• Branding Dictionary
  • 15 Successes Who Started in Failure 

    Soon I'll be running this cityFailure can be (and often is) the first step to success. Skeptical?  Here are 15 examples of how extremely successful people got off to terribly bad starts.
    1. Bill Gates
    Bill Gates is now one of the world’s wealthiest individuals, web but he didn’t earn his fortune in a straight line to success. Gates entered the entrepreneurial scene with a company called Traf-O-Data, treatment which aimed to process and analyze the data from traffic tapes.He tried to sell the idea alongside his business partner, Paul Allen, but the product barely even worked. It was a complete disaster. However, the failure did not hold Gates back from exploring new opportunities, and a few years later, he created his first Microsoft product, and forged a new path to success.      2. George Steinbrenner Before Steinbrenner made a name for himself when he acquired ownership of the New York Yankees, he owned a small basketball team called the Cleveland Pipers back in 1960. By 1962, as a result of Steinbrenner’s direction, the entire franchise went bankrupt. That stretch of failure seemed to follow Steinbrenner when he took over the Yankees in the 1970s, as the team struggled with a number of setbacks and losses throughout the 1980s and 1990s. Eventually he led the team to an amazing comeback, with six World Series entries between 1996 and 2003.
    1. Milton Hershey
    Everyone knows Hershey’s chocolate, but when Milton Hershey first started his candy production career, he was a nobody. After being fired from an apprenticeship with a printer, Hershey started three separate candy-related ventures, and was forced to watch all of them fail. In one last attempt, Hershey founded the Lancaster Caramel Company, and started seeing enormous results. Believing in his vision for milk chocolate for the masses, he eventually founded the Hershey Company and became one of the most well-known names in the industry.
    1. Harrison Ford
    The actor struggled for nine years, getting only small non-credited movie roles and working on the side as a carpenter to support his wife and two sons. He was hired to build cabinets at the home of director George Lucas, who recognized his talent and cast him in a supporting role in the film "American Grafitti." Shortly afterwards, Ford was hired by Lucas to read lines for actors auditioning for "Star Wars." Lucas was so impressed with Ford's character portrayals during the readings that he offered the Han Solo role to the cabinet maker.
    1. The Beatles
    After two years of practicing and performing relentlessly, often for 10 or more hours a day, the Beatles were finally given their first audition for a recording contract with Decca records. Decca turned them down without hesitation, stating that "guitar groups are on the way out."
    1. Dr. Seuss
    Theodor Seuss Geisel submitted his first book, And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, to 27 different publishers. All of them rejected it. According to Geisel, as he was walking home to burn the manuscript he happened to run into an old Dartmouth classmate who helped him find a publisher for the book. Dr. Seuss went on to become a legendary children's author of classics like The Cat in the Hat and Green Eggs and Ham. His books have sold over 600 million copies.
    1. James Dyson
    The British inventor, industrial designer, and founder of the Dyson company is best known for inventing the Dual Cyclone bagless vacuum cleaner. What is less well known is that, while developing his vacuum, he went through 5,126 failed prototypes before getting it right. He also exhausted his savings in the process. He is now worth an estimated $4.5 billion, according to Forbes.
    1. "Colonel" Harland David Sanders
    For decades, Harland Sanders held many jobs including fireman, insurance salesman, and gas station owner before trying his hand at selling fried chicken from a roadside restaurant in Kentucky. Just as his local restaurant was gaining some traction the construction of a nearby highway put him out of business. He then made over 1,000 pitches of his chicken recipe to investors before, at age 68, he found a buyer and started franchising the business. Seven years later he sold the fried chicken company for $15 million.
    1. Oprah Winfrey
    Oprah, of course, hosted one of the highest ranking TV shows in history and is the richest self-made woman and the only black female billionaire. However, she was fired from her first television job as an anchor in Baltimore. According to CNN, Oprah's first boss told her she was too emotional and not right for television. Oprah reflected on her experiences during a Harvard commencement speech: “There is no such thing as failure. Failure is just life trying to move us in another direction.” Creating your own TV channel is a sure way never to get fired again!
    1. Thomas Edison
    In what might be at once the most discouraging statement and worst teaching practice of all time, Thomas Edison was told by his teachers he was ‘too stupid to learn anything’. Edison went on to hold more than 1,000 patents, including the phonograph and practical electric lamp. Death most likely spared his teachers the ignominy of their incorrect assessment.
    1. Walt Disney
    One of the most creative geniuses of the 20th century was once fired from a newspaper because he was told by the editor that he ‘lacked imagination and had no good ideas.’ Trying to persevere, Disney formed his first animation company, which was called Laugh-O-Gram Films. He raised $15,000 for the company but eventually was forced to close Laugh-O-Gram. Undeterred, Old Walt went on to create the cultural icon that bears his name. Disney’s take on failure “I think it’s important to have a good hard failure when you’re young… Because it makes you kind of aware of what can happen to you. Because of it I’ve never had any fear in my whole life when we’ve been near collapse and all of that. I’ve never been afraid.”
    1. Albert Einstein
    His name is synonymous with intelligence, yet it wasn’t always that way for Albert Einstein. As a child he didn’t start speaking until he was four, reading until he was seven, and was thought to be mentally handicapped. He went on to win a Nobel Prize and altered the world’s approach to physics
    1. Abraham Lincoln
    Lincoln’s failures were broad and numerous. He achieved the unique feat of leaving for a war a captain and returning a private (the lowest military rank). He next took failure in his stride during multiple failed business attempts. Undeterred, Lincoln marched into the political realm, where he launched several failed runs at political office before his ascendance to President.
    1. Elvis Presley
    “You ain’t goin’ nowhere, son. You ought to go back to drivin’ a truck.” These are the words that greeted Elvis Presley after his first performance at the Grand Ole Opry, after which he was promptly fired. Presley went on to become the world’s biggest star with a legacy that endures.
    1. Michael Jordan
    Either he was part of the greatest high school roster of all time or his coach made a huge mistake in cutting Michael Jordan from his high school basketball team. Six Championships and five MVPs later, Jordan became arguably the greatest basketball player of all time. Jordan famously said: “I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot, and I missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” _______ Material used from these sources: http://www.lifehack.org/articles/productivity/15-highly-successful-people-who-failed-their-way-success.html; http://www.wisebread.com/11-famous-failures-that-led-to-success-and-the-lessons-they-teach    
  • The 15 Friendliest Companies in America

