Stealing — minus the handcuffs

Now, we know stealing is illegal. But sometimes, the best business strategies and marketing ideas come from, let’s say, borrowing.

To demonstrate this point, Andrew Fingerman, VP of Marketing at Photoshelter, has written this blog post, "Steal These Marketing Ideas: 6 Marketing & Branding Lessons from Way Outside the Photo Industry."

Here is an excerpt:

1) Practice consistency. Ever experience this scenario? You're at a restaurant, hungry as can be, and your meal finally arrives. You're about to dive into your tasty burger and fries, when suddenly you realize there's no ketchup on the table. You politely ask the waiter, who delivers a bottle of no-name generic brand ketchup. Deep in your soul, you're DISAPPOINTED not to see that familiar, traditional bottle of Heinz Tomato Ketchup – a brand that has mastered both ubiquity and consistency (in the U.S.).  However, poor bastard, without it your meal has sadly just gotten a little bit worse. The "other brand" ketchup bottle pours out quickly and tastes very different, likely sweeter, with a different consistency.  The point is, Heinz has delivered on a promise of consistency for decades – creating cult users like me who consider other brands sub par.  Customers appreciate that consistency – the relationship forms based on the expectation of more of the same, every time.

What's your version?  That's easy.  Determine what are the critical elements of your brand, your service, and your customer interaction.  What pleased your last best client and made them come back for more?  Was it the planning and communication before a shoot, your professionalism (or humor or efficiency) during the project, your classy method of delivery of the final images, your follow through after the fact?  Which of these elements made the client so happy, they were compelled to tell other colleagues about you?  Which elements would they be disappointed not to see next time?  Get very clear about these essential elements, and be religiously disciplined in your execution of these items on your next project.  Make a checklist if it helps.       

If you find yourself at a loss for any specific brand elements that would make your clients as happy as that red glass bottle of Heinz ketchup makes me, here's another exercise…

Read the rest here: