Five Creative Rules (to Break)

Rule 1 (to break): Create for “Millennials.” The $200b-spending 18-34 year-old does shape marketplaces, as the Baby Boomer still does. But, don’t let them shape your creative concept. In trying to be au courant, you may fall into an old rut of pigeonholing by demagoguing on demographics. Millennials are, as human beings ...

Three Marketing Plan Rules (to Break)

  Last time we met, we busted up some branding rules “Three Branding Rules (to Break)” Still pumped? Good. Let’s put a healthy hurt on Three Marketing Plan Rules: Rule 1 (to break): Create the Marketing Plan Before Getting Creative Involved. Nah. Don’t wait. Break this rule. Break its door down ...

Three Branding Rules (to Break)

              So, yeah, you might not want to break the goat rule anytime soon, but here are the ones to go break into a million pieces…  Rule 1 (to break): Write a Mission Statement. Do this for your business plan, not for your branding. To brand, write your ...

Love Ain’t About This

Ok, cynical one. Maybe you're right: Love ain't about this one designated day that feeds the greeting-card-restaurant-chocolate-strawberry-and-silk-sheets industrial complex. But, for me, it served a good purpose today: a reminder in an otherwise forgetful week for love. I was rummaging through boxes of memorabilia in the basement when I found a little notebook of ...

Irresistible at First Sight

Hey, what's wrong with this picture — that makes it so right? So irresistible to the eye and brain… Is your brand that irresistible "Hey" to your customer? Or are you signalling: "Been there, done that"? Are your customers seeing, feeling, something different about you? Compelling, intriguing them at first sight, to know more? Engaging their imagination ...

Work to Do

while attending to my to-do list at work i saw a message on social media that a company teammate's father had died she was devastated ….and, yet, it was the middle of the day and i had work to do so i did the work that needed to be done: ...

A Promise Kept One Summer Night, Leaning Against My Pontiac LeMans

{ One summer night out front of 5008 Adrian Street, Rockville, Maryland } You: "Think you need to wash this bad boy." Me: "So, you're really going through with this…?" "My father got the final transfer papers today." "Can't believe you'll be playing for our crosstown rival." "YOUR crosstown rival." "Up ...

Wait Till I Get My Hands On You

“What we need is a pair of hands.” To the creative being, reducing the process to just that, a pair of hands, is like thinking of the ballet dancer as a pair of legs. Or seeing a piano player from the wrists down, fingers reflected in the Steinway logo. But, wait, ...

Until We See It Together

I was holding my coffee cup, standing next to a physically challenged little girl with her mother, looking at the perfect body of a mannequin in a store window…and I remembered this video. Aren’t we all looking for the same thing and just seeing it differently? Until we see it, ...

The Sweet Round of Her Thumb

  Riding a relentless conveyer belt of people on Fifth Avenue in midtown Manhattan, I had to stop and step aside to stare at a reflection on a storefront’s glass window. It was of a woman lifting her child playfully on a beach — from an advertisement on the side of a bus ...

Father’s Day Ride to Somewhere, Something Incredible

I got a lot of my inspiration from my dad and his father, my Grampa Meyer. It often came in stories at the dinner table, bedtime, and riding to work together. So, for Father’s Day, I’m telling them a story that will take them for a ride 800,000 miles away — ...

Sons of the Torch

                  my torch holders, no the flame is memory is moment is motivation not to hold fast to past form but to reshape the world in yours as you see to see to know it that is peace to me that is ...

The Vote-for-Me Smile

  You kinda know when you feel it, but science says the tell is in the eyes. A real smile involves contraction of two muscles: 1. Zygomatic major muscle (which raises the corners of the mouth) 2. Orbicularis oculi muscle (which raises the cheeks and makes your eyes crinkle). Named after ...

The Strong That Is You

You stand strong at 30 With a voice all your own And it wasn’t always easy coming But something fierce and loving Always spoke to you from your core Telling you that what’s true and good in you Can be what’s true and good in the world Now, here you are At 30 ...

Market Like Water

Customers seek remarkable brand experiences — like water for a parched soul.   ILFORD PHOTO: Black-and-white photographers didn’t need to see more photos in ads; they were thirsty for a brand that understood their art. Inventive. Irrepressible. Illuminating. Ilford. Nobody sees more into black & white than we do.     ...

