Monthly Archives: November 2010

Improve Buyer Response with Better Brands and Trademarks

Below is a great blog article by Andrew R. Spriegel, Patent Attorney and Prolific Inventor/Entrepreneur

His website is: http://aspriegel.wordpress.com

By Andrew R. Spriegel

November 21, 2009

Almost everyone knows valuable brands and trademarks like: Nike, Pepsi, Xerox, Kodak and others.  The companies that own those brands spent millions or billions building value and “customer good will” into those brands/marks.  Listed below are a few of the top trademarks in 2006.

You may be asking yourself how can you obtain name exposure if you are a start-up or have limited resources.  Hopefully this story will both entertain you and help you to understand that with creative marketing you can grow your brand and business presence very quickly.

I took a Trademark class from Professor Jeff Samuels at Akron Law.   Professor Samuels served as the assistant commissioner of patents and trademarks of the United States Patent and Trademark Office from November 1987 to January 1993.  During one class Professor Samuels handed out an article on “Mr. Happy Crack”, yes that’s correct “Mr. Happy Crack”.

In late 2001, Mr. Kodner and son Bob Kodner were in the basement foundation repair business in St. Louis.  The company was already named, Crack Team USA Inc., when Bob approached his dad about a new marketing campaign.  His father was not all that enamored with his son’s idea of a cartoon like “cement block man” and the phrase or tag line “A Dry Crack is a Happy Crack!”  Un-relented by his father’s reaction, Bob had 34 buses in St. Louis outfitted with signage showing a logo (Mr. Happy Crack) and the tag line “A Dry Crack is a Happy Crack!”  The phones started ringing with requests for t-shirts and hats and those requests continue today.

The Crack Team sells T-shirts, boxer shorts, […]

By |November 27th, 2010|Categories: Advertising & Design||0 Comments

Why can’t I turn my social media over to my intern?

It is true that your intern has been on Facebook longer than anyone else in your company, but that does not mean they have the experience or maturity to handle your social media.

Think about it, would you send your intern out to handle an angry customer face-to-face? Or, would you let an intern represent your company and be interviewed by the press during a company announcement or crisis? Do they really understand your company or industry well enough to build good relationships in an online community – something that Google will see forever?

Social media should be taken seriously and not handed over to just anyone, especially not a kid fresh out of school. Social media should be monitored around the clock by someone with experience and product knowledge.

That doesn’t mean that you need someone available to push out messages non stop about your company and products. It means that you need someone who can listen very carefully to the discussions that are happening online and who can respond quickly and effectively.

This may seem like an impossible task, but Google Alerts and Social Mention make the job much easier. Both are free alert services which provide daily emails of all online activity related to your brand that match your search topic.

If you think you can still sit out of the social media discussion, think again. The bloggers are already out there participating in online discussions 24/7 and they already might be talking about you! Are you prepared if someone says something bad about your company?

There may be some things you need to change about your customer service or product, and if that is the case, you should thank your online community for letting you know and […]

By |November 19th, 2010|Categories: Advertising & Design||0 Comments

Chicken or the egg: Which sells, features or the benefits?

Finally, British scientist have solved the age-old question of which actually came first! These scientists found that the egg can’t be produced without a protein found exclusively in a chicken’s ovaries. The egg can only exist if it has been created inside a chicken.

So, what does that mean to me? First, it debunks evolution and confirms that God created all living things in adult form. It also means that now I am permitted to crack other matters of importance such as what comes first, a feature or benefit? Really? Yeah, well sometimes I grab at straws to pull in a good analogy. Here it goes…

Just like with our chicken and egg dilemma, this perplexing question has scrambled the minds of business owners for years. Do you really believe your customer is going to compare your product with your competitor in a unbiased and logical manner? Real life tells us that people make emotional decisions and then rationalize and justify those decisions!

So, what comes first? The feature (yawn) or the benefit? Emotion will always win over logic. A benefit will always win over a feature.

A feature is what a product or service does or has. For example, those new pants I just bought are made out of a wrinkle-free cotton blend and are black. A benefit results from a feature and is what a product does for someone. For example, those new pants make me look 10 pounds slimmer. Now, that’s a reason to buy a pair of pants!

Sometimes it can be hard to tell the difference between a feature or a benefit especially when you’re selling a service. The best way to figure it out is to ask yourself, “So, what does it do for […]

By |November 12th, 2010|Categories: Advertising & Design||3 Comments

What makes your business quirky, makes you more valuable!

Here’s a bit of marketing truth that may shock you in today’s tough business environment. Even the most conservative penny pinchers will probably be more willing to pay a little bit more for that perfect funky gift than for the typical, conventional, generic one. And, they will also be more willing to go someplace special to buy it other than the big box stores.

If there is nothing that makes your product or service different other than price, then you will win or lose based on how cheap you are! If you are the only place that carries that really interesting “thing”, then you not only win the sale, but you don’t have to charge the lowest price.

As a business owner, you should be able to explain everything about your company and your product. Why do people purchase your product or service or why they don’t? What makes your product or service better or worse than your competition? Who is your competition? What makes your business stand out from the rest?

Now, this is where it gets tough! You need to really think about it. What if I started a candy shop and you asked me what makes me special and I told you that “My candy is really good.” Does that make you want to lay down your hard earned money for a box of candy?

It’s not that my candies aren’t really good, it’s just that it’s a terrible answer to what makes me unique. By choosing this standard and obvious answer I missed the opportunity to tell you all the really unusual things that set me apart from all the other candy stores.

Every candy store has candy, and it is all good in my opinion! […]

By |November 5th, 2010|Categories: Advertising & Design||0 Comments