Small Business Marketing: Cultivating Testimonials

by Andrew Lock

Is it ethical to offer an incentive in exchange for a testimonial? Plus, subliminal details in logos, a Web-based video tool and a marketing lesson from Lego.

If you give your customers a gift in exchange for a testimonial, is it a token of appreciation or a bribe? Small business marketing maverick Andrew Lock weighs in and wants to know your take on the subject. He also takes a closer look at some very familiar logos only to find a few details you -- and lots of other smart people – may never have noticed before. And as always, Dave Crenshaw offers his latest time-saving tip. Hint: focus!

Just click on the Help! my Business Sucks! logo below to watch the episode.

Turns out that many well known logos, including those from Fedex, Formula 1, Tostitos, Sony, Northwest Airlines -- and others -- have hidden details. My question is, are these details too secret, in other words is it a case of being so clever that no one but the designer and a few eagle-eyed people notice?

The question in this episode relates to testimonials. Is it okay to offer an incentive for someone to give you a testimonial? What do you think? Add your comments below.

Watch the episode for an awesome screen capture tool in the same vein as Camtasia and Jing, with one notable exception – there’s no software, it’s a Web-based tool. And it’s free. Designed and touted as a Twitter add-on, it can certainly be used that way, but I love the wider possibilities of this resource. It’s simple to use, doesn’t require any special software, and it’s free. Can’t be bad.

This week's big marketing lesson to adapt for your small business comes from Lego. Lego? Yes, lego. The company is surprisingly nimble and unconventional with its marketing, and it has achieved incredible success from those little plastic bricks. I’ll focus in on a few of the things that Lego has done to expand its brand, and show you how you can do the same.

As usual, let me know your opinion about the topics covered in the show this week -- leave your comment below, it’s really easy to do, no registration required.

You'll find lots more small business marketing tips and resources from Andrew Lock in our Small Business In-Depth series, Lock in Your Marketing Resources.

Andrew Lock is a self-described maverick marketer and the creator and host of Help! My Business Sucks, a free, weekly Web TV show full of practical marketing tips, advice and resources to help small businesses "get more done and have more fun."

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This article was originally published on Friday Jul 23rd 2010
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