Don’t manage people.

Posted on Feb 23, 2013

Manage things. Lead people. Organizational strategies often use “manage” as a catch-all verb for how to deal with finance, operations, people, processes, time – as if all kinds of assets were alike. As if  you could use a similar set of tools to manipulate financial capital, human capital, intellectual capital, and so on. It’s myopic, […]

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How many flies does it take to screw in a light bulb?

Posted on Nov 29, 2012
How many flies does it take to screw in a light bulb?

Answer: Two, but we don’t know how they got in there. (Rimshot.)

The next and more important question of the day is, should humor be part of your brand’s messaging? The answer is a definite maybe.

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Startup Success Step #9

Posted on Apr 14, 2012

Who will you steal from? You can’t invent a new audience, or discover money not being spent elsewhere, as our wise friend/business guru Dave Baney often says. You must steal a customer away from somebody else. Understanding this reality puts into perspective the activities that you need to convince someone to buy from you. Your […]

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Startup Success Step #11

Posted on Apr 14, 2012

Some entrepreneurs, knowing their startup is going to go against formidable entrenched competitors, try to succeed by “flying under the radar,” hoping that the big guy (Unilever, Ralston Purina, IBM, Whoever) will somehow not pay attention to them and not squash them like a bug. Fingers crossed. Not a practical strategy. A new venture needs […]

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Startup Success Step #14

Posted on Apr 14, 2012

Grab that category. We often talk about owning a category, a very desirable if ambitious goal for a startup, particularly if you can create a Blue Ocean category where you are the only participant. More often, your startup will resemble other alternatives in an existing category. So the relevant question becomes, if you can’t own […]

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It’s Darwinian. (Duh!)

Posted on Mar 27, 2012

Is your brand endangered? Here are nine tests to see if you’re adapting for survival: 1. Have you shifted >51% of your media spending to online? 2. Could your tagline be used only by you, and not by your closest competitor? 3. Has your website been redesigned since 2007? 4. Have you introduced a new […]

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The zen of push and pull

Posted on Jan 1, 2012

In olden days (think 1994) marketing was 90% push marketing. We pushed messages in print, on broadcast, at trade shows, in directories, by direct mail, by any hunter-gatherer technique we could find. We believed if we smiled louder than competing brands, more often, we would build awareness of our USP, and … our work was […]

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Branding should not focus on customers

Posted on Jun 10, 2011

Your brand’s substantial, leveraged growth will come from prospects, not customers.

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Leave company and product naming up to us.

Posted on May 24, 2011

Not that you aren’t passionately concerned with your new name. On the contrary. You’re the one most in the risk/reward hot seat. But naming is not your primary business, so it’s something you should outsource, just as you outsource brain surgery, elevator repair, and dog grooming. There are people out there with skills, experience and […]

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How Customer-Centered hurts your brand

Posted on May 14, 2011

You’re proud of your customer service. What could be wrong with that? Several things. For one, if you are truly “centered on your customers,” offer “great customer service,” or try to stay “close to the customer,” (to quote three clichés), you will miss great growth opportunities, and probably adopt a less-than-powerful brand strategy. To readers […]

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