Got JSH&P?

Got JSH&P?

CREATE YOUR POWERLINE

We have a food proof system that helps businesses get on the right path for their marketing — called Powerline.

You’ve heard of elevator pitches and Unique Selling Propositions, but “a Powerline is a USP on steroids.”  Perhaps the best way to explain it, is to document the most famous ad campaign of the last 50 years…

“Got Milk?” is arguably, the world’s most memorable marketing campaign.  Fashioned in 1993 by Goodby, Silverstein & Partners for the California Milk Producers, they created a whole new way to think about brand marketing and coined a new term… deprivation marketing.

In essence, what would the world do without your product?

It was a novel concept and one that could have backfired quite easily, but there’s more to milk than meets the eye.*  You see, there’s an interesting process we use, called a Powerline, that helps brands determine who they are, who they target and most importantly, why their prospects should even pay attention.

In the case of milk, a commodity that had been sold for decades on “milk is good for you”, started losing marketshare with the introduction of more beverage choices in the 90’s AND confusion in the market place on whether milk was actually good for you.  An axiom that was, and continues to be under fire.

The Original Milk Powerline:

CONVINCE moms
THAT they should buy more milk for their families,
BECAUSE it builds strong bones for healthier bodies.

But mom was beginning to question this (from lactose intolerance to anti-milk messaging).  So GS&P crafted a very different rationale for California Milk Board consumers…

Here’s the Got Milk? Powerline:

CONVINCE grocery shoppers
THAT they have to put milk in their cart,
BECAUSE without milk, you can’t eat your favorite foods.

Read that again.

It doesn’t say “moms with 2.4 children” or “purchase 6.4 additional quarts of milk”, it just says, someone in the store ready to buy… but might have no interest in putting milk (even a little pint of milk) in their cart or basket.  And why would they?  Because if you put Oreos or Fruit Loops into that same cart, you can ONLY eat them WITH milk.  Milk’s no longer a commodity, but THE brand that makes certain foods taste better!  So much better that you can’t even picture having these foods with ANYTHING else.  Gatorade on your Frosted Flakes?  Orange juice with your Toll House cookies?  No way!  This single sentence helped marketers of milk focus their attention on who they were attracting and why they would comply. 

So what can you do?
Now the trick is to apply this kind of thinking to your own business or brand.  Who do you specifically need to reach out to?  What should they do?  And then, the kicker… why should they believe you?

The CONVINCE line is the hardest to come by.  Frankly, it’s why JSH&P gets hired to take on brands.  We’re pretty good at deciphering a universal truth about the companies we work with and framing a sentence that gives new life to start-ups and stagnated businesses.

Give it a try, write your own Powerline.  You may just have solved the 800-lb. marketing problem that’s been plaguing your team.  Want a good place to start?  Try your hand at writing your own Powerline and find a universal truth about YOU.  

Here’s the very first ad created under this tagline…

 

*The director of this original commercial was none other than Michael Bay of Transformers fame.

NOTE: The milk mustache campaign was developed by another agency (Bozell) for a slightly different purpose, but recognized the brilliance of the tagline and made it a part of their memorable creative (with the help of Annie Leibovitz photography).

 

Read more of a “how to” on creating your own Powerline here — an article on LinkedIn.

Fundraising to a whole new level

Fundraising to a whole new level

The Field Museum

A world renown organization like Chicago’s Field Museum is accustomed to working with the very best people and business resources on the planet… so is it any wonder that JSH&P is involved?  Especially, in membership and fundraising efforts that’s record-breaking?

In short, it’s just one of the many things we do.  In this case, we worked under the direction of Bill Cox and Access Direct Marketing, an integrated agency that specializes in non-profit fundraising.  Their systematic approach helps ensure positive outcomes for institutions and organizations that rely on a few well-crafted campaigns that help raise awareness, increase membership and ultimately drive more dollars to their bottom line — assisting them to continue the important scientific research that The Field Museum does every day.

JSH&P provided the creative spark and graphic production to help coordinate fully integrated campaigns, in both direct mail and email/social that helped raise over $200,000 in one day… not to mention, an on-going campaign that has membership levels on the rise.  Good thing, with new exhibits, new construction and a new look on the way, the Field will be well poised to attract even larger audiences to its venue.

