Category Archives: Branding Strategies

If I offer a “Choice” have I differentiated my brand?

So I was watching the Broncos lose this afternoon. And here comes another commercial that dilutes, no absolutely destroys, the brands they’re advertising.

I watch commercials with half an eye. When they’re on I’m usually doing the Sunday suduku.

So I’m not really clear about what I saw today. I know it was a hotel/motel chain called “Choice”. I never did get what they’re USP was if they had one.

But the thing that really confused me and caused me to make a note to write this blog – they signed off with the names and logos of four or five different

chains. They said something like “be sure to stop at one of our facilities and then named “Clarian”, “Quality Inn” and others I couldn’t remember even though by now I was fully attentive to their ad.

I had to go to the Choice Hotel web site to identify the other players, and to find out they had another five chains in their stable that weren’t advertised. But even on the website each brand was not differentiated from the next. Each web page was almost exactly the same for each brand.

Here’s the point: advertising five different brand names in the same commercial is really confusing. Does each brand have an identity of its own? Is this a case of egos in an acquisition orgy where the old names had to be retained to enable sales to go through? Did Choice think by retaining five chain names and advertising all five together would somehow help people think of Choice?

Or were they thinking, “If Marriott can have a stable of chains, so can we, and we can retain the unique identities of each of our acquisitions by advertising five at a time.” But Marriott differentiates between their chains. And they use the unifying Marriott name with each. And I’m not sure the way Marriott is doing it is the correct approach to differentiating one from another.

There’s a whole body of work concerning brand architecture and internal brand organizations. Because I’ve mostly concerned myself with smaller businesses, I’m not an expert on brand families and the tensions occurring within companies with multiple brand managers. But it does seem to me that what Choice Hotels is doing is not aiding any of their brands, including the Choice brand.

In fact, I’d say there really isn’t a Choice brand, just as there isn’t a prominent Proctor and Gamble brand. But Choice doesn’t understand that if you have brands in your stable, each should have its own identity differentiated from its siblings. You don’t see Proctor and Gamble promoting Tide, Era, Gain, Dreft and Cheer in the same ad.

I have a hunch that Choice is in this predicament because it’s very costly to convert the diverse facilities to a single brand, and they haven’t the budgets to advertise them separately. I would hope that in the long run they’ll convert facilities to a single nameplate, that within four or five years there’ll be a single brand that’s meaningful to their market members. I hope consumers will still give them a chance when they’ve finally gotten their act together.

Martin Jelsema
303-242-5975

How important is branding for a B2B service provider?

The BrandingWire posse of pundits are doing their monthly “thing” – all 10-12 of us blog on a single branding topic.

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This time, Lewis Green of biz solution plus suggested we all blog on a situation I’ve personally encountered: “how to brand and market a B2B consulting firm”.

That’s exactly what I’ve had to do, and what I do for at least three-quarters of my clients. First, I’ll answer the questionin the headline: yes, branding is important – no, vital – to the success of a B2B service provider.

Now, as I begin writing this I became troubled with a case of déjà vu. Last month’s BrandingWire blog addressed the branding needs of an IT provider who is, of course, a B2B consulting (or service) business. Rather than repeat my comments from September, I’ll just supply this link, This IT company needs to focus.

The major points from that blog are three-fold:

Find a viable niche
Demonstrate your expertise in print and in person
Differentiate your business from competitors

Now that that’s out of my system, I’ll share some additional observations, opinions and suggestions.

A question of personalities.

What’s a better tack: branding the company or the founder?

I personally believe both should be “branded” in the sense that the people of the firm are the “product” the firm is offering. In my particular service category, brand consultancy, Profit does a good job of co-branding people and the firm. Scott Davis and David Aaker are both well-known authors and speakers. Aaker is probably the most quoted branding guru around. Profit encourages its directors and specialist to author articles and become guru specialists in certain aspects of branding and strategic marketing. They fill “niches”.

Now Profit goes after the big clients. But the same approach for a consultancy serving smaller clients can be powerful.

In addition to authoring articles, speaking at every occasion and belonging to niche-related associations and groups, the individual consultants can indeed become known as specialists within the firm. They are part of the team an account manager can call upon to address client problems. Even a one-person consultancy can take advantage of this approach if he/she has a competent network of specialists to call on.

