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.
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?
I have a love hate relationship with technology. Yes, it allows us to do amazing things, fast and from virtually anywhere. It can also cause serious stress when it lets you down. As a branding speaker and business consultant, I rely on technology to present ideas and content that educates and inspires my audiences. My presentation software of choice is Power Point and while it has certainly contributed to my success, recently it made me furious. I’m a MAC user, so this issue may not apply to my PC readers. When I present talks on branding, I insert videos into my Power Point deck. I’ve been doing this for years and by clicking the start arrow button they project sound and display video beautifully.
Vision boards – get what you want I recently attended the National Speaker Association’s mid-year conference. I took away many awesome ideas about branding, presentation skills and new technology. My biggest takeaway was to accelerate your success, get a vision board. In the early 1990s, I always had a vision board, in my office, at my branding agency in Houston. A large black bulletin covered with pictures of situations, places and things I wanted to experience, share or own. When I made something happen or achieved a milestone, I removed the item from the board. By the late 90s, my vision board was empty and I had manifested a bunch of amazing stuff. I credit that board of pictures as an important tool that kept me laser focused on my goals.
We live and breathe technology. Smart phones, dumb text messages, notebooks, PDFs, videos, virtual meetings, cloud computing and all the "apps for that". All this stuff has certainly added convenience to our lives, however, its also created a society of gadget addicts. And Heaven forbid, there is no Internet connection for 10 minutes! Someone call 911 and order me a respirator. IT withdrawals are worse than needing a crack fix. Technology has had a profound impact on how we function and communicate. This new world order has also zapped the tangible factor in many business connections. The days of touch, hold in your hand marketing and ink on your fingers are gone. We are now a digital domicile. A planet of wifi, plugs, chargers and adapters.
I'm putting the finishing the finishing touches on a presentation I'm giving this week in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA at the Terranea Oceanfront Resort for a large trade association. My talk is on Brand Turnarounds about how companies prepare for potholes and recover after a brand hit. As I conducted my pre speech research for the engagement I discovered several of the large and respected companies scheduled to attend had some not so favorable search results when I Googled them. Claims of scams and questionable business practices populated the front page search results. Many of these negative results were old, but still they were prominent on the front page. It was not a good first impression for anyone checking out a brand.
I know first hand social media can be a valuable, income generating tool. My social media efforts have landed me business (a million dollar contract in 2008), sold books and products, aided my international media presence and hooked me to important resources and new friends. Social media can provide a garden of goods that are aligned to your goals, or it can make you feel like your endless efforts produce no more than a crop of crappy connections that suck time and don't produce a worthy return on your investment. Follow these tips and your odds of success will increase.
My friends and business colleagues often ask me, "How do you constantly produce so much stuff, ideas, stories, images, books, products and speeches?!". The answer is simple. I consume this delicious cocktail, straight up daily, which let's me get more done and have more fun! Start with ample sleep, for me it's 8 hours. + Eat often, at least five small meals with protein daily. + Set accountable goals, daily (one or two are fine). + Meditate and do deep breathing, even if it's 5 minutes. + Pay attention to what you experience...