Unique Value at McDonald’s Ain’t About the Big Macs and Fries!

The unique value of your business

is not your goods or services!

At McDonald's, the fries are not the unique value.

Sometimes your company's unique value is not about what it seems!

On the wall of every McDonald’s look for a bronze plaque to a guy named Ray Kroc.


 Ray was McDonald’s founder.  And I was fortunate enough to have an amazing conversation about McDonald’s Unique Value with Ray just before he retired.

Even today I’m still embarrassed at how lame-brained I was in those days.  I had the nerve to walk up to the founder of one of the greatest food service companies in history and ask him my version of “What do you do?”

It went something like this: “Mr. Kroc, to build a business like this, you must really have an incredible passion for burgers and fries.”

Kroc looked at me like the imbecile I was.

“This business is not about burgers and fries, son,” he said.  “This business is about my passion to give entrepreneurs like you the perfect, no-fail business.”

He could see I still didn’t get it.  “You’re an entrepreneur, right?  They tell me you started your own ad agency, right?” I nodded.

“Do you know that 80% of all entrepreneurs fail after 2 years?”

I nodded again, although I hadn’t checked the numbers.  “Well,” he continued, “I’m building a business where 99% of all entrepreneurs succeed beyond their wildest dreams.  But they must follow my detailed directions to the letter.”

As proof, he directed me to a list of McDonald’s 6,500 franchisees whose documented success stories (they were all millionaires) more than proved his case.

Today, of course, McDonald’s has created over 35,000 millionaire franchisees worldwide.  They still hold their 99% success rate.

Now that’s a “What do you do?” story told with passion, unique value, and proof!

Unique value is the key to McDonald’s business success and it’s the key to your business success as well.  McDonald’s has discovered its “special sauce” and you can discover yours.

Your Unique Value is not your goods or services.

Would you like to discover exactly how we Mad Men on Madison Avenue help companies like McDonald’s, Coke, Nike, and others discover their unique value?

Because unlike what you may have heard, great brands are not based on logos, color schemes, or name recognition.  It’s something deep inside you, like your DNA.  It’s your special talent or gift.

Great brands are built on Unique Value.   Your business will be built on your unique value, special to you and one one else.   Remember, people buy from people, not from companies.

Then we show you exactly how to communicate your own unique value directly to your target audience.  That is what attracts not just any clients – but perfect clients to your business.


And perfect client attraction is how you build a perfect business!   It all begins when your Unique Value owns a little piece of real estate inside the minds of your target audience.



Your Millionaire Thumbprint

If your life depended on it,

could you pick your own thumbprint

out of a lineup of 25 other thumbprints?


The FBI could in a heartbeat.

Why can’t you?

Why can’t you identify your own thumbprint?  Probably because you never thought it was that important. Even though, like your DNA and several other of your unique characteristics, there’s never been another one like it in the entire universe, and there will never be another one like it again, ever.

Like your thumbprint and DNA, you also have a singular, unique talent and message unlike anyone else who has ever lived.

Can’t identify it either?  Don’t think it’s that important, either?

 Don’t you believe it!  They’re all part of your personal brand!

You may not believe you have a significant talent. You may not recognize it, even if you have one.  But it’s there, buried deep within you.  And your unique talent – if you can recognize it and broadcast it to your target audience – has a huge payoff!

Just a quick aside: when my clients first come to me they often say, “I don’t have a special, unique talent,” or “I have so many, I don’t know which one to choose.”  I tell them each answer is a cop-out.

Just one

To be highly successful, you must single out one specific, unique talent.  Granted, it’s not easy.  It takes time and effort.  Working with a good coach saves both.

But when you choose to identify and share your unique talent and message, that talent can make a profound and very profitable difference in your life and the lives of others.

The big difference

That’s the difference between wildly successful people like millionaires, billionaires, and the average person.  Successful people take time to identify their unique talent, instantly communicate it to their target audience, and make that profound and very profitable difference in their life and the lives of others – from Steve Jobs to Mother Theresa.

