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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.


Seeing Your Customers Through New Eyes

If you see your organization only from its current context, you’ll never envision a new one. That’s because myopic thinking limits your ability to see the whole picture. The same holds true when looking at your customers.

Have you had a difficult time figuring out how to provide your customers with what they really want? If so, here are several insights to gain new perspectives from your customer’s point of view.

Insight #1: Any good asset brought to an extreme can become a liability.

Here’s a piece of advice that might surprise you coming from this bloggist: Be careful that you don’t over survey and over research your customers! View these business-intelligence-gathering practices as a means to an end, not the end goal.

The focus cannot be on research; rather, the focus should be on gaining better insights and then immediately putting those insights into action by making a change in your company that truly delivers an improved service to your customer. 

Insight #2: You can’t get to where you want to go until you know where you are now.

Marketing strategies and campaigns sometimes trap a company into a false reality. It’s strange in a way, because marketing campaigns are often expected to be based on some “other worldly” knowledge. Yet, quite often a company’s perceived notion of itself greatly differs from its customer’s perceptions.

With an ongoing marketing program in place, there is great reluctance to stop the program because it may point to an inherent strategic problem. However, by ignoring present-day realities, you can drive your company into to any even more negative market position. If that’s the case, it may be time to stop and reassess your strategic insights and brand campaign.

Insight #3: You rarely make good big decisions from a position of weakness.

It’s always better to make large decisions from a position of strength. Right now, your products and services in the marketplace may not be in a position of strength based upon their current level of sales. What may be needed now is a strong “BIG IDEA” that will drive everything else to the desired height of success.

Eliminating all but one strategic marketing idea may be what has been missing from your strategic marketing program. Eliminating marketing strategies is a practice that many companies have a difficult time implementing. And yet, it’s the single, most-important part of the strategic planning process. Determining one solid strategy to deliver throughout your marketing mix will generate more customer interest and related sales than using a dozen different strategies.

Insight #4: Nothing great is ever accomplished without great enthusiasm.

Your customers will immediately feel the excitement you bring to them as an excited and well-coordinated organization. And vice versa—they will know when you are just walking through the necessary steps of making a sale without the high-energy that comes from being excited about your products, services, etc. A full and comprehensive strategic approach will continuously improve your business results.

Insight #5: You can only manage what you measure, assess, refine and redeploy.

Pushing brand messaging into the market is a good practice—if it’s part of a much grander idea. Remember, marketing is a means to an end, but it’s not the end goal. What will energize your customers is delivering exceptional service that they weren’t expecting the first time they engaged your company and then improving on it with each and every interaction that follows. Doing that will continue to build their faith in you and your company. Knowing how you are doing, from your customer’s perspective, puts you on a path of continuous improvement with them.

Insight #6: You can’t do everything yourself.

If you could, you would; but because you can’t, you don’t. That’s why you need an independent partner to help you understand how your customers really see you. Without this assistance many companies will continue to experience difficulties assessing their customers’ true needs and realizing their potential. And that condition is a lot like not being able to see the forest for the trees.
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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