The Great Shrinking Business Model

As a business model, Redbox is on its way to completely replacing Blockbuster. And the company has accomplished this goal in a remarkably short time period. Examining the two business models reinforces the importance of creativity, flexibility and appealing to changing market demands in our own businesses. Launched in 2002, Redbox is the company placing […]

Marketing 101: What is a Brand?

The basic marketing question, “What is a brand?” is rarely even adequately covered in marketing classes. But understanding your business’s brand is the most crucial concept for any marketing effort to be successful. So, what is it, then? Your brand is the essence, the soul, of your business. Your brand is what your business values. […]

Don’t Make These Marketing Design Mistakes!

Route 52 near Cincinnati is an interesting drive– it follows the Ohio River, takes you through some cute small towns and, surprisingly, presents drivers with a stark marketing lesson. That lesson is to think like a customer. On my drive, I first ¬†encountered a restaurant whose logo includes a whimsical mouse wearing a chef hat […]

Marketing by Design

Design isn’t the veneer that’s slapped on at the end of a project. It isn’t just “pretty” or “nice to have.” Design doesn’t come from consensus. It’s not something a committee of competing interests can develop. Design isn’t just for objects. Companies shouldn’t confine design to the “Design Department.” Services, experiences and even marketing strategies […]

Use Your Product to Sell Your Product

If you’ve got a great product or service, what’s the best way to market and sell it? By letting customers try it out! Lighthouse Carwash does this whenever they open a new car wash. For the first few days, all the washes are free. It helps them build a customer base by showing just how […]

The Exciting World of Planning and Zoning

City planning and zoning divisions can be a thorn in a marketer’s side. But if you don’t know the ordinances of your town, you could end up like this guy, who was slapped with a $500 fine for marketing with chalk on the sidewalk. The next time you have a breakthrough outdoor marketing idea that […]

Sign of the Times

Today’s blog post is not about Prince–¬†sorry to disappoint. Instead, it features of some of the best signs I’ve encountered around the world. In my travels, I’ve always taken an interest in the signs that businesses use to promote themselves. A sign can be a powerful motivator for a potential customer- either to buy from […]

Marketing for Appearances

Have you ever driven past a small business and thought it looked dingy, dilapidated or outdated? Have you ever been on a website that felt cumbersome to use, with the information you sought hard to find? Perhaps you think the business owners must not care anymore, or they don’t have the budget to fix things […]

Marketing Podcast: Farm Marketing & 4-H

Recently, my colleague David Weatherholt sponsored a young 4-Her raising a pig. He brought her on his radio show, “Getting Down to Business”(in Anchorage on Fox News Talk 1020), to discuss the adventures of young entrepreneurialism. This topic inspired me to do my Marketing Matters segment on farm marketing. Just like with 4-H, farms need […]

Creative Marketing Campaigns for Small Business Podcast

Dave Weatherholt invited me on his show, “Getting Down to Business” to talk about creative marketing ideas for small business. What’s the most creative thing I could think to say? “Every experience a customer has with you, they consider that marketing.” Talk about room for creativity! If everything is marketing, then everything needs to be […]