Poor Branding Strategy Mirrors On Field Ineptitude: San Francisco 49ers Misfire

Reuters.com published this deansguide and innerarchitect.com article October 6, 2008

Branding and marketing your brand’s message is all about perception, believability, and credibility. It is also something that requires a hard look at what will resonate with a particular targeted population of customers you want to accept and embrace your brand. If there was ever a case study on how not to brand a product, it is the recent season ticket sales radio advertising campaign by the San Francisco 49ers.

Qualifications: I am a native San Franciscan, a 38 year fan of the Niners, and a former season ticket holder from 1996 to 2006. I am a fan of this team but not a blindly “Faithful” drone as they seem to want to create. My assertions about fan demographics, fan behavior, and message viability is based on my experience with the sport. Since 1972 I have attended over 200 NFL games, 5 NFL playoff games, and one Super Bowl. In addition I have attended another 100+ college football games-I have experienced many crowds in my long journey as a sports fan.

The Radio Branding Message

Setting: A father gives his preteen son and daughter a lesson on being a 49er fan aka one of the “faithful.”

Message: the father is training his children to be 49er fans, faithful 49er fans, and nothing else.

Branding Message: Being a 49er fan is about blindly following, supporting, and being proud of your team.

The Reality: A Branding Message Gone Bad

1. Being a 49er “Faithful”: is a very old marketing message that was established in the 1970’s. It has very little impact upon the buying public as it does not address image, invoke faithful behavior, or inspire people to buy season tickets.

Case Study of Excellence: The Oakland Raiders, although enduring hard times for many years without excellence on the field, continue to invoke and inspire fan participation. Why? Being a Raider fan holds the connotation that you are a tough guy, hard scrabble, pure violence loving fan of a very violent game–the Raiders tell it like it is and embrace the brand they have created for themselves

2. Association with Baseball’s Message: The 49er’s attempt to utilize the message major league baseball has been extremely successful using does not work. Baseball is associated with family, apple pie, and America. It is a tradition of heritage passed down from generation to generation; something a father can share with a son or daughter. And baseball is an affordable family outing for everyone to enjoy.

3. The 49er’s Branding Strategy: to sell season tickets, is to create a following of blindly faithful fans. By describing a pep talk between a father and his children, you are left with the perception that the ticket buying fan base that attends games is a demographic closely inline with baseball’s fan demographic-that is ridiculous!

Football is a very violent sport. The fans at games are often unruly, drunk, and misbehave. The atmosphere at a professional football game has nothing in common with the gentile atmosphere at most major league baseball games. The age of the NFL fan base is older. The number of preteen and teenage fans at professional football games is far fewer than what you would see at a Major League baseball affair.

Results: A Complete Misfire

What the radio listening public is left with is a NFL team that is attempting to sell season tickets by invoking faith in the team. Their method of invoking faith is to “start em young” and bring up little 49er fans that will grow into season ticket buying 49er fans. Their brand is be faithful-be a 49er fan. This is very ineffective and completely ignorant of the brilliant marketing and branding message the team could create from their storied heritage. Why is a franchise with 5 Super Bowl wins, voted the team of the decade in the 1980’s, completely ignoring their brand strength?

LinkedIn.com: Authenticity Protocol and Referral Machine

Reuters.com published this deansguide article September 30, 2008

FoxBusiness.com published this deansguide article September 30, 2008

Sasha Strauss, Managing Director of Innovation Protocol a brand strategy consulting firm, makes a very compelling case for utilizing LinkedIn as a source of referrals. Referrals can be the lifeblood of a business and LinkedIn is the tool Sasha utilized to grow his business.

Innovation Protocol’s Story

1. Innovation Protocol has been in business 1 year and 5 months

2. Company is profitable

3. Hiring one new employee every single month

4. Sasha claims they are now turning away business

5. Never placed an advertisement in order to generate business

6. All their business is through referrals

7. Most of their referrals are from LinkedIn

8. LinkedIn profiles provide the robust information as well as recommendations that qualify potential clients according to Sasha

Lie Detector For Bloggers or Another Guesstimate: urlmetrix.com

Looney Tunes opening title from mid-1950s.

