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Blog Post Archive
An inspiring customer interaction at sub shop Jersey Mike’s provides four important takeaways for business and life.
There is one thing that every company or organization should be able to do to increase sales potential and/or learn more about what’s happening with their customers: make it easy for the customer or potential customer to get in touch.
Are you asking powerful, business-changing questions like retailer Dick’s Sporting Goods? Here’s how to do it to beat your competition.
What do sales and marketing teams get from their massive trade show investments? “9 Action Points” to make your trade shows more strategic and higher ROI.
One of the greatest challenges to a high performing organization is getting colleagues to robustly and constructively engage. Why this happens plus five action steps for improvement.
10 reasons why arctic explorer Ernest Shackleton and his crew survived an unsurvivable mission. More than 100 years later, they are still relevant and highly applicable to businesses and organizations.
Fruit trees do grow in cities! Nonprofit organization Philadelphia Orchard Project promotes inner city orchards to increase access to fresh fruit and vegetables.
Agriculture growers are testing artificial-intelligence-powered autonomous equipment. There is potential to improve sustainability, solve labor shortages and increase the efficiency of the global food supply chain.
The Bumble Bee marketing team cleverly used a typically overlooked portion of the can, the top lid, to communicate key product benefits.
How is it possible to purchase your favorite produce virtually any day of the year? The “secret magic” of the food/produce supply chain is grounded in science-based innovation, powered by safe and effective technologies specially designed for the task.
Six easy ways to implement recognition, celebration, coaching and injecting fun at your organization for team success.
A true “customer first” story how one team member took extraordinary action to create an amazing and unique customer experience. Plus, how you can apply such sales and marketing at your company.
What separates the winners from everyone else when it comes to successful business execution? Attention to details, or put another way, making sure the operational nuts and bolts are in order. Example and discussion.
Act and influence the outcome in real time by asking your customers “How is everything?” instead of waiting to ask how was everything. A mini case study.
“You just saved $xx by using your library!” This brilliant, yet unlikely marketing example can help you identify differentiation opportunities and develop your value proposition.
Business and marketing leaders have much to gain by utilizing a “How are we doing?” outside-in learning approach. One easy-to-implement way to get started is to conduct a regular program to compare your products and services versus other available options.
Supermarket leader Kroger has leveraged a Toys “R” Us brand asset to launch “Geoffrey’s Toy Box.” It’s a testament to the power of brands and an example of how marketing can be a cornerstone for strong customer relationships and sustainable long-term business success.
Success is often determined by how management treats its workforce and how well colleagues jell together as a cohesive team. Three examples of how people and teams can make the difference in business from the Little League World Series, Marvel and a Minnesota community civility project.
Showtime’s new series with Sacha Baron Cohen, Who Is America?, is not authentic or transparent. It’s deceptive. While it may be good for their business, it’s not good for America.
Marketing doesn’t end when the sale is made. The packaging that comes with your product — whether it’s the retail shopping bag, the shipping box, or the actual product contents structure — can be a strong influencing factor for company image and brand perception. This includes B2B.
You can buy other plastic baseballs, but there is no comparison when it comes to the combination of WIFFLE® Ball’s performance and emotional attachment. That’s what makes the product and brand a marketing success story.
It’s one thing to ask your customer how likely they would be to recommend you. It’s so much better to ask them to actually recommend you to a potential customer!
The Hess Toy Truck brand continues to thrive even though Hess Corporation no longer operates gas stations. How? Eight brand management success factors.
Four business remedies to make sure conventional wisdom and groupthink don’t derail your company’s success.
A new corporate marketing campaign for MGM Resorts International helps demonstrate the power of what some consider “mumbo jumbo” — marketing cornerstones such as branding, positioning and customer experience.
Unexpected benefit from taking my young nephews to a local museum this summer: a marketing communications refresher about the importance of painting an image and creating anticipated, sought-after experiences in the mind of the target customer.
How to expand the appeal of brand x and/or position it for growth without alienating existing customers and destroying the core business.
Wegmans Menu Magazine demonstrates the marketing benefit of creating content that helps the customer.
Marketers and business leaders who take a disciplined, strategic approach with packaging have a distinct advantage. A five-plus-years study of the Arrowhead Mills brand from Hain Celestial.
Where do business teams get the content to fuel their content-driven marketing? Great content can come from unexpected places. An example from Allen Edmonds.
Are corporations failing at higher rates or is something else going on? The danger is a “blandization” effect, where marketers and company leadership are so afraid of any criticism that they self-censor to such an extent that their messages become super-plain vanilla, indistinguishable, and not very effective.
When customer-facing personnel are not integrated, customer experience is likely to suffer. Eventually, the ultimate one suffering is the company itself, with lost sales.
Marketers can apply “pop-up” thinking to gain important business advantages.
McCall Farms used packaging innovation as a marketing change agent. They introduced a new brand of ready-to-eat vegetables in see-through composite containers.
Most customer “letters” go right in the garbage. Why this letter from an online retailer’s Brand Manager stood out.
