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Why Inbound Marketing is Like the Perfect Hot Dog

  
  
  

Business Branding and the Perfect Dog


content marketing strategyNike is "just do it." HubSpot is a whole lot of orange, unicorns and memes. Inbound Marketing Agents is all about helping small businesses crush their competitors and an unhealthy obsession with the perfect hot dog. Any company has a series of goals and objectives that have become an integral part of their corporate culture. You can often see these goals in mission statements. As an agency in the field of inbound marketing, we're in the business of keeping an eye on the latest digital trends. We see some really innovative things and some other campaigns that should have been left on the cutting room floor.  

Why Marketing Needs to Reflect Company Culture

Marketing is your company's first step to bringing new business in the doors. Your product or service needs to reflect your marketing messages, and your company culture needs to back up both. How many times have we all heard that a company is based on delivering quality, but their products turn out to be less than stellar? The credibility of their management team and brand go right out the window. Your company culture needs to influence your employees and marketing. If you're all about free shipping, drive it home. If your message is innovation, make sure your marketing messages reflect this. 

Our Search for the World's Best Hot Dog

As we've already mentioned, one of the factors that makes IMA different is the fact we're always in search of the world's best hot dog. While this may seem a bit off the wall, it's a factor that bonds our team. I have just spent the last week in Las Vegas at a conference. There are all kinds of distractions in the city of sin, which include shows, casinos and oh yeah, the conference. I spent a fair amount of time doing was hunting for the best hot dog.  The whole time I was doing it, in the name of research, I was thinking about sharing the results with the team back at headquarters.  

Well as you can image there are a lot of hot dogs in Las Vegas, everything from Nathan's, to Hot Dog on a Stick, to Pinks and dozens of other bars and delis out there.  After eating my way through every dog that I could find, there is no doubt in my mind that the one that lives up to the hype and that exceeded my expectations was Pink's.  Now maybe I’m a little biased as I great up in Southern California and was a regular at Pinks, but it still is far and away the best dog I’ve had.

What You Can Learn From Pink's

First, a little back story: Pink's grew up in the days prior to the internet and grew to it's current status as a cult classic mostly through word of mouth marketing.  The brand was founded in 1939, first as a hot dog cart and later as a small building, at the corner of Melrose Place and La Brea Avenue in Los Angeles.  The original stand is still there 73 years later.  Pink's can now be found at 12 locations around the country depending on the time of year. Some of their early buzz can be attributed to the fact that the “stars” ate there, which they promoted by posting autographed pictures everywhere and naming dogs after some of their more regular visitors.  

One thing has ensured their survival through all the years, and various no-sausage or no-bun diet fads, and the move away from hot dogs: their quality has never suffered.  They have a unique all-beef dog that is created just for them and a chili that you won’t soon forget.  

Additionally, they knew from the start they had a good thing ,and they kept it the same all of these years.  Their recipes didn’t change; they didn’t try to squeak out a little extra margin by cutting corners.  Their dogs deliver a slight snap when you bite into them. I cannot recommend highly enough searching out a Pinks and using to round out your four food groups for the day. Maybe I'm just making excuses, but your protein requirement is met by the dog, your need for grains is met by the bun and you even get dairy from the cheese. If you need some extra veggies, have them throw on a few extra chopped onions. Pink's has served me well all these years.

How Are You Better?

The moral of the story is clear: figure out how your company can be better and different, whether it's through the world's most hot dog-obsessed inbound marketing team or an unparalleled chili dog. Build it into your corporate culture and sell it through marketing techniques that fit the context right, whether that's business blogs and social media for today or the autographed celebrity photos that mattered back in 1939. 

What is Your Favorite Hot Dog?

