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Clients pay us for what we think. Have a look. It's free.

For starters, what ís your name?

Chances are, you've already named your business. If you have, we’ll work with what you have. If you haven’t, it isn’t too late to get it right.

You'd be amazed at how many businesses decide to get cute or clever with their name - and end up communicating nothing.

ABC Corporation doesn't tell me anything.

ABC Paper & Ink Supplies says a lot.

Your business name is an important piece of your marketing. If it isn’t, I can turn it into a plus for you.

Case in point:

One of our clients for many years is Canon Insurance. Canon alone doesn ‘t say a lot (especially since the copier people have the same name.) The copier people have millions of marketing dollars to spend. Canon
Insurance doesn’t.

So how did we go about giving our client a marketing leg up? We added a key benefit to their name: Canon Can Do! This simple piece of branding has been in place for over ten years now: Canon Can Do!

Why has it proven successful in all their marketing efforts? Because (a) it’s memorable; (b) it’s true. Canon can do all kinds of things other insurers don’t or can’t. But see how strong it is?

A name is as much a part of your brand as anything else your company does. Your name might be helping you or hurting you. Either way, it’s our job to make sure you getting the maximum value out of it.

How do you build a brand?

One of my favorite explanations of branding is simply this: 'A brand is whatever the consumer thinks of when he or she hears your company's name.'

There's a necessary bunch of ingredients in any company’s marketing mix: is your product or service good? does it supply a benefit? is its pricing competitive? how’s your packaging? how’s your advertising?

That last part is where Think A La Carte comes in. Here's our view on Brand Building.

Building brand success starts with a clear message. The concept must be quick to grasp and easy to understand. Whether yours is an innovation or a me-too product, it has to convey a point-of-difference that can be easily expressed and identified. People need to understand the benefits of choosing your brand over the competition's This is why this messaging phase is so pivotal: we get to explore the essence, or DNA, of this brand-in-the-making.

Here are the questions we help you answer:

Why should people do business with you?
How do you fit into the competitive landscape?
What message(s) help differentiate you?
Is what you do clear to your target market?

We’re happy to help you figure this stuff out: and then make it marketable.

Are You Sending The Wrong Message?

It's too easy and expensive to have the wrong message out there. Incorrect strategy, too many cooks, depending on the execution vs. a strong communication are some of the reasons why.

Your message needs to convey your company personality: are you innovative? rock solid & reliable? trendy? timeless? old-fashioned? (a good position for cookies for instance).

Your message has to convey your Business Personality; it's part of the WHY people do business with you.

Your message MUST help distinguish you. Where do you start? By bringing us in to talk about your advertising with you.'

Write Vs. Wrong

It costs just as much to end up with the wrong advertising. Nix that. We’ve built our reputation on getting it right. A key asset: Andrea Giambrone's writing ability. And thinking ability. I'm a born problem solver in the world of advertising and marketing.

Whatever the media- consumer ads, trade ads, websites, banner ads, in-store signs, you must have Content. I'm a writer - so I know how necessary it is for a marketer's content - the all-important communications - to be

Write on! I think the AFLAC duck is great. It’s the walking embodiment of a brand. The minute he appears, you automatically thinking "Aflac." It isn't a campaign I claim credit for - but I'd love to.

Wrong! A large furniture company asked me to review their advertising. Turned out, they were spending their money touting their variety - like 100 other companies - when they had a whole other story to tell, a REAL SELLING POINT: they were a family-run operation with custom hands-on work. I told them THIS was the message to advertise. They thanked me, and that was that. They kept running the wrong advertising. Last I heard, furniture sales were on their last legs.

Mistaking Execution for Communication

Pyrotechnics of all forms invade advertising. Computer-generated images; long-dead movie stars with new advertising words coming from their mouths;multi-million dollar celebrities touting everything from adult diapers to perfumes.

Buyer beware. Who believes this stuff? Why are you wasting your money on stuff that detracts vs. attracts?

Think A La Carte's mantra? Get to the point! Do something distinctive that’s credible, smart.

Too Little, Too Much

Another problem: doing too little in too many venues. If you try to be here, there and everywhere, you make no impression anywhere. Avoid budget diffusion. Concentrate your dollars. FOCUS.

Only the biggest budgets can afford Broadcast + Consumer Magazines + Trade Magazines +Newspaper + Billboards + Webvertising.

BrandDaddies of Them All

Some advertising works its way into our minds, our language, our culture.
Typically, it's mega-bucks advertising that does this. But even small advertisers can have an impact when they have a great message and deliver it consistently, year after year.

"M'm, M'm Good!"

This slogan for Campbell's Soup served them well for decades. And then some short-sighted decision-makers decided to earn their keep by changing it all.

Upshot? Campbell's lost brand share - and after some years, ultimately returned to the slogan. But I don't believe they ever got their "soup-er" market share back.


One of the new BrandDaddies of Great Advertising began in Japan in 2001. The Aflac duck and his "Brand Quackery" has worked our way into our consciousness in a strong, memorable - positive - way. That's a Brand Bingo!

"Just do it."

That's what Nike had to say - and the way they depicted it was so far from ‘finger thumping in your chest' advertising - that it grabbed our attention and market share. Nike's been leading the race ever since.

"Got Milk?"

I can’t recall a slogan that's been ripped off by so many advertisers - and it all adds milk money into the original campaign by always reminding us of where it all started. This campaign brilliantly milks the idea of being without milk for all its worth.

Mr. Whipple for Charmin. Orville Reddenbacher. In the case of the last two, the companies were so bereft without their (deceased) spokespeople - that they literally resurrected them in advertising. I'd say, what's dead is best left dead.

On the other hand - Tony TheTiger - an Illustration - can live forever. Rather like a Comic Book Hero ( there’s a lot to be said for illustration or animation). Once again, think Aflac.

Considering how many brands there are and how many billions get spent advertising, while the above list is far from complete - it's astonishing how little makes it into our brain waves.

I myself have the distinction of being a recent Jeopardy question.

The question involved a campaign I developed 20 years ago. And it's still remembered! Yet the campaign hasn’t been seen in years! Here's why:

The campaign - "The Pfabulous Pfaucet With The Pfunny Name" tripled sales for Price Pfister. Among other poor decisions, the new owners (after the old owners sold the company for a "pfortune") changed the slogan. They decided "The Pfabulous Pfaucet" would be sufficient - while at the same time dropping their spending. Guess what? Sales dropped down to the pfloor, so to speak.

Devise a boffo message. Say it and say it and say it. Don’t stop saying it. Sing it too, if you can afford a jingle.

This is how BrandDaddy brands get built.







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