A differentiator is what sets you apart from the competition.
It’s playing sports vs playing ball.
It’s smiling when life throws you those base curves,
because by the end of the day, everyone will remember.
In marketing, a differentiator makes people revel.
At times in silence, but that silence is awe.
You have differentiated your product when,
people know your name by your vision,
your philosophy, your mission statement.
Your audience begins to recognize your slogan,
they begin to identify with your colours.
You are en route to differentiating when,
you feel nervous and yet grounded.
At the end of the day,
you feel like you’re taking a risk
like you’re in trouble for something because
it pushes boundaries, it causes discussions,
it breaks the rules but never forget,
you are leading the group.
A true differentiator cannot be physically realized, because it has infinite gain at infinite frequency – Wikepedia
Digital reach is UNLIMITED. How does art make a difference? COOL is an UNLIMITED concept. Take that back to the couch when you break. Like someone in sales talking about sales, talking about art takes vision. It takes direction and you must be a leader through and through. I am obviously trying to push myself. Always, always tryin’ ta be that purple cow. Let’s remind the crowd again –
The concept of the Purple Cow was introduced by Seth Godin in his groundbreaking book by the same title. Recently I read it again because it is full of ideas and case studies on how to make your business remarkable. When you drive by a heard of cattle they all look like cows and it doesn’t seem out of the ordinary. But if you drive by a heard and standing in the field is a Purple Cow you have to tell someone because it is so different. When something forces you to remark on it, by definition it is remarkable. This is what your new business strategy should be focusing on, finding ways to make your customers talk about your products to their friends.
I write about differentiation in light of the launch of DirectFood.store, an online platform that enables local farmers and vendors to sell their products to consumers, restaurants, and care homes. The food is fresh. SO FRESH. The food is local. SO LOCAL. And you get it right away, to your doorstep, the next day. DIRECT TO YOUR DOOR.
I helped to develop the brand identity which you can witness on our recently revamped website. And I run our social media campaign, which is meant to be fresh, in the definition of COOL, like Will Smith Fresh Prince of Bel-Air COOL, that shirt is sick COOL, those kicks are dope COOL.
COOL is just one aspect of the brand, obviously my favourite. But DirectFood.store is also about:
Just wanted to share some graphics I created that are live on the website. And you need to follow us on Instagram, to check out the REAL DEAL grid. 2 posts per day. Slammin’ balls against the ground. ALL BALL SPORTS. It’s bold. It’s cheeky. It’s collage. It promotes our core values + image. It’s inspired by a retro van, who needs a name…any ideas?
I AM STILL AN ART DIRECTOR. PERIOD.
WHY DOES RANTING END BEFORE YOU’RE FINISHED?
Never let anyone sway you otherwise. If you’re capable, you’re capable. You don’t go back in time. You move forward. And forward-thinking people, know the game. But they’ve got their own game going on, and other people play that. That’s it. Goodnight.
PS – Props to Gurwinder!
PPS – A little lightness. I am lovin’ my work, my day, my grind at i-Open Technologies!
Delivering Real & Sustainable Technology Solutions for a Better Planet. Hi Ray!
What do we long for? Is it written in stone? Is it unattainable? It was once there. We obsess over its nature, it’s power and prowess. Can we return? Why sure, why not. However, what is it that stops us? Try something different? Go another route? I am tired of being tired and overrun by stopping. It’s time to pick up the gloves and pound out smashing. Use vigour. Use life. Use everything in your soul to carry you toward the light.
Tonight, we exercise!
That is so cheesy but true. A poem, or more like a manifesto for the one single thing that drives me to be a better person. Inside and out. Answer the questions in the poem above for your own good. What is it you’re struggling with and why? Can you overcome and how? Together, we can find the answers, one step at a time!
Doing that too.
It matters. Shout it from the rooftop. Be dedicated. Be proud. Take that extra step, in your own time, to show them what you’re worth. Your excitement is often abated, and they most likely won’t bat an eye. But if you keep showing them, one day they will recognize. Your truth. Your ability. Your strength. Repeat it with me. Your truth. Your ability. Your strength.
I’m too obsessive.
I don’t know what I want.
I do, but I’m working toward it?
Damnit, this is difficult for me.
I can just go to sleep, but wake up mended.
Not defeated. You are healed in the morning.
You can do it, walk with me, hold my hand if you need to.
