Saturday, March 3, 2007

Help yourself to brand analysis!

I have been developing a do-it-yourself version of my branding process. It was a daunting task as my process was initially developed with the assistance of a group of branding professionals and it's effectiveness is due in part to my style of facilitating and my ability to create solutions. Because of my creative background, I tend to think fast and draw out interactions from everyone on the team. My biggest challenge in developing this new DIY process is how do I inspire the user without myself actually being there to assist? There are naturally some compromises in favor of simplification. It can never be an out-right replacement for the mother-ship. But I think I have captured in a nice workable package - a tool any entrepreneur can use to come to some inspiring conclusions and to build a competitive strategy that they can build on. Currently I am having a small manufacturer beta test it. I am interested in it's value both in terms of usefulness and retail price.

In the course of developing it, I read the book, The Long Tail by Chris Anderson, the editor for Wired magazine. This got me thinking of how I should price this package and try and go for the tail of the web market. I'm leaning more in this direction. The success I have had in blogging in such a short period of time (3months), inspires me to consider the Long Tail opportunity as a viable option. It is entirely a digital product. The main body of the DIY Process is an executable file with support materials accessible over the web, making it easily downloaded.

I'm hoping to be able to begin marketing it by early summer. I'll be using the blogs as one of my channels of promotion. What has your experience been in using the web to develop products which may have previously been developed, promoted and sold traditionally?


Robert Kingston said...

Hey Ed,

Thats a pretty interesting question you've asked. I haven't really sold anything online except affiliate's products (I only sell the ones I've actually used).

I think the web is an amazing application to sell all kinds of products. I've heard the best way of going about selling your book is to setup a list for people to subscribe to - much like John Reese. Yaro Starak the guy who owns is currently building an email list so he can create buzz about his new product called Blog Traffic School.

Basically, what he does is talks about problems which bloggers face when building traffic to their blogs and gives them tips in each newsletter as well as an indication of what the product will be like when he releases it. You could do much the same thing he's doing, with your branding process. You could even quote articles from your blog in your email newsletters so you can deliver a richer experience than you could through a plain text email.

This was a pretty rushed comment, so I hope I've explained it OK. Have a good night, Ed.


Robert Kingston said...

Also, let me know when you're launching it - I'll make some posts to help you out.

Ed Roach said...


You've explained it just fine. As a matter of fact I have been teasing my newsletter readers for the past few issues. I have also (as you noticed) started mentioning it in my posts and comments.

I would love for you to become an affiliate when I am prepared to launch. I am taking the Long Tail approach on pricing. My affiliate rate will be 50%. This is going to be an interesting exercise - I have it beta testing with one client right now, if you are interested I will email you a copy to test and critique. Contact me off this blog if you are interested.

When I started blogging, sales was not a target. As weeks and months went by it became apparent that the benefits of blogging were multi-faceted. I've received project opportunities, press coverage, requests for e-interviews and joint blogging events. My initial intent was to simply built my "expert" profile and maybe in several years sell ads on my site. That goal now seems almost silly, based on what I have learned in such a short time - considering I started in late December during Christmas week.

I'm hoping to launch my "DIY BRAND BUILDER™" by mid to late spring.


P.S. As far as selling books goes - an interesting technique I discovered was to track everytime you reference someone in your text, to later contact them and get their permission to quote them. (Who is going to say no?) and they will in turn promote you since they are mentioned in your book. This is especially effective with e-books since you can make their links active. With them commenting on your book, you can also utilize their testimonials also.

More blogs about http://brandcorral/