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Newspaper brandsCOMPANIES SPEND AN INCREDIBLE amount on their marketing image.  But how often do you really see a brand message that well represents what that business actually delivers?

We’re really much more interested in how they behave than how they advertise.

I had a wonderful discussion this week with a group of Christian businesspeople, and we had a chance to explore this topic.

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Helmet Revision_FinalON MONDAY I talked about Change Composites’ Umbo Helmet which they submitted for the Blue Ocean Challenge at CSU.

It was a day of great innovative ideas in a wide range of areas.

Today, I’m very pleased to see that this company just won second place in the competition yesterday, landing $5000 in prize money and nation-wide recognition.

Umbo_logoKudos to a great team with a powerful mission.  You’re going to change the world!

Shield with UmboDO YOU SEE THAT BUMP in the middle of the shield?

That’s an Umbo.  It’s used to deflect swords and better defend the soldier.

So it’s interesting that a new company designing a better bike headgear has chosen to call it an Umbo Helmet.

This is a group with a mission, for sure.

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BILL TRACK 50 bill track 50 logois a great little company focused on helping people to be better integrated with what’s going on in our government.

It’s a straightforward idea:  There’s loads of public information about what’s going on in legislative action, and people need to have a simple way to track it, pull information together, and use it for their own decision making.

Wait a sec:  All this information is publicly available, right?  Why would anybody pay to get it?

That’s a darned good question.

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LAST FRIDAY SONY DSCWE HAD AN INTERESTING DISCUSSION over lunch, about the value of identifying your brand with your own name.  It’s a conundrum, so I thought I could throw it out for a larger audience.

Here’s a range of examples:

  • Joe’s hot dogs
  • Smith investment strategies
  • Fred and Wilma accounting services
  • The Jones consulting group
  • Marvin Winklestein and sons

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WHEN A CHILD Handprintsneeds to go wash her hands, it’s best not to say, “don’t touch the walls!”  That’s the surest way to ensure that you’ll get handprints all over the place.

Instead, you give them the positive instruction, “keep your hands together until you get to the bathroom!”

The idea is that the word “not” tends to be filtered out, and you’re firmly planting the unconscious message, “touch the walls!”  This has been verified through experimentation, and I’ve seen it work in practice.

The same works for adults.

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WHEN YOU communicate a set of values out to your customers, some of them will reject your message.  But then again, others will be attracted to it.

This WILL polarize your customer base.

But that shouldn’t scare you off, because this kind of thing happens all the time.  If I have a restaurant which targets the affluent, it’s going to turn off those people who are cheapskates like me.  But another restaurant which highlights affordable meals for the masses will be looked down upon by those who believe it’s beneath them.

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THERE was a wonderful discussion this week when I put an announcement of this blog in one of the Facebook groups.  I have to say that I’m very pleased with the support I’ve been receiving.

Someone made a great point about how they’ve strongly branded their coaching business with a Christian theme, and how well that’s worked.  For myself, I’ve chosen to emphasize two points:

  • My personal faith journey as a basis for how I approach my coaching and business
  • An additional dimension of discussion that I might use with my clients if they get value from it

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