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MARKETING FOR THE LITTLE GUYS

Believe it or not, small business marketing starts in the same place it does for big companies ... with a great product or outstanding service, followed by brand differentiation and consistent communication.

21 September, 2021 21 September, 2021
OH MOWER, WHERE ART THOU?

Most mornings, I start the day out on the elliptical machine. I can't say I enjoy it, but there is one benefit in addition to breaking a sweat I get to watch a lot of television ads. Yes, while most people are fast forwarding or channel surfing during commercial breaks, I'm actually looking for them. I guess it sort of goes with the territory in which I live.

21 September, 2021 21 September, 2021
IT TAKES ALL KINDS…

I do some of my banking at Wells Fargo. They have the best in online banking, lots of locations, and very friendly people. In fact, it crossed my mind recently that their people might just be TOO friendly. Let me explain. When you walk in to Wells Fargo, you're first greeted by the greeter. Then the personal banker chimes in with a "hello" from behind her desk.

21 September, 2021 21 September, 2021
IS IT REALLY ALL ABOUT PRICE? NOPE. IT’S ABOUT RELEVANCY

When consumer decisions are made on price alone, it can be a sign of missing relevancy. And it's this relevancy that may steer the consumer from a decision based on price, to one that might enable the brand to be more profitable.

21 September, 2021 21 September, 2021
HOW LONG CAN A STRONG BRAND CARRY A LESS-THAN-STRONG PRODUCT?

Auto industry reporter Phil Lebeau sheds light on Jeep's brand marketing success despite dismal Consumer Reports' auto guide ratings, and it's product relevancy that plays a key role in Jeep's ever-growing sales.

21 September, 2021 21 September, 2021
BECOMING AN “AMBASSADOR OF QUAN”

If you've seen the classic sports movie Jerry Maguire, (yes, it was on a few nights ago and I just had to watch it...again), you might remember the final scene between NFL player Rod Tidwell (Cuba Gooding Jr.) and his agent Jerry Maguire (Tom Cruise). The two had gone down an extremely rough road together, but their perseverance finally pays off when Tidwell lands a big NFL contract.

21 September, 2021 21 September, 2021
AN IMPORTANT MARKETING LESSON FROM THE STREET… ER, STREET CORNER

For a number of years, there’s been a guy that stands on a street corner in Fort Collins, Colorado, promoting M&E Painting. Now, you might say, “Big deal." But make no mistake — Tim Farnsworth does it differently.

21 September, 2021 21 September, 2021
YOUR DEALERS ARE LOOKING FOR A HERO…

We work with manufacturers who typically sell their products through independent sales channels. While those dealers, distributors or franchisees often say they're just looking for the best price, the truth is they're looking for a hero.

21 September, 2021 21 September, 2021
BUILDING TRUST… GEORGE BAILEY-STYLE

It's that time of year again, when I blow the dust off the DVD player, grab a couple of hankies, and plug in one of my many copies of It's A Wonderful Life for the annual viewing. The movie has been my favorite since the mid-1980's, probably because it's so easy to relate to George's quest for greener grass.

21 September, 2021 21 September, 2021
ARE COMPANY POLICIES HURTING YOUR BRAND?

I am a fairly loyal Best Buy® customer. How do I measure that? Well, I was recently inducted as a Premier Silver Member (not based on my gray hair, but based on my volume of purchases). And when I need a computer, printer, TV, phone accessories, cameras, etc., Best Buy is the first place I typically think to go.

21 September, 2021 21 September, 2021
THE VALUE OF FAMILIARITY, COVERED IN FIVE IMPORTANT MARKETING STEPS

Whether it's the difference between near-identical bottled water suppliers or the insight a television show can bring when you least expect it, it all comes down to this: Advertise. Publicize. Sponsor. Promote. Market.

21 September, 2021 21 September, 2021
BUILDING A PREMIUM BRAND

Over the past few weeks, I've heard a similar comment in different meetings with clients and prospective clients. It's been something to the effect of... "We want customers to come looking for our products instead of us having to go to them!"

