How Can It Already Be Holiday Time?!

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OK, folks, I know it’s only the end of August, but, in my plan-ahead world, it is already time for my clients who give business gifts to start planning for the 2013 holiday season.

Why so early? Well…

  1. I recommend Thanksgiving as the time to give holiday gifts for a number of reasons, including quite probably being the first one so you’ll be remembered.
  2. Selection is best now. Since the economy went south, vendors are carrying less inventory in their US warehouses. That means that, when stock runs out, there may not be time for the backorder to arrive before the year ends.
  3. As the actual holidays get closer and the vendors production lines get filled up, production time will go up. This may necessitate rush fees to get your gifts to your recipients on time. Why pay extra for rush production or expedited shipping. (Did you know that a UPS package that goes cross-country for about $20.00 ground shipping can cost about $300.00 for overnight service? And it goes up exponentially based on the weight of the package.)

So, if you haven’t already started thinking about your business holiday gifts, what are you waiting for?!

Are You Branded Correctly?

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Do you believe that a company’s branded image is the one that the company puts out there? An eye-catching logo; maybe a tagline; and all the marketing materials that took time, effort and money to produce are what most people think makes up their company’s branding. In reality, not so much.

Those things are not a company’s brand – they are what identifies the company to their customers and prospects.

In reality, a company’s brand is what the marketplace perceives that company to be. Sometimes, that is not the same as the company’s branding intentions.

For example, no matter how many “fancy” items McDonald’s puts on its menu, will it ever have a brand perception of anything other than a provider of fast food at a decent price?

Or, how about Best Western hotels? I’ve seen some pretty nice ones (usually with a Plus or Premiere in the name) that could rival some Sheratons, Hiltons and Marriotts in their amenities and comfort. But, is that the image you see when you think Best Western? Hey, that’s not me knocking the company. It’s just that it’s branding is generally perceived as a 2-star hotel that economical, clean and safe.

So, when you think of your company’s branded image, are you just looking at your beautiful logo and marketing materials and thinking it ends there? Or, are you taking into consideration what your customers’ and prospects’ perception of you is and either working with it if it’s positive or revamping if it’s not?

 

Not Sure How to Create a Marketing Plan?

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I have written often about the importance of planning your marketing – from a written marketing plan to planning each and every one of your marketing activities so that they are well thought out to get the best possible results.

If you’ve never written a marketing plan, had one done for you and not understood it, or don’t know how and can’t really afford to pay a professional to do it for you, I have a solution.

On September 12th from 9 am – 11 am, I’ll be offering “Developing a Marketing Plan,” one of the classes in my Marketing Solutions Seminar Series. I will provide you with the same worksheets I use when I build a marketing plan for a client (I get paid $695+ for this) and we’ll go through each of the components during the session. In addition, once you’ve written your plan, you can get a complimentary 15-minute consultation with me to review that plan via phone, e-mail, or (if you’re close enough), in person.

Registration is $79/person through 8/31 and $89/person after that.

Online registration is available at: http://events.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=dftplocab&oeidk=a07e7jkm8f816ddc0b9

Yes, it’s in San Diego, so, if you’re not local, maybe this is a great excuse to come visit our beautiful city for a working vacation!

I hope to see you there!