Brand is Built on Moving Parts

I finished the on-line training for 30-Second Marketing TM and posted it on Ingomu. It is just one element of the four in Secrets of a Networking Ninja.

Brand is trickier

The second element I’m adding is called No Budget Branding TM but I’m combining parts of other products developed earlier to make this one as complete as I can. Some of the things I’ve learned over the years get in the way. This is a DIY (Do It Yourself) product and so I’m working my way through some of the expertise I bring to a one-on-one session and finding ways to incorporate the benefits without a physical presence.

I believe Brand can refer to a company, product or service. Sorry, I don’t include Personal as the only time, in my view, that Personal enters the equation is when it is linked to a company product or service offered by an independent professional. In other words, John Q. Public is not a brand. John Q. Public Accounting could be.

Trust keeps it spun up

Funny how teaching can help you see things you hadn’t before. As this video explains. Brand is an expression of Trust. But, building this program has confirmed that once you’ve set out to build a brand and spun up the promotional whirl, the thing that holds it all together is the Circle of Trust. Without it, it all comes crashing down. With it and judicious inputs to influence it you can keep it building. Trust allows you to influence Brand but you can never completely control it.

A flywheel instead of a funnel

Jon Dick, in a blog for Hubspot, explained how a new model, the flywheel replaces the familiar funnel putting a new spin on customer acquisition and retention. Jon relates the strength of the flywheel to how it maintains and increases trust as well as the momentum you need to keep things spun up.

A flywheel approach forces you to align all your marketing and sales efforts because any friction can slow the flywheel and wear trust down. In Jon’s words: “…your flywheel produces more growth as your customer count increases. If you can add ‘density’ to those customers, by getting them to adopt more of your products or be more ‘sticky’ even more momentum and growth can be achieved.”

Brand is Built on Moving Parts

Brand is the sum total of perceptions about your company, product or service from all the publics that are aware of you. It is an expression of trust built on a complex set of factors that must be considered. Here are the elements that will make up the program I’m preparing:

  • Vision (from Lightning in a Bottle)
  • Mission (from Lightning in a Bottle)
  • Prospect Viewpoint
  • Value Proposition
  • Profitable Niche
  • Position
  • Persona (a core of Trust wrapped around with Product, Price and Passage (Distribution) encased in a Name
  • Promotional Whirl (Trust Tools and Spin Tools)
  • Performance
  • Perception
  • Prospect Feedback
  • The Circle of Trust

You can see my dilemma. But I’m doing my best. In a week or two this program will be available. Will it be easy? No. Will it work? Yes, as well as the user wants it to. The key here is that I’ll be right beside you in spirit and the program will be changed over time as we find the difficult parts that need more elucidation. And, if you get really hung up the folks at Ingomu will make it easy to contact me direct.


Jerry Fletcher ThinkinigJerry Fletcher is a sought-after International Speaker, a beBee ambassador, founder and Grand Poobah of www.BrandBrainTrust.com

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for Trust-based Brand development, Positioning and business development for independent professionals on and off-line.

Consulting: www.JerryFletcher.com
Speaking: www.NetworkingNinja.com

Is Your Brand “Strangely Familiar?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Connecting

There is a point in time when your product is not a known quantity. People may not have an idea what it is and what it does. They need a way to wrap their mind around it. They need something familiar to connect to the strange. Here are some examples:

  • Horseless carriage
  • Digital camera
  • Flat Screen TV
  • Big box store
  • Electric car
  • Selfie stick
  • Virtual reality

That is the way to get hordes of people to comprehend what you offer. Those descriptions came from multiple directions. “Horseless Carriage” was first heard on the streets as the first automobiles were introduced. The” Digital Camera” dates back to the 1950s and is a spin-off of video camera design! The electric car was “invented” by multiple people starting in 1828. Today’s versions tend to be “hybrids” a combination of gas and electric but if fueling and range can be corrected an “all-electric” could be the coming thing.

This just in (sort of)

More recent additions to the above list might be:

  • Self-driving car.
  • Rollerblades
  • 3-D Printer

In every case, the familiar is combined with the strange to forge connections in our minds. Without such verbal equations we don’t have a shorthand term for the unknown product or service.  We don’t have a way to remember an offering.

