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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 You Leading Your Industry or Following It?


Any CEO or marketing executive that has been in the business world for any length of time has come to a fork in the road that could potentially make their company a lot of money or put it into danger. Too often these decisions are made but what is called ‘Gut Feeling’ and when things work out the CEO tells the story proudly how he just felt that was the right thing to do.

But if the company takes a nosedive that same CEO immediately reaches for what we call, “Reason Why Copy” or explanations of why things didn’t work out. Making quick knee-jerk decisions is never a wise way to run a business, of any size, and yet this is more than often the case than the exception.

A much-preferred path is to stop everything you are doing and take three giant steps backward from the challenge, and then consider six issues:

  1. What has changed in our industry that wasn’t present before this challenge occurred?
  2. What changes have our customers made that they weren’t doing before?
  3. Is this a cyclical challenge we face each year?
  4. Which of our product lines are selling at the same or higher levels of the previous year, and which ones are selling at lower levels?
  5. What new competitors are there in our market?
  6. What can we do using our present resources to launch new product solutions to combat these new challenges, and what resources from outside sources are available to us to become competitive?

Unfortunately, most CEOs who face these types of challenges rush to their P/L Statements to figure out what to cut to keep their expenses in line with their income. Although this is a very good practice as a general rule, it hardly serves a company’s best interest if this is its key strategy it uses to stay in business. There are a number of things wrong with this approach.

For one, it often eliminates the future growth drivers from the company’s arsenal of sales tools. These types of cuts today seem wise because it does bring the company back into balance, but at what cost? What if what was just cut was in fact the company’s major key to grow substantially in its future?

A much-preferred strategy is to figure out how you can lead your industry with innovative solutions and drive up new revenues by having the new solution customers need. Once a company’s planning committee understands how to drive long-term growth, it will never go back to short-term cost-cutting methods because they understand that these same expenses will reoccur in the not so distant future!
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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