20 replies
"Initially my income was low and I was unknown. As soon as I launched the Mars-Venus brand, my income sky-rocketed even though my knowledge level had not changed. Branding is everything."

Dr. John Gray
Author and Speaker
#brand #story #success
  • Profile picture of the author Andrew Gould
    Hey Mark,

    You've mentioned branding a few times now, I'd be curious to know what your definition of it is and how you make use of it in the direct response world.

    Thanks.
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    Andrew Gould

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    • Profile picture of the author JakeDaly
      I second Mr. Gould's notion.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mark Pescetti
      Originally Posted by Andrew Gould View Post

      Hey Mark,

      You've mentioned branding a few times now, I'd be curious to know what your definition of it is and how you make use of it in the direct response world.

      Thanks.
      It all starts with the name of the company.

      Some people go with a name that, in and of itself, doesn't tell you a damn thing about what it is.

      Think Apple, P90X... even Walmart.

      These are companies that build their brand recognition through clever copywriting, marketing and media execution.

      In the direct response world, it's a little different...

      ...and yet, not.

      For instance...

      Ewen Mack has a thread up asking for some collaboration to help him create a catchy name for another online business. Here's the link.

      If I were in his position, I'd be looking for a name that he could bring to life with a slogan, tagline, headline and brand lingo.

      He wants to appeal to companies that are already experiencing a relatively high degree of financial success.

      In my mind...

      All the suggestions that were given, while good, would totally fail to appeal to high-end businesses. (They don't scream prominence.)

      I'd go with a name that might seem obscure at first blush...

      ...and stay away from the cheesy stuff (and save a ton of money paying for a bloated, SEO-valued domain name...)

      Then to accentuate his name brand...

      I'd create a logo/header/visual feel to bring home the emotion and benefits he is BOTH conveying and wanting to elicit.

      If he goes the sales letter or VSL route...

      He can create branded ways of communicating the benefits he offers and the results he's boasting - so the way he gets his message across gets under prospect's skin just as much as the point itself.

      Another way to describe brand in searchable terms is...

      Instead of targeting keywords (i.e. "convert clicks to customers,") take the time to build up your brand name and make people search specifically for you.

      Does it take longer?

      WAY longer.

      In the end though...

      The reason why certain companies thrive, while others that provide equal value (or better) are never heard of is...

      ...no brand.

      Just like a direct response headline...

      You're capturing the life/circumstance-changing benefits, features, emotion and happy consequences just by saying the name of your company...

      ...or putting your logo/header in front of someone's face.

      Anyway...

      I've said it better before...

      But there's an example to get some conversion going...

      Mark

      P.S. I'm writing this on my iPad and the auto-correct is driving me nuts. Sorry if there's more mistakes than usual...

      P.P.S. People like John Gray, who are struggling to get seen, sometimes NEVER break through. They play too safe of a game. Do you think Tony Robbins, Bob Proctor or Ester Hicks would survive the extremely competitive self development market without a brand? Nope. Do you think P90X would have made ANY impact without being backed by Beach Body and taking the time to create a distinct brand name, message and "vibe?" Not on your life.
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      • Profile picture of the author RickDuris
        Originally Posted by Mark Pescetti View Post

        It all starts with the name of the company.

        Some people go with a name that, in and of itself, doesn't tell you a damn thing about what it is.

        Think Apple, P90X... even Walmart.

        These are companies that build their brand recognition through clever copywriting, marketing and media execution.

        In the direct response world, it's a little different...

        ...and yet, not.

        For instance...

        Ewen Mack has a thread up asking for some collaboration to help him create a catchy name for another online business. Here's the link.

        If I were in his position, I'd be looking for a name that he could bring to life with a slogan, tagline, headline and brand lingo.

        He wants to appeal to companies that are already experiencing a relatively high degree of financial success.

        In my mind...

        All the suggestions that were given, while good, would totally fail to appeal to high-end businesses. (They don't scream prominence.)

        I'd go with a name that might seem obscure at first blush...

        ...and stay away from the cheesy stuff (and save a ton of money paying for a bloated, SEO-valued domain name...)

        Then to accentuate his name brand...

        I'd create a logo/header/visual feel to bring home the emotion and benefits he is BOTH conveying and wanting to elicit.

        If he goes the sales letter or VSL route...

        He can create branded ways of communicating the benefits he offers and the results he's boasting - so the way he gets his message across gets under prospect's skin just as much as the point itself.

        Another way to describe brand in searchable terms is...

        Instead of targeting keywords (i.e. "convert clicks to customers,") take the time to build up your brand name and make people search specifically for you.

        Does it take longer?

        WAY longer.

        In the end though...

        The reason why certain companies thrive, while others that provide equal value (or better) are never heard of is...

        ...no brand.

        Just like a direct response headline...

        You're capturing the life/circumstance-changing benefits, features, emotion and happy consequences just by saying the name of your company...

        ...or putting your logo/header in front of someone's face.

        Anyway...

        I've said it better before...

        But there's an example to get some conversion going...

        Mark

        P.S. I'm writing this on my iPad and the auto-correct is driving me nuts. Sorry if there's more mistakes than usual...

        P.P.S. People like John Gray, who are struggling to get seen, sometimes NEVER break through. They play too safe of a game. Do you think Tony Robbins, Bob Proctor or Ester Hicks would survive the extremely competitive self development market without a brand? Nope. Do you think P90X would have made ANY impact without being backed by Beach Body and taking the time to create a distinct brand name, message and "vibe?" Not on your life.
        It starts with a sex tape.

        Ask Pamela, Paris, and Kim.

        - Rick Duris
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        • Profile picture of the author angiecolee
          Originally Posted by RickDuris View Post

          It starts with a sex tape.

          Ask Pamela, Paris, and Kim.

