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Monthly Archives: September 2009


Force 5 presents to the NTMA

Posted on September 17, 2009 by dmorgan

Force 5 presented to the Michiana Chapter of the National Tooling and Machining Association last week. The Presentation was on "Brand Development in new Economy." Vice President of Force 5, David Morgan gave the presentation while President Deb DeFreeuw and Director of Client Development Andrew Fletcher led the discussions.

"Brand Development for small and medium size businesses has taken on a much higher priority in these slow economic times.", said Morgan. "Formal Brand Development used to be the property of only the larger corporations, but now all business must pay attention to their brand."

The presentation centered around how Brand Development can help a company focus their business strategy and align it with their brand, using their resources in the best possible way and for the most benefit.

This presentation is also available for other organizations. Interested parties should contact Andrew Fletcher at Force 5 for more information (Andrew@DiscoverForce5.com) or by calling 574-234-2060.

About NTMA

The NTMA is the national representative of the custom precision manufacturing industry in the United States.

Many NTMA members are small businesses, privately owned and operated, yet the industry generates sales in excess of $40 billion a year. Our nearly 2000 members design and manufacture special tools, dies, jigs, fixtures, gages, special machines, and precision machined parts. Some firms specialize in experimental research and development work. For more information, contact Ms. Kelly Schneider, Chapter Executive at 574-220-9111 or mcntma@comcast.net

About Force 5

Force 5 is a next generation brand development and marketing communication firm located in South Bend, IN. Force 5 is only certified Brand Development Agency in the Region, and one of only 30 in the country. For more information, contact Andrew Fletcher at 574-234-2060 or Andrew@DiscoverForce5.com


An American Brand

Posted on September 14, 2009 by dmorgan

-David Morgan, Certified Brand Strategist, Force 5

American clothes are making a comeback. In the Sept. 7 issue of Brandweek, there was an artiticle about "made in the USA" clothes becoming cool again. It seems that the research shows that we are buying American made products over cheaper products. Sixty four percent of those surveyed said that buying American brands is part of "what it means to be a good citizen today." It seemed to me that American made clothing lost its luster several years ago. There were some exceptions, (L.L. Bean and others...), but even Jean Giant Levi took a hit from Calvin Klien and Sasson. Even if the brand seemed American, the garmet was being made in Indonesia. But the recession is changing all that. Consumers are "looking under the hood" a bit more--looking for that "made in Amerca tag" Woolrich, Zippo, Red Wing--all are having good sales. Buyers are looking at their roots - if its made in America, and you buy in America, there's a job in America.

So whats the take away here? America has a brand. The spirit of America, the heart, the soul--is what people think about when they see that "made in America" tag. When I was a young guy, only cheap toys were "made in China", and didn't have a very good reputation. China reputation for quality goods has now changed. Countries have brands--whether they like it or not--whether they have tried to development it or not. Everyone and every company has a brand. What's your take on this? Is "made in America, local, here at home" something you can capitalize on with your products? Think about it...


Buying Friends on Facebook

Posted on September 9, 2009 by ddefreeuw

-Deb DeFreeuw, Certified Brand Strategist, Force 5

The title of this article seems to have mutually exclusive terms – “Buying” and “Friends”

An article in Advertising Age September 4, 2009 reported on a company offering to sell you friends for your  Facebook and Twitter Account.  Amazing!

The Brisbane-based firm, USocial, offered this week to sell Facebook users 1,000 friends for 177 dollars and 5,000 friends -- the limit imposed by Facebook on a standard profile account -- for 654 dollars.

Facebook "fan" pages have no limits and USocial said it could supply 1,000 Facebook fans for 177 dollars and 10,000 fans for 1,167 dollars.

On its website, USocial said "the simple fact is that with a large following on Facebook, you have an instant and targeted group of people you can contact and promote whatever it is you want to promote."

USocial chief executive Leon Hill, in a statement promoting his service, said "Facebook is an extremely effective marketing tool as anyone with a large number of targeted friends or fans can attest to.

Supposedly, these are “targeted” lists—having the demographic, income, interests, etc. that your are looking for.  USocial says each fan can generate at least $1 of sales per month.  USocial is clearly labeling Facebook and Twitter as another marketing and advertising channel.

The first thing that pops into my head is “Ok, so you have purchased these followers, do they really care about you? Heck, they don’t even know you!”

Kind of getting away from the “social” aspect don’t you think?  Can social media sites be marketing and advertising sites? To be sure.  Many bands and other organizations use facebook to promote, but……

The purpose of social media is to develop relationships. Authenticity is key here. Tactics like buying fans these dilute that authenticity. To me it is the same as paying a blogger to give you a great review. Social media for business is part of your brand.  At Force 5 , we encourage our clients to participate in social media, but do it authentically and for the right reasons.

“Buying” friends and followers might look good as far as pure numbers, but does it add value? No. Your pseudo followers will likely not take notice and listen to what you have to say. It is like paying the most popular kid in high school to be your friend—their heart is just not in it.

The same company that has friends and followers for sale also sells votes on Digg and Yahoo Buzz. This ruins the intention of the sites. Votes affect page placement, they should be earned, not bought!  Social media is about the collective attitude or opinion, start throwing money into it for people to “have” a specific opinion, you lose the value.

Be careful out there.  Social media is important, can help you connect, and hear from your customers.  But don’t make it another e-commerce channel—or the benefit will be lost.

My advice, make a plan, build your list of friends and followers, listen, stay in touch, be authentic. Social media will pay off.  Buying friends—I don’t think so.