21 September, 2021 21 September, 2021
LIKE IT OR NOT, YOU ARE ALWAYS BRANDING

At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, several years ago, CEOs from around the world reported that the equity in their brand represented about 40% of their total market capitalization. More recently, Brand Channel stated that 70% of McDonald's shareholder value was generated by the brand alone.

21 September, 2021 21 September, 2021
IN THE END, WE’RE ALL SELLING THE SAME THING … A LITTLE HOPE

If you think about it, every business sells the exact same thing. We may each approach it differently. But in the end — when it comes right down to what EVERY one of us in business is actually selling — it IS the same thing.

21 September, 2021 21 September, 2021
CUTTING COSTS VS. ADDING VALUE

There seems to be a common theme in many of our client meetings so far this year… Cutting Costs vs. Adding Value

21 September, 2021 21 September, 2021
A DEERE JOHN LETTER

Whether there's snow on the ground or not, once March hits, I can't help but start thinking about four of my favorite outdoor activities: mowing, trout fishing camping, and grilling. While there are plenty of branding issues to discuss when it comes to fishing and grilling, this time I want to focus on mowers...specifically, my John Deere mower.

21 September, 2021 21 September, 2021
4X MORE EFFECTIVE THAN TRADITIONAL ADVERTISING: CONTENT IS KING

If you hadn't noticed, the buzz about content marketing and its importance in the mix only seems to be growing louder. And that might seem strange due to the fact that the strategy has been around for ages.

20 September, 2021 20 September, 2021
The Value of a Good Dealer

I don't typically make much conversation on the plane. It's not that I'm not interested in other people it's just the whole process of air travel can be taxing, especially if you've done it multiple days in a row. So when I boarded a plane headed for Manchester, NH a while ago, I was ready to put the headphones on, crank up the music, pull out the most recent issue of Forbes...and check out.

20 September, 2021 20 September, 2021
ADVERTISING WORKS. KNOWING WHERE TO DO IT IS THE TRICKY PART

I've always admired this ad. It originally ran in 1958 for McGraw-Hill Magazines. And even though it's more than a half century old, I love how timeless the message is...

20 September, 2021 20 September, 2021
When OEMs & Dealers have “Lost that Lovin’ Feeling'”

If you're in business, you've undoubtedly heard this line more than once over the years... "If it wasn't for the customers, I'd love this job." And then just last week, a friend of mine asked me this... "I know you guys say you help make the manufacturer a hero to the dealer network, but don't you find that the manufacturers just really don't like the dealers... and usually, vice versa?"

20 September, 2021 20 September, 2021
NEWS FLASH: GREAT BRANDS ARE NOT BORN IN THE MARKETING DEPARTMENT

The birthing of a trusted brand doesn’t generally start in the marketing department at all. Oftentimes, it starts in engineering. Or in customer experience planning. Or even with dealer loyalty programs.

20 September, 2021 20 September, 2021
THE POWER OF A GOOD BRAND STORY

At Cabela's, Christmas ideas and brand stories literally jump off the shelf. Here's a look at two great products from the store's shelves, both with one-of-a-kind stories that have long helped these brands deliver premium prices.

20 September, 2021 20 September, 2021
MOM… and Brand Gemutlichkeit

Gemutlichkeit is a real word. A German word, in fact. And, oddly enough, how it related to branding was the topic of a conversation I had with my mom over the weekend.

20 September, 2021 20 September, 2021
CAN YOU REALLY BUILD A BRAND WITH HELVETICA 12 POINT TYPE?

There has been so much discussion about building brands online some meaningful and some completely misguided that I thought I might offer my somewhat unique perspective of a marketer who works specifically with manufacturers and their dealers to build brands both on and off-line.

20 September, 2021 20 September, 2021
“Why Do They Need You To Do What You Do?”

When I arrived home from our client's annual dealer meeting, I had once again been invigorated by the connections we'd made at the event. We often look forward to these events because they offer such great opportunities to connect with both corporate personnel as well as their dealers.

