A Thankful and Giving Marketing Strategy

On this special day, make a commitment to not leave your “Thanks & Giving” at the table – take it with you and spread its core message of “thanking and giving” throughout all you do in your business and personal life.

Thank and give…give and thank. Plan for it, create unique and fun ways to do it. Then, just do it and rinse and repeat along the way.

If you repeatedly give and thank, your brand will grow, your relationships will grow and your happiness will grow. I guarantee it.

Take some personal time today and throughout this weekend to kickstart your holiday marketing plans, with more than just a “Black Friday” short term sale and thinking. Move toward a more long term strategic way of thinking about putting into practice a “White Sale” of giving more added value to your employees, customers, family, friends and the less fortunate in the communities in which you do business.

If you do, I assure you that people will return your favors by working harder for you, buying more from you and enthusiastically spread your good word.

And, don’t think for a moment that these disturbing facts don’t negatively impact your business and life – so, look for ways to do your part to help eliminate these ridiculous statistics:

  1. One out of seven Americans lives in poverty
  2. The percentage of Americans in poverty is the highest in half a century
  3. Over 59 million Americans have no health insurance
  4. More than 1 million children went hungry last year
  5. Children under 18 make up 27% of the homeless population
  6. Families with children are the fastest growing group of the homeless population, accounting for about 40% of the people who become homeless each year
  7. 38% of the people already homeless are families with children
  8. 50% of homeless women and children are running from domestic abuse
  9. Of all homeless men 40% of them have served in the armed forces
  10. Children under the age of eighteen are 27% of the urban homeless population
  11. Companies that make things no one really needs are doing well in this recession which means the poor are growing in numbers and getting poorer while the rich are getting richer
  12. The total cost of hunger to American society is about $90 billion a year. In contrast, it would only cost about $10 billion to $12 billion a year to virtually end hunger in our nation. And, how much do politicians waste in taxpayer dollars? In defense spending?

Keep in mind, these statistics are for the U.S. a “developed” country, but we all know it’s far worse in other countries and we’re all related and impacted by what’s happening in the smallest corners of the world.

So today, when you’re adding a second helping of stuffing to your turkey plate, remember today’s message and this commercial and commit to thanking and giving.

Have a blessed day and holiday season.

P.S.: Enjoy this Wall Street Journal article, Thank You. No, Thank You – Grateful People Are Happier, Healthier Long After the Leftovers Are Gobbled Up.


Five Thanksgiving Inspired Brand Building Tips

Here are five ways to use this Thanksgiving holiday as inspiration to build a better brand for yourself and/or your company.

  1. For starters, take the word apart ‘Thanks’ and ‘Giving’ and use both themes as part of your marketing mission and messaging for the next 12 months – not just this week.
  2. Call/visit as many customers, team members and vendors/partners this week to thank them personally. Cards/emails are OK, but try calling first. If you don’t reach them, leave a message saying how appreciative you are of their business and partnership and how much you’re looking forward to building a better relationship in 2011.
  3. Send thank you cards, but make sure you sign it with a special note even though your card may have a message.
  4. Commit now to being a better partner inside and outside your company by giving better value going forward and put a special appreciation process in place.
  5. Champion a cause for your brand and become part of the fabric of the community in which you do business. You can give lots of things such as your time, money and expertise. The most successful brands make money of course, but they also dramatically improve the lives of others and their employees. Here’s a link to ideas to help the homeless and for the hungry you can ‘Take the No Kid Hungry Pledge” here. Did you know that that nearly one in four children struggles with hunger? And, did you know that every $5 the federal government spends on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly known as food stamps) generates $9.20 in local economic activity? Read more here in the Washington Post about how you can help end childhood hunger.

Throughout this Thanksgiving and holiday season, work on improving the unique value that only you can provide. Gift giving isn’t a terrible thing, however offering genuine thanks, appreciation, added value and truly giving of yourself is the true essence of this holiday and season – and a gift you can give to others that will reap you and them many future blessings and rewarding relationships.

P.S.: One last tip – OK 3 more:

  1. Always bring something – wine and a covered dish is nice
  2. Help with the clean-up
  3. Learn a great toast or two such as one of my old Irish favorites:

“May all that you wish for, be the least you get…
and may the best times you’ve ever had, be the worst you’ll ever see.”



Brand Building In a New York Minute

I’ve posted in the past about how important speed is to your business success and it’s never been more true in this always on 24/7 world we live in.

To see real speed up close and personal, visit New York City as I did last week. The Big Apple has a unique pace all its own and you sense it as soon your plane touches down at JFK.

On my flight, I read where the Empire State Building will mark its 80th anniversary in April, 2011. The 1453-foot, 102 floor icon – the world’s tallest skyscraper for 40 years – was an engineering miracle when it opened for business in April, 1931 and still rocks on today.

For a lesson in speed, check out the ESB story and you’ll discover that the building frame rose more than a story every day and no building like it has matched that rate of ascent to date. General contractors Starrett Brothers and Eken, the best skyline builders of the day, built the ESB in a record 11 months and it was a marvel of modern engineering – a 1453-foot, 103-story testament to the ingenuity of man. Again, this was 80 years ago!

The contractors, SB&E started with nothing but courage, determination, expertise and vision. They had no existing equipment or materials that would be match this huge never been done before task. Their success was achieved through pure will, insight, creative logistics and a super skilled and well managed labor force.

To build a better business in 2011, think of ways to improve the speed of your business and when you think you can’t go any faster think of the Empire State Building!

For a fascinating book to pump you up fast read Building the Empire State.