Remember counting down the days until your birthday as a kid? Exciting things awaited, like the cake with your favorite cartoon character, the party with all your classmates, maybe even a new bike from your parents. For 24 hours, you were on top of the world.
While you may have eaten your last slice of Bugs Bunny-themed dessert, there’s still plenty of room for birthday celebration at your business. (more…)
Last week, I shared essential tips for attracting media attention for your business. Need more reporter bait? Read on for additional strategies that will help get you and your company the right kind of attention. (more…)
Some things haven’t changed since I was a reporter. News staffs are stretched thinner than Demi Moore after her breakup with Ashton. And they’re still inundated with requests for publicity. Hundreds of press releases, story pitches, emails and phone calls cross their desks every day. Break through the clutter and get coverage for your business with a few straightforward strategies.
To most people, “Made in America,” “Made in the USA” and “American-Made” are synonymous with high quality. The trend of manufacturing inexpensive products overseas has improved the perception of American-made products during the last few decades.
Many people negatively associate manufacturing in developing countries with underpaid labor, lax safety restrictions and inferior standards. What’s more, with emerging countries like China poised to become major players in the global economy, many Americans have become increasingly focused on supporting American manufacturing. That’s why many manufacturing companies use “Made in America” as a marketing strategy.
Want to know how to make “Made in America” work for you? Read on for our tips.
- Make sure your product qualifies as American-made. The Federal Trade Commission requires products labeled “Made in America” to have all or virtually all their parts produced in the United States. Specific rules are available here.
- Your website is a tremendous tool for marketing your made-in-America status, but don’t go overboard. Websites plastered with American flags and signs flashing “Made in America” can overwhelm visitors and detract from the rest of the site’s design. Keep your message simple and on your home page.
- In addition to your website, incorporate “Made in America” into your overall branding strategy. Add the message to your brochure, catalog, direct mailings, email blasts, trade show exhibits and social media accounts.
- Spread your American-made message by joining associations that promote American products and reaching out to other organizations interested in American-made wares. For example, PBS NewsHour aired a “Made in America” segment where it challenged new home builders to construct a home using only American products, and developed a list of the featured companies. Diane Sawyer also does a regular “Made in America” feature on ABC’s World News.
Consumers are asking for American-made products. Give them what they want by positioning your company as an American brand.
An interesting article from Ad Age contends that marketers spend way too much time worrying about their specific brands and not nearly enough on those brands’ categories.
Let’s say your company produces energy drinks. You just spent a boatload of cash on an ingenious, award-winning campaign, and your product is flying off the shelves. But wait! A study just released presents some convincing evidence that the main ingredient in most energy drinks (including yours) causes cancer and a host of other terminal diseases. Still want to pop open that can? Neither do your customers.
You could get rid of the ingredient and replace it with something less nefarious. But what if there is no viable replacement? Even if there is, you’ll spend millions more fighting the perception that your product contains carcinogens.
The moral of the story is not that you should continue selling your customers cancer-causing products. Rather, it is a reminder of the importance of being aware of the perceived negatives surrounding not only your products, but also the categories your products fall into, and to be prepared in the event that those categories face criticism.
This hypothetical example plays out in real life every day. Take the ongoing and uphill battle high-fructose corn syrup manufacturers face combating the ingredient’s bad reputation. Which leads us to another important message: Choose your categories wisely. “Corn sugar” or even “corn syrup” sounds much better than “high-fructose corn syrup,” Ad Age points out.
In contrast, companies can use categorization to their benefit. Ad Age uses the example of how yogurt brand Activia rode the coattails of the popular “pro-biotic” category to become one of the top three best-selling yogurts in the country.
No matter your industry, products or services, this lesson likely applies to you in some way. Be careful about how your products are categorized (whether purposely or inadvertently), understand the potential pitfalls of those categories and promote them while educating customers.