      We’ve asked around to find the companies with the best customer service, capsule focus, and relationships. There 63843b7bec5fc47a185e837b49803342are many companies that do it well, and just as many that don’t get it.  Here’s our list of the best.  
    1. Amazon.com
    Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer, has the highest customer service satisfaction in the country. It used to be an online bookstore, but later diversified to include, well, everything.
    1. Apple, Inc.
    This American multinational corporation focuses on the marketing and development of consumer electronics as well as personal computers and computer software. Founded by Steve Jobs, this company is most popular for its iPod, iPad, and iPhone products 3.    Chick-fil-A This fast food chain sits atop of its competitors when it comes to customer service. Their customer-centered leadership trickles down to every staff member and restaurant by instilling a policy of good manners and courteousness, speedy food production in the kitchen and cleanliness in each of its restaurants. Chick-fil-A also takes great pride in their hiring practices, expecting each new hire to comply with their company values that include humility, passion for service and genuineness.
    1. Google
    Listed as the most visited website in the world, Google specializes in Internet-related services and products that serve people from all over the world. With their mantra of "Focus on the user and all else will follow," Google goes to borderline insane lengths to test how even the smallest decisions impact user experience. For example, when faced with a choice between two shades of blue for a Google toolbar, the company tested 41 shades to see what tested best. Fans can expect that level of attention to detail in all Google products.
    1. FedEx
    FedEx Corporation consistently ranks as one of the most admired and trusted corporations in the world. It offers a broad portfolio of transportation, e-commerce, and business services while promising the safety of each and everyone involved. the air freight company has long held a reputation for delivering goods ranging from typical packages to a 320-pound sea turtle on time without damage. Over 40 percent of those who interacted with the brand in the last year ranked FedEx customer service as "excellent.
    1. L.L. Bean
    100 percent product satisfaction guarantee. Return anything at any time for any reason.
    1. Netflix
    An American provider of Internet streaming media in several countries around the world, Netflix was founded in 1997 and is currently headquartered in Los Gatos, California. In 1999, it began to provide subscription based digital distribution services to its customers. It takes pride on its short wait time when it comes to providing customer service.
    1. Orvis
    For customer service the old-fashioned way, shoppers can call a toll-free number and speak to a human being without wading through an arcane automated menu system. Alternatively, Orvis offers live-chat with support staff, e-mail queries, and a guaranteed response time of two hours or less.
    1. Petsmart
    A retail chain based in the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada, Petsmart, Inc. sells specialty pet supplies and services for a broad range of animals, including dogs, cats, birds, fish, amphibians and a lot more. Petsmart also provides dog training and helps stray pets find homes with families
    1. Publix
    Unlike other companies, Publix is an employee-owned supermarket chain in the United States. It is the largest and fastest-growing supermarket company in the country. Since 1930, Publix has been striving to be the premier quality food retailer in the world. It’s no fun being sick, but if you need an antibiotic, the Florida-based supermarket chain will have its pharmacies dispense up to a 14-day supply for some of the most common generic ones free. All you need is a proper prescription.
    1. Sony
    Sony Corporation is a Japanese multinational conglomerate headquartered in Tokyo, Japan that specializes in electronics, game, entertainment, and even financial services. The wide range of products and services offered by the company clearly satisfy the consumers.
    1. Southwest
    A major airline based in the United States, Southwest Airlines is recognized as the largest low-cost carrier in the world. It is headquartered in Dallas, Texas and has over 46,000 employees as of August 2012. Example of customer focus: Two pieces of checked luggage, no charge. And that includes bulky freight such as golf clubs and skis.
    1. State Farm
    Three out of four respondents believe that like a good neighbor, State Farm is there—and they're not the only ones. State Farm was recently ranked the No. 2 firm for customer service, because of their accessibility, ability to solve customer problems, and the emotional connection consumers had to the brand.
    1. The Home Depot
    An American retailer focusing on home improvement and construction. Headquartered in Atlanta, it is the largest home improvement retailer in America and currently.
    1. Trader Joe’s
    Trader Joe's doesn't carry the biggest selection, but it commits to stocking stores with products requested by the local community. The company also values staying ahead of the curve by taking steps like using allergy labels before they were required and stocking shelves with local goods before they reach a national market. ______________________________   Information gathered from these sources: http://www.businessinsider.com/10-companies-on-the-christmas-customer-service-naughty-list-2010-11 http://list25.com/25-highest-rated-companies-customer-service/ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/15/best-customer-service_n_3720052.html?slideshow=true#gallery/312028/0
  • 25 reasons Spring is a great time of the year.

    1. Business renaissance. If you’re in a seasonal business that benefits from warmth, sale like landscaping or outdoor dining, buy information pills it’s time to roll!
    2. Temperatures are moderate. Spring marks the end of frigid winter and the transitional period to scorching summer. The earth's axis is angled between its closest and furthest position from the sun, when temperatures are the most extreme. You can finally ditch the winter layers.
    3. There are more daylight hours. Following the Spring equinox, when the earth’s horizon is perfectly aligned with the sun, the days begin lasting longer and the nights get shorter. That means you have more time in the day to work or play.
    4. Birds and other animals come back.  Many species of animals migrated south to follow their food supply during the winter. Once the Spring returns, these animals do, too. There is no better indicator of Spring than birds chirping outside your window.
    5. Here comes the sun. The thing about all that meager daylight during winter is that it’s basically just a gray haze. Even when it’s supposed to be out, the sun just hides behind constant cloud cover. But then Spring hits, the clouds start to roll away, and as the days get longer, the sun decides to help out again.
    6. You’re actually happier. Exposure to sunlight increases the hormone serotonin in your brain, which makes you feel happy.
    7. You feel energized. Exposure to sunlight decreases the chemical melatonin in your body during the day and increases it at night, which helps you sleep better.
    8. Trees suddenly have leaves.  Spring brings that wonderful light green growth back to plants and trees. And successful spring leaf growth ensures a cool canopy to relax under during the hot summer.
    9. Plants turn green. It’s amazing what a little sunlight, moisture and warm soil can do for plants and grass. plants convert sunlight into energy and produce the pigment chlorophyll, which turns them green. And it’s not just nice to look at—a study found that people who saw green before a challenge came up with more creative solutions! Spring’s green plant life will hopefully do the same!
    10. Fruits and veggies are ready to eat. After staying dormant all winter and conserving energy underground, many fruits and vegetables sprout in the spring. There is nothing more pleasant than eating fruit right off a tree or a string bean or peas from the pod.
    11. Flowers bloom. After months spent conserving energy, colorful flowers bloom in the spring, signaling to the bees that they are ready for pollination. Science has proven that looking at buttercups can make you happy. A study found that people in yellow rooms at cocktail parties were more lively and talkative. Spring’s yellow flowers could also lift your mood.
    12. No more ultra-dry air. More moisture in the air means your skin itches less! There’s also more precipitation in the form of rain, so sit under a metal roof during the rain for a relaxing evening.
    13. You can open your windows. With warm weather comes warm air. You can open your windows to allow the breeze to refresh your home.
    14. You can get your vitamins naturally. Sunlight triggers your body to produce the vitamin D3, which keeps your bones strong.
    15. Lower utility bills. One of the best things about Spring is that it gets warm enough that you don’t have to worry about running the heat, which jacks up your gas bill, but it’s not so hot that you have to crank the AC either.
    16. You can see green grass again.  Sure, it’s kind of pretty when snow covers everything…for at least a day or two. Then it just starts looking like the depressing surface of some alien moon. But Spring brings back the green, and reminds everyone how the earth is supposed to look.
    17. Baseball (and other outdoor sports). Play ball. And if you’re in Chicago, as we are, go World Champion Chicago Cubs! Spring welcomes a revival of other awesome outdoor sports, too, like watching your kids running free on a soccer field.
    18. Easter. Renewal of hope, Easter candy, Easter dresses and hats. The Seder. Cadbury cream eggs and peeps, or jelly beans, or your candy of choice.
    19. Fresh smells. There’s nothing like the smell of blossoms and other new Spring smells in the air.
    20. City parks are alive again. Every day is a nice day for a stroll.
    21. Let's go fly a kite. Windy spring days have the power to decorate the sky.
    22. Backyard vegetable gardens. And we're still optimistic about our gardening ability. This may go away by summer.
    23. Eating outside. Even if you're tightly gripping your jacket the whole time, there’s nothing more enjoyable on a leisurely day than to sit outside and enjoy a tasty meal or sip on a refreshing beverage.
    24. Festival season. Whether you’re a music lover, food aficionado or crafts connoisseur, Spring brings back all of the best festivals.
    25. Less treadmill time.  And more opportunity to run or walk on the trails and byways that are coming to life, without bundling up and breathing cold air.
      Thanks to mentalfloss.com for a lot of the scientific facts included here.
  • Does vision ever take a day off? The importance of share values and vision

