Marka Discovers the Importance of Branding (Part I)

Last time, Marka and Zoot, the lead marketer and salesperson from Fire Enterprises, Inc, discussed syncing marketing messages and sales behaviors to better reflect a company’s selling proposition. This week, Marka and Brandy, the branding guru, discuss brand creation and rebranding efforts. Remember, fire = print.

Two hours into “Half-off grog night!” at the Red Argus, Marka had a belly full of grog and a head full of branding questions. FEI’s brand needed updating and in a hurry.

“Public perception of FEI is all wrong,” Marka complained to Brandy the bartender. “We need a fresh personality that reflects our new philosophy and direction.”

“Your brand should be derived from your company’s USP (Unique Selling Proposition) and core competencies,” Brandy advised. “Identify what makes your business unique and base your new brand development off this idea.”

“In that case, our new brand must clearly convey the message that FEI helps our customers and friends live warmer, brighter, more exciting lives,” Marka said.

“Better than your old brand, which reflected what? Your ability to light fires?” Brandy asked.

“Pretty much,” Marka admitted. “Now that I understand what a brand is, where do I start?”

“Branding begins with a name,” Brandy said, chomping on a cherry from the bar stock. “You’ve lucked out there. Let’s face it: ‘Fire Enterprises, Inc.’ is well-known throughout Olympus.”

Marka reminded herself never to order a drink with cherries. “One problem though: when people hear Fire Enterprises, Inc., they think of Prometheus and old guys. We want customers to consider us innovative, smart and always at the forefront of industry change. That’s why we’ve decided to go by FEI.”

“This name change will send the message that ‘FEI is always looking forward,’” Brandy said, nodding. “I like it. You certainly know more than you let on about brand development, Marka.”

T.J. Tedesco is a sales growth, business strategy, marketing and PR consultant operating at the intersection of clear vision, compelling content and effective outreach practices. For nearly two decades, T.J. has been an independent consultant and sales growth team leader. Previously, he sold commercial printing, graphic arts machinery and supplies, and finishing and bindery services. T.J. helps North American companies with content development, Web and print design leadership, nurture marketing programs, sales coaching, sales team alignment and business strategy. Since 1996, T.J. has worked with more than 100 clients on retainer, 80 percent in the graphic arts industry. T.J. is author of "Win Top-of-Mind Positioning," "Playbook for Selling Success in the Graphic Arts Industry," "Fire! How Marketing Got Hot," "Direct Mail Pal" and four more books published by PIA. He can be reached at (301) 404-2244 or
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