Interested to learn more about The Field Museum‘s good work?  JSH&P’s fully recommends taking a trip through it’s historic hall to learn more about the stunning world around you. 

Blogging: The Unsung SEO Hero

Recently, a childhood friend of mine, Rochelle Yolanda Melander, who now runs a successful writing consultancy called “Write Now!” interviewed me about blogging’s importance for her many readers. This is the e-mail she subsequently sent out to her readers…

Note From Rochelle

Dear Readers,

Do you need a book to boost your business but don’t have time to write it? Check your computer: you may have already written it. Blog posts, articles and speeches can all be compiled into a book. If that’s of interest to you, consider attending my workshop,

Leverage Your Content: How to Create a Book from Articles, Blog Posts, and Speeches.

In today’s tip, I interview marketing expert Mike Farley on what tools can help you get known.

Enjoy!

Rochelle

Writers@Work: An Interview with Marketing Expert Mike Farley

R: Tell me about what you do.

M: I run a marketing agency in Cedarburg, Wisconsin called JSH&P.  Primarily, I help small to mid-sized business brand themselves in a way that best suits their potential customers.

I’ve spent 30 years, starting out with the biggest corporations on the planet, like General Mills and Heinz, and them moved my way “down” to business owners who need to compete, sometimes with these behemoths, to improve their position in a global environment. It’s not as altruistic as it sounds — for me, it was simply a case of connection. As a fellow business owner, I gain more credibility with someone across their desk, instead of a 20-seat conference table. The work may not pay quite as well, but it’s steadier and more rewarding to know that you can have a profound impact on the health and well being of great small businesses and individuals.

R: I’ve heard lots of people say that the blog is dead or over. Is that true?

M: Not at all. Everyone should be blogging if they’re serious about getting to page one on search engines. It’s the most underrated SEO tool in your arsenal.

R: As someone who works with companies and individuals, how do you see blogs helping people attract clients?

M: “Blogging,” at it’s most basic, is not what you think it is. You see, there is someone who will read every single word of every single post that you make… and it’s not your mother. It’s Google (which handles over 75% of all search results). You may have heard terms like “key words,” “search engine optimization” and “pay-per-click.” The truth is, there’s a no-cost marketing strategy called blogging that’s very strategic and effective for anyone willing to work at it (it will cost you your time).

In essence, Google “wants to get it right” — they want match a search query with a search solution. Trouble is, that’s a very difficult job to accomplish. But everything that’s on your website helps Google categorize what it is that you do, who you work with and the types of clients you most need in your business. Likewise, Google likes new and relevant content — when most websites get launched, they stay effectively the same until a new one is constructed. However, for each new blog post on your site (and subsequently shared within your social channels) gets categorized anew. Think of it, if you added one post per week, think of all of the key words you’d use simply by writing about what you’re interested to share — over the course of a year, you couldn’t help but write about what’s important to you and to your business.

These are your key words; it is search engine optimization …and you didn’t need to pay a penny for any clicks to get it.

R: Aside from a blog, what do you see as the most powerful marketing tools?

M: Branding. Understand that a brand is not just a logo. It’s literally everything that you are and that you want your audience to experience when they spend time with you. And you want them to spend time with you, your book and your characters, don’t you?

Most of us think only in terms of a brand like McDonalds when they hear the term “branding”. But it’s for each and everyone of us personally, too. We all have a brand, even if we haven’t chosen to identify it.

Others see us however they do. Smart, sophisticated, funny, sloppy, late? What terms do your friends know you by? Branding, at its core, is your conscious decision to reflect or clarify something you want exposed to your universe of clients and prospects. When it’s effective, we decide in a matter of seconds from these “chosen” attributes whether or not we will “buy.” The speed at which someone understands who you are and what they can expect from you is at the heart of branding. Think of it, McDonalds owns a yellow “M” in your head. (Red and yellow boxes, a friendly clown, his pals and probably French fries, too).

If you have a toddler in your car (who may not even know the alphabet) and you don’t want to go to McDonalds, you better start playing the distraction game, because your child knows what the Golden Arches means… a toy! On a literary scale, think of Stephen King. His name is larger than his book title. Why? Because he IS the brand.