    Young woman framing mountain landscape with handsDoes vision within an organization need to be tempered, order does the role of vision ever stop or slow? Does forever need to reach into the future and push the envelope out of the current state? I believe continued, information pills ever-expanding vision is critical if an organization is to create sustainable growth. To understand the need for pervasive vision, buy more about we must start with shared values. Let me tell you why. Values are those core motivators that reside deep in one’s heart and soul.  They show up sometimes as core decision-making drivers for careers and lifestyle, but they can also be seen more visibly in affiliations with groups, interests and hobbies. These values drive virtually every decision you make. Whether in the grocery store looking for breakfast cereal, or at the bank considering your service agreement; whether purchasing a new car or taking a vacation, whether spending time coaching little league baseball or hanging out at Wrigley Field with the Chicago Cubs, values inform virtually every decision.  Values filter inputs and opportunities, sifting through data and relationships to align what you deem important with what you’re willing to give up to acquire it. Ever run into a stranger and built a quick friendship? Everything seemed to “click” and then not long after it becomes apparent that what is important to your new acquaintance is really not important to you. Or worse, your preferences are polar opposite. Your values may be very different. Values have emotion at the core.  When our values align, we “feel” good.  When our values don’t align, we “feel” uneasy, uncertain, fearful.  Something isn’t right! When you make a purchase and something doesn’t quite seem right, or a relationship is questioned, often you suspect there is something awry. There could be misalignment between what you deem important and what you thought you were getting in return for what you invested. When values align--with another person, a product or a service--you feel good investing time, money and resource. Shared Vision These shared values motivate us to move into the next stage: Shared vision. Vision is emotional, too, because a vision, at its root, is based on values. Values help us see what is important to us.  And when an event occurs, or we see something that frustrates us, it is likely that something or somebody is preventing us from fully experiencing what we want (based upon our values). We can often see what needs to change, and want to dig in and fix it.  This process of creating an environment where we can live in peace with our shared values, is the pursuit of a vision. Frustrated values lead us to a desired vision of the future. If we share values with another, we can easily move to a shared vision. This is the power of “what if?”, or as others might say, “why not?” This shared vision is powerful. It can ignite imagination for problem solving, it fuels personal engagement and sacrifice. It can quickly be passed to others, outside your sphere, to others who share the same values, and see the same obstacles. Like a virus, it can be shared with many whom you will not know. It can be shared quickly across networks, groups, geographies, cultures, languages. If the values are shared and the obstacle is similarly recognized, people share in the desire to overcome that obstacle. This is vision. It is not limited by formal communications, but often skims across informal networks at lightning speed, capturing imagination, support and advocacy. It is unbelievably powerful to create and drive change within social networks, in organizations, companies, markets, communities – wherever people share like-values. Of course, sharing values with another and having a shared vision is meaningless unless action to achieve that vision is taken.  A vision without action is fantasy and a pipedream.  Fools are readily recognized to be “dreamers” where a good idea never becomes reality. Ensuring a Vision Once the vision is understood, it is always important to build structures to ensure commitments are made and relevant, and that the organization is mature enough to deliver on its promises. Many times, entrepreneurs can cast a shared vision, based upon shared values and can make personal commitments to assume responsibility, but as the organization grows, they are unable to extend the vision into specific strategic and tactical efforts (a plan) that demonstrates an organization’s ability to deliver on its promise. To counter this, the visionary leader will translate a good idea into a good plan, then recruit, train and deploy people to deliver on the promise, and the organization scales up. Progress toward a vision is hard, continuous work. As such, for the healthy, growing and valued organization the answer to the question “Does vision ever take a day off” is “No.” Because vision is the north star, there is no day off!
  • What are your New Year’s resolutions?

