Good practice: A website holding page

Following on from yesterday’s post about delays publishing a new company website – take a look at this one:

What I like about it is

  1. it sets a deadline (the counter is clocking down all the time)
  2. it still says what the company does – USP – so the holding page continues to sell the brand
  3. contact details are still there
  4. there’s an invitation to subscribe to notifications about the re-launch

Does your brand demand a launch date that can’t be changed?

Website holding page for BrandGlue

What’s your agency point of difference?

Too many agencies chasing too little work.  Is a common theme when new business is hard to find.

How can you make your offering as a creative agency stand out from the crowd?  Many firms have flashy websites, wierd logos and creative directors who stand out as being, frankly, wierd.

We can’t all do these things – although many businesses continue to do them very well indeed.  This represents the outward, slim and frankly flimsy part of any business.  The external gift-wrap.

What makes a point of difference, different?

The answer has to be a strategic positioning whereby your offering is clearly stated, aligned with the real people you do business with and delivers a clear message to other businesses who may choose in future to work with you.

Take a read of the list of 243 marketing agency points of difference that Michael Gass has just published.

Two things stand out.  1.  Most of the points of difference are not actually different or unique.  2.  A few are.

This is a typical example of a not-real point of difference.

We are a full service promotional agency that has a dedicated research/planning group to capture consumer insights – many traditional agencies have this function – but its rare for a promo shop – also rare for promo shop to have media/buying and planning, full digital suite (web dev, social media, SEO), creative, research, public relations, and shopper marketing int house, but we do.  Naturally many promo agencies will claim they have all the above internally, but few do…

This statement is entirely the point of view of the respondent and has no clear facts to back it up.  And, as time passes, this POD will fade away because it’ll soon be less “rare” for other firms to ogger this range of services.

Other non-differences

  • Genuine integration across disciplines(walking the talk)
  • “Brand People Who Get What’s Next”
  • We help mid size businesses own the leadership position by working with the C level
  • we’re repositioning ourselves as quick, smart and affordable
  • We approach integration differently than others
  • We are uniquely structured to provide multiple services

Can you see that none of these are REAL differences?  here’s why

  1. too easy to copy
  2. opinion
  3. not unique
  4. catch phrases

But we really are different from other agencies

If you are able to say what is  genuinely different about your business let it be

  • a unique offering [unique means nobody else does it – it’s probably trade marked or patented]
  • a particular service
  • a particular process
  • a particular client industry
  • a particular geographic location

That’s it.

Either it’s unique or it isn’t.

Determining a particular service, industry or location is probably the easiest way to differentiate your agency – apart from the people, this can be individual and special to you.  A combination of a service plus an industry or a industry plus a location, or a service, process and industry has the possibility of being a point of difference.

All the rest is able to be copied, offered by competitors or just isn’t sufficiently different.

So what if I am not different?

If your agency is not different you have a couple of choices

  1. invent a point of difference (a particular branding applied to your creative process)
  2. compete on price
  3. compete on volume
  4. compete on your personnel (but if they go, so does the point of difference)
  5. accept that you’re part of the broad industry offering and can easily be subsituted or replaced by clients

And that’s fine – as long as you know where your business positioning lies.

Marketing using Business Christmas Cards

Corporate greeting cards can be used in many ways to promote your business and to show appreciation to supportive clients; some traditional and some a bit more creative. However, there are some rules and tips you should keep in mind to get the best return on your investment of sending out a Business Christmas card:

1. Procedure/mailing list

Make sure you keep your company contact information up-to-date on a regular basis and take your time to add new contacts you gain throughout the year.

A good way to control if your contact details are up to date is by including your return address so that the post office will return the card if the address is no longer valid. It will also serve a dual purpose by providing your contact information to your recipients.

2. Timing is everything

Don’t send your cards late, set yourself a deadline. December 15th is a convenient cut-off date for having your cards in the mail. If you’re sending business Christmas cards internationally, they’ll have to be in the mail much sooner. Here are some helpful links for recommended Christmas mailing deadlines: NZ Post, AUS Post, Royal Mail, USPS, Canada Post. If your Christmas card arrives after the holidays, you have just sent the wrong message to your customers. Read more