Reminder for Small Companies: Keeping Your Brand Relevant, Representative, and Relatable

Bethany Pinzur is back and she wants to know if you are keeping your brand relevant, representative and relatable. Read on…

Whether your  brand is new or old, big or small, local, national or international, you must constantly review it, adjusting and updating as necessary. Keeping your brand relevant to the company, representative of how customers view and use your services, and relatable to potential clients requires consistent dedication.

This consistency keeps your brand current, avoiding the need for emergency revisions and moving the brand forward as the company advances.


As your company grows, expands its services and client base, and takes on other new challenges, the brand must grow with it. Keeping the brand relevant to your company’s foundational principles, production and advancement strategies, and short- and long-term goals ensures three essential results:

  1. Effective marketing to new customers
  2. Focused energy toward company goals
  3. Consistent service to existing clients


It is imperative that your brand show not only how you view your company, but also accurately represent how your customers see and use your products or services.

  • Is the overall tone of your brand consistent with the context in which clients use it?
  • Does the marketing coincide with actual use?
  • Can potential clients get an accurate picture of the company’s personality as current clients know it?
  • Do brand value and promise measure up to customer experience?
  • In what ways does customer perception effect your brand’s identity?

Consistently asking these questions and eliciting client feedback to ensure honest answers keeps your brand representative of actual customer perceptions and perspectives.


As an integral component of marketing to future clients, you must ensure that your brand is relatable to their needs. When they encounter your brand, it should clearly address three fundamental questions.

  1. Will this company help me reach my goals?
  2. Is this company’s methods compatible with mine?
  3. How can I best work with this company to my benefit?

If potential customers consistently find your brand relates to their needs and advancement, your company will continue attracting new clients and growing.


Consistently keeping a finger on your company’s pulse and revising the brand as necessary will naturally keep it relevant, representative, and relatable. This process, especially important for small or new companies, attracts new clients, keeps current customers satisfied, and results in consistent company growth. Want to learn more? Let us help!

Warren Buffet on Economic Moats and Brand Differentiation

How is your company/brand/product truly different from the competition?

Matthew Cochrane talks about Buffet, brands and moats? Read on:

How is your brand truly different from the competition?

In today’s world, it is hard to distinguish your company’s products and services from a crowded field of rivals. To truly differentiate your company from the competition you will need at least one economic moat. An economic moat is something your company can do better than anybody else. It is a competitive advantage that will keep competitors at bay.

The concept of an economic moat is not new. Warren Buffett, one of the greatest investors who ever lived, says a company’s moat is one of the first characteristics he looks for when considering a business as a potential investment.

In medieval times, land disputes between warring factions were fairly common. To protect themselves from invading armies, villages and castles would build a moat around the castle or town that needed protecting. A moat is a wide, deep ditch often filled with water. This was one of the most of effective defensive measures towns could employ against advancing enemy forces.

In the same way, Buffett explains, companies can build economic moats around their business to protect themselves from the competition. Buffett says, “In business, I look for economic castles protected by unbreachable moats.” These moats can represent a number of advantages. One of the most devastatingly effective moats that Buffett likes to see in a potential investment is brand power.

Looking for companies with real brand power has been one of Buffett’s secrets to his investing success. Consider Coca-Cola, a company Buffett first invested in decades ago. Warren Buffett has said, “Give me $10 billion dollars and how much can I hurt Coca-Cola around the world? I can’t do it.” Why? Because Coca-Cola makes better sugary, carbonated beverages than anyone else? Not really. It’s because they have successfully built up one of the most recognized brands the world has ever seen.

Building brand power is not easy.

For starters, it takes time and a consistently great product or service to build up a high level of trust with customers. Customers want to know exactly what they’re going to get every single time they make a purchase. One disappointing experience with a product can erase years of good will.

It also takes a special type of marketing savvy to know how to sell your product or service in a way that will have customers associate your brand with high quality, good value, and integrity.

Please contact us for assistance in how to make your company’s brand a “unbreachable moat”.

Paying Attention to Packaging Can Drive Up Your Sales

Hey!  Wake up.  Sandy Gates wants you to pay attention to your package design.  Read on.

