Prototyping You

BoxofcardsI often hear entrepreneurs and business owners say things like, “I hardly dipped into my last box of business cards before they became outdated. Arrgh! Now, I’ll have to reprint them again!”

My response is twofold. First, digital printing costs being as low as they are, most of us could reprint our business cards every month without going broke. Second (and more importantly), if you’re not using up your box of business cards, you must be doing something right!

As entrepreneurs and business owners, we should be rethinking and reinventing ourselves (and our companies) constantly. If we’re not changing and evolving, we’re probably lagging behind our competitors.

Think of your box of business cards as your latest prototype. If you’re getting close to finishing up the box, it may be time to look in the mirror, take stock and make some changes.

by Rebecca Cochran

Brainstorming the way to a new marketing slogan

NG.SelectThe president of a company with which we had previously done business contacted me after a lull of several years. He explained there were some new ideas he wished to share with me. The company was partnering with another industry leader to offer licensed products and services. What was needed was a new marketing slogan to help define the service to their existing customers and to attract new customers.

After several meetings with the founders and staff on both sides of the partnership, I suggested a brainstorming session. We assembled a diverse group of thinkers from both companies in the same room. The first part of the session focused on framing the problem. Next, we worked to come up with as many ways to define the new service as possible. Then, we went through the process of zeroing in on just a handful of ideas that seemed to be the most viable.

When a key participant blurted out a variation on one of these ideas, an immediate hush came over the entire room. At that moment, it was clear. We all knew we’d found what we were looking for.

We then worked to integrate the name and tagline of the new service with the logo that we had designed for the parent company nearly a decade earlier.

by Rebecca Cochran