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How to take an old-school business to the 21st century?

May 1, 2017 87 Comments »

My answer?

You don’t.

Over the past 15 years I have talked to many business owners who have seen their business grow fast in the 80s, and are still hoping that marketing tactics from the 80s work today. Hence the number of tv ads by car companies (they did amazing in the 80s). But live has changed, there are many more tv channels, and other media like the many different social media sites online.

Billboards in 2017 are completely ignored. The passengers in the car are more likely to check their smart phone then the view outside. So, why not choose to advertise on the smartphone (via different sites, or apps)?

But the biggest difference is that we want to have a relationship with the company we buy from. An Apple product is not just a different product, it shows something about who you are and what you value in life. (And if you don’t buy Apple, you probably don’t value those things).

There are many businesses stuck in the 80s, and I have been on the sidelines of many of such businesses, trying to help them get to the 21st century. But it’s been a pain. You need a mindset change. It’s not just pushing your ad out on your Facebook page that makes people want to buy your car. And the same goes for dry cleaners, gardening companies, moving companies, and housecleaning companies. There is enough work in those industries, but most of those companies don’t stand out.

It becomes a commodity challenge, and people negotiate on price. Whereas each of those industries have ample opportunities to stand out, and be the brand people talk about. And that’s exactly what’s missing. The brand, the relationship the company cultivates with its customers.

I see ample opportunity for companies in each of these niches to build a brand and do it differently. It’s unfortunately not nearly as easy in the car industry, but Tesla is definitely proving that you can serve your customers in a different way. Serve the customers where they are (in the mall) instead of where you are.

How can you serve your customers where they are? If you are a gardening company, how can you make it easier for your customers? How can you make a difference compared to your competition? If you are a dry cleaner, are you waiting for your customers to come to you? How can you make it easier for your customers to do business with you?

These, and more questions, were for me the starting point in launching my pet project Laundrylicious, last year. The Uber of Laundry. Outsourcing laundry can be such a huge win for families (and individuals). We cut the laundry time down from 6 hours a week to 60 seconds. And people have noticed. There are big wins to make in many industries that will came a person’s life easier, and wouldn’t that be what business should be about? How can we serve our customer best. Empathy is the skill to use, execution is the thing to do.

What can you do to serve your customers better? Let me know and I’d love to help execute your vision!


Proximity Marketing for Retail Stores with Google Beacons

December 24, 2016 38 Comments »

If you have a retail store, you need to pay attention.
Wouldn’t you want to know who your customers are in your store? How they came to your store, and what they are interested in?
Wouldn’t you want to send them targeted messages while they are in the store, to improve their shopping experience? Lead them to offers, or targeted products that they are most likely interested in?
Then you have to stop and research Google Beacons.
Google Beacons is a new technology that can be a major benefit to implement in retail stores, from car dealerships, to hair salons, fashion stores, bakeries, and many more, is Google’s Beacons. is Proximity Marketing. Proximity marketing can improve the instore experience, improve the spend per customer and it can help attract more customers to the store.
How it works:
1. Get physical beacons and place them in strategic locations in the store, for example store entrance, at cash register, a product you want to promote, etc. A beacon costs $20-$50 per beacon (depends on volume, and strength of the signal). You could say that a beacon is a chip with a battery that sends out a signal.
2. Branding Personality can create a custom branded app (iOS and Android) that the customer can download when they go in the store (to get discounts/coupons, latest products, etc).
3. Branding Personality sets up campaigns for the stores (see underneath examples) to promote a product, a discount, or the store.
 Some ideas (these campaigns happen in the store, or in the near environment around the store):
Campaign Campaign Name Beacon Name
Campaign 1 – Send targeted offers 20% off on a product Womens Wear section
Campaign 2 – Help with new product promotion Just In: Nintendo 3DS Pokemon Game Electronics section
Campaign 3 – Attract new customers to the store Discover the latest fashion trends Store entrance
Campaign 4 – Send proximity marketing messages to audiences based on age/search criteria/etc near baby products Target New Moms Baby Section
Campaign 5 – Collect valuable feedback Customer Survey Cash Registers
4. When the customer has downloaded the app, the customer receives a message on their phone when they are in the store. The message can be targeted based on their age, demographic data, etc and also specific to the campaigns.
Optional App Add-ons:
* The customer can ask for immediate customer support by clicking in the app on getting free design help. The in store representatives can then go to the location of the customer and help the customer therefore improving the customer service.
* Integration with social media
Please contact us, if you’d like to get this implemented in your store.


