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Wellesley Chamber Hears Marketing Tips from Glenn Kelley Over Breakfast at Babson

On Friday morning, October 22, 2010, about 30 members of the Wellesley Chamber of Commerce had breakfast at Babson while marketing expert Glenn Kelley ‘lectured’ on marketing – especially, for small businesses facing bigger competitors with larger marketing budgets.

He talked marketing generally, and then shared some of the history of the strategy behind the very successful marketing campaign for Gosling’s Black Seal Rum, a 7-generation family-owned business whose home is Bermuda.

Here’s a bullet list with some of Glenn’s brand strategy tips (which he explained in detail!):

  • Answer key questions before creating a plan; what he calls his “Creative Work Brief”
  1. Who is the customer? Who are you trying to reach?
  2. What is the specific objective?
  3. How will you achieve objective vs. your competition? How does your product/service compare to that of the competition? What are the differentiators?
  • Small, medium, large agencies/client-size companies – doesn’t matter as long as you’re good
  1. Size of the budget matters less than the size of the ideas!
  2. Some small brands now have excellent opportunities versus their bigger rivals (e.g. Bank of America/community banks)
  3. You may not be able to out-spend the competition, but you can out-think them
  4. The process/discipline doesn’t change regardless size of the company/budget
  5. Good ideas move the business/brand; content is what matters
  • Your brand communication must be factual/believable/accurate
  • Don’t do too much; focus on one or two key differentiators, and then do a great job!
  • Find your niche – even if it seems contrary
  1. The theme of the marketing plan for Gosling Rum was its scarcity/difficulty to find
  • Take the substance of what’s already there and work with it/enhance it
  • Find a point of difference; if there’s none, then think differently
  • Your goal is to take market share
  1. Brand  consistency and continuity is very important
  2. Stay on strategy
  3. Hammer away on a clear message

Glenn shared an anonymous industry quote: “Nothing will help a bad product fail better than good advertising.”  That’s something to think about!

He stayed well past the 9:00 a.m. scheduled end-time to answer questions from the captivated Chamber audience.