It is all timing

There is a time in your life and that of the product or service you market that it needs to be strangely familiar and cited as “The.” The Selfie Stick, The rollerblades. The snowboard. If you’re lucky that yields a brand.  Later on you may have to add another word in order to protect your panache. Then you become “The original” as in The Original Pancake house,  The Original denim jacket and The Original Networking Ninja .

Factoring the familiar

Sometimes you need to add a little strange to make the familiar more powerful. That’s where Instant Brand and 30-Second Marketing come into play. Memorability can be added to anyone’s response to the question, “What do you do?”

Over the years I’ve used these responses:

  • Marketing Rainmaker (my original consulting title)
  • Networking Ninja (I’ve been speaking under that sobriquet and owned the URL since 1990)
  • Brand Poobah has been one of my titles for the last couple years as people kept asking me to help them with their Brand

Marketing, Networking and Brand are descriptive but not words that will tickle your little grey cells. Rainmaker says I can change your marketing and your life. Networking Ninja has a marvelous consonance and infuses expertise. Brand Poobah says expert but with a bit of tongue in cheek fun. All three are much more unforgettable than they were before the strange was added.

Want to make yourself “Strangely Familiar?”

Call me. 503 957-7901


Jerry Fletcher is a sought-after International Speaker, a beBee ambassador, founder and Grand Poobah of www.BrandBrainTrust.com

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for Trust-based Brand development, Positioning and business development for independent professionals on and off-line.

Consulting: www.JerryFletcher.com
Speaking: www.NetworkingNinja.com

 

Chutes & Ladders To Build Your Brand.

 

They didn’t have the game when I was a kid.

We got it for my daughter when she was in grade school. It is a counting game where you move from the bottom of the board to the top. Where you land determines your progress toward the goal. A Chute, like a playground slide takes you down while ladders take you up.

It is all about mindset.

Yours. Others. Whether we go along or not is dependent on the convictions in place both before and after individuals engage. Chutes are pre-engagement. Ladders are once we begin attempts to influence another.

Chutes, in the real world turn out to be positive or negative according to Robert Cialdini in his new book Pre-Suasion. His first book, published 20 years ago, (Influence) was about the six key “ladders” that marketers, advertisers and sales professionals use to convince and persuade.

A chute is my way to describe Pre-Suasion.

It occurs:

  • Before you are in a position or situation to be sold.
  • Before the discussion of features and benefits.
  • Before the emotional appeals.

It happens when you or your prospect are in a frame of mind that will color your reaction to all the ladders. You are on the chute and what you feel, think and believe in that moment is predictably what will make the difference in your reaction.

This is behavioral psychology finally exploring the complexity of factors that control acceptance of advertising, marketing and sales techniques.

Too often we use a Ladder approach, stacking up all the features and benefits of going our way and at times yielding to the hard-won knowledge that decisions are emotionally, not logically based. Yet we fail because the chute our prospect was perched upon ran counter to our approach.

The power of setting the stage.

Shakespeare noted that “All the worlds a stage” Before you, as a player, utter a single line, consider the stage. Is it conducive to the outcome you hope to produce? If you can control them, how would you change the trappings? Could you change the speech that precedes yours? Is there a musical or sound note that could be injected to change an attitude? Is there a lighting or art effect that can change the mood?

30-Second Marketing TM, the technique I teach for self-introductions is a powerful example of how the elements revealed in Cialdini’s book set the stage.

Why 30-Second Marketing TM works.

  1. You wait until they ask, “What do you do?” that shows focus on you.
  2. You hook ‘em. You respond with something memorable like, “I’m a Networking Ninja.” That generates curiosity and puts them on a chute because they want to solve the mystery of the title.
  3. Next you hold ‘em with a statement like, “You know how you, like most people, are really uncomfortable introducing yourself…” A nod or other positive response will tell you that they are with you and that you have now personalized this conversation to them.
  4. Then you pitch ‘em. You say something like, “What we do is teach you how to have a conversation instead of doing a commercial. We help you mothball that elevator pitch and use a technique that is a shortcut to Trust that you can do in 30-Seconds or less.
  5. You close ‘em on a date and time to sit down in their office to work out the details of how you can work with each other. You set the stage.

