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@PaulChato it's funny how "operationalize" could seem normal. As I went through Weird Al's list I kept thinking businesses sound like Donald Rumsfeld

4 days, 6 hours ago on Weird Al Yankovic Is Making Fun Of Your Branding

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@Complex2Clear That's great Paul. I've watched the video a dozen times so far. I keep thinking of all these words that seem so natural, but really they are contrived.

4 days, 6 hours ago on Weird Al Yankovic Is Making Fun Of Your Branding

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@Matt Vazquez thanks Matt. One of my rules of thumb is to look for adjectives and commas. When a sentence has several adjectives or adverbs it's probably stuffed with jargon. It's a good reminder to have someone else edit your marketing, and task them to circle all the business speak.

4 days, 12 hours ago on Weird Al Yankovic Is Making Fun Of Your Branding

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I'm in agreement with their approach. They can't apologize for their service model, because best case they'd dilute their brand and worst case they'd discredit it. The issue is customers are not comfortable with a paradigm shift in the industry, and are venting their frustrations. The approach is also effective, because it speaks to their fans. It engages their target market, while alienating customers who are really seeking "legacy airlines."

6 days, 6 hours ago on The Spirit Airlines Hate Campaign is a Win

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@belllindsay @ginidietrich it's ok. You're in my house. I not only support profanity, I encourage it. Swearing makes you more creative :)

6 days, 6 hours ago on Gini Dietrich’s Staff Call Her Baby Ugly

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@belllindsay It's fun to see the new Arment Dietrich though. You're making a nice transition from a personal brand (The Gini Dietrich Show) to showcasing the depth of talent across the organization. I also find this surprising for a professional services firm. Too often professional services firms are designed to serve the needs of the Partners, and the staff are treated like billable cogs. I really found your firm's approach refreshing.

6 days, 7 hours ago on Gini Dietrich’s Staff Call Her Baby Ugly

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@LauraPetrolino thanks Laura. Since all of the employees are dispersed through North America, does this level of communication help you form tighter bonds with your colleagues?

6 days, 8 hours ago on Gini Dietrich’s Staff Call Her Baby Ugly

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Thanks Paul. I agree. There needs to be structure and etiquette for criticism, otherwise it can come across as insubordination.

6 days, 10 hours ago on Gini Dietrich’s Staff Call Her Baby Ugly

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My pleasure Gini. More entrepreneurs should follow your lead.

One of the things I didn't fit into the article is you also ask for solutions. It's not a bitch fest. Every criticism has to be backed up with a solution.

6 days, 13 hours ago on Gini Dietrich’s Staff Call Her Baby Ugly

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@Danny Rosenberg agreed. It's the people behind the scenes that bring great brands to life.

1 month ago on Great Brands Are About People: Ambitious, Impatient People

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@Danny Rosenberg great quote, "Who would give their credit card number to an untrustworthy platform?"

1 month, 2 weeks ago on Websites That Sell Are Different

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@Rick Caouette thanks Rick. Do you have any company examples where they have applied it successfully? From my experience running a recruiting agency we found that every company that employed this strategy had very high sales turnover rates. For example, a facilities management firm we worked with churned 67% of their new hires within the first 6 months. We had to fire them as a client, because they could not retain talent.

1 month, 2 weeks ago on Hunters and Farmers: A Failed Sales Model

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@Danny Rosenberg You raise a good point. That's largely the philosophy behind The Lean Startup by Eric Ries. Adapt your strategy and business by listening to your customers, and gathering qualitative customer feedback.

1 month, 2 weeks ago on FeedBlitz: Clients Will Tell You What They Want

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@phollows my pleasure. You have a great story to share. I find your approach inspirational.

1 month, 2 weeks ago on FeedBlitz: Clients Will Tell You What They Want

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@JoelUngar that's awesome Joel. I'm sure they'll appreciate the recognition.

2 months ago on Delight Your Customers

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@Opal Gamble Their products are stunning, and all custom. I always seem to drool when I look at their stuff :)

2 months ago on Walk The Talk. How Cabico Delivers The Human Touch

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@JoelUngar  Thanks Joel and good comparison. You're right. 80% of what a CPA firm does can be purchased at any other CPA firm. The challenge is to isolate the one strength you can own.

2 months, 1 week ago on Your Strengths May Not Be Sufficient

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@Jimgilbert  Thanks Jim. Wheels & Deals is also a great example of a brand with competitive community. I bet many of your competitors don't even know a large portion of the market is shopping for cars, because the customers only visit your dealership.

2 months, 2 weeks ago on Competitive Immunity: It’s Hard To Compete Against A Brand

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@bobbeagle  Great point Bob. I love the comparison to a measuring stick. That's a great way to frame the goal. It sounds like your team was focused on the right outcomes.

2 months, 2 weeks ago on Give Your SMART Goals Meaning

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@Aron Elal  maybe the attitude is related to size. A solopreneur may not value this level of marketing. I look at my website as another sales person. Investing $10-15k per year on the site is pretty cheap compared to the cost of hiring human sales person.


