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Archive for May 2013

Small Business Branding from Costco…Aisle 12

Small Business Branding from Costco...Aisle 12

When small business owners find out that I’ve spent a great deal of my corporate life at large companies, they all say the same thing.

“You don’t understand.

We’re too small to have a brand.

We don’t have time for strategic plans.

We don’t do that.”


Truth be told, they don’t understand.  Most of the business rules that apply to multi-national, multi-tiered, multi-billion dollar businesses also apply to small and mid-sized businesses.  And yes, even to start-ups.  Here are the Big Four:

  1. Mission statements matter.
  2. Meaningful core values matter.
  3. Respecting the market and your partners matters.
  4. Living 1 , 2 and 3 above creates your brand foundation



I went to Costco yesterday after a long hiatus. I walked through those doors and I swear I heard angels singing and harps playing.  Heaven!   Not only did I save $300 on my new eyeglasses and $75 on the Vitamix 5200 but the store was clean, Costco employees were all quite professional and well spoken … and I got a huge frozen yogurt for $1.35.  In many ways, Costco hasn’t changed in the last few years.  But, what does this have to do with small business branding.

First thing to understand is Costco’s mission:

“To continually provide our members with quality goods and services at the lowest possible prices. In order to achieve our mission we will conduct our business with the following Code of Ethics in mind:

Obey the law
Take care of our members
Take care of our employees
Respect our vendors”


Many people believe that missions and strategy and core values only live on paper.  There are billion dollar companies who do just that.  Sad, but true.  But, those who take the time, thought and energy to create mission statements and core values that are meaningful to the company and the market put themselves in the game.  Those who have the focus and discipline to live and breathe their mission and values are far ahead of the game.  They will build a firm foundation for their brand, an operating code for employees, differentiation from competitors and a connection to their customers.

Would you rather hire a Professional or an Amateur?

Would you rather hire a Professional or an Amateur?

Would you rather hire a professional or an amateur? That’s like asking, would you rather get the right things done or do you want to waste time and money?
Small businesses struggle with balancing time, money and resources.  Sometimes the thought of hiring a professional is daunting.  It can be an investment of time, energy and (yes!) money.  Think about hiring a professional as an investment.  Is the time, energy and money I spend on this project today going to bring a viable return on investment tomorrow?

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What Are People Saying?

Susan has the keen ability to “know what customers need and want” in product designs and features, then translate these trends into plans for future development.

F. LaSorsaVice President, SalesJ.K. Imaging Company

How We Can Help You.

We are marketing consultants based on Long Island, NY. Over the past 20 years, we've built fierce market leaders in a broad range of businesses - from tiny start-ups to global Fortune 500 companies.  Our experience spans multiple industries from consumer electronics to financial services and from food services to photo.  We're looking forward to talking to you to see how we can help take your business to the next level.