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Three Strategies for Winning at Brand Poker

It seems you can’t turn on the TV without seeing some sort of World Series of Poker contest.  Poker, especially, Texas Hold ‘Em, has become extremely popular.  It’s not for crusty old men anymore.  Poker has a new brand – it is now young, hip and cool.   When branding your business, take a lesson from poker.  See, match, and push are poker terms that can have major impact on your brand.  Below is a review of how you can use these traditional poker terms to raise the level of your brand-poker game.

1) See – Have a clear vision of what you want your brand to become.  If you can see it, you can achieve it.  I once heard a story about a reporter speaking to Roy Disney, at the opening of Disney World.  The reporter commented that it was sad Walt was not alive to see Disney World.  Walt’s brother quickly replied, “if Walt had never seen this, you wouldn’t be seeing it now!”  Where do you see your brand in a perfect future?  Can you describe it down to the smallest details?    

2) Match – Be certain your actions fit with your brand.  Good marketing is not always good marketing.  A guy in a chicken suit may be a great way for a new chicken store to promote awareness.  However, it would not fit for a new financial adviser office.  The fit isn’t there.  Associations and partnerships are just as important to match with your brand.  You don’t see Tommy Hilfiger apparel on the shelves at Walmart.  It simply would not be a good fit.  The brands are too different. 

3) Push – Lean into your limits.  Sometimes limits are just there because no one has the courage to test them.  Starbucks took coffee out of the deli and well, you know the rest of the story.  It is safe to assume there were naysayers that laughed at such an idea!  There are coffee addicts all over the world thankful that some businesses push the limits.  Perhaps there are aspects of your product or service that have not been exploited for all of their value.    

Follow all three strategies and you are sure to notice a sharp improvement in your brand-poker game.  If your brand-poker game is strong, your business is sure to be stacking lots of chips!   

Traditional poker definitions:

See – To call in the final round of betting.

Match – To put in the pot an amount equal to that already there.

Push – When a new dealer replaces an existing dealer at a particular table.

This Marketing article was written by Kevin Kearns on 7/6/2005

Kevin Kearns is a small business branding coach from Colorado Spings, Colorado. Visit to join The Branding Bunch – a community of small business owners wanting to Become the Only Choice.

As a founding partner in “”The World’s First Snowboarder Hotels”” (, Kevin has experienced success only true branding can bring.