Let’s start decoding your Millionaire’s Thumbprint NOW!  Click on “Talk with AL” for a 20-minute FREE consultation that can begin to transform your business and your life.

Your Unique Selling Proposition

Marketing #101: Top marketers know they need a Unique Selling Proposition (USP) to leap over their competition.

How “unique” is your Unique Selling Proposition?

Better still, how come most marketers are clueless about their Unique Selling Proposition – or if they have one, they don’t know how to use it to catapult their brands above the crowd?



There’s nothing new about the Unique Selling Proposition concept. It instantly defines what makes your brand both special and superior to the competition..


 Creating an exciting, compelling Unique Selling Proposition for a small business may sound like a near-impossible job, at first. We’re talking Coke’s “secret formula” here. Or McDonald’s “special sauce”. Big corporations pay millions to brand consultant to create award-winning USPs for their brands. (I should know – I was one of them.)


Here’s the good news: You’ve already got your “secret formula”; your “secret sauce”!  You were born with it!

Now all you have to  do is: Discover it; Refine it; Communicate it to your Target Audience.


You’ve heard the old expression, “There will never be another you.” And it’s true: psychologically, scientifically, mathematically, anyway you want to look at it.


You are as unique as your thumbprint!

Personal Branding Gold is all about uncovering your Unique Selling Proposition, (that lies buried in your DNA),  setting your business high above your competition, and communicating your unique value to your target audience.  A great USP can put your personal brand on the map fast.

 That’s why I urge you to grab a FREE copy of my Power of the Ring Kit now and see:

• The 3 simple steps you need to uncover and magnify your unique USP.
• How to instantly communicate your unique value to your target audience.
• How Personal Branding Gold attracts only “perfect clients”.
• How your unique value frees you from the one-on-one income ceiling.
• How your Personal Brand allows you to dominate your niche.




PS: Please don’t spend another day spinning your wheels trying to figure out your unique value and how to instantly communicate that to your target market. Get your FREE Report and MP3 and get started on your path to solid success.

Personal Branding Wealth

Building Your Personal Brand

(just get your name out there)

Is a Dumb, Expensive Idea.

Personal Branding Wealth

Couldn’t agree more with Greg Habstritt’s latest blog Why Building Your Brand Is A Dumb Idea.

Greg is warning hard-working entrepreneurs (who might want to build Personal Branding wealth) but don’t have a lot of marketing experience, why Fortune 500 companies like Apple, McDonald’s, and the auto giants can afford to throw $billions promoting their brands while we coaches, consultants, and solo-preneurs have to be a lot more accountable for each dollar spent promoting our brands.


If you don’t have a lot to spend (and if that seems an obvious observation to you at first, stay with me) Greg may be on to something even more important, I think.  Unfortunately, many solo-preneurs are unclear about what a “brand” is, let alone their Personal Brand.  More important, they don’t appreciate the huge attraction power of Personal Branding wealth.

First, the Reason for Personal Branding Wealth

The whole point of Personal Branding wealth is to create in the mind of your Target Audience the perception that there is no other coach, consultant or solo-preneur like you in the entire world.

Branding is all about Singularity

Other cornflakes may look the same, but only Tony the Tiger is Grreat!  Other sodas may come in red cans too, but Coke is the Real Thing!  You also need to rise above (way above) your competition.  Your Personal Brand will accomplish that – and more!

What is Your Special Sauce?

McDonald’s has theirs.  What’s yours?  Everyone was born with a unique talent that they can share with the world – something they may not value for themselves, but could make a profound difference in the lives of others.  That’s exactly what a good Personal Branding wealth coach can unleash in the “talent” (that’s what I call my clients).

Second, Your Personal Brand will Attract “Perfect” Clients

People are attracted to people more than products or services.  Of course you offer a fine product or service, but you are your brand – you are the Real Thing.  And that’s what a good Personal Branding coach will help you develop.