    Do you make New Year’s resolutions? It’s a long tradition that doesn't’ seem to be losing steam.  Here are the top-10 New Year's resolutions from a recent survey of 2, treat 000 people conducted for Inc. magazine:Eagle
    1. Diet or eat healthier (71%)
    2. Exercise more (65%)
    3. Lose weight (54%)
    4. Save more and spend less--my personal favorite! (32%)
    5. Learn a new skill or hobby (26%)
    6. Quit smoking (21%)
    7. Read more (17%)
    8. Find another job (16%)
    9. Drink less alcohol (15%)
    10. Spend more time with family and friends (13%)
    More from Inc.
    • Women make health-focused resolutions while men pledge to find a new job and lay off the booze.
    • Saving money is one of the top 5 New Year's resolutions and also in the top 5 for most commonly failed.
    • More than half of respondents said they fail their resolution before the end of January.
    Business Insider asked several successful business leaders for their resolutions.  Here are some interesting responses:   Danny Meyer, rx founder of Shake Shack "My New Year's resolution is once and for all to spend significantly less time reading and writing emails, store and far more time being present and looking people in the eye."   Debbie Sterling, CEO of GoldieBlox "In 2017 I want to spend more time mentoring young women interested in entrepreneurship. It's easy to fall into the trap of feeling too busy to give back. The truth is, the more success you have, the busier you get. So you have to proactively make time to do things that are important to you."   Stephen Kaufer, TripAdvisor CEO "My New Year's resolution is to use the power and influence of TripAdvisor's brand to aid in the humanitarian refugee crisis that we're seeing in many parts of the Middle East, Africa, and Europe today.It's one of the worst humanitarian disasters of our generation. Years from now, I want my grandkids to know that I joined with others and chose to help, if only in a small way."   Bethenny Frankel, Skinnygirl founder "Resolutions don't need to be drastic unrealistic or unattainable. Every day, resolve to do the very best you possibly can. Do what you can when you can."   Kat Cole, president of Focus Brands "In 2017, my husband and I have a shared resolution of 'accelerated growth': discovering, experimenting, and implementing 30-day challenges that optimize our health, performance, and impact. We choose 1-2 life-hacks to radically change for the entire month, each month. It may be a new specific exercise every day or eliminating a particular food, taking a certain supplement, or a new way to connect with our friends or community, every single day for 30 straight days."   John Schlifske, Northwestern Mutual CEO and chairman "From a business standpoint, we're committed to giving our clients the financial information they need when they want it. And so we're working hard — and borrowing from technology startups and customer-first companies — to make sure our clients have an engaging digital experience that builds on the expertise of our financial representatives. Personally, I'm going in the other direction with my kids and am committed to getting them outdoors more in 2017. I want to help my 13-year-old son catch a legal 'muskie' — which in Wisconsin is a fish that is more than 40 inches long and doesn't bite easily. You can't get that adrenaline rush from a screen!"   Sallie Krawcheck, CEO of Ellevest “I would like to find more time to think. That means less responding to emails the moment they come in, more walks, more saying 'no' to random requests, more 'me and a glass of wine and a piece of paper,' and more time with the creative people I work with and know."   Kathryn Minshew, The Muse CEO and founder, "In 2017, I'm excited to cook more, continue growing The Muse, and see at least one play, show, or musical every month. On the work front, we've more than doubled the size of our team in the last year, and I'm excited to spend 2017 investing deeply in those people and building the foundation for our long-term team, brand, and ultimately success!"   Stephanie March, actor, philanthropist, and cofounder of Rouge New York "I am going to write a book. I am telling you this because it's like running a marathon — if you tell a lot of people you are doing it you sort of have to. My friends have been telling me this for ages and it's high time I go for it. Nothing ventured, nothing gained."   Laura Vanderkam, productivity expert, author of "I Know How She Does It," "I want to spend more time on social media. I'm a writer first and foremost, and so I automatically think to communicate with people via books, articles, and blog posts, but there are so many other ways to connect these days. In particular, I want to do more Facebook Live chats (so easy!) and I want to finally have an active presence on Instagram. I take pictures all the time, but I never think about sharing them. Clearly my brain does not work that way, but this year I'm going to try."   Angela Duckworth, a University of Pennsylvania psychologist and author of "Grit" "I would like to think of three good things in my life each morning before I get out of bed. This simple ritual—called the 'three blessings exercise'—has been shown in random-assignment research to make you happier, but I'm doing it for a different reason. In fact, I'm doing it for its own sake. I want to appreciate what's going right in my life, especially the people who make my life so wonderful."   Neil Vogel, CEO of About.com "My almost-3-year old is obsessed with the guitar, so my goal is to learn to play guitar serviceably. Only then will I be on par with his other great hero, Spiderman."
  • 10 Business Decisions that Influenced the Future  

    Commercial airliner lands to airport runway at sunset, <a href=cost runway landing lights lit on. Runway is three kilometers long main runway in Helsinki-Vantaa airport Finland. Airplane is Airbus A320. The photo is taken from the high cliff next to the airport where landing planes flying at low altitude over." width="300" height="188" /> We've found 10 examples from the last 75 years when individuals, website companies or groups saw a need and took dramatic action, search often creating something historic out of nothing--advancing not only single invention or program, but also the business principles that influenced not only that time, but today and our future. Here they are:
    1. Suburbia is Born: In 1947, American GIs were just back from the war, and often returning to sub-standard housing with little income to leverage. A real estate developer named William Levitt began building suburbia in an area north of New York City.  The houses were small and uniform, and also cheap, running $8,000 to $10,000 each. He sold 17,000 in four years in what was to be called Levittown. Impact: The commoditization of housing—subdivisions--sped a suburban explosion that extended from coast to coast.
    1. We are Europe: In a massive post-war program that showed the importance of both Secretary of State George C. Marshall gave a speech offering "substantial" U.S. assistance to help Europe teetering on the brink of chaos. Congress rapidly agreed, and through The Marshall Plan from mid-1948 to 1951, the U.S. pours $13 billion worth of economic support and technical expertise into Europe. (That's more than $100 billion in today’s dollars.) The aid gave Europe an immediate boost, spurring new investment and pulling the Continent out of its crisis. Impact: The world learned a lesson about the importance of both compassion and international interdependence,
    1. Choosing a path can make “all the difference”: In 1952, Boeing decided to focus on commercial air travel rather than the defense industry committed the company to a radically different path than its peers. Impact: A strong example of how some choices force your company onto one path while giving up another—to your detriment, or as in the case of Boeing, to your great gain.
    1. Container Ships: The voyage of the SS Ideal-X from Elizabeth, N.J., to Houston, Texas, in the spring of 1956 is not one you learn about in school. Yet, like other more-famous sea journeys, it was the start of something big. That’s because it was carrying, for the first time on a ship, cargo packed into identical steel boxes 8 feet tall, 8 feet wide, and 35 feet long. These particular standardized shipping containers—developed by trucking veteran Malcolm McLean—could be seamlessly moved from truck trailer bed to ship deck to dockyard to train flatcar, for a fraction of the cost and time of previous methods. Impact: Products didn’t have to made be near where they were needed in order for them to be inexpensive. Globalization hasn’t looked back since.
    1. The Open Road: In 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed into law the creation of the interstate highway system perhaps the most important business event of the American century. Inspired as he rode over the German autobahns as supreme allied commander at the end of World War II, signed into law on June 29, 1956 and built over four decades at a cost of $130 billion, Impact:  It was moment that demonstrated the vital role of infrastructure in commerce and mobility of a nation.
    1. Man on the Moon: In 1958, with a Russian Sputnik in orbit, NASA was created. Over the next 40 years, the U.S. space program would put a man on the moon and contribute to advances in computer science, weather research, communications technology and lots of other good stuff.  Impact: Over the decades, we learned that a vision not only drives us to stated goals, but opens up a multitude of unexpected discovery.
    1. Made in Japan: The way the world thinks of audio and video products was fundamentally redirected by Sony  from the 1950s through the 1980s. The company didn't make the first transistor radio, but in 1957 it introduced a hugely successful one that helped propel the concurrent revolution in popular music. Its color TV sets of the 1960s and 1970s raised the global standard for quality. The Walkman, introduced in 1979, again revolutionized the way the world listens to music; it foreshadowed the iPod, which Sony obviously should have invented. But by then its fortunes had changed. Beyond transforming an industry, Sony also helped advance its country. Impact:  In the 1950s and 1960s, “Made in Japan” was a punchline that meant laughably poor quality. By the 1980s it meant the opposite, and Sony products were the most visible cause of the change.
    1. Mea Culpa. The Apple board’s decision to bring back Steve Jobs as CEO, after firing him a decade earlier, led to amazing product innovation and to the creation of one of the most valuable companies in the world. Impact: This bold decision and mea culpa delivered the most dramatic culturally impacting company of our time, and a reminder that re-thinking a choice might inspire future decisions.
    1. Transparency: Johnson & Johnson’s policy of adopting transparent and cooperative principles during a Tylenol scare underscored the company’s commitment to doing what is best for customers, even at the cost of the business. Impact: This decision shaped J&J’s unique culture, and inspired thousands of decisions every day in businesses around the world.
    1. A Smooth Lesson: Friends Adam Balon, Jon Wright and Richard Reed appeared to have been pretty well set after leaving Cambridge University.Two became management consultants. One moved into advertising. They all made good money and lived comfortable lives in London. But They realized there was a gap in the market for a new type of smoothie product, one based on natural ingredients and overtly ethical values. After spending six months blending different combinations of fruit at home, the trio set up a stall at a music festival to test the concept. The decision whether to continue was left entirely in the hands of consumers. A sign above the stall read “shall we give up our jobs to make these smoothies?” One bin read ‘Yes’, the other ‘No.’ Customers would make their judgement by throwing their empty bottles in either bin.‘ Yes’ won, and Smoothies exploded onto the beverage world stage. Impact: A lesson in the importance of risk taking.  As Balon said: “If you’re 70% sure about an idea, then go for it. Because if you wait till you’re 100 percent confident in business, you’ll never make a decision, you’ll never get anywhere.”
  • 4 Dimensional Trust in an Age of Change

