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Dave Murray

The World Is Broken, Part 1

“The world is broken, and we believe entrepreneurs are the only ones who can fix it.”

If you’ve spent any time on our site, especially our About page, you’ve probably come across those words a few times. It’s a long-held belief Vanessa and I share, and it’s behind every decision we make for Mayniax Branding.

Recently, I had a one-on-one chat with someone I network with. We were just talking when, as arrogant as I’m sure it reads, I used “The world is broken, and we believe entrepreneurs are the only ones who can fix it” as an example of a company’s “why.” My fellow networker asked me to elaborate.

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“You always say ‘the world is broken, and you believe entrepreneurs are the only ones who can fix it.’ What do you mean by that?”

And I let out a looooooonnnnnnng sigh. And then decided to write about it.

The World Is Broken

Vanessa and I can’t talk government with each other. It’s not that we disagree on how things are run – we actually agree on most points – it’s that the current state of it pisses us off so much that when we talk about it, it doesn’t take any time for one of us to start fuming. Which, as you can imagine, is pretty unbecoming for a couple of fun-loving maniacs. But, I’m gonna type about government for a bit anyway, just to give you a few of our own “the world is broken” examples.

I swear, I don’t like talking about government any more than you like reading about it!

According to Newsweek, in 2003, our government sent Tommy Thompson to fight a proposed recommendation from the World Health Organization. WHO’s heinous recommendation? Wanting to tell the world no more than 10% of their calories should come from sugar. According to CBS News, two Senators – a Republican and a Democrat – helped fight to get Thompson to stop the World Health Organization, in part, by extorting them. The United States of America, backed whole-heartily by the sugar lobby, threatened to pull funding in the amount of $400,000,000 if the report were published. So, instead of looking out for We the People, our government looked out for They the Sugar Lobby.

And then there’s net neutrality. Who truly thinks opposing net neutrality is good for We the People? And who started opposing it in the first place? I don’t know, and don’t wanna dig that far back – I’m already fuming – but I did find a chart here that, as of 2014, showed who was spending the most to crush net neutrality: Verizon, Comcast, AT&T, basically the usual suspects. They the Lobbyists.

In Michigan, home to General Motors, Ford, and Fiat Chrysler, it’s always been illegal to sell cars from the manufacturer directly to the customer. Because who wants a free market, anyway? According to Consumerist, when Tesla started knocking on Michigan’s door – arguing that, because their sales could be done online, they weren’t violating the law – the Michigan Auto Dealers Association did what any good lobbying group would do: they got the law amended. “…an amendment to existing law was quietly tacked on to an unrelated bill at the last minute and passed through the legislature with no resistance.” With online shopping being such a huge part of how we spend our money, how exactly does that amendment serve We the People?

A friend of mine once asked me, “Why do you hate politics?” The only thing I could think to say was, “Because I understand politics.”

Vanessa and I aren’t cynical people. We’re really not. In fact, I personally think the default setting for people is “good.” I think when folks get into government, they really want to help us. They really want to help We the People.

I just think they’re outgunned.

I love the way our government was set up, but I hate what it’s become. I no longer see a government, at any level, that’s about We the People. Instead, I see a government that’s about They the Lobbyists.

But not all hope’s lost! Vanessa and I believe we can actually make a difference. In fact, we believe we can meet them on their lobbyist level.

Vanessa and I believe, after all, if you can’t beat ’em…

If This Were a TV Show

This is the part where, if this were a TV show, I’d say, “Tune in next Thursday for the next exciting chapter in my ‘The World Is Broken’ mini-series!”

But, since it’s not a TV show, tune in next Thursday for the next exciting chapter in my “The World Is Broken” mini-series!

Stay gutsy, gang!

To read Part 2, click here.

Dave Murray

A Brand is More Important than its Product!

To reiterate the title: a gutsy brand is more important than a great product!

I know, I know, “That can’t be right!” “You’re an idiot!” “I hope a pack of rabid spider monkeys attacks you while you sleep!” Okay, that last one was just mean. Read on, and hopefully we can come to an understanding. And you’ll end up preferring a pack of cuddly kittens attacks me while I sleep.

