Archive for the ‘Trends’ Category

How to create a strong brand message that’s irresistible (7 clues)

1. This is Business Unusual. We’re living in a 20C Global Village If you have a presence online, don’t forget for a second that the world isn’t checking you out 24/7. Whether you know it or not. Creating an irresistible brand message means you’re going to have to show up and speak directly to the big wide world out there — in your voice, in your language so people can hear you. They need to sense that you ‘are who you say you are.’ So what’s the tone and language around your brand?

2. Storytelling is the Currency of our Time  It’s time to re-imagine and reframe your brand story and message for your audience in a new, provocative way. Connect the dots and defining moments in your life, your business, and what led you to the very spot you are standing in, right now. Because your defining moments and stories around them are what’s going to connect emotionally with other people. That’s irresistible. Story resonates deeply with people. Don’t keep them at arm’s length. They’re longing to connect.

3. Curiosity and Willingness There’s nothing quite like the desire to be transported to new places – and see the future. It’s something we all crave. So if your business can deliver people to another sense of place or discovery —  make sure that’s embedded in your messaging. That’s irresistible, for sure. Allow your clients to sense and pick up on this desire.  Are you paying attention? Being curious and having a sense of wonder in your messaging is magic. PS Complacency is a killer.

 4. Peripheral Vision The ability to see outside the lines of sight is critical in your business. It helps to shift your perspective, see the other person’s point of view. It often brings compassion, a heightened sensitivity and the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. Bring your own kind of empathy and understanding to your brand messaging. It goes a long way in building trust and meaningful relationships in your business. Are you understanding what other people’s issues are and how you can make a difference? Can’t do business without trust. If you’re trustworthy, people will feel it and head in your direction. That’s irresistible.

5. Desire to Big, Bold and Provocative In this over-saturated marketplace, one of the best ways to soar above your competition is by creating your own signature brand message that will make you stand out. OK Focus on what makes you truly different. Then translate that over into your business. So how brave and fearless are you when it comes to showing up bigger and bolder? This is not the time to be small. PS If you can brand with heart, and with intention, you’re going to be miles ahead of your competition.

6.  Take on the Role of Brand Guardian You are the Guardian of your brand. It’s a role to be taken seriously. You’d be amazed at the number of business owners who are not paying attention to their brand. Brands like to be nurtured need your attention. (A bit like puppies. Seriously.) Your brand is never done, so to speak. It needs to change, grow and evolve just like everything else in your business. So what kind of Brand Guardian are you? Because if you nurture your brand, your customers will tell, and feel the difference. Guaranteed.

7. Master of Serious Play Believe it or not, brands have a tendency to want to play, live out loud and have a bit of fun along the way! That’s irresistible. It’s the one characteristic that is hugely attractive to clients, and it will certainly keep them paying attention… Of course, it’s about keeping a fine balance between being professional and playful so make sure you can walk that tightrope with grace. So if you’re not having fun with your brand, go out and start addressing this issue immediately. It will pay off, I promise.

OK Your turn! I’d love to hear your best-kept secrets about how you’re creating the most irresistible brand messaging out there!

Zinging along,

Van

@2015 Mary van de Wiel | CEO Creative Captain Zing Your Brand & Co.

 

Have a brand question? Call in Wed 1/27 at 8pm EST

It’s official: Lori Wilk, CEA, creative energy accelerator and the fabulous Brooklyn-born babe, says it’s going to be a wild Zing thing next Wed 1/27 5PM-530PM when she interviews Mary van de Wiel (that’s me) about how to Zing Your Brand for huge success in 2010 and beyond.

You bet, I am joining the extraordinary host Lori Wilk on an episode of Successipes talk show. Call-in to participate in this broadcast live from Las Vegas at (347)237-5638.

Send some questions to host Lori Wilk: – lori@successipes.com? Want to hear your voice on the call! See you then.
Van

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/successipes
Watch for the article after the broadcast at
http://www.examiner.com/x-32346-business-success-examiner

What's your brand personality type?