The other side of this discussion is quarterly maintenance and updates are designed to improve performance, not design. You may make some tweaks to the design, but largely the template stays intact. In my case I made major content changes and added new graphics to the Speaker and Services sections in March, but I didn't change my WordPress template. We worked within the confines of the design template.


I agree with your premise though. This concept of ongoing development of your website is a new concept for many organizations. Only the ones who value performance are going to make this level of investment.

3 months ago on Your Website: The Set It And Forget It Trap

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@bobbeagle  agreed. Your website is as important as your best sales person, but few companies give it the time or attention it deserves.

3 months ago on Your Website: The Set It And Forget It Trap

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@bobbeagle  Great point Bob. The incremental accomplishments are great morale boosters for the team. It demonstrates the hard work they are doing is paying off.

3 months, 2 weeks ago on Break Through Revenue Plateaus, One Goal At A time

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@Jimgilbert  thanks Jim. I love your story. There's so much to talk about, but only 500 words for an article :)

3 months, 3 weeks ago on Wheels and Deals: 20 Year Overnight Success

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@JoelUngar  The interesting part is a niche, in terms of the accounting industry, doesn't have to be a service category or vertical. It could be a point of view. As you point out, every accounting brand is cut from the same cloth. They all have a similar look and feel, and the popular presentation is to use pictures of your people. The imagery is tired and cliche. If a firm created a bold visual identity and led with a strong point of view, they too could create a niche simply by deviating from the pack.

4 months ago on When everyone looks the same, who do you refer?

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@MelodyMeld  neat. Congratulations. It's a fun journey building your platform. Where are you gaining the most traction so far?

4 months ago on Platforms Don’t Grow Themselves

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@bobbeagle  Great insights Bob. Thank you. I really like your mantra. Companies with sticky brands view relationships as strategic assets to their business. The strong relationship with frequent communication can not only generate new opportunities, it can provide the necessary insights to get better. In your organization did you have a structured methodology for capturing and analyzing the messages coming back from your fundraisers and alumni relations?

4 months ago on Scalar: Sales Driven Cultures Build Brands

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@Brisebear  I encourage you to spam my stuff. I'm special :)

4 months, 2 weeks ago on LinkedIn Groups: Cans of Spam

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@Brisebear  Brian, you raise 2 very good points. First, LinkedIn actually encourages content sharing over engagement. Their logic is sound, because they're trying to create as many hooks as possible to keep users active in their site. For the Sticky Branding Group we have over 30,000 members. When we didn't moderate the link sharing the group became overwhelmed in content, and discussions plummeted. Link sharing may make sense for small groups with less than 5,000 members, because they have yet achieved a large enough critical mass to sustain conversations. For larger groups, the blatant "dump and run" behavior is obnoxious. Your second point, re: group owners capitalizing on the group, is another story. They're not creating communities, they're advertising. A strong group is not about the owner, it's about everyone else.

4 months, 2 weeks ago on LinkedIn Groups: Cans of Spam

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@oneimaginginc  It's a process Shirley. Keep playing and testing, and I'm sure you'll find the one that sticks.

4 months, 2 weeks ago on Macadamian: Finding A Brand Name That Sticks

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@kenowens  thanks Ken. I agree. It's counterintuitive that we have to write about this. Also, I really like your line, "empathetic listening." It's a great way to describe the kind of listening that's required to influence behaviors.

4 months, 2 weeks ago on Stop Shouting! Listen. Build Your Brand Listening

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Absolutely Joel. It's an excellent book on strategy with a very useful strategy development framework.

4 months, 3 weeks ago on Tilt The Odds: Choose A Niche To Win

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@PaulChato  ha! Thanks Paul. I write in fear of you unsubscribing :) Glad to hear it resonated. This is one of my mantras for 2014.

5 months, 2 weeks ago on Stop Marketing, Start Selling

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@JoelUngar Domenic said their customers have the same reaction. At first they can't believe their getting the call, but once they overcome the shock they're very open with their impressions. The program has been so successful their outbound call center is growing rapidly (which is very unusual for a pizza chain to even have an outbound call center.)

5 months, 2 weeks ago on Pizza Nova: Always About Quality

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@JoelUngar  agreed. Pizza Nova has a very focused approach. My favorite part is the feedback loop. It's one thing to say you're delivering quality, but it's another thing to have it verified. The feedback loop is a powerful innovation.

5 months, 2 weeks ago on Pizza Nova: Always About Quality

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@JoelUngar  glad to hear the article resonated Joel. I agree, the story is in the results.

5 months, 3 weeks ago on Another Way To Say “One Stop Shop”

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@Raleigh Leslie  Thanks for sharing Raleigh. I have found with clear guidelines and strict moderation the spam issue can be managed. We have significantly curbed the Sticky Branding group's spam problem since I wrote this article. Yes, the group still receives a lot of blog submissions, but they're all filtered into the promotions tab. The engaged users have noticed the change, and adhere to the policy. Other users have modified their behavior, and the problem users get whittled out of the group. I'm largely of the opinion that the LinkedIn Spam issues fall to the group owners. It's their choice whether it's going to be a problem or not.