I will go where you need me to be.
I’m writing something important here.
So listen and be clear.
Top three things that make you tick:
What are they?
As writers, we encounter roadblocks. For myself, one main challenge is believing that my voice, tone, and style are appropriate for business. Letters are usually a personal message sent to a loved one or friend. They can also be a crucial marketing piece, a clever (business letters should be clever) tactic to generate warmer leads.
So, how then do we craft a letter to a prospective client? And is there a way to write a letter that has the voice, tone, and style of a personal message?
In my mind, I envision a communicative piece that is not only unique (resonates with the world) and relatable but effective in portraying a brand’s core message and purpose. After all, at this stage, we are not trying to sell, we are building momentum to get to the selling point. Through powerful storytelling, our approach should stir emotion, provide vital detail, and promote a new relationship that could ultimately blossom into conversion.
I’ve put together notes based on a course I’m taking about brand strategy and expression. The notes identify our writer, audience and customer along a certain trajectory, starting with an introduction to their wants and needs and ending with a transformed sentiment that ushers the participants toward exploring whatever they have defined it to be, on a deeper level.
Have a read and let me know what you think!
Using what we know about our audience, we want to paint a picture of our customer’s backstory. This backstory includes what they are familiar with, and how they see themselves. Our goal is to distinguish what type of information could draw the customer in. By identifying relevant demographics and psychographics, then establishing a matching voice, tone, and style, we can conjure an experience that the customer will be ready to associate with.
Whatever our customers may be struggling with is presented to us as their wants and needs. We must ask ourselves, what is their current conflict, what do they need from us, and what emotions should we spark throughout the entire experience. To capture our audience at this stage, messaging must resonate and provide an opportunity for our customer to feel empathy with the characters (voice, tone, and style) that we have now established.
At this step, our audience carefully embarks on the journey, as they have made the decision to call upon this obstacle in their life. Either through increased stress or via messaging that sparks action, our goal here now is to express in a clear and articulate manner the reasons why we are here for them on the journey, emphasizing benefits, launching a revelation or some educational insight.
Here the customer finally meets the guide, who is us, the brand. After being presented with a call to action, the customer has assessed his situation, wants to be further enlightened, and find this so called trajectory to embark on. We have their hand the entire time, and soon after, they become the ones to guide us.
Upon the new journey, the customer must now reveal her vulnerability and innermost fears. This can be accomplished through emotional investment or writing that breaks up the challenge into little pieces, making it easy to consume and digest. Our audience may be struggling, however, their desire for a resolution has been roused, so they will continue to explore the presented avenue, unafraid, because they are one step ahead of us.
Once we have piqued our audience’s desire for change, mutual reciprocity can be established. The brand’s efforts are paying off and the audience begins to see the rewards. At this stage, it is important to portray contrast between what once was and what is today. This same contrast can be shifted slightly to represent what is today and what the future holds. The emotion felt now is hope, which leads to trust status between the customer and the beloved brand itself.
Armed with trust, our writer has a new perspective. The obstacle has been overcome and they are inspired to take new, specific actions toward changing the very framework of their business. At this step, belief is established and can continue to blossom under an established agreement or circumstance. I may not meet you, but you will meet my brand and it will help you to do your work, become a better entrepreneur and commit to a brand new cause, because we are here to create solutions for the betterment of humankind.
Go big, right?
Of course, writing the actual letter would not be so dramatic, and roles so cryptic. But what really works well reading the above, is watching a top-rated advertisement on YouTube (try using Elton John & John Lewis & Partners Piano Christmas Commercial), then immediately after, reading this post. You might find that the storyline makes more sense, and ultimately you should be able to apply it to your business letter sales process.
Have fun ingenues!
Here is my latest marketing training presentation. Hope you enjoy it, if you have any questions, feel free to reach out!