    Support When you or your company or group seek to operate in a change environment, this site or if you are going into a time of change, sales the highest priority will be to create and rely on embedded, earned trust. And in times of change, the last thing you need to experience as an employee, or the company experience from its staff and partners, or customers experience from a supplier is:  The discovery that trust has been violated. Do any of the following sound familiar? * A person, group or organization has broken a promise. * A manufacturer's work product is not up to spec or expectations. * A vital partner doesn't follow both the letter and the spirit of an agreement. The reaction? A break-down of trust sparks change-based anxiety. On the other hand, the remedy for this anxiety is the building and embedding of viral trust. This must be integrated throughout the company and those we do business with. Building viral trust? Easier said than done, but it can be accomplished with commitment and diligence. But exactly how do we embed trust in an organization? To start, we need to create and require four dimensions of trust within the company. First, to create trust, truth-telling must be the expectation. We can't have trust without the assurance that we are telling each other the truth in matters large and small. To accomplish this, as leaders, we need to assure everyone that we want to hear the truth. Go ahead. Tell it to us straight no matter how ugly, and do it safely, without fear. This is a building block for trust. It will enable us to speak what we believe to be true rather than what we think others want to hear. Second, to create trust we need to share values. We understand the importance of sharing values in our personal relationships and friendships. If we don't share a view on what things are vitally important, or what standards of conduct aren't acceptable -- relationships are going to be short-lived. The same goes for our business relationships. But the reality of intense competition and meeting quotas can force people to behave without a moral compass. That's why leadership is so important. Without the north star of shared values, a company can lose its right to be trusted. Its products can lose their reputation for quality and trustworthiness. Employees are keeping their backs to the wall. The desire to take chances and to innovate is muted. Third, to build trust we have to embrace responsibility. The buck stops here -- not there. No one trusts a person or a company that won't assume responsibility for plans, promises, decisions, and if necessary, failures. We all watch if those around us pass this 'trial of trust'--don't we? A healthy trust environment isn't one where individuals feel forced to assume responsibility. To create a trust environment, it must be the culture's DNA to embrace responsibility for company decisions, practices, relationships and communications. Leaders and employees at every level will be rewarded when they step up to the plate for initiatives that succeed or fail, or to own up to wrongs and make them right. Fourth, we create trust by always delivering on our promises. We all love promises--when they're kept. Same goes for a company. So as a company makes products and offers them to its customers, and as we maintain relationships with customers --trust is bolstered by promises kept. But promises broken? Well -- then trust is broken or destroyed, sometimes forever. And that is unacceptable. To build and maintain, we must keep our promises. Period.
  • 7 reasons people buy

