Before Mark Hill joined the plastics industry by working for a mold builder, he and his brother owned and operated two companies over the span on 15 years. Then, they built the brands of two companies — one Swiss company and one Australian company.
"We started from scratch and learned some hard lessons, but I now know how to build a brand," said Hill, who currently works as the sales and marketing manager for D&M Plastics LLC in Burlington, Ill. "It isn't cheap and it takes time, but when it comes a reality, it's not only profitable but personally very satisfying."
Through his different ventures, Hill said the No. 1 thing he learned was the "value and the power of a brand."
"If you do it right, it's expensive to build a brand, but it's worth it. It's not cheap, it takes time, it takes a very clear message, and it takes money to market it and to get distribution," he said. "But really, it's all about marketing. … But clarity and the message and pounding that message over and over for 24 months, you've got a brand."
As sales and marketing manager, Hill's job is to bring in new business.
"I was brought in to develop brand-new customers," he said. "Almost everything that I do — I don't really get involved in the existing customers — my job is to go out and find brand-new customers."
To bring in the new business, Hill utilizes the social networking service LinkedIn to connect with potential customers.