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Gambling with my brand: The most successful organizations and individuals have an image that grabs customers and brings their company or product to mind, even if they’re nowhere in the vicinity
The most successful organizations and individuals have an image that grabs customers and brings their company or product to mind, even if they’re nowhere in the vicinity. Courtesy photo
Ask Mr. Marketing Columns

Gambling with my brand

Some years back my bride and I visited Las Vegas. At midnight, restless after our trip, we hit the casino floor.

Out of habit, I donned my hat, though my wiser half admonished me to leave it behind. “You’re many miles from home; nobody here knows Mr. Marketing,” she said.

However, a 28-year habit is hard to break, and I wore the hat into the casino.

10 feet from the elevator, I heard my name shouted from behind. It was a San Diego father/son team, visiting Vegas for a realtors’ conference. Dad was using the opportunity to teach his son to play Keno.

We chatted a bit, then went our separate ways. Bumping into them three weeks later, I asked how the conference had gone and drew two blank stares. “Did we see you there?” asked Dad.

Assuming they’d been drinking, I smiled, assured him nothing untoward had happened and dropped the subject.

Meaning despite fuzzy-headedness, these two men spotted my hat and recognized me from behind. Such is the power of good, consistent branding!

Rarely far from my head, my hat appears in my newsletter, social media, and logo. I’ve spent years reinforcing the image in people’s minds. Folks see the hat and know it’s me, or they spot a similar hat and assume it’s me.

Either way, I’m on their minds.

Many businesses have no branding. Others settle for initials reflecting partner names, or they use generic imagery that any of 100 different companies can use.

But the most successful organizations and individuals have an image that grabs customers and brings their company or product to mind, even if they’re nowhere in the vicinity.

It’s why you see a soda bottle shaped like a woman’s torso and think of Coke. And in most minds, golden arches equal McDonald’s. And an apple with a bite from it automatically represents the world’s most recognizable company.

As you consider your Q1 sales results, carefully examine how recognizable your own branding is. If it’s not instantly identifiable to your audience, then perhaps it’s time to reconsider your messaging.

Because “This is the way we’ve always done it,” or “Charlie designed this” are bad reasons for keeping something that’s not making you stand out, even to those who can’t otherwise see straight.

With that said, I wish you a week of profitable marketing.

Send your questions to www.askmrmarketing.com. Read more “Ask Mr. Marketing” columns here.

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