5 months, 3 weeks ago on LinkedIn Groups: Cans of Spam

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@JoelUngar Thanks Joel. I was drinking from the referral Kool Aid forever too, but an analysis of a client's business showed me the underside. They're not achieving their potential, because they're not reaching beyond a select audience of referrals. It was an eye opener.

5 months, 4 weeks ago on The Downside of Word of Mouth Marketing

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@Complex2Clear thanks Paul! Happy New Year to you too. Building an effective metrics system takes time and discipline. Capturing the data is one thing, but using it is where the rubber hits the road. Choose one to three metrics to start with and work to institutionalize them. Once you're gaining value from those metrics you can add or adjust them.

6 months, 3 weeks ago on 6 Brand Metrics To Drive Sales

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@Opal Gamble thanks Opal! It will save me a cold call :)

7 months, 2 weeks ago on I Hate Cold Calling, But I Still Do It

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@Complex2Clear Thanks Paul. Great point. You can't grow a brand without focus and sacrifice.

7 months, 2 weeks ago on Alpha Poly Packaging: Easy In, Impossible Out

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@Janet Huey it's a techie phrase, but it fits :)

8 months, 3 weeks ago on Skura Corporation: Overcoming A Paradigm Shift

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@Paul Emond Thanks Paul. You have a great story to share, and it's impressive to see how Versature is growing. Vonage demonstrated that slick marketing isn't enough. It takes a company with a clear commitment to the technology, customer service and owning the category to win. Great job.

9 months, 3 weeks ago on Versature: Challenging Giants

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@Complex2Clear Thanks Paul. Good think the Sticky Branding Stories are for mid-market, private companies vs. the faceless monoliths :)

You raise a very valid point. The way a mid-market grows a brand and a big company maintains a brand are very different. A business owner has to make purposeful investments to challenge the status quo to stand out and differentiate the company. Where as a big brand works to control input costs and maintain the status quo as the market leader.

Mike's approach to staffing is inline with a mid-market company challenging the faceless brand model of the big box retailers. And it works so well that the big boxes avoid entering his territory, because he has such a strong presence and community engagement.

10 months, 2 weeks ago on Capital Iron: The Personal Touch Counts

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@Debbie Ouellet Thanks Debbie. That's a great question. It can lead in so many directions. Do you have a favourite story you've received from the question?

10 months, 3 weeks ago on Purdy’s Chocolates: A Culture Of Curiosity

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@Complex2Clear Thanks Paul. I definitely agree with your second point. I focus on 4-5 streams at a time. I can't handle much more than that. Since time and budget is limited, I have to be very selective where I invest my time to deliver the best lead generation results.

10 months, 3 weeks ago on 100 Ways To Generate 1 Customer

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 @PaulChato every company has the ability to differentiate and create a unique brand. The company may not be able to differentiate on the products/services they sell, but they can differentiate on their personality and point of view.

 

An interesting Toronto example in the news right now is Honest Ed's. You can get the same products at any Wal-Mart or Dollar Store, but Honest Ed's is an experience unto iteself. From the gaudiness of the storefront, to their turkey drive, to how their founder was a showman.

 

Growing a unique brand is a choice. Some companies make that choice and take the necessary risks, and other's don't and wind up being zombies (brains!!!)

1 year ago on Showcase Your Brand Personality

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 @Complex2Clear thanks Paul. You raise an interesting point. It's like companies are getting caught up in perpetual navel gazing, and losing sight of what's really important -- their customers.

1 year ago on The Central Group: It’s Not What You Sell. It’s What You Deliver

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 @jbarnet thanks Jim. A big part of DECO's success is location. Alberta has the 2nd highest incidents per capita of windshield damage in North America. They are only slightly behind Denver. In Ontario a driver may go years without a chip or cracked windshield, but in Alberta you're lucky to go 3 months unscathed.

 

This high frequency of incidents means consumers in Western Canada value convenience. I spoke with a colleague in Edmonton, and she loved that she could get her windshield repaired while grocery shopping.

 

As you point out, it's about servicing your ideal customer (and knowing what your ideal customer needs).

1 year ago on DECO Windshield Repair: First They Ignore You, Then You Win

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@Colin Joseph thanks Colin

1 year ago on DECO Windshield Repair: First They Ignore You, Then You Win

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 @Ed Ross thanks Ed. You raise a very valid point. Education builds upon itself, and we definitely don't forget the history.

 

Are you finding any institutions or researchers that are re-evaluating the sales reserach, and updating it for 2013? I am seeing some activity from Cranfiled School of Management in the UK, which was featured in the Harvard Business Review in 2010.

 

But in general, the research seems stunted and slow to adapt to the major structural forces brought on by the major advances in globalization, telecommunications and social media over the past decade.

1 year, 1 month ago on Sales Training Programs Are Outdated

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