If you have a business that has been around for “a while” and, well, maybe people know what you do, know what to expect then you may be looking for ways to brighten up your image, to modernize it a little.
If you’re the local No 1 then you can get away with advertising “Even more of the same next year” but if you’re not at the top of the pile then – you need to start bridging the gap between you and the next company up in the pecking order.
Other articles have discussed how to identify your target market, what language they speak and getting your message in front of them. This is all about how one business has done that, and has succeeded in getting massive, even world-wide publicity just by thinking of what their market is looking for, and how to give them more of it.
You may not be a fan of US Hockey (or Ice Hockey for some), so here’s a summary of what the NHL have done. They have teamed up with comic maker extraordinaire Stan Lee – he will create a super-hero character for each team in the NHL, and then write them into a new comic book series. Here’s what “The Flyer” from that series looks like. (More at http://sbn.to/fq99Ry)
How does knowing this help you?
Well, what attracts your target market to you? And – how can you give them more of it? Let’s explore the NHL Guardian Project and find some pointers for your business.
What does the average fan experience when they watch the NHL? Lots of action, some (controlled) violence, lots of excitement, and everything in motion all the time. Now think of the average super hero comic – lots of action, (pretend) violence, excitement and movement all the time. I say ‘pretend’ violence in comics because no real person is actually ever hurt by any violent act in a comic.
Both products are in entertainment, both appeal to nearly the same demographic and where there is a difference the comics reach a younger audience. How’s that for adding a new product line AND building tomorrow’s fan base at the same time?
Your business might not be able to star in a new comic strip – but it can certainly look beyond what everyone else has done and bring another product line in, and maybe also appeal to a younger demographic.
Take a look at our marketing entries to get some ideas on how to identify your demographic and what they are looking for. Use this example as a way to think waaay outside that square!
Tell us what ideas you come up with and the best one will receive a copy of “The Most Important Letter in Business” and find out the eight areas of your business that maximise profits.
One of the most valuable items in your business is a good idea. In fact it was a good idea, coupled with the right people, at the right time, with the right know-how that created the business in the first place.
If you look around the most successful businesses are those that continually update their product line, and continually remain up to date with their communication and delivery.
So how do you harness the power of good ideas? What needs to be done to maintain a constant stream of ideas to ensure that at least some of them will be good ones? Like everything else – many hands make light work!
There are three basic sources: one is of course you, the expert. Allow your creativity full reign and be prepared to be surprised at the good ideas you come up with.
Another good source of ideas is other industries. What is happening in other industries that you can ‘import’ into yours? Could you use the communications capability of say Facebook? Or maybe the logistics capability of UPS? Maybe the sales motivation of an MLM company?
You may not be able to recreate the whole capability of the other industry, but maybe you can use some part of that capability? For example – establish an online presence for your company. There are many sites that encourage businesses to set up a profile, and to use that as part of their marketing efforts. Many of them are free, though as always you probably get what you pay for.
Maybe you can use the capability of modern phones to improve your logistics? Maybe you can use an intranet to record sales and report current commissions and rewards, and in so doing encourage your sales staff?
I’m going to assume that you are the owner or manager of a business or department, and if that’s true then you are surrounded by experts who can give you many new ideas on how to improve the business. You call them ‘staff’ or ‘employees’ and I say ‘partners’.
By doing the job every day they know the problems that are currently being experienced, and most of the time they know what would solve the problem too. All you have to do is ask them – and reward the good ideas.
For example: let us say that you offer 10% of the financial difference made in the first year by any ideas that are implemented. If the idea saves $1,000 a year, the person who suggested it receives $100. If the idea saves $10,000 then they receive $1,000.
If you only had one idea to generate a 10% increase in your profit line then how would you implement it? Add a comment with your ideas or questions and we’ll make sure you get the credit for it!
So there you have it – the power of a good idea and where to find them. I look forward to replying to your comments and connecting with you.
A business owner or manager must have an extensive business education, and be able to apply that education at a moment’s notice. Being in business without knowing what you’re doing is most likely to be an expensive pastime. Having an education without applying it is an indulgence.
Most mentors, managers and advisers will give you plenty of knowledge that they have gained over their career, and some will tell you what you could have or should have done in given situations. We’re different, we want to tell you what to do before you need to do it, and tell you in a way that is easy to bring to mind.
We want you to be able to bring the lesson to mind during the time when you need to apply it, after all that’s the point of knowing something – to be able to employ it.
There are many ways to ‘anchor’ thoughts in your mind so that they can reappear when you most need them, and we will use several in this site. Some we will explain, others we will just employ to best effect. The end result is that you will learn what you need to know and be able to employ it just when you need it.
One technique we use is to use words starting with ‘P’. Yes, other people have done this, but we have more words than the others, and we imbed them in your mind more effectively than they do. The way we do it you will be able to bring the concepts to mind any and every time you need them.
In previous articles we have already mentioned profit as an important word, and one that is important to your business. If you haven’t read our entry on that please take a moment to read it now.
From that article you will know that a potential client’s problem is important, so is your promise and your proof. Get them right and you will reduce your need to compete on price. Notice all the words starting with ‘P’? Make a mind map that connects these concepts in a way that makes sense to you, and that will make them even easier to recall.
Look for articles in future that take either a concept (like Publicity) or a subject (such as Performance) and provide you with a concise, easy to recall story that will be useful every time you need it in future.
We told you about the ‘P’ device to make things easier to recall, to bring back to mind. Did you notice the other techniques that are also employed here? It doesn’t matter (though we’d be happy to get your feedback) if you didn’t consciously notice them, they are there and they work. You’ll become aware – if you aren’t already – when you hear someone use a trigger word and your think “What was that ‘P’ word again”?”