Value of Brand

In marketing terms, brand is the image that represents a company, product and/or service. Brand is a reputation. Brand is a limited warranty of quality and good service. Brand is many things to many people, whether it is with clients, customers, employees, peers or friends.

Can you have a personal brand?

Yes. You are your own brand. It is how you want people to perceive you. Personal brand is a powerful expression of one’s self, and what you do to increase its value is really up to you. How you present your first impression is personal brand statement. How you dress, your behavior, your integrity, your communication skills, and even your personal hygiene all go into making up your personal brand.

I’m talking about brand today as a way for entrepreneurs to recognize a broader vision of their company, product, service and most importantly themselves. Certainly all of us understand what it means to develop a logo mark and create corporate colors, and collateral looks and feels that are consistent. What many fail to realize is that brand can also mean the personal experience your clients, customers and employees receive when dealing with your company and yourself.

Here are two examples of good branding and how these competing home stores handle themselves:

Background: In my neighborhood we have an Orchard Supply Home Store, which is off the beaten track and has been in our neighborhood for over 40 years. A new highway was built next to them and in comes a nationwide competitor, Lowes. Lowes opens a mega store; meantime the Orchard Hardware store is less than a quarter of the size. Certainly, if I were the Orchard store manager I would be thinking it’s all over but for turning out the lights. In this case, David does take it to Goliath and here is how…

1. Knowing that the Orchard store can’t compete with the sheer mass quantity of selection, the store manager selects targeted hot selling products that have been analyzed over years of data. Then creates a number of creative sales ads around those items to bring the customers in. In retail, these are called loss leaders. This is where the retailer is actually losing money on the sale items with the hope you’ll buy other items that carry more profit margin.
2. Instead of cutting staff, they doubled the number of employees for the store. Each employee is trained on all of the products they sell in their department, and in some cases become subject matter experts.
3. Attention to detail at this Orchard store when dealing with their customers, raise the customer experience and set a new standard for the home store industry. When entering the store you are greeted and asked if they can direct you. Each department has two employees assigned, so getting answers and giving advice comes quickly. Each sales person tries to upsell you by mentioning additional items to consider for the project and perhaps reminding you of sale items in other departments. Finally, my favorite, if you order a special order item, you will receive two calls from the store…the first confirming the order and ship date, and then when the order comes in.
4. Finally, the overall customer experience is completed by a feeling of confidence that you were treated as if this company really cares and the employees go way over the top to assure you have the best shopping experience.
So does your brand represent you, your company, product or service well? Keep it simple, be consistent and most important encouraging feedback.

Global Marketing Consultants can help with you brand, strategy and marketing. Give us a call to find out how.

email: connect@allanlinden.com


Proud to be American…

I just returned from a wonderful trip to Maui. Wonderful on two levels, first our close friends treated us to a stay at their condo/timeshare, and the second because we had a complimentary stay at the Four Season’s on Lana’i. WOW!

It’s been over 8 years since our last visit to Maui, and I noticed a lot of changes in the personality and atmosphere, starting with the “commercialization” of everything on the island. It was just a bit much and at one point all of us agreed it was like being at a Disney Land production. Not quite what I was expecting, but believe me I got over the blatant commercialism quickly and started enjoying the beach, sun and surf.

I was very impressed with how the Hawaiian’s are so proud to be American. It was noticeable with all of the American brand cars, and limited imports the locals drive, as well as the numerous “made in America” mentions with their local print and TV ads. Hawaii is one state that really embraces what it means to be an American, and I will say they are the only state that makes the point clear and proudly.

The one sad point from this, is that their local heritage seems to be fading, as noticed by the lack of saying Alhoa and Mahalo…being replaced with hello and thanks. The question I have is as the Y generation matures, will they keep up their heritage, or be sweep away into pure capitalism? With that said, YES, I did enjoy my stay and would return in a heart beat.


What happens when vision meets goal setting?

I can remember when my wife Joanne told me that she was writing a book with her friend Linda. I was very excited for her and applauded her for her lofty goal. At the time, she thought they could complete the book in 6 months…well 4 years later it is finally completed. Along the way, I watched both of them share laughs, tears, small arguments and plenty of self imposed stress.

Self-published, the book entitled “Sitting on a File Cabinet, Naked, With a Gun.” represents a collection of stories from Executive Administrators for CEO’s at Billion Dollar companies here in Silicon Valley. If you ever wanted to be a fly on the wall in the CEO’s office, this book gives you insight to real-life stories, good, bad and sometimes funny. The feature story is the title of the book and is a fascinating look as an Admin breaks down and the ladies give advice on how this could have been avoided.

The book is a very fresh approach to a career that many thought was beneath them. You’ll quickly understand that Executive Admins are both powerful influencers as well as business partners with their CEO’s and key executives. The key feature of this book is it gives an insiders view at a level that only a few ever see. It offers advice on how to work more efficiently and how to add “mind-reader” as a title to an Admin’s business card.

