What’s The Difference Between A Successful Product and A Successful Company?

Unless you’re Apple, it’s not about your product. I don’t buy from Amazon because of their products. I buy because of their selection and the fast service and ease of purchasing. I don’t buy from Patagonia because of their winter coats. I buy from Patagonia because of the meaning Patagonia creates through their environmental and…

      

Social Media Is So Simple. Why So Many Still Get It Wrong.

It’s been a mystery to me why so many companies including some of the largest brands, still get social media wrong.  They don’t have the community you would think they’d have and they don’t have the engagement.  At this point, hopefully it’s not because they are still wondering if social media makes sense as part…

      

How To Exploit Transparency To Your Advantage

In the olden days, when people lived in small towns and everyone knew their neighbors and everything about their neighbors, there was a natural understanding about the value of reputation. Decisions were made based on word of mouth. Whether your banker would lend you money or whether you would seriously consider dating Charlie the Pharmacist’s…

      

Barnes & Noble: It Was Over Years Ago

We’ve been watching print, retail and publishing struggle for years.  For years–maybe 10 or so–reading, entertainment, and shopping have been changing.  Little by little, but on a very clear path, Barnes & Noble–a symbol at the intersection of change in content consumption and retail–has been on a predictable decline. At first there were store closings….

      

There Are Two Ways To Make Money

There are two extremes in thinking that lead to the profitability of a company. One is to focus entirely on the bottom line. The other is to focus on improving the lives of your stakeholders (customers, employees, suppliers and prospects.) When taken to extreme, focusing solely on the bottom line, lives can be ruined and…

      

5 Reasons To Hate QR Codes

QR Codes are the mostly pointless, too time consuming way that brands get to think they’re doing something futuristic and cool.

      

Six Reasons Every Business Must Be Serious About Social Media

1.  Your customers are your greatest marketing asset. Facilitate their word of mouth by making a place for them to have conversations with and about your brand. 2.  Email is the highest revenue generator of all channels. Utilize offers, incentives and contests in social media to acquire email addresses. 3.  Customers expect real-time customer service…

      

Best Practices And Other Innovation Killers

Best practices are tested, well developed guidelines based on experience.   In marketing there are best practices around website layout, copywriting, social media marketing—you name it. Know them. They help take the risk out of business. Yet, I bristle at the phrase “best practices” because when I hear it, I know that’s where the process ends….

      

3 Simple Ways To Be More Creative

One of the reasons that being creative is so challenging is that we naturally drift toward the status quo.  Shaking things up makes us uncomfortable and requires risk taking.  Here are the 3 simple, non-threatening ways to nurture creativity so you can interfere with that drift. 1.        Stop focusing. Make sure you have downtime. This…

      

Why You Should Not Think Like A Marketer

Every week my marketing team meets to review results, and brainstorm ways to surprise and delight our community. We often bring blog posts or white papers to the group that present inspiration or provoke thoughts about new directions.  This week we discussed a post by Chris Brogan called Honey Badger Don’t Care (What You Want…