Thursday, October 15, 2009

Old is New: Inexpensive and Old Fashioned Branding Ideas

When marketing yourself or your business you probably try to think of crazy creative ideas that have never been done before ... I commend that. Standing out among competitors is crucial to success in "this economy".

We've all heard the saying that "history repeats itself" and we all also know that fashions cycle through time. When I was in middle school, the 70s came back. I wanted my mother to buy me bell-bottom pants and other hippy paraphernalia (yes, I just used that word; I don't get to do so often). We've all seen the 80s come back in style, and if you are watching the fashion world now, you are witnessing my favorite eras (the 30s, 40s, 50s) come back in style.

What does my clothing preference have to do with marketing? A valid question astute readers.

Old school marketing techniques are coming back in style and if you start now you can be a leader instead of an eventual participator.
  • Get together a mailing list (in database or spreadsheet format preferably) and start sending out good old-fashioned note cards or letters to your clients and associates - the kind you mail.
  • Instead of sending a thank you e-mail to someone you have an address for, send a thank you card and (prepare for what's coming next...) make it by hand if you can.
  • Bring back customer service. When you are talking to people on the phone or in person (even if they may never do business with you) stop what you are doing, focus on what they are saying, and make them feel as if they are THE ONLY person in the world.
  • Make your brand an experience. When you enter a Barnes & Noble these days you know that you will not only find books, but free Wi-Fi and a coffee shop with baked treats. You can sit down, read a book, sip some tea and eat a lemon raspberry tart. Awesome. In the old days, shops had candy for the children, had plenty of seating room for when you wanted to take a shopping break, etc. Think of something specific to your business that makes it an experience for your clients. Think Ikea.
photo: kevinzim


  1. Oooh, I love this! Make it an "experience"! P.S. I LOVE Ikea :) I also, in fact, love your new blog look...very awesome!

  2. Great post. Sometimes the old ways of doing things are better than the new ways.

  3. L.T.- thank you.

    Beth- ya, Ikea can pretty much fill a whole day ... and the food is good there too, so no need to leave for a meal. Shop, eat, shop some more.

    Susan- Agreed. Technology is awesome, but old fashioned can be "awesomer".