Have you ever perused the beer aisle when BAM a six pack of a beer you are unfamiliar with grabs your attention? You may know nothing about the brewery, the taste, or if you will actually enjoy the beer at all. But the packaging is just so interesting and has lots of eye candy. Loads of graphics, a funny little story about the owners of the brewery, and the labels on the bottles have a different, famous person on each one. Not only are the people famous, each photo has a theme. One bottle has a politician riding a bull, another bottle has an actress watching a silent movie. Before you know it, the six pack is in your cart, and you are heading for the check-out line.

We are a visually stimulated society which is an important factor in your packaging. From a tap handle to a website, your packaging content can drive sales forward or keep sales flat. And you may be the most talented craft brew master of the tastiest beer in the area but if don’t have an eye for packaging, it may be time to bring in the professionals.

The MAD House is a group who knows branding and marketing, loves to work WITH our clients, and at the same time have fun doing our job. Affordability is of course important to us, but a unique packaging design, along with our well-known reputation can make your new brew come full circle. When you walk through the doors at The MAD House or make the call to one of our representatives, you can be assured we will service your packaging needs and more. Please contact us and let’s discuss your needs.

How to Articulate and Deliver A Simple Brand Promise

Annie G. writes this week on articulating and delivering a simple brand promise. Read on!

When organizations develop brand promises, they are usually full of good intentions and commitment. But over time, these promises tend to become diluted or vary from the original idea. And even worse, they change in a way that no longer reflects the organization’s values or culture.

That’s dangerous territory for any organization to be in — after all, your brand promise is what makes your product or service desirable in the first place. So what can you do to continue articulating and delivering a simple brand promise as your company grows?

The answer lies in effective brand stewardship of a simple brand promise.

Keep It Simple

If your brand promise is complex, it will eventually morph into something more manageable, or be forgotten altogether. An effective brand promise is a simple one — something that can easily be explained to new hires and effortlessly remembered. A good rule of thumb is that if you cannot explain it in one sentence, you have a problem.

Effective Brand Stewardship

Who is responsible for your brand? Who ensures that it is being followed throughout the organization? If the answer is “no one” then go find someone who can commit to protecting your brand and its future. This is especially important for companies experiencing rapid growth. By its very nature, growth makes it difficult to control your brand — yet that is when strong brand stewardship is more important than ever.

And while it may be most effective to have a team of individuals held accountable as brand stewards, the truth is that keeping your brand promise true is the responsibility of the entire organization.

How do you do that?

  • Have clear, direct branding guidelines readily available for all employees
  • Hold brand trainings and include these as part of orientation for all new hires
  • Lead by example and include your brand promise in company meetings when possible
  • Again, keep it simple! If your message and “why” isn’t clear, it won’t be memorable or impactful.

As you can imagine, crafting a simple brand promise and sticking to it is much harder than you might think. Luckily, there’s help available to make it much easier to build a strong, unique brand for your business: The MAD House. Contact us to learn how your business can have a powerful, influential and valuable brand that supports true growth.

Is Your Brand Actually Different? 6 Ways to Prove It

Bethany Pinzur has 6 ways to prove your brand is actually different. Read on.

Branding a business can take you great lengths in differentiating it from the competition. As long as it actually is different.

If your answer to “What makes your brand different” resembles “It is the best” or “We have better products,” you need a new answer. Likely, you also need to rethink your brand. If your brand fails in any of the following areas, consider a make-over.

1. Creative

Google has helped all of us over the years, but this is one area that needs extra work: if your brand looks like an image anyone could find in a Google search, you are failing your own company. Creativity prevents the first deadly failure — a generic brand.

2. Representative

Your brand is yours, and as such, it must represent who you are and what you do.  Your brand should tell your unique story in a straightforward but intriguing way.

3. Meaningful

A brand without a meaning displays an aimless company. In addition to expressing exactly what your company represents, your brand should clearly demonstrate the company’s goals and where it is going.

4. Concise

Creative, yes. But also concise. Say what you need to say in the simplest way possible. This not only sets your brand apart as carefully created, but it makes it that much easier to remember and reproduce as need be.

5. Memorable

As just mentioned, a brand that is truly different from the rest stays in the consumers’ mind. A memorable brand is necessary to keep from getting lost in the shuffle. Just simple enough to keep in mind, but intriguing enough to merit remembering.

