Lois Brayfield

Lois Brayfield

Lois Brayfield is CEO of Mission, Kan.-based direct marketing agency J. Schmid & Associates.

Hero Worship

Products and services. That's what we sell. Every company has something to offer, whether it's a tangible good, training, technology, or financial products and services. As marketers, we are in the business of selling "things." But some of these products stand out because they provide the solutions to problems people need answered. They are your best-sellers. We hang the mantle of "hero" upon these products because they are not only profit generators, but also represent your biggest opportunities.

Personality Included

Brand is king in the realm of securing customers and creating loyalty, which can save your bottom line in this down economy. Brand goes far beyond logos and taglines—it lies within your customer’s perception of your product or service. Whether you are aware of it or managing it, every point of contact with the customer defines and reinforces your brand—from the way you answer the phones, to the appearance and manner of your sales force, to the cover of your catalog and the landing page of your Web site.

Read Me First!

The importance of headlines cannot be underestimated. They are a critical part of the success of a campaign, the most important copy in the entire piece and often, they're written last—almost as an afterthought. The headline is more likely to be read than any other copy in your marketing materials, so don't waste the opportunity to make it as powerful as possible. How compelling are your headlines? Understanding some general rules will help you create headlines that truly help sell your product or service.

Creative Makeovers

It seems that every three to four years, a flurry of activity occurs within a marketing department, and you hear the battle cry for a creative makeover. Dutifully, creative directors present the battle plan based on what someone from the executive team has deemed wrong with the existing presentation. Often, they will point to another brand and say, “Why can’t we look more like them?” This is not a healthy start.