When services become products

A common practice, one advocated by Anthony O. Putman in his highly-valued book, Marketing Your Services: A Step-by-Step Guide for Small Businesses and Professionals, is to “package” your services. Based upon knowledge of the needs of the market segments you serve, package your services to provide a complete solution to a problem your customer base commonly faces. Then, establish another package addressing a second problem and so on.

Incidentally, Putman’s book has been my guide book from its publication in 1990. Several other books and manuals I highly recommend to service marketers are:

All of Harry Beckwith’s books: Selling the Invisible, What Clients Love, The Invisible Touch.

C.J.Hayden’s book, Get Clients Now.

Robert Middleton’s website and his Info Guru Manual.

You’ll find other materials abound, but those above will provide a solid base for planning and action.

Building On-going Relationships

This is the key to successful consultancies. And you’ll hear the complaint from some clients that consultants are always trying to sell them something more. What’s a consultant to do?

There are three suggestions here. The first I also recommended last month, and that is to build relationships as far up the organization chart as possible. Speak to those people in strategic terms. Become a confidant.

Second, become the “auditor” or the “educator” in your particular specialty. Accountants and legal firms establish the auditor type of client relationships naturally. On-going education in HR topics and sales are particularly effective for high-turnover employee businesses. If you address a truly valuable function within the company, becoming its auditor is a source of income as well as being a way to continually interact with management.

The third area is to perform on-going research. While an audit is primarily an internal function, research, be it market, technology, competitor, best practices or industry trends, is out-going and can be highly useful to the client and profitable to the consultant. It’s helpful to create a research “product” and brand it.

While working on the Hewlett-Packard account at Tallant/Yates Advertising here in Denver (1974-1978), we conducted benchmark research every year to determine market share trends, attitudes among engineers about electronic products and advertising effectiveness. A great source of income as well as a way to maintain client relationships at the top of the ladder.

Personal experience in relationship building

I admit, I don’t pay enough attention to it. I’ve always been of the opinion that my work speaks for itself. When I end a project I always get a good reference from the client. They are pleased, but they are through with the branding process. I’ll hear from them again in a couple of years to update a brochure or to send someone a logo.

Most start-up small businesses, the niche I’ve targeted, only want a name, logo, tagline, stationery, a brochure and a website. They haven’t the funds for more even if I were to convince them of a need for more.

So what’s the answer?

Find market segments with on-going branding needs. Then develop the service packages and auditing systems they recognize they need. Then I’ll talk and write about those solutions. That’s where I’m pointing my business. It’s a challenge and an adventure.

Now go to The BrandingWire to read the responses from the other posse members. Each site is listed under the blogger’s names in the right column, or go to The BrandingWire blog site to get the overall picture before visiting the various sites. I’m sure you’ll find perspectives, many different from mine, that may be just what your business needs to develop and sustain client relationships.

Martin Jelsema
303-242-5975

Branding a Law Firm to Fill a Niche

Recently on late hour television here in Denver there’s been a flight of commercials directed at motor cycle riders by a local law firm.

Not only have they found a niche, they’ve branded their firm as the law firm for motorcycle-related legal matters.

Their name says it all: Lawyers That Ride.

Not only do the attorneys in this firm know the law and niche their practice, they are involved in the biker community. According to the commercial, they all ride. They wear leathers. They hang out with bikers at biker events. They are bonafide members of the community they serve.

They share a passion with their market, and have looked upon their market as a network of like-minded people.

We all know the lessons of the Harley-Davidson “cult”. We also know that bikers come from all occupations, cultures and backgrounds. But when they get together, they identify with one another. They have a bond and they express it and associate it with the Harley-Davidson BRAND. That’s what makes them a network first a market second.

This law firm, probably started over a beer or two at a biker’s hangout one Saturday, capitalizes on being part of the network in which they are passionate, and which values the unique services associated with legal problems of bikers.

Truly a great case of “Having your cake and eating it, too.”

And though the commercial is pretty amateurish in production values, the message comes across with impact: If you’re a biker needing a lawyer, call Lawyers That Ride. You’ll be with attorneys that know and relate to your problem.

Niche marketing means you must belong to the niche to be truly successful.

Martin Jelsema
303-242-5975
 

This IT company needs focus

So this month the BrandingWire posse of pundits, of which I’m a member, blogs about branding a small IT firm serving B2B and non-profit organizations. It is a real company but prefers to remain anonymous.

After reading my blog be sure to visit the blogs of other BrandingWire pundits. Those links are located in the right column of this blog page, and listedagain at the end of this blog. Or you could click the image here to start at the BrandingWire home page where this month’s assignment is presented.