R: What social media tool do you think authors undervalue—and do you have any ideas for helping them improve their engagement?

M: You should, of course, have a Facebook fan page and a LinkedIn account (which is another place to re-purpose your blog post, btw). Those two are crucial. Add your blog posts. Make timely commentary about your world and how it relates to your writing. You’re working at your business in this sphere. Recognize that you’re now in charge of a global media empire — you really are! What do you endorse, enjoy, dislike and should you comment about it? Think of it, you’re now NBC. You show news, sports, movies and more on your channel. You can take a political position, or not. You may choose to edit yourself or let it all hang out. Your audience will come to see you in the light you CHOOSE to expose. You may want to think about that brand power before you make your next post. That’s your brand.

Socially, you may want to add Twitter, You Tube and Instagram… maybe even Pinterest — frankly, you want to use what your readers use. You go where they live… however, most of us don’t have the time or resources to gain traction in all of these areas. Know that the “big guys” have a team of people doing all of this in the hopes of gaining even more ground on Google — giving them a greater chance at staying on page one and making a connection. But the real secret is this: you love to write, but you have to love your business, too.  You can make “shameless self-promotional” commentary… as in, “If you’ve enjoyed my latest posts, perhaps you’d be interested to buy my book?” Don’t be afraid to ask. Maybe 1 in 5 posts can work a bit harder for you. Need better reviewers? Design how you’re going to get them. Start with your mom and brother on your back jacket and trade them up for your professor, your colleague and eventually Oprah. Want more credibility? What Top 10 list can you make? Then trade up that momentum for the next “best seller list” that you can muster. Eventually, you are that best selling author, even if it’s only in a very small niche. Decide to own it.

R: What are you reading?

M: I’m such a terrible reader. My children accuse me of reading only the first three chapters of every book. Sadly, they may be right. I enjoy reading, but my attention span wanes. I tend to like books with short chapters because I feel like I’m making progress. My favorite in this regard is Malcolm Gladwell. The book by my bedside currently is C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity. I am a doubting Thomas Christian and figured I could use a little support.


Mike Farley is the owner of the Cedarburg marketing agency JSH&P. He’s worked with Fortune 500 giants and Inc.500 wanna-bees, won numerous industry creative awards and currently assists small to mid-sized businesses with their brand strategy and graphic executions in print, video and web.

Write Now! Coach Rochelle Melander is an author, a certified professional coach, and a popular speaker. Melander has written ten books including Write-A-Thon: Write Your Book in 26 Days (And Live to Tell About It). As the Write Now! Coach, she teaches professionals how to write books fast, get published, and connect with readers through social media. Get your free subscription to her Write Now! Tips Ezine at http://www.writenowcoach.com.

On the blog:

You can receive more information about writing, publishing, and social media from our blog. “The Write Now! Coach Blogs” features helpful tips by the Write Now! Coach and other publishing professionals: http://www.writenowcoach.com/blog/

 

Making Something Out of Nothing

Making Something Out of Nothing

Cedarburg Dawgs

Every agency has it’s stories about pro bono work — some good, some bad.  The key in making it work is to have the right expectations, and managing them for the benefit of your business and that of the recipient of your largesse.  Recently, we’ve become linked with a start-up youth football program for 5th- 8th grade kids called the Dawgs.

Why?

Football has been a passion of my own for most of my life.  My dad is a Wisconsin Hall of Fame football coach, and I played the game well enough to actually sign a pro contract with the Packers, back when dinosaurs ruled the earth. Since that time, I’ve been a volunteer high school coach and instructor to hundreds of kids along the way.  I’ve also been a guest speaker to dozens of programs to assist in garnering a better sports culture to give kids, coaches and parents a better experience.

So when my own home town saw it’s youth football participation drop dramatically, something had to be done.  So a new entity was born to replace the flaws of the old.  Marketing something new can always be done, but if the culture hasn’t changed, you’ve traded one uniform for another, but the problems remain.  This is as true of small business as it is a children’s non-profit sports organization.

So how do you attract 100 kids (and their parents) to participate in a new program when another already exists?