    Since money isn’t easy to come by, what is ed what makes us part with it?  And if we decide to make a purchase of anyWoman buying wine at the supermarket kind, this why do we choose one product or service over another?  There are mountains of research on these questions, but since you may have even less time than money, we’ve condensed a lot of answers into 7 reasons people buy. Here they are:  
    1. Scarcity
    First, we buy to meet our basic needs; things to fulfill what Maslow describes as the foundation of his hierarchy,  like food and shelter. Or the purchase may be compulsory, like school books, uniforms, or even a car that will sustain a rigorous commute. Oh, and then there’s the need for an emergency plumber. Or it could be potential scarcity:  something that may run out  in the future. If you don’t realize you have a need, as marketers will help stimulate that understanding!
    1. Swagger
    Often we buy for esteem-related reasons; to create prestige or bragging-rights. Sometimes we make a purchases to impress or attract the opposite sex, to have something better or bigger than friends or associates.  We may want to look like an expert or aficionado, or to meet a standard of social status. Peer Pressure –We purchase because your friends want us to. (You may need to think back to your teen years to think of an example). Fad or Innovation – We are often drawn to the latest and greatest new thing. We like to feel that we are unique and not “just like everyone else.” This, of course, isn’t true: as human beings, we’re more alike in our buying behavior than we realize. However, customers want to appear as if they each, individually, make unique buying decisions different from their peers.
    1. Fear
    From stun guns to over-sized SUV’s to backyard bomb shelters–and even stuff so basic as a tire pressure gauge–are bought out of fear. You may be more comfortable calling this caution or preparation.  There is a lot of fear in the purchase of healthy, organic foods, which if you read the list of chemicals in typical packaged goods, may justify the fear!
    1. Significance
    We may buy to try to replace things we cannot have and never will. It’s aspirational or even fantasy. Filling a void caused by loss, disappointment or rejection. This can lead to fanciful purchase, or more darkly, to addictions. Even a small amount of choice may provide a greater sense of well-being. Several studies showed that when participants were given a choice versus being told what to do, those who were given a choice (even the smallest, simplest of choices, like which night to watch a movie), felt better about the situation. At times, we make purchases that help bond us to a cultural, religious or community affiliation--maybe as an alumnus of a prestigious school or as a Blackhawks fan (that’s mine and I have the attire to prove it). The desire for significance is one reason that in the interaction of seller and buyer, building and honoring relationships is so important. That’s why we emphasize the need to optimize relationships at every point of contact, and to always keep your promises.
    1. Sloth [noun: 1. habitual disinclination to exertion; indolence; laziness.]
    We are a lazy yet impatient people! We need something now and will take the easiest and fastest path to get it. Recently I purchased a new lawnmower, which presented a number of questions that tested my energy level:  Can I justify the power mower (yes certainly), or the self-propelled mower (well, that would be helpful), or the rider mower (no, not this time, but…). When I was a kid, I had to use a push mower—as in no motor. (I know; I’m aging myself). Today, we certainly wouldn’t choose to roll down a window manually in a car! Or walk across the room to change channels. We make a lot of decisions today to avoid leaving home or waiting more than a few days for delivery.  The need to purchase something to increase comfort or efficiency is a major driver.
    1. Value
    If we find what we believe is a great value, we’ll make purchases more quickly, even if we hadn’t identified the need or been prompted by other emotions. The components of perceived value: Lower prices:  Something you identified earlier as a want is now a lower price and it becomes a ‘must-have.’ Maybe you were browsing for a particular large screen TV and you saw a great summer special.  The most important feature driving purchasing decisions  is competitive pricing (80%). Quality:  Another top factor driving purchasing decision is product quality (56%). Name Recognition: When we’re purchasing in a category that we are unfamiliar with, branding plays a big role. For everyday purchases, we will consider only a limited number of brands when making our choice; those that we at least know by name. Benefits: We are often looking for solid, reliable and tangible information that will allow us to make choices. If suppliers provide concrete information and proof of the product features, it adds value compared to competitors and and it will have a positive influence in the decision making process.
    1. Indulgence
    Who doesn’t deserve a bit of luxury now and then? As long as we can afford it, sometimes there’s no better justification for that hour-long massage, dinner at the top-rated restaurant in town, or the upgrade package than:  “we’re worth it.”   As a consumer, can you see how these factors influence your purchasing decisions?  As a supplier, how are you creating products or structuring your marketing to address these real-life emotional drivers? ------------- Sources “Consumer Behavior: How People Make Buying Decisions”, Self Employed Success blog Why Do People Buy? Top 10 Factors That Influence Purchase Decision: Blogspot.com 5 Stages of the Consumer Buying Decision Process: The Consumer Factor What Makes People Buy? 20 Reasons Why  
  • 15 tips for successfully reaching “unreachables”

    It’s only natural for us to want to market our products or services to everyone, treatment in hopes of capturing a iStock_000005930451_Largelarger audience. But every business has some “unreachables” who seem unsuited for or resistant to your overtures.  Now, sales some of these people are placed in that category for a good reason. For others, stuff you may just need to try something new.  Here are 15 great tips from multiple experts: 1. Do your homework. This is an important step you won’t want to skip. Before you start trying to reach all different types of groups, you’ll want to find out who your individual unreachables actually are. They may or may not be who you think they are. That’s why researching and surveying are important parts of this process.  You might look at your current demographics for visitors to your website or social media platforms and determine which audiences aren’t connecting with you. Whatever methods of obtaining this data, be sure that in the end you have answers to questions like:
    • Why are these groups uninterested/uninformed about my business?
    • Are they also uninterested/uninformed about the products/services I sell?
    • Do they know they might want/need what I’m offering?
    2. Find common ground and apply it to your approach. If you’ve begun narrowing the list of unreachables, but the research stage isn’t over, you may still want to find out what their likes and dislikes are, where they live, where they work, etc. Researching the specifics of their day-to-day lives can be helpful when brainstorming the message and channels to reach them. It can help you create a story that appeals to multiple audiences. 3. In some of your outreach, customize your approach to unreachables, not your current customers. It’s important to remember that the same message that works really well for your current audience may not be received well by another. 4. Recognize that old methods are, well, old. The traditional marketing playbook is broken. Almost everyone - 91 percent, to be precise - has unsubscribed from email lists. Two-out-of-three people (68 percent) who record TV content do so to skip advertisements and the average click-through rate on display ads is only 0.2 percent. You can no longer rent your way to consumer attention, you need to earn it. Instead of dreaming up new ways to interrupt your way into your prospects’ lives, invest in ways to engage them meaningfully with an inbound experience. 5. Your content must be remarkable enough to break through the clutter.Think about how many channels you have on your television, and how many websites and social media channels compete for your attention each day. The same is true for your customers. It’s not enough to just produce content. Your content must educate, inspire or entertain your audience. Don’t talk about your brand non-stop or try to sell people too early or often in your content. Instead, try to spark interesting dialogue and discussion with your content. Doing so will pay off with attention and engagement. 6. Think of your website as a hub, not a megaphone. Far too many businesses think about their websites as broadcast channels for addressing a large group of people. Your website functions best when its content and design are built with a human touch. Instead of writing copy to impress your competitors, create copy and experiences an individual customer will love.  Don’t scream through a megaphone at your customers. Design the entire end-to-end experience with individual humans in mind. Conversation trumps a broadcast message every time. Design your web experience accordingly. 7.  Master the call to action.Think about how hard you work to get traffic to your website. Now think of what happens if visitors come to your site and don’t know where to go or what to do next once they visit. You’ve just wasted all of your hard efforts!  Your call to action is a sign post showing your visitors where they should go next. If someone came to your blog first, you want to make it easy and seamless for them to subscribe to read similar articles. 8. Get visual.The average attention span is just eight seconds, so even if you want to write a 10,000-word essay on your new product launch, chances are slim that your audience will get through it.  Creating remarkable visual content is a great way to cut through content clutter and stand out from the pack. When it comes to content, a photo (or video) really is worth 1,000 words. 9. Demonstrate how your product/service could be the only solution they need. Maybe your business offers a variety of products or services (i.e. multi-platform digital solutions). Or, maybe it offers something a little more niche (i.e. all-organic coffee). But no matter what you offer, there’s always a way to position yourself as their all-purpose solution. Your unreachables might not even know your business can handle multiple problems they’re experiencing. They might not know that just how well you’ve mastered your very specific product/service. Or, they might not know they need you. Either way, you’ll want to demonstrate how you’re the only solution. 10. Position your business in the most positive light possible. Though it may hard to conceive, most people want to find out how you can help them, even if they’re not actively seeking you out. If you’ve piqued their interest in some way, they’ll want to find the good in your business, so they can have a product or service that provides a solution or added convenience to their lives.
    • Use up-to-date content, design and resources in your marketing efforts
    • Use language that is confident and inviting, not cocky or abrasive
    • Avoid negative messaging that is critical of competitors
    • Highlight what you do that creates value
    11. Find ways to get your advocates to promote to your company and products. What’s better than having happy customers who love your products/services? Having happy customers who willingly laud your products and services to others. If they’re happy enough, they’ll do it for free, too. It’s free advertising, but better. 12. Show many forms of credibility.  In addition to having testimonials and case studies on your website, there are a lot of ways to demonstrate that you are credible and trustworthy.
    • Noteworthy awards or certifications
    • Support of a charity
    • Memberships in associations and industry groups
    13. Establish a relationship. Businesses are finding it more difficult than ever to effectively market and sell to customers. The global availability of products has inundated customers with marketing messages that don’t relate to them. How can you develop profitable relationships in this cluttered environment? The answer lies in one-to-one marketing strategies. A credible relationship with your customers is the key to breaking through the clutter. You can gain credibility by understanding your customers’ buying behavior and their preferred communication channel: 14. Make your marketing message consistent. This sounds easy enough, but if you have multiple channels, multiple locations or divisions carrying your materials, or a disparate sales team selling your product, it can be hard to keep your sales and marketing messages consistent. It’s best to integrate the entire process, from branding to printing; develop one message and make sure it’s consistent across all media. 15. Solutions providers should be partners, not vendors. Seek providers who can become part of your process and will work with you to integrate all pieces of your external communication, from influencing design to streamlining the production processes. Look for a provider who’s experienced in your industry. Vertical experience should give them insight into your industry, which can greatly influence your marketing strategy.   _______________________ Hat-tip to: 5 steps all marketers should use 10-ways-to-speak-to-customers-who-dont-know-they-need-you 8 Fundamentals for a Successful Inbound-Marketing Strategy  
  • The world’s best leaders, delivery drones and other interesting business stories of the week