          - Rick Duris
          Dammit Rick, now I'll never get my brand off the ground. Any day now, all these copywriters and business owners are gonna flood the market with sex tapes.
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          • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
            To Dan Kennedy's defence,
            He has said getting publicity
            Is very hard to beat and
            encourages you to get it,
            And said to the affect that it
            Isn't his strong point.

            Best,
            Ewen

            P.S. Excuse the capital letters, they pop up all
            The time on my iphone
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          • Profile picture of the author RickDuris
            Originally Posted by angiecolee View Post

            Dammit Rick, now I'll never get my brand off the ground. Any day now, all these copywriters and business owners are gonna flood the market with sex tapes.
            Yeah, but you're hot. Them? ... not so much.

            - Rick Duris
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        • Profile picture of the author Mark Pescetti
          Originally Posted by RickDuris View Post

          It starts with a sex tape.

          Ask Pamela, Paris, and Kim.

          - Rick Duris
          I saw the Paris video...

          ...I'd pay to have her sex vid NOT drum publicity for my brand.

          I don't want to be that boring!

          Mark
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        • Profile picture of the author Andrew Gould
          Originally Posted by RickDuris View Post

          It starts with a sex tape.
          Beware if you ask Rick for branding advice, he'll turn up at your door with a bottle of wine and a camcorder...
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          Andrew Gould

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  • ...I'm sure Mark will enlighten us.

    As far as John Grays "Mars - Venus" brand goes - it was such a cracker of a headline.

    It was destined to sell millions of books.


    Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author GEORGIADES
    Hey Mark, I almost never click on sig links but as you were talking about brands I thought I'd check out how you brand yourself and I'm glad I did. Just had a look at your blog and got some great value from it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Andrew Gould
    Thanks Mark.

    I agree with what you wrote - I probably should have made it clear I wasn't asking from the perspective of a non-believer...

    Glenn Livingston made the importance of branding clear for me, since then I've studied the subject so I can offer it to my clients.

    I think one of the reasons we rarely see it in this forum is that it requires a long term commitment - it's not something the "get-rich-quick" crowd are going to be interested in - it appeals more to those building a real business.

    And it's not helped by the likes of John Carlton and Dan Kennedy knocking it (while building their own brand).
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    Andrew Gould

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    • Profile picture of the author Mark Pescetti
      Originally Posted by Andrew Gould View Post

      I think one of the reasons we rarely see it in this forum is that it requires a long term commitment - it's not something the "get-rich-quick" crowd are going to be interested in - it appeals more to those building a real business.

      And it's not helped by the likes of John Carlton and Dan Kennedy knocking it (while building their own brand).
      There's definitely a disconnect in the direct response world with branding.

      And you're right...

      It does require more of a commitment from the client to really look at their website as a business (like they were opening a brick and mortar store.)

      But as far as getting a brand established...

      I never start writing for a client until I'm clear on the brand I want to help them develop.

      When possible, I enjoy being a part of the product or service creation process.

      That gives me access to tweak things to make their brand REALLY come alive (and get reflected in the copy.)

      And you're right about Carlton and Kennedy.

      Their personal brands are synonymous with copywriting.

      And yet...

      They don't always help other people take the same brand-building-action in the advice they give.

      Strange.

      Thanks Andrew!

      Mark
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  • Profile picture of the author Rezbi
    The best book on the subject (probably), IMO, is Branding your business by James Hammond.
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  • Profile picture of the author yonaswedo
    Should an ordinary affiliate marketer require a branding?
    One of the key of branding is give the brand a voice. We should determine what my audience wants to hear and what message I want to put forward.
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    • Profile picture of the author Andrew Gould
      Originally Posted by yonaswedo View Post

      Should an ordinary affiliate marketer require a branding?
      It's not required, but it's a good idea because an affiliate business is still a business - you're still selling stuff, just not your stuff.
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      Andrew Gould

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    Marketing is not a battle of products. It is a battle of perceptions.
    - Jack Trout
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  • Profile picture of the author Steve Hill
    It seems that most discussions here have centered around the brand as an identity, projecting the right type of name to the desired target audience. Kennedy goes into some length about that.

    But one often-overlooked aspect of branding is that it extends throughout the organization too, what Kennedy referred to as Customer Culture.

    That means the whole company behind the brand, how it acts, how it treats customers, and how it provides a consistent, predictable, and satisfying customer experience throughout the organization, no matter where or how initial customer contact is made.
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  • ...Branding becomes a massive very complex subject.

    We could spend endless hours discussing, arguing and evaluating it.

    So, rather than do all that...

    Say a beleaguered client in the worst imaginable economy has 30 seconds to spare -

    Can any kind people succinctly say what "branding" actually means and does?

    I tried, by my post was 27 paragraphs long (I did put subheads on every 5th paragraph).

    Or do we say "sex tapes" and be done with it.

    I thank you.

    Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author Andrew Gould
    Here's one of the simplest and shortest definitions:

    "Your brand is what people say about you when you're not in the room" - Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.

    Here's one that more fully answers your question:

    "Branding is important online: a brand is an ultra-consistent way of presenting features and benefits (rational and emotional). It's communicated with specific slogans, taglines, colors, images, icons, logos, sound signatures, etc and text. The power of a brand is its ability to signal (like Pavlov's bell) the availability of expected benefits. You program your brand into your prospect's mind through repeated presentation of brand elements with the right benefits." - Glenn Livingston.

    And here's my own rough draft attempt:

    "Your brand is the automatic associations people make when they hear your name (and see your material), the more in line they are with the prospect's own values, needs and wants, the easier the sale."

    The phrasing's off but I'm happy with the idea as it helps take branding from the abstract to the more concrete "branding=more sales".
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    Andrew Gould

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