Name Our Summer Music Series

I work for the Town of Silverton in Colorado at 9318′ elevation. I am starting a monthly summer music series that will be on the third Friday of June-September in our Memorial Park. It is going to feature local area bands and will have alcohol that we sell to raise money for our 4th of July Fireworks. Some ideas currently are:

  • Tunes for Booms Summer Music Series
  • Silverton Summer Concert Series
  • 9318′ Elevated Music
  • Music in Memorial Park

We want something recognizable but original as a number of towns in our area have their own “Music in the Park” and “Mountain Air Concert Series”. Any input would be appreciated. Thank you!


Jay’s Answer: Some different directions to play with:

  • Third for the Fourth (Series) (since events will be on the 3rd Friday and benefiting the 4th of July)
  • 3/4 Time
  • 4-3-2-1-Fireworks Series

Marketing: It’s All In The Details

Marketing is all about details(Photo by Meena Kadri)

Your product is the best. Or it’s the first. Or it’s the newest. Or it’s the cheapest.
Your services are fast. Or they are efficient. Or they are highly creative.
Do any of these statements sound like your marketing message? If so, no one’s likely to believe you (or even pay attention to you).

Stop talking in generalities (everyone else is). Talk in specifics. Here’s how to create a statement (and supporting story) of specific achievements:

  1. Identify the problems, situation, goals, or opportunity that your previous clients  faced.
  2. What did you do to help your clients overcome these problems?
  3. What quantitative or qualitative results did your clients see?

Let’s say you are a caterer. Thinking back to clients that you wow’ed, you might remember Ms. Frances, who hired you at the last minute because their caterer decided to instead cater a wedding reception for a local celebrity. Ms. Frances needed last-minute help, and you were able to create a menu that was also better tailored to the bride and groom’s special dietary needs. So you could say, “Specializing in last-minute tricky catering needs“. But rather than being seen as the “fall-back” caterer, you want to position yourself as the caterer that won’t cancel and will delight. So instead say, “Ensure your catered event will be delicious, highly-customized, and on-budget … Guaranteed!” Your specific story of Ms. Frances will be just one tangible example of how you exceeded expectation, reduced fear, and made your clients successful.

The Good Jobs Strategy

The Good Jobs Strategy CoverIs only way a company can keep costs down is to reduce the cost of labor? According to Zeynep Ton (a professor at MIT Sloan School of Management), it’s not a requirement – it’s a just a very bad choice.

While reducing labor costs produces short-term benefits for share-holders, it will ultimately produce long-term negatives. People that are employed with minimal benefits, low wages, and poor schedules won’t be able to provide great good service, won’t follow corporate “best practice” procedures, and won’t have any job loyalty.

Instead, the author recommends paying well, scheduling well, and training well, based on 4 Business Operational Choices:

1. Offer Less. In offering a wide range of goods, your inventory becomes a risk: greater numbers unsold goods, goods that are lost in storage, and product choice overwhelm. With fewer choices, employees will be able to better recommend products in your inventory.

2. Standardize and Empower. Identify the best way to perform tasks and standardize them. Standardization makes training easier and provides consistency. Empower employees to go beyond the basic rules (based on their training) as needed, and improve the standardization as better opportunities arise.

3. Cross-Train. Train employees to do a number of related jobs well. For example, an employee that can operate a cash register, stock shelves, answer phones, and ship packages can flexibly adapt to the varying daily needs of a business. When fewer customers are around, employees can do other necessary work.

4. Operate with Slack. In trying to schedule the “right number” of employees for a shift, you’ll invariably have situations where not enough employees are available. Understaffing creates a drain on all aspects of the business. But cross-trained employees can adapt to providing the services that are needed.

Providing “good jobs” will have a long-term benefit your employees, customers, and investors.

If your company implements the Good Jobs Strategy, the slogan Fast, Good or Cheap. Pick two, will be obsolete.

Good Cheap and Fast

Independent School Enrollment Management Consultant

I need to name my new consulting business for the field of admissions in independent school. It is tricky because I want to work with the schools, not with the families of students trying to gain admission to the school. I may also look to represent educational software vendors for enrollment management and financial aid.

My skills are in modernizing the admissions process, improving data analysis and reporting, and assessing office operations for admissions, re-enrollment, financial aid, and data analysis. Many admissions directors are nervous about changing outdated processes, but know they have to get on track. I hope to convey a feeling of partnership and camaraderie in helping get them revamp their processes.

I want the admissions directors and/or heads of schools to find me if they’re looking for support for their admissions office or if they are having difficulty with enrollment.

I’ve considered dozens of ideas from as simple as Enrollment Management Consulting to including words like: Renovation, Modern, Quantum, Larithmics, Catalyst, Catapult, Innovation, Solutions, Services, Audit, Advantage, Mentor.

