3 Part Series - "You", "Life", "Search"

In yesterday's blog, I discussed the Scientology video, "You".

As much as I love the video, the production values, and the message, I commented that it felt like the spot should do more to address the current brand of Scientology.

There has been quite a bit of controversy surrounding the group and it felt like the spot, "You", didn't really address the current perceptions.

And now, I have found two more videos in what is apparently a series of three "You", "Life" and "Search".

"Life" follows a similar theme as "You"

In looking at "You" and "Life", the spots are home runs.

Beautifully moving copy, written almost as prose.

Gorgeous photography that really engages the viewer.

A truly beautiful campaign with spots that I want to live in. The message touches me.

But, it doesn't make me want to be a Scientologist. The campaign doesn't overcome the perceptions that I already have.

Which leads me to believe that I am not the target audience. Since I am pretty happy to be a Methodist, married to a Catholic, they probably aren't talking to me. And we have our own set of conversations to be had.

And then I watched the third spot "Search".

Yep, this campaign, which appears to be launched online, is probably targeting a younger demographic that is still searching for themselves.

So Scientology is positioning themselves as the group to go to when you want to understand why the world is the way it is.

But that leaves me to ask the question, why haven't more people watched the videos?

Why isn't Scientology doing a better job of circulating them?

"You" has 3,742 views

"Life" has 1,307 views

"Search" has 1,372 views

Seems like even their own members aren't watching the videos. Why not?

What do you think?

Jaci Russo
Sr. Partner/Brand Strategist

Brand Buzz: LinkedIn

Every Monday at 5:20pm CDT, please tune in to KPEL which is 105.1 on your radio or www.kpel1051.com on your computer.

These weekly discussions focus around branding your business and how to use different social media tools to accomplish that task.

We pick a different social media application and examine how businesses can use it to grow their business and then share case studies of companies that have benefited from social media.

This week's topic is LinkedIn.

LinkedIn has been a great tool for employee recruitment and job applicant research. In addition, B2B marketers can use LinkedIn as a valuable business development tool.

We have aggregated a number of articles and posts on the subject of LinkedIn and how your business can benefit. You can download that white paper, entitled, LinkedIn 101, on our website.

In addition, you can also find the white papers from the previous shows.

Please call or email or Facebook or twitter or text any questions that you might have and we can discuss them on the air. Thanks.

Jaci Russo
Sr. Partner/Brand Strategist


Branding is about changing the conversation.

The point is to creating an emotional connection that will
engage the potential consumer and cause them to act in
certain way. Once the consumer has moved from
awareness to trial to advocacy, then they will become a
member of the tribe. Assuming that the expectation was
met or exceeded by the experience.

The following video appears to be a very big approach to
rebranding this organization. Knowing that the brand is in
the heart of the consumer, they did a great job of putting the
consumer into the spot and finding a point of engagement.

The aspirational message is very uplifting and all about
being a better you...

"You are not your name, you're not your job, you're not the clothes you wear or the neighborhood you live in. You're not your fears, your failures or your past. You are hope. You are imagination. You are the power to change, to create and to grow. You are a spirit that will never die. And no matter how beaten down, you will rise again."

As an organization that is being questioned on almost all
fronts, facing lawsuits while accusations of fraud fly
through the air, wouldn't it make more sense to actually
address the challenges.

One of the first problems is that it could be a spot for a
variety of different products, such as President of the US or
State Farm or Apple or Nike.

As Adrants points out in their blog, you can't simply cast off
these things.

They are, in essence, what makes you, you.

Rather than ignore it. Perhaps PR and message
training would be a better next step?

What do you think?

Jaci Russo
Sr. Partner/Brand Strategist

Looking For a Taco?

In downtown, on a very busy main street, a man built a hot dog stand.

The building is at an odd angle on the lot and there is no dining area.

It is raised about three feet off the ground so the drive through window is so high that I have to sit on a phone book or get out of the car to reach the food.

The drive through lane only holds two cars at a time and making a left turn back onto the street is the equivalent of signing your own death warrant.

But we went anyway to check it out. The food was okay. Big hot dogs, good chili, chips and cold drinks. All pretty good.

