Quick Reminder: The Art of Marketing Conference

Since there’s just a week remaining, time is ticking down on your opportunity to get into the Art of Marketing Conference on Tuesday, April 24th at the Chicago Theatre. If it isn’t already sold out yet, follow this link to read our past post on further details and see how you can grab a special discount off the ticket price as a Chicago Brander reader. Should be a great day of social media insights from Seth Godin, Gary Vaynerchuk, Mitch Joel and others. Can’t wait!


Idea for your next event: 3D Projection

3D projection technology is a big deal in Europe and South America as there have been shows done on all kinds of iconic buildings and statues. But lately I’ve seen it adopted gradually more here in the U.S., which is cool to see. Here’s one that my friends at Metropoly put on in the West Palm Beach area.

Fitting to think about this now if you’re planning a special event for the Spring or Summer in Chicago (or beyond that if you’re lucky enough to have great outdoor weather year-round). I can easily see this used before, during or at the conclusion of an event that gets people talking, big-time. Hotel managers, restaurant owners, property managers, chamber of commerces and more could easily benefit from delivering a 10-minute show like this as part of the entertainment.

I happen to know the fellow who did this one, so I’ll be glad to put you in touch with him. Let me know by just emailing me at dan@ChicagoBrander.com.

Special rate for our readers to see Seth Godin, Gary V. and more!

Seth Godin. Gary Vaynerchuk. Mitch Joel. Randi Zuckerberg. Keith Ferrazzi. Avinash Kaushik.

Hearing one of these influencers in the world of social media and marketing is rewarding in itself. Hearing from all of them in one day is what I call one awesome intelligence download. Which is exactly what you can do when you join me in attending a special conference called The Art of Marketing, coming to The Chicago Theatre on Tuesday, April 24th.

If you want to get a better handle on metrics and analytics, creativity, brand development, marketing strategy and where social media is headed next, this is money well spent.

Especially since you can spend less of it as one of my readers.

That’s right. I’ve just been offered a special preferred rate from the event’s organizers to pass along to readers of Chicago Brander. Drum roll, please……

Special Offer:

Readers of chicagobrander.com will receive a savings of $50.00 per ticket or $100.00 per ticket when registering 3 or more people at the same time. This is a great deal as the regular price to attend The Art of Marketing is $399.

The promo code you can use when registering online is SK23 or by using this link:  http://www.theartof.com/marketing-chicago-2012/register?promo=SK23

To learn more about this incredible event, visit the event’s main link at: http://www.theartof.com/marketing-chicago-2012

For questions, call 416.479.9701 / 1.866.99.ART.OF

Hope to see you there for what should be a sold-out event!


Personal branding friends and I chat on Blog Talk Radio’s “Metropolis”

Deborah Shane, host of "Metropolis"

Yesterday, it was my distinct honor to join my colleagues at the Personal Branding Blog for Deborah Shane’s Blog Talk Radio program, Metropolis.” In addition to myself and Deb Shane, the panel included Wendy Brache, Devin Hughes and Elinor Stutz

If you have about 30 minutes to spare, I think you’ll find it a worthwhile listen as we covered some great ground on personal branding in the digital age. Click on the show’s link above and let me know what you think.

What a Shoplifter Taught Me About Branding

Today’s post is brought to you by guest blogger Rob Jager of Hedgehog Consulting. Rob is an incredibly gifted management consultant and I’ve personally used his services to help channel my agency’s vision into tangible results. I’ll be co-presenting with him on how you can do the same next Thursday the 3rd at the Chicagoland Chamber at 7:45am. The event is free.

I used to work in retail. In retail, it’s no secret people steal. Sometimes it’s the employees; sometimes it’s the customer. It really doesn’t matter, they both taught me something I didn’t know before.

First, most shoplifters have a look or habits they have. Talk to any Asset or Loss Prevention department and they’ll give you a name or a description of each specific person they’re watching for. In fact, they’ll tell you that the thief behaves the same way every time.