I would be grateful for your brainstorming ideas!


Jay’s Answer: Because you have a relatively small market, it’s unlikely that your target audience would choose you based on a online search. It’s much more likely that you’d want to find THEM – advertising in media that they read/watch or in direct (e)mail campaigns. A name alone probably won’t be clear enough to stand on its own (you already pointed out the potential confusion). So, you’ll need a tagline to clarify. The tagline is likely to be something like “For Better/Efficient Independent School Admissions”. Then your name could be something like “Excelsior Consultants”.

Help! Name For Furniture Consignment Store

My business partner and I cannot find the “right” fitting name for new business. We are a furniture and home goods consignment store. We offer two options: pay you upfront (lesser amt) or let you consign your goods. We do pick-up’s as well. I feel like customers need to know that it is a consignment/resale store, so the name Savvy Home, isn’t getting it for me. It sounds too much like a regular furniture store versus a consignment/resale store. PLEASE HELP! This is the only hold up from us moving in our space!


Jay’s Answer:

  • reSavvy Home (with the re- prefix indicating resale)
  • preLoved (Furniture)

Name My Training Videos For Change Management

We’ve created some short (less than 4 minutes) training videos for Change Management for General Motors. I’d like to have some clever names for them other than just “Training Videos”. I’m liking the word snippets but at a loss of thinking of a clever name. Any help would be appreciated!


Jay’s Answer:

  • (Getting) From Here To There
  • Quick Change (Series)

Boost Your Product Marketing

Improve Your Product Marketing(Photo by VFS Digital Design)

What’s the best way to improve your product marketing (Hint: it’s not about typography, images, size, or color choice)?

Your packaging is important, but it’s not primary. Underneath the packaging is the promise. You need to convince someone to actually want the type of thing you’re offering first, then convince them that your specific offering is their best option.

Imagine you’re a personal trainer trying to gain more women clientele to subscribe to your online video library.

Let’s say I’m a 30-50 year old woman, somewhere in the world. I’m looking to get a little more fit. What are my options? Classes. Personal trainers. Books. Videos. Different people like different ways of learning. But ultimately, changing one’s habit is hard. And staying motivated to do so doubly so. This is well studied.

In your packaging you need to unlock the answer to the question: Who regularly pays to watch online yoga videos? The second question is then: Why would someone choose your videos?

Getting to the root of this issue can be time-consuming and frustrating, and often you’re blind to the motivation of your target audience. That’s why you’re better off working with someone outside your business to help you better understand what others see.

Marketing Uniqueness En Masse

Selling Uniqueness To Everyone(Photo by Rod)

The old expression “if you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail” may apply to your marketing. If you’re selling a product that’s mass-produced, how do you convey that your product will solve the unique needs of a wide variety of prospective customers? The short answer is “you don’t”.

Don’t try to be everything for everyone. (No one will buy it.)

Instead, focus on clusters of people who have similar needs.

For example, if you’re selling a new type of wrench, your potential market may include: homeowners, mechanics, contractors, handy persons, or shop owners. While each of these markets may truly appreciate what you’re offering, you likely don’t have the budget to reach out to everyone and articulate how it meets their needs.

Instead, focus on a specific market first. Learn what they value, how they evaluate a new offering, and why/when they would consider switching from their current solution. Then approach them with a better way to do what they do.

If this works, you’ll have the budget to approach another niche (and if you have something a LOT better, people in other niches will likely be approaching you as they’ve heard from others how wonderful it is for their business). If it doesn’t work, try another niche before considering to pivot into a different offering (licensing your product to another company, for example).

Contacting C-Level HR Executives

We are an investment company offering a free seminar to publicly traded company employees who may receive stock options as compensation. The seminar or lunch and learn would showcase our ability to help explain options to their employees who receive them. We obviously want to start at the Director of Human Resources level. How best to reach these Directors? A professional letter and follow up phone call?


Jay’s Answer: It’s vital to understand why the HR staff would allow you to sell to their employees. Once you figure that out, then a letter + phone call is a great approach to start with. Or, if there’s a organization for local HR professionals, perhaps you can present your offer to them group of them?

Tagline/slogan For A Kids Product Business

I run a small business focused on design, manufacture, and distribute some kids products. Right now, I have a collection of wall decals and they are pretty popular online. I am in the process of developing some stroller accessories. My specialty is to provide value, quality, and functional products with an eye on design, kind of like Target. My business name is very general and doesn’t say anything about my products. The name of my new line of products, and possibly future products is “Cheekie Monkie”. I want to create a slogan that’s catchy and is able to deliver my key values.


Jay’s Answer: How about “Designed For Fun”?