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In This Issue
Guests & Visitors
Speakers At-a-Glance
Officers of the Club
President's Corner
Speaker's Corner
'Round the Room
The Four-Way Test
In everything that we think, say or do:
Is it the TRUTH?
Is it FAIR to all concerned?

Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?
Theme 2009-2010
Guests & Visitors

Our Invocation was given by
Rev. Dr. Todd Speed

Our Visiting Rotarians included:

Wes Dodd

Art Rosser

Our guests included:

Joe Bennett, guest of Todd Speed;

Jenny Dodd, guest of Rhonda Davidson;

Agnes Scott student Su Myat Thu of Myanmar, guest of Club

1- Reminder to pay your Rotary bill

2 - Congratulations to Judge Greg Adams who recently received a Distinguished Jurist Award;

3 - Congratulations to Houston Smith who was named one of the top 40 CPA's by a  nationwide magazine

Speakers At-a-Glance

September 25, 2009: Mark P. Becker

October 2, 2009: Jennifer Bouani
October 9, 2009:
Dr. Stephen A. Hayner

Officers of the Decatur Rotary Club:
President - Bryan Downs

President-Elect - C.J. Becker

Past President - Mark Hastings
Secretary - Alan Dishman

Treasurer - Jason Conn

Sergeant-at-Arms - Doug Torbush

District Governor - Roy Strickland

September 22, 2009
With monsoon conditions, it was great timing for an inspirational and informative speaker at our weekly meeting.  You will see from the report below, that we got just that.  Happy reading!
Brian Cayce
 President's Corner

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Upon calling the Rev. Dr. Todd Speed to give our invocation, President Bryan shared with us several important announcements which made the Club proud
Mark Speece, Chief Executive Officer and Naming Director of 800 Degrees

Jason Conn introduced Mark Speece, who is the Chief Executive Officer and Naming Director of 800 Degrees.   His expertise in name development, naming systems and naming tools has been used by some of the world's best-known branding firms. Prior to founding the Atlanta-based brand consultancy with Natalie Ross, Mark was responsible for verbal branding practices at FutureBrand and Landor New York, as well as corporate branding for The Sterling Group. 

Historically, Mark has managed large-scale programs including global repositioning and brand architecture development, as well as directed numerous naming and renaming assignments for clients such as Boston Scientific, Delphi, DuPont, Dow Chemical, Ford, General Motors, Microsoft, Motorola, Pepsi, Proctor & Gamble, SunTrust, Turner Broadcasting and Visa. 

A noted industry expert who develops and manages brands that inspire, endure and create measurable marketplace advantage, Mark is an adjunct instructor at Emory University's Goizueta School of Business and a guest lecturer at the University of Virginia.  His branding insights have been reported by media outlets including Ad Age, Brandweek, BusinessWeek, CNBC, USA Today, Automotive News, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Atlanta Business Chronicle and Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Mark lives locally and is married with two daughters.

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Mark began his presentation with a discussion of the definition of branding. Traditionally, "brand" has been defined as a trademark or distinctive name identifying a product or manufacturer, but Mark claims that the definition for marketing purposes should be more closely aligned with "personality" - the totality of qualities and traits that distinguish an individual, nation, or group.  The logo, music, packaging, "take away" impression, and all unique characteristics are included in the brand of a product.  A brand, just as in the old days of branding cattle and sheep, should reveal ownership and remind a potential consumer of reputation.

Branding has changed over recent years.  Yesterday's brands were built with a consistent message, often a tag line, repeated over and over again.  More money spent on advertising helped lead to a stronger brand (example:  Maxwell House - Good to the Last Drop). Today, consistent corporate behavior is the key to branding. More emphasis on a consistent consumer experience leads to a stronger brand (example: Starbucks - we may not know the tag line, but we may be able to describe the consistent experience).  Tag lines are not as useful or significant in today's economy.  Facebook did not need to brand a tag line; it did accomplish the "branding" of an online experience.

Today's challenges in the branding arena include the commoditization of products and of messages and consumer cynicism.  New technologies are quickly and easily reproduced by competitors and efforts toward a consistent message can get lost in the multiplicities of today's information world.  Hardened consumers are often skeptical and may be difficult to convince about the value of a new or different product.

Another challenge relates to "chasing the leader".  Companies like K-mart need to realize that consumers may well choose them for a different reason than they would choose Wal-Mart (price) or Target (style).  The key for today's businesses is to compete for the customer, not with the competition.

The formula for today's economy is to create the product that is differentiated, relevant, credible, and sustainable. When all four of those criteria are in place, then work hard on building consumer awareness, preference, and loyalty. Finally, as Jim Collins' urged in his book, Good to Great, "know what you can be best at and what you cannot be best at."

Library Book: Branding 101:  How to Build the Most Valuable Asset of Any Business by Don Sexton, Ph.D.

Report by Rev. Dr. Todd Speed
'Round the Room...

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