When is a Diner not a Diner?

Branding. Why Bother?

Written by Lisa on April 15th, 2011. Posted in Our Blog


marx When is a Diner not a Diner?Branding is the start and end point of a business, that’s what Samantha Hartley, Michael Masterson, Jay Abraham and Seth Godin had to say about branding. Branding allows a business to see themselves as unique, in their being, value and governance.

Brand or be bothered because you haven’t branded. Branding is the compass of a business indicating true north. Like Groucho Marx, in the scene where he is pacing across the room with his iconic smoking cigar in hand, saying; “I think it’s over there!” Then changing direction declares; “No, I think it’s over there.” The sage advice “no matter how far down the wrong road you go, turn back” applies.

As a business owner, you ask yourself many questions but do you believe the single most essential and strategic question is: “What precisely is my brand?

Do you understand branding more from asking; “Who”? Do you see our business as an extension of who you are? Samantha Hartley suggests answering these statements; “I feel best when I am… and I feel worst when I am…” as a means to gaining clarity in forming a business vision.

The benefit of branding is the discovery of knowing precisely who you are and who you are not; where you want to go and where you do not want to go. From this vantage point, you more readily realize what values you want your business to embody. This makes marketing, (answering the how to communicate that), much easier, more focused and consistent.  Branding answers these questions; who are you? What is our function? What do you want to become? What will that look like? How are you going to get there?

Form follows function. Function comes from essence, it’s being, what a thing is. It is the function of the lion to eat meat because the lion is a carnivore. You respond according to what the thing is. Are you male or female, part of the pride, hunter, first or last to eat the spoils, cub or king, free or captive? Branding identifies what you are…uniquely.

What is your unique selling position? Pick your top differentiating 3. What features and benefits differentiate you from the masses? Do you ever see your purple cow? The ordinary is extraordinary upon close examination.  How are you, you and you business, different from other similar businesses?

Branding is who you are, what you do that’s different from the rest. The how you do it is a reflection of you in relationship with your clients, your tribe.

I go to Lou’s Diner. There are many diners. Why Lou’s?  I like their price; no nonsense clean service, prompt delivery, my eggs cook the way I like them every time and the guys that come in are contractors so I overhear problems and solutions to home repair. They cater at Lou’s so I overhear about social events. At Lou’s, they know my name and my standard order. I’m handed my coffee and “Whattayahave” as part of my greeting. It’s small and intimate where everybody knows your name. That’s where an order of coffee, 2 eggs over easy, home fries and rye toast is extraordinary in the ordinary. That’s Branding. That’s Transparency. That’s a long standing relationship. That’s my tribe. That’s Lou’s Diner LadiesWelcome.


Many thanks go to Samantha Hartley with Enlightened Marketing and Michael Masterson for “Ready, Fire, Aim”.

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CEO, co-founder and managing partner of local5marketing. At this juncture, her focus is on assisting the small and medium size business owners find their marketing voice on the internet through local, mobile and social media. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a Master of Arts in Ethics and Pastoral Counseling. These degrees have enhanced Lisa’s ability to listen, understand and create a consultative approach to assisting others to envision and realize their goals. Her creative marketing ideas come from a dynamic understanding of people, their motivations to consider change and take action. Her focus is on helping the consumer realize their values that are being offered and the benefits they will enjoy. Lisa has proven marketing experience with non-profit programs for a number of years, in the forms of networking, public speaking, news letters, outreach, education and fund raising. It has been said “Marketing is sales in content.” Her many years as a “paid by performance” sales consultant speaks to her creative certitude, ease and ability to guide the involved parties to the desired end - a win-win negotiation. Working with entrepreneurs in B2B sales and as an entrepreneur herself, Lisa, has sought to create local5marketing to answer the marketing needs of small and medium size businesses with a trusted, proven web expert, friend and co-founder Dave Ellis. She has been a student of Tony Robbins, Michael Masterson, Laura Betterly of Yada Yada Marketing, Rich Schefren of Strategic Profits and the best teacher of all…life. Lisa lives in the beautiful state of Maine; enjoying family, friends, pets and life’s many simple pleasures.

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