Pizza Verdi

How will you change my world? The suspense is killing me… A pizza, a knife, and a little opera. A seemingly routine pizza delivery escalates into a tense game of cat-and-mouse. A quintessential New York tale. And the art of remarkable storytelling.  A short film by Gary Nadeau.   Pizza ...

Turning Ughs into Love

First, get to know ‘Ugh’ Customer Experiences • Each ‘Ugh’ tells 9-15 people; 13% of whom tell 20+* • Amplifies their unhappiness at massive scale • Pushes clients toward exit; wards off prospects • Calls help lines, files support tickets, returns products • Ties up admin, finance and legal • Triggers ...

Sprint’s Death+Life Customer Experience

Throwback Thursday: In 2007,  Sprint decided its best solution for decreasing customer complaints was to send service termination letters to its most frequent, costly complainers: 1,200 of its 53 million customers. It’s one of the greatest hate-love letter stories in brand-turn-around history. The Thinking at The Time: Company’s old leadership felt ...

Stop Boring Your Customer’s Brain

No time for anything but a stock image or the same old words for your presentation? Try re-imagining the look of the text or image. Here’s the thing: Our brains are constantly scanning the environment, looking for anything that is dangerous. This also means that the unconscious mind is looking ...

Recognition vs Recall

Recognition Is Easier Than Recall. And why does this matter to your work? Let’s say I asked you to remember this list of words: Apple Table Peach Window Chair Pear Orange Fork Mango Ok? And then later on I asked you to reconstruct the list from memory. That is called ...

Where the Wild Things Are

It’s a rare treat to  listen in on one of the seminal voices of creativity and literature.  The voice of Maurice Sendak,  speaking http://www.npr.org/2011/09/20/140435330/this-pig-wants-to-party-maurice-sendaks-latest ...

Your “To Be or Not to Be” List

Try not to become a person of success but rather to become a person of value. ~ Albert Einstein To be or not to be, that is the question.  ~ William Shakespeare Shake things up. Be an Albert Shakespeare (or William Einstein). Before you begin any messaging, check your brand’s ...

The X-Factor of Customer Experience

Harvard Business Review says a brand’s first concern should be “the quality of the customer’s experiences.” Forrester says emotion plays the largest role in customer happiness, ahead of effectiveness and ease. Mercedes-Benz CEO, Stephen Cannon, says customer “satisfaction” isn’t good enough. You have to mandate, commit to and achieve “extraordinary” customer experiences. So, ...

Truth in Hedge Fund Advertising?

“Transparency,” “access” and “performance” are the buzzwords that hedge funds may want to highlight as they step out of the shadows and start marketing to a broader audience, advertising executives said. “They have to find a way to be more transparent,” said Rob Reilly, chief creative officer of Crispin, Porter & ...

The Uniqlo Glow of Respect

Ever wonder why some people (and brands) have you at hello…and others just don’t? At Uniqlo, Hello isn’t just a company policy. It’s actually a revenue-driving principle of management that must be felt authentically by the customer to mean: – “I’m here to help you, not sell you.” – “I respect ...

Got Change?

THE BOOK: SWITCH   Chapter 1: Three Surprises About Change One Saturday back in 2000, some unsuspecting moviegoers showed up at a suburban theater in Chicago to catch a 1:05 p.m. matinee of Mel Gibson’s action flick Payback. They were handed a soft drink and a free bucket of popcorn ...

Face in a Crowd?

Amidst the hustle bustle of an overcrowded street in New York City, you suddenly, unexpectedly, out of the hundreds of people in your visual field, see the face of someone you know. Not only do you recognize them immediately, you also have an accompanying emotional response (love, hate, fear, etc). ...

Top Dance Routine Ever?

Imagine a dance routine in a 2082 version of Dancing with the Stars. Think it would blow you away compared to today? Now, check out this from the same 70-year time span…going back in time. Think it could possibly still be one of the greatest dance routines ever? You decide. ...

Competing

More People = Less Desire To Compete Did you take standardized tests to get into college? Like the SAT and ACT? How many people were in the room when you took the test? Does it matter? Research by Stephen Garcia and Avishalom Tor shows that it may matter a lot. Fewer ...

Which Brand Would Make The Best Lover?

There you are. Just you and a friendly stranger. Waiting in line. Sitting next to each other on a plane or train. You talk about companies. About brands. And one of you asks, “Hey, if a company were human, a real person, which brand would be the best lover?” What if you asked ...
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