Farquharson/Tedesco on Business Development: Summer Course About Branding

Welcome to Printing Impressions University’s summer course on Branding! My name is Prof. Tedesco, and that guy sleeping in the front row is Prof. Farquharson. You’re all here today because you’re confused by today’s print marketplace. As printers, you have lost your way. You feel compelled to redefine who you are. But you can’t figure out how, because you don’t even know where to start!

Today, we will cover everything from branding fundamentals to the advanced thinking required to properly brand your printing company in 2013. Let’s get started.

Before we dive into the more complicated branding stuff, let’s quickly go over some best practices.

Build Powerful Brand Attributes: If your company “died,” what three words or phrases would you put on its tombstone? These are your brand attributes. When coming up with these attributes, be brutally honest with yourself about what are actually your company’s strengths, and what’s just wishful thinking. Avoid self-congratulatory terms like “market leader” and “historic business.” Select attributes that matter to your customers, like “customer-oriented” and “always reliable.”

Build Brand Elements That Fit Your Attributes: Every element of your brand, from your logo to your social media presence, influences how customers perceive your business. Make the right impression by building brand elements that accurately and consistently represent your brand attributes. Powerful brand elements are memorable, meaningful, likable and adaptable.

Branding 201

The above branding tips are useful, but they don’t account for the most important aspect of your brand: how your customers perceive it.

You can build an awesome brand, but you can’t make your customers buy into it. You can talk all day about being the “reliable” brand, but you can’t guarantee that customers will actually associate your brand with reliability.

In branding, perception is reality. Your customers make buying decisions based on what they think of your brand, not what you think of it. In some cases, how customers perceive your brand may be holding them back from doing more business with you. How do you change the way they think?

As a 30 year sales veteran, Bill has the perspective of a been-there, done-that sales rep in the commercial print arena. Following sales fundamentals and giving unapologetically "old school" advice, he writes and speaks in an entertaining fashion to make his points to sales people and owners who sell. "Bill Farquharson will drive your sales momentum."
T.J. Tedesco is a sales growth, business strategy, marketing and PR consultant operating at the intersection of clear vision, compelling content and effective outreach practices. For nearly two decades, T.J. has been an independent consultant and sales growth team leader. Previously, he sold commercial printing, graphic arts machinery and supplies, and finishing and bindery services. T.J. helps North American companies with content development, Web and print design leadership, nurture marketing programs, sales coaching, sales team alignment and business strategy. Since 1996, T.J. has worked with more than 100 clients on retainer, 80 percent in the graphic arts industry. T.J. is author of "Win Top-of-Mind Positioning," "Playbook for Selling Success in the Graphic Arts Industry," "Fire! How Marketing Got Hot," "Direct Mail Pal" and four more books published by PIA. He can be reached at (301) 404-2244 or tj@tjtedesco.com.
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