Topgolf is a marketing story. It’s a cool example of being able to think creatively and reimagine a commodity activity.
Gatorade developed a high-tech vending machine that dispenses free bottles to workout warriors — if they’re sweating enough. Gatorade’s marketing is noteworthy because it consistently delivers the brand’s positioning and customer benefits.
Free turkey promotions are common at USA supermarkets leading up to the Thanksgiving holiday. But something’s missing: providing shoppers with an easy donation option.
Stories create connections that are emotional and inspiring. Maybe that’s why the best storytellers win. Expert ideas to optimize your business communication and team leadership.
Management at Ruth’s Chris Steak House in Ann Arbor, MI had a bad case of indigestion. That’s because they faced a week of giving 50% discounts on every check. It’s a case study on why you need Marketing Discipline. Strategy first, then tactics.
Food and beverage marketing teams are increasingly paying attention to ingredient trade shows such as SupplySide West. That’s because marketers realize they can win with food ingredients – if they do it right.
Lands’ End’s CEO departed Monday after only 19 months on the job. Working in New York City, 1,000 miles away from her team in Wisconsin, didn’t help achieve her change mission.
Change your customer experience mindset. Stop waiting until the end of the transaction to ask: “How was everything?” Instead, ask in real-time, “How is everything?”
Travel website momondo stands out with terrific marketing not found in a typical playbook. They dare customers to get DNA tested, and then encourage them to explore their geographic ancestry.
Fish wholesaler Red’s Best combined brand management, technology, a keen understanding of end users and storytelling to craft a differentiated, go-to-market business strategy.
A minor league baseball team is letting fans pick its new name. Where is the line between using informed judgment to make solid, on-strategy decisions, and just opening the proverbial office door to say “Hey customer, you decide.”
Wine retailer Amanti Vino is different than competitors, and that means special benefits for customers. Taste the action with 3+ marketing differentiation examples.
Topps demonstrates how to keep a 65-year-old brand fresh and relevant. The iconic company has launched TOPPS NOW, a limited edition, 24-hour-only series of baseball cards that caters to today’s always on, Internet-connected fans.
Marketing Discipline is essential. It’s a strategic operating mindset that serves as a guide and roadmap for well-grounded decision-making. Plus, IMD Professor Goutam Challagalla on the importance of Marketing Doctrine.
In “Team of Teams – New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World,” General Stanley McChrystal offers ready-to-implement ideas on leadership, teamwork and organizational effectiveness.
Notice the “packaging” change for this year’s men’s basketball tournament? The most important new design feature is highlighting the “March Madness” brand with a giant center court logo. That’s a smart brand management marketing move.
“Treat every customer like they are your mother (and if you don’t like your mother… haha, treat them like someone you love dearly and would do anything for).” Get a little bit of the Duval’s customer service mindset into your teams and across your organization.
If you want a vivid training primer on how teamwork and collaboration make a winning recipe for business success, cut-up a few scenes from the movie “Burnt.” Plus, 10 Leadership, Collaboration & Teamwork Lessons.
Everything is marketing. A Gainesville, FL police officer’s handling of a basketball noise report delivered everything the police department could have ever wanted in terms of creating goodwill and a feel-good perception within the local community.
Costco utilizes a consumer education strategy. Take a spin around costco.com, and you’ll find consumer-friendly product information designed to inform, persuade and generate “Add to Cart” shopping clicks.
With Megacast, ESPN offered 15 different viewing and listening choices for the 2016 college football championship game. Read on for “6 Business and Marketing Lessons.”
Beware the unintended consequences of marketing automation gone awry. Even one or two misdirected emails has the potential to threaten the customer experience and brand goodwill that your company has worked so hard to build.
Why marketing changes packaging. Domino converted a brown sugar in a pouch to a product in a canister with a different name. A good move, even though some consumers were confused.
In his welcoming comments to the Class of 2019, Duke’s president encouraged the new students to adopt a set of profound life and work ideas that are applicable to all of us.
Update – New Jersey shopping center corrects brand signage mistake. Olive Tree Marketplace sign can now be read from busy state highway.
Tom Brady has declared that Coca-Cola is “poison.” My 4 points reaction and a call for personal responsibility in the food nutrition debate.
Why is Hostess Brands getting into bread? They listened carefully to customers and realized there was a business opportunity.
Our personal brands are the most important professional asset we manage and nurture. NFL player Steve Weatherford demonstrates how to make a classy career transition.
EZeeGolf needs to pick one positioning strategy. What is the brand concept and who is it for?
For optimal brand logo use, make sure you have contextual appreciation and a corresponding usage plan. Otherwise, expect lousy communication.
Part 3 on marketing differentiation. Why did a nonprofit best-known for planting trees in Israel participate at this year’s South by Southwest® (SXSW®) festival?
European hotel brand Mama Shelter is now open for business in Los Angeles. Local artist ceiling murals and free adult films are part of the attraction.
A three-part series on marketing differentiation. Part 1: the NYC wine store that lets you taste before you buy. Every bottle!
Vonlane puts a smart-differentiation twist on bus transportation with a unique option for fed-up Lone Star State travelers.
