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Tom Marin

Building Brands

By Tom Marin

About Tom

Tom Marin is the managing partner of and provides corporate and brand strategy to organizations of all sizes. He has an extensive background in the graphic arts, printing, publishing and media industries. Marin is an accredited member of the national and international chapters of the Business Marketing Assn., is a (CBC) certified business communicator and a past marketing chair of the Chicago chapter.


Are Good Looks and Great Copy Enough for Your Strategic Branding?

Repeating important messages used to produce the results a brand marketer was looking for. Today, it’s not nearly as important how many times you repeat a message compared to how well you establish a trusting bond between your brand and your customer. Take Amazon for example. Do customers return there because Amazon markets to them 10 million times a day on every single social media platform or is it because they are able to meet and exceed their customers’ expectations 10 million times a day?

For sure, the brand should look great, the copy should be interesting to read. But today that goes without saying. That’s because it’s far more important to have a rock solid strategy operating in the background—one that provides the hard core strategic logic for every single market communication—than being the brand with a super creative brand marketing program.

Of course, agencies hate what I am saying here because “Being Creative” has been at the center of the definition of a successful agency for decades. There are local, regional, national, and international creative awards competitions to prove it. And all the creative agencies participate and when they win they boast about their prized plaques and statues.

But it’s past time to realize that these competitions are nothing more than vanity plates for brand owners and their agencies and prove nothing. Especially if they post a going out of business sign that reads, “We’d like to thank everyone for their business” on their Website! Unfortunately there have been quite a number of these signs posted recently. Undoubtedly those awards are now on shelves or in boxes at the homes of their owners.

Why? Because creative branding usually does not make a brand successful. Creative brands do. So if you happen to be looking for the next big idea from your creative digital agency to re-launch your company after years of stalled brand growth, you might want to begin your search with some intelligent strategic planning. That should be done in-house, or guided by an outside firm but focused on your in-house management team.

Because at the end of the day it’s not up to a creative agency to make your brand successful. As the brand owner, that’s your job.
Tom Wants To Hear Your Branding Issues:
Tom Marin, Managing Partner of MarketCues, wants to hear from you! Follow MarketCues on Twitter for branding and social media tips—as well as the latest trends. Tom also welcomes e-mails, new LinkedIn connections, calls to (407) 330-7708 or visit How can he help solve your branding issues?

Note: If you are a printing company or product/services company serving the print-media market, and would like to be considered for a feature in this blog, please contact Tom Marin for an interview.

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