Once I planned to write a book of poems entirely about the things in my pocket. But I found it would be too long; and the age of the great epics is past. – Gilbert Keith Chesterton Jim Collins or Seth Godin. Take your pick. The small stuff matters, and it’s what makes change. I’ve even blogged about it before. Ever thought that this law works across many other areas in life and work? Is this idea like gravity?
Every now and then we’re reminded that the Niwot, Colorado-based fashion company Crocs is about to die. On their last legs in 2009, a failed brand 2010. This comes around every now and then for Crocs. I guess the remarkable aesthetic of their first shoe has polarized them in our minds. Which is a good thing for a brand if you want people to talk about it. We respond to these predictions of Croc’s demise predictably. Like any other kind of polarizing thing. Sara Palin has nothing or everything to offer. Nothing in between. Crocs isn’t dying at all, of course. They weren’t in 2009 and they aren’t today. Seems like they’re kinda like their namesake. One of the more adaptable […]
True story: A guy robs several Pittsburgh banks fully undisguised. His face is recognized clearly on video surveillance, and he is caught. When asked by investigators why he didn’t wear a mask, he said “I wore the juice.” The bank robber was convinced that lemon juice, when applied to the face, makes you invisible to cameras. This is a leading example in a paper called “Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties of Recognizing One’s Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-assessments.” In essence, the paper suggests that this bank robber wasn’t just too stupid to be a bank robber. He was too stupid to know he is too stupid to be a bank robber. The paper actually generated a term […]
I’m guest blog posting again. This time with The Redhead, Erika Napoletano. One of my favorite people on the social web because she’s herself to the end. Without apologies. Love her style or hate it, you know what’cher gettin. She builds trust, proving that authenticity rules in today’s world. What better place, I figured, to write a bit more about personal branding. Because what Erika does can be called Personal Branding, but it might be something more. You can check out my post here. And by all means: add Readhead Writing to your RSS feed. Rants writing and musings that will make your day better. And maybe make you re-think about what authenticity really means. I know she did for […]
It was my pleasure to write a guest post for a fairly new and very cool blog called Sundayed.com. You can check out my post here. The post is a reflection of my ongoing interest in bridging the left and right-directed minds. I try to use the trumpet and improvisation as a way to illustrate how even in creative pursuits, we all deal with context and in fact it can create greatness. This is something the creative mind understands very deeply. But sometimes when context is presented in a business setting, creatives find the constraints instead of the inspiration. Or least mine did for long time. Thanks for checking it out. Consider adding Sundayed to your RSS feed: a good […]
Only a few days after my post on branding re-framed as leadership (which had a short stab at personal branding) my lodestar on this topic Doc Searls linked to a few more posts that he (and now I) found apropos. I wanted to point people to this one in particular because (a) I love it, and (b) I agree. Big kudos to you, Maureen Johnson. (And you should have whispered it, btw.) We are not brands. We are, indeed, weird. And layered. And multitudinous. I’m actually working through a brand platform for a client that pivots around an eclectic, multi-layered experience. I turn to New Belgium Brewery as a model for this – a great brand that captures their layered […]
Branding (not product branding, but that enterprise-level notion of name and reputation we’re still wrestling with) is dying because we’ve run it into the ground. If you asked anyone or anything to wear as many hats, mean as many things, or be a placeholder for so many musings as contradictory (think tactics promoted as strategy), impertinent (think one-size-fits-all-contexts theories), and importance-inflated (the genocide in Rwanda is an element of a brand? Really?) as we ask of branding, it’d die too. From sheer exhaustion. It’s not the years (to paraphrase Indiana Jones). It’s the mileage. Branding started as a notion of something you could control. If you had the resources to overcome the complexity of making fires and casting iron, you […]
Paul Hawken could have used his time at the Denver Sustainable Industries Economic Forum to talk about anything. And he covered a fairly wide variety of topics. But what stood out was his reminder that “people want to play in the fun sandbox.” That sustainable solutions to business and our world should be joyful. Think of the innovation that’s going on in this space, he challenged us. The amazing technology. System-changing ideas. Massive shifts in the status quo. The wondrous problems about to be solved. The human spirit and joy behind it all.