Our Unique Approach to Professional Services

Our Unique Approach to Professional Services

It was a privilege to deliver a Professional Services Marketing course at the Chicago headquarters of the American Marketing Association recently, and I’m really stoked to boil it down for a presentation at a Michiana American Marketing Association event next week. Professional services continues to be an important market segment for Three Over Four, and as we all know: if you truly want to solidify a concept or area of expertise, understanding it well enough to convey it to others is great way to get there. These engagements are great opportunities to share value and also return it to our…
Stop branding. Start leading.

Stop branding. Start leading.

Brand management and leadership share a common space: Influence. Can a brand share the characteristics of a good leader? Or should it? Picture a brand that you would go to the ends of the earth for. We all have at least one. Something you’d always buy. Someone you’d always vote for. Something you'd travel far to see in concert. Something you'd tell your friends about without their asking. What are the characteristics of that brand? I'll give you a list and we'll see how close it matches what you have in your mind’s eye. It’s transparent and honest. It does…

A small wins strategy: The social web as liner notes

I’ll say it: Effective participation in the social web is hard. Damn hard. It requires strategic acumen more akin to leadership (valuing social capital and investing in the necessary competencies to build and leverage it) and execution skills more akin to in-person networking (add value to those you want to reach and do it all the time) than any kind of marketing and communications discipline. It isn’t free. It isn’t fast. And the worst time to build your social web presence is at the beginning of a campaign, a crisis, or any other time when you want to broadcast and…
As Branding Dies Leaders Rise

As Branding Dies Leaders Rise

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…