20 September, 2021 20 September, 2021
Walker’s Clean-slate Approach to Frontline Marketing

Walker Mowers, a firm believer of supporting its dealer network through stellar frontline marketing services and generous marketing co-op programs, has helped more than 30 dealers transform their showrooms.

20 September, 2021 20 September, 2021
CO-OP ADVERTISING DOLLARS… KEEPING THE TAIL FROM WAGGING THE DOG

My first job out of college on the client side was advertising manager for some Ace Hardware stores. It was a great experience because I had the chance to do it all research, media buying, ad concepting, layouts, copywriting, outdoor advertising, tv and radio commercials... even grilling hot dogs at weekend promotions.

20 September, 2021 20 September, 2021
John Deere’s Customer-first Trade Show Booth Designs

We've seen more than our fair share of retail shows thanks to our fabulous manufacturing clientele, but this year’s John Deere booth takes the cake for customer experience thanks to the brands' booth makeover.

20 September, 2021 20 September, 2021
HUEBNER-DUTCHMEN CORPORATE VIDEO WINS MARCOM AWARD

Huebner Marketing was awarded a Gold MarCom Award in the Digital Media category of “Outstanding Web Video" for its Dutchmen RV brand video. Check out this video marketing agency accolade.

20 September, 2021 20 September, 2021
GOING DOWN IN HISTORY, RUDOLPH-STYLE

I must say, it warmed my heart a little when the 50th Anniversary of the Christmas classic "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer" was announced a few years ago. I have fond memories of the show and the anticipation that built up before it aired every Christmas season.

24 August, 2021 24 August, 2021
WHEN TO DO MARKETING YOURSELF

There's a time and a place to do things yourself. When it comes to survival, you can definitely make the case for doing it yourself. I remember watching Rambo for the first time and being in awe of his grit when he stitched up his own wound.

24 August, 2021 24 August, 2021
WANT CUSTOMERS TO LOVE YOU? START WITH BEING TRUSTWORTHY

“Bombshell report claims US ad agencies unethically pad their profits with secret rebate schemes.” So why do advertising agencies—and so many other professions—struggle with trust in the marketplace? Let's discuss.

24 August, 2021 24 August, 2021
AVOID THESE THREE BRANDING TRENDS AT YOUR OWN RISK

A while back, I had the opportunity to sit in on a live webinar hosted by the Marketing Science Institute. To be honest, I typically don't have time (or at least don't make the time) for webinars. In fact, I can count on one hand the number of webinars I've attended in the last ten years.

24 August, 2021 24 August, 2021
SOME THINGS ARMY RANGERS CAN’T PROTECT YOU FROM

My son-in-law is a stud in every sense of the word. He's an Army Ranger and currently a Captain in the Army's Signal Corps. He's finishing his master's degree in information technology. He's a great dad to our granddaughter, consistently sending her videos of himself reading books to her while he was deployed to the Middle East for seven of the first months of her life. And he's a loving husband and great provider for our daughter.

24 August, 2021 24 August, 2021
GUERRILLA MARKETING INSPIRATION: GRAB THE BRAND BY THE HORNS

I ran across a really interesting article a while back from the Marketing Science Institutes

19 August, 2021 19 August, 2021
HOW FAR DOES BRAND LOVE GO BEFORE PRICE WINS? OH, ABOUT 29% FARTHER

I travel frequently for work, and this has made me an A-List Preferred member, which means I get free internet usage on the plane. They give me a Companion Pass allowing my wife to fly free with me. I have Priority Boarding, so I usually get my pick of the litter when it comes to […]

19 August, 2021 19 August, 2021
THE FRONT: WHERE BRAND INNOVATION LIVES OR DIES

While the focus of the article was on consumer packaged goods (CPG) manufacturers and their retailers, it certainly applies to durable goods manufacturers as well. The researchers found that the retailer actually plays a major role in the success or failure of any product innovations the manufacturer introduces to the market. The reason Huebner Marketing […]

12 June, 2021 12 June, 2021