Tag Archives: storydoing

Marketing tip #2 – Nobody cares about your business

It’s true. We don’t want to believe it. We do everything possible to trick our minds into thinking that it isn’t reality but in fact, at the end of the day, the sad truth is that people just don’t care about your business. There. I said it and  you know what? It doesn’t bother me at all to tell you this. They. Don’t. Care.

Unless someone is currently engaged in the sales cycle of your business, product or service, you are not the first thing they think about when they wake in the morning and the last thing they think of when they go to bed. It just doesn’t happen.

So, how do you get people to think about your business when they aren’t currently looking for your product or service? Here’s a hint…advertising isn’t the answer. There’s no way general advertising will reach through the daily cognitive congestion that an average individual must sort through. Example: Unless I’m actively looking for a specific car that’s on your car lot, I could give a rats banana about your cars, your awesome financing deals, how many miles per gallon your cars get, how amazing your sales staff is, what type of service certifications you have and how comfy and nice your waiting rooms are, or that you’re #1 at anything. I just don’t care. I’ve got more important things to think about.

Here’s what people do care about and here’s what makes people think about your business on a daily basis: It’s about the things you do that have absolutely nothing to do with selling  a product or service. Toms could just sell shoes. No biggie right? Millions of people buy shoes. It happens every day. However, it’s the story behind Toms shoes and the fact that for every pair of shoes they sell, they give another pair away in a third-world country. That’s something to think about. It’s an act of global good. It’s charity. It’s giving back. It’s also making a difference. By gosh, there’s a story there and you know what? Humans like stories. It’s one of the oldest forms of communication.

Sure, Patagonia could pocket 100% of their profits each year, pay out massive bonuses and keep on trucking without blinking an eye. They could also fill their catalogs and website with nothing but product and sell sell sell. But it’s the fact that they give 1% of their profits back to causes that work to preserve the environment ($46 million to date) and dedicate catalog and website space to telling stories (there’s that word again) of preservation efforts, environmental responsibility and stewardship that lifts them beyond being just another outdoor gear manufacturer. They’ve transcended the typical and have become a community of doers, thinkers, activists, content providers and a  manufacturer of consumable goods.

What both Toms and Patagonia have in common is that they spend just as much time, effort and money doing things that are not related to selling their product or service as they do marketing their actual products and services. They invest these additional resources into creating stories, experiences and changing lives for the better. This is called “storydoing” and the brands that understand this concept are the brands that end up grabbing more consumer cognitive space on a daily basis.

There’s no magic bullet here and you either get it or you don’t. This type of dedication to putting time, energy and financial resources into doing things that aren’t directly related to selling  products is not for the weak. It takes years of commitment to gain traction but ultimately, this is your story. It’s gotta go beyond the sales pitch to get people involved, interested and passionate about your brand.

Now get out there and do something so radical and different that it makes people take notice and actually care about your business. Good luck.


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Marketing Tip #9 – Employees are also people

Branding and messaging to employees is just as critical, if not more so, than what you put into the public sector. Employees are your biggest brand ambassadors, so are you treating them like one?

Here’s an example: An organization sends out a communication via postal mail to it’s employees. The individuals did not allow themselves the time to wait a week to get proper business papers ordered so that the employees would receive a nice, crisp and properly branded piece in the mail from the organization they work for. Instead, what the employees received was a mishmash of mixed envelopes, letter head and a poorly written letter. Basically putting time before brand and message.

It makes one wonder how the employees must have felt when they got a communication from their employer that basically looked like it had been put together by a group of third-grade students but yet see that their branding to outside consumers is very sharp and thought provoking. It’s rather disrespectful to the intelligence of the employee. This happens every day in thousands of organizations.

Employees are your biggest brand ambassadors. Think about it, they have chosen to come to your business five days a week, spend an average of 8 to 10 hours per day focused on selling, promoting, using and living amongst your product and or service. Every one of their friends, families and neighbors knows what they do for a living, where they go everyday. When they meet someone new, one of the first questions asked is, “Where do you work?” or “What do you do for a living?”

Well…here’s two possible responses:

An employee that knows and understands the brand, culture and message:
“I work at ABC company. We specialize in providing an exceptional multidimensional experience for our customers that are fortunate enough to use our product line. You should check it out. Yeah, we rock.”


An employee that has no concept of the brand, culture and message:
“I work at ABC company but to be honest, it sucks and I’m looking for another job. Will you keep your ears open for me if you hear of anything? Hey, where’s the beer? I thought there was going to be beer here?”

Don’t think your employees don’t notice when you’re not treating or talking to them the same as your consumers (that’s a triple negative hat-trick by the way). They know it and the way they act towards your customers while at work and out in the real world after work dictates how entrenched they are in your culture, brand and message.

Here’s the takeaway:
Go up to five of your employees individually and ask them what is the sole purpose of the company and why does the company exist (answering “to make money” or “to make a product” doesn’t count). If you get five different answers, you have work to do internally. Basically, every employee should be able to tell you the same thing when you ask them this question. It’s called a “brand mantra,” something that is a mind-set and not written in an employee manual. The employees at Nike, Starbucks, Patagonia, Disney, the Ritz Carlton and every other major brand in the world gets it. If you’re getting different answers then you need to turn your branding, messaging and marketing efforts inward. Don’t spend a dime selling the dream on the street if you’re delivering a nightmare on the inside.

Want your brand to shine? It starts with shinny happy employees that are 100% committed and treated like they are the most important part of the brand. Get busy homies. You’ve got work to do!


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