Effective Story Telling: It’s The Story That Makes The Difference

November 27, 2013 2 Comments »

Effective Story Telling: It's The Story That Makes The DifferenceIf you have ever watched Shark Tank, you know how hard it is to create a product that will entice investors. A seasoned shark is unlikely to throw money at something that lacks mass appeal–unless the entrepreneur has a really good story.

Enter the Shackleton Banjo. Now banjos aren’t exactly a “must have” item for most people. But the Shackleton Banjo has a great story–one that may even pique the interest of the ogre-ish Kevin O’Leary. And this great story has made its creators, The Great British Banjo Company, one of Kickstarter’s biggest success stories ever.



Social Media Coaching On A Budget – Learn To Do It Right

November 11, 2013 9 Comments »

Do you try hard to be successful on social media but things are just not happening? You are not alone. Navigating social media sounds like an easy process, but it’s really hard work. In fact, it is such hard work that a whole industry has formed around it, with experts in every area and aspect. Social media is no longer a thing kids do to be entertained. It has evolved into hard business, generating millions in sales revenue every year, branding names among an audience that’s not easily reached through any other medium.

Avoid The Bad

When business growth and revenue crucially depend on your online and social media presence, you shouldn’t go this way alone, and you shouldn’t make mistakes. Mistakes are easily made, they are live immediately, and within one second, have reached an audience of possibly millions. Have someone take a screenshot of a tweet gone bad and your name might be tarnished for a long time.

Take this recent example. When the Los Angeles International Airport was recently in the news for an ongoing shooting, the City of Newport Beach’s Twitter account tweeted this:

Social Media Business Plan

Even though it was taken down very soon after it was tweeted, the immediate impact was devastating. The backlash was huge, people were quite upset about using a tragedy like that to market a destination (or any product for that matter). The backlash was, in fact, so big that the PR director who tweeted it, got fired. In today’s social media landscape, one must be extremely sensitive and aware of pitfalls and former faux-pas to know what not to do.

Grow Your Business Instead

Let’s forget about crisis for a minute and talk about sales and community growth. When you are on social media and you are not generating the results you want to see, you are wasting your time and money that you could have spent more wisely. How many hours have you spent last month on social media that you could have spent somewhere else more effectively? How much extra revenue, name recognition, and media mentions has it brought you? If you can’t answer these questions satisfactorily, it’s time to make a game plan change.

Here’s a great example of one of our clients. In February 2013, we started working with Goodwill of Orange County. Their social media numbers were dismal, their community was non-existent. Their goal was to go from 700 likes to 20,000 by the end of 2013. Our goal at Branding Personality was to get to those 20,000 likes and also to make those likes meaningful. This meant we wanted to create a community that would actively engage with the Facebook page, share posts and leave comments. When this happens and you get a new audience excited, you convert Facebook likes into new customers.

how to do social media right

We exceeded our goal. We hit the 20,000 likes in the end of October, two months before deadline, and our audience is actively engaged with an approximate 15% audience engagement rate at all times (that’s outstanding!). Sales have reflected the community growth accordingly.

Exceed Your Goals

Not only did we reach our goal, however; we actually brought Goodwill of Orange County from the bottom of about 200 Goodwill organizations nationally, to be the number 1 Goodwill! This is the kind of result everyone wants to see – so how did we do it?

Learn How

Branding Personality has created a membership-only coaching program to teach you just that. This program is designed for small to medium-sized businesses who do not have the budget to let us take over completely. This program is designed to teach an in-house person the basics of social media and walks members through strategic approaches and how to achieve goals, on a month by month basis.

This is a social media coaching program for businesses on a budget. With this program, you’ll learn how to do it right and receive the following:

  • Monthly webinars + Q&A (recordings archived and accessible through membership area)
  • Monthly meetups
  • Platform-specific recorded Social Media 101 webinars
  • Receive recordings of each webinar
  • Social Media Lead Tracking System with video tutorial
  • Social Media Lead Follow Up System with video tutorial
  • Receive instant social media leads by email
  • Analytics of all phone call leads that are generated through social media
  • Receive advice from Branding Personality’s social media experts
  • Daily social media checklist
  • Content calendar template
  • Receive weekly email updates
  • Special offers
  • Access to members’ community for questions, feedback, and support

You can read more about the program and how to become a member of the Social Media Success Training System here. Please feel free to leave a comment with your questions or suggestions.