Frankly, a lot of hard work by a few dedicated people who all share in the same philosophy and mission.  Getting on board with a clear message and a fervor to see something good flourish is a powerful motivator.  Coalescing and harnessing that energy is something that becomes larger than yourself and gratifying to experience.  I’m pleased to say that with our involvement with the Cedarburg Dawgs, we went from true zero participants as of January 1st of this year, to over 100 kids in the program in just three months.

How do you make something out of nothing from a marketing stand point?

When there is no track record, no uniforms, no logo, no imagery of any sort to work with, one might think that the game is lost before it’s begun.  Not so, but you better get creative fast… and hone up your Photoshop skills!

The Cedarburg Dawgs is building a strong youth football program built on the mutual trust between parents, kids and the coaches of the organization — where kids can learn to play the game of football in a fun, safe and life-affirming atmosphere.  

MacCleaner anyone?

Are your removable hard drives no longer visible to your Mac?

Fear not.  I have an answer.

But first, the day started like any other.  I had too many projects for too little time and a nice ball of stress bundled up in my belly as I raced to work through each one based on who might yell the loudest for their deadline.  And that’s when it hit me, JUST THE TIME when I can least afford it — my computer was getting slower and slower until the “gay ball of death” had taken over my life.

I cried, “UNCLE!” and closed everything up and restarted.  You know, the last resort of the truly deparate?  Only instead of making my troubles better, they only got worse by 10x.  Both of my removable hard drives had failed to mount… and a mysterious pop up appeared on the starboard side of my screen alerting me that “MacCleaner” was there to the rescue me. I’ve seen this POS before — a phony fix for Macs that installs malware only to get you to buy their “remedy” which simply means they have you for life.  Of course, I don’t bite and get straight to work within disc utility, finder mounting settings and my applications folder to look for any crap that shouldn’t be there.

I remove all that I can find.

I restart again, and one of the drives mounts! Alas, it is now READ ONLY and no longer formatted for Mac OS.  Funny, I could swear I didn’t touch anything. I have a Mac Laptop, I try each drive in it.  They mount!  However, they are now both READ ONLY and unusable.  With over 3 TB of stored files for each one of my clients within them, it’s safe to say that I didn’t really want to take the first Internet advice, which was to “simply reformat the drives to work with both Macs and PCs.”

Reformatting = Erasing.  Not happening.

The Solution:
Finally, I seek out the source, Seagate, the maker of my storage drives.  Buried in their support network is a little program that you can download for free that, once installed, performs it’s magic and your drives — and your work life — are made whole again.

Paragon Driver for macOS

You can find what I used here.  You plug in your devices, then get the download, then run the program and then re-start your computer.  With any luck, you’ll be back in business.  From start to finish, I spent two hours filled with dread and just a touch of panic.  Had I done this last bit, 10 minutes — no sweat — inner peace.

Here’s hoping this helped you get your Mac life back.

The Internet’s Dirty Dozen

The Internet’s Dirty Dozen

 

I just gave a keynote address to the Wisconsin Self Storage Association using this title.  

Intrigued?

Hopefully so.

The point of the talk was simply to provide some small businesses with knowledge and access of some free tools that exist on the Internet.  I’ve attached the handout cheatsheet that I gave to the good folks of the WSSA.  You may find them just as helpful, although you won’t get my witty banter to back up why they’re on the list.

If you want greater information, just send me a note.  I’d be happy to chat.

Oh, and if you’re wondering about the rope climbing scene from the Dirty Dozen, well, it just goes to show that with the right motivation, you can do damn near anything!

DOWNLOAD CHEATSHEET > WSSA-DirtyDozen

p.s. > Thank you, Dawn Lambrecht of the WSSA for the invite!

Instant gravitas

Instant gravitas

Ally 360 Marketing

In the world of non-profits — museums, associations, higher education institutions and the like — it can take a very long time to become a trusted resource.  Lead times are often at a slower, more conservative pace — yet the needs and diversity of work is as pressing as any agency.

So how do you break through if you’re new in the market?

