Association Marketing By Jim Estill

business-school.jpgOne of the oldest and most effective marketing techniques is the power of association.  Associate your product or service is something that people have good feelings about.  This can be as simple as showing a group of people having a good time, or having music in the background.  Or it can be having a great sports figure or famous person using or promoting your company.

I started a distribution company from the trunk of my car many years ago (eventually growing it to $2 billion in sales but that is a different story).  People did not know me, my company or my products so what I would do would be to put the logos of some of the bigger well known and respected products on my signage and cards (with their permission of course).  This added credibility by association.  For example, if I was good enough to sell Sony, I must be good and some of the other lesser known products that I sold must also be good.

Another technique I would use would be to get testimonial letters.  Most of the stronger letters were from unknown companies but I always had a few from well known and respected companies.  Prospects would say in their minds “if you are good enough to sell to X, you must be good enough for us”.

I recently started using this in my simple keeping in touch with my network.  I sent out a few quotes from famous people.  Of course I know people dislike being “interrupted” so I stuck to sending them on Linkedin, Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter.

The collection grew quite by accident.

People said “Jim likes quotations” and began sending me quotes that I could just cut and paste.  Only once did this get me in trouble when I posted a quote that was not said by the person who I attributed it.  And I had just moved to the US at the time so did not understand the political nature of the quote (Making rich people poor does not make poor people rich – I attributed to Abe Lincoln but he never said it)

Of course being a time management guy, I largely automated the process by using Ping.fm to post to all sources at the same time and using Hootsuite to send them at preset times.  So right now I have my quotes set to go out for the next 90 days and even without me logging in, they go out.  I often read books that are rich in quotes so can add 10 or more at a time in a short sitting (or even more efficient, have my trusty assistant, Elliot do that for me)

Sending quotations “associated” me with the smart well-known person who I quoted and thus built my credibility.

Think about how you can build positive associations.  It can be very effective. ————————–

Jim Estill is a guest blogger.  He has his own blog at www.jimestill.com or you can find him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/jimestill

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