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Posted by on Nov 27, 2009 in Marketing | 0 comments

How to Stand Out

Imagine being an HR representative. You are in charge of hiring and with unemployment rising, you’re flooded with applications. This past March, a high school janitorial position received a total of 700 applications. So how do you stand out from the crowd? Typically, advertising is known for eye-catching, creative applicants. For instance, a newly minted BA bought a wallet, put his resume on business cards and gave it to the ad agency secretary to “return” to the creative director. The creative director was confused for a moment when he opened the wallet and found a resume. While the creative director might only consider a few — if any — portolios that come across their desk, the intern was hired immediately. He stood out. The resume below captures that same creative spirit. This is Sean McNally’s (an artist and animator) resume: Consumers experience something similar to your HR rep: they see hundreds of brands every day. Even those that struggle to stand out are “just typical” ads.  So how do...

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Posted by on Oct 5, 2009 in Leadership | 0 comments

The Waterslide and the Importance of Big Risk

Recently, I stumbled upon this video of a kid rocketing off an enormous waterslide and into a small pool. Probably not real, of course, but it brings up a valuable point: people care about big risk. The greater the risk, the greater the reward. Conversely, the greater the risk, the greater the failure. Going down a typical waterslide is not worth watching on YouTube, but landing in a kiddy pool from a waterslide / ramp a hundred yards away is worth watching. The video above is worth talking about because of the incredible risk involved. No one cares about no risk. Everyone can do no risk. It’s those that have the guts to sail through the air and into the kiddy pool a hundred yards away that people care about. All great brands take significant risks. Think Nike or Apple. Risk-taking brands are the innovators constantly pushing against the status quo and reap the greatest rewards. Nike has taken some of the biggest risks in advertising and they are...

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Posted by on Oct 3, 2009 in Leadership | 0 comments

Just Because You’re Number One, Doesn’t Mean People Care

When we typically think of number one, maybe the first finisher in a race comes to mind. (Think Nike.) But what does it mean to be number one? At a high level, it’s about relevance. Relevance is critical. If what you’re doing is not relevant to a community, who is going to care? People care about football, that’s why being the best quarterback in town matters. However the fastest basket weaver in the class might raise a few eyebrows but no one really cares—it’s not relevant to a larger community. When developing your business, ensure there is an opportunity for success. Who is interested in your category? No one is interested in a vacuum with a clock radio, but they will be if the vacuum lasts 20 years. The key is not to just be number one, but to be number one in a category people care...

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