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Karl Sakas
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Tom, this is my favorite clueless-client line. It perfectly encapsulates what the client shouldn't focus on. What's the solution, beyond intentionally undersizing the branding up front? We don't all have the back-and-forth luxury of the "Missy the Cat" poster design process: http://www.27bslash6.com/missy.html
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Social media is a tool, not a panacea. A friend recently mentioned creating a Facebook page for her small business. Without a larger context (making the brand relevant to customers), that's like announcing, "I have a brochure" or "We pick up the phone when people call."
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@Tom: Thanks for sharing the daisy video, a great response to the Clorox cease and desist. When a large brand goes after a small upstart, the newbie can appeal to consumers' sense of fairness (and common sense). Another example is TerraCycle, which makes fertilizer from worm droppings and other eco-friendly products. When Scott's sued the startup over its packaging and product claims regarding Miracle-Gro, TerraCycle turned it into a PR campaign: http://media.terracycle.net/07-10-20/macleansarticle.htm On a related note, some business researchers find startups do better when they make a cheaper product that performs worse than the leading competitor (rather than starting as "better AND cheaper," which gets the awakened-bear response). This lets the new companies start under the radar and gather market share, like Toyota in the U.S. in the 1950s or Netflix more recently: http://www.xconomy.com/seattle/2010/04/28/how-to-predict-whether-a-startup-will-succeed-or-fail-testing-the-disruptive-innovation-model/?single_page=true
Toggle Commented May 3, 2010 on poking the bear at Tom Fishburne: Marketoonist
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As a consumer, I don't respond to phone surveys, and I ignore email surveys unless it's from a brand I trust. And even then...I skipped most of the Consumer Reports member survey this year because it's just too time-consuming. At least based on my experience working in New York, it's funny how sidewalk panhandlers, fundraisers, and surveyors are often indistinguishable at first contact. As a future trend, content analysis makes sense -- getting insights into behavior and desires without interrupting people on the virtual sidewalk.
Penelope Trunk argues that you can choose to have either an interesting life or a happy life. I'm not convinced that they're mutually exclusive, but she has a 16-point quiz to see which way you lean: http://blog.penelopetrunk.com/2010/02/16/test-is-your-life-happy-or-interesting/
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@Ben: You mention America's "obsession with success and self-improvement." Is your point that a relentless focus on self-improvement leads to that unhappiness, because self-improvement itself is a never-ending process? Reminds me about articles comparing the psychology of Republicans and Democrats -- supposedly, Republicans are happier because they aren't trying to improve things.
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What would it take to eliminate the three Pointless Meetings?
Toggle Commented Mar 22, 2010 on iProcrastinate at Tom Fishburne: Marketoonist
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Re: changing culture, I agree it's helpful to "import" someone with the attitudes you want. But that requires a commitment from someone with the authority to bring them in, unless it's a guerrilla effort like ROWE at Best Buy. What about organizations where a negative culture is entrenched, and the leadership fights the very change that's needed to ensure long-term viability? I see this frequently in volunteer groups suffering from founder's syndrome.
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Feb 8, 2010