Cage Match: Positioning v. Elevator Pitch

Cage Match: Positioning v. Elevator Pitch
A while back, we taught a workshop for the Accelerator participants at the University of Chicago’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship about positioning statements and marketing plans. In the attached video segment, you can see how we helped the entrepreneurs differentiate between positioning and an elevator pitch, and to understand when and...

Time to Add a Marketing Strategy Resource to Your Team?

Time to Add a Marketing Strategy Resource to Your Team?
I recently had lunch with Ankur Gopal, an entrepreneur who whose B2B technology company, Interapt, is growing rapidly. It was exciting to hear about what he’s been learning as his business grows, and when our discussion turned to marketing, he asked me two great questions: 1. TIMING: How will he know when it’s the right time in his...

Be Everything to Everybody

Be Everything to Everybody
One of the most memorable Saturday Night Live skits from my childhood was the commercial for the made up product Shimmer featuring Gilda Radnor and Dan Akroyd. Perhaps I can even trace my marketing beginnings to that long ago parody – it certainly stuck in my memory! The premise of the commercial was that NEW Shimmer could be used as both a...

Positioning Process Overview

Last month I was preparing to conduct a positioning workshop for a client. The CFO sent me an email that said: “Is it possible to give me an example of what a positioning statement looks like? I think I understand the concept, but not sure how it looks or will be used…” It occurred to me that my response to him could be useful for...

More Powerful Elevator Pitches

I perfected my elevator pitch 6 1/2 years ago when I started my company. The marketing expert in me was proud that it is succinct, descriptive, and tied directly to my positioning. Last week communications expert Mark Wiskup poked it full of holes. OUCH. In front of a group of 20 potential customers and referrers. Double OUCH. But he was right....

How To Avoid 4 Common Start-up Marketing Mistakes

I have been working with a lot of dynamic, young companies lately as an advisor, mentor and consultant. It’s a lot of fun, and not surprisingly, I see many of the same initial marketing mistakes made over and over. While none of them are fatal, they are pretty easy to avoid in the first place if you just know what to look for: 1. Telling...

I Want My Brand To Be Like Intel Inside

If I only had $5 for every time I heard a client say “I want [insert brand/company name here] to be like Intel Inside.” While I wouldn’t be rich, it would certainly buy me a nice dinner or two. In fact, I was hearing this so much, and from one client in particular, that I finally decided to do some research into how much my...

Lessons from Orabrush’s Giant Talking Tongue

I read an article in this week’s New York Times about how Orabrush has been successfully selling its product via YouTube videos. Click Here to read article. One of the key points of the article is how smaller companies like Orabrush are using YouTube to advertise. Orabrush has its own YouTube channel and many of its videos are hilarious,...

Lessons from a Spectacular New Product Failure

This month we have a guest blogger, Nancy Goldstein of Compass(x) Strategy. While Nancy’s firm focuses on brand strategy and marketing for environmentally and socially responsible businesses, she just couldn’t resist commenting on the recent launch and subsequent discontinuation of the Microsoft KIN. I thought she makes some terrific...

Frame The Problem, Don’t Mandate The Solution

Many wise managers and agency partners have taught me over the years that when asking for changes to creative work, framing the problem you want the creatives to solve, versus telling them how to solve it will virtually always get you the best results. For example, instead of saying this: “Can you make the label bright green?” Say...