maximum potential

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

the power of “one”

many of us spend most of our days looking at “consumers” and “targets,” and it becomes easy to forget there are real live people on the other end of the interaction.  instead of people, they become numbers and and when we see numbers we tend to judge the value of our brands accordingly.  we look at our sales figures, facebook friends, twitter followers, etc and aim to have the biggest numbers.  

but they’re not numbers, they are people and each “one” matters.  we forget sometimes that touching “one” can be just as important as touching “one” million.  we forget that developing a strong emotional and rational relationship with “one” can lead to that “one” telling “one” hundred others like them.   and we forget that touching “one” can lead to an irrational loyalty towards your brand that is even recession proof, which means your customers will spend during and after the recession, your boss won’t lay you off you when there are cuts, etc.  “one” matters.

i encourage you next time, instead of starting a company to serve the masses to think about how you can build something that impacts “one” unlike any other brand they encounter.  next time, you apply to a job you should think about how to make a unique and lasting connection with that “one” resume reviewer or informal interviever that won’t let them shake your name.  next time, before you write your speech, outline your resume, craft your script, develop your sales pitch, or build a business for the masses remember the power of “one.”  

(again, thank you to all for the personal notes that let me know that what i do in this space matters to you.  it is easy to look at my blog numbers and want more…that is until i am reminded of the privilege it is to have just you.  thank you)

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

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, , , , , , , , ,

more is not always better

i just got a follow from jumbourl on twitter.  unlike other sites that shorten urls so that you can post them in places like twitterjumbourl makes short links jumbo.  why make your url jumbo?  their response (re: product benefit): “aren’t you tired of all that simple and small urls?”  in fact, “all enlarged URLs are exactly 140 chars long, so it will fit perfectly in a tweet.”  hmm…do i really want a tweet w/ no description that is all url.  

perhaps i’ll experiement to see what happens but, at this point, i don’t understand what the true value add is to my life.  i just can’t figure out why i would ever want to use them.  all of a sudden i am reminded, sometimes, more is not always better.

If You Read This, Tweet This to your Followers:  

more is not always better:

Filed under: business branding, lifemark, , , ,

i’m ruining the conversation

marketing is about conversation (although we usually stink at it; it’s much more fun to shout at our consumers and ignore the conversations that they are already in).  social media enables us as marketers to listen and converse with our consumers like never before.  here’s a lesson from my personal life that will hopefully help other marketers navigate the social media landscape.  

i’m ruining the conversation.  i did not do it on purpose, but the day i linked my twitter account to facebook so my status updates would seamlessly post on both i messed up.  i didn’t know it at the time, but i knew it after long.  but that didn’t stop me.

how did i mess it up?  the conversation on twitter is very different for me than the conversation on facebook.  the human beings are interested (at this point) in conversing with me about very separate things.  would you go to the party with all of the people you know from your school, geographic, and professional networks and have the same conversation you would have with a bunch of strangers?  probably not.  and that’s what i have been doing.  so at this juncture i have three options:

  • edit my updates so that they appeal to both targets.  this is the approach i subconciously began to do and is the path well traveled by most marketers.  in an attempt to speak to everyone, we water down our message and speak to no one.  
  •  get all of my facebook friends to follow me on twitter and vice versa.  that sounds like a lot of work and i’m not even sure i want to have the same conversations 100% of the time.
  • stop shouting at everyone, take no short cuts/disconnect my twitter from my facebook, and have conversations that are relevant and customized to my audience and the platform.  

 i choose the latter.  apologies to my “friends” and “followers” for ruining the conversation.

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

do blacks “buy black?”

in response to a project i was working on today, i posted this question on facebook and twitter receiving responses from my friends who represent diverse cultural, social, professional, and economic backgrounds.  the responses that came in ranged from the emotional to the rational.   however, the majority of comments were actually questions dealing with the definition of “buying black”:  are they products produced by black owned businesses, targeted towards blacks, or even just believed to be a way to buy “blackness;” the commodification of certain cultural values thought to be possesed by black people.

for blacks, there is an added benefit to buying black.

for blacks, there is an added benefit to "buying black."

although the secondary data to support either way is extremely limited (both we and the client were disappointed), the story my fantastic team was able to pull together suggests that the answer is’yes.’  at the end of the day,for blacks, supporting black owned businesses is more than just about buying a product, it is about supporting community (an incredibly important value when it comes to this consumer base).   a look at sales data from a few very popular brands belonging to black owned businesses validates the argument showing that blacks account for the majority of sales.  in addition, anecdotal support through personal stories and examples like this recent blog post here support the idea as well.  

so, although there is no definitive data, as of yet, on this issue.  the jury is leaning heavily towards yes.  what then are the marketing, advertising, business, financial, social, and cultural implications of “buying black?”

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