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Dave Murray

Missions, Values, and Visions, Oh My!

Missions, Values, and Visions, Oh My!

In Randy Pausch’s Last Lecture, he talked about the head fake, saying, “Most of what we learn, we learn indirectly.” See if you can spot, from his Ann Arbor classroom, the head fake in Professor Dave’s lecture, “Missions, Values, and Visions, Oh My!”

Mayniax Branding - Randy Pausch Quote: "Most of what we learn, we learn indirectly (or by 'head fake')."

Referring to myself in the third person isn’t a sign of narcissism, is it? Whoa, turns out it’s not! And cookies for dinner are kinda tasty.

Anywho.

Missions

The mission of your brand is based heavily on the “why” of it. I write a ton about the “why,” so here’s a link to the latest blog post about it: The New Rules of Branding

Our “why” is always about entrepreneurs because we believe they’re the keys to the world’s happiness. So our mission is all about entrepreneurs and what we do to help them: The world is broken, and we believe entrepreneurs are the only ones who 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.

Our So you can see, our mission is based around our “why.” Find your brand’s “why,” and your mission becomes easy.

Values

Values are your brand’s way of letting the world know what’s important to it! A lot of times, it’s not even about business.

Our brand’s values are pretty straight-forward.

1. We’re about health – We want to foster a culture where people are able to take care of themselves so they’ll be around for the people who need them.
2. We’re about a team with a common cause – Our qualifications for our team will always be if we like you, if you can do the job, and if you believe in the mission, you’re in! Unless you’re like, four or something. I think they have laws against that.
3. We’re about benevolent entrepreneurs – If you’re passionate and have a strong “why” about what you do, we’ll help you. If you’re just in it for the money, or you simply know how to do whatever, go somewhere else.
4. We’re about consistency. We’re branders. Everyone should be treated exceptionally well, and every process should be followed, otherwise we’re not very good branders.
5. We’re not about bigotry. If anyone shows any hate toward someone because of something they have no control over, they’re out. Period.

So, what’s important to your brand? What does it stand for? Remember that values not only communicate what’s important to your brand – they also give people additional reasons to want to meet with you. But here’s the thing: like your mission, they must be 100% authentic. Don’t fake any of it, because people will sniff you out.

Visions

What’s the overall vision for your brand? When all is said and done, what should your brand achieve? Ours is simple: we want Mayniax Branding to contribute to leave a measurable impact on the world’s happiness. That means Mayniax Branding will likely go on for a good long time, because unless Google comes up with a happiness algorithm, that’s gonna be tough to measure!

What mark will your brand leave on the world?

Oh My!

Brands grow from within. It’s up to you to make sure your people – and that includes clients – are on board with the brand’s mission, the brand’s values, and the brand’s vision, or they’re just words that mean nothing. And then you’ll be just like every other entrepreneur out there, working 80 hours per week for the rest of your life wondering where you went wrong.

Did Ya Catch the Head Fake?

I typed a lot about the brand, but absolutely nothing about products or services. That’s because they’re practically inconsequential to the mission, values, and vision of a brand. But that’s not the head fake.

The brand is you! Your “why,” your mission, your values, and your vision for the world are the backbone of your brand! What your brand does is just a tool to help make those things – the things that are truly important to you – happen.

That’s why we build brands around who our entrepreneurs actually are. And that’s why I have such a tough time with the concept of “personal branding” – it seems to imply making you, and consequently your brand, into something you’re not. And speaking of my frustration with “personal branding”

In Closing

Remember that your brand is ultimately you. And you’ll find the right people – teammates and clients – to work with if you’re just true to yourself. Because honestly, when your parents first looked you in the eyes and said, “Be yourself,” they taught you everything you needed to know about personal branding.

And possibly why you occasionally – since you’re may be all about health – enjoy cookies for dinner.

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

3 Branding Predictions for 2017

3 Branding Predictions for 2017

As with any article where someone gets all Nostradamus-y, “3 Branding Predictions for 2017” is an opinion piece. So neener.

Also, am I the only one who thinks “neener” should be a business term?

Mayniax Branding - Really terrible artist's rendering of Nostradamus with red glasses

Number 1, on the list of Branding Predictions for 2017

More Entrepreneurs Will Understand the Importance of Their “Why”s

If you haven’t yet, check out Simon Sinek’s Ted Talk on starting with “why.” Go ahead. I’ll wait.

I think people are taking the “why” a lot more seriously. They’re starting to understand that, when it comes to things we actually care about – such as our favorite brands – our decisions are never based in logic, but rather emotion.

We make decisions emotionally whether we’re talking our personal lives or our business lives.

Let’s say you ask someone out, and they completely blow you off – not that that’s ever happened to yours truly *gulp*. The next time they see you, they’ll justify it, but what likely happened is their gut told them it was a bad idea, or you did something to irritate them, or you just weren’t that high on their list of priorities.

Now let’s put that knowledge to use in business. You meet with someone. The chat goes great and they promise they’ll run it by their people and let you know whether or not you got the deal in a few days. And you never hear from them. Again, what likely happened is their gut told them it was a bad idea, or you did something to irritate them, or you just weren’t that high on their list of priorities. And the next time you see them, they justify it.

Fortunately, an authentic “why” makes you relatable. With it in place – along with decent brand strategy – clients you want to work with will seek you out. People who want to work with you will seek you out.

Though I’m not sure how that’s gonna help ya on a Saturday night.

We see it as being the most important thing in branding, along with four other things you can read about here.

An authentic “why” makes us all relatable.