Image credit: freedigitalphotos.net/digitalart

Comments

Obsession means passion, and if your marketing team is passionate about your business you will get the best marketing team and the best marketing campaigns. I would also say with passion comes innovation in new marketing ideas and we all know that brings talk in the industry and also among consumers.
Posted @ Friday, December 07, 2012 8:41 AM by Eric Fisk
Thanks for the input, Eric! I think you've hit the nail on the head.
Posted @ Friday, December 07, 2012 9:23 AM by Jasmine Henry
Honestly, can't help myself when it comes to hot dogs. What do you think about the company's logo - you mentioned HupSpot's orange as their feature? Do you think each company should have something like that in their image?
Posted @ Monday, January 28, 2013 6:44 AM by Sasha Zinevych
Sasha, you pose an interesting question! I appreciate the fact the Pinks logo hasn't changed over the years. What's your opinion on the matter?
Posted @ Monday, January 28, 2013 9:18 AM by Jasmine Henry
Jasmine,  
 
I also love the "good old" looks of some logos. Coca-Cola is a good example too as the only time they changed their logo to the modern version was back in 1900s. Since that time the font and the style of the brand name remained the same - red background with a white name definitely dominated. However, I do see a lot of companies who have changed the looks of their product's logo. Snickers and Milky Way are different from the way they used to be in the US but some European countries still have the original package. What influences the company's decision? 
 
Sure, consumer products like Coke or Snickers are easy but I wanted to ask you if you knew any online companies that had taken similar decisions. What were the consequences?
Posted @ Friday, February 01, 2013 4:59 AM by Sasha Zinevych
Sasha, I actually don't know of any online companies who've undergone a logo change, but I'm copying our Content Marketer Robert Coles who has a strong professional interest in logo design as a branding tool. I think he may have some feedback to share! 
 
Potentially of interest to you: This HubSpot content that covers logo changes and design for major brands: http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/33356/Brand-Logos-The-Good-the-Bad-and-the-Ugly.aspx 
 
Thanks for commenting!
Posted @ Friday, February 01, 2013 9:35 AM by Jasmine Henry
While I do not know of any companies that have made any drastic changes to their logo. There are a few that have updated their logo to a more modern style but kept with the colors and some of the nostalgia of the company.  
 
I would have to say when you take a company that has built their whole branding upon one logo, to make a drastic change to your logo would be somewhat of a disaster as that brand recognition goes away until consumers become familiar with your logo again. Toyota did a huge change a few years ago when they went from just spelling out their name to a logo, but they ran a huge marketing campaign for a year or longer that incorporated their new logo with their name in order to insure brand recognition either way. That in my opinion is what it takes to insure an almost seamless transition.
Posted @ Friday, February 01, 2013 9:45 AM by Eric Fisk
Thanks so much for sharing that fantastic example, Eric!
Posted @ Friday, February 01, 2013 9:53 AM by Jasmine Henry
I am a lover of all things logo related. I'm a huge fan of typography and how colors represent branding. Possibly one of the most iconic internet companies in the world, Google, changes their logo with special occasions. It's a perfect example of how a company can change their logo if they've built up their brand enough, even though Google doesn't keep their changes for long. 
 
Microsoft changed their logo this past year, and a lot of people didn't even really notice. They changed the font of the word "Microsoft" and added four solid square colored blocks rather than the four cornered colored flag. It's an interesting move. We'll see how it pans out for them!
Posted @ Friday, February 01, 2013 9:54 AM by Robert Coles
Jasmine, thank you for the article, it was really great reading it.  
 
Eric, so do you think the company should "teach" the customers to love this new brand logo? I know a candy company that changed the design of their logo slightly but they did a huge job on advertising this new design all over the web and offline too. I can't say that my attitude to their products changed due to the changed logo. 
 
Robert, it's great that a logo professional like you can also share his insights on the matter. I also like Google stuff - especially the commemorations. I just googled Microsoft logo change - I also didn't notice it at first. What do you think makes a big company like Microsoft decide to change their logo? Especially when this change isn't dramatic?
Posted @ Monday, February 04, 2013 3:57 AM by Sasha Zinevych
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