It’s Friday afternoon, it just snowed buckets, the world is slowing down so I put on my Master of
Serious Play hat (speaking figuratively, of course) because I want some fun, and I feel like putting
a smile on your face this afternoon.

We have to start, though, with the Noº 4 Outrageously Obvious Clue which tells me whether you’re still shooting your brand in the foot (or not). *Stay with me, here.

Clue Noº 4
You’re not having enough fun with your brand.

I can always tell when you (CEO/Brand Guardian), ain’t having any fun with your brand. If you’re suffering
from a lack of excitement when it comes to playing around with your brand, we gotta fix that right now.

A few ideas. Loosen up, relax and act out. (It’s Friday.) Pretend what kind of voice your brand might have. Does it have an accent? (We’re having fun here, remember?) Does your brand speak in a booming voice or a seductive one? Does your brand like to greet clients with a firm handshake or a bear hug? How willing are you to make your clients smile – no, laugh, outloud?!

OK. Here is a great example of a global brand that loves having fun, particularly with what they do best.
It’s the design firm Pentagram (offices in London, New York, SF, Austin and Berlin.) An impressive 2D-3D design group and I’m one of their raving fans.

Pentagram is having a ball. They’ve created this microsite where you can find out what kind of personality type you are. They say your personality can be defined by typography! So go to their link, and think of your Brand Personality while you’re at it. (My personality type? Cooper Black Gothic.)


REMEMBER: You need this password: Character

There’s only four simple personality questions and make sure you keep the sound on!

Another good example of a company having fun? Zing Your Brand.If your brand don’t sell a thing, it ain’t got Zing!

Whoopee! After all, that’s what brands like doing. Brands were born to KACHING! Brands loveattracting attention, turning heads, bringing in clients and knocking the socks off the competition. It’s what brands do. It’s fun, and it’s that simple.

FYI I’ve been so busy teaching people how to fall in love with their brand that I forget to remind them
that the most successful CEOs are constantly working and playing with their brand, having fun, tinkering here and there, for one reason. They know how to transform their brands into energizing, lead generating machines, so to speak.

Because it’s what brands do.

So hey, go find out what personality type you are, and here’s to having more fun with your brand than ever before. PS You got a problem with your relationship with your brand? Call me.

Remember, The NY Brand Lab kicks off January 25 and I’m over the moon to see who is signing up. We’re all going to be putting on Master of Serious Play hats, get down to some outrageously fabulous brand work, and have a ball.

Find out out more? Register details (so you don’t miss the boat) http://zingyourbrand.com/nybrandlab
Here’s to having more fun with your brand!

What your business really needs. A good, decent brand.

It’s Van here, checking in from New York finally! Ah, the move back to Brooklyn was a huge and exhausting one but I’m happy to report I’m almost finished unpacking, and over the moon to be working in such a fabulous loft space. What’s more, it’s where The NY Brand Lab is taking place next Monday at 12noon sharp. There are only a few seats left at the table, so if you want a spot at The NY Brand Lab, you better move fast!

http://zingyourbrand.com/nybrandlab

But before you sign up, give me a call and I can help you make sure this is the right fit for you. The NY Brand Lab is not for everyone. So give me a call and let’s take it from there.

So let’s get right down to it. What does every successful business need to succeed in a lousy economy? A decent brand. OK. A brilliant brand would be better but let’s start with a good, decent brand. Your business
needs a good decent brand that has that unmistakable spark you can spot a mile off – that unique kind of personality that attracts attention AND customers AND it makes you a lot of money.

A good decent brand also is: –
* Unforgettable.
* Compelling.
* Consistent.
* True to what you deliver.
* True to who you are.
* Fun. Yup, you heard me, fun. That’s key!