Number 2, on the list of Branding Predictions for 2017

Old School Brands Will Continue to Suck at Life

We’re already seeing it this year with Kmart, Sears, and Macy’s. In fact, the one thing Sears had going for it – Craftsman – was recently sold to Stanley Black & Decker. Macy’s doesn’t have anything behind it besides, “Hey, we sell middle-of-the-road clothes,” and Kmart hasn’t been relevant in years.

Fun fact: I used to work at Kmart. One day, a guy came in looking for a “…really good phone.” And I had no choice but to say, “And you came here?” This is why I’m a terrible employee.

The problem with old school brands is two-fold: First, they likely have old school thinking based fully on logic and spreadsheets, and second – even if they don’t – they’re too old to establish a believable “why.” Yup, there’s that friggin’ “why” again. Their only recourse is to try to instill a “why” to the public consciousness one bit at a time, so it doesn’t look fake. But they’ll try sales, and tricky accounting practices, and buyouts, until the brands have lost all of their power.

richard-branson-mayniax-branding-purpose-beyond-profit-quotes

Unfortunately, bad brand strategy’s old news.

Number 3, on the list of Branding Predictions for 2017

“Branding” Will Continue to Be One of the Most Confusing Terms in Business

Let’s face it, even we branders have a tough time explaining what branding is in simple terms. Every time we think we have it nailed down, someone inevitably hits us with, “What does that mean?” Even when we, ourselves, finally distilled it down to “We build brands around entrepreneurs’ ‘why’s, stories, and competitors,” we’d still get, “What’s a brand?”

Personally, I think a brand is the soul of a business – it’s cause / mission – with some strategy and design thrown in for reinforcement. But that’s just me. Other people will define it differently. It’s not like a vet, or an accountant, or a grocery store – it’s a lot more fluid.

And that’s why one of our brand strategies for 2017 is to educate more entrepreneurs on what branding is.

That’s All Folks!

So, there’s our branding predictions for 2017! I hope you enjoyed the read, and I hope I can dig through my stuff to find my Kmart smock. Because that’d be funny. To me.

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

Our Goal and Brand Strategies for 2017!

Our Goal and Brand Strategies for 2017!

For this “Our Goal and Brand Strategies for 2017!” post, we wanted to let you know what we’re doing, in the hopes that it’ll help you with your efforts. Also, marketers hate this title because, unlike yours truly, it’s just not sexy *ahem*. They do, however, love the fact I’ve already typed “Our Goal and Brand Strategies for 2017!” four times. So I got that going for me, which is nice.

Dave Murray, of Mayniax Branding in Ann Arbor, with wacky hair! He's dead sexy!

Goal: Help 100 Entrepreneurs

That’s right, we have one goal. We preach simplicity, and we keep it simple for ourselves. As such, our goal’s a simple one: sit down, one-on-one, with 100 entrepreneurs to help them figure out the most important part of what they do – their brands. But to be able to do that, we need to make sure they know who we are.

Strategies

SEO and Social Media

The reason we feel comfortable implementing the above strategies is because we’ve built a strong online brand foundation through our SEO and social media efforts. Not only can you find us across all local search directories, but you can also find us all over most major social media platforms. And we even keep them up-to-date! *gasp*

I’m not comfortable talking SEO and social media tactics because we don’t handle most of it. If you’d like to talk to the person who handles our SEO, contact Spencer from Orange Cube Group – spencer@orangecubegroup.com. And if you’d like to talk to the person who handles our social media, contact Stefanie from S. Mitchell Marketing – stefanie@smitchellmarketing.com.

I do feel comfortable telling all of you, for SEO purposes, that you need to constantly update your websites. For a brand that offers a lot of products, like Target, keep adding new products to the site. For a brand that offers services, keep updating your blog. For anyone in-between, do a little of both.

Public Relations

Because we’ve built our online foundation, the next step is to let the world know who we are through some public relations.

We’re still researching the best tactics to make this happen, but we know it involves meeting people in the local news media. Fortunately, the Ann Arbor / Ypsilanti region’s small enough where that shouldn’t be too tough. I’m assuming we’ll be using a few connections here and there. And maybe a fake press pass.

Educate People on Branding

This is going to be the tough one. Many entrepreneurs and business owners still don’t know the difference between branding and marketing, for instance. And while we come up first on the “ann arbor branding” searches, it doesn’t do us much good if people aren’t looking up branding.

So, the best way to educate people on branding is to get in front of them. And our plan is to do that through talks and workshops all over the area. We’ll keep ya posted.

Get Our Logo Seen

A logo isn’t a brand, but with a bright red postcard in area coffee shops and a call-to-action for entrepreneurs to check out our website, it won’t be long before interested parties know what we’re all about. Our plan here is to talk to area coffee shop owners – because that’s where a lot of entrepreneurs and business owners meet – about putting a small stack of cards in their shops, so people are at least seeing the logo. And maybe even thinking, “What the crap is this all about?” We’ll also be putting them up anywhere else we can think of where entrepreneurs dig meeting with people.

Referral Program

We haven’t ironed out all the details on this one yet, but we want to do something extra for our entrepreneurs – the ones who let us help them. We figure they’re already maniacs for Mayniax, so they’re the perfect advocates. Plus, the money they’d get from us for referrals would hopefully go a long way toward getting them the things they need to keep their brands running smoothly!

Branding With The Big Guy

Dave Murray, of Mayniax Branding in Ann Arbor, will start his Branding With The Big Guy podcast this year!

We announced a podcast last year, and have some episodes in the can, but have had so much stuff coming up that it hasn’t received a proper launch. We’ll be doing that this year, so an even larger entrepreneurial audience can hear us, and hopefully implement some ideas we fire off over the podcasting airwaves!

And now, to finish off this first blog post of 2017, here’s a lot of what I typed above, in video format! Because YouTube channel.

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!