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As I see it, this firm is having trouble defining who they are.

Their services, mostly provided through small, hourly contracts, range from 24-hour emergency problem-solving to installations, conversions and upgrades. They serve health care, non-profit, financial and retail clients.

Apparently most of their existing clients and their prospects are not used to paying for good IT services. They don’t perceive the value. As the company freely admits, they are looked upon as an “IT repair service” when their desire is to become a “business partner”.

Reading their goal of becoming a partner with their clients harkens me back to my days with IBM. That was – and still is – their modus operandi.

Building a sound business model

Now I’m getting away from the branding aspects of strategy for a moment because I believe branding needs to be based on a firm business foundation, and that the brand should then align with the business core. I would first want to develop the company structure and orientation.

Is it driven by technocrats or business/marketing people? IBM was driven by marketing and sales, particularly sales. Their sales force was trained and rewarded to be business consultants, working with client IT people and with executives within the company. They held seminars and workshops to promote (in my day) such leading edge technologies as time-sharing systems, linear programming and CAD/CAM. Sales people (called Account Managers) worked conceptually with top customer execs to develop long-range plans and systems based on ROI considerations. They wrote proposals much as a McKinsey consultant might, from a strategic platform.

Then each account had a Systems Engineer (or a crew of SE’s) to work hand in glove with client IT people to implement the systems and help with everyday problems and fixes. Also, Field Engineers were assigned to take care of hardware installation and maintenance on a contract basis.

Even in a small IT company, I believe you need evangelistic account people selling the concepts and benefits of particular system solutions. These folks need to be business oriented instead of technicians. They’ll do most of their work at executive, non-IT levels. The services themselves would then be carried out by top-notch technical people working within the customer environment with customer IT personnel to implement and then trouble-shoot as required. Now you have the basis for a partnership.

Characteristics of viable niches

You’ll need to identify a niche with three minimum characteristics:

1) It’s large enough to provide cash flow and profits for your company and your top three competitors.

2) The niche and its participants can be readily identified and approached.

3) Niche participants feel enough pain from the problems you promise to solve that they will listen and ultimately pay for a solution.

Three ways to differentiate a B2B business

If this structure is in place, you can now differentiate your service in one or more ways:

1) By industry you serve. This particular company was started serving non-profits but found they were not cash-rich. Perhaps they can specialize in retail for example. Find or educate an account rep in point-of-sale data capturing, sku tracking, trend reporting, etc.. Identify those retailers within a 100-mile radius and develop top-level relationships through seminars, association membership and regular information exchanges.

2) By application specialty. This needs to be a broad enough application to make it viable. It might be database development and mining which might appeal to marketing functions in retail, wholesale, fund-raising and medical research. Again, the spokes-evangelist must be hired and provided the technical backup to sell the concept as well as install and maintain such a system.

3) By the way you do business. Here you’re not focusing on a market niche, you’re just selling your approach to helping companies achieve their business goals through IT applications. This is harder to pull off for a smaller organization because their people probably don’t have the knowledge to meaningfully partner with prospect execs. But by focusing on, let’s say, three allied niches you might make it work.

Branding equals information dissemination

Now about branding this new, niched structure: For a service business, providing information – not just promotional literature and data sheets but knowledge prospects and customers can use to develop strategies and tactical plans – is the best way to brand the business. Becoming an expert and letting your market know it should be the main thrust. That means knowledgeable people first and informational materials second.

That doesn’t mean you ignore traditional branding elements. In addressing them, starting with a business name, I’d make sure it wasn’t too “techy”. It shouldn’t be Associated Systems Solutions, or as people will call it, ASS. Rather, the name should reflect the bigger picture. In fact, “Big Picture” might be a good name for this entity.

And of course the logo, tagline, graphic standards and trade dress will need to be compatible.

But of most importance is that the mission, vision, brand story, code of conduct and elevator pitch should be aligned and communicated to and through every single employee. In the service business, employees are really the key to your brand. They not only represent the brand, they are the brand in customer’s eyes.

Employees are the brand

This includes how they dress, how they interact with others, how they communicate enthusiasm and exhibit a helpful attitude. Oh, yes, make sure they’re competent.

It may take time to hire the right people, establish the contacts and get up to speed on the industries and applications required. You’ll need to prepare seminar curriculum and materials; join associations and standards committees; participate in industry trade shows, symposiums and conferences, and constantly publish white papers, technical briefs, trade articles and executive application descriptions.