Are You Crisis-Prepared?

June 24, 2013 1 Comment »

Crisis CommunicationsAs a PRSA member, I recently got to attend a luncheon focused on crisis communications. This luncheon couldn’t have come at a more fitting time: Right after the Boston Marathon bombings and right when Disneyland had to shut down some of their major attractions. Not that you could compare a Disneyland ride closure to a marathon bombing. But being in Orange County right next to Disneyland, it’s an appropriate topic to talk about when it comes to a crisis, especially when the senior vice president of Disney’s marketing team is on the panel.

And consider what just happened in Bavaria, Germany. They had such devastating flooding, it was even all over the news here in the States. I recently read about BikeSherpa, a company planning bike trips for their customers in that area of Germany. They had just put together a whole Facebook marketing strategy, when the flood hit and they couldn’t implement any of it. So what do you do in these instances? (more…)


The Modern Marketer: Part Artist, Part Scientist [Infographic]

May 28, 2013 1 Comment »

The marketing profession is changing. The Mad Men-style era of marketing, which prized creativity above all, has evolved as technology provides new opportunities to track performance and create data-driven marketing campaigns. While many view this shift from creativity to data as a battle between two distinct and separate ideologies, the truth is that marketers can’t afford to pick sides.

The modern marketer needs to be multifaceted, with one foot planted in art and the other in science. The daily responsibilities of a marketer are not conveniently divided into quantitative and creative tasks and marketers that truly excel in today’s environment are those that can shift effortlessly between these two mindsets. Marketers need to become part artists and part scientist. We have put together the infographic below to help highlight the tremendous assets marketers can bring to the table if they are able to find a balance between the two.


Click on the image to see a larger version:



Guest blogger Matt Wesson is a Marketing Content Specialist at Pardot.


Does your company have a social identity crisis?

January 1, 2013 2 Comments »

I feel like I am preaching to the choir here. Your company is on social media. It’s on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and maybe a few other platforms. People read your content, they engage with your content. They comment on your posts, share it with their friends and you keep attracting more and more people that want to hear what you are now gonna say. Your audience is coming up with their own content, they help build your community, it’s a positive flow. (more…)


Sales is not about mo-ney, it’s about changing the world #tosellishuman

December 31, 2012 1 Comment »

In my former post ‘How to get others buy into what you believe’, I shared that I am part of Daniel Pink’s launch team for his newest book: ‘To Sell is Human‘ that is available for sale today (December 31, 2012). I’m very grateful to be part of Dan Pink’s journey to get this book launched. I received a proof of the book a few weeks ago, and I have just finished reading the book today. There is a lot of value in this book.

What I liked about the book: You can’t talk about sales without discussing sales at auto dealerships, and the first few chapters of his book describe great in-depth stories on how old-school sales at auto dealerships happened, and what makes people successful today. (more…)


Why would someone buy from you?

November 4, 2012 9 Comments »

Why would someone buy from you?When new customers come to us, they usually come with the question:

“How can we get more clients?”

They want to hear an answer like: let’s start doing SEO, or Adwords, and you will get all the traffic you need to be successful. Other people hear about the success of social media, and think they can do social media, like enjoying an energy drink and all leads are naturally flowing in their directions.

If we are lucky, that’s how it may work. More often it’s not.

Typically, there is no easy answer to get new clients. Although I have worked with retail clients in the past, that just need to open the door during store hours to get more clients (seriously!), but usually my answer is more complicated.

I don’t want to scare you away by saying that getting customers is complicated. Luckily, the process isn’t hard, but the execution is a lot harder.

Let me tell you what you need to focus on:

  1. People need to know you exist
  2. People need to understand why you are better/different than what they currently do/use
  3. Create an urgency or emotional trigger why they want your product NOW!

1. People need to know you exist

When I went to college to study marketing, my #1 observation was that there were many companies doing a great job, but nobody knew they were out there.

And you still see that today.

Many people know about Square, the mobile payment provider. With shareholders like Visa and Howard Schulz (Starbucks), the value proposition is clear to them and the world, and they have the money to quickly create an organization that handles thousands of clients. They have a crazy marketing budget to let the world know they are out there.

