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Marketing - New York Style!

Today, I as well as others know that whether it be for: business resources, shopping, culture, theatre, music, finance and innovation – New York is the go to city. This is the case even amongst the international crowd. I mean really, what other city can have a bed bug alert, but still attract tourists in droves?

As a young eclectic fashionista of five, I knew if I wanted a special dress, it would come from New York. Part of this was my mother’s doing, as she lived in New York for a few years. She just turned 80 and still talks about going to New York to shop in her day.  Now, I’m not able to detail how the city has cultivated an almost infectious vibe, but there are multiple books that can. What I can do is share a few ways that vibe transformed me.

In addition to:

  • Mastering the New York transit system (good thing, because I’m directionally-challenged)
  • Navigating my way through multiple tourist groups that take up the entire width of a large sidewalk
  • Not getting sick in a cab while the driver tests out his brakes on the entire way to my destination, mostly because I told him I instantly become very sick if he didn’t stop :-)
  • Or finding something to occupy myself during the longest Trader Joes and Whole Foods line ever

New York taught me the value of mastering the well-known phrase “30 second pitch.” Why is this the case?  New York never sleeps. Once you live there, you always have the feeling that something is happening and you might be missing it. Chances are, you are missing it. But when you’re not missing the fun, you might attend a fundraiser and meet Richard Parsons of AOL fame. If anything, that is the time to have a 30 second sound bite. When is that going to happen again? Ok, so it happened twice, but I only spoke with him on the first occasion.

Or, you might have the opportunity to have lunch with your CEO and 11 of your peers. While I wasn’t able to eat my lunch, I did ask the man behind the brand a question about a huge competitive advantage our Fortune 100 Company needed to tap into aggressively.

Who knows, you might even run into Jerry Seinfeld outside the Time Warner Center on his way to dinner.  Just so you know, I didn’t stop him. I’m not the nicest when I’m hungry, he might have been the same, so I cut him a break.


In addition, to the skills I’ve shared, New York offers something more for both you and me. It constantly reinvents itself. Where do you think Madonna got her inspiration? I’m just guessing on that one, but it could totally be true. In New York,  neighborhoods get identity makeovers regularly. The tourism industry is in on the fun as well. We're all familiar with the "I Love New York" campaign, but the summer 2010 campaign is “See More. Be More. This is New York City.”

When it comes to your brand, your core values should remain constant, unless the nature of your business changes. However, always scope out opportunities to differentiate yourself such as:

  • Identifying a gap across your particular industry that you can address
  • Adopting some of the behaviors of your potential customers; if they visit social media sites actively, perhaps you should see if there is an opportunity in that space for your company.

For instance, I worked on pilot that grew into a full-fledge implementation for a Fortune 100 company. At the time, the financial services industry did not present a clear picture of how it could use social media. This pilot would potentially put this company in a space that was contrary to its conservative nature. In fact, during the pilot, I remember colleagues asking why we would even bother exploring this space. My response was not only are our customers looking for us there, but they expect us to be there. Our research confirmed this and it led to the company using a popular social media site as a new customer service channel. Shortly thereafter, the Corporate Communications department used it as a marketing channel.

Keep a close eye on your customer.  That's how you'll "always be closing!" 

Reader Comments (6)

Nicely put. Also, when diving into the realm of social media for the first time, a company (or a brand) should first assess the "conversation" that is already happening. Relevance is key. Just because your brand does not have a sanctioned presence does not mean it isn't already there in some form or fashion. -2centz
September 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJR
Great point 2centz! Context is key, so please do listen to what is said about your brand before responding.
September 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterErna
Well said, Erna. Your advice is relevant for individuals considering a career transition as well. Knowing your value in the job market and being able to explain your personal brand in 30 seconds or less can make the difference between getting the job and not. Understanding the needs of an employer and demonstrating the match between one's skills and employer requirements is as critical to job seekers as it is to someone marketing their own business.

I'm so glad you said that! Often times when people only relate marketing to business. The reality is marketing is relevant for both business and personal use. A brand is a brand is a brand - whether it be for a business or an individual. Thanks again for highlighting that point.
September 6, 2010 | Registered CommenterErna
loving this article....very fun and insightful.
April 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCharlyInteriors
Thanks so much for the comment Geri! Glad you liked and I'll do my best to keep the posts flowing. :-)
April 20, 2011 | Registered CommenterErna

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