2 Musts For Getting Your Message Heard

Never before in history has it been more challenging to get your message out there. We’re smack in the middle of mobile madness and everyone’s got something to say. There are over a billion people on Facebook chatting away about their love life, their dog or what they had for breakfast. So how can your brand be broadcasted in a way that is meaningful to your potential customer? Before you go out and buy the next piece of software that promises to do that, let’s get back to basics.

Distill it

The most memorable brands in the world didn’t just happen. They dove deep into the core of their business. What they stand for. How they serve it up. Why their fans (customers, advocates, etc.) just love them. And why others don’t. Then they take all that juicy information and distill it down down down into a simple, super tight, highly memorable phrase that says it all. That’s called a branding line.

This Bud’s for you

We bring good things to life

Coke is it

The Ultimate Driving Machine

Please don’t squeeze the Charmin

They’re Grrrreat!

Remember these?

Moral of this message: Do the in-depth, hard work of knowing who you are and what you stand for. It will pay off in spades.

Fulfill it

Now after you get your brand tight, you have to repeat your message over and over and over again. I promise you will get so sick of it and that’s a sign of a job well done. Consistency is the name of the game. But make sure (this is important) that everyone in your company or organization is crystal clear about your brand message — and drives it in all their communications, in all departments. Mixed messages get neutralized — as if there are no messages at all. So get everyone on board.

Moral of this message:  Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. But make sure everyone knows what you are repeating.

Now, that’s how you get heard. 

 

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Enough of Us vs Them

Hello Open Minded One That Can See the Forest for the Trees,

There is nothing more disruptive to the progress of the green movement than separating the so-called good guys (environmentalists, activists, green businesses, etc.) from the bad guys (corporations, capitalists, conservatives, etc.). After over a decade of being entrenched in green marketing and environmental work, I have seen enough barbs thrown at “them” – and where did that get us? As polarized as our government, that’s where. I must confess I too took shots in the early days. But like a one-night stand, it feels good in the moment, but leaves you empty in the morning.

The truth is we’re all in this together. We all breathe the same air. We all want our children to be happy and healthy. Why can’t we start there? Why can’t we come from the premise that we are one human family? Sounds too lofty? Not really…

The last few years, I have had the unique experience of consulting with a corporation some love to hate. What I found out is there are deeply devoted people inside working hard for the environment in every way they can. Go figure?

Nelson Mandela once said, “If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.”

Poet, David Whyte, ostensibly agrees, “…high quality conversations, held skillfully at the right time with the right people, are the foundation from which leaders are able to navigate complexity, stakeholder agendas and accelerating change. When a leader’s bright ideas, forceful edicts, and clever strategic plans fail, conversational leadership can open the gate for the emergence of cohesive and relevant possibilities.”

Here’s my advice: If the men and women in leadership positions (on both sides of the fence) can soften their hearts and drop their egos enough to sit at the table and listen, I mean really listen without holding hard and fast to their position or try to persuade the other to agree, then maybe, just maybe, together we can find a way. A middle way. By talking with one another to get clarification. By exploring possibilities that we can all live with. Not forever, but for now. 

After all, the Russians love their children too. (Sting, 1985)

Note: My dad is Russian. 

With respect, Carolyn



This Gives Green Marketing a Bad Rap


Oh Bright Green Marketer, what’s your take on this?

If you go to the website of fast food restaurant, Chiptole, you’ll see chop, chop, chopping of freshly-picked veggies readying themselves for inclusion on a luscious Chiptole burrito with messaging that goes like this:

WHOLE OR NOTHING. REAL INGREDIENTS JUST TASTE BETTER.

We’re all about simple, fresh food without artificial flavors or fillers. Just genuine raw ingredients and their individual, delectable flavors. We source from farms rather than factories, and spend a lot more on our ingredients than many other restaurants. We wouldn’t have it any other way….

But a group called Chubby Chipotle was mad as hell, couldn’t take it anymore, and ran this “Chipotle Healthy” ad claiming that their messaging is “deceptive”. They attacked them on their use of language around GMOs, meats that contain no antibiotics and the high calories meals they serve up as “sustainable” and “healthy.”  Not true, they say.

In response to this ad, one marketing writer said, “Does Chubby Chipotle really think that many people see Chipotle as a ‘healthy’ alternative? Sure, McDonald’s it ain’t, but ‘sustainability’ aside anyone who thinks that a burrito the size of a premature infant is ‘healthy’ by any stretch needs their head examined.”

To add spice to the spew, it was revealed that that The Chubby Chipotle campaign is funded by the Center for Consumer Freedom, a group in Washington that lobbies on behalf of the restaurant business. Hmmm…not good.

To me, this is what gives green marketing a bad wrap…er…rap.  According to Ad Age, 22% of Americans don’t believe green or sustainability claims anyway. And apparently that number is increasing. 

So here is my question to business owners and execs in the sutainability space: If you had a heart problem, would you see an orthodontist? Munch on that…and call MOM if you need some help.



Green is Not Just for Green Business Anymore

Oh Marketing Whiz That is Always Hungry to Learn More!

Back in 2013, The Santa Fe Reporter interviewed me and at the very end I was asked: “any final wisdom?” My last words were, “My hope is that someday we don’t even have to use the word ‘green’—it’s just the way it is.” 

It’s been 12 years now that my company, Mind Over Markets, has been dedicated to helping green and socially-focused companies, organizations, and entrepreneurs take their products and services to the next level. It’s what we believe in, what we are passionate about. When we put that stake in the ground, we never looked back (even though back then “green” was used with caution in marketing because of its treehugger status and political connotations).

Well, those days are gone.

This week, the Shelton Group released a study on the effectiveness of eco buzzwords like “green,” “eco-friendly,” “sustainable,” “recyclable,” “renewable,” “low carbon footprint,” and more. The results happily report that green has gone from “niche appeal” to “baseline expectation.”

For instance, 65% of the 2,000 plus respondents said that “green was considered desirable.” And it really doesn’t matter what side of the fence you are on because 67% of them were Democrats and 62% were Republicans.  Statistically insignificant.

What this really means is

green is for every business,

not just green business. 

Green is quickly and steadily becoming “just the way it is” like I hoped it would. So what is your business or organization doing to be desirable, relevant, and useful in your competitive environment? Did you get your green on? And if you did, how meaningfully different are you? What story are you telling so you are really heard?   

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