Personal Branding Identifies Your Target Market

As you uncover more and more of your core values, you simultaneously identify the basic needs of your Target Audience.  This becomes invaluable, gut-level market research not only for great copy-writing, keyword research, blogs, video presentations, new products, and more.

That’s how a great Personal Branding leads directly to Personal Branding wealth.  And most important of all – a joyful, completely congruent business in tune with your talents, loves and inspirations.   It doesn’t get any better than that!


Personal Branding Statement or “What Do You Do?”

When people ask, “What Do You Do?” 

Personal Branding Statementyour most powerful answer is your

Personal Branding Statement!

Because a compelling Personal Branding Statement is the most effective (and disarming) marketing device known to attract perfect clients to your business.

“What do you do?” or “WDYD?” is the question you get all the time: at conferences, dinner parties, on airplanes, webinars, just about everywhere.

But don’t treat it as an idle question.  Chances are, the person who’s asking it may be your next perfect client.  And if you respond with a thoughtful Personal Branding Statement, your chances improve from fair to excellent that they’ll ask for your card.

But before you construct a truly magnetic Personal Branding Statement, you have to construct it piece by piece.  To do that, you’ll need to establish four things:

  • Who the heck are you (and what’s your “Special Sauce”)?

  • Who is your Target Audience and what’s their problem, their need, their pain?

  • How do you use your “Special Sauce” or gift to solve it?

  • Give an example that proves it.

Personal Branding Statement Part 1: Who are you?  What are your unique talents?  Just as McDonald’s claims to have a “Special Sauce” and Coke claims to have a secret formula buried in a vault under Atlanta, you have a secret formula (your God-given gift) buried deep in your DNA.

What do you stand for?  Your values lie at the heart of your Personal Branding Statement. Those acquired core values, personality traits, and a host of other characteristics make you distinctive, notable, and authentically “you.”

Don’t think you have a special gift, talent, or unique trait to offer the world?  Or have  so many gifts your can’t single one out?  That’s why talent like you needs coaches to really help them shine.  Contact me or another fine personal branding coach and start your career transformation now!

Personal Branding Statement Part 2: Who do you work with or what kind of clients should I refer to you?  In other words, who’s your Target Audience?  See their faces, hear their voices, know their smells!  Be specific.  Walk their walk.  Get down and dirty.

Your Personal Branding Statement may focus on owners with unruly pets; busy moms trying to lose weight; frustrated business owners with less than $3 million in revenues.  Here’s where you want to be as specific as possible.  Know their problems; feel their pain (as a former president used to say).

Personal Branding Statement Part 3: Review clients you’ve helped and envision into the future how you will discover more of them desperately awaiting your help.

Personal Branding Statement Part 4: Proof of your  success!  Begin with a one-sentence description of your client and her problem.  Follow with how you helped (skip the details). End with the results and a happy ending!



Never Waste a Crisis!

A nameless White House Chief-of-Staff (who went on to become mayor of Chicago) is quoted as saying, “Never waste a crisis.”

Politically, that rather cynical advice means: use the chaos raised by social upheaval as cover to push through otherwise unpopular agendas.

But that same advice (Never waste a crisis!) properly used, can have a profound effect on your personal and professional life.  As a successful Personal Branding coach and someone who worked with many Fortune 500 brands for many years, let me give you a prime example.

My temporary Mantannan midnight office

Years ago, while gathering new accounts for my (then) start-up ad agency, I drove a NYC cab at night.  My investors had covered office expenses and staff, but not my salary.  Had an ill wife, five school-age kids, and a NY apartment.  But I believed in myself and knew what I had to do.

But that’s not why I’m telling you this story.  I’m telling you this because when my fares would slide into my hack, they would often poke their heads through the Plexiglas window and say, “Hey, pal, you don’t sound like a cabbie.”

