I highly doubt Rudolph realized the inherent advice that he was giving. It’s the same advice I give college juniors and seniors who ask me how to build a successful business and the advice I give nascent auctioneers in the halls at conferences: “Focus on your core competencies. Find what you do best, and focus on the niche market that values that.” It’s advice I had to learn from experience.
It’s not even a “chicken or the egg?” enigma, because brochures and websites are both eggs. The chicken is your brand. Every way that your brand is expressed hatches from the hen that gives it her DNA—its appearance, its personality, its intrinsic qualities.
Both had the same goal: change their respective brand’s engrained perceptions. Radio Shack had been wearing a pocket protector long before Best Buy took its lunch money, broke its soldering gun, and stuffed it in a locker. Jaguar had been showing people it’s yearbooks from the 1960’s, while yelling at Audi to get off its lawn.
The fight to save and grow the auction industry is in the hands of us who market in it every day. Our success will require us to step out of our perspective, our conveniences, our assumptions. Our jobs will most likely continue to require more steps and a wider skill set. I’m in this, too. To maintain value for my clients, my responsibilities, packages, and services have changed over the past years. Have you found that to be true? If not, how long do you think your status quo will serve you well?
or years, I’ve rolled my eyes at mission statements and the like, especially the ones that get posted on store walls or printed in company brochures. I don’t really care what a company’s mission statement is. If your customer service and marketing already exemplify it, I already know your vision and values. If they don’t, why give me a yardstick to to measure your shortcomings?
If these suggestions seem like common sense, know that I’m still not seeing them used as common practice by many small business owners—auctioneers in particular. For all you do to sell your professional brand in the marketplace, don’t sabotage that work and expense with cheap and lazy email marketing.
In short, avoid myopia at all costs. Get outside of yourself, your business, your ego. Don’t get bored with your branding; instead, realize that well-policed marketing will accelerate your brand over the long haul—long after most YouTube sensations have come and gone.