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Growth Insights for CEOs

Positioning Your Brand to Make an Emotional Connection

Posted by Simon Waldron

According to an old adage, it is implored that we of the human species should “help yourself before you help others.” While this strategy is particularly important in oxygen-depleted aircraft cabin emergencies and personal matters (but was not great for people like Bernie Madoff), it also represents the foundation of modern marketing strategy.

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Brainstorming Exercises to Create a Cool Company Name

Posted by Stijn Hendrikse

There is nothing more important than naming your company - and yet you could easily spend way too much time worrying about it. A rose wouldn’t be less of a rose if you called it "abracadabra." It’s a physical thing. Your company, on the other hand, is a made-up entity. If you were to introduce a customer to your company, you wouldn’t say: “Hey, there is this thing I’m working on, it has petals and it’s pink and smells sweet.” You have to call it something.

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Sales and Marketing for the Win: Three Keys to a Championship Collaboration

Posted by Gary Fassak

This year’s NCAA “March Madness” basketball tournament final was hailed by sports experts and fans alike as one of the best ever. As time ran out late in the game, and Villanova forward Kris Jenkins delivered the shot heard around the world, it was thanks to the efforts of the entire team – not just Jenkins – that put Villanova in position to emerge victorious.

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Conducting Your Orchestra: How to Achieve Opera-Sized Marketing Impact on a Sonnet-Sized Budget

Posted by Deborah Fell

A funny thing happened on the way to the Orpheum: Today's flip-flop-wearing, short-attention-spanned public simply isn't looking for symphonic-sized entertainment like they used to. Ask any community orchestra conductor what brings out the most throngs these days, and they'll tell you it was the "Pops" performance of Star Wars music that far outplayed Beethoven.

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“Big Data” Goes “Old-School”: How to Use Low-Tech Insights to Fuel Your Modern-Day Business

Posted by Gary Fassak

As the CEO and leader of a business, every day at the office can seem like a war between competing factions -- a battle between a seemingly endless list of tasks, a myriad of possibilities, and way too many demands on your attention. 

In surveying these “troops,” it’s hard to pick the right battalion to keep your company afloat and running smoothly. Should you be most focused on keeping your customers happy? Training your employees? Making sure you have the right suppliers and supply chain? Getting the bills out on time? 

The list can get long.

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Detach Your Safety Strap and Remove Your Glasses: Five Keys to Managing From Paradox

Posted by Sharon Spooler

Are you wearing your glasses today? If you left your stylish Ray Ban readers at home – the answer is still a resounding yes. As soon as we wake up in the morning, we’re all wearing our own brand of glasses – and the catch is, this particular pair is completely invisible. We often forget we even have them on.

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Branding Like A Boss: How to Leave Your Mark

Posted by Simon Waldron

Pity the CEO who has the misfortune of trying to build a corporate brand in the modern era. 

You see, way back in ancient times, when slow connection speeds had more to do with your supply ship being robbed by pirates; and broadcast advertisements were limited by the decibel levels of the hawker’s voice, branding was quite simple. A couple of strokes with a paintbrush or the sizzle of a hot iron was all that was needed to denote the origin of the goods.

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New Challenger Brand Tees Off with Hilarious Video

Posted by Jim McDonald

As they say, “Dumb as a fox.” Attitudinally provocative “Challenger” brands have long been around for decades using contrarian positioning (The UNCOLA!) to separate them from the more normative incumbent brands in a given category. But in recent years with disruption strategy almost becoming the expected method of launching every new product, we seem to see more brands becoming the champions for disaffected consumer segments by promising a substantially better product or deal and by attacking the category leader with advertising featuring a loud, irreverent or downright outrageous brand persona. More or less censorship free online media have also opened the door to the use of profanity and lowbrow bathroom humor by some Challenger brands to create even greater juxtaposition between the new upstarts and the brands they mean to steal share from. 

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Creating a Logo 101

Posted by Stijn Hendrikse

Branding began with cattle during the Industrial Revolution. The more goods people produced, the more they needed a simple way to identify ownership. If you knew that John Smith had the best cows in the village, how could you find his cuts at the city butcher? How to know which cow was which, who it belonged to, how it was raised? People started branding cows with paint or pine tar or, yikes, hot iron. Perhaps not a cheery picture, but the most memorable logos of today could be easily converted to a traditional cow brand. Nike. Target. NBC. McDonalds. Playboy. What do all of them have in common? They are very simple and they use primary colors.

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What Nemo Knows About Organizational Success: Six Steps to Mastering the Power of Team Alignment

Posted by Sharon Spooler

I keep thinking about the pivotal scene in Finding Nemo when the school of fish is caught in a big, menacing net. Nemo takes the helm, shouts “Swim down!” and the combined downward force of the school detaches the net from the ship. Because of Nemo’s quick thinking, and the school’s trust in his plan, they’re able to escape out of the net to fish freedom. If just a few of his schoolmates had traveled upward or sideways – they’d be fish sticks.

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