Building Brands

Tom Marin is the president of MarketCues, a national consulting firm. Tom serves as a senior advisor and change-management consultant with 35 years of experience. He has worked for some of the world’s largest corporations, as well as middle-market firms. Tom's focus is to plan and drive strategy shifts and strategic growth programs in the printing industry and a diverse range of market areas.

It does sound somewhat counterintuitive, but often the most effective strategic plans that lead to truly high growth only need the answers to three basic questions. They can be your most effective business tools.

Having a significant amount of information about your situation is always helpful. Being able to breakdown the boundaries that have encumbered your thinking is truly useful. And possessing the exact right education in your market area is excellent. However, none of these are going to make you a great leader because that requires some personal strength that often has to be learned.

We all know that growing a successful business is hard work and, at times, that success is elusive to even the most successful. One reason this occurs is because life can be hard and problems are unavoidable. The road is long and often twisty so we all have to do what we have to do. The question is, are you asking the right questions? Here are four harsh truths that may jolt you, but if you follow them, improving your business is your reward.

Your strategy holds the key to whether you can walk across the barrier of your customers liking your product to loving them. The best companies take the time to figure this out and drive their companies with a well-honed and well-researched strategy. In this new age, it looks like you will need to invest in your future to ensure you have one.

Of all brands, an advocacy brand is the easiest to setup and hardest to sustain. The importance of knowing your issue and being able to stand up and evangelize it is a requirement, not the secret to success. Yet, far too many .org advocacy brands rely on just that and often find their organization lacking in funding and market dominance. Building an advocacy brand requires several keys to be successful. Here are several that are time-proven and built to last.

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