maximum potential

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

one way to make sure people listen to everything you say

decide right now that if you don’t have anything original to say, you won’t say it.  your audience will respect and appreciate you for choosing to add value to their lives rather than to add to the enormous quantity of worthless information that already bombards them.  in addition, when what you have to say is valuable, people will come to believe that they are missing out if they are not listening when you speak.  and every one hates to miss out.

this week, newsweek’s editor tells us that they are changing their model based on this belief: “if we don’t have something original to say, we won’t. the drill of chasing the week’s news to add a couple of hard-fought new details is not sustainable.”

perhaps you can learn now what it took newsweek decades to recognize.  next time you’re in a meeting, writing a paper, sitting in class, or having conversation with your customers (in-person, tv, online, etc) decide that you will only add original thoughts/ideas to the conversation and see if makes a difference.

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

2009 brand of the year

great brands…


…connect emotionally as well as logically


…change lives





… move people to action





…do the impossible







…create change






only one month into 2009 and it’s clear that barack obama is the brand of the year (probably century).  and watching things transpire over the last few months it has become clear to me that a great brand can only be human.  there are products, services, and companies that we all love and respect, but can they ever be truly great?  

brands are built on relationships and connections and, for most of us, the strongest connections we will build in our lives will be to other people.  consequently, each one of us harnesses the ability to be their own unique and truly great brand.  the question is, do you have the courage to try?  

(for the most amazing display of barack obama’s inauguration, told completely through pictures, click here. )

Filed under: inspiration, lifemark, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

3 reminders of the power of social media

asocial media took power out of the hands of the giants and placed it in the hands of their consumer. although each voice wields different influence, we all now have a voice.  i am reminded of this because i was contacted by my hotel management today regarding this post.  although we have yet to talk, here are three lessons i learned already:

  • there will be reactions to what you or your brand says. and, although you must try to create as many positive reactions as possible, you cannot please everyone (so don’t attempt to do so).  
  • with all power comes responsibility.  commenting, blogging, tweeting, and the likes, are all forms of power and you must remember to be a responsible member of the community, which you are a part of
  • brands will be rewarded for their participation.  my respect for the westin book cadillac has increased today without even speaking to anyone.  why?  because, not only were they were listening for my voice, but they also acted.  someone was monitoring their brand and they chose to do something about what they saw.  i applaud you wbc!



If You Read This, Tweet This to your Followers:  

3 reminders of the power of social media:

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

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?

Filed under: lifemark, , , , , , , , , ,



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