Branding tips from the road warrior. This past year I’ve been to over 50 airports in the US. I’ve seen and experienced the good, the bad and the most disappointing. For a long time airports have merely been geographic facilities that connect people to places, events or attractions that they were headed to.
Even on the sunniest of days there are floods of feedback forms and follow-up calls bombarding customers about their recent experiences with a brand. Just yesterday, I received seven requests from companies I do business with. Some are not too disruptive because they arrive in your email. Others can feel annoying, like pesty flies, especially when they are tied to an experience that has caused you a lot of stress -- like when your Internet goes down or your computer locks up. Next thing you know is that you are behind on your work. Not five seconds after you hang up with a technology support person whose English is not the best calls you to find out how their brand performed.
It’s never easy to let go of something that’s been a part of you, your work and your life for years. Brands come and go. Some last longer than others. Recently Procter and Gamble alluded to saying goodbye to approximately 20% of their brands – the underperforming ones. The ones that didn’t align to the company’s core business and the ones consumers just don’t care about anymore. One of these includes Ivory soap. If you were born before this decade, you know the brand.
“Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it.” Salvador Dali Some days writing is effortless, fun and comes like breathing, easy and without much effort. Other days writing can be really hard. It’s like climbing the tallest mountain with no sight of the top and brutal weather beating up every inch of your soul.
There is a growing crime that is aggravating and frustrating business communicators around the globe and unfortunately one of my companies fell victim to this slimy act. It’s called content scraping. Your content is basically copied and used on someone else’s site for their search results and credibility benefit. This can be accomplished by a lazy human who cuts and pastes your words into their site. Or it can be done with automated software, owned by equally lame people. Without lifting a finger, your branded, search engine-optimized content appears on some bogus URL or website.
Stress sucks energy out of people, then they get distracted and don't produce because they cannot focus on the stuff that makes them productive. Without productivity a professional or entrepreneur can't generate value, which converts to income and joy, which makes them really stressed. A lot of stress that we invite into our lives is preventable. But often we don't invest in small things that when you need them have a big payoff.
CNN’s Anderson Cooper created the Ridiculist, where he features questionable news items, actions and interesting people with his signature full on snarky smile. FOX has Bill O’Reilly and his Pinheads, a noble collection of his favorite idiotic personalities doing really stupid things. This week I’m rolling out Brand Bummers, my official list of brands, people and organizations doing things that I scratch my head and go WHY?
The last 60 days I’ve been MIA from social media. Except for a few random tweets, my social channels have been inactive. While social media is seductive, persuasive and can influence behavior and actions that impact my economy and help build my brand, I consciously opted out. WHY? My plate has been full with other branding projects, speeches and personal obligations that required my brain and bandwidth.