Is your business a flash in the sky?

Here’s the funny thing about branding – People instinctively associate the term with a nice logo and maybe a bit of marketing. It is also only something done by big, established, companies. Small business owners tend to shrug their shoulders and say: “we don’t need a brand. It can wait till later…” But in my…

Is your business an oasis in the desert?

Imagine this for a moment: a race through the Sahara desert. A hundred participants running 100km across the desert sand in summer, in daytime. It’s a crazy thing to do. One by one the runners are regretting entering. They are going to die out there! The rules of the race requires everybody to bring their…

Social media and your business

    If you read up on digital marketing, like I do, you’d be excused to think the world looks like this: Digital marketing is a raging success and business owners queue up for the latest technology. Professional networking via social media, such as LinkedIn, is now so rewarding that it matches face to face…

How difficult is marketing?

How difficult is marketing? This is the question I ask myself. The smartest people mostly do difficult stuff such as engineering, accounting, medicine and nuclear physics. The most creative: paint, write books and design beautiful things. The most business minded run companies, become investors and go into banking. The most entrepreneurial start businesses and become…

Are you suffering in a commoditised market?

Business owners often say to me they operate in a commoditised market and that they have little influence over the price they ask or the features they offer. In my experience this is mostly not an accurate assessment of market conditions. Operating in a truly commoditised market is the opposite of a monopolised market, but…

Can a profitable sale kill your business?

How a profitable sale can kill your business? By Bernard Jansen, Brand Consultant   There’s this trick question in accounting: Can a business go bankrupt despite being profitable? The answer is not obvious for a marketing type like myself – but it is “yes”. It can, because profit isn’t cash. Profit is an academic number…

Why pay R20,000 for a good logo!

    Last week I wrote about the importance for a company to look really good. This week I want to talk specifically about the company logo. One of my clients recently asked me what the “Return on Investment” (ROI) is on spending money on a logo. I find this a fascinating question. Let’s start…

In which league does your business play?

In which league does your business play? The A-league? B-league? Or C-league? How do you separate the top league from the bottom ones? How do you know where you play and how to win? I think these are interesting questions for business owners. Your business doesn’t operate in isolation. It competes. Whether you like or…

Marketing [should] make you faster.

Why do business owners think that marketing will slow them down? I see this often: A business idea gets developed to the point where Marketing gets into the room and immediately everybody braces themselves for a major speed-bump. Why? Because “Marketing” is going to slam on the brakes and talk about strange things like emotions,…