Good Food Eat and Get Gas

Is your brand bland?  Before I answer, I enjoy hot, spicy food. I’m a consistent 5+ star, on the hot index. A few years ago, I got together with a friend and whipped up a batch of my internationally acclaimed Salsa, thanks to YouTube. Although the version I prepared on YouTube is tame in comparison, it was a special occasion. I went a little overboard and added one too many habanero peppers. One bite caused a feverish response. We dripped with sweat and wheezed our way through it, challenging each other to a Salsa dip off.

I live around Seattle, home of Nordstrom, a 110 year old company that built a reputation of exceptional customer service.The Nordstrom name has become synonymous with customer service and over the years, a retail pace setter. But in today’s competitive Internet market place, merely saying “best price” and “exceptional service” doesn’t get much attention.

Effective Market Branding links to an experience and a feeling and evokes a response, positive or negative.When a movie soundtrack features, China Grove, a Doobie Brothers song from the 70s, during a montage sequence of a road trip, I relate to my own experiences. Where was I in the 70s? What was I doing? I’ve heard, if you were brought up in the 60’s and remember anything about it, you weren’t there. Songs create positive or negative links depending on our personal experience.For me, I can retrace my entire Grade School, Jr. High, High School and College history by listening to the music of my past.

For most of us, songs trigger emotions linked to a memory.It’s a powerful thing.No wonder so many songs of the past are featured in movies and commercials, creating emotional links for the boomers and the boomers kids.

Years ago, my wife and I sat down to a lovely Salmon lunch in South Seattle with two other couples. Bob’s Septic was scheduled for a routine maintenance next door. Our first bites were interrupted by the graphic-sounds of human excrement’s being sucked through a rubber hose, splatting against a steel wall.It really sucked,but the experience is worth remarking about.

As I mentioned, good old “Nordstrom Service” is no longer a unique characteristic. Businesses have followed their example over the years. But when I see slogans;”We provide excellent service,” what a yawner — same old stuff different day.What it’s saying to me is, nothing.Come’ on tantalize me, amaze me, make me laugh.

Is Your brand bland? Lowest prices — Everything goes — we’ve had it! — We’re closing the doors! — prices slashed — ad nausea. Don’t become like a hopeless furniture store with a perpetual, going out of business sale, that runs 365 days a year –year after year after year. Words are cheap.In marketing and advertising,if I had a dime for every cheap marketing cliche,I’d be rich.

If you want to get a habanero response, get some attention — be different. If you want results with article branding or promotional branding do some branding analysis. Look at what the big market brands are doing. (That sounds so sterile, yuk. I had to insert some long-tail key words, so the Google bots would find my article.) Anyway, to be effective, do something that sparks curiosity, something funny, joyful, or make someone angry. Find out if your customer has a pulse.

Thirty-five years ago, every time we drove by it, my Mom, Dad, and brothers, admired a bill board for a roadside truck stop outside of Browning, Montana;”Good Food, Eat Here and Get Gas.”A good slogan creates unique word pictures that invite a response.We always wondered about whether that billboard was an accident — don’t think so.

If I grossed you out, made you laugh, or made you reflect a little, then I guess I did my job.Maybe I stirred up a response or triggered a memory.

About the Author Mark Petticord

I am a sales and marketing consultant, trainer, writer and new media professional. With twenty-five years in the sales and marketing industry, I've had the privilege of training and supporting hundreds of micro entrepreneurs and business executives.

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