Is Your Brand Ready for the Culture of Proximity?

Tuesday, May 30, 2017
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We’re all trying to be heard—brands, politicians, thought-leaders, people with opinions to share and ideas to spread. Or, ideas to share and opinions to spread. Sharing creates a shared set of beliefs.

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What style of innovator are you?

Tuesday, May 23, 2017
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I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about innovation. Design thinking. Where new ideas come from. What really is a new idea? There are many concepts, mental models, tips, and strategies used by the biggest thinkers to create new things. From each of them, I take a little piece, try it on for size, roll it around in my brain and see how it fits my needs for a while.

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From Brand to Demand

Thursday, April 20, 2017
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We are all customers. And, we're all people. Sometimes in marketing, head down buried in analytics, chasing the new shiny object, or just adapting to the constant pace of innovation, we forget this.

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The Difference Between Findings and Insights

Friday, February 17, 2017
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There’s a simple truth about human behavior: consumers buy when the act of buying is simple, easy and convenient. Amazon has figured this out, and at $80B a year, they have become the most relevant brand to Millennials.

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Socialize = humanize your brand and business

Tuesday, October 25, 2016
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Every September, Starbucks signals the start of fall with the release of their iconic pumpkin spice latte. This year was no different, but it came with an added surprise when I opened the door to my local Starbucks last week and saw in all caps: “PSL | People Share Love.”     Read More

When does an idea become an innovation?

Tuesday, September 13, 2016
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When it’s implemented. That’s the easy answer. And the hardest part. Ideas are the offspring and the wellspring of creativity. According to Wikipedia: “Creativity is a phenomenon whereby something new and somehow valuable is formed. The created item may be intangible (such as an idea, a scientific theory, a musical composition, or a joke) or a physical object (such as an invention, a literary work, or a painting).”     Read More

Your brand story. And why should it matter to me?

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

“We’re the lowest priced single-family detached, non-motor court product.” “No two homes are the same—they are all different. Some have bedrooms with bay windows, because of these bump-outs. Others don’t. Nothing is cookie cutter.” “Two of our plans have full-sized driveways, so you don’t even have to deal with the motor-court at all.” Compelling, motivating reasons to buy a home in a new community? Or details I maybe didn’t know or need to care about, until that seed of doubt was planted. True story, experienced when shopping for homes in a new planned community.

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Community forms in all the right places—and my found $5 bill finally finds the right home.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016
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After a little over two years in my safe keeping, the $5 bill I found randomly tucked into the rim of a baseball cap in the Life is good store in the Seattle-Tacoma Airport has finally found its rightful, deserving home. About 4:15pm on an overcast and not particularly nice Monday afternoon I headed out for a walk to clear my mind. I passed a gangly teenage boy with his bike, struggling to make the tape on a cardboard sign stick to a streetlight post. It read, “On Sidonia Street – LEMONADE”. Red felt pen on a piece of cardboard, hard to read for sure, never mind at 50mph. But at my pedestrian scale and pace the message was clear.     Read More

Slower Growth Demands Creating New Demand

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Just read an article by one of my favorite futurists and big thinkers - J Walker Smith, of The Futures Company and it made me think and embrace the role marketing has in driving business growth. It's less about projecting and pro-formaing annual increases in appreciation for products sold by the business. It's less about financial modeling and those equations. That is the traditional strategy for success in a high growth economy - when there is an expanding pool of more people able to pay a higher price for your products sold. Modeling and projecting volume and velocity of increases. That worked in a high growth economy.     Read More

Dear World.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Dear World. Tears drip from my fingertips onto my keyboard tonight. #Dallas. 12 officers shot. 1 civilian. 5 dead. It has to stop. There are only so many times Facebook profile pic badges can honor the senselessly lost.     Read More

Your Market(ing) Has a Blind Spot

Thursday, May 19, 2016

It's embarrassing to admit it has been almost two years since my last post. I'm now inspired, and I can't promise what will or won't come of it. The world of marketing continues to evolve at vapor speed. Two years ago Instagram was just catching on. The notion of native content was foreign to most of us. And we still talked about the "awareness-interest-evaluation-trial-adoption" funnel. This model was old then, and today it's prehistoric. Recent history (and in the discipline of marketing that means about a year) dictates we should be more concerned about the multimodal, multi-path, customer journey and not just getting our awareness (or number of FB likes) up.

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Small-scale Public Art Makes a Big Statement About Place

Wednesday, July 23, 2014
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I stay sane (somewhat) when I travel by walking every morning , no matter what city I am in. Some I visit more often than others. Sometimes there are great gaps between visits and it’s fun to see the changes and evolution, either good or bad, these places go through. This morning it was Tacoma. It was my first time back in almost a year. The changes were evident, and not just because the economy has improved. There were still a number of downtown storefronts that were empty, vacant for what appeared to be some time.     Read More

Paying it Forward Shows up in Unexpected Places

Tuesday, July 15, 2014
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And maybe that’s the point. Like tucked in the rim of a Life is good ball cap in the Seattle-Tacoma Airport. When shopping a week ago for an inspirational pick-me-up for my brother Richard, who’s going through a tough time, I discovered this $5 bill tucked in the rim of a mustard-colored hat displayed on a hat holder. Not one that was on the table and more likely to be picked up, but the one on the display rack, placed there intentionally. I checked it for size, pulling back the rim, and viola. The folded $5 bill fell out into my hand.     Read More

Fourth of July—an intersection of community

Thursday, July 3, 2014

As a Canadian living in the US the first week of July is always a great experience. July 1st is Canada Day, the day my home country achieved independence from England (in 1867), and July 4th is of course, well July 4th, or as I hear most people refer to it, simply "the 4th". Both holidays share many things in common. A day off work. Fun outdoor summertime food and drink. National anthems. Flags hung on front porches. Parades. Fireworks. Friends and family getting together.     Read More

Keep up with the comps? Or create a new path?

Friday, June 27, 2014

Plenty of business travel = many hotel nights. One flag is much like the other, and in fact most times on check-in I forget which loyal customer card to pull out. Free WIFI, free bottled water, complimentary made-to-order breakfasts, free morning newspaper. Whatever it is, the hotel world suffers from conspicuous competition.     Read More