Thursday, July 29, 2010

Brandless At The Beach - NEVER!

Just because you're on vacation and lounging at the beach doesn't mean your brand has to relax too. Here are ten ways you can promote your brand when you're supposed to be relaxing:

1: Build a sand model of your store or office.

2: This one's for the ladies. Get a one piece suit and using an exact-o knife cut out a stencil of your brand logo. Next time you wear a two-piece suit your logo will be in a nice golden brown against your lighter skin.

3. Buy the beach volleyball team playing near-by some drinks and get them to wear your swag.

4. Stock a super-size cooler with free refreshments to share with your beach neighbors. Wear your t-shirt with the logo and website on it.

5. Put a sandwich board on your dog for that walk down the beach.

6. Whistle your companies jingle while you read your beach book.

7. Put that same jingle many times through out your music mix. Be sure that others around you can hear it easily.

8. Park your logoed vehicle next to the washrooms or refreshment stands.

9. Hire a plane to drag your sky advertising back and forth.

10. Be sure the whole family is wearing the corporate colors.

As interesting as these suggestions are, don't blame the writer (me) if your family and loved ones abandon you for another locale down the beach.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Jump And Grow Your Wings On The Way Down.

The headline to this article is a quote from a client of mine - Belinda Bond. Belinda is the visionary behind the Celebrity Mama Tour. I thought it was the perfect bit of advice for entrepreneurs. How many times have you sat down for a chat with someone and they are pondering the age old question, "When is the best time to launch my idea?" or "Is it the right time to go into business for myself?" As someone who has been on their own for some time now, I don't believe there is a right or wrong time to jump. The point is the jumping part. That action is what separates the true entrepreneur. It reminds me of a past article I wrote about planners and doers.

The wings referred to in the headline are really the passion and belief in yourself. The only way you are going to succeed is to DO IT. Nike had it right, "Just Do It." If you jump and crash, then your wings were not fully unfurled. But like any new life, you have to grow. You have to brush yourself off and get back up there and jump again. Each time gaining the confidence to learn from past errors and gaining ground.

Risk is simply part of the process. If you try and wait for the "right time." You will never jump, because there is always something that will give you reason to pause. We spend our whole lives trying to win. Most times we lose. We understand and recognize losing. Sometimes we are too comfortable with it. Comfort in the status quo keeps most of us from jumping.

If that sounds like your situation then my only advice is to STEP ASIDE, and let other visionaries start their journey. Not everyone is cut out to take the risk. Their role is to be the lightening rod for others. The key is to understand your role in business, and step into that role. Recognize your strengths and join the right team.

Belinda Bond is a ball of fire. Her comfort zone is in the risk taking. But don't kid yourself - she and thousands like her couldn't take that risk without key support behind her. But in the end it still boils down to jumping or not. If you want it bad enough you'll jump. Growing the wings is the fun part!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

It's Not About You.

"It's Not About You" Podcast. How to solve your customer's problems.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Testing The Apple Brand

The new iPhone and iPad have a similar problem - antenna strength. I've been a Mac user since it's inception in '84 and I have never (knock wood) had any issues with it's new products until the iPad. Wi-Fi signal strength drops away the minute I step out onto my deck. I went online with the issue and found that it's a common problem which is hoped to be addressed in the OS update in the fall. Now we hear that the new iPhone 4 has a signal strength issue.

Depending on how Mac handles these situations will determine if its' brand is authentic or it too falls victim to arrogance like Toyota. It is my hope that they not ignore it and hope it goes away, but that they fix it before a back-lash occurs. My guess is that it's not simply a software issue.

Apple is my favorite brand so I think that they will take the high road. Of course time will tell.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Samaritan's Purse Are A Case History In Great Branding

This evening I had a follow-uo conversation from two gentlemen from "Samaritan's Purse". A little over a month ago, our neighbourhood endured three tornadoes and Samaritan's Purse were one of the aid organization who rushed to the town's assistance. They are one organization that practice what they preach. The three young guys who helped us worked like dogs and played a great role in the clean-up of our property.

Tonight they were just seeing if there was anything else that could do to help, either physically or mentally. I was very impressed. They exited by giving me a gift card to Tim Horton's (coffee shop).

Samaritan's Purse is an aid organization extending their hand world-wide. They are Christian but not necessarily any one denomination. Our volunteers happened to be Mormons from Utah. I know for a fact that they are very respected locally and have done an outstanding job building their brand in the eyes of everyone that they touched. They are a great case for authenticity. They do indeed walk the walk.

If you have any connection to Samaritan's Purse - I applaud you!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Change Curve Conundrum

I was present at a short discussion on change management today. Essentially the premise was that once learning of some life altering change to your personal life or business, you at first fall from denial and shock, only to finally pull up and out due to your natural ability to see the bright spots and the way out. These traits are especially true for leaders. What we have to watch for and be sympathetic to is the people who play a supporting role in our lives.

Because they are adverse to change their journey on the change curve will be accomplished at a somewhat slower pace. We must recognize this and react to it. Employees who are most adverse to change may also be the mouth pieces of the employee pool. Recruiting these individuals and getting them to see and accept the positives of the change, make them "agents of change", thus part of the solution. Don't assume that because family and employees "trust" us that they totally understand or even comprehend the light at the end of the tunnel. Keeping them in the loop and reducing their fear will go a long way to getting them on board.

They may never be 100% there, but you can help reduce their anxiety as you guide them out of the change curve.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

From The Horse's Mouth Podcast

From The Horse's Mouth Podcast:

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