Does Your Brand Pass the Mirror Test?

social media expert interviewIn this video I interview Jeff Hayzlett, former CMO of Kodak and author of The Mirror Test. Jeff explains what the mirror test is and how this can help you establish your brand online.

You’ll also learn about the hot concept of the 118 rule and how to create the digital version of your elevator pitch.

Be sure to check out the takeaways below after you watch the video.

Here are some of the things you’ll learn in this video:

  • Why you need to focus on the key questions to ask about your business
  • Why you only have 8 seconds to hook someone and 110 seconds to sell them
  • How a Chief Listening Officer can help develop your business
  • Why it’s not about what you say your brand is but how you deliver the message
  • What people are doing wrong on social media
  • Why you never control your brand and what you need to do instead
  • Why 1/3 of all businesses get social media straight away, 1/3 eventually get it and 1/3 will never get it
  • How good marketers use a blend of communication tools

Follow Jeff on Twitter, check out his website and look out for his new blog, the Change Agent.  This year Jeff has a new book coming out and you should be seeing him on television too.

What do you think about the mirror test and creating your brand?  Do you have a digital elevator pitch? Please leave your comments below.

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About the Author, Michael Stelzner

Michael Stelzner is the founder and CEO of Social Media Examiner, founder of My Kids' Adventures and author of the books Launch and Writing White Papers. He's also the host of the Social Media Marketing podcast. Other posts by »




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  • http://dinodogan.com/ Dino Dogan

    Maybe Im in a pissy mood today but I have to pick on few things Jeff said in the video.

    1. “If you’re not growing, you’re dying”.
    Thats such a ridiculous, old timy concept Sometimes companies are just the right size and there is no need to grow. The really sad part is that there are generations and generations of economists that came out of schools over the last few decades that have the exact same mind set. Boy, are we in trouble…

    2. Are we pretending that the elevator pitch concept is new?

    3. He also mentioned that companies now must be “radically transparent”.
    There is only transparent, the radical part is that corporations are now forced to be simply transparent.

    Anyways…sorry….I didn’t have my coffee yet, maybe I’ll be in a better mood with 4 shots of espresso in me lol

    Mike, none of my criticism is reflected on you my friend…you did great.

  • http://www.colemanmg.com Antonio Coleman

    People have many views on the definition of growth when it come to an business. If your able to see each month your brand is getting stronger and customers or coming back then the will say your growing..and not dying..just my opinion.

    “Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

  • http://twitter.com/socialrobinson Nick Robinson

    There are incredible tools on the market today for listening to the conversations that are going on about brands. Based on the price points and functionality of some of the demos I have seen over the last couple of days, it tells me that there will be no excuse for not listening – for big and small companies. That’s exciting.

  • http://twitter.com/WeichelMcKenzie JWeichelMcKenzie

    Thanks for the post! Funny how listening is the new word for ‘research’. I like Jeff’s points about branding. So true.. ‘just deliver it’.

  • http://marismith.com/ Mari Smith

    Lol, I just adore you Dino – you’re so articulate and expressive!!

    I have the honor of calling Jeff Hayzlett a friend – he’s one of the nicest peeps I know. For a high level executive, “Celebrity CMO” on Trump’s Apprentice, he’s one of the most down-to-earth guys you’ll meet. Not trying to defend him, per se. Your feedback could well be spot on. It all boils down to target market, right? Could be Jeff’s intended reader of his book/concepts are different from what we assume.

    Regards transparency, another awesome book is “Radically Transparent” by Andy Beal and is one of the best handbooks on reputation management. I’m all for radical!! Radical personal responsibility, radical honesty, radical integrity, radical compassion…. etc. ;)

    (Raising my cuppa coffee to you! TGIF. hehee)

  • http://marismith.com/ Mari Smith

    Totally agree. Growth is in the eye of the beholder!! And, for us entrepreneurs, our business goals really need to align with our personal values. First we deliberately design our lifestyle, then design/create/build a business that fits around that lifestyle!! :)

  • http://marismith.com/ Mari Smith

    I agree, Nick!!! 2011 is the year every business needs to take “new media” marketing very, very seriously! Exciting times!!! :)

  • http://paynelessadvice.com/ Donald Payne

    Not that the entire interview was not good but a very strong statement was made 3:45 into the presentation. When Mr. Hayzlett indicated that you never control your brand. He explains that you simply have deliver on your promise and you brand will build itself. Just be yourself and let the people love the REAL you!

  • http://dinodogan.com/ Dino Dogan

    You know Mari, I think you and I would have a great time arguing finer points of “radical this” and “radical that” and laughing our asses off in the process.

    I had my coffee by now and I am in a more jovial mood. You are awfully sweet to stick up for your friend, we all need more friends like you.

    I do maintain the the word”radical” is WAAAAY overused. Its like the word” extreme” in extreme drink, and extreme sports, and extreme chess …wait…I might have to brand that last one…no one take it, ok?

  • http://urbanchurch.tv/ Bryan Thompson

    Michael, I think it’s common for us to lose our perspective in the process. Napoleon Hill always admonished to take inventory of yourself once a year. To analyze your strengths and weaknesses, with the hopes of fewer weaknesses, of course.

    I have had to do this recently. I had taken my personal blog of 4 years (with advice and hard-won lessons from my years as a minister) and decided to turn it into a life development blog. When it began growing and my comment numbers began rising, I got caught up in it and began writing things just to get responses. I recently had to do this mirror trick and remember why I had started the blog in the first place.