And I’d answer, “You’re right, I’m not.  I’m a big Madison Avenue ad executive, doing market research.  Would you mind answering a few questions?”

Then I would ask them where they were from, what they thought of our quaint native customs, restaurants, shows, mating habits, and more.   Whatever crossed my mind.  I kept it all organized in a little notebook.  I still have that diary in my desk.

There are a million stories buried in that research!  More important, this whole hack-driving incident helped me dig down and uncover one small part of my “voice” for my Self Brand.  You never know what so-called disasters from your past you can turn into a goldmine.

Like the President’s Chief-of-Staff said, “Never waste a crisis!”

What makes your Personal Brand so powerful?

You may already know that a corporate brand is more powerful and sustainable than marketing, sales, and advertising combined!

But why brand yourself?

Simple: You rise above your competition; dominate your niche; and attract a highly-responsive, targeted list to your proprietary goods and services.

No other single move you can make gives you anything like the profits and performance of Personal Branding.

Which one's the Coke?

Where would COKE (“The Real Thing”) be or BMW (“The Ultimate Driving Machine”) be without their brands?  Answer: Just another brown, sugar-water soda and just another German car (made in South Carolina).

And with their well-positioned brands, Fortune 500 companies dominate their niches and crush their competition (e.g.  FedEx: “Overnight”; McDonald’s: “I’m Lovin’ It”). We’ve all seen great brands rise and fall over the years because their owners broke the Laws of Branding  – like diluting them:  (e.g. Chevy is a big, small, expensive, cheap, car – or truck!).

As someone who ran a successful ad agency on Madison Avenue  that nurtured and built Fortune 500 brands for almost 30 years I have really good news for every solo entrepreneur whose revenues might have plateaued.

An authentic Personal Brand will create in the minds of your clients the perception that there is no other online coach, consultant or marketer quite like you in the whole wide world!

Owning that concept  in the minds of your clients – just as Coke owns “real” or BMW owns “driving” – allows you to dominate your niche.

Personal Branding demands you dominate your niche!

Why? Because if you are a late arrival or in a crowded market, Personal Branding forces you to create your own niche specialty area that you can dominate.

Personal Branding will grow your business to a new level with far less effort than you might have imagined possible.  And why does all this happen simultaneously?  Because Personal Branding makes you and your business unique (by definition).  It insures you create blogs, landing pages, giveaways and videos straight from the heart.  It releases a creative flow from within as individual as your thumbprint.  As one-of-a-kind as your DNA.  This is hard to believe if you’ve never experienced it’s power.

Most Personal Branding concepts focus mainly on self marketing, image building, selling, packaging, and self-promoting. They don’t require you to drill down to discover your own self vision. Instead you may end up with  your perception of what you must be to others in order to sell to them.  Worse, you may not deliver according to your brand potential. You may concentrate more on selling and promoting yourself and even be perceived as an ego-centric, self-centered dweeb!

Bottom line: your Personal Brand should be authentic.  Personal Branding pays huge rewards in both your personal and professional life.  It’s all about getting clear about your unique gift, benefiting others with it, and earning a generous living from it.

But it must be real, it must be passionate, it must be totally honest.  This is where coaching can sometimes help you get it right and save time.

“Where’s the Money?”

I hear that line almost everywhere I go in the world of online coaches, consultant and solo-entrepreneurs.

Sometimes the complaints get sharper – even more acerbic.  “Seems like this Internet business is mostly smoke and mirrors.  I’ve paid so-called marketing gurus a fortune, bought tons of courses, even built lists of several hundred prospects.  But too few are buying.  I know have plenty to offer; I have good stuff.  How come most of my lists just end up window-shopping?”

And here’s the most frustrating line of all:

“I can’t keep at this much longer without positive cash flow! Where’s the $$?” If you’re brutally honest, maybe you (or your spouse) have asked these same questions.

And here’s my answer:

“Your brand is not working for you as it should.”