    EagleWho are the world’s best leaders?  The greatest leaders are the ones who run organizations that truly care for their employees’ and customers’ health, pills happiness, and wellbeing.  -- Fortune amazon droneAmazon Hammers FAA For Lack Of 'Impetus' Over Drone Policy.  Amazon.com is not pleased with the pace by which the Federal Aviation Administration is addressing the commercial use of drones and it let the public know in a congressional hearing on Tuesday. -- Forbes phone 5GYour phone on steroids.  With 5G mobile, wireless will go even faster than fiber, and will need to. if it is to meet society’s growing demands for ubiquitous and instantaneous connectivity—such networks will need to have response time of about one millisecond. – The Economist facebook-like-button-androidWhy Your Facebook Page 'Likes' Are About to Drop.  If your business has a Facebook page, you'll soon see a slight drop in its number of likes. –Business News Daily
  • Apple’s values, March Madness and this week’s other interesting business stories

    Apple CEO Tim Cook during a dialogue at Tsinghua University in Beijing, <a href=remedy China, see 22 October 2014. ANSA/TSINGHUA UNIVERSITY / HANDOUT BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY" width="150" height="150" /> Apple’s Future.  Tim Cook says everything at Apple can change except values--Fast Company       GM   GM Ditching Russia.  Political turmoil in Russia, combined with a weak economy and lower-than-expected sales, convinced General Motors that it isn’t worth sinking more money into the once-promising market.—Forbes     Scoring the winning points at a basketball game March Madness at Work:  How to channel your employees’ NCAA enthusiasm to build team and infuse passion within the organization.  –Chief Executive       Empire State Building   Testing Starbuck’s Delivery: Starbucks first stop on the road to becoming a delivery service will be the Empire State Building. Beginning this week, customers will order through a Starbucks website and eventually transition to its mobile app. -- Businessweek
  • 5 ways to segment customers

    Customer segmentation is a successful marketing tool when implemented correctly. Selecting segments and placing your customers must be done with segmenting-customersprecision. Here are 5 ways to tackle this vital task: 1. Demographics.  Divide your customers into demographic groups. Consumers primarily purchase product based on needs and wants that are related to where they live, this how old they are, their gender and their level of education.  Too many brands wait until the point of transaction to turn anonymous site visitors into known connections, or rely on inaccurate third-party data for demographic insights. Collecting basic information at site entry can go a long way in developing customer relationships and more effectively segmenting your user base. Gender: It may seem obvious, but keeping gender in mind when segmenting campaigns can have a significant impact on results and save you from wasting campaign dollars. Birthday: Who doesn’t like to be remembered on their birthday? You already know of companies that keep track of your birth and send you best wishes—and if they’re ambitious, a coupon for free stuff. Language: Language is the backbone of effective communication, but many brands overlook the opportunity to collect data around their customers’ preferred languages and segment their audiences accordingly. Location: Separate clients based on location, whether it's a small neighborhood or a whole country. Marketing client segments would be influenced by factors such as population density and climate. Thanks to the smartphone, marketers are now able to influence consumers’ real-time decisions by reaching them on-the-go. 2. Behavior. Sort different types of behavior into groups. Not only does this take standard of living into account, but also purchasing and usage trends. Actions speak louder than words – and demographics. This age-old adage rings true for marketers, especially when consumer actions can be tied directly to purchases and other KPIs. Businesses that successfully segment users based on behaviors are able to more effectively nurture customers at different stages in the purchase funnel. Segment each contact by identifying product purchasing histories. Divide them into groups depending on which products they use, how often and how they use each product. If you’re a B2B or B2C company with multiple product lines, segmentation could be a powerful tool for you. Chances are, prospects and potential customers are more interested in one of your products than the others. Once you’ve determined their interest (perhaps if they request a demo, visit pages on your site for a certain product, do a search for your product, view a pricing page, or make a purchase), place them on a list specific to that particular product. That way, you can send them the most relevant information for their needs, and may even be able to upsell them on another product later. Online users that actively and consistently engage by taking actions like leaving comments or writing reviews should be recognized and rewarded as brand advocates. Brands can grow consumer relationships and repeat conversions by sending their existing customer base thank you notes, exclusive discounts and personalized add-ons. Existing customers can be further segmented, rewarded and nurtured based on frequency, number and volume of purchases. 3. Benefit groups. This segment considers the ways in which a product is beneficial to the customer. The more benefits a product has, the more places and ways an advertiser can place the product. As a result, the marketing efforts for 1 product will gain a better response than a single position in the market. 4. Social Data. Social networks house an incredible wealth of consumer data, which is consistently updated in real-time as users login and engage with their connections. By allowing visitors to your site or app to verify their identities using existing social accounts, your brand can request access to specific social data points that can be used to more strategically segment your audience: Interests: Insight into consumers’ favorite brands, sports, TV shows and more enables you to reach consumers with highly relevant and influential messaging. Friends/Followers: A customer’s number of friends or followers across a given social network can be used to identify and nurture her as a potential brand advocate. Education: Not only is education a helpful factor in determining economic standing, but it also makes it possible for brands to customize campaigns and content based on consumers’ alma maters – a strategy that can be leveraged by sports retailers, non-profit organizations, ticket vendors and more. Relationship Status: Relationships are indicative of life stages that can be used to reach the right audience with the right message at the right time. 5. Value.  Create segments that are valuable enough to market. You don't want to direct marketing efforts toward a low-volume customer segment that is not worth the effort. Consider the customer count or the dollar value that the customer brings when calculating the value of a segment. If the value is not worthy of the marketing efforts, then don't consider the segment. _____________________ h/t: A hat tip to these articles, which we’ve used to compile this list on customer segmentation: http://www.wikihow.com/Segment-Customers http://www.business2community.com/social-data/12-simple-ways-segment-customer-base-0886682 http://www.pardot.com/drip-campaigns/6-ways-segment-pro/  
  • Zuckerberg’s hiring secrets and this week’s other top business stories

