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 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 Value – It Determines Your Success!

Personal Branding Value is how much your brand is worth. 

Are you clueless about your brand’s value?

In the dark about whether you even have a personal branding value? If so, you’re leaving major $$ on the table!

Personal Branding Worth

What made her choose the green box?

According to a March 20011 survey of leading online coaches, consultants and solo professionals, less than 10% of participants have any clue what their personal branding value is worth – or worse yet – whether they could compellingly describe their personal branding value’s benefits in a couple of sentences!

 Personal Branding Value – A Top brand  adds billions to it’s company’s net worth

According to Interbrand (the top brand ranking service) here’s a short list of the best global brands of 2010 and what the brand alone added to its company’s total market value:

Branding Value alone: Coca-Cola: $70 billion;  IBM: $64 billion;  Microsoft: $60 billion;  Google: $43 billion;  GE: $42 billion;  McDonald’s: $33 billion;  Intel: 32 billion;  Disney: $28 billion.

Those billions are not what the above companies are worth – that’s what the their brand alone has contributed to their total net worth.  In some cases (like Coke), more than 50%.

Now maybe you see why you might be interest in what your personal branding value is contributing to your business’s net worth.   But no wonder the Coke brand is worth billions,  you say. It’s the “Real Thing!”   They even have a secret formula hidden deep underground in Atlanta!  My business doesn’t have anything as special as that.

Your Personal Branding DNA is your most valuable business asset

If you think that, you’re wrong.  Your business has something just as unique as Coke’s formula – if you know what to do with it!  It’s your brand DNA.  It’s you!  You are your company’s brand – not your goods or services.  But you’ve got to learn the Laws of Branding and how to package yourself as a winning brand that delivers outstanding value to your clients before the power of your brand can be truly unleashed.

As a long-time branding veteran of Madison Avenue, I can tell you that none of my Fortune 500 clients would ever launch a new product or service without a well-thought out brand strategy to back it up.

Go to market without a brand?  Unthinkable!

Yet many of the online professional who contact me do it all the time.  And when they end up with less than ideal clients, drowned out by their competition, and never getting paid close to what their worth, they wonder why.

Answer is simple: their brand (or non-existent brand) isn’t working for them.

Download my FREE book, The Power of the Ring, and, together, we can immediately start to change all that.

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.

How an American scientist stumbled onto a $17 Billion a year industry deep inside the Amazon rainforest

Everywhere you look in today’s supermarkets there are products boasting of a new “miracle” ingredient, acai: from diet drinks, toothpaste, to even health and wellness cakes and cookies!

All within the last ten years an entire industry valued at more than $17 billion has grown around this amazing new discovery. But few consumers are aware of its almost accidental origin.

Dr. Alexander Schauss

Fifteen years ago, Alexander Schauss, Director of Natural and Medicinal Products Research, AIBMR, in Puyallup, Washington, entered the Amazon in search of a so-called high-energy “miracle fruit”.

Ephedra Out; Acai In!

What Dr. Schauss’ clients in North American needed was something that might replace ephedra, a weight-loss drug that was being investigated at the time. What he was looking for was something that might provide some weight-loss capabilities along with an energy boost.

What he found exceeded his grandest expectations.

Brazilian folklore, filled with tales of a powerful, healing palm berry, led Dr. Schauss to send the acai palm fruit to independent labs for testing. “The antioxidant activity was off the chart,” he later said. “It didn’t seem believable so I asked the lab to repeat the tests. They did – six times – and each time produced the same results.”

Plants Pass Their Defenses to Humans

Growing in a rain-forest on or near the equator – an extraordinarily hostile environment for most living creatures – the Acai palm must survive the damaging effects of intense ultraviolet radiation but also develop methods to eliminate oxidation damage to its cells. This is why it learned how to combine chemicals and form compounds such as a class of flavonoids called polyphenols, with protective antioxidant activity.

The Healing Power of Antioxidant-Rich Fruit

Free radicals are atoms or clusters of atoms that may cause damage to our cells, impairing our immune systems and leading to infections and various degenerative diseases. Free radicals have lost one of their electrons that keep them chemically stable and in their frantic search for a replacement, they steal one from another molecule, which in turn will steal another molecule’s electron, etc., until the cycle is stopped by the body’s antioxidants.

Personal Experience with Acai

What has been your personal experience with acai? I have tried various acai blends, powders, pills, freeze-dried, juices, with mixed results (which I discuss in another blog).  To be fair, the acai products that are good are very good – the ones that are useless – are, well, frauds.

But I would like to read your experiences as well.  Please send me a comment – good or bad!

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.

How Attraction Marketing got me from muddy Fort Dix to Madison Avenue in 30 days. (Part 2)

Somewhere down there was my lifelong target: Madison Avenue.

As I scurried through Pennsylvania Station in my freshly-starched Army uniform, I realized my boyhood dream had come true: I had finally arrived in New York City!

I kept an iron grip on my AWOL bag.

After all, it possessed all my earthly possessions – my toothbrush, razor, 4 pairs of underwear, my Honorable Discharge papers – and most important of all – carbon copies of the 30 Attraction Marketing letters I had written to Harold McGraw, the Executive Vice President of McGraw-Hill.

I also hoped that I would always be able to maintain a life as free of “stuff” as I had at that moment. Just me and my AWOL bag!

As far back as I can remember, I wanted to be in advertising.

Not just any advertising, but big time advertising. You know, Madison Avenue. Problem was, I didn’t have any experience, connections, any references. I was just a small-town kid, first day out of the Army. So what are the chances walking in off the street in an Army uniform getting a job in a top NYC company?  Slim to none.

So, I decided to start an Attraction Marketing campaign. Direct mail because there was no Internet in those days.  And direct mail was the biggest advertising challenge there was – and also the most measurable! I really enjoyed measuring results!

Harold McGraw at McGraw-Hill was my prospect. After my research at the Fort Dix library, I found he was the guy and McGraw-Hill – the biggest direct mail advertiser in the industry – was the outfit I really wanted to work for.

Problem was, the Army was discharging me in 30 days.

I had to act fast. So, my plan was to fire off a different “tease” letter to Mr. McGraw each day for 30 days.

Each letter contained 2 key marketing techniques that I had learned from reading advertising greats like Claude Hopkins, David Ogilvy, Leo Burnett, Raymond Rubincam, George Gribbin, William Bernbach and my other marketing heroes.

Technique #1 I owe to David Ogilvy- and that was to create a USP or Unique Selling Point (which was me). Technique #2 which came, in part from George Gribbin, was to manufacture an exciting deadline for “decision time.” This would be the appearance in 30 days of the mysterious person who would be the answer to his advertising prayers.  In Part 1 of my blog, I gave an example of my first letter.

Here’s an example of #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.

Once again, short and sweet.

I hurried up 8th Avenue to 42nd Street and the McGraw-Hill building. When a skinny soldier with an AWOL bag asked to be taken to the executive floor, the elevator operator gave me the fish-eye. “Mr. Harold McGraw,” I said casually.

I paced the long hallway, found his outer office, and announced who I was. Alas, his secretary told me the most important sales prospect of my entire life was busy all day. Suddenly I heard a growl from an inner office. “Is that the as__ ho__  who’s been writing me all those asinine letters?”

His secretary shrugged her shoulders.  I figured my teaser letter-writing campaign had been a disaster.

See how Attraction Marketing comes to the rescue and wins me the job in my next blog.