I think the hot dog stand lasted about 8 months, maybe a year. But then it closed. Everyone blamed the logistical challenges of the building and it's location.

About six months ago, a taco stand opened where the hot dog stand used to be.

They repainted the building and cut the grass, but otherwise the setup was still the same. We expected the food to be the same too.

But we went anyway to check it out. I ordered a pork taco and asked to add cheese, they said no. Okay, i respect a chef that wants the dish to be tasted the way the recipe is written, so I played along. Wow, so glad I did, because the food is fantastic. Truly great. Unlike any taco I have ever eaten before.

Who would have thought to put apples in a taco! Who knows what is in the oh so good special sauce.

Best taco ever.

But no one was going there for lunch. Part of the reason was the same logistical challenges that had closed the hot dog stand. Part of the reason was a lack of awareness.

So we started talking about them on Twitter. We started talking about them on Facebook. We used social media to share the brand.

And the most amazing thing happened. Even though the location was still the same, and it is still really hard to get in and out of the drive-though line, people starting going to the taco stand.

Because the food is great and the experience is delightful, more people started going. Within a few weeks, Taco Sisters was creating a traffic jam.

Did social media make them successful? Nope. Branding them through social media developed awareness which led to trial and then turned into advocacy. It wouldn't have worked if their taco was just like everyone else. Using social media didn't make them successful.

Edward Boches, Mullen, talks about this phenomenon in his blog, A Flip Mino, a Twitter account and a little social media knowledge will not make anyone a marketer. He discusses how Gary Vee, Kogi and Zappo's have all used social media to spread their message and connect themselves with their fans.

Can social media turn an ordinary product into success? It is more likely that social media provides a platform to make consumers aware and a clubhouse for the fans to gather and engage about the experience.

Jaci Russo
Sr. Partner/Brand Strategist

Social Media is Not a Strategy

Many people today are consumed with social media.

Traditional media news stories have reported on the growth,

"5 million new users per month on Twitter!!"

and death,

"65% of Twitter users are no longer active."

of different social media applications.

Clients are fascinated,

"So, almost all of my consumers are there?"

and horrified,

"What do you mean we can't control the message."

Most agencies are resistant to social media because they don't know how to bill for it,

"If it's free, it can't be good."

without any consideration for the benefit that social media can bring to their clients.

But all of this discussion swirling around social media seems to not realize one crucial point. Social media applications are not solutions. Social media networking isn't a strategy.

When it comes down to it, social media is a tool in the toolkit. It's another way to communicate and engage with consumers.

Do you tell your consumers that they can't come into your location?

Do you tell your customer service reps that they aren't allowed to talk to a customer with a question?

If you pay attention to your consumers in person, then doesn't it make sense to pay attention to them online?

Please understand, social media doesn't solve your problems. Quite the opposite. If your product is inferior it will be discussed online. If there is something wrong with your business model, your consumers will point it out.

So, you can't rely on social media to make you successful. What you can and should do, is use social media to engage your consumers. Talk to them where they are. They will appreciate it.

What do you think?

Jaci Russo
Sr. Partner/Brand Strategist

image by CEOWorld

Brand Buzz: Flickr

Tune in to KPEL 105.1 or www.kpel1051.c0m at 5:20 pm CST every Monday to learn more about branding and social media.

Your consumers are online - is your business?

Every week we select a new social media application and delve into how a business can use that tool to market themselves.

We discuss case studies of how companies have used these tools for themselves.

Why these tools are beneficial.

Today's topic is Flickr. Click here to read information that we have gathered on Flickr that will explain more.

Send us your questions. Let's talk about it.

Jaci Russo
Sr. Partner/Brand Strategist

Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

Recent conversation with five year old Molly:

Mom: If you could have one wish, Molly, what would it be?

Molly: I want to be Katie.

Mom: (definitely not the expected answer) Why?

Molly: Well, umm, because she has straight hair.

Mom: Molly, your hair is pretty straight.

Molly: Not always, sometimes it curls on the end. And also because she is pretty.

Mom: But, honey, you are pretty.

Molly: Well, and also because Katie doesn't pick her nose.

Where do you go from there in the conversation?

So often consumers have a "grass is always greener" mentality. They feel that the dissatisfaction that they have with a company or product can be solved by switching. Yet, they don't realize where their participation can influence the outcome.

