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Branding: What Is Your Story?

Where did the name “Milk Street Marketing” come from?

We are asked that question quite a bit and we love to tell the story!
Franklin Birthplace, Milk Street

So Benjamin Franklin, who began his career as an apprentice printer, who then not only started a successful printing and publishing business of his own, and then who went on to bigger and better things like inventing electricity, was born on Milk Street in Boston. Here’s an artist rendering of the home in colonial times, and a photo of what now stands in the spot. Fittingly, it’s a Sir Speedy franchise and they do commemorate it’s historical significance with a sculpture of Franklin’s bust emerging from the facade of the building. We wonder how Poor Richard would feel about this!

Before launching Milk Street Marketing, I also began my career in the printing industry, before expanding my role to managing integrated marketing communications for CRW Graphics. And being a true diehard Philadelphian, of course I have a high level of admiration and respect for our most prominent founding father. Franklin’s innovation, ingenuity and diversity of interest are all characteristics that we strive to emulate within team Milk Street. While we were careful not to go overboard using his likeness or any of his more common symbols as part of our brand, we feel this subtle nod is a nice tip of the cap to our hero. Plus it really roles off the tongue and allows for some great creative strategies. Best of all, people always ask what it means, which allows us to tell the story!

Your “story” is what you need to think about first and foremost when developing a brand strategy and implementation plan. Branding projects can be the most fun projects on which to work.

Team Milk Street absolutely loves brainstorming ideas for names, tag lines and other awesome marketing messages. Remember though that branding is the backbone of your organization or business. Yes – sometimes great business names can jump out at you. I often hear or think of phrases that would be great business names, sometimes it could be a cool band name, or what could be an amazing tagline.

But, there is a process that should be followed to ensure that you develop a compelling brand story. Although you still need to research your industry, your target audience and your competition, start by identifying your higher purpose. Why are you doing what you’re doing? More importantly, why do your customers do what they do? There’s a great Ted Talk with Simon Sinek speaking in regard to the power of answering this question first:

People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. There is a vast number of case studies demonstrating this fact: Revlon doesn’t sell make up, they sell hope; Apple does’t sell computers, the sell thinking differently, etc. Once you have identified your “why” you can start to tell the story that imparts your unique selling proposition. What makes you different or better than your competition? How do you make a positive difference in your customers’ lives? People don’t buy Lincolns because they run better than Toyotas. They are buying a lifestyle, and apparently that lifestyle is Matthew McConaughey’s.

Building your brand means building an emotional connection with your audience. Emotional connections are derived from remarkable experiences. And that is precisely why Milk Street Marketing does what we do, to provide our business partners with remarkable experiences. Whether you are a client, vendor part of the Team Milk Street, we strive to entertain you while we make your wildest marketing dreams come true.

That’s our brand story, we can’t wait to hear yours!

**UPDATE: We recently sponsored a new meetup group called MarketShare Philly and our next event is Wednesday, November 4th. RSVP here:

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