If your first reaction is: “Brand? What brand?” then you’ve got a very pleasant surprise coming.  Like it or not, believe it or not, you’ve had  a personal brand since the day you were born. Most people are totally unaware of this and have failed to develop their brands strategically, congruently or profitably.

Maybe you haven’t been controlling, nurturing, and shaping your brand because you weren’t fully aware you had one.  But now you can begin to shape your brand in vital ways that are increasingly essential to personal and professional success.  It can create a measurable difference in your life and in the way people relate to you.

Your brand has got to be authentic

When a personal brand is positioned authentically – as with some of the world’s most successful people like Oprah Winfrey, Donald Trump, Michael Dell, Richard Branson, Larry Ellison, Ralph Lauren, and hundreds of others, it infuses your business and your relationships with your own inner genius.  At that point, two thing amazing things happen: (1) you and your brand differentiate you from your competition and leave them in the dust, and (2) you no longer are concerned with “Where’s the $$?”

Note the accent on “authentic personal branding”

This process, a truthful, no-holds barred, exploration for your identity and meaning in life  is not as easy or simple as it may sound.  It takes time and often a trusted coach or mentor to draw out your true character, your deeper values, strengths, and unique gifts.  You may be very surprised at what you discover about yourself!

But If you are branded through a thoughtful, integrating process, you and your personal brand will emerge as powerful, compelling, invaluable to others.

Caution! Don’t use branding as a sales gimmick!

On the other hand, if you simply do a cursory evaluation of yourself (based on what what you perceive others want), you will end as the perpetual salesman and self-promoter, at best a unique jerk.  Branding, for you, will be just another cynical flim-flam.

In other words, Personal Branding is the most powerful engine that drives your entire marketing strategy.  And YOU are the engineer that drives your Personal Brand.

Personal Branding integrates you (and your mission) with your business (and its mission) in ways you never thought possible.  Moreover, it aligns your personal success goals, earning targets, and lifestyle choices with those of your business.   And all of this puts a performance-driven rocket under your business that lifts you to new levels of income and personal growth with less stress and more balance.

Okay, here comes the pitch!  I spent nearly 30 years on Madison Avenue developing and nurturing many Fortune 500 brands (you can read my bio elsewhere).  I’ve just created a FREE powerful, profit-building Personal Branding System for online coaches, consultant, and solo-entrepreneurs, called the 7 Self-Empowering Steps to Personal Branding.  I’ll describe it more in my next blog.

Are your prospects as hard to catchAs seagulls on a wind-swept beach?

Attraction Marketing solves your problem in seconds – and you don’t have to move a muscle!

Okay, let’s get serious. Instead of attracting seagulls with bread crumbs, let’s talk about attracting cash-flow with valuable information your prospects hunger for.  The principles work much the same way.

You don’t have to be an accountant

Or a marketing genius to know that ever-expanding cash-flow frees up more of life’s most precious commodity: Time! Time! and more Time! More time for world travel, family and friends, sports and leisure, education, charities, the arts, better health. The list goes on and on.

Nobody has to tell you if your cash-flow goes positive by 200%, 500% or more per week, you would suddenly find time to explore a lot more of this amazing planet… No brainer.

But there’s a catch.

What are you going to toss at all those seagulls? In other words, exactly what kind of valuable free information are you going to use to attract your prospects?

When I ran an ad agency on Madison Avenue it was relatively easy. We ran many focus groups in test markets all over the country. We listened to our prospects for months before we launched our campaigns. But the time we launched a campaign, we knew exactly what they wanted. (Or at least we thought we did.)

Do you know what your prospects want? Do you even know exactly who your prospects are? Age/income group? Men? Women? Do you know how to find out?

You might ask: Is all this niche research really worth it?

Absolutely! Not only will you attract more prospects with more targeted, higher quality information, but your prospects will (1) stay with you longer and (2) buy more products from you over that extended period of time. And the key to long-term wealth in every business is loyal, repeat customers.

