Monthly Archives: February 2008

Marketing Makeover #1 – Standing out from the crowd

OK, so in the last installment of Marketing Makeover, we identified our fictional company for grooming pet llamas, and gave it a name “The Lavish Llama.” Of course, llama grooming services are a dime a dozen. We need to figure out a way to stand out from the others, how to be unique. This is where our USP, or Unique Selling Proposition, comes into play.

A USP is simply a way that we can communicate to our customers one or two significant benefit that our company offers the rest. What if we converted our old van into a mobile grooming station, and then could take our service to the customer, rather than them bringing their llama to us?

That is definitely a benefit to the customer, not having to load their llama up into the little “llama carrier” and trundle it down to our place. It is easy, it is convenient, and they get top quality.

“Because having a well-groomed llama should be easy.” This tells them that a) their llama will be well-groomed (quality), and b) it will be easy for them to have this convenience.

Notice we make no mention of being cheap or anything about price. In fact, we are going to be rather expensive. But anyone who owns a pet llama is going to have the money to pay for convenience. They certainly don’t want to groom the llama for themselves, and putting it in the Mercedes gets hair all over the upholstery.

So now we have our USP, which will be a key ingredient in all of our marketing materials.

That’s all for today, folks. Tune in next time for the next installment . . .


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Marketing Makeover #0 – It begins

In an effort to continuously offer real value to my readers, I am beginning a series that will continue over the next several weeks and beyond, that I am calling “Marketing Makeover.” In this series, I will create a fictional company and develop a comprehensive marketing plan, going over the how and why of each element of the marketing mix. This will allow you to follow along and hopefully will stimulate some ideas for you to market your own business.

My new entrepreneurship is going to be a niche service for a highly eclectic market. I am creating a grooming service for pet llamas. Such a niche service is sure to have very little competition, and should make me a boatload of money, right? RIGHT?

We’ll see about that . . .

Today, all I want is a catchy name. Hmmm . . . let’s see. It has to suggest quality, and only the highest of standards for your pet llama. How about “The Lavish Llama?” That will be a good name for now. I may change it later. We’ll see.

That’s it for today. Tune in next time for the exciting continuation of this groundbreaking series . . .

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What can small businesses do to stay alive during a recession?

With all of the mortgage disasters happening around us, the housing market being in shambles, and the presidency facing a change, people have begun to murmur that dreaded R-word. Recession. It strikes terror into the hearts of business owners as they lie awake at night, haunted by visions of their business drying up because people aren’t spending money anymore.

First off, let’s address the truth of the situation. A recession is defined as two consecutive quarters of decline in the GDP (Gross Domestic Product.) Considering we showed growth in our GDP in the last TWO quarters of 2007 (source: Bureau of Economic Analysis –, the simple fact is, we are NOT in a recession. The media, however, is trumpeting about a recession, and so people are believing it, and growing afraid to spend money. Knock it off! Face facts! Don’t believe everything the media tells you!!

So, as a small business marketer, what can we do about this?

First off, when the economy gets tight, a small business will often cut the marketing budget first. BUZZZZ! Wrong answer! Your marketing is what attracts people to you, gets them to spend money with you. By cutting your marketing budget, you are crippling your ability to make money.

Over the next few weeks, I will be focusing on specific marketing methods and techniques to help you grow your business by tweaking some of the things you may already be doing, and NOT spending a lot of money. My goal is to help you realize the MAXIMUM Return on Investment (ROI) for every marketing dollar you spend.

Until next time.

Helping you WIN this war we call BUSINESS.

Brent Allan C.S.H., C.C.S.

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