Brand, Brand, Who’s Got the Brand?

Great examples of companies that are more than their logo

google logo valentineOver the last few weeks I’ve talked about branding – the value of a strong brand.

As stated before, for companies like Apple and McDonalds the brand is more valuable than all the buildings and machinery.  For most companies it’s worth about one-third of their market valuation.

Does Your Brand Contribute to Customer Loyalty?

Trader Joe's logo flowerYour brand is the most valuable asset your company owns**.

The Economist states that for companies like Apple and McDonalds, the brand is possibly worth more than all the machinery and property.  A strong brand mostly serves to differentiate your offerings.  Cola with a red and blue circle is Pepsi.  It’s a very different taste and experience than the cola with red and white swoosh.

Is That a “1” or an “I”? Does It Matter?

The Importance of All Parts of Our Brand

Collins JerseyI finally succumbed.  I became a Patriots fan after living in Massachusetts and trying not to for more than a decade.

It happened as family members started watching and I joined them.  At first it was just to be on the same page.  Then I became a fan, enjoying the  great athleticism of pro-football.

This fall I got a marketing lesson from an unlikely direction.  There was a new guy on the team.  He’s gone now and I have forgotten his name.  What I do remember is that it has an “I” in it. But the “I” looked funny, more like a “1.” I thought that the Patriot’s jersey-makers ran out of “I’s” and put in a “1” because it was late in the season.

Make Up Your Mind

Find Small Things To Be Happy About

Photo courtesy of Women’s Wilderness Retreats www.danjacdesign.com/WWR/

“You’re about as happy as you make up your mind to be.”  This is what I heard from my dad when I asked for words of wisdom at his birthday celebration a while ago.

Dad did not remember who said it, but had found it useful in his life. Turns out they are from Abraham Lincoln, and more powerful because Lincoln suffered from clinical depression and said this before Positive Psychology was “discovered.”

As the weather here in New England gets COLD and icy, I get frustrated with the amount of effort needed to be outside, even to get the mail.  Layers of clothing, boots, crampons for the boots so I don’t slip on the ice. ARGH! Then I remember my folks growing up in Michigan before fleece, down jackets, and wool socks that do not itch, and realize how easy things are for me.

The Most Fruitful Resolution EVER!

iStock_000017647274_SmallWe are all aware that New Year’s Resolutions are not very helpful, at least for the long run.

Instead, for the last few years I have been choosing one word as a focal point for my personal growth for the year. Then I realized that setting a time frame is a bit restrictive as well, so have actually changed my word as the year went along.

I still like to choose a word to start the new year. Though the timeline is artificial, I find benefit in taking stock of the past year(s) and pondering my goals for growth for the upcoming year-ish.

Last Monday I was reminded of a method for personal growth that I love.

Do one thing that scares you, every day.

My Love–Hate Relationship with Christmas

And how to lean toward love

I love Christmas and the holidays.

I get to guiltlessly sing along with John Denver and the Muppets at full volume (when no one is around), just sit and stare at the Christmas tree decorated with treasures gathered from near and far over many years, bake a lot, gather with family and friends, and drink milk loaded with fat and sugar (eggnog).

So why do I have bouts of feeling miserable during these lovely days?  When I do allow myself to pause for a few minutes, I realize it’s because I load my plate too full–then take that list seriously.  How crazy is that?

The Precious Gift That Love Brings

Kermit the Frog Reminds Us of the True Spirit Of the Holidays (and Life)

Kermit Christmas“I don’t know if you believe in Christmas

Or if you have presents underneath the Christmas tree

But if you believe Love

That will be more than enough

For you to come and celebrate with me

For I have held the precious gift that Love brings

Even though I never saw a Christmas star

I know there is a light

I have felt it burn inside

And I have seen it shining from afar…”

Hear the whole song with Kermit and the gang, plus John Denver, on YouTube

Please share your favorite holiday music in the comments below!

My best wishes for a peaceful, loving holiday season.

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Can Joyful Work Help You to Stand Out?

Expert Dorie Clark Shares on How, and Why It Matters Anyway

Dec. 3, 2014. Boston, MA. Portraits of Dorie Clark. © 2014 Marilyn Humphries

Dorie Clark photo courtesy of © 2014 Marilyn Humphries

Autonomy and Creativity.

According to personal branding expert Dorie Clark when we humans feel like these qualities are maximized in our work we are more engaged, productive, and fulfilled–personally and professionally.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Dorie recently.  The sentence above is how she answered my initial question on how the concepts of Creating Joyful Work tie in with her work on personal branding and marketing strategy.  From that start I knew it was going to be a great conversation!

Next we discussed how each of us can ensure these qualities are a part of our daily work. Dorie shared that most of us don’t know how to keep it going.  We want a fast process, a magic bullet or silver lining.  That does not usually happen so most people give up. The good news is that when we do persevere there’s not much competition!  Success increases.

A Key Marketing Lesson from a 7-Year-Old

Dragonflies Rock!

Jeff dragonfly1 DSCN0158

Dragonflies also like Jeff

“The dragonflies. There are lots of dragonflies.”

This is the answer I received from Joey* (who’s 7) in response to my inquiry on what he likes best about his new home in our neighborhood.

A big smile crept across my face.  You see, I like the dragonflies too.  Jeff and I often sit and watch them for a long while after lunch on the patio in warmer weather.

Dragonflies are pretty far down on the list of answers I expected. Yet, it’s a REALLY good answer for a kid of any age.

Most of you already know what I am about to say next…something along the lines of “being a good listener means not expecting a certain answer.”  Yes, I am working on that.

In addition, it’s a great lesson in marketing: no matter how well you know your customers (and prospective customers) we are ALL UNIQUE and different things are important to us.

KC_OverTheHump_Masthead 230x200Apple does a great job of providing customers with dragonflies: experiences they did not know they wanted until they saw them and played with them.  Apple says that market research is not useful because typical market research would not have come up with iPOD, or iTunes.

However I do believe Apple studies the market, knows how people use and build relationships with things.  To me that’s market research.  It’s the relevant kind that puts us marketing geeks in the shoes of our customers– and then adds our knowledge of what cool, amazing and useful.

Dragonflies don’t need much product development and marketing to be cool, amazing and useful.  Most other product do, and open-minded listening is key. It’s the kind of listening that does not have any potential answers, even in the very back recesses of our minds.

In order to remind myself to let go of ALL expectations, I am going to put a picture of a dragonfly on my desk. What about you?

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  • Joey is not his true name.

The Most Important Thing to Be Grateful For

Kit Night artist

Look at the familiar with fresh eyes – Kit Night

As most of you know, gratitude can play a key role in our having a satisfying, successful life.

It’s one of the reasons I am grateful that I started my newsletter on Wednesdays–writing about gratitude is almost a requirement on this day before our Thanksgiving holiday.

This year I have been pondering the idea of starting to give thanks at the source.

The source I am talking about is ourselves. We have to focus on our own nurturing in order to create and sustain a healthy body, mind, and spirit. read on>>