______________________________________________________________________

Jerry Fletcher Keynote in ColombiaJerry Fletcher, Networking Ninja, is a sought after International Speaker, beBee ambassador, founder and Grand Poobah of www.BrandBrainTrust.com

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for Trust-based Brand development, Positioning and Business Development on and off-line.

Consulting: www.JerryFletcher.com
Speaking: www.NetworkingNinja.com

 

 

 

Do you Look Your Brand?

Your logo is the least of it.

Part of my job as a consultant and speaker is to help independent professionals and small businesses see how important every graphic, photo and video is to their brand.

Adults relate to people not symbols.

It is easier for grocery shoppers to pick Newman’s over a host of competitors. Which do you lean toward, General Mills or Betty Crocker? Given the choice so you opt for coffee grown, picked and shipped by Juan or one of the raft of others on the shelves?

Animals come in second.

Can you believe a Super Bowl with no commercials featuring the Budweiser Clydesdales? When it comes to batteries do you want the Energizer Bunny ones or the other guys.

Cartoon Personalities come next, particularly with kids.

Four out of the top five cereals are hyped by a cartoon character (Frosted Flakes, Lucky Charms, Captain Crunch and Fruity Pebbles). Ever wonder the King Kong of movie production in the last few years is Marvel?

Here’s how that impacts you and your business.

  • If you are an independent professional, your name and your image should be part of every way you promote your brand. For example, recently I decided to do more speaking. My new card reflects that in the visual which is a photo taken during a keynote. If you’ve ever been to a conference the impression is that this is a keynoter.If you can manage it, use a photo that allows the person viewing to make eye contact with you. Spend the money to have a professional photographer capture your essence. Selfie’s just don’t get it!
  • If your business is a separate entity providing a product or service not tied to your name or professional capabilities consider using an animal. I’ve known a very successful writing instructor that built her identity around her Newfoundland Retriever. At one point one of the most successful speakers I know had a blog “written” by his dog.

Be careful how you choose. Not everyone likes insects, or snakes or a mélange of other critters. Usually you need to stay away from the scary ones but sometimes the fear factor can make you more memorable. Or, you can do a switch up by using a comforting story or image. One of the highest readership blogs I’ve ever written was about a Mama Raccoon.

  • If you like cartoons, consider the expense. There are a lot of low cost logos that are cartoons. The problem is we are trained very carefully from youth to expect cartoons to be animated. Full scale animation is costly in terms of both time and money. Some amazing things have been done recently in software that may help you overcome this difficulty. Check into it before you walk away from the potential.

The key is to keep it consistent.

Every time you produce anything that will be seen by your customers, prospects, connections and referral sources make sure the visual reflects the image you want to present to them. That includes looking in the mirror as you leave your lair. Even if you are just running out to get an item at your local grocery, you need to look your brand.

____________________________________________________________________

Jerry SpeakingJerry Fletcher, Networking Ninja, is a sought after International Speaker, beBee ambassador, founder and Grand Poobah of www.BrandBrainTrust.com

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for Trust-based Brand development, Positioning and Business Development on and off-line.

Consulting: www.JerryFletcher.com
Speaking: www.NetworkingNinja.com

Personal Brand Out Of The Dark.

I went dark back in mid-November.

Shift happens. I put my house on the market and it sold. The condo I wanted to buy had not received FHA approval. The mortgage company bureaucrats demanded data at the last minute. Mom was in the emergency room so I flew back to the Midwest.

Then, not only Murphy but his minions decided it was my turn in the barrel. I figured my Personal Brand was going to take a hit.

Keeping your personal brand means you have to:

  • Constantly keep it in mind.
  • Unceasingly support it.
  • Always keep it visible.

That is especially true when Murphy and Minions grab hold of your life.

I’ve just come through three months of coping with the Murphy clan.

According to Google:

Edward Aloysius Murphy Jr. (January 11, 1918 – July 17, 1990) was an American aerospace engineer who worked on safety-critical systems. He is best known for his namesake Murphy’s law, which is said to state, “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.”

How do you sustain your personal brand when everything you do seems to diminish your ability to look after it?