Second, I found out that if you approach a shoplifter, greet them, ask if you can help them with anything at all, they will usually dump what they’ve taken because they know you know…and once they’re found out, they want out (the only exceptions being the absolute pros, who will lie to your face and then take some more).

So what does that have to do with branding?

Well, every business attempts to brand itself in some way of another – through logos, slogans, and other visible things. What you don’t see are the things that are internal as well. This is the part we refer to as culture. How the company behaves in varying situations. This is just as much a part of brand as any message a business puts out. When I think of shoplifters, I think of how consistent their habits are between visits to different locations and how it’s their brand. Their style. Their culture.

So I would ask you, what is your brand? Your culture? Your style? If you have employees, as many do, will they behave in as consistent a manner as you? If not, it’s time to give them some stories to help them better understand you. And that’s what a shoplifter taught me about branding.

About The Author:

Rob Jager started Hedgehog Consulting to help business owners get the tools they need to make more money. He has worked in the retail industry for 14 years and three years in the Quick Serve Restaurant industry. His experience in retail and restaurant operations taught him techniques in management, profit and loss accountability, logistics, budgeting and planning, increasing sales, creating consistency in operations, and maximizing profitability.

His accomplishments include turning a losing business into a profitable business within 1 year; a significant feat considering the loss was $1M per year.  Other accomplishments include improving work environments, fixing broken systems, assisting in leadership development, and improving overall clarity of business.

Using his MBA, Rob has both the experience and the academic knowledge to understand how to make things happen. Rob is currently working on his PhD to further his knowledge in the area of Leadership and Organizational Change.

Dan is speaking at the Chicagoland Chamber Nov. 3rd!

What are you doing on the morning of Thursday, November 3rd before 9:00am? If you’re free and near downtown Chicago, I think you’ll walk into work energized and with a fresh perspective on how what you build internally can do a world of good externally in terms of your customer relationships.

I’ll be speaking at the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce along with my colleague, management consultant Rob Jager, on:

Building The Brand Within:
How To Deliver Unexpected Surprises For Your Customers 

It’s a look at how content marketing can help you position your company as a thought leader in its industry, how to logistically put your people in a position to be better aligned with the company’s true mission, how to identify the best content providers within and what turning employees into brand ambassadors means for team loyalty and a healthier culture. If you’re a small business owner or department leader, I think you’ll get a lot out of our hour spent together.

7:45a.m.: Registration & Networking 
8:00a.m.: Presentation 
9:00a.m.: Q&A 

Location: Chicagoland Chamber, 200 E. Randolph, Suite 2200

Pre-registration for this FREE event is required on the Chicagoland Chamber’s website here:

Meatloaf Bakery gets Cooking Channel’s attention

Chicago’s Meatloaf Bakery is getting its due in a couple days on the Cooking Channel’s new series, “Food(ography)” on Feb 12 at 6:00 pm. As a creative concept, you’ve got to give this destination credit for taking the cupcake craze and putting their own unique spin on it, packaging a variety of meatloaf flavors into the appearance of cupcakes, pastries and smaller “loafies.”

Hopefully you were lucky enough to order the El Loafo Del Fuego meatloaf this past Super Bowl Sunday. Yes, that's mashed potato on top to represent the "frosting."

It may sound a little far out, but obviously the people at The Meatloaf Bakery must be doing something right. Instead of opening one more cupcake store. I checked out their site and they do a good job of keeping up their blog, Facebook and Twitter presence to keep their community of meat lovers loyal. And really, where better to launch a unique concept with meat than a meat-loving town like Chicago? It may not be for everybody, but then, I don’t know too many great brands that appeal to everybody anyway.

Taking a cue from this example, how are you seizing on an existing trend within your industry yet making it your own in terms of product/service development?

Besides tuning into the show, check out The Meatloaf Bakery at 2464 N. Clark and visit the site here.