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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.


Eight Tips for Becoming a Leading Brand

How would you feel if someone invited you to an event at a mall, but when you arrived you couldn’t figure out where to go?

Brand logos

That’s precisely what prospects feel like when they visit your website or customer service “support space” and can’t figure out what the @#$%$^% is going on there! Prospects who have taken the time to try and talk with you end up in frustration because there is no logical order to your branding. They will not be back soon.

Here are some practical ideas for how to start and sustain meaningful communications:

1) Be creative. Do not expect prospects or your customers to find your brand interesting on its own merit. Use a creative approach to your show and tell, such as an illustrative video with voice-over.

2) Be direct. Know what your top three to five points are that distinguish your brand from all others and present these points in a logical fashion. Use every-day language that everyone can understand, from the technical director to the CEO.

3) Be logical. Order your website in the most simple way possible, from the first-time prospect’s perspective. Imagine what someone feels like the first time they visit the site. Place things in a simple and logical order to make it easy for users to find what they are looking for.

4) Be different. If you can’t differentiate your brand from all others—meaning it’s like every other brand on the market—then you might want to rethink your brand offering, or you may quickly become a commodity. Being unique gives you the differentiation that builds a brand faster than any other dimension.

5) Be careful. Don’t be given to exaggeration. As the economy has worsened, we’ve noticed many marketers increase their product claims beyond what they can deliver. Prospects and customers alike always feel better with a brand that they can rely on to tell the truth.

6) Be thoughtful. A pen I had stopped working properly and I called Waterman’s customer service and arranged for a pickup. When the pen was returned, it was a brand new one and a note was included that said, “We apologize for your original pen and are sending you a new one courtesy of Waterman.” Needless to say, the Waterman brand went up in my book.

7) Be smart. If you find that you are marketing products that no longer meet the needs of your key customers, sift them down into a smaller group. This is tough for many companies, particularly legacy owners, but is the necessary hard work of smart marketers.

8) Be ready. The faster you can respond to your customers the better. Waiting for something to happen, from the customer’s perspective, is not gratifying. Try and make your customers’ schedule yours and provide them with the swiftest services you can.

Implement these simple tips—along with taking a personalized approach—and you’ll be on your way to becoming a leading brand.

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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