I’ll Change Anything But My Behavior

Between The Power of Habit and Thinking, Fast and Slow, my approach to “communication” has changed dramatically. Communication is about being understood. Period. Communication is not about simply sending an email, making a quick phone call, or screaming a little louder than everyone else. Communication is about breaking into the behavior loop of your audience, earning their attention, and hopefully affecting some action—no matter how small or large. The problem? We are set in our ways—deeply set in our ways. The epiphany for me is that we fly on auto-pilot most of the time and do not take time to hear, internalize, and understand. When it comes to habits, we have a few strikes against us. First, when you really get down to it, learning requires effort, and truth be told, we’re lazy. Second, we hate feeling dumb. Our brains learn processes, practice them, and then automate them so that our minds can think about more…

I Say “___,” You Say “___.” MattressFIRM’s Brand Killing Campaign

True or False: Mattresses double in weight every 8 years because of dust mites, dead skin, and human waste? Answer: Yuck! Why am I answering this disgusting question? From now on, when I hear MattressFIRM, I think gross. Brands are triggers. Dating back to the first “branding,” when the mark of the brand was seared into the hide of cattle, the “brand” has represented the reputation and even quirks of the owner. The same holds true today. When you see or hear a known brand, you immediately associate the conscious and subconscious characteristics of that brand. So, what has MattressFIRM so firmly planted in my mind? An unresolvable disgust for the place where I sleep. I’m a little late to the ballgame (not seeing this commercial until recently), but I was appalled and disgusted at the current messaging. Have you seen it? Watch the commercial here. I’m sure that there was a…

No Job Too Small

I’m always looking for the next big challenge—the bigger, the better. You know, I’ve always been taught, “no job too big,” right? What if our biggest success comes from the ability to take the smallest jobs? I was talking to a friend that runs a landscaping company a few weeks ago, and by “landscaping company” I mean landscaping empire. I was asking him about ongoing projects, and he said with a giggle, “We’re clearing out some brush at one lady’s house. I’ll do just about anything.” After more than a decade in the business, I thought he would only work on the biggest contract projects. He grows his business by building a reputation serving his clients, which means that there truly is no job too small. That’s not the norm. Mix twelve, sixteen, and sometimes more than nineteen years of education and a little success, and voila white gloves suddenly…

Why the Customer is NOT Always Right.

It’s more than just a voice in your head. The resistance is lurking in every decision that we make, and every conversation, in every great innovation. Most commonly, the resistance says “that will never work,” But the resistance will also sometimes say “we must do it this way.” A few years ago, during the merger between the Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr., the company completely changed its menu: Revolution of 2003: Hardee’s decided to pare down its menu and focus on the hearty 1/3-, 1/2- and 2/3-pound Thickburger line. Made with 100% Angus beef, Thickburgers established Hardee’s as a leader in the quick-service industry in both quality and taste. Before 2003, Hardee’s served fried chicken, burgers, barbecue and anything else that you can imagine–anything their customers “may” want. The general product offering would suggest that Hardee’s thought that if they offer a little bit of the products that everyone else offered, there would be no…

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GET THE MOST OUT OF AUDIOBOOKS

I consume a number of audiobooks, but how do you retain all of the content? Here are a few tips that I use to improve comprehension and use of audiobooks.

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