6. Marketable

If your brand is already creative, representative, meaningful, concise, and memorable, it will also be marketable, the final differentiation. A brand that fits all of those qualifications will sell your company naturally, making all of the hard work of developing it entirely worth it.


So instead of the tired and entirely useless phrases of “It’s the best” or “We always use better products,” use your brand to show the world what sets you apart, what makes you the best. If you are not sure where to start creating your brand, let the professionals at The MAD House help!

Why You Always See A Rainbow Of Fruit On Juice Packaging

Contributor Ryan Canady waxes poetically (well maybe not) on the wonders of the rainbow of fruit on juice packaging? Read on.

If one were to stop by any grocery store in the country and approach the juice aisle, they would be greeted by row after row of options. Everything from national brands promoting their 100% juice content to drinks that barely rank as more than sugar-water would be available. However, despite the actual product contained within, all juice packaging will almost inevitably feature a whole host of different types of fruits pouring out.

Why Some Heavy On The Images?

Images play a large role in everyday life, there is little question about that. At the same time, it is reasonable to assume that most consumers make purchases based on price considerations and other facts. Not so says a lot of marketing research. In his landmark marketing book “Brandwashed” Martin Lindstrom talks about how the use of images on juice containers promotes the idea of freshness in the minds of shoppers,

“In the fruit juice world, it’s a generic rule of thumb that the more fruit a manufacturer displays on the side of the juice carton, the greater will be our perception of freshness..”

Subtle cues like this often lead consumers towards certain types of purchases and away from others.

What This Type Of Marketing Says About Packaging In General

A key takeaway lesson from this example is that packaging matters for what it can do to our subconscious minds as much as anything else. While some concrete measures such as reducing the amount of plastic used or making the container easier to carry appeal to some shoppers, other less obvious cues matter a lot more.

Pay special attention to colors, text, images, and perception as much as anything else when creating the packaging for a particular item. These factors weigh heavily on how much a product sells.

Contact us for other important information about product packaging and the role it plays in getting products off the shelves and to the cash registers.


Creating Real Product Differentiation Is Hard, but It’s Still Worth It

Creating real product differentiation. Hard. Worth it? Contributor David Caissie thinks so, Read on.

Does anyone really know what ever happened to that fifth dentist that didn’t recommend Trident for their patients who chew gum? All most of us can remember is that Trident had this distinction of somehow being the optimal choice by dentists all over the country. Actually the slogan may have not even been about recommending Trident. I think it just said sugarless gum, but everybody still remembers Trident as having this advantage—or competitive edge if you prefer. Whatever you want to call it, they did a great job of creating a significant product differentiation.

The problem with trying to repeat what Trident managed to create decades ago is that it’s flat out harder to create real product differentiation today. When Trident created their successful branding campaign it worked because most of the competition they were facing was from tooth decayers like Bazooka Joe and Juicy Fruit. Today a lot of brands of cell phone companies offer unlimited texting, a lot of pizza is made with “fresh” ingredients, and most cars in a similar price range offer relatively similar features. It’s a big challenge today to create that special branding that consumers can develop an affinity for.

Creating differentiation may be harder, but it can still be done. You can appeal to value customers by offering a perceived notion of “more bang for their buck.” You can also effectively use promotions and free trials to bring in new customers, hoping that once they try your product they will undoubtedly fall in love with its uniqueness. The key at this point is to make sure you drive home that air of uniqueness with effective advertising that reinforces it.

Appealing to vanity

What about appealing to a consumers sense of affordability or luxury. Some buyers will always buy the cheapest option, and it’s not entirely dependent on income level. Plenty of wealthy people still purchase the cheapest detergents, sneakers, and paper products. On the other hand, other folks will always pay more for a luxury product because of a perceived increase in quality. Within reason, this isn’t entirely income dependent either.

Tougher in a global marketplace

It may be a tougher challenge in today’s highly competitive global marketplace to create real product differentiation, but it’s definitely still a valuable edge. Just take a look at those that do it best like Apple and lululemon. Whether you do it through price, promotion, advertising, or some other creative method all of your own, product differentiation needs to remain at the forefront of your advertising focus.

The MAD House knows exactly how to create real product differentiation to give your company a competitive edge. Please contact us today for more information.


Beer. Design. Beer. Branding. Beer. Beer. Beer.

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