WHAT EVERY GOOD BRANDS WANTS: It’s important to uncover your brand’s strengths
and weaknesses. Every brand has both, of course. But if you can do that, then you can pull alll the great stuff to the foreground and scrap the stuff that doesn’t work. FYI Good brands like showing off, like having all the good stuff up front.

WHY YOU NEED HELP: You know branding is key to growing your biz. You can tell when your brand just isn’t there. You can probably tell when you can’t put your finger on what’s missing, what’s “off,” and how to correct it. Or, what your brand should be in the first place. It needs to communicate
who you are in a flash. That can be a tricky thing to figure out and pull off. FYI All good brands love communicating fast and easy.

MY TRACK RECORD: Would you believe I showed my branding genius back at age seven? My sister and I formed the “Five Leaf Clover Club” when we were living in Maracaibo, Venezuela and I came up with the name and designed the logo, signs, everything. OK, maybe that’s not such hot resume
material but you get the idea.

As soon as you understand that every successful business has invested in creating a good decent (brilliant) brand, then you’re a step ahead of everybody else in your industry. If you’re looking to create a stronger brand, and invest a bit of time and energy, then The NY Brand Lab starts next Monday in DUMBO, Brooklyn, NY,

http://zingyourbrand.com/nybrandlab

FYI Before you sign up, give me a call and I can help you make sure this is the right fit for you. The NY Brand Lab is not for everyone. So give me a call and let’s take it from there! PS Good news! in about 48 hours, I am launching my new website with lots of good decent stuff. Watch this space:)

Time to rethink your brand. Particulary if you're in NY Jan 26th.

I’m checking in, and delighted to be guest speaker at Marian Banker’s Brain Exchange Roundtable next week!

Will you join us? January 26th
733 Third Ave., Suite 200, NYC
(between 45-46th St.)
NYC Office of National Life of Vermont
Only $29.00 reserves your seat at the Roundtable.
Advance registration required.

Now more than ever, it’s critical to tap into a different way of thinking about your brand and do whatever it takes to stake out your territory. But how do you create a Brand Unusual and demand attention in an unpredictable marketplace?

Find out at Marian Banker’s Brain Exchange Roundtable on Tuesday, January 26, 2010 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. EST, where our topic for the evening will be “Brand Unusual: Strategies for Getting to the Front of the Pack”. I am the guest expert (hurrah) and I will show you how to build your own Brand Unusual so you can stand out from the rest of the pack.

Here’ the deal: Take on the role of brand agent and bring a bigger, bolder and more provocative edge to your business brand. After all, our most successful leaders live out loud, take risks and then, stand by them. They do whatever it takes to see their dreams realized. What about you?

Find out how to build your Brand Unusual so your visibility, credibility and bottom line soar.

During the Roundtable, I will be sharing…

How to take on the role of Brand Agent/Provocateur to make a major difference to your bottom line

How to recognize who you are and what you do – so others can

How to re-ignite your passion and what makes your brand zing

The difference between showing up and being visible in your brand

How to keep tabs on your brand’s behavior at all times

The best-kept secrets to living out loud, being passionate and staking out your territory, once and for all.
We’ll make it so simple you’ll leave feeling inspired, able and compelled to rebuild your Brand Unusual. You’ll dare to live out loud and see just how that impacts your bottom line.

Remember: You’re not the Vision Master in your business if you’re not getting your Brand Voice out there. So, if your current Brand is intimidating you, it’s time to reserve your seat at this Roundtable session.

At the Roundtable you’ll have the opportunity to interact with Van and all members. Questions, comments and contributions are encouraged.
 
PLEASE NOTE New meeting location
733 Third Ave., Suite 200, NYC
(between 45-46th St.)
NYC Office of National Life of Vermont  
Only $29.00 reserves your seat at the Roundtable.
Advance registration required.
Limited to 12 participants. 
Reserve your seat NOW!

Does your brand have that special spark?

