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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

Entrepreneurs, Your Brand is You

Entrepreneurs, Your Brand is You

I realized we have a lot of content on our Instagram page that I should be sharing with the whole of the internet! So, for this first Instagram-style post, I talk about a topic I’m very familiar with: me. It shows how easily you can take who you are, and turn it into a brand. Because honestly entrepreneurs – your brand is you!

From an Instagram Pic Posted on March 4, 2017

“As I sit here writing on a Saturday night, I can’t help but think about the importance of authenticity, not just in our brands, but in ourselves 🤔

“We build brands around people, not products. And that means we built Mayniax Branding around a person – me 😳

Mayniax Branding - Dave Murray: An Instagram Pic from March 4, 2017

“I grew up reading comic books and studying Greek and Roman mythology. I identified with Wolverine, minus the anger issues, and Batman, minus the money and cool car. In spite of that, I always wanted to be the archetypal hero – the person who could save the world. Yeah, I wanted to be Superman.

“I’m also a smartass. People sometimes ask me if my smartassery is a defense mechanism. Nope, it’s my baseline. It’s how I was raised. While other kids wanted to be Luke Skywalker, I wanted to be Han Solo. While other kids were going to bed, I was up late watching Letterman.

“I’m a guy who firmly believes the more we highlight our differences – be they political, religious, monetary, or skin pigmentation – the more divided we become.

“I’m a guy who believes it’s my responsibility to stay healthy and fit for my current and future friends, family, and clients. Yet I’m also a guy who digs him some cookies 🍪

“And I’m a guy who genuinely believes the happiness of the world rests on the shoulders of entrepreneurs.

“If you read enough of our stuff, you’ll find all that in there. When I talk about authenticity and building brands around entrepreneurs, that’s what I’m talking about. I’m talking about making your brand an extension of you. I’m talking about making your brand’s values your values.

“And I’m also totally talking about cookies.” -Dave

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

The Valentine’s Brand

The Valentine’s Brand

I have to admit something: I’ve had a lot of trouble coming up with what to say about Valentine’s Day. Maybe it’s because I’ve spent the last seven years focused almost entirely on work and not on personal relationships. Maybe it’s because I’ve seen it as a “Hallmark holiday” for a number of years. Or maybe it’s because it was suggested this past Saturday and I’m having trouble being the pressure player I pride myself on being.

Whatever the reason, at least I can let this Scrubs clip do some of the work!

Love is the most complex thing out there. Hell, Webster’s has nine definitions for it! To yours truly, attempting to define love is to attempt to lay waste to the power of it. And the power of love – cue Huey Lewis, the News, and Doc Brown – is where the branding opportunity lies.

The History of Valentine’s Day

Like a lot of top brands, the Valentine’s Day brand is pretty old – in fact, if the interwebz are to be believed, its origins likely pre-date Christianity! Pre-dating Valentine’s Day was Lupercalia.

Lupercalia was a festival celebrated from February 13 – February 15, where men would literally “hit on” women with goats’ hides, which was believed to make the women fertile. Ah tradition.

As an aside: men, never tell her you want to celebrate Lupercalia, especially if it’s just a stall because you forgot Valentine’s Day. But you should totally pick up flowers from the nearest drugstore in case you forget February 14th. And you should totally believe everything you read on the internet.

Mayniax Branding - Nothin' says "lovin'" quite like drugstore flowers!

According to this, St. Valentine may have actually been two men. One being a “…temple priest who was beheaded near Rome by the emperor Claudius II for helping Christian couples wed.” He was beheaded because Claudius felt unmarried men made better soldiers, and made it illegal for them to wed. The other Valentine was “…the Bishop of Terni, also martyred by Claudius II on the outskirts of Rome.”

Still, my favorite theory is that Chaucer may have invented Valentine’s Day!

While we don’t know exactly how it started, we do know it’s been around for a long time. And we know the word Valentine’s Day owns in the mind is “love.”

So How Do You Brand Valentine’s Day?

It’s celebrated with red roses, heart-shaped candy, chocolates, and the perfect present – or else. And we know that, while we sometimes celebrate it with friends, family, and friends who may as well be family, it’s really meant for our significant others. Mostly because I’m not buying any of my buddies heart-shaped candies that say “be mine.”

Mayniax Branding - Man! The googly eyes work on everything!

The “Why”: anyone’s significant other
Story: it’s everyone who’s ever been in love’s story
Colors: red, pink, and white
Logo: the heart
Tagline: “Happy Valentine’s Day,” or possibly “Be Mine.”
Visual Hammer: the rose, or possibly Cupid.

Putting that all together pretty easily makes the brand strategist in me want to discard Valentine’s Day as just another Hallmark holiday. But the hopeless romantic in me recognizes its more. If nothing else, it’s a recognition of how vitally important our significant others are to us. And perhaps, more importantly, how devastated we’d be if they were no longer around.

And I’m not talking about my buddies, because I’m still not buying them heart-shaped candies that say “be mine.”

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!