For me it started with three apparently unrelated decisions:

  1. I would assist Mom in getting the eye surgery she needed by being there.
  2. I’d sell my house, downsize and bank a little cash on the way.
  3. Speaking appearances would get more attention in 2018.

I wrote about how Murphy and his Minions started changing my life regarding the first two decisions in my Personal Note Series (Best Laid Plans, To Market To Market).

Little did I know back then.

You are who you are and that will not change catastrophically unless you run afoul of the law in a major way.

I went dark for three months. My last Small Business Marketing Blog and weekly commentary last appeared in mid-November. Updates to my Brand web site and Facebook page stopped about the same time. My regular contributions to BeBee became a trickle of comments and then just stopped altogether.

I did maintain my consulting business clients but had to discontinue most of my new business activities. I flew to Cincinnati, Ohio from my home in Portland, Oregon four times in two months Two of the trips were unplanned because Mom was in the Emergency Room.

There were a few concerned business phone calls but It wasn’t until I cancelled the land-line phone service that I got any major reaction. I only have one phone number now: 503 957-7901

Be yourself. Don’t allow the events of the day to muddle how you connect.

Base your personal brand on your core competence, convictions and confidence. Stick to it through thick and thin. People understand that your professional abilities can be impacted by emotional situations. You need to be transparent about how Murphy and Minions are impacting your emotions. They will give you credit when you are candid.

Honesty, candor and your web site are the night light you need when Murphy and Minions force you to go dark.

My consulting site continued to generate leads and proved to be the primary resource for clients that were referring prospects. The comment, “I felt I knew you before we met in person because your web site gave me so much information.”

Over the next few weeks you can look forward to updates in my speaking site (www.NetworkingNinja.com)

_______________________________________________________________

Jerry SpeakingJerry Fletcher is a beBee ambassador, founder and Grand Poobah of www.BrandBrainTrust.com

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for Trust-based Brand development, Positioning and Business Development on and off-line. He is also a sought-after International Speaker.

Consulting: www.JerryFletcher.com
Speaking: www.NetworkingNinja.com

 

Step Away From That Social Media Suckhole

Social Media SuckholeJim said, “One of my clients was talking about his experience on FaceBook. It seems he has looking for a high-tech app for his company, saw an ad on FaceBook, clicked on it and within 15 minutes someone from the company was calling him.”

He told me that he suggested the CEO turn it around and use it for his own company.

Then he asked the wrong question!

No, I said, you should not be advertising on FaceBook. And you should not think about LinkedIn or Google either. The reason is simple: That is not the right model to build your business.

Until the customer/ client/ patient gets access to your product you don’t have a business.

Service Businesses require someone to provide “hands or minds on” actions. There is direct contact.

Product Businesses make an item that can be used but the company may or may not have direct contact with the end user.

Combination businesses make products and provide services associated with those products usually but not always directly. Their passage or physical distribution may be direct or through several intermediaries.

Distribution businesses provide physical distribution of products to end users or resellers such as retail outlets. The most common are independent distributors and wholesalers. The amount of inventory they carry varies across a full spectrum.

Agent/Broker businesses sell products or services to end users but may not handle physical distribution. Most independent salespersons fall in this category. Frequently they handle several lines that are used in an industry but are not directly competitive.

What is the right model to build your business?

  • Consultants and Professional service providers usually do best when they use tools that generate referrals
  • Business to Business B2B organizations that offer services need a combination of promotion, referrals and a sales force that connects with customers efficiently
  • B2B organizations that offer products at low cost may orient more to advertising and telephone follow up like Jim’s client experienced. The controlling factor is the cost of the products offered. Higher priced products generally require a more knowledgeable sales person and sometimes the best solution is an engineer partnered with a salesperson.
  • Business to Consumer B2C companies have the broadest selection of distribution possibilities that run the gamut from direct sales to distributors, wholesalers and retailers. But here, too, the price of the product being offered will have significant impact on the level of salesperson required.

Do you or a competitor have a way to change an industry?

Examples abound: Amazon, Lyft, Driverless Cars, Disney’s Magic Band access to hotel and park, Airbnb and a host of Internet of Things (IoT) applications that may not have existed last week.

