(Reading Time: 3 minutes)
Last week, I shared five reasons why I’m at odds with the “Change or die!” fear-mongers. Today I offer an alternate (and calmer) approach: “Act with purpose.”
I’ll begin with another rebuttal to “Change or die”: We’re already changing, without anyone shouting at us to do so. As people, as teams, as organizations, we’re changing all the time.
Any time we adopt a new habit, launch a new product, or add even one new team member, we’re changing. But change can be intentional or unintentional. So the operative question is this:
Continue reading “Act With Purpose: Four Factors for Making a Difference”
(Reading Time: < 1 minute)
Walmart is the largest bricks-and-mortar retailer in the history of the world. This has been the case since 1989.
But think about how many other retailers have grown successfully since then. Here’s a partial list:
Target. Nordstrom. Costco. Amazon. Zappos. Alibaba.
Continue reading “The Thing About Goliath”
(Reading Time: 6 minutes)
There’s a question that’s asked far too rarely as we develop brand and business strategies. It’s simple but extremely powerful, since it shapes everything that you’ll do as a team or organization.
Who do we want to be?
It’s challenging to lead an organization in the best of times. In a time of scarcity – like the one we recently, abruptly entered – it can feel impossible.
But navigating difficulty is one of the roles of a leader. As FDR said, “A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor.”
Continue reading “Don’t Waste This Crisis: How Strong Values Improve Strategy”
(Reading Time: 2 minutes)
In your local supermarket, right now,
there are hundreds of products destined for the graveyard. They’re just taking up space, hoping for a
miracle. Most you’ll never try, and many
aren’t even on your radar.
Here are some signs that a brand lacks a
clear intent to win:
Continue reading “Here to Play or Here to Win?”
(Reading Time: 10 minutes)
Friends, the Super Bowl is just a few days away. That means the Super Bowl ads are just a few days away. And that means the advertising media, and a few pundits, are working themselves into a lather right about now.
Vaynerchuk. He’s on record as saying:
“Super Bowl ads are underpriced. Yeah, I said it.”Medium.com, Jan. 29, 2015
“When I buy my first brand, the first thing I’m gonna do is run multiple Super Bowl ads.”ANA Masters of Marketing Conference, 2016
See that? Gary Vee doesn’t even know what his product
or service will be, let alone anything about its market or competitive
situation, and he’s already committed to a tactical decision on its
behalf. This is obviously a problem, and
we’ll come back to it.
Continue reading “The Super Bowl Ads: A Guide for the Rest of Us”
(Reading Time: 2 minutes)
Willamette Valley, where pinot noir is king, you’ll sometimes hear a phrase:
sets in (at least in my case) around the third day of wine tasting. Almost every winery produces a pinot noir,
sometimes several. After a while, they can
start to run together.
Continue reading “Crowded Pools and Empty Pools”
(Reading Time: 2 minutes)
costs pennies per can to produce.
If you knew
this fact only, and you were in the sparkling water business, you might
- Others are going to want a piece of this profitable market.
- Some of them have been canning fizzy water for decades, and they’re damn good at it.
- Some of them have very deep pockets.
- Some of them are going to innovate.
Continue reading “Of Sparkling Water and Hockey Pucks”
(Reading Time: 4 minutes)
Let’s begin with a simple truth:
Every business has problems.
Those problems may be internal or external (often both). They may be created by others or self-inflicted. They may be present-day certainties or future possibilities.
But there’s no business anywhere that is blissfully free of challenges, obstacles, changes… problems.
Continue reading “If It Doesn’t Solve Your Problems, It’s Weak Strategy”
(Reading Time: 7 minutes)
It was early 1993. I was less than a year out of college, and the Assistant Brand Manager of Airheads candy. (A title that no doubt made my parents very proud.)
After the successful launch of Blue Raspberry Airheads in August 1992, we were searching for the next new flavor to add to our lineup.
We took all the standard steps – reviewing category sales data, reading trade magazines, meeting with flavor suppliers, etc.
taking the standard steps, unsurprisingly, resulted in a list of the usual
Continue reading “The Birth of White Mystery Airheads (and What It Taught Me)”
(Reading Time: 6 minutes)By now, we’re at the point where we know what to expect from the Super Bowl ads.
Before the game, you could have jotted down a list of what you thought you would see, based on history. That list probably would have included:
- Celebrities galore!
- Animals (especially dogs) at their most undeniably adorable
- People or animals doing silly dances
- Inspiring Statements of High-Minded Purpose
- The unusual, the surreal, the flat-out bizarre (with or without reason)
- Production values to rival a summer blockbuster film
You can make this kind of list for almost any category. Sometimes, it’s comically easy to do. And the more “tried, true and expected” the items on that list, the more ripe that category is for some rule-breaking.
So who broke the rules with this year’s Super Bowl ads? Continue reading “The 2019 Super Bowl Ads: Who Unleveled the Playing Field?”