I’m moving out today. Imagine stacks of packing boxes, bubble wrap and crates, and I’m sitting on the floor
in an empty studio with my Mac laptop.The moving van is actually outside. In fact, here’s a plug for this Brooklyn-based company. I am looking out at a very long chocolate-brown moving truck with bright blue
type on the side. The name? Rabbit Movers.Tagline: truckin like bunnies. And guess what the
number is? 1.888.WABBITS.

So after 20 wonderful months of straddling NY and DC, we’re going to be Brooklyn based again, and of
course, just in time for The NY Brand Lab which starts on Jan 25 at 12noon sharp. You joining me?*

Yes, so this is going to be my last check in from this special Capital City. And it’s going to be quick
because I need to get moving. And in case you’re not up to speed with the new outrageous
and recently updated Zing Glossary, I want to share it with you now. Here goes:

v. zing your brand (i) What I do. I can tell in an instant what your brand is missing, and how to bring it to life.

n. zing (i) That unmistakable spark that makes a person or biz stand out. With it, your brand is unique.Unforgettable. Persuasive. Without it? Dead brand walking.

n. zing master (i) a total pro at turning heads and attracting business. (ii) What you’ll become if you work with me.

One more thing. This is the fifth clue in the series, ‘The Things I Can Spot in a Brand In
a Flash.’
It’s also a shameless plug for The NY Brand Lab.*

Clue Noº 5
Your brand ain’t got that special spark.

It’s not hard to spot a BLAH brand. You can pick ’em a mile away. Important Note: When your
brand has that unmistakable special spark, you’re in the money. Without it, you’re toast. Help is here. I’m a master brand provocateur and I coax out the spirit and power and sass in
your brand.
I spot the cracks and fix them.

Yes, it’s true. The NY Brand Lab is filling up, it kicks off January 25 at 12noon sharp.
So if you’re in business and craving that special Zing (= Ka-Ching) for your brand, join me.
Check out this link before you miss the boat.

http://zingyourbrand.com/nybrandlab

Happy Zinging!

What's the current pulse of your brand?!

Guess what?! There’s only one instance where you don’t have to worry about how to position your brand. You’re in a category where there is no competition. Simple enough!

We’re living in a global village. We’re dealing with changing consumer needs, new technologies and an over-competitive marketplace. Clearly, it’s becoming more and more difficult to craft a compelling personality around your brand that is meaningfully differentiated in the mind of the consumer.

OK. How does that affect both entrepreneurs, small business owners and the corporate sector? It means you have to work harder, and the best place to start is paying closer attention to your brand. Ask yourself: When is the last time you checked the pulse and vital signs of your brand?

We all know brands matter. What’s more, it’s a matter of survival for the 21C. So let’s explore shifting our mindset, see how we can differentiate our business from the rest of the pack. (It’ll change your everyday brand experience and transform your business!)

First of all, it’s about being mindful of the pulse – the current state – of your brand. Brands tend to be highly individualistic, very particular, and on the constant look out for a nurturing hand. So as ‘Brand Guardians’, if we keep a close eye on the pulse of our brand, we can make sure our business is healthy, alive and kicking.

Consider, for a moment, that all good brands have preferences. Brands prefer being on the radar screen versus sitting in the dark. Brands prefer being vibrant and alive versus being bland. Get the idea?

Here’s a quick Brand-Pulse Check List. If you’re nodding yes, let’s assume your business is healthy, alive and well! If not, you might want to think about nurturing your brand a little more, and dedicating some real time to making sure your brand’s vital signs are in good shape! Here goes.

1. All good brands prefer feeling vital, alive, memorable and meaningful. YES/NO
You’d be surprised at how many brand guardians are not paying enough attention to their brand, let alone whether it’s working in their favor or not. Is it expanding as your business grows? Totally aligned with your offer, services, deliverables? If your brand is lacking luster, this is a sign your brand is in trouble.

2. All good brands prefer taking the front seat position. YES/NO
The favorite position for brands is high visibility. Up there, out there. Standing out, shining bright, soaring and yes flourishing! In fact, the more attention your brand gets, the better it is for business. If your brand is catapulting into new stratospheres way above the competition, then you know your bottom line is soaring too. Congratulations!