As things have taken a doubtful turn, I race to the corner of the intersection, moving my head to the back to check for traffic turning right. I am mighty in this sweater I proclaim, not wearing it on my run, but in my head as I write about running. I cross over a slippery yellow grid and see three bright orange pylons. There is a construction site to my right, and a small mall with a Bell store and I always seem to think a Cobs, but there isn’t. This is the fastest I’ve gone in it must be over a year, I thought. I felt impressed with my speed but knew I still had a long way to go. Will there be a huge difference once my shoes stop blinking purple? The lights were slowly changing to green, then orange, then nothing. I could see the lavender bear making its way over the crest of Gladwin Rd, heading toward Mission, where the Vedder river was, and Chilliwack. My heart was in the that town for some reason. The bread? The bread would be over on Monday, so better start relying on something else for pleasure, I thought. I was already home, wiping the rain off my make-uped brow and scanning the kitchen for my pint of water. The bear’s cries could be heard, and thunder rang in the deep blue sky. RipnDip, I thought, taking my hoodie off. The scars on my back were getting better. It just took a little temper, and ignorance for it to heal itself back to smooth, normal skin. Vanity or was it purpose? What answer do you recommend?
This all began at the end of the day, Friday afternoon.
I was leaving i-Open a little bit late. I was put in charge of sending out a Stablebuzz priority newsletter speaking on frameworks released by leading equestrian organizations ensuring a safe return to work for stable owners. My managers (I pretty much work with only managers) were stuck in meetings all day and I was waiting for one to review the final test newsletter. I couldn’t go without his approval. Anyway, long story short, I was finally finished and hopped into the elevator with another man standing there. I did not know who he was, but he definitely worked in the building. He moved into one corner because of COVID-19. He asked how everything was going in the office with us all being back and followed with a classic job interview question: what do you guys do there? I was quick to respond, we’re a tech company and he laughed saying that’s obvious, but what do you do there?
We are all told to have an elevator pitch prepared, but who else only reserves coming up with one for special presentations and interviews? This campaign is based on that idea. The idea that we assume our audience are experts, primed in communication and language technologies. But the truth is, this may not be the case. I’ve spoken with countless business owners, in one role trying to sell digital marketing services. As touchpoint rules say, it always took 3-5 interactions before they were really willing to talk to me. First interactions were like this –
My name is Chona, I work across the street at a company called VanWhistle Media. Do you have some time to speak?
Business owner: Hi. Not really. I am busy at the moment.
So, as you can imagine, not much more can be said there. I could either say no worries, and leave, or, I could provide a more basic, and general description of my goal.
Ah, no worries! I can imagine you are super busy. I have a one-pager that describes what we do with a little more detail. It’s easy to read and my card is attached, so please reach out to me if you have any questions!
Our immediate messaging must be enthusiastic, and look after our audience’s basic needs. Once a certain level of safety or security is established then perhaps, we are able to provide a little something more. Using a hook, we can then present a very basic/general value proposition. In this case, the hook is the one-pager. (I can never forget and it always works out this way – the medium is the message à la M. McLulan!) The value in that is that yes, perhaps the business owner was truly busy, but this does not mean they are not interested. The one-pager gives just enough information to get them hooked. Then once they realize they have interest the relationship begins.
So, why are we in this relationship? As Ezra Firestone, marketing maven and e-commerce guru would say: this is the game. We are all people and we are essentially communicating through various mediums. What this means is that, we are all on the same level in one way or another, however we must learn how to communicate with each other using said various mediums. As a marketer, this means not making the assumption that my audience is interested in what I have to say, but moreover is interested (subliminally) in HOW I am saying it.
I’m about halfway through a Facebook ads mastery course and in the process I have developed a creative ad campaign strategy that touches on the essence of why our group at i-Open Technologies is doing what we’re doing. I’m excited to present it to my team this Friday! Cheers!
If you follow along my wonderful journey you would know what MART means! Here are some new adventures inspired by Archie comic books, Sigmar Polke and David Hockney always. I miss making random stuff. I truly exist as an abstract artist, perhaps one day I will own a beautiful big studio with lots and lots of paint! Hope you enjoy these and if you have any thoughts or comments, please do share them!
It’s been a while since we’ve presented. With everything going on – ‘the virus’ (as my daughter likes to say), working from home and adjusting to business challenged by a paused economy, we’ve put a hold on Marketing Training. To be honest with you, I’m just amazed to hear about some environmental happenings – jellyfish swimming in the Grand canal for example, just astonishing. Perhaps all this social distancing and staying at home will amount to noticeable improvements in our current climate. That’s something that actually matters today. I have a theory on how COVID-19 relates to AI, but that’s my vision, for now, have to figure out how to break it down first before I go off as I do, you know the gist. For now, here’s a presentation on elevating your marketing approach. Enjoy!