    ZuckerbergMark Zuckerberg Shares His Secret to Recruiting the Best Employees – Inc. Magazine Facebook founder and CEO reveals the simple but counterintuitive rule of thumb he uses to keep the right candidates from slipping through his filter. Woman with Apple iPad AirLarger iPad Reportedly Coming in 2nd Quarter – Wall Street Journal Apple Suppliers have been told to produce larger-screen iPad.  Production of the bigger tablet was originally planned for first quarter.  Word is USB ports are being considered.  moneyThe 1% Makes 19% Of All Income, visit Pays 49% Of All Taxes – Forbes Congress’s Joint Tax Committee says the top 1% pays 49% of all income taxes. The report also reveals that for 2015, information pills the top 10% (in terms of income) of all tax returns collect 45% of all income.  McDonaldsMcDonald's To End Use Of Antibiotics In Chicken, (But Not Other Meat Yet) -- Fast Company A good—but small—step on the path toward selling food that isn't really bad for you.  
  • Great Ways to Discover Employee Strengths

    What are the most important characteristics of your next star employee?  I’d suggest there are three:  trustworthiness, and essential competency, buy more about and perhaps the most important characteristic, passion (for life, for people, for your work, for every breath).Portrait of a firefighter shouting With these characteristics in mind, check out the following tools to discover and analyze these strengths in employees, potential employee, and perhaps yourself! Trustworthiness It probably won’t take you long to determine if a current employee is trustworthy.  But how can you improve your chances in the hiring process.  Sarah Gabot in Remote Team Management provides a few tips on how you can hire employees that you can trust:
    • Take your time.
    • Check references.
    • Hire humble people.
    • Trust your gut.
    Skills testing The ambitiously named Competency Group will help you with mapping the compentencies and skills necessary for a position, and with testing of recruits and employees. They write:
    Skill is often used interchangeably with competency. However, the identification of job skills is only the first level of a competency analysis. It is usually the first step in developing a competency map. A skills analysis is often represented as a two-dimensional chart. The chart identifies the major responsibilities of a job and breaks down each major responsibility into its job skills or tasks. A full competency analysis or competency map also describes the sub-skills, supporting knowledge and abilities, attitudes and behaviors, and tools required to perform the job. It may also identify the performance standard to carry out each skill
    Passion Building a culture of employees who truly love their work begins during the hiring process. In News Business Weekly, William Powley, founder and chief creative officer of design agency Mad*Pow, shared six ways to identify passionate candidates who you'll want to add to your team.
    • Pay attention to hobbies and interests.
    • Assess the ability to maintain a work-life balance.
    • Evaluate professional-growth goals.
    • Measure their capacity for generosity.
    • Test their mettle.
    • Gauge what thrills them.
    The article is worth reading. Of course, learning about a person’s passion isn’t easy.  Forbes suggests 3 ways to discover your passion, which may be a start as you analyze this in employees.  .
  • Fundamental truths of success and other top business stories of the week

    Good life1. 10 Fundamental Truths about Success We Forget Too Easily -- Forbes It’s surprising how easy it is to lose sight of the important things in life. Busy schedules and weekly routines have a tendency to put the brain on autopilot. Some of life’s essential truths need repeating.  Here you go. modern Hong Kong2. Twenty Fastest Growing Economies This Year -- Businessweek Emerging markets in Asia and Africa still reign supreme:, stuff and they're at the top of global growth projections over the next two years. Businessman with laptop. Cheerful young African businessman typing something on laptop and looking over shoulder3. Four Reasons Why CEOs Should Have Their Own Web Presence  -- Chief Executive You might prefer to defer publicity and communications tasks to your communications director or VP, but there is tangible value to having your own web presence. Here are 4 ways building your reputation online can help your company
  • The 15 most important things you need to know about your customers.

    What are the most important things you should know about your customers? You should know what they are most frustrated about. And what they’re trying to achieve. You should know where they hang out online. What else? Create your own list, viagra approved but first read our list of 15 things you should and can know about your customers. It will get you started.Shopping bags from Primark
    1. What is the biggest frustration about their life right now?
    2. What is it they are trying to achieve?
    3. What do they think it will take to achieve their goal?
    4. What have they tried that hasn’t worked?
    5. Why do they need you?
    6. What values do you share with your customer and where may there be a variance?
    7. Are they male or female?
    8. What age group are they in?
    9. Where are they located?
    10. Where do they hangout online and what social networks are they on?
    11. Why do they buy, when, and how?
    12. What is their income?
    13. Are they married and do they have kids?
    14. Are they engaging with your competition? Who? Why?
    15. What do they think about you?
    These are questions for which you need an answer. Some are easier to answer than others, but all of them are important. Answers to these questions will help you refine your products, shape your message, and communicate with your audience more effectively. We can help you learn more about your customers, help you listen to them and build productive business relationships at every point of contact. 

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