Become the "Big Dog" in Your Community!
Attending local business expos are always enjoyable for me. I like to analyze how businesses choose to stand out from the crowd and market their companies. A few years ago, I wrote a short PromoTip entitled I won a Chip Clip and Invested 100K! It's a snarky piece touching on how many trade show exhibitors often give away "stuff" just to give away stuff without regard to using a product to convey their desired message. It is the sad truth that this kind of thinking goes to further the erroneous idea that what we sell is really just "trinkets and trash." But if we are doing our job, we will guide the client to the "right stuff."
Some years ago, a prospect approached us from the IT industry. Their brand message was they would respond within two hours or the visit was free. We proposed a variety of products that conveyed speed and the importance of time when your computer network goes down. We didn't get the business. When I later visited their booth at a trade show, I was shocked to see that they were giving away foam stress footballs. This of course had nothing to do with either their business, or their value proposition. Their message wasn't delivered with the item or on the item. Amazing. The company is now out of business. Geez... we could have saved the company with effective marketing!
In business, how we present ourselves is critical. How we help our clients present themselves is critical also. Here is a real world example.
A Tale of 3 Web Companies
Most communities have many web development companies. Some are good. Some are bad. It's tough to succeed in an environment with much competition. There are at least three in our tight knit business community. One I have had personal experience with. We contracted with them to do some web programming in the fall of 2011. In true, flakey, web developer fashion, it hadn't happened in over 5 months of missed deadlines. When it was determined that they couldn't do it, my deposit money eventually was refunded.