At the same time, there are a few other providers that get clients from Square, they get burned in a new organization with bad customer service and look for another provider, not all that visible they might stumble upon a review or talk to someone who shares with them that there are other players in the market, like Moblized. A mobile payment provider with a smaller team than Square, they are located at our Coworking Space in Downtown Fullerton. And we see and hear everyday how friendly they are on the phone.

Most new customers don’t look twice, and settle for their first discovery. They probably go with Square.


2. People need to understand why you are better / different than what they currently do/use

Here comes the sales talk. You remember these talks, where the sales guy will brag about why they are better than their competition. Yawn.

But it’s not about the competition. Typically the consumer doesn’t want to change from what they are currently doing. Don’t compare your solution versus the competition because they might not even care. And if they do, they will be the ones bringing it up, rest assured. Do compare yourself versus what they are currently doing, or not doing but should be. The status quo is your biggest competition.

Sketch two scenarios: the first one without using your service, the second one with using your service. What are the results you can deliver?

The big question is really: Why should they care?

And don’t give a vague or bragging answer – come with results based on your existing work, clients you have helped, and testimonials. That’s how you are different, but make your answer be all about them. Be personal.

If you care about them, and you go the extra mile, you may get the chance to be of value to them.

So, to show them why you are better, show them in two ways. First, show them the facts – the difference in results – and then show that you care – the personal stuff. And this goes throughout the whole process. From the moment they first contact you, show them that you care.

Business is always personal.


3. Create an urgency or emotional trigger why they want your product, NOW!

So your client found you, and you have established a relationship with the person. Why would they want to buy your product now?

I am all about patience and not hurrying up the process to get a quick sale. Remember: a sale is the start of a relationship, you want to make sure they are happy and feel good about their purchase. My first advice here is to not hurry them.

At the same time talk with your clients about their goals, their wants.
Why would they want to change from what they currently are doing? Remind them.

Emotional triggers are easier. They don’t work for every product though; for example, if you sell chocolate chip cookies, show great food photography of the product. You either want to purchase the cookies now or it’s not happening at all.


Focus on these three steps when growing your business. Make sure people are able to find you, clarify why you are better than what they do now, and why they should act now rather than later. And you will increase your sales.


If you want to hear our ideas on what we think you can do to get more clients, please fill out the form on the right side and we will research your business and chat with you to show how we can help you best.



The Godfather Would be Proud: We Mobbed Carpe Diem Experience

September 24, 2012 No Comments »

Cashmob Fullerton - Carpe Diem 1

Cashmob Fullerton at Carpe Diem Experience

Saturday, September 15, Cash Mob Fullerton and Branding Personality held a Cash Mob at Carpe Diem Experience in Downtown Fullerton, California, in collaboration with the Chamber of Commerce in Fullerton.

What is a Cash Mob?

Cash Mobs were created to help local businesses get new customers, celebrate loyal customers, and generate money to help local economies. Once a business is chosen, the cash mob is advertised, usually through social media, email, and word of mouth. On the day of the cash mob, people show up and commit to purchasing $20 or more of products. Cash Mobs are a way for the community to come together, help a local business, and have fun and meet new people!

Cashmob Fullerton - Carpe Diem 2

Inside Adorned, one of the Carpe Diem Experience stores

The Carpe Diem Mob Experience

Carpe Diem Experience in Downtown Fullerton is a unique art, clothing, jewelry, home décor, and bridal store. Artology at Carpe Diem hosts workshops where they encourage participants to escape from their daily routines and create personalized art.

Carpe Diem also hosts private parties for groups celebrating birthdays, bridal showers, and friendship.

On Saturday, local shoppers “mobbed” Carpe Diem. Shoppers experimented with jewelry, tried on resort wear, saw how fascinators are made, and participated in an Artology workshop. Mobbers got a preview of tasty treats from Le Creperie, a European pastry café set to open soon. Owners of Le Creperie served lemon water, orange crepes, and an assortment of Romanian cakes.

An Offer You Can’t Refuse

The Godfather Would be Proud: We Mobbed Carpe Diem Experience

The Godfather Would be Proud: We Mobbed Carpe Diem Experience

Cash Mobs help bring awareness about local businesses who may not have the means to buy large ad campaigns across different media. Through grassroots coordination, the ensuing social media campaign, and an enthusiastic Cash Mob, a local company can promote itself without having to spend large amounts of money. Cash Mobs have become a part of local communities all over the United States, encouraged by the commitment of organizers and participation of “mobbers” all over the country.

Have you been part of a Cash Mob? How did you hear about it and what was your experience?