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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.


Stick to One Brand Strategy…or Else!

Having spent 25+ years of developing and implementing brand-marketing campaigns, I have come to several conclusions regarding brand strategy. Today, not only do you need to have an intriguing value proposition, you need to find a way to say something, blog something, market something or publish something with a truly unique wording.

Words matter. They should grow out of your single-minded, simple brand strategy. If your strategy is anything but simple, start over. Once you’ve accomplished that step, you can begin your brand messaging.

Here are five quick marketing tips:

1) Start local.

There are almost always places to try out your products and services marketing in your local community. These types of contacts make for some of your best research sources. Not only will you usually find a very willing party who will provide you with honest feedback, you’ll find a group of people who already know you and can offer you honest feedback on your new idea or offering.

Such insight can provide you with the confidence you need to spread your message across a much larger network, wider geography and across multiple markets. This can be your real-world feedback without sacrificing your national reputation, in case you find that changes are required.

2) Establish an “About this Product” website page that details your new product’s attributes and ask for honest feedback.

Perhaps you have a totally new product you would like to launch. This approach is a low risk way to gain further insights into accuracy of your planning and judge whether you are on the right track.

3) Review all of the product benefits and services you are offering and identify three main positional points.

For example, if you are introducing a new set of services to a business-to-business market, it would be essential to know what price point your prospective customers are willing to pay for your new product or service. To find out what it is, write an article that details the key benefits of your offering and include potential ROI projections for new users. Contrast these projections with those that do not use your product. This article can also be turned into a white paper that you can distribute to many different online websites that are interested in learning about your thoughts on a specific topic.

Again, ask for comments and input from those that read your article/white paper and compare the results to the earlier insights you gathered. This will provide you with a framework for launching your new product. It will also help you raise your PR value with the search engines.

4) Use social media.

There is a point at which you need to just start. Planning is great, but delivering messages into your key markets will bring you the experience and training you need.

No one wakes up with these skills; they are learned through practice. And as anyone in this area will tell you, it is a changing and cumulative system governed by two principles:
  • you will never learn everything, and
  • just as you are secure in what you are doing, some of the rules will change and necessitate adjustment.

Don’t let that deter you. Jump in!

5) Rethink traditional ways of marketing your products.

Move away from the general and become specific in your brand promises. Offer products in an unusual and imaginative way, pulling from your most recent customer experiences and letting them guide your marketing. Be experimental and try potentially breakthrough ideas. Yes, you might need to refine some of what you do, but the market will reward your imagination.

If you implement all five of these tips, you will not be disappointed. At the very least, you will know more about your customers and what they most truly want.

It’s easy to say that everything must be researched and it’s difficult to argue this point. Let me tell you, I am known for asking a lot of questions during my consulting. It’s my way of learning what to best recommend and write.

It starts with listening, and few things will bring you a bigger payoff than this simple process of developing brand marketing from one powerful strategy.
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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