3. All good brands prefer to excel. YES/NO
Brands are ambitious. They don’t like to appear bland. They’d rather show off to the world. And they don’t like to appear apologetic, insincere, uninspiring or lacking authenticity. They like to show value, purpose, great benefit and prestige. Think about how to make your brand stand tall above the rest. Then watch what happens!

4. All good brands like a good story.
Storytelling is the single most powerful communication tool in any business toolkit. After all, storytelling is the currency of our time. It’s how we connect and it’s one of the most powerful emotional connections out there. Look at Facebook and social networking sites. They’re popular because people long for story and connection. How’s your brand story shaping up? Create a compelling brand story around your business, tell it in a provocative and bold way, and watch what happens! It’ll bring your brand to life.

What’s the prognosis of your brand? How did your brand pulse score? If you’ve discovered it’s time to pay more attention to your brand, then think about crafting a powerful Brand Story so you land a sweet spot on the New Brand Landscape in 21C and soar above the competition!

Having enough fun with your brand?

It’s Friday afternoon, it just snowed buckets, the world is slowing down so I put on my Master of Serious Play hat (speaking figuratively, of course) because I want some fun, and I feel like putting
a smile on your face this afternoon.

We have to start, though, with the Noº 4 Outrageously Obvious Clue  Clue Noº 4
You’re not having enough fun with your brand.

I can always tell when you (CEO/Brand Guardian), ain’t having any fun with your brand. If you’re suffering from a lack of excitement when it comes to playing around with your brand, we gotta fix that right now.

 A few ideas. Loosen up, relax and act out. (It’s Friday.) Pretend what kind of voice your brand might have. Does it have an accent? (We’re having fun here, remember?) Does your brand speak in a booming voice or a seductive one? Does your brand like to greet clients with a firm handshake or a bear hug? How willing are you to make your clients smile – no, laugh, outloud?!

OK. Here is a great example of a global brand that loves having fun, particularly with what they do best. It’s the design firm Pentagram (offices in London, New York, SF, Austin and Berlin.) An impressive 2D-3D design group and I’m one of their raving fans.

Pentagram is having a ball. They’ve created this microsite where you can find out what kind of personality type you are. They say your personality can be defined by typography! So go to their link, and think of your Brand Personality while you’re at it. (My personality type? Cooper Black Gothic.)

 

REMEMBER: You need this password: Character. There’s only four simple personality questions
and make sure you keep the sound on!

 Another good example of a company having fun? Zing Your Brand. You know I love what I do.  And, what I do best is work with whip-smart, agile and nimble thinkers, willing to do whatever it takes to inject that creative knock-your-sock-off energy in their their brand. Be provocative and shake things up a little. Got that?

But guess what? As much fun as I have, I always want more. (Is that the Capricorn in me, Gay?!)
FYI I have a brilliant astrologist-friend and she corrects me every time I throw away a line like that.) Back to my wanting more fun.So I started playing around with my brand, had heaps of fun and here’s what came out of it: –

If your brand don’t sell a thing, it ain’t got Zing!

Whoopee! After all, that’s what brands like doing. Brands were born to KACHING! Brands love attracting attention, turning heads, bringing in clients and knocking the socks off the competition.
It’s what brands do. It’s fun, and it’s that simple.

FYI I’ve been so busy teaching people how to fall in love with their brand that I forget to remind them
that the most successful CEOs are constantly working and playing with their brand, having fun, tinkering here and there, for one reason. They know how to transform their brands into energizing, lead generating machines, so to speak.

Because it’s what brands do. So go find out what personality type you are, and here’s to having
more fun with your brand than ever before. PS You got a problem withyour relationship with your brand? Call me.