But to become known as a specialist, the “go-to” company for (name your niche), is a lot easier, faster and less costly than to attempt to become all things to all people. Yes, I know you might have to pass up a piece of business to focus on your niche. But in the long run, the company’s reputation and position in the chosen niche will be a magnet for other niche participants. You can become the authority. You can command higher rates. You will enjoy being a big fish in a smaller pond.

All you need to do is find that viable niche, one that is not already dominated by a big fish competitor, and start to focus your business.

Read the other blogs about IT

Now: read what the other BrandingWire pundits have to say on this subject. Just click here to go to the BrandingWire web site. The individual blogs are listed and linked below”

Lewis Green

Kevin Dugan

Valeria Maltoni

Steve Woodruff

Drew McLellan

Patrick Schaber

Derrick Daye

Gavin Heaton

Becky Carroll

Olivier Blanchard

 

Matt Dickman

Chris Brown

Cam Beck

I hope you’ll enjoy the discussion and pick up an ideas or two in the process.

Martin Jelsema
303-242-5975

Branding for Referrals? Tell a Story

You’ve probably concluded if you’re a regular reader of The Branding Blog that I’m a fan of Scott Degraffenreid and his insights into referral marketing (Embracing the N.U.D.E. Model, The New Art and Science of Referral Marketing). I am.

He speaks to Novelty, Utility, Dependability and Economy as the four attributes a product or a service must have if it’s to be a good candidate for referrals. He further states that novelty and utility have a tension between them that helps people remember the brand’s story. He also proposes that dependability and economy also have an “opposites” relationship of the same type.

I’ve deduced from his work that the key to referrals is to develop a short, interesting and memorable “story” based upon the N.U.D.E. Model.

The model as Scott had formulated it really meant product or service attributes. But as a marketing communicator, I think the brand story incorporating those attributes is almost as important as the attributes themselves.

There’s been a lot written in the past several years about creating a brand story. But I’ve not read anywhere just what should go in to such a story, who should be telling the story, or to whom the story should be told.

Well, if referrals are important to your brand, The N.U.D.E. attributes should go in the story, those people doing the referrals should know and relate your story for you, and the people hearing the story will be part of the network of friends, family and associates of the story-teller.

Martin Jelsema
303-242-5975
 

Branding for Referrals: Think Networks Instead of Markets

Scott Degraffenreid of Necessary Measures and author of Embracing the N.U.D.E. Model: the New Art and Science of Referral Marketing has a interesting perspective on niche marketing for referrals.

He contends that markets and market segments are no longer the best way to define marketing targets. Now, with the Internet and wireless media accellerating, a more precise and functional way to approach the marketplace is by identifying, and then identifying with, networks of like-motivated people.

It’s not just a semantic thing. There are real differences between a market as traditionally defined and a network.

Defining “Market”

A definition of a good market has always meant to me, at the consumer level, a group with demographic and psychographic similarities that meet four criteria:

1) The group is large enough to be profitable for me and my competitors.

2) The group has a desire for products/services in my selected category.

3) A major part of the group has the means to buy my offering.

4) I am able to identify and reach them economically.

Using this set of criteria I begin to define a market by the members’ age bracket, income level, family size, geographic location, abode type and special interests.

The market segments based upon special interest in a particular activity or event, i.e., golfing, gourmet cooking, first-time parenting or owning 10-year-old luxury cars, may only have that special interest in common with others. If so, you’re getting closer to marketing to a network of like-minded people. Here you’ll likely find both formal and informal gatherings and communications around shared interests.

Let’s take golfers. First, they play together. They also network in club houses, pro shops and clinics. Because of their common golfing interest they are likely to pass on referrals for my stroke-reducing gadget – if it meets Scott’s N.U.D.E. model of Novelty, Utility, Dependability and Economy. They also have tons of sources of information available including magazines, TV shows, and most importantly lately, the Internet. And they’re willing to share it, to help other network members.

Major Difference Between a Market and a Network

Here’s the big difference between a network and a market: Members of a network have opted to be part of the network whereas marketers dictate who will comprise their market(s).

If you are seeking out and immersing your company in a network, you are in a sense practicing “permission marketing” even though it may not be exactly what Seth Godin had in mind when he coined that phrase and book title.

The thing about networks is that if you’re an active part of the network, you belong. You will share common interests and concerns. You will not be an outsider attempting to “sell them something”.