Courtesy Looney Tunes Wiki

Chicago Sun-Times published this deansguide article September 23, 2008

The challenge: finding a traffic measurement tool that will allow a person to accurately analyze a blogger’s traffic or company website’s traffic.

The reason: Bloggers and companies make outlandish, blatant, and false claims of traffic (page views and uniques) that just do not pass the smell test. When a person is attempting to control their budgetary expenses when attending networking events, one of the best methods is to perform due diligence on a blogger, SEO expert, or someone claiming to have lots of traffic.

Urlmetrix.com is a fun and handy tool, powered by Google App engine, that provides measurement for many statistics for your blog. By simply placing your url into the search box, urlmetrix.com retreives 15 site statistics that provide a blogger with information vital to their efforts.

Warning

Many of the sites in this measurement tool utilize statistics derived from toolbar downloads, extrapilated projections, and statistical sampling. No tool to my knowledge gives precise statistical information on blogs. If anyone has a set of better tools please let us know. One of the most difficult problems is verifying a sites traffic when they make claims of page views and uniques that seem far from realistic.

urlmetrix.com’s Returned Results (for my outside blog) deansguide:

1. Title: deansguide

2. Alexa Rank: 346,275

3. Compete Rank: 38

4. Quantcast Rank: 266,768

5. Technorati Rank: 433,097 Authority 16/ Google 80

6. Google Indexed: 991

7. Yahoo Indexed: 1,720

8. Google Back Links: 132

9. Yahoo Back Links: 4,100

10. delicious book marks: 2

11. Wikipedia External Links: 1

12. DMOZ Links: 0

13. Google Blog Search Links: 80

14. Technorati Blog Reactions: 72

Analysis

urlmetrix is a quick tool that gives a blogger measurement, pinpoints areas that need work, helps bloggers discover their strengths and weaknesses, and it allows bloggers to compile this information in seconds without having to download any one toolbar for access.

Tequila: A Lesson In Marketing And Brand Identity

TGIF and watch this tour of Jose Cuervo Factory

Reuters.com published this deansguide article September 13, 2008

Tequila the official party liquor, the daddy of the fiesta, the king of the shot, and the emperor of margarita madness is actually an amazing marketing story. What makes an often, horrible smelling, difficult to describe taste that can make the eyes water and throat wretch with a gag reflex similar to food posioning the #1 fastest growing category of liquor in America according to the 2005 Adams Handbook Advance the industry standard.

Granted the premium tequila brands like Patron produce incredibly rich and smooth tasting liquors, but the majority of the tequila sales, 40% plus, are Jose Cuervo tequila of the ilk described above–rotten eggs on sandpaper.

Marketing Strategy

1. Association: Tequila is the party liquor associated with fiestas, parties, food, and music. No other drink symbolizes fun, good times, beaches, and the tropics like a tequila margarita

2. Heritage: Tequila has a long history and heritage of proud producers from a passionate country, Mexico, that crafts the best tequila products in the world

3. Perception: Tequila, like the country of Mexico, symbolizes macho, hot, spicy, and power. It is perceived, and rightfully so, as the drink that is dangerous. For many people it is a brand that signifies their toughness much like a football fan who supports the Oakland Raiders. If you can hang at a Raider game, think of San Quentin at a picnic, then you are tough enough to drink tequila

4. Reputation: Everyone, at least those that drink, have a tequila story. The stories are never pretty, they are usually warning shots to friends, and yet they are told with pride. There is a legend a lore attached to this brand that people want to associate despite the taste and horrific results the drink can produce

5 Strategies to Branding “You”: Realtor’s Guide To Career Success

Branding "You" to be memorable

Branding

Reuters.com published this deansguide article September 2, 2008

What exactly is the definition for the word “branding”? We are talking about creating an aura, a perception, and a truth about a person, service, or product that allows people to identify and recognize them instantly.

Branding according to Whatis.techtarget.com definition

Branding “You” What Are You Waiting For?

