Dave Murray

Happy Branding Birthday to Us!

One year ago, today, the Ann Arbor / Ypsilanti region’s favorite branding and brand strategy team took the area by storm! The area just didn’t know it, yet.

Entrepreneurship Isn’t for Sissies

Starting a business is hard. It’s really hard. And, when you start a business in a category people don’t always understand, it’s doubly hard. Next to my dad dying, it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever been through. I really want to drive that point home, because I don’t want anyone reading this to think it’s a piece of cake. The thing is, when you have a powerful “why” and know the end result of what you do is a far better life for everyone you do business with, you slog through it. Because – and not to sound gushy – because it’s the right thing to do.


Year One Brand Strategy

We have a three-year goal of being the number one branding / brand strategy team in the Ann Arbor / Ypsilanti area. With that in mind, year one’s strategy was simple: get visible! To accomplish that, we focused on three tactics:

1. Getting our website to the top of Google in area branding searches
2. Maintaining a strong social media presence
3. Networking and doing some speaking engagements

For number one, we’re really close. I’m able to blog fairly regularly, which Google digs, and we recently sent for the all-important Google postcard, which should propel us to very nearly the number one spot. We’re currently on page two.

For number two, there’s always room for improvement, but our Facebook and Instagram pages are actually ranking higher than our website in several searches, which is pretty cool, but only because we know the postcard’s on its way.

When it comes to number three, we’re crushing it! I spoke at an Ann Arbor / Ypsilanti Regional Chamber event that was well-received, and am currently scheduled to speak at a Lead Gen on Tap event on July 30th. After that, Vanessa and I have been asked to put on a branding workshop for The Entrepreneurship Center at Washtenaw Community College, which we’ll be spring boarding into more workshops. I was even lucky enough to be featured on The Chris Lee Show. Like I said – crushing it!

It’s Fun Being Us

Ya know how, on every pic you see on social media, people look like they’re having the best day EVAR!!!? – Hell, you’ve probably seen pics of us that look like that – well, I’m not gonna lie: we’ve had our share of throw downs – with each other, even – utter dismay, and even a few pull-our-hair-out-by-the-roots moments – which, as you may have seen from pics, I really can’t afford to do. But I’d also be lying if I didn’t tell you we have far more than our fair share of absolutely fantastic days!

Our clients are utterly fanatical. Seriously, we may be Mayniax, but they’re crazy! We’ve met great people who are always trying to find ways to get us more business. Many of those people, and our clients, have even become friends of ours. And, since Vanessa and I have been working together for so long – Mayniax may be one-year-old, but we’ve been working together for six-and-a-half *gulp* – we can usually get our points across without pushing TOO many buttons, and with quite a few laughs, to boot.

In short, it really is fun being us.


What’s in Store for Year Two?

We’re going to continue doing what we’ve been doing, along with running some ad campaigns, and really developing our branding workshops, so we can help as many gutsy business owners and entrepreneurs as possible. From there, the sky’s the limit for the gutsiest branding team in every known, and unknown, dimension!

Was that a little too sci-fi? My bad.


Thanks to everyone for such a great first year, and here’s to another great one for all of you! Okay, and us. Heh heh.


If you have any questions, feel free to visit our FAQ page, or email us from our Contact page.

And, as always, stay gutsy, gang!

Dave Murray

Your Brand is Your Freedom!

Seriously, your brand is your freedom!

Yes, I’m completely exploiting this time of year. Yes, I’m totally shameless. And yes, I believe every word in this post.

We love doing what we do, in part, because it gives gutsy business owners and entrepreneurs a shot at better lives – side note: we say “a shot” because, after we help create the brand and advise them, it’s up to the entrepreneurs / business owners to follow through – Of course, what they do with that shot is entirely up to them. Maybe they’d simply retire to Fiji. Maybe they’d just like to relax and take more time for their friends and family. Or, maybe they’re like me, and would love to be able to take everybody on a spontaneous party trip to Italy. And maybe get on a gondola. Because I like typing “gondola.”

Of course, to do any of that, you need to be able to free up some time. And you can’t do that if you’re constantly the technician in the trenches, hoping for that next check to show up so you can pay rent, simply because you neglected your brand.

If you’ve been reading my blog posts for a while, you know the huge importance we place on branding and brand strategy. It really is more important than your product or service. And I promise you, I wouldn’t be doing this if I didn’t know, with 100% certainty, that it would drastically improve your life. It is the single, most important thing you can do for your business. Did I lay that on thick enough for ya? I hope so, because it’s the truth.

That typed, branding and brand strategy alone aren’t going to free you up for that African safari you’ve always wanted to take.

Do these three things to create your freedom!

Branding and Brand Strategy: this creates a consistent message and look that your clients and potential clients can get behind – because it’s always stuck in their brains!

Implementing Systems and Processes: I know, I know, that sounds horrendously lame. If, however, you want your business to scale to unimaginable heights, you need to set it up so other people can make it grow without your direct involvement. Your brand is your most important asset, but systems and processes make that asset work for you.

Public Relations, Marketing, and Advertising: if you want to haul ass on your road to freedom, you need to invest some time and money into getting your business out there! Get someone to interview you, set up speaking engagements, hire people who know about marketing and advertising, do the stuff that most “small” business owners and entrepreneurs won’t do because they think it’s a waste of money. Trust me, when your brand is set in stone, and your systems and processes are in place, no matter what your product or service is, you are in the marketing business!

We’ve used this quote before, but it bears repeating, ““Because the purpose of business is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two–and only two–basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs. Marketing is the distinguishing, unique function of the business.” That quote comes from Peter Drucker, the granddad of business consulting. And it’s impossible to overstate its importance.

And now, for the conclusion you’ve been waiting for!

Gutsy entrepreneurs and business owners of the world, in order to create ultimate freedom, you must have a set brand, some set systems and processes, and a killer p.r. / marketing / advertising machine.

Of course, before you can implement any systems and processes, or get to marketing, you need to have your brand in place.

And that’s why I say your brand is your freedom.

If you have any questions about what branding and brand strategy can do for you, click Services. Other questions might be answered in our FAQ. And if that still doesn’t cut it, send us an email by clicking Contact.

I hope all of you in the United States had a fantastic Fourth of July. And to the rest of the world, I hope you did something extra gutsy on your seemingly normal Saturday.

As always, stay gutsy gang!


The Tingley Advantage – The Importance of Processes
Forbes – Jack Trout on Marketing