Remember, The NY Brand Lab kicks off January 25 and I’m over the moon to see who is signing up. We’re all going to be putting on Master of Serious Play hats, get down to some outrageously fabulous brand work, and have a ball.

Find out out more? Register details (so you don’t miss the boat)
http://zingyourbrand.com/nybrandlab

Here’s to having more fun with your brand!

Is your brand shooting you in the foot?!

I’m putting on my Zing Girl hat today and sending you
special wishes for 2010 because as far as I’m concerned,
there’s nothing quite like the start of a new year
– let alone a new decade – for putting a spring in
your step and feeling optimistic!

Full Disclosure: My birthday is in January so
that explains it. This time of year always feels
good to me. So in the interest of helping you feel good,
I want to help you make sure your brand is working
in your favor
this year (and
not shooting you in the foot)!

Here are some clues which tell me that
your brand is not working in your favor:

CLUE NO 1º
No photo of CEO/Founder anywhere on site.
As far as I’m concerned, it doesn’t matter what you look like:)
As long as you have a twinkle in your eye and/or look engaged
and/or energized and/or excited about life in general, that’s
what give me ‘additional information’ about you.

Something has to speak to me – and tell me that you’re
passionate about everything you’re doing. I love this
photo of Melani: go to www.melaniward.com and see
her spontaneous, energetic and uplifting pic!

CLUE NO 2ª
No bit of charisma or creative storytelling anywhere.

If you’re the Founder/CEO, I need to know more
about you and why you do what you do. It’s what
keeps you top of mind, keeps me looking in your
direction,
keeps me thinking, “Hey, I need/want/have
to work (get to know) this person, now!” Your brand is
your story. So what do you dream about? Start there.

CLUE NO 3º
You keep me at arm’s length.

Not a good idea. No matter how hard I try to find you,
get a sense of who you are and whether I want to
work with you, you keep insisting on hiding.
You are not allowing me to come any closer or
catch even a glimpse of you.

Considering we live in a global village and so
much biz is being done online, it makes sense
to allow your potential buyers to catch a
glimpse of how you think, work and see your
world.

(A silly example: at the bottom of ABOUT
on my site, www.zingyourbrand.com)
on the very last line, I mention
the color of my red lipstick. Why? Because
everyone/everywhere stops me on the street
to ask me. So guess what? Now, almost everyone
I meet online know the name of my lipstick
and they can’t stop talking about it. What
does that tell you? (Hey, I wish more women
wore red lipstick, what can i say?!)

CLUE NO 4º
Your brand is misbehaving

I keep comparing brands to puppies because
both need training, watching over, a lot of TLC
and nurturing, and of course, need strict
parameters. As Brand Guardian, every CEO
needs to keepi their brand on a leash,
so to speak, because if you don’t pay attention
to the kind of language your brand is using
in your marketing material or if you’re not
mindful of the tone or attitude of your brand, then
your brand is clearly shooting you in the foot.

This is your biz, after all. I want you to make sure
you’re paying attention to your brand
because if it starts feeling neglected, it’s going
to act out, send out negative signals to your
potential target audience and guess what happens
then? People stay away. No one likes
a bad attitude.

So think about the kinds of clues (good and bad)
your brand is shouting out right now to everyone
who checks out your site, or drops by your office
or talks to you on the phone.

Exciting News: The first roll-up-your-sleeves work
session at The NY Brand Lab starts Jan 25 and seats
are going quicky, I am pleased to say. So if your
brand needs a lot of TLC and a bit of transformation,
that’s exactly what we’ll be doing for four
consecutive Mondays (Feb 15 is President’s Day
so will be rescheduling that day).

Here’s the link to register before all 12 seats are
are booked.
http://zingyourbrand.com/nybrandlab

What’s more, The NY Brand Lab is going
to help you work out what makes your brand
tick, for once and for all, and it’s going to
transform your brand into a money-making
machine.

After all, that’s what all powerful and successful
brands do. They attract a lot of attention, turn
heads, bring in a stream of clients and, they
knock the socks off your competition.

