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Put A Smile In Your Voice

The image below is a relic from my first out-of-college job with the Disney Company. A page from a “While You Were Out” message pad. (I re-discovered this as a bookmark in my copy of George Orwell’s 1984).     I was a marketeer at the Disney Vacation Club (Disney’s non-timeshare timeshare) when it first launched in ’92. We call …

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Taking Action: 8 Ways to Classify Ideas

A fair amount of writing about brainstorming emphasizes not judging ideas too soon. A plethora of criticism about brainstorming argues it isn’t critical enough. No matter how you think-up ideas, eventually they must prove themselves worthy of helping you meet your objectives. A great way to evaluate your ideas is by categorizing them into what Edward de Bono in his …

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It Pays To Be Different

Differentiation. *Bleck* Differentiation has become one of those marketing buzz words we hear too often. So frequently, the term seems to have lost its meaning. Nevertheless, it is a very important concept. I prefer the term “remarkability.” Doing the things that cause people to make remarks about you – literally being remarkable. There’s a great quote in the book Do Purpose: Why Brands …

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Give Your Customers A Good Show

Your business is slowly falling apart. Hour by hour and day by day. The bulbs are burning out, the signage is getting ragged, your merchandisers are wearing out, and the rug is wearing thin. We don’t perceive these changes. At work, 50 hours a week, this stuff happens too slowly to notice. Like watching your front lawn grow, day to …

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Push Ideas For Better Creative Thinking

A sponsored link from Starbucks Frappuccino appeared in my Facebook feed this morning. It announces a new Frappuccino flavor, S’mores. I won’t debate the choice of flavor. I understand the challenge the Starbucks beverage team has, trying to comp their numbers year over year with different flavors. I will challenge the thinking and implementation of the marketing and creative team. This used to …

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Big V. Small

Why Does Big Mean Bad? And Can It Be Avoided?

It’s a phenomenon and seems inevitable. The story plays over and over. A small business is built, grows with wild success, and then loses its tarnish. Every big business we consider bad was once a Mom and Pop. When I mean bad, I don’t mean they necessarily are poorly run, or are bad to the environment, their employees, or otherwise. …

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Great Leaders Think Dirty Thoughts

As we climb the corporate ladder, we catch on that people on the lower rungs do the tactical, heavy work. Further up the ladder, they get to sit at desks and focus on strategy. So, we set our sights on the upper rungs, work hard to get promoted to a job where we can stop getting our hands dirty, and …

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Creativity Is More Practice Than Magic

As problem solvers our role is to support companies, clients, and customers by solving their business problems. We’re asked to help drive sales, increase traffic, and build community. These challenges, and others, are solved through our ability to combine ideas in new and meaningful ways. That’s creativity. Creativity is sparked by our imagination. Unfortunately, most of us have been conditioned …

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