Qualitative adjectives

Better, bigger, stronger, faster….you get the idea, all adjectives. Everyone is better just ask them!  Using adjectives like these without a supporting statement makes them unbelievable and can be detrimental to a brand.  Saying your business is faster without factual content such as “why”, is of no use to potential customers. Whereas a factual reason along with proof can separate your brand from your competition.  This strategy also allows a business to defend its brand as well as create a new benchmark as a leader in the industry.

Separation of your brand is what every business should be striving for.  Defining what makes your business different is where brand definition begins.  This allows companies to carve out their place in the market where they can state their case in demonstrating their unique capabilities to potential customers.

So in the future, before you say “we are better or faster” or any adjective that ends with “er”, think about what qualifies those claims to fame.  It will bring much more credibility to what you are communicating.

The 32 Most Commonly Misused Words and Phrases

oopsWe all know one. You know – one of those people who knows the correct usage and spelling of all of those English words that trip us up every day. Most of us probably just avoid them – and those who don’t, often wish they had. Our proof reader is one of those people. She’s awesome at her job and you love her for catching those embarrassing mistakes. That is until it is your mistake that she catches.

Check out The 32 Most Commonly Misused Words and Phrases – and try to remember them. You just might impress that person in your office.

Here are few to get you started:

Alright - If you use “alright,” go to the chalkboard and write “Alright is not a word” 100 times.

It’s/Its - It’s= it is. Its=a possessive pronoun meaning of it or belonging to. Whatever you do, please don’t use its’.

Literally – If you say “His head literally exploded because he was so mad!” then we should see brains splattered on the ceiling.

Thinking at 90 Degrees

As most companies trudge forward going down the same safe, mundane path they rarely if ever take the time to look at themselves from different perspectives.  What I call thinking at 90 degrees, refers to looking from outside one’s company and developing new innovations and then finding the point at which the company’s traditional thinking and new innovation cross paths.  This is how companies like GE “bring good things to life”.

Not unlike the ways in which progressive companies like Apple, invent new innovative products that use existing technologies and manufacturing techniques, where new ideas cross with established assets.  It is this “out of the box” thinking that creativity must push to enable companies to leverage their existing assets in a new.  Its a matter of looking at problems from a new and different angle, perpendicular from traditional and however radical that creates breakthrough ideas.  Open minds that embrace this thought process possess the vision to see how and where the paths cross and can see where this intersection can be leveraged to best advantage.

Regardless of the product or service innovation is there if only you can see it from where you stand.

JCI Design Relocates

Being in business for nearly 30 years requires a change in scenery from time to time.

We love Dearborn, so we’re still in the same city, but our address has changed:

19853 W. Outer Drive, Suite 301
Dearborn, MI 48124

What hasn’t changed is our commitment to providing unique marketing solutions to tackle your troubles.  From advertisements to web solutions, we determine the medium that best suits your goal to deliver measurable results.

Feel free to stop in at our new office and say hi!  We’ll be glad to see you!

Terms of engagement

Engaging customers is becoming more difficult all the time.  Channels are being created daily that allow brands to create unique entry points into the lives of their customers.

Take for example Pepsi.  Instead of running commercials during the Super Bowl that it had for more than ten years, it made a conscious effort to connect with consumers in a new way to which they could identify.  Pepsi’s launch of its “Refresh Project” has channeled money to support the entrepreneurial spirit that drives businesses.  This grass roots effort demonstrates Pepsi’s desire to position itself as the brand of the people with its cause marketing strategy, instead of a mass media traditional brand advertising campaign.

The list of categories, health, arts & culture, food & shelter, the planet, neighborhoods and education are all areas that need support and with which consumers can identify with. The results are yet to be discovered, however it is my guess that this strategy will result in greater reach and brand awareness than would have been obtainable through running Super Bowl spots and traditional media channels.

Other companies such as Sappi Paper with their initiative “Ideas That Matter,” have been supporting grass roots organizations whose efforts continue to make a difference in people’s lives.  This has allowed them to not only support needy causes it has also opened doors for them to educate consumers and businesses about their own “green” initiatives.

Brands that leverage this strategy with a strong presence in social media venues such as Facebook, Linked In and Twitter will have the most success. Their awareness will continue to grow in markets that they have not been able to tap into before as well as capture leadership within their business category.

Cause marketing strategies will remain in a growth cycle as marketers continue to develop and find new ways of capturing the attention of the elusive consumer and interacting with them.  In the future, with the integration of mobile media and smart phone technologies, we will also see the sheer power and agility provided by cause marketing.

Not Another New Year's Resolution

Below are links to a great article (parts 1 and 2) for any business. It is written by Cliff Ennico. Mr. Ennico’s “Succeeding in Your Business” column offers straightforward small business advice and tips. The commentary outlines New Year’s Resolutions. I know what you are thinking – “Not another one!”. This article talks about business items to look into or clean up. It could have been written at any time of year and the title could have been written many different ways. Items include updating software, taxes, your website, social marketing and much more. JCI Design has helped many of our clients with many of the items discussed. Let us know if you want to talk.

New Year’s Resolutions Part 1

New Year’s Resolutions Part 2