Corrections or additions?
This article by Kathleen McGinn Spring was prepared for the
May 9, 2001 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.
Turn Yourself Into a Brand: Gwen Moran
<B>Gwen Moran suggests you think of yourself as milk,
or maybe a travel destination, or even a detergent. "We should
look at ourselves as a product," the owner of Ocean-based
marketing agency Moran Marketing Associates, says. "Marketers
have spent billions — maybe trillions — on perfecting
she points out. Why not use their tricks to sell ourselves in the
Moran speaks on "Brand You: Applying Basic Marketing Principles
to Jumpstart Your Career and Your Life" at a meeting of the
Jersey Women’s Network on Thursday, May 10, at 6 p.m. at the Oakland
House Restaurant in Red Bank. Cost: $35. Call 908-281-9234.
A graduate of Syracuse University (Class of 1988), Moran started her
marketing career with Random House, the book publisher, and then went
to work for Simplicity Pattern Co., the sewing pattern company.
was good training for alternative advertising," she says.
company has traditional advertising as its focus." She learned
to promote books, toys, and audio books, and then sewing patterns,
through events, publicity, tie-ins with other products, and direct
work with merchants.
After five years she went out on her own, networking like crazy to
uncover her first clients. Now at four employees, she says her agency
has been profitable from the beginning. Specializing in alternative
marketing, Moran’s agency has been responsible for sending in-line
skaters zooming through Manhattan snapping pictures of folks drinking
milk for the American Dairy Association’s Got Milk campaign. Moran
organized a Pregnant Pause contest for a non-profit interested in
reducing alcohol abuse among expectant mothers. Bartenders competed
to mix the best non-alcoholic drinks, and moms-to-be judged the
The essence of alternative advertising, Moran says, is finding an
audience, and then devising creative ways of connecting with it. It
works for milk, and it will work for career advancement too, if only
we are willing to look at ourselves as just another product. Here
is her advice for doing just that:
What are the benefits? The features?" These are the questions
we, just like anyone peddling soda pop or saltines, must ask.
a personal inventory of the good things you bring to the table,"
she says. "And list weaknesses, too." Any product worth
has "significant strengths and benefits," she says. And, of
course, a drawback or two. Identify each and every selling point,
and work on shoring up weaknesses.
the market will be a function of what you want. Whether your goal
is a new job, a promotion, or the acquisition of a desirable client,
you will need to identify the decision maker, and then "try to
get inside the head of that person." Just as agencies stirring
up lust for sports cars or home furnishings dissect consumer desires,
you need to tease out decision makers’ unmet needs.
the right choice," Moran says. She finds many people hesitant
to promote themselves. Thinking like a marketer can help here. Does
Coke hesitate to sing its praises? Does Pepsi expect that its products
will make it into consumers’ hearts — and shopping carts —
without a little help?
out your old copy of Dress for Success," Moran says. But it does
mean "looking the part." Observe those who have achieved your
goal, whether they be supervisors at your company or small businesses
owners with an impressive stable of clients. How do they dress? How
do they present themselves? This is a trickier question than it once
was. "Over-dressing can be as damaging as under-dressing,"
Moran says. "Too formal can be as negative as too loose."
into the outback at a moment’s notice is the best way to sell an
vehicle to suburbanites, so too is plumbing the psyches of corporate
decision makers the best way to land a dream job.
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