Showing posts from August, 2010

10 Ways To Build Your Image Without Saying "Brand"

Download now or preview on posterous DontSayBrand-Blumenthal.doc(27 KB)
1. Recognize that having a strong image is a business requirement, not
a nice-to-have or “marketing fluff.” Having a strong image helps you
get the job done. 2. Focus on the concept of making and fulfilling a promise. The
promise centers on three things: What you’re trying to do (mission),
your philosophy (your beliefs about the way the strategic environment
works), and your values (which flow from your philosophy). 3. Stop thinking about what you want to say and start listening to
what others are saying about you. Think about it. Is Coca-Cola’s image
based on their press releases or on your impressions of their product,
its advertising, and its competitors? Listen to your customers and
then take corrective action when you’ve broken your promises (or even
when they think you have). 4. Stop talking about “branding.” For some reason, as soon as people
start hearing this word they get all worked up and agitated, eit…

Lip Service to Customer Service

Just came across a fascinating article from It
highlights the striking contradiction that no matter how much Fortune
100/500 executives SAY they care about customers' experiences, they
don't actually back up those words with any meaningful action.
( Key findings:* --82-85% of executives "agree that customer experience is the next
competitive battleground." Yet strangely, they don't seem to do much to find out what the
customer wants in the first place-- --Only 29% meet with customers regularly themselves, presumably to get feedback. --Only 17% dedicate someone to "improving customer experience across channels." --Only 26% have an integrated system of measuring customer performance
so that it can be compared "across the organization." Nor do they seem to make customer service a priority in the workplace: --Only 24% think their employees know how to "deli…

Brainwashed by the Coffee

“The first time a man looks at an advertisement, he does not see it….The twentieth time he sees the ad, he buys what it is offering.” – Thomas Smith, 1885 (Source:,

Remember the Archie Bunker show? (Whatever it was really called, it’s still the Archie Bunker show to me.) Where Archie the old-fashioned lived with his son-in-law Mike, the “sixties radical,” and they were constantly arguing in the living room? That program nailed it on so many levels and one in particular: No matter how much Archie couldn’t stand Mike, eventually he got used to having him around, to the point where he grieved when Mike and Gloria (his daughter) moved out. If you would have asked Archie whether he’d prefer a different son-in-law, 99% he’d tell you “no.”

By default, the known is perceived as better than the unknown. As crazy as it sounds, it’s a psychological and a sociological axiom: Knowing a person or a thing somehow leads you to prefer being around them (…

Social media has made us weird

I know I hold on to strange things sometimes. But I can’t forget that
woman in Borders who sat there clipping her nails in full view of me
and the rest of the store last weekend. She was watching the Michael
Moore movie about George Bush play on her notebook computer, focused
intently on the screen, nails flying this way and that. It was so
gross and disgusting. I wanted to move but then again I had the cushy
leather chair in the corner. Plus I was sipping my soup. I chose
instead to hold my ground and hope the little fingernails wouldn’t fly
my way. So I observed that woman absently, the same way I observe people on
the train and in the food court and wherever I go. I watch people like
you reading this right now, gripping your Blackberry intently, staring
hard at the screen as if it were going to reveal to you all the
mysteries of the universe. You, like a flock of geese, standing
outside on an open-air terrace the other day during a break in a
meeting, waving your various smartphon…