The “One-Two” Punch of Attraction Marketing

Attraction Marketing draw prospects to you once they understand your information is not about you hustling them with goods and services – but rather it’s about them and their needs and wants.

Attraction Marketing is your Royal Road to Internet Riches and I want you to know as much about it as you possibly can.  Because that will deliver (1) increased cash-flow (2) passive income, and (3) abundant time to you for the rest of your life.  Stay tuned.

How Attraction Marketing got me from muddy Fort Dix to Madison Avenue in 30 days. (Part 3)

My interview with Mr. McGraw was almost a disaster.

My 2 previous blogs described how a soldier, 30 days before mustering out of the Army at Ft Dix, NJ, sent a series of 30 “teaser” letters to Harold McGraw, Executive VP  of McGraw-Hill.

These letters were an attempt to win an interview

And, hopefully an advertising job, at McGraw-Hill, a top New York direct mail adverting firm. Our soldier (me) had no prior experience in advertising, no contacts, no references.

My only weapon: Attraction Marketing, which I had learned from studying Claude Hopkins, David Ogilvy, Leo Burnett, Raymond Rubincam, George Gribbin, William Bernbach and my other advertising heroes.

On the morning of my discharge I rushed to New York and the McGraw-Hill building, grabbed an elevator to the Executive Floor, and stood before Mr. McGraw himself! He had ushed me into his office: my “teaser” letters had apparently worked their magic!

Here’s an example of letter #30 (my last letter):

Dear Mr. McGraw:

Reason #30 why you should cancel all travel plans and be in your office TODAY,  March 1st, THE BIG DAY!

Your morning visitor will not only:

  • Detail the sales enhancing techniques in my 29 previous letters, but will also
  • Announce a FREE Bonus Offer that will greatly increase sales of specific McGraw-Hill science and technical titles.

Most sincerely,

Al Carlson, Specialist 5th Class, Ft. Dix, NJ.

But shockingly, he wasn’t impressed! He wanted to end the interview before it hardly began!

“What’s the idea of your crazy letters? What do you know about my company?” he barked “For that matter, what do you know about publishing?”

“Not much, sir.” I confessed. “But I know advertising and I know Attraction Marketing. And you have to admit my headlines got me out of the crowd and right to the front of your desk.”

“Okay, son, you’ve made your point,” he snapped. “But advertising is more than catchy headlines. And if that’s all you’ve got…”

The power of FREE Offer and Trusting the Prospect

“No, sir!” I answered. “That’s not all. I’ve got a RISK FREE OFFER that McGraw-Hill would be very wise to take advantage of.” At the words “RISK FREE OFFER” he looked curious. I continued:

“I will offer to demonstrate my advertising skills to your company for 30 days. If you and McGraw-Hill are not completely satisfied at the end of that time period, you owe me nothing. However, if your sales have shown a measurable increase through my efforts, I would like a responsible job in your advertising department.”

“Come back tomorrow in civilian clothes, young man. You’re on.”

Mr. McGraw had everything to gain and nothing to lose.

I volunteered something of value to Mr. McGraw (a month’s pay) before I asked him to give me something of value – and instantly won him over.  The fact that I was willing to risk a month’s pay to prove my point convinced him – despite my having no prior experience or no connections.

Needless to say, 30 days later I was appointed to the lofty position of assistant to the assistant advertising manager of the McGraw-Hill Book Company.

Today, we call it “Attraction Marketing”

One of the most important techniques used in today’s Attraction Marketing (perfected by Ann Sieg) is nearly identical to one that won me my first job years ago.

Trust your prospect before you ask  your prospect to trust you

It’s simple yet profound: nurture a relationship of growing trust between you and your prospect through information of great value.  Constantly deliver this information through a growing stream of emails, blogs, videos, websites, ebooks – any media that best suits your prospects.  Never “sell” anyone.

Then, and only then, you become the “go-to” person for information, products and services in your chosen field.