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Dave Murray

Dave’s Talking Branding on March 8th!

Dave’s Talking Branding on March 8th!

My name’s Dave Murray, and I’m an incorrigible smartass. But I take branding very seriously.

Dave Murray Mayniax Branding Incorrigible Smartass

As The Big Guy at Mayniax Branding, I believe the world’s broken, and entrepreneurs are the only ones who can fix it. But, if no one cares about their brands, those entrepreneurs will never have that chance. That’s why I do what I do. And that’s why Mayniax Branding does what it does.

Also as The Big Guy at Mayniax Branding, I’m constantly having to teach gutsy entrepreneurs the immense importance of telling the world why they got into the entrepreneurship game in the first place. They fight it. They resist it. They tell me I’m full of things unsuitable for typing on the interwebz.

And then their businesses don’t grow.

Mayniax Branding believes your "why" leads to your passion, which leads to your mission, which leads to your culture.

For pre-gaming purposes, read Your Brand’s “Why” & Meppy Chriswanzukah! You’ll see why we think the, well, “why” is so important. Plus, you’ll get a happy little image of Vanessa and I being, well, Vanessa and I during the 2015 Chriswanzukah season.

Personal Branding

I’m also gonna talk a little bit about personal branding, how I got to be King Dave of Ann Arbor, and how to figure out your own personal brand. Hint: It’s a whole lot easier than you think. It’ll be slightly more in-depth than my last blog post: Let’s Talk Personal Branding, but reading that’s a good warm-up.

Dave Murray Mayniax Branding King Dave of Ann Arbor 2

What You’ll Learn

1. The three reasons your why is so important, and the two whys that don’t cut it.
2. The best way to structure your elevator pitch, using your personal brand.
3. Whatever my weird brain thinks of on March 8th

Details Galore!

What: Ann Arbor Connectors’ Club Lunch and Learn – Personal Branding and Communicating Your “Why”
When: Tuesday, March 8th, 2016 • 11:15 am – 1:00 pm
Where: Buffalo Wild Wings • 3150 Boardwalk Dr, Ann Arbor, MI 48108
What you need: Lunch money! And pants. Or not. I don’t judge.

So plug March 8th into your phones, and get there early, as seating is extremely limited. And hey, while you’re there, enjoy some wings and beer. Unless you’re a vegetarian. Then you’ll probably just want the beer.

Stay gutsy, gang!

Dave Murray

A Brand’s Why & Meppy Chriswanzukah!

Your Brand’s “Why” & Meppy Chriswanzukah!

I’m in a good mood! As I type this, it’s 11:00 pm on Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2015, and I can’t help but smile. The reason’s simple: I’m thinking of the scene in Blues Brothers when Elwood’s driving through the mall.

Also, after a year-and-a-half, Mayniax Branding is starting to take off.

Some of the reasons for Mayniax Branding starting to take off are tactical: we do a lot of networking, we try to keep our social media accounts current, we write a blog and send out a newsletter every couple weeks. We always speak the same message and even hold workshops from time to time. But all those tactics are useless without our brand. And our brand is useless without our “why.”

Simon Sinek, the author of Start With Why, says, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” He even did a great Ted Talk on the subject, where he talked about the “why” for Apple, the Wright Brothers, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Really, you’ll wanna check it out.

Why is a Brand’s “Why” Important?

Aside from Simon Sinek’s reasons, we’ve identified three of our own:
1. A powerful “why” will help you through the tough, very tough, times. Steve Jobs talked a little about it when he spoke on the importance of passion.
2. A powerful “why” will connect people with your brand, because your “why” is a unifying belief between your brand and potential clients.
3. A powerful “why” leads to a powerful brand culture. We always tell our clients their why leads to their passion, which leads to their mission, which leads to their culture. You can’t have a great brand culture without a great “why.”

Mayniax Branding believes your "why" leads to your passion, which leads to your mission, which leads to your culture.

When a Brand’s “Why” Isn’t Good Enough

We’ve also identified two reasons that don’t cut it when it comes to your “why”:
1. Because you like money! Honestly, that’ll never grab anyone’s attention, or even keep you going. I’ve facepalmed several times after hearing that one, and am pretty sure I’ll one day just get up and leave a meeting when someone says that. I won’t even give a reason. I’ll just get up, walk away, and bang my head on a wall.
2. You know how to do what you do! Now, that one seems counter-intuitive, because you should always know how to do what you do! That, however, can’t be the only reason. There must be something deeper to it. If there’s not, no one will ever care if they do business with you, or your competitor in the creeper van down the street. Because competitors work in creeper vans. Duh.

What’s the “Why” for Mayniax Branding?

We believe entrepreneurs are some of the gutsiest people on the planet, whether they know it when they start or not. And we believe they don’t deserve to lead the up-and-down lives most of them live. We believe they deserve better. Far better. The way we help them have a shot at those far better lives is by branding the hell out of their businesses. I personally believe this whole-heartedly, as my “why” – found on our About page – is the basis for Mayniax Branding.

Edit: Our “why” has changed ever so slightly, thanks to the current state of the world, and the insane dreams of our gutsy entrepreneurs! “The world is broken, and we believe only entrepreneurs can fix it.” You’ll find out more by clicking that About page link, just above this.

So hey, get your “why” ironed out! Make sure it’s real. Make sure it’s genuine. And most of all, make sure you’re not the competitor in the creeper van down the street.

