This category has to do with the strategic aspect of branding.

Dave Murray

A Visual Hammer Reinforces a Brand’s Purpose

A Visual Hammer Reinforces a Brand’s Purpose

Your brand’s visual hammer – a term coined by Laura Ries – reinforces what your brand’s all about. And because you’re an entrepreneur, your brand’s visual hammer really reinforces what you’re all about. I wrote quite a bit about that in Entrepreneurs, Your Brand is You

Our Visual Hammer – The Red Glasses

More and more people have been joking around with us lately, saying we see the world through rose-colored glasses. Of course, that’s both literally, and figuratively, true.

We truly believe entrepreneurs are the key to making our world a happier place – particularly entrepreneurs who are fighting for a cause they believe in.

How do Entrepreneurs do That?

See, if entrepreneurs are given the opportunity to fight for something they believe in, beyond money, other like-minded people will join them. And when those people join them, they’re happier because they’re also fighting for something they believe in. And that can only make them happier in their personal lives, as well.
Mayniax Branding, in Ann Arbor - We see the world through rose-colored glasses
Imagine a world where every brand is built around a cause – causes like ending world hunger, giving homes to the homeless, providing great education to everyone, etc. the possibilities are endless.

That’s why our visual hammer is our rose-colored red glasses. Because we see that world, and will do anything we can to help entrepreneurs build it.

The Big Finish

If you have struggling entrepreneurs in your area, and you believe in them, help them out. Do whatever you can. Because if they’re passionate, if they’re fighting for a cause beyond profit, they won’t let you down.

And you’ll have helped make the world a happier place.

Stay gutsy, gang!

The world is broken, and we believe only entrepreneurs can fix it. But they’ll never get that chance if no one cares about their brands. So, with a little bit o’ nuttiness, a little bit o’ research, and a lotta bit o’ guts, it’s our job to make people care.

Wanna set up a happy fun time chat with Ann Arbor’s favorite branding team? Then click here, fill out the form, and we’ll get back to ya!

Dave Murray

Entrepreneurs, Don’t Devalue Your Brands!

Entrepreneurs, Don’t Devalue Your Brands!

I’m gonna make this short because I can. Dear entrepreneurs, don’t devalue your brands!

Discounts Are Bad

At Mayniax Branding, we dig brands. Specifically, we dig brands that are all about a solid purpose, partially because that helps them build a loyal community around said purpose. You know what doesn’t build a loyal community around said purpose? Discounts.

In their article for Entrepreneur, The Dark Side of Discounts, Dan Kennedy and Jason Marrs offer up the following question: “If you’re the type of person who shops only sale prices, think about this: Would you want you as a customer in your own business?” As branders, we sure don’t. We want clients that will stick with us because they believe in our purpose of making the world happier through entrepreneurship. And we want our clients to have loyal communities built around their communities, too.

If someone’s discount shopping, it’s usually not because they’re loyal or believe in what you do – it’s because they don’t value your business. I typed “business,” because if it were a brand, they’d likely value it. Heh heh

And so is Diluting Your Brand

Diluting your brand, especially by putting your name on a zillion different services – even if they’re related – is bad juju. Here’s why.

In 1981, Al Ries and Jack Trout came out with a book titled, “Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind.” In it, they talked about our over-communicated society. That’s right – they were talking about our over-communicated society before the world wide web (1990), social media (1997). Hell, even cable T.V. didn’t get huge until the 1980s!

The idea back then was focus – narrowing down your offerings so your brand has a better shot at sticking in people’s brains. With our over-communicated society getting more over-communicated by the second, we’ve gotten more drastic and even more focused: one brand, one product, one target market. For instance, Mayniax Branding just does branding, and we want to build our community around entrepreneurs whose purpose it is to help people.

Focus: A Brand Strategy Assignment

If we decided to do Mayniax Printing, or Mayniax Advertising, or Mayniax Monkey Bars, “Mayniax” would no longer just be about branding, and would confuse the people we want to help – though Mayniax Monkey Bars does sound pretty fun.

Focus speaks to simplicity, as well, which makes things easier to remember, and use.

Exceptions to the Rule

There are no absolutes. Well, except maybe that statemtent. And that everyone hates beets – right? Here are the exceptions to the above:

1. It’s okay to discount seasonal items to make way for newer inventory. After all, the only thing worse than seeing Christmas stuff in September is seeing it in February.
2. It’s okay to discount older models. Last year’s TVs need to go to make way for this year’s monitors!
3. If your place is closing – possibly due to too much discounting.

