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43 posts from July 2011

Why innovators never know whether they have something or nothing until too late to save face.

Grant has done a great job of describing how I feel when I'm working on the Passport To Loyalty project. And reminds me that I've GOT to get a prototype out so people can start pissing all over it. 

Harvard Business Review Blogs: Who and what is an entrepreneur? 2011-Jul-25, by Grant McCracken

Working outside the capsule of culture means the entrepreneur can't ever be entirely sure he or she has got something. Especially in the early days, there is lots of shaking the head and furrowing the brow. It's as if the entrepreneur is playing the game that amuses David Letterman and Paul Schaffer when they try to decide whether an act is "something or nothing." In the early days, because we don't have the lens of culture in place, it is hard to know what we are looking at, let alone whether we are looking at, say, the future of computing, soft drinks, TV programming . . . or not. My favorite symptom of this moment in the entrepreneur's lifecycle is when people say stuff like, "Okay, take me through this idea again! Slowly!"

Using a brand to encourage good behavior

The longer, more active lives your customers live, the more they'll be able to support you, right? So let's all be a part of the solution by making brand loyalty equal healthy behavior. 

Brand as Business Bites: Sustainability: What's a brand got to do with it? 2011-Jul-19, by Denise Lee Yohn

[Guy Champniss] goes onto explain that brands are made to build social capital (defined as “the stocks of dialogue, shared thinking and trust that swirls around us, whether it’s in our families, at work, in the community, or across the country.”) And as such, “brands have the opportunity to both nudge their corporate guardians closer to a long-term and durable competitive advantage, and us all towards more sustainable and fulfilling lifestyles.

This POV contrasts with the traditional view of sustainability that says, “We just need to awaken the ‘inner social and environmental values’ in everyone’” and people will start to demand sustainable products.

Guy argues that “Behavior change is complex and often relies on less normative tactics.” Therefore brands can get people to act more sustainably because they can “engage consumers on the salient issues.” He advocates building a sustainable demand chain with brands instead of using them only to report on a sustainable supply chain.

He points to Toyota’s Ideas for Good campaign as an example. “Rather than using the brand to ‘report’ sustainability, they used the brand to convene interest in using Toyota’s technology to find solutions to the problems that those who engaged with the initiative thought worthwhile. The campaign created social capital around sustainability issues,

Didn't ship any products today, but did make some decisions, and found some new resources.

This morning I was going to post on the Creative Houston blog, but after experimenting with it for a couple of hours, I've decided to use the Articles section of the web site for sharing. The e-Directory blog is not set up well for sharing. So now my goal for tomorrow is to 'ship that article' to the front page of the web site. 

Then I had a very good lunch with a team member where we moved a project forward by indentifying something we could work on together. We had been kicking ideas around for weeks without finding something that could leverage our existing talents, skills and resources. So that was a relief. 

When I came back home and looked at my messy desk, I just felt overwhelmed. So I spent all afternoon cleaning and organizing and throwing stuff away. The most amazing thing is that I don't not find any dropped balls under the mess. Instead I found a couple of lost things and a couple of forgotten resources. 

So no product shipments, but still a pretty good day. 

Is loyalty a ritual?

In working to better understand loyalty, I've often heard from marketers who want to capture customers and get them to buy unconsciously. However, as a consumer it usually sounds like a negative position to occupy. But I do value the rituals that keep my life running smoothly. For instance, I do wish that shoe buying could be an unconscious ritual, not a freaking expedition into unknown territory. (Yes, I've been on Zappo's and they keep surprising me--not a good thing.) I just wish you could buy the same women's shoe twice. And not have it look like a nurse's shoe. 

Hub Magazine: Ritual Attraction: Connect with consumers by understanding their brand rituals, 2011-Jul/Aug, by Don Growhoski

When marketing to the subconscious, branding professionals should attempt to transform every brand interaction from a routine conscious occurrence into a ritual experience.