maximum potential

these are the thought starters, insights, and inspiration to get you, and the brands you manage, to reach your maximum potential

that’s great, but are you moving forward

today we will do a million things.  we will talk to a million people, sit in a million meetings, and move a million things through some ‘system.’  we will present one million ideas to clients, bosses, and employees.  we will send out a million resumes or use a million words to convince an employer of how great we are and why we are the right person for the job.

but what are you doing to move your brand forward?  is what you’re doing taking your brand to the next level?  a brilliant new campaign is not brilliant if it doesn’t progress the brand forward.  a brilliant interview response is not brilliant if it does not move the perception of who you are forward.  it doesn’t matter how smart you sound or how great your thoughts are, if they are not moving your brand to a better place they are worthless.  all action is not good action.  next time you do something, make sure your moving forward.


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the most important thing a brand can do…

…is define it’s identity.  what are it’s values and personality?  what does it do/look like?  how should it make people that interact with it feel?  most importantly: what is it’s vision?  having a unique vision sets the stage for long term success and prevents the lovemark from getting caught up in the world of “me too.”  

  • walmart will always be about helping every day people afford the must haves and even some of the nice-t0-haves.  
  • axe will always be about helping guys get girls.  
  • diddy will always be about hustling to make money.
  • me, i will always be about helping brands (both people and products alike) reach their full potential.  

how i do it may change.  who i’m helping at any given time may be different.  but at the end of the day, the vision will stay the same.  i’ve always known that, but this weekend i had time to finally put it on paper and in words.  there may be some incremental changes to my brand identity before i officially lock it in, but it’s 95% of the way there.  and like all great lovemarks, once the vision/idea behind the name is established the only thing that remains is to filter everything i produce through that one unique lens.  i doubt the world is ready.

what’s the vision behind your brand?

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when “me too” doesn’t work

ever!  “me too” never works, that is if you’re trying to win. these days there are way too many “me too” brands.  the majority of the messages i see on tv are all the same; most brands are competing on the same select variables.   they end up in the same place and instead of serving their purpose (reducing choice for the customer) they create clutter, noise, and confusion.  

the same is true for individuals.  friends look at friends who appear to have things going for them and try to copy their dreams, lifestyle, or choices.  we even do this with strangers.  we see people on tv or in the news and try to imitate their walk and their talk with the hopes that it will enable us to enjoy their success.  but it doesn’t work, not if you want to win.   

the reality is, copying will put you at parity…if you’re lucky.  a passion brand or lovemark, whether personal or product-related, will never be  at parity.  it will always carve out a unique space for itself.  it will identify it’s unique vision/purpose and then leverage this unique perspective on life to create value for and give the people in its circle something by which to navigate life.  

‘me too’ happens when you look outside for answers; the best answers come from within.  what’s core to your brand?  your best you is never “me too,” it’s always your unique you.

Filed under: business branding, lifemark, personal branding, , , , ,

my blog is changing

i’m a doer.  i get stuff done.  i jump in head first, learn, and course correct.  that’s the approach i took with this blog.  over the last month i have had several people comment on my blog template (a lot of you who knew me didn’t think it matched my personal lovemark).  like all good marketers, i listened to your feedback and now have a new blog design in the works.  i am also moving the blog off wordpress to be hosted at (apologies to anyone who is going to the brand name first right now and having to clickthrough to the wordpress site).   during the “in-between” phase i have updated my blog to a template that is hopefully more in line with who i am (just got inspired for a new blog post).  

i just wanted to say thanks to all of you for reading and to let you know that i have heard your feedback and will be making changes shortly.  stay tuned.

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are you relevant?

relevant is a commonly misused word amongst marketers and advertisers.  although we espouse to be relevant, do our behaviors truly reflect that desire?  do we even know what it means?  here are a few definitions to consider:

  1. connected with or saying something important about what is being spoken about or discussed (password english learner’s dictionary)
  2. having significant and demonstrable bearing (relevant relation or interconnection) on the matter at hand  (merriam-webster online)
  3. “to be relevant is to be in the conversation that pop culture is having about any particular topic” (alex bogusky, partner at crispin, porter + bogusky)

are you or your brand saying anything important?  is there demonstrable proof of your connection with a certain subject?  is anyone talking about you?  if the answers are no,  you’re probably not as relevant as you think.

Filed under: lifemark, personal branding, , , , , ,

what if you were more like him?

life.  what if we all brought this same passion to our daily jobs?  what if we were all correctly aligned with our passions so that we even had the opportunity to get this passionate about what we did?  let’s make it personal: what if i cancel all of my meetings tomorrow just so i can get focused, passionate, and creative like this for one day?

marketing.  what does this inexpensive tactic do for his lovemark?  do you respect him more?  love him more?  want to talk about him?  

If You Read This, Tweet This to your Followers:  

monday inspiration:  what if you were more like him:

Filed under: business branding, lifemark, personal branding, , , , ,

whose lovemark are you?

for those unfamiliar with the term, lovemarks are an interesting concept developed by kevin roberts, ceo of saatchi & saatchi, and are the ‘future beyond brands.’  according to kevin, “brands have (simply) run out of juice.”  consequently, he encourages us to stop developing brands and start developing lovemarks.  the difference?  while we may love brands, we love and respect lovemarks!  he defines a lovemark as the following: 

“Lovemarks transcend brands. They deliver beyond your expectations of great performance…Lovemarks reach your heart as well as your mind, creating an intimate, emotional connection that you just can’t live without. Ever.

Take a brand away and people will find a replacement. Take a Lovemark away and people will protest its absence. Lovemarks are a relationship, not a mere transaction. You don’t just buy Lovemarks, you embrace them passionately. That’s why you never want to let go.

Put simply, Lovemarks inspire.”

a great example of showcasing that your product is a lovemark is what crispin porter did with the whopper.  and while we all might strive to start turning every product, company, and brand we work on into a lovemark (it’s clear that in a down economy you would prefer to have a lovermark, right?), the question for today is about you.  

are you a fad, a product, a brand, or a lovemark?  on the job?  with your family?  in your community?  whose lovemark are you?  who never wants to let you go?  who would freak out if you were eliminated (laid off)?  who in your life thinks you are irreplaceable?  has your company decided that they won’t go into battle with you?  

i encourage you to make a list of all of the important stakeholders in your life (your family, friends, job, community organizations, etc) with two columns next to it-desired state and current state.  while the desired state for all should be the same for all (re: lovemark), after reflection, you may realize that the current state is not.  if you find a gap anywhere (you want to be a lovemark to your campany but you are more like a product), I would recommend that you start crafting out a plan about how to get more love and/or respect from the people you have determined to matter.  

so…whose lovemark are you (leave comments below)?


whos lovemark are you?

who's lovemark are you?

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