At the beginning of this project the ladies set a goal, expanded their vision, realigned their goals, then met and exceeded on their deliverables. Not only did the ladies complete their book, they also started a new company to add to their work load. PlanetAdmin.net is a organization dedicated to training Executive Administrators and they launched it mid-summer this 2009. They are a wonderful example of what happens when vision meets goal setting and I’m proud of both of them.

Take a look and order a copy for yourself or an Admin or Executive.



Fraudulent Advertisers Beware!

I’ve been in the business a whole lot of years and I think of myself as a savvy marketing guy who can read advertising copy and know it is BS or not. Well, I’m rethinking my confidence level today. Let me explain about how my bank account got drained by one fraudulent advertiser recently and let my example serve you as a “what not to do” story.

I responded to a very well written ad talking about a teeth whitening product called Bright Smile. For the price of just mailing, I could get a sample and a sample of another whitening product called Clean Whites. Seemed like a legit offer and boldly they had a headline “As Seen on NBC, ABC, MSNBC and CNN” so that seemed to make it a legit company. WRONG.

In July, sample product was ordered and delivered as I requested, but in the packaging was a note that said if I didn’t call to cancel within 15 days of ordering, I would be charged $79.00. Amazingly, the product took 16 days to reach me. I called the number and canceled the order. Two months later, I’m being billed $79 x 2 every other day. And these smart asses are validating my account by charging $1.00 to my account to make sure it still works.

The banner ad by Pluse360.com have listed an online ad that represents Dazzle Smile, Smile Bright and Clean Whites as clients. They use fraudulent billing practices and have drained my bank account with erroneous billing. Besides contacting Visa and bank, I’ve also sent copies of their advertising which claim “as seen on” to the appropriate programming stations they list in their ads CBS, ABC, CNN and MSNBC, which I seriously doubt they have permission to use their logo.

Here is the link mentioned:


If the agency truly didn’t know their client scammed people that is one thing, but if they knowingly create and develop false advertising like this, shame of the industry if not legal action should be taken against them. By the way, I followed the links they list http://www.news11-online.com and http://www.grn-tree.com and of course it is all BS.

So what do you think…ever been scammed…let hear about your story.



The Power of the Internet and Being Young…

OK, I don’t usually do this, and I’m breaking my own rules and sending this out for viewing. It is a great testament to being young, and the power of the Internet and social networking. Where the hell is Matt? And if you think you travel, wait till you see Matt’s video:


If you have speakers, turn it on as the music is very motivational.




Give Me a Break!

Most religions stress the concept of forgiveness, turning the other cheek and the idea of forget and forgive. For most, this ideology is hard to implement, especially if the guilty party hurt or harmed a family member or loved one. But what if, we extracted revenge and made sure the bad guy got what was coming to him/her. How does this change destiny?

I know, a rather deep topic for today, but with the passing of Edward “Ted” Kennedy, I had to think about his magnificent life, career and the thousands of people he touched and helped. So, how would the world have changed if he was sentenced in the 1969 death of Mary Jo Kopechne, in the now infamous “Chappaquiddick incident?”


PR on the Interent Alive and Well

With the decline of marketing dollars comes the harsh reality that something has to go. In the world of media and public relations, it happens to be staff…writers and editors getting the axe.

It wasn’t too long ago, that when you submitted an article for review to an editor or reporter, they would have specific steps for review, interview and if lucky, they would write about your product, service or company. Those days are long gone, so what can you do to get the word out? Here are three quick ideas to get more out of your Internet publicity:

1. Old school thinking about PR is out, and start thinking out of the box. Gone are the days of road trips and analyst presentations. In are ways to reach millions of targets using the latest marketing analytic’s and as well as helping the media help you get the story published. Posts, blogs, white papers, webinars, email, e-newsletters are all forms of reaching out. But the tip on being successful, is tying all of them to lead generation, which turn into sales and ultimately help justify your marketing and pr spend.

2. Public Relations and the ultimate electronic survey. Knowing your audience, what they read, spend money on, concerns and needs are critical to getting your messaging right. Knowing the right information about your targets will get your material read. Three simple areas for surveying are the company website; email and e-newsletters; and banner ads. Keep in mind, not all surveys work…you need to put time and thought into asking the right questions.

3. Registering your campaign to gain effective exposure includes understanding the power of Spiders, Worms and Web Crawlers. Getting posted and page 1 listings on directories like Google, Yahoo and Bing can be done with software that allows for one-stop registration. Sure it takes time to do the posting, but well worth the additional exposure.

What’s your plan for the next announcement or press release? Think about using the Internet in ways that haven’t been tried yet. I’m positive you’ll be successful.

May 2020