You spend a lifetime promoting your employer, their products, and their services. You derive your substance factor from your experiences. Is it not about time you tell the world about you and why you are special?

Tips To Branding “You”

1. Recognize: You are a brand. You have recognizable qualities and you must consider yourself special in order to promote your unique qualities

2. Begin the Shift: Recognize you are worthy of brand recognition and begin to shift the emphasis to your qualities and differentiating factors that make you unique. Why are you so effective? How can you deliver value? Begin to market you as the source

3. Education to Expertise: in order to become a brand, you must be knowledgeable in your niche. Gain confidence and expertise by studying and learning about your business from mentors, online resources, workshops, seminars, and books. Building your knowledge base builds confidence in you as well as your potential clients

4. Writing Platform: create a writing platform with the goal of establishing your own blog within a 3-6 month period. The following are places to start:

a.) Submit articles to ezinearticles.com

b.) Create a newsletter

c.) Become a contributor to a blog

d.) Ask to contribute to a newsletter or local newspaper

5. Public Speaking Platform: Create a workshop or speech aimed at providing value to your audience.

a.) Ask to represent your company at local meetings or conferences. Work up to bigger venues

b.) Ask to speak at your Kiwanis Club, Rotary, or Chamber of Commerce

c.) Create a Free workshop for you affiliate partners

d.) Join a industry organization and submit your request to speak

Results

The best strategy to support your career as an entrepreneur or as an employee of a company is to create the brand of “You.” In so doing, you become recognizable to both potential clients and potential employers.

Your entrepreneurial business is positively effected when potential clients know you, like your brand (You), and understand the value you bring to the table

Your employer’s business is positively effected when customers know you, trust you as their “brand”, and understand the value you bring to the organization you are working for with the client’s best interests in mind

Networking The Right Way Part 2: #1 Method to Networking Success

In our last adventure our fragile business networker was accosted by the unseamly hardsell tactics of Superman during a networking event. Superman was the epitome of the hardsell, offer nothing, talking to much, and in general acting like the blowhard we all try to avoid.

Don’t Be A Joker!

Director Tim Burton specifically refers to this image as "the duel of the freaks".

Courtesy Jack Nicholson Wiki

#1 Method To Networking Success

“Give something that others Value, give it often, and give it WITHOUT asking for anything in return” -Jeffrey Gitomer

If you give people what they value, continuously give it to them, without asking for something in return or trying to sell them–you will have mastered the method to networking success: The Give

The Ann Tardy Story: A Case Study for Giving

Ann Tardy left a successful law practice as well as her CPA business to establish Lifemoxie.com. Ann is a powerful keynote and workshop facilitator. I attended her workshop “20 Ideas To Relentlessly Self Promote You and Your Business.

The Approach: It’s All About Giving

Shortly upon the conclusion of Ann’s workshop I met her face to face and offered:

1. To give my feedback on her presentation

2. To write an article praising her work for my blog

3. To provide her a free consultation on blogging, blog marketing, and social media networking

The Rest of The Story

After staying in contact with Ann, and many communications and networking referrals, we finally had the opportunity to meet for lunch 2 months after our initial conversation at her presentation. We were pleasantly surprised with the story Ann related to us:

“I was in New York City last week as a guest presenter at a Women Entrepreneur’s Conference. An audience member approached me after my keynote to tell me that she attended the workshop because of a review she read from a blogger. That blogger turned out to be you dean and your deansguide review. As a result of your wonderful review this woman attended and brought a friend with her.”

The Result of Giving

1. Referral-Gifts: Ann has provided our Inner Architect business with 17 amazing contacts which have led to 12 speaking engagements for author Susan Hanshaw

2. Relationship: Ann has become a trusted friend and source of business

3. Evangelist: Ann is now an “evangelist” for our company and Susan’s work. She spreads the word aka viral marketing helping people understand our work

4. Reference Point: Ann is a well respected national keynote speaker with incredible name recognition. Her willingness to validate our business mission lends added credibility to our reputation and public perception

5. Mentor: Ann is walking the path we intend to walk. Her mentorship and direction have been an integral part of our business growth and expansion

Brand “You” By Establishing Your Writing and Public Speaking Platforms

“People who are effective speakers come across as more comfortable with themselves, more confident, and more attractive to be around. Being able to speak effectively means you can sell anything-products, of course, but also ideas, ideologies, and worldviews.” -Dustin Wax Lifehack

Throughout your business career if you have worked for a corporation or small company you have probably “towed the company line.” That is to say you learn the products, services, and culture inside out and you are able to repeat the benefits and features of your employer to anyone interested in listening-or not.

