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Posted by on Dec 4, 2009 in Leadership | 0 comments

Working Through the Details

Details make everything seem a bit more real. For instance, it’s much more interesting to say “the woman wore a deep red coat with a lace collar that looked like a delicate hands choking her neck,” than to say, “the woman wore a red coat.” You can imagine the red coat with the lace, can’t you? The video below illustrates my point about detail. Look at the camera and the way the film is shot: Now think about the same video with a steady camera that you typically find in movies. It wouldn’t be the same, would it? Shaking the camera brings you closer to the action — it makes it more real, tangible and chilling. Now think about how you can add detail to your business. Is it describing the pecan sauce in the description of your menu item (think high-end restaurants) or mailing your client a thank you card or even something as simple as saying good job to your employees. You’d be surprised what a little...

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Posted by on Nov 29, 2009 in Branding | 0 comments

Stepping Down to Step Up

Here is an excerpt from a blog I stumbled across: Today we’re going to take a little trip in the wayback machine with the help of my colleague Seth Manheim, who was there when this happened. Set the date to November 22, 1989, twenty years ago and one day. Bill Gates is being taken on a guided tour of the product support department’s new office building, and during his visit, he asks one of the people manning the phones, “Mind if I take this call?” Bill puts on a headset, sits down, and answers the phone. “Hello, this is Microsoft Product Support, William speaking. How can I help you?” Bill talks with the customer, collects the details of the problem, searches in the product support Knowledge Base, sifts through the search results, finds the solution, and patiently walks the customer through fixing the problem. The customer is thrilled that William was able to fix the problem so quickly, and with such a pleasant attitude. Bill wraps up the call....

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Posted by on Oct 7, 2009 in Branding | 0 comments

The Crow Paradox and Consumer Attitudes

NPR recently reported on the crow paradox. Studies have shown, crows can recognize and remember individual humans for years, while humans have a tough time differentiating one black bird from the next. Interestingly, if you upset one crow, they will caw–cuing another nearby bird to caw and soon the entire flock is mad at you. It’s viral. Not only will they be mad at you then, but when they see you across town, they’ll caw and soon it’s turned into the G version of Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds. The crow paradox could not be more relevant than in the digital age. When your brand leaves an impression on a consumer, whether it’s good or bad, they will “caw” and let their friends know, either through word-of-mouth or social media. Particularly when something is bad, they can blast their message to hundreds of people, depending on their community influence. If others agree, they’ll jump on the wagon, creating a banned group of unhappy consumers. And as your brand stretches into...

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Posted by on Sep 30, 2009 in Branding | 0 comments

Get Off My Social Property

Early in the afternoon I heard the clanking of bottles and a shrill voice yell, “Get off my property,” about five times, consecutively. I imagined it to be a homeless man scrounging for bottles in the garbage across the street and the homeowner whom he was taking from got a bit overzealous. It got the wheels turning about brands interaction with consumers in social communities. Often times, fans of social sites consider it to be private property—free of sales and pitchmen (i.e. brands). When brands invade their private property, some yell just like the woman across the street. Most people don’t mind, however. To avoid those outspoken opponents, consider if the homeless man were to take a different approach—one that was not so intrusive—he might find more success. Consider Target. Every year they donate X amount of dollars to several charities. To open the lines of communication with Facebook users, they asked them to allocate their charities dollars for them. Their efforts paid off. They garnered significant traffic and...

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Posted by on Sep 23, 2009 in Branding | 0 comments

How a Jail Break Can Increase Product Value

As a thank you for taking care of our bunny rabbit, my girlfriend wanted to buy my parents a gift. My girlfriend, her mother and I found this cute local shop in a quaint town outside Philadelphia, PA. As we were browsing, a tall gentleman in a neon orange sweater comes in, huffing and puffing. He asks to use the bathroom and the store owner tells him it’s for paying customers only. He pauses, then asks if he can tie his shoe. (Who asks to tie their shoe?) Meanwhile, my girlfriend finds an ice cream serving dish and proceeds to check out. The man then leans down behind a display case in the center of the store and ties his other shoe. This man should probably have been in a shoe store with all of the problems he was having with his footwear. While he was tying his shoe for the second time, a police officer stood outside of the shop, his back turned, talking on his radio. After...

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