You need to think about how FedEx technology adaption forced UPS to leapfrog them. Can you do something like that? No matter what your product or service, you can, if you think it through, make your offer in such a way that it stands out form the crowd.

That’s when Social Media fits in.

Use the social media platform that gets you the most exposure within your target audience at the lowest cost until you move on to pay per click advertising. Hire a professional organization that makes a living doing that. You will save yourself time, pain and money in the long run. But first, make sure your landing pages and website support your Mission, Position and Value Proposition.


Jerry Fletcher ThinkinigJerry Fletcher is a beBee ambassador, founder and Grand Poobah of www.BrandBrainTrust.com

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for Trust-based Brand development, Positioning and business development on and off-line. He is also a sought-after International Speaker.

Consulting: www.JerryFletcher.com
Speaking: www.NetworkingNinja.com

Brand Survival of the Social Media Conspiracy

Social Media ConspiracyFeel like you are “behind the curve” on social media? Every professional I know is concerned that they may not be able to maintain their position, that their brand might slip.

Each day there is more in printed media and on-line assuring us that we are quickly getting passed by if we’re not up on the latest changes.  The dire warnings continue on and on.

Did you get used to the internet and go back to “business as usual”?

You got a website for our business even if you had to hire your nephew to do it. Things were pretty good for a while. You had an internet presence you could brag about. But then things started to change again.

We a pretty sure now that video and texting and smart phones is where it is at the moment but who knows what wondrous devices or “apps” are lurking in the technology woods? (Block Chain Technology is coming!)

We tackle this social media thing head on and wind up trying to find out what a “hash tag” is and why we should care. Regardless of what happens the press and the pundits will continue to tell us we have to keep up if we want to maintain our businesses. They will use arguments like, “If you don’t get savvy now…if you wait too long…the learning curve is getting steeper.” They could be right,,, if you buy into their viewpoint.

Social media applications are engineering answers to instinctive human urges to network including our fear of the unknown.

Every human being feels the need to connect with others. Some are shy about it. Some are forward. All feel the need to a greater or lesser degree. Yes we have concerns about “talking to a stranger.” The perpetrators of these arms-length attempts got it half right in my view. You can’t  substitute quantity for quality. For me, Social Media looks like an awful lot of work without a lot of connection with real people.

Be a survivor. Step back from the social media onslaught.

Stop listening to the hullabaloo. Take a deep breath and look at reality. All professional businesses need a steady flow of work. Small businesses need an ongoing revenue stream. The successful ones do it by satisfying a slowly expanding group of customers with whom they have a personal relationship. Even large businesses need a stable base that they add to over time.

In other words, each successful business needs a personal network of satisfied customers, a core of clients or customers that trust you and your brand.  They need to trust you at least enough to keep coming back to you for your product or service. A few of them, never more than a select few, will refer you. Their trust will be transferred to a new customer.

The core of trust is at the heart of building a business and a brand.

Initially, that core of trust is you. If you operate solo it will always be. With a partner or an ensemble or partners you all have to subscribe to the same central beliefs. In a larger organization each person needs to be driven by the same values.

You can’t fool customers for long. They see your brand from the outside in. They rely on how your decisions impact them to make judgments about you and your firm. If you are true to them, they will be true to you.


Jerry FletcherJerry Fletcher is a beBee ambassador, founder and Grand Poobah of www.BrandBrainTrust.com

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for Trust-based Brand development, Positioning and business development on and off-line. He is also a sought-after International Speaker.

Consulting: www.JerryFletcher.com
Speaking: www.NetworkingNinja.com

 

 

New World Networking

New World NetworkingIt’s coming.

It started with Bit Coin.

Now there’s AirBnB, and Etsy and Task Rabbit.

Slowly but surely Block Chain Technology is edging out the Internet as we know it.

Here’s a great explanation of the technology:

https://blockgeeks.com/guides/what-is-blockchain-technology

This technology is the next step in the evolution of networking for business development.

Most people agree that people do business with folks they know, like and trust and that trust is based on reputation.

The more secure your reputation, the easier it is to get to trust.

This technology will make building a reputation and maintaining it easier but your brand will have to be carefully nurtured along the way.

Block Chain Technology is more secure than the server based internet. There is no central place a hacker can go to mess with your reputation. It is hosted by millions of computers, simultaneously.