Ready to take your brand from blah to zing? Remember
ZING loves KACHING!

http://zingyourbrand.com/nybrandlab

Here’s to watching your brand zing!

Like the idea of having a brand with 'entrepreneurial moxie'?!

Ok. If you’re looking to inject your brand with a bit of ‘entrepreneurial moxy,’ here’s what I want you to do:

1) First, take a note of this website designed by entrepreneur Jason Sadler’s – www.iwearyourshirt.com.

2) Then, I want to introduce you to Jon Cook, Reuters’s online editor for Small Business. This is Jon’s story below, “Is t-shirt advertising a sustainable business?” It’s all about Jason Sadler, and Jon had contacted me, looking for some commentary about Sadler’s business model so keep scrolling down, because I’m delighted to be included as one of three branding experts here.

PS This is what struck me when I visited Jason’s site: – a big idea, transparency, authenticity, gusto, wit, smarts, refreshing energy, the lot – and so it was clear to me that Sadler’s brand is a Brand Unusual! Why? He’s come up with (a rather) unusual idea. He’s inventive, innovative and he’s embraced technology effortlessly, made it work in his favor.

What’s more, It’s win-win all the way, and his whip-smart thinking (which kept him off the unemployment line) made him $84,000 this year. I say KUDOS! He’s only 27 (or 28?), and his biz model is a brilliant example of the new brand landscape for the 21C.

So go have a read below – and here’s to following Jon Cook’s stories about fabulously creative entrepreneurs!

Is t-shirt advertising a sustainable business?
By Jon Cook, Reuters’ Online Editor | Small Business
Published online Dec 16, 2009 09:00 EST

Jason Sadler makes a surprisingly good living wearing other peoples’ t-shirts – $84,000 since launching his one-man ad service last January – but our experts are doubtful he can grow it into a larger, more sustainable model.

A year ago the 27-year-old Jacksonville, Florida entrepreneur launched a website – Iwearyourshirt.com – where he charged people to wear whatever shirt they sent him (read original story here). New Year’s Day was $1 and each successive day Sadler’s fee went up a buck, so this New Year’s Eve he will charge $365. Sadler made $66,795 for advertising on his back alone and another $18,000 in monthly sponsorships, where he charges $1,500 for an ad spot on his online monthly calendar.

“I’ve got companies that need more exposure than I can give in hours I can work in a day,” said Sadler, whose very first advertiser on January 1 was live video streaming website Ustream.tv, the same platform Sadler uses to broadcast his own live one-hour webcast to chat with viewers about the companies and the products displayed on his extra-large sized chest. So far his clients range from obscure bloggers and rock bands, to startups and established companies like Zappos, Prudential and Intuit. Comedian Bill Cosby even used him to try to get more people to sign up to his Facebook page.

“Every day I really try to give as much push and as much value without sales-pitching people,” said Sadler, who initially got the idea after seeing how many promotional t-shirts are discarded and thought he could offer the companies making them more value by actually wearing them around. “The value of doing all this content for $300, even if it only gets a couple hundred views on everything, is still pretty tremendous when you think about the grand scheme of things.”

For 2010, Sadler is doubling his daily prices – so it will cost advertisers $2 this January 1 and $730 on December 31. Monthly sponsorships will jump to $2,500. Sadler also hired a friend in Los Angeles to help tag-team on promotions, so now companies that buy spots will get two guys wearing their shirts and spreading the word virally online.

“If you were going to put an hourly rate on that from an ad agency you’d pay way more,” said Sadler, who will split the revenues 50-50 with his co-worker. In addition, Sadler said he will introduce “proud partnerships,” an initiative whereby he provides a special yearly promotion for a company. He said he has already inked a deal for an undisclosed amount with Tommy John apparel to exclusively wear their underwear throughout next year.

