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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.


Extreme Marketing - What It Takes to Get Noticed

In 1947, Chuck Yeager was the first pilot to break the sound barrier while flying an experimental rocket-powered airplane. It was a very big deal. Flash forward 65 years to the day, and we get Felix Baumgartner—the Austrian skydiver, daredevil and base jumper—setting the world record for skydiving an estimated 24 miles, reaching an estimated speed of 834 miles per hour (Mach 1.24)! His October 2012 jump broke the sound barrier without any vehicular power on the descent.

The Better the Story, the More Impact You Will Achieve

This small step for man earned Baumgartner a place in history and the record books forever. Red Bull, who sponsored this gigantic ad placement/commercial, has received (as I write this post) 29,614,647 views of its YouTube video post. Not bad for one promotion on one day. Frankly, this is what you call a “HOME RUN” in brand marketing!

Perhaps what is most instructive about this promotional stunt is how much it takes today to truly break through the clutter and get your brand noticed. Making nice statements such as “High Quality,” “Excellent Customer Service,” “Money Back Guarantee” and all of the other general promises that thousands of companies make each day is no where near enough to be heard, let alone noticed.

Frankly, it’s a cop-out to think this kind of bland messaging will bring your company one iota of value. It simply doesn’t work anymore, so stop it.

The reasons for this are legion. There are literally hundreds or thousands of brands in each brand category all fighting for attention. The media world has become incredibly segmented. These factors, along with many others, have given buyers and consumers thousands of choices, which create a very difficult marketplace for a brand owner to stand out. That, in turn, has created real cynicism among buyers and consumers who are literally bombarded by brand messaging morning, noon and night.

So what’s the lesson here? That when you are planning your next brand strategy program, make sure that at its heart is something of true value that your customers want. If you aren’t sure what that is, ask them! And if you find they aren’t all that interested, keep searching until you find something they are excited about.

Red Bull’s success came from combining its hyper brand image with an equally hyper daredevil. Perfect pairing. The question is, what is your brand’s true purpose and promise, and what is the perfect strategic pairing you can use to promote it? It likely won’t be as extreme as jumping out of a space capsule, but it needs to be unusual enough to get widespread attention.

Keep thinking!
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 emails, 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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