Process vs. Product

By Aaron Templer

Marketing, Three Over Four Approach

I’m interested in the business-minded pursuit of understanding creativity. I’m not sure what to do with it, but I’m interested. One thought that keeps coming to mind: The creative processes that I’m most familiar with don’t start with outcome. I can’t help but wonder if this is why businesses are tripping over the concept and have such a hard time integrating it into their working environments. Business, by its nature, solves a problem for someone. If there’s no problem to be solved, there’s no market. No market, no money. The creative processes that business minds are trying to learn from start in a very different place. A place of expression, not fixing. Exploring the problem, not solving it. If you […]

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Storytelling the Three Over Four Way

By Aaron Templer

Branding, Marketing, Three Over Four Approach

I had a terrific time working with The Colorado Medical Society this past May. The President of the CMS had a great idea to interweave storytelling techniques for leaders throughout the entire conference. His thinking was that we all leave these conferences full of energy, armed with new information to make changes in our society, businesses, or communities. But we’re missing the tools to actually do something about it. So I was brought in to help by way of providing techniques for leaders to tell stories. Storytelling being, of course, one of the more effective way to engage and move people. We did a few things to bring storytelling into the conference. (This is an environment which, incidentally, isn’t exactly […]

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Digital Marketing. Or, Marketing.

By Aaron Templer

Marketing, Social web, Three Over Four Approach

A friend, mentor, and professor of mine was a leading voice in southern poetry. He wrote profoundly about many things, most notably about the martyrs of the civil rights movement and white privilege. So it made more than a little sense when the chair of his department asked him to teach a class about multiculturalism in American literature. He refused. And his reason why will stick with me forever. He told me “I told them that the history of American literature is multicultural. The entire damn American narrative is about our multiple cultures. I can’t see how we can teach any American literature course without it dealing with multiculturalism at its core.” At the risk of inflating my self importance […]

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No more. No less.

By Aaron Templer

Branding, Marketing, Three Over Four Approach

Last year, I busted out a few guest posts for the blog Please Feed The Animals. When I asked Erik Proulx (the curator of the place turned film director and inspiration for me and countless others to have the courage to just friggin’ do stuff that’s important) how many words he thought worked best on PFTA, he said “between 30 and 3000.” There’s this famous scene from Amadeus. I don’t understand. There are just as many notes as I required. Neither more no less. And then this nice article from the ever-reposeful Pico Iyer quotes Thoreau: “the man whose horse trots a mile in a minute does not carry the most important messages.” All reminders for me today: It’s the […]

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Shame on the brand? Or shame on the agency?

By Aaron Templer

Branding, Marketing, Three Over Four Approach

Are values solely the domain of the client? The brand? Watch this video. Maybe not new to many of you, but important. I can’t ever remember hearing about the agencies responsible for this kind of work coming under criticism. Can somebody point me to an instance? Because I’m wondering why. Is it wrong to keep the agencies responsible for this stuff out scrutiny? Why are they immune from criticism? Can’t they say no to the work? Arthur Anderson wasn’t exactly excused in the Eron’s misdeeds. Values matter. We make decisions based on them. Those decisions create good, spread ideas, move us forward. Or they contribute to the dynamics in our world we know aren’t of value. I bet that there’re […]

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A few ways to stop intellectual load shedding

By Aaron Templer

Leadership, Marketing

There are many places in the world that have regular “load shedding,” or rolling blackouts. It’s a fact of daily life. When I travel with my wife and in-laws to India, we stay in a small townhouse in Nashik, Maharashtra. Load shedding is as much a part of our daily planning as what we need to get at market. It effects shower schedules (water is heated by an individual, portable “geyser” that runs on electricity), which cascades into breakfast schedules, which cascades into when we can leave the house, which cascades into when we’ll be able to meet with a visiting relative, which cascades into where we need to be for lunch (the main meal of the day), which inevitably […]

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The Agnostic Brand

By Aaron Templer

Branding, Marketing, Social web

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 […]

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The beginning of the new bottom line

By Aaron Templer

Marketing, Social Capital, Strategy

Can we agree that there’s a category of enterprises that needs more concise branding? Call it social entrepreneurship, call it social impact, call it sustainable development. That yet-to-be defined category (even beyond L3C) of enterprises that care less about its status as Profit or Non-Profit and more about the contribution it makes to our world.

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