Sadler said the only downside is that he never gets a day off, which has interfered with his social life, in particular on the occasions where he has had to attend a wedding, or a funeral, or just wanted to take his girlfriend out to a nice meal. In order to free up his time, Sadler needs to spread the word on his unique business model and create more demand from advertisers for his shirt-wearing services. Then he could hire more people and maybe get a day off here and there.

“Everyone wants to get to their millions – I know I do,” said Sadler. “If I can do it through wearing shirts and other kinds of fun engagements, I’m extremely happy.”

TAKING IT TO THE EXPERTS

Mary van de Wiel

Mary van de Wiel, a branding expert and the founder and CEO of Zing Your Brand consultancy firm, was very impressed by Sadler’s entrepreneurial moxy and the simplicity of his service to advertisers.

“The whole online direct marketing business model is all about getting to know, like and trust people and just by looking at him with his big smile and goofy face you immediately feel you can trust him,” said van de Wiel, who called Sadler a “brand unusual,” referring to his ability to mold his business around his unique personality, but still offer value to clients.

“He’s actually doing something that’s win-win: he’s making a living and all the people who are getting their ads up there are getting a big benefit for a very reasonable amount, so he understands the power of leverage,” said Van de Wiel, who felt Sadler is on the cutting edge of a new kind of guerrilla marketing. “He’s like a pied piper leading the way in a different way of doing business. I get pretty excited about this, because I’m always challenging people to get out of their comfort zone, stake out their territory and live out loud.”

While she didn’t feel Sadler needed any help in getting publicity, van de Wiel suggested he expand his marketing push beyond t-shirts to include caps, pants and other apparel. “For the average Joe Blow they just buy a day on the calendar, but if you want to get huge exposure you pay more and he actually comes in and he wears your whole wardrobe.”

Josh Hallett

Josh Hallett, a social-media expert and New Media Strategist at Voce Communications, said Sadler had “a unique and compelling story,” but was less enthusiastic about Sadler’s long-term prospects and didn’t feel he offered enough to entice major brands to advertise with him.

“It’s a niche thing that’s interesting to play around with, but I don’t know how many large brand managers are going to say I’ve got to make something like this part of my campaign for 2010,” confessed Hallett, who said Sadler would likely get more traction with businesses whose “Twitter following, Facebook fans or blog stats are relatively low compared to his daily traffic.”

Hallett said Sadler should do more in terms of educating his clients about how they can “activate” their sponsorship and realize a greater audience with the campaign. “It’s sort of a double punch where he is marketing or promoting a brand and the brand itself is then promoting whatever he’s doing to get a little bit of a larger audience,” said Hallett.

Hallett was concerned that by expanding the business and hiring others to wear the t-shirts, Sadler would lose that specialness that comes from his own personality. “As you get more people doing these shirts in different regions it almost becomes like a billboard company,” said Hallett, adding: “Do you reach that saturation point where doing longer Web shows or doing more Web shows during the day, do you begin to lose your audience, or fragment your audience?”

Rob Gorrie

Advertising specialist Rob Gorrie, who runs his own digital ad agency Adcentricity, was also skeptical and referred to Sadler’s business as a “one-trick pony.”

“It could be seen as a little bit gimmicky and if it gets a little bit tired marketers may tire of the concept and move on in a couple of years,” said Gorrie, who compared Sadler’s efforts to those of a of a guy in the U.K. who embedded LCD screens in his jacket armpits.

Gorrie said that while these types of entrepreneurs can make a good living doing this, their businesses tend to evolve into more traditional, or run-of-the-mill type marketing companies, like the ones that employ street teams to run marketing blitzes.

Gorrie said it’s very difficult to maintain the interest of online viewers and that Sadler will have to keep innovating to make sure his business keeps its unique appeal.

“If you’re going to build a company around it, you definitely have to watch out for the risks that it will tire as a tactic,” said Gorrie, “and in that light you’re going to have to continue to innovate and come up with new concepts to be able to take to advertisers to keep their interest and to keep the consumer’s interest.”