It is amazing how many diet pills fail, yet consumers report that they don't take them according to the directions.

The meal doesn't taste great, but that is because the cook didn't follow the instructions on the box.

The free will of the consumer, and their ability/desire to follow the directions, will determine exactly how successful the relationship can be.

Are you inspiring your consumers to live up to their end of the relationship?

Jaci Russo
Sr. Partner/Brand Strategist
The Russo Group

Plan It Out - Ahead of Time

Business moves so fast these days that it's easy to find yourself just reacting to whatever happens next.

Moving forward without a plan in place.

Deciding on a case by case basis.

Reacting to all of these different opportunities that keep presenting themselves.

The following video is an incredible example of what you can accomplish with four months of planning. Truly planning out every single detail. Well, lots of planning and some post it notes.

Pretty incredible, isn't it? Imagine what you could do if you had four months to plan it out. Instead of 4 minutes to react to it.

Stephen Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Effective People puts a lot of emphasis on planning ahead. As a matter of fact, it is the cornerstone of the first three habits:

  • Habit 1: Be Proactive
  • Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind
  • Habit 3: Put First Things First
Do you have a few minutes to invest in planning instead of reacting? How much better would your decisions be?

Jaci Russo
Sr. Partner/Brand Strategist

Are You a Social Media Guru/Expert/Diva/Superstar?

Social media is all the buzz right now.

You think that you want it - but you aren't even sure what "it" is.

But if your competitors "have it" then you want to get some too.

So, you start looking around to figure out how to get some of those social media whatnots for your company.

And you run right into the closest social media "expert" who has a couple hundred friends on Facebook and used MySpace a couple of times.

There are close to 10,000 of these self-proclaimed guru/expert/specialist/superstar/consultants on Twitter alone.

You aren't to blame. It's not your fault. You are just looking for a guide through these very confusing new times. When you go out to find a consultant, there are a few things you should look for in your "experts":

Active: Does the agency utilize social media tools? Not did they set up a Twitter account in January and haven't done anything with it since then. The company should be active in the space.

Creators: Does the agency create content? The company should have strategic content that they have created and a strategy that goes beyond just setting up some accounts. Really, anyone can set up a facebook page - what are they going to do with it?

Thought Leaders: Are they just talking about themselves? The company should take a position on issues and actually bring leadership and ideas to the conversation.

Clients: Does the company have social media clients other than themselves? The company should have examples of social media strategy that they have created for clients.

Results: Does the company have ROI case studies for clients? Companies can't call themselves experts because they read about someone else's success. They have to have case studies that show an ROI for their client.

Toolkit: Does the company utilize social media as a solution or as a tool in the toolkit? Social media isn't a strategy. Social media isn't a solution. Social media is a tactic, like tv or radio and should be considered accordingly.

Relationship: Does the company use social media platforms to broadcast their message or engage in relationships? It is called SOCIAL media. All of it - Twitter, Facebook, Blog, YouTube, etc - is about creating and maintaining relationships. The company has to engage with people not talk at them.

Reciprocity: Does the company share resources and encourage reciprocity? Some users just count the numbers of followers and subscribers without giving back. It has to be mutual.

Cross Platform: Does the company only utilize one platform - only active in Twitter? It is a WEB of connectivity. It only works right when it is all working together. Otherwise it's like running a tv spot with no visuals.

Branding: Does the company understand branding? Every touchpoint has to work in connection with the others. They have to know how to implement a strategic message across all platforms to work together to change the conversation.

Social media is still evolving and still so new. There are new applications and opportunities created every day. We are really all just practitioners.

So, if the person you are talking to refers to themselves in third person or if at any point during the conversation they refer to themselves as a Queen or a Guru or a Diva or a Superstar...run, do not walk, away.

That is a bad sign that they probably don't know as much as they want you to think they do. And you will be very disappointed to realize that just because they are calling themselves an expert won't actually make them an expert.

I mean really, who calls themselves a Guru...

So what do you think? Any other signs people should look for in choosing a strategic partner?

Jaci Russo
Sr. Partner/Brand Strategist

Promise or Expectation?

When you produce a product or a service, you are making a promise to your consumers.