Meppy Chriswanzukah and Joyous Festivus!

Every year, Vanessa and I put together a card for our contacts, clients, and even some friends and family. And every year, we put “Meppy Chriswanzukah & Joyous Festivus!” on it. We like “Meppy Chriswanzukah” because it’s both offensive and inoffensive at the same time, and we like “Joyous Festivus” because, well, Seinfeld.

Anyway, here’s the card:

Dave Murray & Vanessa Symington of Mayniax Branding wish you all a Meppy Chriswanzukah & Joyous Festivus!

With that, this is my last blog post for 2015. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading the posts as much as I’ve enjoyed being a smartass while writing them! And remember, in typical less-than-smooth-segue fashion, we never charge for the first brand consultation, so if you’re in the Ann Arbor / Ypsilanti area, get a hold of us on our contact page, or simply email us at contact@mayniaxbranding.com. We want you to have the life of your dreams, and it’ll never happen without a quality brand. Or a quality “why.”

Or perhaps, a quality car with “…a cop motor, a 440 cubic inch plant, it’s got cop tires, cop suspensions, cop shocks. It’s a model made before catalytic converters so it’ll run good on regular gas.”

I don’t even know what that means.

Meppy Chriswanzukah, Joyous Festivus, Happy New Year, and of course,

Stay gutsy, gang!

Dave Murray

3 Branding Essentials for Your Business!

I’ve been wanting to write this branding article for quite some time, simply because it’s so important

First, because I get this question a lot: what’s the difference between marketing, branding, and advertising? Your brand is the why, the who, and of the look…the foundation of your business, so branding is strategically building that foundation. Marketing is figuring out the best ways to get that foundation in front of your target market. And advertising is actually getting that foundation in front of your target market. So obviously, it makes about as much sense to advertise without a brand as it does to have a house party without a house. Sure, some of your buddies will pull up some lawn chairs, but most of your friends are going to a real shindig.

Now, I’m gonna type about three of the most important things when it comes to your brand: your “why,” your focus, and your differences.

Let’s start with the “why.”

There are two reasons for a solid “why”:

1. It creates the emotional connection your clients and potential clients have with your business.
2. If your “why” is strong enough, you’ll know you have the passion and drive to power through the ups and downs of early entrepreneurship.

My “why” is the reason Mayniax Branding exists. We’re in it, truly, to give gutsy business owners and entrepreneurs a shot at better lives. And, of course, we brand the hell out of their businesses to make that happen. People who’ve been keeping up with my blog know our “why,” so here’s a recap for the newbies:

For years, my parents ran a cleaning business in Jackson, MI. Most of their business was through word-of-mouth, and it was feast or famine. My sister and I were enrolled in private schools, however, and never knew just how bad it could be. They always made sure we were taken care of, many times at their own expense. It was my great dream to retire them, myself. When dad died, so did that dream. As silly as it sounds, I regret not having the knowledge then that we have, now. I know branding would have gone a long way toward making their business successful. In the years since, we’ve seen the same thing happen to those we’ve come to know as friends. Now, I’m over it. Now, helping business owners is personal.

A word of caution: if your “why” is because you like money or simply because you know how to do something, you’d better look for another line of work. While nothing’s absolute, those whys rarely lead to massive success. And, if you’re reading this, I’m gonna go ahead and assume you’re into that whole “massive success” thing.

Now, let’s talk focus.

Focus is huge, and there are three areas we talk about when it comes to it:

1. Your product or service – singular for a reason.
2. Your target market – also singular.
3. Your internal processes. We don’t do a lot with those, but we can’t overstate their importance.

I’ve already typed about the importance of focus in a few blogs – Why Diluting Your Brand is Bad, LEGO: The Rise and Fall. And Rise, and The Dangers of Bad Brand Strategy. and The reason for it is simple: you want to be number one in the minds of your clients and potential clients. If you have too many products, that won’t happen. As an example, Mayniax Branding is a branding company. If we decided to offer advertising, marketing, S.E.O., and P.R., as well, what would you think of us as? The answer is, you wouldn’t. We’d be offering too much for any of it to stick in your head. And at that point, we’re not an option, because you wouldn’t even think of us. The right way to go about that scenario, would be to start a new brand for each individual service.

Your target market should be just as focused, because if you’re targeting everybody, then you’re targeting nobody. This is another reason why we suggest one brand per product or service: if you have one product, it’s much easier to go after one target market. As an entrepreneur / business owner, when you go after one target market, things become so much simpler for you, as well. How many meetings have you been in where you have to pick who to target with the current ad? How many where someone’s said, “Yeah, but do we want to leave out this other demographic?” Keep it simple on your target market, and keep it simple on yourself! That way, you can free your brain space up for far more important things. Like brand strategy.

Time for a little differentiation.

I shouldn’t have to point out the importance of differentiation, but while everyone says they understand how huge it is, few people really market it. Researching your competition will tell you everything you need to now about how your company is, or can be, different. But that’s not where that ends. Differentiation needs to be communicated through marketing materials! If you and another company sell the same shoes online, but they ship from one facility and you ship from six – let your target market know. “On average, we’re three days faster on shipping, which gives your little athlete more time to break in their shoes for the big race!”

To summarize: tell people about your “why,” go for one target market, and make sure your differences show up in your marketing materials.

And make sure you have a house before your invite people to your house party.

Stay gutsy!