Networking Implications for Branding

So as far as branding is concerned, There are three major considerations if you wish to before a marketer to network members. This is particularly applicable to the local, service-oriented business, but by breaking your organization into networking groups at local and regional levels, these precepts will apply.

1) Build relationships. The main objective is to become a relationship-building entity. Your people, whether it’s only you or a whole division of sales reps, need to become part of the network. Your people need to share info, participate in conclaves and tournaments, contribute to forums, volunteer to lick stamps, provide a venue, sponsor an activity.

2) Personalize the brand. Bring it down to local personalities. In a larger organization, this may mean finding and hiring only certain personality types (within the law of course) that will both represent the brand by being a spokesperson and by genuinely conveying the brand personality through their own personality. Honesty and relationship-building needs to replace “salesmanship”.

3) Walk the walk. A level of openness with employees and with prospects needs to emanate from “headquarters”. There must also be a “brand story” that is simple enough for every employee to convey with ease. There must be a code of ethics and a deep understanding that in effect, the brand is the individual employee. All these efforts must be honest and true. Management must “walk the walk” as well as employees. Finally, the branding activities must make it easy and natural for employees to take on and express the brand persona. 

Now with that said, there are still basic branding tenets to be observed, the most important of these is consistency. Every decision should be filtered through the “how will this affect the brand?’. Also, the traditional branding elements need to be in sync with the brand story and personality. There should be no disconnects or confusion. This is way a brand platform, brand story and code of conduct need to be integrated and communicated to all.

Okay, I’m stepping off my soapbox now.

I hope that thinking of branding for marketing for networks will begin to pervade your branding thought process. Please let me know how you’re changing the emphasis from internal constructs of market segments to serving networks of living, breathing souls.

Martin Jelsema
303-242-5975

Branding a Car Dealership –Ugh!

This will be the most negative blog I’ve written to date.

That’s because I can’t foresee a branding project that’s as hopeless as automotive dealerships.

We’ve all had our “war stories” concerning dealerships, whether on the sales floor or in a service department. I won’t bore you with my own – I’m sure they’re similar to your own. They all center upon the fact that the dealer is out to get as much from your wallet as he/she possibly can without regard to customer satisfaction or long-term relationships.

Now I know Saturn dealerships and one or two other dealers in the Denver metro area proclaim to be “different”. But I don’t believe it. And that’s where the rubber meets the road – customer perceptions. We’ve come to believe an auto dealership is the place you go to get screwed.

That’s why I’m going to use a car buying service the next time I shop for a new car. That’s why those customer-oriented businesses are gaining such popularity and success.

So how would I, as a branding professional, advise a car dealer? Well, I probably would turn down the opportunity except that our assignment this month as a member of the BrandingWire posse is to advise a generic dealership on branding.

Here’s the problem: the dealership that wants a “brand” that helps them get people into the dealership so they can be fleeced won’t last too long. Word of mouth, Internet rating services and blogs, BBB and other consumer advocate groups will soon expose their true nature. (You won’t see too many derogatory news reports because radio, TV and newspapers make a lot of money from dealer advertising.) Yes, I am cynical.

Dealers need a new way of thinking

A successful new agency brand must start with a new way of thinking about running a dealership. The owner must embrace a new business model based upon customer satisfaction, honesty, ethics and a long-range view of success.

This will take guts. Even though customers and prospects hate the old business model, it has up ‘til now been successful for most dealers. High-pressure, don’t let the prospect leave the showroom without a car mentality still works. Selling high-priced financing and insurance is still profitable.

Also, the car makers have high expectations and training programs based on the traditional model. And car salespersons, by and large, are single-minded in making a sale because of the commission/compensation plans they are presented. Another factor is the perception that car salespersons are only interested in money and possible recreational drugs. Now that’s a perception and not necessarily a fact or even an educated observation. But perceptions drive customer activities just as frequently as facts and expert opinions.

We all know any business wishing to establish a successful brand will need to have a brand champion in the CEO’s chair, and that the brand must be communicated and absorbed by each and every employee. Everyone on the payroll is an ambassador of the business and must personify the brand. Then, it’s making your vision, your value statement and your code of conduct foremost in all dealership activities.

It’s in these areas that a dealer needs to differentiate the business. Assuming these activities are customer-driven and based on a true desire to serve a market, there’s a chance to establish credibility over time. I’d say it’s worth exploring.