The question in some marketing circles lately is what comes first, the promise from the company or the expectation from the consumer.

Is this a chicken/egg question or is there a definitive answer?

We think it's pretty clear that the promise comes first. As a matter of fact, the promise made by a company informs the consumer of what to expect.

If you are Apple, you are promising that your ipod is the way to celebrate music - and in the process you are building products that will create a new category. Products that you promise will be cool and well designed with fantastic packaging.

If you are the Dairy Board, you are promising that milk will quench the thirst of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or a warm gooey chocolate chip cookie. A thirst that can't be quenched by water or soda, only by an ice cold glass of milk.

If you are Miller Lite, you are promising that your beer will be less filling while still tasting great. This is a promise that makes a heavy beer drinker so happy - mostly because he won't feel so heavy.

What promise are you making to your consumer? Is it a promise that you can deliver upon?

Will their expectation be met?

Jaci Russo
Sr. Partner/Brand Strategist

Brand the Conversation: Blog

Tune in every Monday at 5:20pm to KPEL 105.1 fm on the dial or www.kpel1051.com on your computer to "Brand the Conversation: Using Social Media Tools to Expand Your Brand".

Each week we will discuss branding and social media with specific applications being the focus. Please call in, or email, or text, or twitter, or facebook, with questions.

This week's topic is Blogging.

Lots of companies are doing it, should you?

Why blog?

Should the blog be used for profit or promotion?

Who should be the blogger at a company?

Can a blog be used to sell product?

Do consumers even care?

We have collected recent articles on this very subject and you can read more about blogging, how to use it and why, by clicking here and reading Blogging 101.

Jaci Russo
Sr. Partner/Brand Strategist

Reach Everyone

Those of us that grew up in the 70's and 80's, grew up listening to Casey Kasem's weekly American Top 40 Countdown on radio.

The 'kids' will never believe this but before computers and ipods and music videos on tv, this was how we received our music...on the radio.

Ahh, the good old days.

It seems antiquated now, but other people, disc jockeys, determined our playlist. If we wanted to hear "Come On Eileen", we had to buy the cassette or album or call in a request.

No Pandora in those days.

So Casey Kasem let us know which songs were on the top 40 list for the week. If you were really desperate to be able to hear "Mr. Roboto" again later and couldn't buy the album, you could record the song, through the speakers, onto a cassette tape. The quality sucked, but at least you could play your favorite song over and over again on your Walkman.

Every week, Casey Kasem would sign off from the American Top 40 with his signature phrase:

"Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars."


It's such an aspirational word.

To reach for the stars...reaching for a goal.

From a media buying perspective, reach is the number of people exposed to an ad during a certain time frame.

Seems simple enough. Reach everyone. Buy enough tv and newspaper and radio to reach everyone and then your product will be a huge success. Phones ringing off the hook and people lined up outside of the door to get the opportunity to buy.

Unfortunately, for you and for me, it just doesn't work that way. I'm not sure if it really ever did, but it definitely doesn't work that way anymore.

Reaching 100% of the consumers and convincing them 25% of the way that you are great, won't accomplish anything - except wasting your money.

It is far better to reach 25% of your consumers and convince them 100% of the way.

How are you going to convince them? What can you share about your point of differentiation? How can you relate in an emotional way?

How will you change the conversation?

Jaci Russo
Sr. Partner/Brand Strategist

photo by MikeMurko

Set It and Forget It

If only the business world were so simple.

Set it and forget it.

If only life were so simple.

Those daily tasks like making your bed, sweeping the floor, and washing the dishes would not have to be done everyday - just once.

I'm not sure about your house, but at our house it seems the trash is full before I get back from taking the last bag to the street. How is that possible? And then begins the daily artwork project of seeing how high it can be stacked, but that is the topic of another day.

In the business world, set it and forget it just doesn't exist. There really aren't any "mailbox money" careers where you can sit back and just let the checks come to you.

Business is about innovation. Daily.

It's not about change for change sake.

Innovation is about striving to do it better. Better operations, better processes, better insight...which will lead to a better product.

So many clients want to be able to run an advertising campaign today and still receive residual benefit tomorrow. But, it doesn't work like that. Really, it doesn't. Not anymore.