George Patton Mayniax Branding

Many businesses don’t stay open very long, though the numbers aren’t as bad as one would think. An article written by Ryan Jordan – VR Business Brokers – using data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, shows that roughly one in two businesses survive the first five years. The top five reasons, according to Travis Thorpe – CEO of Boostability – are a failure to market online, failing to listen to their customers, failing to leverage future growth – where he talks about the importance of branding, of course – failing to adapt and grow when the market changes, and failing to track and measure your marketing efforts.

Notice two of those had to do with marketing. Gang, once your brand is established, you are in the marketing business! It can’t be overstated how important marketing to your brand is.

I’d like to add to Mr. Thorpe’s list: thinking differently. Look back at General Patton’s quote, then realize if you think your product is more important than your brand, you’re thinking just like everyone else. And everyone else isn’t cracking the Fortune 100. Or even the Fortune 5000.

Nowhere in that list, or in my quick little addition, is product ever mentioned.

Now, let’s take a look at some brands that are WAY better than their products!

Budweiser – A couple months ago, I spoke to a group of 150 people. To conclude my presentation, I had them raise their hands if they enjoy a nice, refreshing beer from time to time. As you can imagine, nearly everyone’s hands went up. Then I had them keep their hands up if they had a favorite beer. Everyone’s hands stayed up. And lastly, I had them keep their hands up if their favorite beer was Budweiser. Out of 150 people, one person kept his hands up. And I feel so sorry for that poor bastard.

But see, Budweiser is so ingrained into our minds – as any good brand should be – that even though it’s nowhere near most people’s favorite beer, they still dig it enough to keep it at number one in the U.S. Which really does make it the “King of Beers.”

The iPhone – Let’s not worry about Apple as a whole, right now. Let’s just talk about this crazy little piece of hardware. The iPhone and its operating system are, by many accounts, substantially behind Android, tech-wise. The iPhone and Galaxy are the top two phones out there, and they’ve both been first and second place the last few months. The Galaxy runs on Android, so if the product mattered, the Galaxy would be blowing away the iPhone, right? Well, yeah. The thing is, the product doesn’t matter. It’s all about the brand. And even though the iPhone’s behind the Galaxy, tech-wise, the brand is still strong enough to keep the race neck and neck.

By the way, since readers of my blog know brand expansion hurts one’s brand, I have a tip for Apple and Samsung: stop adding new numbers and letters at the end of your products. And especially stop making cheaper and more expensive versions. Make one version of your respective phones, and instead of calling it the Galaxy S6 and iPhone 6+, just call it the 2015 Galaxy, or the 2015 iPhone. I promise you, it’ll be so much better for your brands!

But I digress.

General Motors – GM is a corporation, and a sort-of-brand since car manufacturers know little about branding, that has so far admitted to killing 51 people due to a faulty ignition switch they knew about in 2001. And yet, General Motors still has the highest market share of all the automobile companies in the United States, and according to Bill Visnic – a contributor to Forbes – its global sales are actually up nearly two percent, this year.

So let’s re-cap the GM situation: they’ve so far admitted to being directly responsible for 51 deaths, due to a shoddy product, and their sales are up. The auto industry may not be great at branding, but GM’s corporate brand seems to be doing okay, anyway.

So, there are the three examples I went with for this one. There are a whole lot more out there, but hey, I have stuff to do!

And that stuff definitely isn’t drinking a Budweiser. And hopefully you’re thinking cuddly kittens instead of rabid spider monkeys.

If you have any questions about this post, or anything else you’ve found on our gutsy, somewhat maniacal site, feel free to give us a jingle, or shoot us an email at contact@mayniaxbranding.com

And with that, I’ll close in my usual way with a good old-fashioned…

Stay gutsy, gang!

Sources:

LinkedIn – What Are the Real Small Business Survival Rates?
Inc – The Top 5 Reasons Small Businesses Fail
USA Today – GM Victims’ Fund Closes with 51 Deaths – So Far
Wall Street Journal – GM’s US Market Share
Forbes – General Motors Global Sales Edge up 2 Percent, China Remains GM’s Largest Market