Some specific branding suggestions

Okay, let’s assume a dealer has adopted and instilled a code of conduct and in-store practices to differentiate itself from the ordinary car dealership. Now what?

Here are a few suggestions. Avoid the temptation of the owner, or a close relative of the owner, becoming the spokesperson for the franchise. I would hire a spokesperson full time. But this person will be an ombudsman (or woman) expressing customer concerns and explaining how the dealership avoids or eliminates the problems customer usually face in dealership experiences.

Next, I would make sure I did not shout at people through my radio, TV or print ads. I’d establish a strong individual graphic presence, but it would be a graphic identity that’s warm and understated. My ads would feature auto-buying hints, safety and teen driving tips, how-to articles about insurance, financing, maintenance and acquisition options. Yes, I’ll feature cars and special incentive programs and sales, but each ad would have an educational element as well.

I’d adopt a tagline that might be constructed as a challenge. “We’re on your side” might be the theme. But it will take time for that or any other theme to gain credibility. So expect this to be a long-range, relationship building experience.

One other thing: I’d become a major and visible community source of contributions in the form of cash, and more importantly, in people giving of their time and knowledge for everything from Scouts and Junior Achievement to runs for a cause and crisis relief. I’d contribute cars for student driver education. I’d help schools fund manual arts programs. I’d become a “soft touch” for one-time charitable activities.

Get prepared for a long period of relationship-building

In summary, I’d make my agency as human and warm as possible by adopting a low-key approach to promotion, by hiring and training compassionate people, by giving to the community, and by being patient.

I may be naïve in my recommendations. Car dealers will follow their tried and true methods as long as they work. But I’m afraid that old model will change as one, then another, and another dealer find the old way no longer meets their expectations, their auto maker partner’s expectations, and most important of all, their customer’s expectations.  

Now, please go to the BrandingWire to read what the other members of the BrandingWire posse have written about auto dealership branding. If I know this bunch, you’ll find new perspectives, challenging ideas and well-formed opinions that branders in general and car dealers in particular will find helpful.

Martin Jelsema
303-242-5975

Branding for referrals – more about the N.U.D.E. Model

I wrote about Scott Degraffenreid and his research which discovered the N.U.D.E. Model for referral marketing.

But I forgot to give you the details about the book and his website. So before I go on, here’s his website, NecessaryMeasures.biz. You can order his book and/or an e-course from there.

If you recall, the letters N.U.D.E. stand for Novelty, Utility, Dependability and Economy. These are the four attributes Scott’s research revealed to be the motivators for referring a company, product or service. This combination, usually with emphasis of novelty and utility, are those that will, at least as perceived by the referrer, make the referrer LOOK GOOD in the eyes of the person receiving the referral.

One significant thought here: quality is not one of the attributes. Scott explains that on his website.

Anyway, novelty and utility together make a pair that form a tension between themselves that needs to be addressed. The same tension exists between dependability and economy.

Now I’ve known Scott and his theories for several years, and from his teachings (particularly through the IBI Free Enterprise Forum where Scott is a faculty member) I’ve formed several opinions about the value of tension in branding. This is especially pertinent to high-tech new products, but also relevant to any branding project.

In order to get noticed, in order to get press, in order to get the attention of distribution channel members, you need tension between the known and the unknown. Another way of presenting that is tension between problem and a unique solution (AKA differentiator).

And of course when branding for referrals you want to create those two tensions (novelty-utility, dependability-economy) in a way people can easily understand and communicate.

Here’s an example: a chiropractor client is also a mountain climber: That’s one of the reasons he relocated in Colorado. We developed his story – he wants to climb all 53 Colorado mountains of 14,000 foot or more. So he’s keeping a score card in his office, checking off mountains after he’s been to their summits. He always talks to his patients about his latest climb. His summary story: “Climbing the 14ers one at a time – only xx more to go. If you’re as active as I, you just might need a treatment.” Though they account for less than 25-percent of his clientele, he’s attracted mountain climbers to his practice. And he finds his story gets circulated most often to people in pain who have declared in conversation with one of the doctor’s current patients that they were aching because of a hike or climb.

So we’ve capitalized on the novelty (mountain-climbing doctor) and utility (chiropractic treatment). The natural tension between the two brings the business to top-of-mind with patients when the time is right.

Now there’s a lot more to this tension thing and to the N.U.D.E. Model. I’ll address it, but you can get a lot more info and understanding much more quickly by visiting Scott’s site.

Martin Jeslema
303-242-5975