There are too many options. Too much distraction. Too many other companies out there innovating.

In business today, there is no resting on your laurels, or on your past efforts.

So, the question is no longer "What have you done for me lately?". The question now becomes "What can you do for your business today".

What do you think? Are there any industries, any businesses, that are 'set it and forget it'?

Jaci Russo
Sr. Partner/Brand Strategist

Driven To Change

What could end up becoming one of the best (if only) benefits of the recession is the inevitable change to auto dealership advertising.

For years the auto industry has marketed at three levels:

  • National - Image ads with the message to "Buy this car"
  • Regional - Product ads with a promo message to "Buy this car now"
  • Local - Dealer ads with a loss leader to "Buy this car now HERE"
Now, change is in the wind. As so many manufacturers go bankrupt, are acquired, or forced to reorganize, change is hitting at all levels.

In mid-May, Chrysler notified 789 Dodge dealers that they would no longer be Dodge dealers. There are some cases of lawsuits being filed by the states on behalf of the dealers to protest how the relationships will be severed.

As those issues are being resolved, it would behoove dealers, no matter which manufacturer they represent, to change their practices. Today. Seriously.

Not just their advertising practices. It goes without saying that the dealers must change the way they market. No more yelling at the cameras. No more slapping at hoods. No more dressing up in ridiculous outfits.

It all has to change.

But even deeper than the dealer's ads, the business model has to change.

As a profession that is regarded as the sleaziest of all, this is the best time to make significant changes to their operations. So many changes could improve their brand:

  • Recruit and train employees to provide better customer service.
  • Eliminate the practice of sweating the customer while checking with the mgr.
  • Be honest about pricing
  • Be honest about warranties
  • Eliminate the hidden fees on the invoice
  • Don't hide fees in the financing
  • Be more fair with trade in prices
Overall, find operational ways to excel. Be better.

Once dealers operate in a more trustworthy manner, then they will be able to honestly market these improvements.

The dealers that make these changes now, will not only survive the recession, they will actually benefit from it.

The dealers that continue to slap hoods will continue to be mistrusted by the public. They will be overlooked as the industry rebounds. Now is the time for dealers to differentiate themselves.

What do you think? What will it take for dealers to excel? Can they?

Jaci Russo
Sr. Partner/Brand Strategist

Dance, Dance, Dance

We spent the weekend at a dance recital.

With three dancers in the family, we had performers in each of the two dress rehearsals on Saturday as well as the two big shows on Sunday.

The show was fantastic with thirty five dances set to music from the movies, and the entire recital celebrating cinema, it was really entertaining. Each number opened with a short clip from the movie followed by a song from the soundtrack.

The classes range from three year old, first year students dressed as Mary Poppins, Alladin and The Little Mermaid, who spent more time watching the teachers in the wings than they did actually dancing. At the opposite end of the spectrum are the graduates who performed beautiful and moving dances to music from Requiem For a Dream, The Last Kiss and I Robot.

Beyond the great music and well choreographed moves, one thing kept drawing my attention, the boy. In this dance school of probably close to 500 students, there is one boy, John Henry.

During the graduation ceremony shortly before the recital began, he was recognized with all of the other graduating seniors. No flowers and white dress for John Henry, though.

The founder of the dance school became quite choked up as she congratulated him on his accomplishments and recognized him as the first male student the school has had in it's thirty nine year history. A well deserved standing ovation followed.

Every dance that John Henry performed in that night, and there were many, our attention was drawn to him. Granted, he is a fantastic dancer, so talented and graceful. But so are most of the members of the class.

Aside from just his talent, the attention of the audience is drawn to John Henry because he is different. He is THE boy. Our attention is instantly drawn to that which is different. And the entire audience followed his every move.

I'm sure your product is great. I'm sure your customer service is superior. I bet you are one of the best companies in your space.

But how are you different?

How will you draw our attention towards you in a positive way?

How do you earn our attention?

Your competitors are figuring out the answer for their company. What will you do?

Jaci Russo
Sr. Partner

Brand the Conversation: YouTube

Tune in every Monday at 5:20pm to KPEL 105.1 for "Branding The Conversation: Using social media tools to expand your brand".

