Sep 17 2016

MARKETING’S MAGNIFICENT SEVEN…….

IN SEVEN WORDS, WHO ARE YOU?

 

mirror-image

If you can’t answer that question for your SELF and

for the business you own or operate or represent,

odds are no one else can answer it either…

and it’s a good bet that things are

probably going nowhere fast!

 

Think about this:

With very rare exception, every great branding line, theme line, identification line, logo line, jingle line, motto, slogan,

and email “Subject” . . . is 7 words or less.

seven-cartoonThis is not to suggest that websites and online articles should be short. Remember, that just because you have great graphics to offer or viral- bound videos or Earth-shattering embedded links included doesn’t mean you can expect sales or even attention.

 

On the Internet,

content-king

Graphics may serve to attract attention, and maybe even stimulate desire, but words are what sell. Words bring about action. Words deliver satisfaction. Words alone can answer the only “radio station WII-FM question” every consumer has with every purchase:

 

wiifm

 

Successful exceptions to the 7-words-or-less identity formula are few and far between, and are usually the product of creative and manage- ment teams that work days on end —often weeks or months. The right words do not come easy, especially for those branding lines that succeed at breaking the 7-words rule of thumb.

 

Examples that come to mind are often created with intentional violation of limited word memorability by going way over the top (like the purposefully-long catchiness of ACE Hardware advertising phraseology and rhythm) . . . or by segueing a 7-words-or-less message directly into a memorable piece of music (like Farmers Insurance: “We are Farmers… dum, da, dum, dum, dum, dum, dum, dum”). Yes, and sometimes one small extra word will cut it: “Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there.”

 

But REALITY? Reality is that “7 words or less almost always work best” . . . which is why the challenge attached to coming up with those words is so daunting. It’s not a matter of going into a closet with an armload of junkfood, and emerging a couple of hours later with the “genius” one-liner.

question-mark

The kinds of 7-words-or-less combinations that work magic (“Do it!”, “I’m lovin’ it!”, “America runs on Dunkin’”, “Should I stay or should I go?”, “It’s in you!”, “Thank heaven for 7/11”,  “We’ll leave the light on for you”— Add your own!) are most often born only after weeks or months of studying the products, services, markets involved, and even then creating an innovative little twist on the most provocative way to represent the message.

 

Consider that it’s long been the ad agency absolute rule for successful drive-by billboards to max out at 7 words because more than 7 cannot typically be read and absorbed at parkway speed. The same is true for email subject lines. Here, by the way, in case you missed it, is a “Clear Channel” billboard with no words OR graphics… just their name on the “provider plate” at the bottom:

empty-billboard

 

Most ideal, of course, is:

A)  to have 7-words include the brand or company name (but it needs to be a natural fit; forcing it defeats the purpose), and/or

B) to use a (good taste) double entendre whenever possible, and

C) to, of course, rhyme when the occasion permits.

The trick is to make it all flow in a natural way… especially in the use of humor! When anything seems or feels forced, it defeats the purpose… and will usually backfire.

 

Here’s an assignment you can do, and grade yourself on: Carry a piece of paper with the first 7 words you can think of that describe your SELF and the first 7 words you can think of that best describe your business. Look at it every day for a week and as you do, edit it, change and substitute words. Keep at it even after you think you have an “Aha!”

 

(BUT BEFORE YOU KISS YOURSELF IN THE MIRROR BECAUSE YOU HAVE JUST PRODUCED BRILLIANCE, and just for curiosity, how do your two sets of words compare?)

 

baby-in-mirror

 

[Hint: You’ll wish you had done this pen to paper and kept each scribbled out version along the way. That scenario learning curve far surpasses electronic notepad use.]

 

MUCH more about all this in quick take-home thoughts that span decades of successful branding experiences can be found –no obligation, no tracking cookies, no arm-bending, no strings attached, no bombardment of followup emails, no deals— just good free input stuff at http://www.halalpiar.com/todays-branding-tip/

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Make today a GREAT day for someone!

“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!”    [Thomas Jefferson]

Hal@Businessworks.US         931.854.0474

Guidance to 500+ Successful Business Startups

Creating Record-Sales for Clients Since 1981!

Open  Minds  Open  Doors

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals and God bless you!

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GET Hal Alpiar’s short story, “DIRT FLOOR VISIT” in the great book from Nightengale Press: THE ART OF GRANDPARENTING Amazon ($19.95–with a few for under $9– or $9.99 Kindle OR order special (signed by Hal)  $22.45 total check only (includes s&h), payable & mail to: TheWriterWorks.com, LLC, 370 South Lowe Avenue, Suite A-148, Cookeville, TN 38501. Include continental US ship-to address.

 

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Oct 04 2010

YOUR BUSINESS LEGACY

Inspiration can run deep,

                                        

but it’s what you make 

                               

of it that counts!

 

Another Milestone. Another Published Book. This one a 300-page commissioned memoir that took me ten months to write and four months to edit and prepare for printing.

The first copy arrived today, and I am pleased. It is not for sale. It was done for a man with a heroic and inspiring life leadership story who wanted it for his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

He hired me (from a phonebook listing, no less!) to write his life story for him because he was 89-years-old and in punishingly failing health and because he worried his history on Earth would never get recorded while he was still alive.

The title of his authorized memoir is “GOOD LUCK!” Wisdom from a Life of Leadership in Turbulent Times. He died four days after giving the final text a rave revue.

I mention this here for a number of reasons, besides that I am proud to have known him and to have done him justice.

His final words to me were the highest compliment a writer could have:                                                       

“I always thought I had an interesting life, but I never knew it for sure until I read what you wrote about me; thank you for making my life so special for the children who could never know me otherwise.”