Don’t overlook opportunities to leverage packaging in your marketing mix. Two examples from KFC Germany and Pizza Hut Hong Kong.
Iconic brand L.L. Bean offers and implements a suite of programs to create raging fans inside the company, which ultimately help Bean outside the company.
Cisco’s Internet of Everything chief detailed the “Top 5 Implications of Digital Disruption” in his Internet Week New York presentation. Find out what they mean for you and your team.
The National Guard uses NFL team sponsorships for recruitment and retention marketing. A US Senator is opposed. Is it legitimate criticism or sensational politics?
National law firm Cordell & Cordell embraces marketing. Take a deeper look at the marketing fundamentals that underpin its growth strategies.
Saint Barnabas Medical Center in New Jersey prints and delivers free, same-day E-Cards to patients. It’s a small, patient experience touch-point that can make a big difference.
European outdoor clothing brand Peak Performance’s “Magic Hour” marketing campaign is outstanding. It’s rare to see such marketing harmony between advertising, positioning, branding and promotion.
Uber switched gears in Spain. The smart move nurtures its developing brand equity, maintains its business platform foothold, and positions the company for when it can re-boot its car service.
How can you get ready for the crucible of a new business assignment? A global news example demonstrates how a leader can apply an outside-in approach to get prepared for both the challenge and the boss.
The movie Whiplash explores the tortured relationship between an aspiring drummer and his sadistic band leader. It may become content for b-schools and corporate training sessions to help teach leaders what not to do.
Every business needs marketing, even a Florida beach during a brutal winter. Visit St. Pete/Clearwater created a clever guerilla marketing program to target new millennial customers.
SpongeBob, Penguins of Madagascar and Planes: Fire & Rescue are fun movies to watch with young kids. Surprisingly, they offer adults a reminder about critical organizational factors for success such as teamwork, collaboration and effective leadership.
The Coast Guard motto, Always Ready, is also a valuable mindset for business and marketing teams. Because something unbelievable happened at the end of Super Bowl XLIX, we need to talk about “Always Ready” again.
The motto for the US Coast Guard is Always Ready (Semper Paratus). It’s a good mindset for marketers, too. Plus, what marketers say is the number one most important thing to be ready about/ready for in 2015.
Power Branding is an easy read that will challenge your thinking and/or reinforce any brand marketing discipline that may have gotten a bit out-of-shape.
Her team lost, but Brooklyn Nets’ executive Irina Pavlova won by demonstrating how a business leader can effectively communicate directly to customers, in this case on social media via Twitter.
Before you apply any omnichannel strategies, understand your business, existing channels and how your customer shops, or wants to shop. For best success, understand the discipline of brand management — and how to apply that expertise in today’s omni-touchpoint world.
BeatBox Beverages earned a $1M Shark Tank investment from Mark Cuban because the founders created a differentiated concept with clever branding, defined targeting and clear positioning.
Verizon FiOS has a new double entendre ad that takes a page from Kmart’s 2013 playbook. Time will tell if Half-Fast marketing leads to Big Gas results.
At Dante’s View in Death Valley National Park, it’s possible to see both the highest and lowest points in the United States. A Rosh Hashanah sermon that encouraged a “Look Up” personal mindset also offers a powerful tonic for business success.
How you act on business social media sites such as LinkedIn reflects your personal brand. When you ask a stranger to connect with no stated reason, you get an “F” in personal marketing.
There’s an overload of buzz about content marketing, but if you want to get smart and understand how to implement it to grow your business, read Epic Content Marketing by Joe Pulizzi.
Ashley Furniture HomeStore in College Station, TX powered a sports marketing triple play when its free furniture offer activated following Texas A&M’s season-opening football victory.
Hain Celestial’s Dream brand non-dairy products have a new easy-open, easy pour screw cap. It’s a good example of utilizing packaging to deliver consumer benefits and revitalize brand concepts.
Changing behavior is perhaps the hardest marketing challenge. The Southern California Water Committee (SCWC) created a humorous Twitter-character-based marketing campaign to get Californians to conserve water.
You may know him as a PBS television character, but Harry Selfridge was an innovative, retail marketing pioneer. More than 100 years after opening his iconic London store Selfridges, his ideas remain spot-on and valuable to today’s marketing and business practitioners.
Pro sports teams are deploying head coaches and owners to directly communicate with fans and build/maintain engagement. This direct-to-sportsfan marketing strategy (D2SF) offers a unique brand management tool to score points off the field.
Mission statements don’t have to be so complicated. Take a lesson from The Lazy Lobster restaurant in Longboat Key, Florida. Make your mission statement meaningful.
Coca-Cola has launched a brilliant marketing and sustainability program in Vietnam that transforms used soda bottles into useful and fun tools.
AMC Theatres is making customer experience the key to its go-to-market strategy. The entertainment company is investing $825 million, including power recliner seating, to dramatically enhance the movie-going experience. The Morristown, NJ upgrade is featured.
A New Zealand company has come up with a new, innovative concept to market a product that’s thousands of years old: the apple.
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