Today's topic is YouTube.


Building a brand is more crucial than ever before. A brand is not a product or service or company. A brand is how people feel about you. It’s about your reputation.

What is said about your company/product is far more important than what you say about yourself.

To that end, all of the social media tools provide a place for consumers, current and future, to get to know your product as well as share their thoughts with each other.

YouTube is the eyes and ears of the social media network.

How do you start?

Click here to download a white paper (click on YouTube 101) with information on how YouTube works and case studies of other companies that have had great success.

Jaci Russo

Sr. Partner

The Russo Group

Land of Plenty

This is the land of plenty.

Even in these economic times, there really is plenty of business out there.

It might require a paradigm shift.

It might even require a new business model.

Either way, there is plenty of business out there.

If you live with the theory of abundance, then you can focus on doing a good job and earning the clients that you deserve. With a sea of clients, you don't have to be angry and bitter when one of your competitors gets new business. Quite the opposite.

Since you have a specialty, you have defined your niche, you can take comfort in knowing that if the client picked your competitor, who is very different from you, then it is probably who they were looking for.

If said client had chosen you, it would have been because they wanted your company, your culture and your expertise.

But they didn't. They chose the other company. So accept it and move on. Sure, you can burn the proposal in effigy if you want. You can even stomp around and take the other company's name in vain...but to what end?

You will spend a lot of energy focused on something you can't change and it will only make you more upset. Wouldn't it be better to just let it go? Move on. Start looking for the next opportunity.

The worst thing you can do is to carry a grudge and start focusing on the competitor.

Instead, take all of that energy and turn it inward. How can you be better? Mostly, how can you be more you? Stop looking and sounding like everyone else in your space. Find your point of differentiation. Give your prospects a reason to choose you.

Mostly, remember that this is the land of plenty and in a state of abundance you don't have to worry about the competition. Don't spend your time and energy being upset about them. Focus on your clients.

Focus on being better at being you.

Jaci Russo
Sr. Partner

You Want To Control The Conversation?

Clients biggest fear seems to be about controlling the conversation.  Making sure that no one says anything bad about them.  

The car dealer that hasn't acted ethically doesn't want to get involved in social media because then people will say bad things (the truth) about how he treats his customers.

The bank that is just like every other bank with a long difficult impersonal loan process, rude tellers and a complete lack of understanding and empathy for what their consumers are going through in their small businesses.

The retail store with dirty dressing rooms, snobby overbearing sales people and overpriced clothes.

Rather than turning a deaf ear to what people are saying, instead of ignoring what is being said, wouldn't it make sense to actually improve operations.

Wouldn't it be better if you took a position rather than marketing one.

Why not actually be as great as your ads say you are.

Don't try to control the conversation.  Actually do something great that people can talk about.

Be better.

Jaci Russo
Sr. Partner

The Original Message Trainers

An important aspect of branding is the message.  

How will you explain what makes you great?  You've taken a position, so how do you communicate that position to your consumer?  

Message training.  

We work with our clients to train them on the language of that message.  It's the only way to make sure everyone is looking in the same direction and can stay on message together.  

Message training also helps to prepare for what might happen - crises communications.  Like insurance we hope you never have to use it, but with good message training you will be ready when it comes up.

When we are coaching clients about staying message, I share my thoughts on how message training evolved.  I think that message training goes back all the way to the beginning of time.  

Parents are the original message trainers.  Think about it.  They dictate the message.  They take a position and communicate it.  Over and over and over again.

There is no room for discussion.  

Bedtime is 8pm.  Period.

Parents deliver the message with authority.  That's what makes their message heard and followed.

Jaci Russo
Sr. Partner

Is it Your Location or Your Food?

There is a building on the corner of a hustle and bustle downtown street that keeps having tenants go out of business.  

There are three different restaurants that have failed over the past five years.  

Now, prospective tenants believe that the building is to blame.  

Yet, look at the failures of the previous restaurants, the marketing was non-existent, the food was only okay and the service was slow.  

Is it the location?

Is it the building?

Of course not. 

The failure of each of these restaurants is from a lack of marketing, lackluster menu and slow service.