How Do I Brand Me?

“The good news — and it is largely good news — is that everyone has a chance to stand out. Everyone has a chance to learn, improve, and build up their skills. Everyone has a chance to be a brand worthy of remark.”-Tom Peters “The Brand Called You” Fastcompany.com

1. Differentiating Factors: what is your Differentiating Factor? Do you have great experience in your niche, well known company experience, negotiating success, or any other accomplishments that help you stand out from the crowd?

What Do I Do To Brand Me?

“Politicians brand you. So do marketers-and your boss and co-workers. If you don’t take control of your brand, you’ll forever be stuck with how the world judges you.” -Diane Brady BusinessWeek

1. Writing: create a writing platform within your business. Whether you are an employee of a large firm or an agent in a brokerage begin writing.

a.) How To: write step by step guides on how to do things

b.) Lists: write top 10 lists or 5 things that will help people. . .

c.) Profiles: write about other industry professionals, your clients, or your niche

d.) Analysis: analyze your industry, a new product or service, or anything in the news about your industry

2. Vehicle to Deliver: establish a blog. This is the best method to deliver your message. If you will not write a blog then produce a weekly newsletter for email distribution as well as hard copy distribution. Trade magazines or ezines, prominent bloggers in your niche who will allow you to become a contributor

3. Public Speaking: create a public speaking-workshop platform within your business.

a.) How To: utilize your writing platform for scripts or workshop content for your speaking platform

b.) Research: your niche for effective speakers; evaluate their topics, create a list of workshops of value

4. Approach Organizations: offer your keynote or workshop for free. Speak at Rotary, Lions Clubs, industry meetings, your company, affiliates, career fairs, employment groups, schools, womens organizations, networking groups, or on a soap box in the parking lot of your local 7-11. JUST SPEAK! Get out and do it. Your practice will lead to confort and exposure

Results

1. Writing provides a constant flow of information about you, about your expertise, and it becomes your moving “living” resume. It demonstrates your ability to communicate on a level most people will appreciate. Your helpful writing give people the perception you are there to help

2. Speaking provides quick exposure and viral marketing word of mouth opportunities. Do a good job and your audience becomes your instant “commercial” to their friends and family.

Realtor’s Step 1 To Asking To Become A Contributor For A Powerful Blogger

Reuters.com published this deansguide article August 4, 2008

How do you get the kind of exposure you feel you and your writing deserve? How do you do this when you do not have a blog or you are about to launch your blog into the blogosphere? What is the best method of soliciting a prominent blogger with the information you want the consumers to see?

The majority of people never get what they want because they are afraid to ask. This fear, here is the solution to that problem, usually leads the person to take a circuitous route of vague inquiries that never land their intended results.

The following is a perfect example of my philosophy, Jeffrey Gitomer style, on how to ask for something without asking. This is an email sent to me by entrepreneur Peter Furia:

————————————————————

Dean,


I wanted to reach out to you quickly with a potential blog post for Dean’s Guide. There is a commercial real estate search engine called Rofo.com that just released a short YouTube video that I think real estate agents and consumers both would enjoy.
I’ve put a link to the video below — it’s at least good for a quick laugh.