    Napoleon Hill could go a year. Lesser men like me are better off going every 30 days. :)

  • http://marismith.com/ Mari Smith

    heheeeee totally agree!! a la “Extreme Makeover.” Yeah, lotsa words overused in this online space – their meaning gets rather diluted. ;D

  • http://about.me/oros Jonathan Oliff

    Awesome Interview!!! Love what Jeff states about controlling your brand- “you never controlled it anyway…” “…a Brand is nothing but a promise delivered”
    More interviews like this please! ha ha…[demanding], but thanks for another great bit of content!

  • http://www.davidcares.com David Cairns

    I thought Jeff (that is his name) had a lot of good things to say. Deliver Your Promise. Really, if you can deliver then so many other things do take care of themselves. In 25+years of sellling I have found that to be so true.

  • http://felixrelationshipmarketing.com/ Juan Felix

    Hello Mike and Jeff. Thanks. This is awesome! Believe it or not, but my company is called Mirror Yourself and my slogan is: The Social Media Reflection to Grow Your Business. While listening to your interview, I constantly had “yes” moments. I’m completely related to what Jeff is talking about. And coincidence or not, one week ago I wrote this post on smedio: 3 Social Media Secrets inside Snow White’s Fairy Tale. Key: look in the mirror and really see how others see you! That’s the secret of successful positioning – Juan

  • http://twitter.com/FullTimeWoman Karen Terry

    I agree with you that the concept of “if you’re not growing, your dying” is outdated as applied to companies. Some companies are the right size, but the word “growth” can also be applied to innovation. Businesses must innovate, or be left behind by the competition. Perhaps the adage is better applied to individuals, as in “if you’re not growing, you’re stagnant!”

  • Larry

    Actually Dino, you hit the nail right on the head.

    Larry T.

  • http://twitter.com/3birdsmarketing 3 Birds Marketing

    I think that the coolest thing Jeff mentioned here is Kodak’s decision to hire a Chief Listening Officer. He compares the position to an air traffic controller and I think this is just the neatest image. As an online interactive marketing agency, we’re playing Chief Listening Officer for the many companies we represent. These companies, of course, aren’t as large as Kodak and need an air traffic controller to oversee their online reputation and steer it in the right direction.

    Do you think “Chief Listening Officer” will be the next buzz job in the world of social media?

    Thanks!

    Melissa Cahoon, Interactive Marketing Intern @3birdsmarketing
    http://www.3birdsmarketing.com

  • http://www.mynotetakingnerd.com/blog Lewis LaLanne – NoteTakingNerd

    I love it Michael that you’re bringing this topic of the Elevator Pitch to how people introduce themselves online!

    One of the best pieces of advice I ever received was that your customer doesn’t “want” your product or service – in fact, it’s an obstacle between them and the results they want.

    People want the result, the outcome, their desire, their problem solved; not a consultant.

    In the instance of weight loss, people don’t want a book or a training or support – they want the weight off of their body.

    So one of the best things you could do is focus your title entirely on the problems they want to solve or what they desire.

    Gary Bencivenga, the world famous long form direct response copywriter talked about this in his “100 Seminar”. He said that when people used to ask him what he did and he told them that he was a copywriter, they’d think it was copyrighting.

    Then when he told them that he wrote advertising they’d start asking if he wrote the ads for the penny savers, he’d have to again explain that it was different.

    So, finally he came up with a solution. When people asked him what he did, he started telling them, “You know how all business owners want more business? Well, I help business owners get all the new customers that they want.”

    Simple. Clean. To the point.

    And if the person was a business owner, naturally, they’d want to know more.

    Thanks again Michael!

  • Therese Pope

    I heard Jeff speak through the Enlightened Business Summit and he’s a fantastic speaker (and very entertaining!) As far as the elevator speech, Jeff is expanding upon an outdated concept and spinning it so it appeals to online marketing channels. Whatever you want to call it, people are pretty clueless when it comes to their messaging. There are many professionals/business owners who just don’t get this concept and that’s the market Jeff is appealing to – the people who don’t get it. I see this all the time with my own clients, and I especially see this amongst freelancers who are trying to build their business and complain they can’t find new clients/make more money – it comes down to their marketing messaging and they are usually missing the boat. I’m not sure I necessarily agree that you can’t control your brand, but I agree with Jeff on pretty much everything he talked about in his video and when I heard him speak via the Summit.

    As far as “if you’re not growing, you’re dying,” I think that is very subjective. However, I think that everyone could stand to learn more – even if you think things are great with your company and you’re rolling along, we all can stand to learn more which allows for growth at some level.

    Note taking Nerd, as a copywriter I appreciated your comments about copywriting. You hit the nail on the head – people want their problems solved. In copywriting, we present the problem and then we offer a way for that problem to be solved – how is the customer’s life going to change as a result? I’m not sure I necessarily agree with you that the product or service is an obstacle to the results they want. In order to sell, customers need to see how your product or service is going to make their life easier and how it’s going to solve their problem. If you are going to bring up a problem in your messaging, you need to show them the result and somewhere in your messaging your product or service needs to be the answer to their problem. I agree that a title and/or angle should definitely focus on the problem and getting results but your product/service also needs to be the answer to their problem – and that’s why people need good copywriters. It’s all in the messaging and sales angle.

    That’s a great response from Gary as I get that all the time – people have no idea what copywriters do. I like that and that’s really what direct response copywriting is all about – results for your client.

  • Therese Pope

    Good point, Dino. As a copywriter, I see overused words ALL the time. Don’t get me started on “unique” and “synergy.” Blahhh!

  • http://www.MomEntrepreneurVA.com Bonnie @va4mom

    Blending mediums with ‘CLO’ skills and ‘delivering the promise . . .’ Sounds like a great combo to me . . . they all come back to the customer, which is what it’s all about, right?!? Take it up with Tony Hsieh ;)
    Thanks Jeff!







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