Monday, December 31, 2007

2008 Wish List

* To see the NE Patriots success spark companies [and clients] to realize that Process = Results. Focus, first, on perfecting the skills to do the task and the results will follow. [OMG, it's PDCA!]

* UPDATE- Or to see companies [and clients] embrace the NY Giants approach- 'Just do what we do best, stay calm, have fun, and believe in ourselves'. WOW [eg- It was awesome!].

* To help marketers BE better marketers, not just trend-chasers [eg- Can you say 'Second Life sponsorship' and NOT laugh? Can you help me understand how pouring free vodka at a bar IS 'Experiential Marketing' and NOT just another 'Happy Hour' drink-fest?].

* To find great partners for my current client projects-

* To meet new people / clients that stimulate new ideas / teach me new things.

* To prove that the simplest solution is the best.....for business operations mgt., profitability, and marketing.

* To speak less, but say more.

* To actually help bring sanity to the terms 'Marketing ROI' and 'Brand Integration'.

* To be happy, don't embarrass myself, and do something BIG!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Bueller's Teacher Aces the Auto Test

Ben Stein nails it when writing about the US Auto Industry in this Sunday's NY Times.

It's the product, stupid!

It's not the "something-doo economics" that everyone from Wagoner, to Ford, to some bartender on Woodward Ave. quotes as the downfall of the US brands.....

I mean, Kevin "Field of Dreams" Costner would make a better auto exec than half these people. He understood, "Build it and they will come". ........"build it" as in stylish, solid, and desirable.

Instead, we got "guys" [or Julie Roehm characters!] that emulate one of my favorite, but obscure, "Bueller" quotes- Parking Garage Attendant says, "You guys got nothing to worry about, I'm a professional." To which Cameron replies, "A professional what?"

Reminds me of a few auto meetings I've been in..............

True, Stein notes that some US products still make a statement- eg- Corvette, 300C, Escalade. But, the sales numbers don't lie and way too many US cars and trucks are "reputation and appearance-deprived". And the Chinese are just ahead to make life tougher still.

.......Stein even gives a shout-out to my boy Deming and our beloved "PDCA"!

So, US auto execs, what do we do about the future to prevent you from going away completely?

"Anyone? Anyone?"

Sunday, May 13, 2007

How a Decision Is Brought to Life

The success of any sales or marketing project starts with understanding how the consumer creates the action intended. How the decision gets made.

I suggest it starts with design, because-

Design = Expression.
Expression = Lifestyle.
Lifestyle = Customer Connection.
Connection = Influence.
Influence = Sales.

To me, decision criteria are prioritized in the consumers' mind like this-

1. Design [attracts my attention].
2. Fits my Need [confirmation].
3. Image Feel Connection [branding].
4. Fits my Life [real or intended].
5. Quality [acceptable to me].
6. Price [fits my wallet].
7. Value [fits my justifications].

The mind [even Abby Normal's] decides things this way.

You may see this is as the "nonsensical ravings of a lunatic mind". But, "it's all written down in the notes! Now, tie off the kites and hurry down as fast as you can!"

Monday, March 05, 2007

When The Sky Falls

If you want to know the true nature of any individual or company....

Look at their response to crisis.

That is the essence of their character, capacity, and belief in themselves......and the sum total of what you will find you have to work with and / or deal with when trouble hits.

Unless, it's aliens.

Then, just hope Tom Cruise has a spare solenoid to fire up the Dodge Caravan and get us all headed in the right direction!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

220.....221.....Whatever It Takes......

A client recently mentioned that I speak "movie quote" to make a point.....and this "Mr. Mom" soundbite is one of my favorites.

Now, it can work 2 different ways.

In the positive, it speaks to the most cherished quality a brand, person, company, or product can possess.........a "whatever it takes" commitment to do the right thing to be the best.

On the other hand, I seem to notice more and more these days that "whatever it takes" is being translated into a "tell them whatever they want to hear" rant or a "do whatever I can" tactic to just get "whatever the f*@# I want".

But, I think people are ultimately smart and Option 1 is the only way to go.

Or as our prez says, "Fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again."

Yeah. 220....221...whatever it takes.