Initially launched as Membership Avenue (an interestingly unique name), the sales team found it hard to break through to the folks that could hire them, despite having a great portfolio and years of experience.  The name seemed to suggest something other than the services their target non-profits were searching for.

JSH&P was hired to assist in re-launching everything… from naming, initial brand development, logo design, web design and collateral and promotional creation.  We set out to craft a complete A-list brand from scratch.  We realized that in a referral world, sometimes all you get is the first 4 seconds of a website look to make an impression …from a memorable domain name.

The result was Ally 360, two naming forms combined to instantly convey a sense of trustworthiness and full service capabilities dedicated to non-profit marketing concerns.

Ally360 is one a leader in non-profit marketing, having worked with such distinguished institutions like the Chicago History Museum, Wolf Trap, the Milwaukee Public Museum and the Florentine Opera.  

We just f’d our brand

We just f’d our brand

This article first posted on LinkedIn 2/28/17

When’s the last time you screwed up in front of 33 million people? Pricewaterhousecoopers is the accounting firm, that, for 83 years has served the Academy (Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences) unerringly. Then, in one awkwardly extended presentation, PWC’s accuracy and integrity were called into question with a mistaken reading at the very pinnacle of the show.

So what happens if you make a blunder that calls your entire business into question? Here are the first 3 steps to consider and commentary on the current Oscar debacle.

Step 1: Do you recognize that you’re IN A BRAND CRISIS? Sorry that you are, but good that you’re aware. Your first reactions are crucial. As I tell my children, “When you know that you just dug yourself a hole — stop digging.” In short, don’t make the situation worse.

PWC didn’t know until Ms. Dunaway read the wrong winner, because there were only two people on the planet that knew who the real winner was supposed to be — PWC Partners Brian Cullinan and Martha Ruiz. The Academy actually had a protocol to address just such a mistake, but it wasn’t followed. The confusion that extended for nearly two minutes, could have been knocked down to just a few seconds with the use of a “panic button” or call to the stage manager… Cullinan had handed the duplicate envelope for Best Actress to Warren Beatty, instead of for Best Picture.

Step 2: Step up and honor up. Admit your mistake (if you KNOW that it’s your mistake), but you may be able to use humor or initial sympathy to your advantage. Blaming others or offering speculation are not your friends. Your audience will eventually turn on you.

For the rest of the night, people assumed that Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway has screwed everything up. Although Mr. Beatty seemed to know that something was amiss, he wasn’t courageous enough to simply ask for help. Ms. Dunaway was set up for failure by Beatty, by reading the first movie title she saw — they could have saved the night, but it’s not their fault. They did what they were asked to do, “just read the card.” Now the reputation of two Hollywood legends and the Academy itself, is forever tarnished.

The true blame lies squarely on the shoulders of PWC Partner Brian Cullinan who gave the wrong envelope to Mr. Beatty. Why didn’t PWC step up and try to mitigate that damage while the cameras were still rolling? Do you think a defamation lawsuit will be on it’s way? You can count on it. The only one who looked good in the mixup was La La Land Producer Jordan Horowitz who graciously, quickly and clearly corrected the error that had occurred. NOTE: His “brand” just rose a 1000{39d2d43da009d0c4a10d7085c374de39100bda20a3fdf9717a5356beaf449ffd}.

Step 3: Assess WHERE your public relations weakness lies. What part of your company is most at risk? With the general public? Your current clients? Or perhaps stockholders or vendors? You will need to address everyone effected, but start immediately with the greatest threat to your company. Understand that it’s your relationship that now is in question. Assume the worst and hope for the best… but get your side of the story (or apology) out there swiftly. Often, this is where having a Twitter presence is crucial — as your first responder insurance policy. With it, you can get in front of the story; not run over by a story waiting to be written by those who care nothing for your business or your clientele. Make sure you have a Twitter account and learn to use it. It might just save your business’ life.

PWC has tried to get in front of the story on Twitter, but their reaction has been tepid and slow. A lot of damage has already been done. Thankfully, for them, their trouble is not with the 33,000,000 viewers, but it is with their shareholders and more importantly, their current customers. The Oscar tabulation may be the most recognizable thing PWC does, but it is minor within the scope of their business. Understand that Pricewaterhousecoopers is a $36 billion firm, with over 220,000 employees worldwide and recognized as the most prestigious accounting firm in the world. It’s the 5th largest privately held company, too. That’s a huge plus, because no one gets to view a dramatically dropped stock price, but you can be sure that there are stakeholders in PWC who are mad as hell at Mr. Cullinan.