Thanks and let me know if I can provide any other info.
-peter”
——————————————————————————–
The Offer-Give
1. Peter offers me content in the form of a very funny video from youtube. He knows that this video will make a great blog post, give my readers a good laugh, and help me with a post that is easy to write and fun
Note: Peter is GIVING not SELLING me first and foremost!
The Take Away
1. Peter’s email informs me of a new Commercial Real Estate search engine called Rofo.com
The Description
1. I emailed Peter and complimented him on his Approach and I asked him for a description of what he would like to promote:
“Rofo is a free website for entrepreneurs and small businesses searching for commercial real estate and related services for facilities/office space. Rofo allows you to search local listings, post your real estate needs, read and write reviews and find the right professionals related to your move. Rofo brings in relevant third party data from sites like Google, Microsoft, and Yelp to help businesses make decisions about where to locate their business.”
Who Is Peter Furia?
He is a funny man and the mastermind behind seedwell.com and Peter Furia Design performing:
  • Video Production viral videos, music videos, promotional spots, documentaries, short films
  • Viral Campaigns video seeding and promotion, microsites
  • Web 2.0 Strategies product-based social networking, user-driven advertising
  • Graphic Design event graphics, CD & DVD artwork, movie posters, flyers
  • Web Design site design, intermediate HTML, basic PHP, basic Flash
  • Music Production songwriting, recording, mixing

“Hyper Local” Blog Strategy Is Realtor’s #1 Weapon Of Mass Introduction

The following is a brief description and outline for Realtors to consider when formulating strategies for their blogging efforts, considering SEO tactics, and preparing an action plan for their next generation online marketing campaign.

What Is Hyper Local Content?

Hyper local content is content that describes a community’s characteristics, assets, and overall climate. It is a method of blogging that produces a wide variety of information about a community not restricted to real estate subjects.

Hyper Local Content Topic Examples

Schools; Political scene; Dining; Parks; Festivals; New businesses; Local businesses; Concerts; weather; community services; non profits, charities; local heros; historical buildings; WiFi access; coffee houses; public transportation; city planning; sports teams; where are they now segments; and the list goes on and on

How about this for hyper local content: Realtor John Harper’s brother Craig and friends jam for fun and profit

Why Is It Important?

1. Become an expert on your area

2. Perception as community go-to source of information

3. Search Engine Optimization on multiple topics provides exposure during multiple topic searches

What Does It Mean To Your Blog?

1. Never ending source of content

2. Well rounded content

3. Internal linking strategy

4. Multiple subjects provides multiple “Guest Contributors” possibilities

5. Opportunities to provide exposure to community businesses, citizens, and policies

Hyper Local Blogging “Superstars”

1. Teresa Boardman St.PaulRealestateblog.com

2. Kevin Boer 3oceansrealestate.com

3. John Harper theharperteam.com

Women’s Business Advantage: Women’s Networking Organizations Fastest Growing Trend In America

One of the biggest misunderstandings in establishing new business, lead generation, and gaining valuable exposure is the advent of niche referral groups. Although these groups, like BNI (poorly named in my opinion), can be effective for many people, they lack the basic most powerful component-networking. Networking is not handing out unqualified, poorly connected, referral slips for a one time shot at connecting. Networking is creating, over time, a relationship that will attract business.

One of the biggest secrets that really isn’t a secret is how active woman business owners have become in networking off line in the real world. Women-centric networking groups outnumber men’s groups by a wide margin in our Northern California region and I suspect it to be the case in many parts of the country.

Important Note

You do not have to limit your networking to industry specific organizations or groups. Stretch out and aim to meet community leaders, political leaders, and other top notch organizations in your area

The following is a list of women-centric networking groups who support women business owners, provide fantastic exposure, great connectivity, and resources:

1.National Assoc. of Women Business Owners: NAWBO is a national organization with pull

2.Women’s Council of Realtors: WCR has many fantastic industry specific resources

3.Women in Consulting: WIC provides a great measuring stick for fee structuring, training, and resources

4. Schiff Hardin Networking Group: SH LLP is a regional organization with power

5. Webgrrls International: Webgrrls has 100 chapters around the country

6. American Business Women’s Assoc: ABWA is a stalwart in networking

7. American Assoc of University Women: a great chance to reconnect with alumni

8. Commercial Real Estate Women: CREW is another solid choice

9. National Assoc For Female Executives: NAFE is anther source of powerful executive women

10. Women in Housing and Finance: WHF is another source of partnership opportunities

More resources go to this link for 29 more organizations