Massacre Your Challenges!

I’m active on LinkedIn and my network continues to grow. I get all kinds of connection requests as many of you do. Generally, I’ll glance at a person’s bio to make sure the connection makes sense for me. I ignore the carpet cleaners and auto service businesses that are across the county who want to connect, but I always accept connections with people within our industry.

Recently, a distributor reached out to me and I have to say, I was impressed by his bio.

Phil Brakefield of UniSource says: "I help small businesses massacre their promotional products challenges by delivering laser-targeted, response boosting items that help build brand and establish customer relationships, in a timely manner, at the manufacturer's lowest published price...GUARANTEED."

I love his use of power words: Massacre, laser-targeted, and GUARANTEED. In asking for Phil’s permission to use this, I noted the only thing I would change has to do with price. My personal business direction doesn’t focus on price.

Walter Kurt from 3K Consultants has a couple of nice tag lines: Creative Ideas at Your Fingertips and Purveyors of Fine Promotions. He also uses the word Consultants in his title, which positions his business as a more professional organization that assists clients with their promotional marketing needs.

In my distributor business, we’ve positioned our company as a solution provider, using slogans like: We Don’t Sell Stuff…We Provide Solutions. We also created a Pyramid Award winning campaign based on The Marketing Toolbox…all the tools you need to build your business.

Taking note of how companies present themselves got me thinking about the diversity in our industry. We have companies of all sizes and personalities. Some are affiliated with large distributor organizations and others are distributors on their own. There are “mom and pop” operations, corporate structured organizations, and distributors who focus on Internet sales. Yet others focus on product safety, target markets, or eco-friendly products.

We also have “Trunkslammers” as illustrated by my friend Mark Graham from Commonsku, and Rightsleeve. In this hilarious Stop the Trunkslamers video, we see that even Trunkslammers have their own unique brand identity.

This is an industry filled with all kinds of different business models and somehow they all work. We are in an amazing industry that offers many ways to be creative and share our brand message. If we are unable to do that for our own business, how can we help our clients?  What business position or brand message have you used successfully?

As I’ve thought though the concept of business positioning, a revelation of sorts came to me. While selling promotional marketing solutions is important, at its core, this is an industry based on product and price. In my next Rant I’m going to share more about my Ah-Hah moment and what I am doing to help both suppliers and distributors. Watch the FreePromoTips Facebook Page or our twitter feed for more information as this unfolds.

© 2013 Jeff Solomon, MAS 


Good stuff

we need to do a better job showcasing the benefits of what we do. there are too many swag seller out there hurting the promotional consultant who actually try to sell solutions. thank you for this article

Thank You

This is another excellent article. It motivates me to rethink my "elevator speech". I can do a better job explaining what I do for my clients. Thanks for sharing this type of information!


Frankly I was horrified with the use of the word "massacre". It may be a power word, but in my book it is a violent word that the world has seen too much of in the news of late.

for clarification..........

Jeff, appreciate the mention in your article.

RE: 0not building our businesses on price, actually, we are in total agreement! I am ALL about serving, over delivering and value. It turns out that the price mention is simply reflective of passing along the buying power that over 40 years in this business has earned me with my top suppliers, and in the eyes of potential clients (who hopefully read my USP) price is definitely a concern.

And to Sandra Popper: I absolutely understand your reaction to the use of the word "massacre", especially in light of the very recent past. I wrote that USP a long time ago, and to your point, actually considered re-crafting it and eliminating "massacre"...but upon reflection, decided to leave it as is because it is reflective of what I do to help my customers. Nothing more. Nothing less. If I change my convictions and how I voice them, the bad guys win. So, I will continue to board airplanes, and I suspect dedicated runners will continue to run in Boston.

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