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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.


Don’t Have $3.5M? Here’s Six Ways to Build Your Brand

Most business owners can only dream about running a 30-second commercial advertisement during a Super Bowl. This year’s cost—$3.5 million—put one outside the reach of most. Running these ads is what global brands the likes of Coke and Chevrolet do each year. 

We could debate the validity of this spend, but let’s assume you can’t afford one. Here are six valid ways to build your brand without spending that incredible amount of money.

1. Determine what your customers’ true needs, interests and wants are. 

If the brand story you are telling provides your customers with the solutions they need, they will tell others all about you. Research, while something many companies resist, is at the heart of knowing and delivering relevant brand messages.

2. Raise awareness among your best-known brand. 

Companies often confuse their brand channels and customers alike through a high proliferation of brands. Brought to an extreme, sub-brands sometimes become better known than their parent brand and that’s almost always a dangerous positioning.

3. Establish a customer loyalty program. 

Most businesses have a group of loyal customers that stick with it through good and bad economic times. These are the customers you want to focus on in special ways that deliver extra service, product preference, etc. from you to maintain their loyalty.

4. Decrease the number of brand messages you put into the market. 

This is a tough one for many companies because they believe the more messages they put into their markets the better. We can all agree that building brand recall among prospects is key. Our research shows that one powerful brand message repeated many times in a market will always beat using many differing brand messages.

5. Know your competition as well as you know yourself. 

Ignoring your competition is a recipe for failure. As the saying goes, “Knowledge is power.” That applies to knowing what your chief competitors are doing and saying so you can determine the best strategy to overcome their threats.

6. Invest in your brand. 

Just as you should never take your customers for granted, you should never take your brand for granted either. Perhaps you are the leader today or close to it. That’s great! But don’t assume you always will be. Just look at Kodak. Its leadership thought it would always be the king of the mountain.

Building your brand–using consistency and selectivity–can be a sound business strategy. Just make sure you are spending your hard earned dollars on things that produce long-lasting results. 


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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