vision
Your Core Values
Your Unique Selling Point
Your Emotional Selling Point
Your Brand
Your Tagline / Strapline
Your Identity
Your name (Yeah sorry about that, but it’s way down here!)
Your Logo

Briefly, your mission sets the goal for your organisation, it’s purpose. Your vision is more personal and motivational, a driver to help you fulfill your mission. Your core values are the very essence of what you or your company stand for, strip away everything else and the core values remain, they will be your compass in good times and bad times. Before I move on it’s important to understand the importance of this. Your values become the very glue that holds your company together, your values are things you either know already or discover, you can’t invent them or fake them. Plus they must not be confused with your service offering (ie Disney’s core purpose is to make people happy, not build theme parks or make cartoons). Your unique selling point is what makes you different from the competition. The emotional selling point is how customers will feel about using you or your service. Your Brand is your promise, it reflects your Core Values, but note your brand is what your customers think & perceive about you, it’s what they walk away with, it’s important that you live up to your promises and deliver them. Your tagline, supports your brand, it says in words what you can’t necessarily express with a picture or icon. Your identity is the visual element that supports your brand & it’s message (note that, audio, smell, taste & touch are elements to some companies/products identity & brand). Then we get to the the name & eventually your logo.

Of course you can always ignore this entirely, and just come up with a name that has absolutely nothing to do with your product, then market the hell out of it. Egg did it with their credit card & bank services, it’s not unforgettable, but it’s certainly memorable, plus it’s been very successful. Of course marketing alone won’t make your business a success, it’s your customers that make your business a success, so focus your efforts on your customers, as they’re the best viral marketing campaign you can ever have, remember, make your business viral, not your marketing.

Freedom of Choice / Sodapopstop.com

If I lived in LA, I probably wouldn’t have any teeth left as I’d be in this shop every single day!

you can’t help but admire and be drawn to this guy as he explains how he’s made his passion his life… as he says “People say you’re here and work all the time… I don’t work, I just play all day long… it’s flavoured water with a lot of bubbles… if I was to define it in one word, I’d say happy”

“I went out and and found 25 little brands of soda, and put them on the shelf and people would ask, what are you doing with all those old things that don’t sell? but when I got to 250 it was, where are you finding them?… now we have about 500 different sodas”

“When you give your customers choice, they’re buy it… the important thing is to set yourself apart and provide your customers with something that nobody else has”

this is a great example of the long tail in action

sodapopstop.com

Fun Feels Good

I saw this on Jodi’s Blog the other day and thought what a brilliant way of showing how approaching an issue in a new or fun way can have terrific results by engaging the user in a visceral experience (see Anne’s blog for more on that). What’s also interesting is that this is entirely a marketing exercise by Volkswagon.

more info at The Fun Theory

There’s An Ad For That

You have to admire Verizon’s audacity in creating this advert to try and snag AT&T customers over to their network, by playing upon Apple’s “There’s an App for That” tagline used in their iPhone & App Store adverts (in case you’ve been living in a cave for the past year, you’ll find plenty of them here).

But it’s not just Verizon that’s brand jacking Apple’s App Store advert, Pepsi have created a chat up application named “AMP UP Before You Score“… No doubt this will offend some, but that’s the whole point, they’ll get plenty of free publicity that way… anyway it’s an amusing and nicely designed iPhone app, plus it’s coded well.

Download AMP UP Before you Score

Inspiration

I saw this video posted on Mark Kragh’s (Founder of Know Your Planet) Facebook profile this morning and thought what a wonderful example for inspiration… proves that with the right motivation, mindset & determination, anything is possible!

So next time you think something is too difficult or you’re getting frustrated with everything, remind yourself of this video, things won’t seem so bad after all.

and remember if something really inspires you, please use Bernd’s inspiration icon

Organic Fusion Engineer

I dislike job titles (especially inflated ones), I never use one myself, your actions define what you do for a living, not your business card.

If you excel at your work, you won’t require a job title, you probably won’t need business cards either, as everyone will already know what you do & who you are, as you’ll be the person they’re talking about & respect, the person they go to when they need things done really well.

There are times you can put an inflated job title to good use, when you want something to talk about or set yourself apart from the rest of your field, Organic Fusion Engineer is a fun job title I saw on a carpenters business card, I used him because he was recommended, and I’ll always remember the work he did, but I’ll never forget his job title!

Straplines: What’s the point?

It depends on your name, your offerings, your products & your services. Sometimes the name says it all ie: “Spit ‘n’ Polish Cleaning Services” doesn’t need much else, they’ve already said what they do in their name, while “Sparkle” would benefit from something like “Cleaning That Dazzles!”

In the second example, you don’t know whether they’re a cleaning service or a product, but that would be obvious from the setting, in a shop, you know it’s a product, on the uniform of someone cleaning an office, you can assume they’re not promoting the products they’re cleaning with.

A really good strap line can become more memorable than the company itself, sometimes evolving into the collective psyche to become a generic term that’s unforgettable, but at the same time you can’t remember which company created it. A few months ago I was driving behind a truck, I cannot remember what the company name was, but that doesn’t matter as I’m not their target audience, but I’ll never forget their strap line, plus I knew instantly what they did. It wasn’t a glamorous profession, they emptied sewage & portable toilets, but, the strap line was humorous, simple, direct, explanatory & above all unforgettable, want to know what it was…

We’re Number One In Number Twos!

It’s Evolution Baby

Revolution vs Evolution?

Revolutions stand out, they get noticed, people talk about them, (they’re remarkable so to speak), but not everyone wants to be part of a revolution, they’re dangerous, noisy, violent places, where people get hurt… the old guard want to keep things the way they were, they’re happy, they’re comfortable with what they have, they’re probably making a lot of money too, so will do whatever they can to keep the status quo & squash the rebels.

Evolution on the over hand, happens without us really noticing, it’s something we grow into, it’s a way of life, even the old guard, with their affection for the status quo, are evolving, things change no matter what, the telegraph, land-line phones, the internet, TV, mobile devices, convergence, web 2.0, they’re all seen as revolutions, but really they’re all simply evolutionary steps in human communication. So why do you need a revolution? maybe your tactics should be a revelation, get the old guard aligned to where you want to go, to understand the benefits, the change then becomes irresistible?

So evolution or revolution, the end result will be the same, it all comes down to how quickly you need (not want) things to happen.