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About


Martin Jelsema founded Signature Strategies, a fully integrated branding service for small businesses. He has been a marketing consultant and freelance promotional writer and graphics designer since 1983. For over 50 years, Martin has contributed to the marketing success of dozens of businesses as an employee or advisor, particularly in the areas of strategic communications and new product introductions. He is a visionary and innovator, a practical planner and researcher, a skilled writer and graphics designer.

Over the years, Martin has personally…

  • Named 75-plus companies or products,
  • Participated in over 25 major new product introductions,
  • Created more than 90 business/product/service logotypes,
  • Performed or managed almost 100 market research studies,
  • Developed more than a hundred marketing plans,
  • Created several hundred promotional items — ads, brochures, direct mail packages, presentations, exhibits, manuals, articles, newsletters, videos, films and web sites.

He has served IBM, Coors Ceramics, Information Handling Services, Hewlett-Packard, duPont, Dow Chemical, New York Telephone, Mosler Safe, Service Bureau Corporation, TransLogic, QuickPen International, Byerly & Company, GE Ceramics, Micro Motion, OmniVision, H&R Optical, as well as providing strategic, analytic and creative branding assistance to another 50 or 60 smaller companies since 1992.

Martin worked for the first three companies listed above, also serving IBM and Information Handling Services while an account executive at Marstellar Advertising and Tallant/Yates Advertising respectively. He started his career in the traffic department of Batten, Barton, Dustin and Osborn in N.Y.C. and became the youngest account executive that agency had promoted up to then. He also served stints with J.R.Mathes Advertising and Burnaford Sales Promotion in N.Y.C.

Among his other accomplishments are the following:

  • As Marketing Services Manager for Information Handling Services, provided marketing communications and market research support to a then-struggling startup company. Helped IHS position the company as the up-to-date source of engineering data in the aerospace and military electronics markets.
  • Created ad campaign to position IBM as a data processing source for small businesses — 13-years before the introduction of the desktop computer.
  • Created ad campaign to introduce IBM’s inventory software to major retailers and position IBM as the problem-solver in that NCR-dominated market.
  • Developed new product screening process to enable Coors Ceramics to focus on its technological strengths while meeting real market needs and profit goals.
  • Created strategic position and accompanying advertising to help establish Hewlett-Packard as the leader in “desktop computers” for engineering and scientific applications before “personal computers” were introduced by IBM.
  • Created a traveling seminar program, including newspaper and radio ads, direct mail and literature support in some 15 markets, to attract small business owners to attend demonstrations of Hewlett-Packard desktop computers.

On a personal note, Martin has been collecting jazz records since 1948 and boasts an extensive library of the recordings of early jazz greats and obscure performers. He builds model ships as well. He is well-read on marketing and business topics, and is an ATM-class Toastmaster. Martin graduated from the University of Florida with a BS degree in Advertising in 1958.

10 Comments

10 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Dan // Mar 19, 2007 at 6:33 pm

    I have enjoyed reading your blog posts. I have had a blog for quite some time now regarding “Personal Branding” if you would like to view it below. I think it would be mutual beneficial for us to exchange links on our blogs(add each other to blogroll) and share information and traffic. Well let me know what you think and good work on your blog!

    http://personalbrandingblog.wordpress.com/

    Thanks,
    Dan Schawbel

  • 2 Elijah // Jul 19, 2007 at 4:46 am

    Hi Martin,

    Did you already know Visual Branding? It seems quite interesting.

    With Visual Branding Dutch strategist Tom Dorresteijn makes the case for using design to create a unique visual language for a brand, in order to make a strong connection between every channel of conversation. His fundamental message is that design should lead in order to guarantee success in the long run.

    Professionals in the field of branding, marketing, communications and design have agreed to participate and share their feedback with the strategist. Amongst them are renowned brand guru’s Professor Jean-Noël Kapferer, Nicolas Ind and Wally Olins.

    Take a look!

    http://visual-branding.com/eight-outlines/visual-branding-business/rationale-of-visual-branding/

    Greetz Elijah

  • 3 Edward Cruz // Aug 6, 2007 at 4:22 pm

    Hello —

    My name is Edward Cruz, and I’m writing to invite you to visit my new Web 2.0 site, Molecular Thinking. It’s a site for collaborative brainstorming online, and I believe it could be very useful in branding and naming efforts. Feel free to check it out at:

    http://www.molecularthinking.com

    The site has just recently launched, and is in “narrow release” while we complete our beta testing. So your questions, feedback and comments are most welcome!

    Best Regards,

    Edward Cruz

  • 4 Brandon // Aug 29, 2007 at 12:49 pm

    Hi Martin – I have been reading this blog for a while now, great stuff! I think I have something that might be pretty cool to share. My company made a branding elements interactive diagram a
    while back. Looks like the periodic elements table in science class. Take a look:
    http://www.kolbrenerusa.com/elements.htm . Feel free to link to it.

    Thanks!

    Brandon

    PS. Our agency also has a branding blog, you can visit it at http://www.kolbrenerusa.com/blog

  • 5 Scott White // Oct 16, 2007 at 10:32 am

    We’d love for you to check out our branding blog: http://www.brandidentityguru.com/wordpress. If it’s something you like maybe you could add it to your list of branding blogs?

  • 6 Eric Karjaluoto // Feb 28, 2008 at 3:21 pm

    Hi Martin,

    I was just looking at your blog, and thought I might drop a quick email.

    We have a blog called ideasonideas, which focuses on design, brands and experience. Our posts are relatively long, and we post infrequently; nevertheless, it seems that the articles spur a lot of good discussion. :-)

    We just re-launched the site today and I think you might find some of the articles we post useful. As such, I wanted to get in touch, and introduce myself.

    I’d love to share some posts with you when we have ones that I think you’d find interesting. If you’d like, I can send an email every here and there.

    In the meanwhile, please visit the blog when you have a moment: http://www.ideasonideas.com

    All the best!

    Eric

  • 7 Barrett Rossie // Apr 26, 2008 at 3:33 pm

    Just thought you’d like to know: your link to “The Lonely Marketer” is broken.

    Love your site, looking forward to reading through it! Best wishes, Barrett

  • 8 Brett // May 18, 2008 at 3:17 pm

    Martin,
    Thank you for starting this blog. It has some really great ideas. I recently stumbled upon it and have been reading through the archives. I wanted to send you an email if you are ok with it. I would like to show you 2 brand ideas I have come up with and see your opinion. I am a small entrepreneur working on my own. I appreciate your time
    Brett@breakinwind.com

  • 9 Asgar Ali // Aug 2, 2008 at 2:52 pm

    Hi Martin,

    I like to say you have an excellent site. I am looking to re-name my website plus and, have after reading your blog on American Express, would like a relevant logotype image. I have already been given a tagline recommendation from Al ries. Can you help?

    Best Regards,

    Asgar.

  • 10 Ben Johnson // May 13, 2009 at 10:06 pm

    Thank you for starting this blog. I have enjoyed reading your blog posts.

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