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  • Joel Alpert

Do-It-Yourself Branding & Marketing? You Might Want to D-I-Y…but D-OHn’t Even Think About It!



Now you can’t fault Homer for trying DIY Marketing.

He often tries things. Yikes.


Homer studies marketing to get ahead, so he can keep his job at the bowling alley. What could possibly go wrong? But this kind of ding-dong-diddily-do thing is not quite up his alley. He does it his own way, from whatever limited perspective he has. Not surprisingly, he strikes out. D-OH!


Of course you want to Do It Yourself. Of course you don't need to spend the tie andmoney hiringa professional.


But think about it: Aren’t the time, effort and dollars invested in your company worth more than D-OH!? And if you're a pro at what you do… woldn't you consider hiring the right pro's— , with experience and talent — to help boost your business growth?


When you think about it, aren’t sales the lifeblood of your company…and aren’t they driven by branding & marketing? And if you're good at your work, but a beginner at branding and marketing, can you really expect to do a great job?


You could Do It Yourself…but all kinds of popular expressions come to mind…the kind of expressions we usually try to learn from, such as…


"A man who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client."

"Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment."

And if you only want the twitter version, you get Homer Simpson’s world-famous:

D-OH!


So let's get real, so you can help your company be all it can be.


If you’re feeling trapped by the specter of unallocated capital (or you just ain’t got the money)…you could try doing it on the cheap. Hey, if you have to, you have to. But more often than not, even in this day and age where everybody and their grandmother has their own personal brand…some CEOs still struggle with questions about the value of branding. Even when a prospective client is thinking about it, they will ask me questions like…


“How do I know what to do for my branding and marketing?" Or, "How much should a good logo should cost?"

And "Is all this really so important? we’re not Coca-Cola…”


The answers to those questions become less vexing when you realize — D-OH! — that your prospect's impression of your company is not only vitally important, but is equivalent to the company itself. These impression are the gateways to a Go/No-Go decision for them to move forward with you. And if your sales team has to fight a weak brand identity, you're making it pretty rough on them. I've watched a number of companies flap about like fish seeking water in the bottom of a boat, trying to "overcome" their own weak branding.


Whether you work for a multinational conglomerate or you own one-person consulting practice, if you want to build your “brand equity” — the value you present in the marketplace, and the real cash value branding represents for your company — you need to make a fast, powerful impact when people engage with your website or any of your communications.


How To Create Strong Branding?


You create that impact through a variety of tools — branding, communications, product and services, sales and marketing, and customer service. And doing those things well means thinking it through with full focus, certainly with a professional who will help you go way beyond "fill in this branding and marketing questionnaire." So do that.

Your business is driven by first impression, and you may only get one shot…. so make it a good one. Especially if you are not selling a commodity product based only a discounted price.


One of my favorite taglines at the end of a rehab clinic TV spot sums it up: “If you don’t get help at Charter Peachford…get help somewhere.”


You can live in a cartoon, or get help and move right to "Woo Hoo!" Or D-OHn’t.



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Joel Alpert is a secret fan of The Simpsons,…and likes doughnuts. Ummm ... doughnuts. He’s a branding consultant based in Atlanta, and has developed brand strategy and brand identity for Fortune 500 and one-person consulting practices — company branding, logo, tagline, brand story, integrated branded products and services... straight on through to effective, award-winning targeted marketing communications. His unique process combines the innovative consulting technologies of Robert Fritz, Inc. and the award-winning targeted marketing of MarketPower. Yes, if you're considering this for your business, he’d send you the new PDFs on PowerBranding. Woo Hoo!


© The Simpsons -- an animated sitcom created by Matt Groenig for the Fox Broadcasting Company.

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