Block Chain Technology is more up to date as it reconciles all transactions on all the stored blocks about every ten minutes. Your information is embedded and updated in the entire network not in a single place.

Block Chain Technology is more collaborative. The network operates on a user-to-user (or peer-to-peer) basis. An entire team can make changes in a document at the same time.

Block Chain Technology enables peer to peer payments.  You won’t have to go through an intermediary like Uber. OpenBazaar uses the technology to create a peer-to-peer eBay.

Block Chain Technology is transparent (nothing is hidden) and publicly accessible. Imagine if it were used for elections. Governance, even in the corporate world, could be managed in the block chain.

Block Chain Technology can protect your intellectual property. You could use smart contracts to protect copyright and automate the sale of your creative works online, eliminating the risk of file copying and redistribution.

Block Chain Technology will protect your reputation. Identity verification is critical to on-line transactions in the sharing economy. Applications currently in development will allow you to have a digital identity for you and your business deliverables that is secure well beyond what is currently available.

Are you ready for New World Networking?


Jerry Fletcher Keynote in ColombiaJerry Fletcher is a beBee ambassador, founder and Grand Poobah of www.BrandBrainTrust.com

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for Trust-based Brand development, Positioning and business development on and off-line. He is also a sought-after International Speaker.

Consulting: www.JerryFletcher.com
Speaking: www.NetworkingNinja.com

Get all the Brand Success Stories. Sign up at http://www.brandbraintrust.com/home.html

 

Your Brand is Your Secret Funnel Story

Story FunnelYou can’t sell anything if they don’t buy your story.

You can talk at people until you are blue in the face and it won’t do any good.

You can “logic them” and “feature them” and even “benefit them” but your results will still be negative.

If your Web site or landing page starts with an “I” you are going to lose.

If you don’t make yourself memorable, communicate the problem you solve in their terms, tell them how you do it in their language and explain how to get your help in a couple minutes or less, you lose.

If you don’t make it easy for them every way you can, go back to your day job.

The secret is your story.

It makes no difference whether you are doing e-commerce for a product or a service. The distinction doesn’t matter.

Passion is what matters.

Why are you passionate about this thing you are selling? How did that happen? Want to bet that your experience is similar to other folks that might be interested? Have you watched someone’s eyes as you tell them the concerns you had about it? Have you noticed how they start nodding when you talk about how the change it made in you made you feel about yourself and your family? Have you noticed how you don’t have to sell but rather just take orders.

Your passion plus your story plus a formula.

Imagine you are in a room with a crowd of other folks that are entrepreneurial– consultants, coaches, professionals, guys and gals starting companies and people charged with launching a small company’s new product.

The speaker says:

Target “Are you the one that has to be sure that there is paying business in the pipeline? Do you find yourself looking for another place to network or a trade show to attend just to meet a few new prospects? Are you tired of waiting for leads from your web site or all the social media stuff they told you would work?

And even if it did isn’t that little voice in your ear saying things that make you doubt you’ll ever get this thing off the ground? Makes you feel like a failure that doesn’t take care of his family doesn’t it?

Ever wake up in the middle of the night worried about money to keep the business afloat and to be able to give your kids a college education?

We all know that people do business with people they know, like and trust.

Problem Would you say that your problem is building trust fast enough especially if your budget is zilch?

Guide I know what that’s like. I was the CEO of an ad agency dealing with national and international clients but my board and I agreed to disagree and I went from the corner office, the BMW and the expense account to a makeshift office in a spare bedroom.

I felt rejected. Put out to pasture. Trapped. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to pay the bills.

I knew that I could help the little guys, the small businesses that couldn’t afford a big agency. I knew I could help them do it without breaking the bank.

First I had to get to trust. I had to find a way to reach them without looking desperate. But I had more bills than money.

I resorted to asking those pearls of contacts I had to help me get some business.

I sent a letter to just 60 golfing buddies. Six responded. Two wished me luck. Two referred me to prospects. And two gave me engagements.

That was in 1990.

I’ve learned a lot along the way. The most important is this:

  • What you know is significant
  • Who you know is important
  • But the single most critical factor in building a business, a career or a life of joy is who trusts you.

