Marketing – What’s Your Schtick?

Last week I taught a class on branding at the Long Beach Nonprofit Partnership. I shared with the participants a few techniques that can really jumpstart their brand. One successful way to market an individual, an organization, or a product is to develop a schtick. Yes, a schtick! “Schtick” is a Yiddish word that means a bit or a routine, mostly used to talk about comedians. I’m using it here to talk about an angle for communicating to your audiences. You need an unpredictable way to deliver your message and when you create a schtick as a clever mechanism for delivering your message, the message becomes indelibly connected with you. This is especially important if you are in a niche with a lot of competition. Marketing your product or service in a way that is unique and memorable will set you apart. You can develop a schtick in a myriad of ways, even by coining a catchphrase. Here are three ideas that you might be able implement easily that go deeper than a tagline. SYSTEM Creating a “system” that your clients can use is a great way. We Americans like a quick, easy recipe for success. We like it when the things we like are all together too. Take for instance, Curves for Women. Curves is a small boutique workout center for women. They developed a 30-minute workout using circuit training to help women feel comfortable going to a gym and achieving the results they want. – Curves did not develop the circuit training method. – Curves is not the first to have small boutique workout centers. – Curves is not the first to cater to women Curves put all those things together and created a successful brand. STEPS Steps are an easy way to mechanize the service you offer, but maybe not all of your services. The most famous, and probably most successful steps plan is the Twelve Step program developed by Alcoholics Anonymous founder Bill W. He developed the steps that worked for him and shared them in order to help others. Twelve Step programs now exist for many issues. Will it work for yours? Boil down your program to “five steps to keep a child healthy”; “three steps to avoid foreclosure on your home”; etc. Make one of the steps a call to your office. – Bill W. was an alcoholic, but not the first. –...
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Building a Winning Brand

I’m teaching a class this Thursday, March 17, for the Long Beach Nonprofit Partnership. Unless you are part of a national nonprofit, building a local brand may seem insurmountable. It doesn’t have to be. Learn how to focus your marketing to build a winning brand that helps your nonprofit organization meet its mission more effectively. You can see the details by clicking here. Hope to see you...
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My Name is Url

Call it url as in Earl or U-R-L; it makes no difference to me. What does make a difference is that it is a marketing tool you should not marginalize or overlook. The URL, if you didn’t know is a web address. Technically, URL stands for unique resource locator. These days the URL for a product is more valuable than the trademark. Speaking of which, if you have the trademark on something, you should obtain the URL for it as soon as possible. Easy Access If you have the main website for your company but you have a unique product or service that is exclusive and worthy of branding, buy the URL with that product or service name. Link it to your main site and link the main site back to the particular service, product or event. Your marketing will be so much easier when you do not have to tell people how to navigate through your site, or give out a 50-character URL as it appends to your main site to see information about your stellar new product. What’s In a Name? Be careful with names. You might have a snappy name and have a very clever graphic and you are very proud of both. Now put all the words together. Read it. Does it spell something different than you meant it to? On your business card you can use capital letters to signify where each new word starts but don’t expect your clients to type it in that way. Imagine if you have a creative writing company and you want to use the phrase “the pen is mightier than the sword.” Smoosh it together: thepenismightierthanthesword. Read it. Oops! Words number two and three become a new word. It’s now a URL that Viagra wants. Your options are to choose a new name or buy the URL with hyphens between the words. Hyphens can get tricky. You are expecting people to remember them and if they misplace them or forget one, they will have a heck of a time finding you. You can use .org if you are a nonprofit and .com or .net otherwise. A more complete list includes: .net, .org, .biz, .bz, .eu, .info, .us, .mobi, .pro, .co, .tel, .tv, .co.uk, .us.com. If you have a killer name, buy the site with more than one suffix to protect it. It is easy to “point” URLs to...
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