What’s the “opportunity cost” of a mediocre website?

“Oh, we never get clients from our website,” he explained. Just keep believing it, we thought to ourselves, and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Survey your customers and see that they all, indeed, came from referrals, or trade shows, or print ads – certainly not from your website. Q.E.D. Case closed. No need to adapt or evolve: let’s keep on …

Are you optimized for your category?

How your website is found (or, he added darkly, not found) depends on what category the searcher is searching for. That statement is not as stupidly obvious as it first appears. Yes, it’s a Duh, but a Duh with interesting implications, because of what we call “category mismatch.” Every search defines the category wanted, whether the search terms are vague …

Memories of Ft. Wayne

Some years back, I was asked to give a talk at the Ft. Wayne Ad Club. I have two vivid memories of the visit. The first was my client in Ft. Wayne, a large insurance company, had their LearJet pick me up in Chicago. On a trip that short, there’s press you back in your seat vertical climb, followed by …

Can you answer 55 Questions?

We just designed and launched a new site for a new company which we named. Can you tell we’re feeling parental? 55 Questions is a particularly apt name, since its extraordinary founder, Dave Baney, uses the Socratic method to help CEOs and their management teams explore issues including finance, strategy, operations, marketing and branding, process, teamwork and most especially, accountability. …

More about “botcred”

We’ve been thinking more about botcred, the word we invented last week to describe the credibility you need to accumulate with search engine spiders, aka robots or bots. The first response of human visitors when they encounter your website is a pre-conscious evaluation of the look and feel (i.e., “this looks like what I’m looking for”), and they’ll give you …

“Look no further”

It’s always been a staple of advertising copy: “Look no further.” This vaguely insulting bit of wishful thinking can literally translate into “Stop thinking! We’re afraid you’ll look at our competitors.” Of course that is exactly what happens in making a sale. In true “Blink” style, if your presentation, or store atmosphere, or website evokes “Ah! Just what I was …

Who are the Black Eyed Peas? As a brand, that is.

Excerpted from the Chicago Tribune today (August 12, 2010) So, Bob Killian, CEO of Chicago-based Killian Branding, what do you think? “They are absolutely a brand! They have built themselves into this post-racial, non-threatening entity. And they have done it in a way that doesn’t seem artificial. It looks authentic. It doesn’t hurt that they are talented, but they are …

Stupid spam tricks…

Got a spam email today vainly trying to alarm us into buying some SEO service. When we considered the first two sentences, though, we were almost tempted to write back to the robot, addressed to Dear Dumbass. The email began: “Greetings, I found your website www.killianbranding.com ranked 4 for Advertising agency Chicago. If you are not on the first page …

Wake me up when September … begins?

Conventional wisdom tells us that “nobody makes serious business decisions in August,” so wait until Labor Day to approach CEOs with matters that matter. Horsefeathers. Maybe that’s true in France, where the whole nation goes on vacation, but any American CEO who goes passive for an entire month just isn’t serious enough about the company’s competitive opportunities. In a time …