Thursday, December 21, 2006

Santa Claus: Corporate Spokesperson

Have you noticed how many businesses use Santa Claus as their corporate spokesperson at Christmas?

Coke started this in 1931 by presenting a new image of Santa – the roly-poly jolly fella we recognize as Santa in North America today. Before this Coke advertising campaign Santa was not fat, did not wear a red suit and did not have reindeer.

What can you learn from that as marketers?

1. A successful marketing campaign can radically change the perception of the public.

2. Mythical figures are free resources for your marketing.

3. You are responsible for the images you create.

George Torok
Power Marketing
Corporate Spokesperson

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Ask for Feedback

Do you ask for feedback from your customers?

What do you do when you receive feedback that you don’t like?

Do you defend?

Do you discount?

Or do you say, ‘Thank you for your feedback’?

You don’t need to change your business every time you receive negative feedback. However, you should consider what you hear. And you must thank your customers for their input. And thanking is not the same as agreeing.

Ask for and acknowledge customer feedback.

George Torok
Power Marketing

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Networking – the Magic of Questioning

To build a profitable network you must first understand and master the power of questioning. You must prepare and ask good questions. You must anticipate and prepare for questions. You need to ask yourself questions. A good networker asks good questions. Networking without good questioning is doomed to failure.

You must prepare and ask good questions
Good questions will help you target the prime prospects that you want in your network. Good questions asked well will engage your prospect. It will make them think. It might make them laugh. It will help them remember you. And it will help them to help you. Good questions demonstrate forethought. Good questions don’t happen by accident. Don’t try to wing it. Networking can be a big investement of time. Successful networking can be very profitable for you. Why would you wing anything so important?

You must anticipate and prepare for questions
If you were summoned to a job interview you would think about and prepare answers to the questions you think you will be asked. A networking event is a job interview. Think about, anticipate and prepare good answers for the questions you might get. I met a financial planner at a networking event. She had a catchy opening line. Then I asked her what books on financial planning she based her advice on. Her halting reply was that she did not support any of the books out there. What a ridiculous answer. That ended the conversation as I dismissed her.

You need to ask yourself questions
These questions are most important to the success of your networking. Before you start networking ask yourself about your purpose. What do you want your networking to do for you? How will you make your networking as productive as possible?

Some folks are afraid of questions. Why? Maybe they have something to hide. Maybe they are afraid to grow. People who want to grow are learners and learners are people who ask lots of questions. Albert Einstein continually asked difficult questions of others and especially of himself. Einstein would have been an incredibly effective networker.

Successful networking is about asking good questions.

Click to learn more about Your Guide to Networking Success

George Torok
Power Marketing

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


Q&A with George Torok about Branding

What is branding?
Branding is the ongoing process of creating and enhancing the brand. The brand is an emotional connection to the organization, product or person. It is important to understand that branding is an emotional connection. And emotion is devoid of logic.

Why is branding important to business?
When your branding has been so successful that customers love you – THAT is successful branding. Because when they love you – price doesn’t matter.

What mistakes do companies make with branding?
Many entrepreneurs get confused about branding. They believe that branding is about logos, fonts and pantone colors. That happens because graphic designers and advertising agencies masquerading as marketing experts state that branding is about consistent image.

Many corporations fall into this trap. The branding police insist that every PowerPoint slide be a particular color, with the company logo and in the company fonts. Readability and purpose are thrown out the window by the branding police.

How can business build a strong brand?
A strong brand is about feelings. What feelings do your customers have about you? You build feelings by the way you treat your customers.

Give an example of successful brands.
Nike and Coke are companies that built strong brands because of huge marketing budgets.

Harley Davidson, Viagra and Buckley’s cough medicine are examples of branding by creative positioning.

Is branding the best marketing approach?
No. Branding is only one approach to marketing. Marketing is about making customers want your product. Branding is about building an emotional bond with your customers. It takes time to build that bond. And it takes one of two things – money or creativity.

George Torok
Power Marketing