If you read through some of PWC’s tweets, you’ll see their apology. That’s good. But if you go back a couple of days, you’ll see images and video of all of the fun leading up to the Oscars. It leaves you feeling PWC is now hiding under a rock and makes their brand seem weak.

What would I advise? Get some video of all of the key PWC employees, especially Cullinan, to offer a real life accounting of what happened and how sincerely sorry they are for the gaff. Mea culpas work when they are sincere. People can spot a phony a mile away. Post a few video interviews of PWC clients (if you could get them) who could tell how they’ve benefitted by their relationship. It’s all part of a strategy that works to humanize an event gone wrong. Business leadership is most crucial when real leadership is called for. People will judge (and are judging now), “What kind of company is PWC?” Often, when a business follows these steps, they are strengthened, not weakened for the effort.

p.s. > If PWC can hold on to their Oscar gig for 2018, you can be sure that the host will crack jokes about it. Will PWC be prepared? By-the-way, who would you want writing the PWC zingers?

Mike Farley is the President of JSH&P, a small business branding firm located in Cedarburg, Wisconsin. He’s been a keynote speaker on branding, social media and marketing for small business. Learn more at JSH&P.com or at the JSH&P Facebook page.

#oscarsfail #pricewaterhousecoopers #fixyourfup

Wallah! The stop sign.

Wallah! The stop sign.

 

We work with small business owners for a reason.
This comedy sketch video isn’t that far off the mark of how life can be for the corporate designer.  At JSH&P. we love working with all of our clients, because we work with the decision makers.  They share their input, we offer up our best ideas on how to solve the challenge at hand.  In most cases, there’s a path that truly, makes the most sense, that everyone can be proud of.  In the end, however, it’s efficacy that counts. — Did what we do, work?  

How about designing a new stop sign?
What if the world didn’t already have a stop sign?  How might JSH&P go about designing it, for real?

A little history, first… Mr. William Eno had the concept for the stop sign back in 1911.  And the first black on white square sign was installed in Detroit back in 1915.  And it was the Mississippi Valley Association of State Highway Departments that put the shape into it, by determining that different levels of concern required different shapes. Back then, the sign was black on yellow. But it wasn’t until 1954 that the white on red sign was born when manufacturers could produce a red reflective material to get everyone’s attention.  Of course, today, red is widely regarded as a stopping color.

So, JSH&P, for starters, would want the relevant data and research… and all of the concerns, put out on the table, just like in the comedy sketch.  And, just like the designer, we’d probably figure out that we needed something universal to get everyone on the same page, very quickly, to produce the desired result — namely, to stop vehicles safely.  However, we might reflect on a key word in that last sentence… “universal”.

Almost every country uses an octagonal stop sign with their word for “stop” on it.  Maybe, like the biggest most universal brands in world (i.e. – Nike & Apple), we’d be interested to get rid of the typography.  Could a graphic mark alone, do the job, so that drivers from around the world could always recognize a stop sign, and, perhaps, save the good taxpayers a bit of money for creating something simpler to produce?

Here are our options (with two real life versions already being utilized):

A: Red octagon white X.  A strong choice, very distinctive. Our second choice.
B: Red hexagon white X. The angles/shapes created aren’t uniform. Feels off.
C: Red circle white line. Bold simplicity, but does it say anything?
D: Red circle white X. Exceedingly simple and bold.  We think this is the strongest sign.
E: Red circle white “X”. Doesn’t seem as strong as D and suggests the English letter “X”.
F: Blue circle red X. Used by a few Eastern European countries like Belarus and Lithuania. Not enough contrast.
G: Yellow circle black X. Yellow truly grabs your attention, but at night, will the negative space be less useful?
H: Red circle white diagonal. Looks like a suggestion instead of a statement.
I: Red circle white dash. Used in Russia. Simplest design, but a dash seems suggestive, as well.

Which would you choose?