You can do what I did.

I can show you how.

It’s called Marketing Without Money.

Would you like to hear more about that?”


Jerry Fletcher Keynote in ColombiaJerry Fletcher is a beBee ambassador, founder and Grand Poobah of www.BrandBrainTrust.com

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for Trust-based Brand development, Positioning and business development on and off-line. He is also a sought-after International Speaker.

Consulting: www.JerryFletcher.com
Speaking: www.NetworkingNinja.com

Get all the Brand Success Stories. Sign up at http://www.brandbraintrust.com/home.html

 

 

The Journey From Mad Man to Brand Poobah

Two MartinisKen asked me over lunch, “Was it really like Mad Men back then?”

Let’s just say I have a little more mileage than he does. He wasn’t born when I went to New York. He was fascinated by my experiences in the era popularized by the TV Series Mad Men.

Yes, I was there. I climbed the stairs from the IRT stop and walked a short distance to the entrance to 420 Lexington and the Offices of J. Walter Thompson when it was the largest advertising agency in the world. I still have the brass medal every employee was awarded on the 100th anniversary of the company.

That job, for a boy reared in southwestern Ohio, was a real eye opener. Everybody smoked. Men. Women. Youngsters like me. I’d worked construction to pay for college and picked up the habit, Phillip Morris Commanders—strong like Camels but longer. The scent of tobacco was everywhere.

Working in the mail room I was too young and too low on the totem pole to participate in the sexual hijinks but then I had a sweetheart back in Ohio.

Naïve? Yes. Stupid? No. I figured if I couldn’t get in on the physical side of things I could learn the lingo so I became the confidante of secretaries and traffic girls. I wound up having those lovely creatures buy me drinks since they made more than me.

I lucked out after a while and wound up becoming a TV paste-up guy who put the storyboards together for presentation and that put me into contact with some heavy hitter art directors.

That lead to my first (and last) two martini lunch. Ted took pity on me and asked me to join him for lunch on him. We went to an Argentine place he frequented. The waiter never asked. A martini for each of us showed up and so I clinked glasses and tried not to react. I thought I was going to be okay and then a refill magically appeared.

Ever see one of those cartoon rabbits that seems to have no bones and slide out of a chair to the floor? That was me. I believe the correct term is Blotto.

Working there was a great way to learn that even though I was getting a degree in Advertising Design the art side of the business was not where the power was. I quickly decided that being an Account Man with heavy knowledge of the art side of the business was what I wanted to do. I was lucky. That was the time when boutiques were giving the old line agencies fits. Powerful creative was being done by the upstarts that are now considered to be icons of the industry. That paid off when I made the switch.

Back then they had open training for all employees over lunch and you could learn about all and any parts of the business. I took advantage of the opportunity and made some friends at the VP level who gave me great advice on how to cross the divide from the creative to the management side of the business.

Ken really stirred up the memories including the summer of New York World’s Fair. The Ford exhibit became a Disney ride. The IBM exhibit synced up a battery of 35mm projectors and a couple of movie projectors. I think that was my first experience with that whole idea of multi-media. Years later I would use the same techniques with original scores for multiple clients.

The mileage check version of how I got here is straightforward:

  • Get job interviews for account work at 42 ad agencies at their expense based on a direct mail letter. Take the position offered by Campbell Mithun Minneapolis.
  • Become the fireman (one of the guys that pulls troubled accounts back into the fold).
  • Work in multiple offices and win your spurs as a new business guy.
  • Decide to leave CM when the agency is purchased by a British Conglomerate.
  • Move to Portland and in time become CEO of the largest B2B agency.
  • Hang out a shingle as a solo when you and your board agree to disagree.

I seldom ever look back even though those were great times. It takes a trigger like hurtling down the mountainside from the Medellin airport in a cab with Don Pepper and learning how often we just barely missed crossing paths. But that’s another story…


Jerry FletcherJerry Fletcher is a beBee ambassador, founder and Grand Poobah of www.BrandBrainTrust.com

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for Trust-based Brand development, Positioning and business development on and off-line. He is also a sought-after International Speaker.

Consulting: www.JerryFletcher.com
Speaking: www.NetworkingNinja.com

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