The fourth go round is getting ready to launch.  So far, there is a vinyl banner hung out front.  It has a generic name written in a generic typeface.  Not really off to a great start.

Just across the street and down two blocks is another building on a corner that was built to be a restaurant.  The first restaurant tenant died a slow and painful death.  The food was okay, but nothing go brag about.  The marketing was non-existent.  For a quick service restaurant, the wait was painfully slow.

But six months ago, a new restaurant decided to give it a go.  They changed a few things. Painted the building a bright color, new name, menu with great food, and... a social media strategy to build a tribe and keep them engaged.  

Guess what?

Lines around the block.  Constantly busy.  Double digit growth each month.

It all about the product.  If your product is lackluster, it really won't matter how great your location.

Likewise, if your food is fantastic, it won't matter how far out of the way you are, you become a destination spot.

Worry more about your product.

Make sure you are delivering something remarkable.

Jaci Russo
Sr. Partner

Is it Your Benefits or Your Audience?

So often the focus of an ad campaign is on the features and benefits of a product.

Yet, have you seriously taken into account your audience?

The AARP can have the most fantastic benefits in the world, but if they are talking to a 21 year old it probably won't make a difference.

The best pool service on the planet will not be given any consideration by an apartment dweller.

The greatest day care can't be utilized by someone without kids.

Are you delivering your powerful message to the right recipient?

Obviously the message is very important, but are you delivering it to someone who can respond to your call to action?

How much of your advertising budget are you spending on people who absolutely can not buy your product, no matter how great it is?

Make sure you are talking to someone who can hear you and can be motivated to act, otherwise you become just a part of the clutter.  

Jaci Russo
Sr. Partner

Brand The Conversation: Facebook

Tune in every Monday at 5:20pm to KPEL 105.1 for "Branding The Conversation: Using social media tools to expand your brand".  Today's topic is Facebook.  

What is Facebook?

Facebook is a free-access social networking website, developed by Mark Zuckerberg, where users can join networks organized by city, workplace, school, and region to connect and interact with other people. Users can also add friends and send them messages, and update their personal profiles to notify friends about themselves. Facebook’s mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.

Why use Facebook?

Facebook uses the tagline, “Facebook helps you connect and share with the people in your life” to address the user’s main benefit. Millions of people use Facebook everyday to keep up with friends, upload an unlimited number of photos, share links and videos, and learn more about the people they meet. As a business, Facebook can be used as a major branding tool to build your accessibility and articulate your image and values.

Listen If Twitter is like the water cooler, then FB is like the clubhouse.  Facebook gives the members of the tribe a place to hang out.  


The ability to eavesdrop on Facebook is equivalent to superhero powers. When you read that someone is disappointed with your product or service, respond to them. People want to be heard, they want to know that you care.


Your consumers want to get to know you and they want you to know them. Facebook provides the opportunity to converse with thousands of people easily.


Facebook is a great way to promote your content. Have a new video, new post on your blog, new product launch...share it on Facebook and let the world know about it. FB currently has over 200 million users worldwide.


Facebook will allow your fans, and potentially your consumers, to get to know you. Your brand is not your logo or your product, your brand is how people feel about you. It’s your reputation. With FB’s customizable pages and large capacity for content, your brand can be very well represented.


Want to know what color of your product that your customers like best? Want to know if there is interest in your new product? Ask your followers. This feedback is a great tool for R&D.

How do you start?

Click here to download a white paper (click on Facebook 101) with information on how Facebook works and tips to control your privacy as well as case studies of other companies that have had great success.

Jaci Russo

Sr. Partner

The Russo Group

Blog of the Month

Fueling New Business, a leading resource for advertising agencies across the country, holds a monthly poll to determine the best ad agency blog.  With almost 62,000 advertising agencies in America, we are honored to announce that Razor Branding Blog has been nominated as a blog of the month for May.

As a fourth time nominee, we are in it to win it, and starting to feel like always a bridesmaid and never the bride.

If you have been a faithful reader, and enjoy Razor Branding Blog,please vote for us now by clicking here.

If you are new to Razor Branding Blog, please review our previous blog posts, links are on the right side of the page, and then click here to vote.

As they say in politics, please vote early and vote often.

We appreciate your support.

Jaci Russo
Sr. Partner