I was talking to a neighbor and fellow NWMer last year about marketing ideas….while we were both cleaning up our yards after a recent hurricane. He shared some pretty neat tips I’d call “community branding”. Here’s just one “semi” inovative idea for you to chew on: Participating in community charity activities. Just that simple….but with lot’s of potential. For example….. how about your group running in a local 5K for the Muscular Dystrophy Foundation…..all wearing T-shirts with your group/business name on it. Carry a sign across the finish line with “The Yada Yada company running for a cure” (or whatever….be more creative than that obviously….LOL). Talk to media covering the event. Network with fellow participants. Be involved. How about your group volunteering to help at functions for your local YMCA ….or local library….or rec center….or PTA…or…. you get the idea. Or…very timely for us….go out as a group and help clean up your neighborhood after something like Katrina. Have something like a sign, banner, T-shirts that say who you are (special T-shirts only for something like Katrina clean-up). But don’t pass out brochures and company material. Just network and create visibility. Maybe have a few business cards in your pocket and hand them only to those who ask. You could also have brochures etc. in your car maybe. Just DON’T make it look like a big marketing gimic. The public will see right through it. Instead create an identity & branding within your community. This establishes a sense of acceptance and curiosity you can build upon by following up with contacts made during these events. You might even make the local news as a community interest story. Nice publicity. We have a couple groups who apply this concept very well in our annual American Cancer Society Relay For Life events. You could too. Remember to adhere to any “rules” of the specific event sponsor (if an event) and your particular company. Basically….just be seen & have fun. Makes for a good team building excercise too.