Told Ya This One Would be Fast

That’s it, folks! Hope everyone’s having a great day, and is kicking ass in their own entrepreneurial way.

It’s probably a good thing I’m The Big Guy, and not The Rhyme Guy.

Stay gutsy, gang!

The world is broken, and we believe only entrepreneurs can fix it. But they’ll never get that chance if no one cares about their brands. So, with a little bit o’ nuttiness, a little bit o’ research, and a lotta bit o’ guts, it’s our job to make people care.

Wanna set up a happy fun time chat with Ann Arbor’s favorite branding team? Then click here, fill out the form, and we’ll get back to ya!

References
Hubspot: Six Reasons Why Discounting is Destroying Your Sales (And What to do Instead)
Kissmetrics: Can You Buy Loyalty? The Downside of Discounts
Entrepreneur: The Dark Side of Discounts
Inc.: Small Business Should Not Discount: Here’s Why
Harvard Business Review: Ditch the Discounts
Conversion XL: Why Simple Websites Are Scientifically Better
UX Matters: How Cognitive Fluency Affects Decision Makingworld wide web (1990)

Dave Murray

Mayniax Maniacs Referral Program

Mayniax Maniacs Referral Program

Mayniax Branding - The Mayniax Maniacs referral program for the gutsy friends and clients of Mayniax Branding!

Vanessa and I have fought ourselves over The Mayniax Maniacs Referral Program for over a year. I mean, a referral program? Isn’t that something local businesses do and real brands don’t?

I don’t know if you know this, but we’re all about entrepreneurs. That typed, we’re also well aware of the importance of brand strategy, and do everything we can to practice what we preach to the entrepreneurship community.

Fortunately, I think we’re good on the brand strategy side. And pizza. We’re definitely good with pizza.

But why have we fought ourselves?

First, I couldn’t get the thought it could be taken as a discount out of my head. Discounts are awful for brands, and there are two reasons for that:

1. It devalues a brand’s product or service. If a customer can get it at a low price once, they figure they should be able to get it at that price all the time.
2. Discounts mostly bring in customers who are just looking for a deal. They don’t believe in loyalty or the value of a brand – they only believe in saving a buck. And you don’t need that in your life.

And second, we didn’t want just anyone referring to us. We only want people that believe in our mission, who we are, and what we offer – clients or others whom we’ve worked with.

That second part’s easy: clients are in, and others are in by invitation only.

Plus, remember that one video we recorded where we said we wanted to put together a referral program?

Why Do We Want to Create a Referral Program?

Hey, I’m all for transparency – and if you don’t believe that, read 3 Life Lessons for Gutsy Entrepreneurs – so here ya go: in theory, it’ll help give Mayniax Branding an added push. But beyond that, and more importantly, it’s in keeping with our mission to help gutsy entrepreneurs.

How does the Mayniax Maniacs Referral Program Work?

I’m glad you typed that question, Dave.

Thanks, Dave!

Mayniax Branding - Dave tells he Dave he asked a great question. And then Dave celebrates for asking that great question. Weird.

*ahem*

The Mayniax Maniacs Referral Program is actually really simple, because that’s how my brain works: When we get paid from someone who was referred to us, the gutsy entrepreneur who did said referring will receive 10% of the total amount. So, if we do a $180 sit-down with a new client, the entrepreneur who referred said client get’s $18. If we build a full-on $20,000 brand for a new client, the entrepreneur who referred them will get $2,000.

We will, however, cap it at $2,000 per referred client, because if we include monthly and retainer fees, the bookkeeper might end us. We won’t, however, cap the number of clients you send us. Because that would be dumb for all involved.

So you can see how this helps us AND is in keeping with our mission to help our entrepreneurs! Even though the bookkeeper’s still gonna hate us a little bit.

When Does the Mayniax Maniacs Referral Program Start?

If you’re a client, or someone we’ve worked with whom we trust, expect to receive an official announcement in your email within the next week. And if you’re not a client and believe in why we do what we do, let’s get you on the path to becoming a client!

Now, does anyone know of any ways to calm down a partially psychotic bookkeeper?

Stay gutsy, gang!

The world is broken, and we believe only entrepreneurs can fix it. But they’ll never get that chance if no one cares about their brands. So, with a little bit o’ nuttiness, a little bit o’ research, and a lotta bit o’ guts, it’s our job to make people care.

Wanna set up a happy fun time chat with Ann Arbor’s favorite branding team? Then click here, fill out the form, and we’ll get back to ya!