                                                             

GOOD LUCK! is the story of a 15-year-old child who arrived alone in New York Harbor, speaking no English, aboard a ship from Germany, on the good fortune forefront of time, out from under Hitler.

A door-to-door salesman, egg farmer, opera lover, decorated U.S. Army Sergeant, U.S. citizen, multi-millionaire small business success, and trusted advisor to six governors (half GOP and half DEM) . . . yet a low media profile, even with walls-full of awards.                                                                       

He was a prominent yet quiet leader in government, military, business, academia, civil rights, and in service to his family, church, community, state, and his country.

He didn’t have to be any of these things.

He chose them.

                                                                  

I also bring this story to light because the successes this man achieved evolved from his commitments to himself, to live a life of rigid discipline interwoven at every corner with humor, a passion for excellence, and profound caring for and service to others. Enigmatic maybe but it worked.

Consider for a minute what might be written of YOU and the differences you will have made during your short stay on Earth.

Will your accomplishments be limited to small, confining wins because you’ve always been easily satisfied and quick to say, “Oh, I couldn’t do that!”? Or will they warrant a memoir for future generations to appreciate your life of rising to the occasion, and making your time really count for something important?                                                            

Is what you are doing right now

leading you to where YOU want to go?

                                                                     

Are you trusting and believing in yourself enough to stand strong in troubled waters? Have you ever thought about your legacy before? Are you moving in the direction you truly want to be moving? Can you make some positive mid-stream adjustments? How can you start doing that today? Tomorrow morning? It is, after all, your choice!   

 

www.TWWsells.com or 302.933.0116 or Hal@BusinessWorks.US  

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God Bless You.
 “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” [Thomas Jefferson] 
Make today a GREAT day for someone!

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Mar 01 2009

PAUL HARVEY, 1918-2009

RIP Paul Harvey,

                        

1918-2009

 

The greatest radio commentator

in American history

 

You touched our hearts!

                                                                                        

Thank you and bless your soul for your “Good Morning’s” and “Page 2’s” and “The rest of the story.”

And thank you especially for all the professionalism, daily inspiration and good humor that you brought to so many for so very many years.

You were truly a man among men, and will stand for all time as one of the world’s greatest salesmen. Your mastery of both news reporting and voice delivery will never be matched.

You have set the example and held it aloft for all public figures everywhere to follow, the torch of trust that is most dearly needed in today’s world.

With God’s blessings, may we all learn from the light you have cast, and pass it along to brighten the darkness of others. We will miss you, Paul 

 . . . Paul Harvey . . .

. . . Good Day!

                                 

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  Hal@Businessworks.US   302.933.0116

  Open Minds Open Doors 

 Thanks for your visit and God Bless You.

  Make today a GREAT day for someone! 

 

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Nov 14 2008

You’re still WHAT? You’re still SELLING?

“STILL CRAZY AFTER

                                                 

ALL THESE YEARS” 

                                                                                       

     Thank you, Paul Simon.  Yes, I may be.  And, yes, you may be too.  But your music is still the best.  And so are my blog posts (for those of you who are reading this, who are marching, even lumbering, along the road to success) if you’re using the posts like pitstops to fill up with sales fuel. 

     Whaaa?  I’m not even a salesperson!  BRRRrrrrrrrrraaaaaaaaat!  Wrong!  You ARE a salesperson, even if you’re a ballerina, even if you’re a roofer, even if you’re a brain surgeon, or candy apple maker, or homemaker, or rocket scientist, or truck driver, or school teacher, or priest, or (add your own titles here).  You’ve been selling since birth! 

     ALL OF US are actively engaged in selling and the sales process every waking moment of our lives.  Of course we are.  When we’re not trying to convince others to buy our products and services, we’re attempting to persuade them to buy into our ideas and beliefs and wishes. 

     And when we’re not doing any of the above (like when we’re vegging out in some yoga class or on a nature walk), don’t our minds slip into some self-talk?  Don’t we inevitably tell ourselves to do or feel or say something, or not do or feel or say something? 

     Aw, c’mon, Hal, that’s stretching it a bit don’t you think?  Aha!  And isn’t that little question a mini sales pitch all by itself?  (And that last question as well!)  Probably the longest we succeed at removing our minds from some sales process is when we’re watching some no-commercial-interruptions no-brainer movie, and even then our minds will go slip-slidin’ away (Thanks again, Paul!). 

     How long can you play with a baby or even a pet without thinking about something to buy or sell or convince someone of something related to the baby or pet?

     Here’s what’s important:

To recognize and accept that life is all about sales and that that’s okay! 

     On the opposite end, by the way, it’s estimated that each of us (in the U.S.) is exposed to close to 5,000 sales or advertising or promotional messages every single day.  That’s like a bombardment even if it’s only 2,500. 

     So, what this should tell you is that YOUR sales messages are very easily lost in the clutter, like a sling-shot pellet in the midst of thousands of major explosives (Yes, I too have been anxiously awaiting the 11/23 season preview of the all new “24” TV series, so yes, I am thinking more about edge-of-the-seat firepower than I might ordinarily). 

     Your sales message must stand out, with the right words, the right look, the right feel, the right impact, and the right back-up support (from servicing to warranties and beyond!).  

     And getting to that point requires strong product/service knowledge, strong market and competition knowledge, a burning positive attitude, a contagious sense of humor [See yesterday’s post -HA! HA! HA! HA! HA!- below!], the ability to find a need and fill it, outstanding listening skills, and a willingness (like batters and pitchers) to test and adjust and test and adjust and test and adjust.  Halalpiar    

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