WOW! June seems to have flown by and we're already more than half way through the year. June had me on the road once again, from coast to coast working with some of my favorite clients and getting to know two new companies.
Here's a sampling from a few projects:
- PERSONAL BRANDING SALES STRATEGY: I have finished the first phase of the idea introduction to a 500-person sales force at the level of their four major regional offices. This allowed the concept to gain traction. In July we begin the implementation and integration side of the project through small but powerful shifts in the existing sales process. Over the next few months I will travel with the Regional Sales Managers as DOING becomes the focus.
- REPEATABLE SUCCESSFUL ACTS: The RSA platform is the power strategy currently in play in over a dozen of my regular clients. RSA also continues to be a highly popular keynote presentation and always engenders a ton of interest. Being a small company I have to be careful with the volume of contracts for implementation strategies that these presentations generate. The good news is that the results have been FANTASTIC, as client company's individual metrics show the RSA strategy is really moving their sales needles forward.
- PODCAST: Podcasts remain a rich and effective media strategy. I am honored to be part of the Wells Fargo Funds Essentials of Excellence platform and just finished a series of podcasts around drilling down on the Repeatable Successful Acts platform. Here is the first one:
Repeatable Successful Acts Part 1
I am way JAZZED to announce the latest addition to the Creative Ventures Team!
Darren Horwitz of Imprint PR came on board July 1 to help me manage and leverage media strategies across a wide range of platforms. His energetic and dynamic approach to public relations is a perfect fit for the Creative Ventures philosophy.
I am in charge of MY brand.
“Whom do people think of when they think of your field? Not what, but WHOM?”
This is the question I used to launch the huge personal branding project I have had the pleasure of leading recently for a major sales organization.
WHO, not what.
Personal branding is a unique strategy that marries the strengths and weaknesses of the individual sales person with the strategic positioning of the organization's same attributes; its own strengths and weaknesses. You cannot develop a personal branding strategy in a vacuum, apart from both the organization and the market. Personal branding is an INTEGRATED idea that focuses on individual character, personality, and skill.
The WHO part of the strategy is all about emotion, spirit, the face and soul of the company. It involves unique and powerful stories delivered to create DISTINCTIVE VALUE. Distinctive in that it differentiates you from the competition, and value-based so that it speaks to the need of the client.
Let's think about this simple statement.
What drives a customer across your service and product continuum? Is it a relationship between the customer and the product/service or is it the relationship they have with you? The best of both worlds is always the pinnacle in that equation, but with those pieces before you, the one that you control, that you can drive is the relationship with you.
Here is a great example of what I'm talking about. Almost every corner of downtown Manhattan, Chicago and San Francisco is graced by a hot dog vendor, each selling basically the same thing, a wiener in a bun. Recognizing the need to create separation and differentiation, Vienna Hot Dogs set up Hot Dog University, a complete education program dealing in the art of hot dog sales and personal branding. They teach unique methods that will marry the individual talent (the personal "brand") of the vendor with the outstanding product produced by Vienna.
On the corner of 55th and Madison Avenue in New York City you will find personal branding guru and hot dog vendor Johnny Weiz. It may not surprise you, but the best vendors, the street corner dominators like Johnny, serve an amazing 80% of their product to returning customers. The common order for this personal branded vendor is, "Hey Johnny, I'll have the usual." The relationship is so well developed that Johnny KNOWS from personal contact what his customers want…and he remembers each one! So well branded has Johnny made himself that he now is identified with the corner.
What can the commitment of personal branding training found at Vienna Hot Dog University and the development of street corner supremacy teach you about personal branding?
- Be Authentic: In our personal branding strategy we build on the personal STRENGTHS of the individual. By building on distinctive behaviors we automatically engage an individual's authenticity.
- Extend Your Reach: Personal branding is not only about driving your existing customers to you time and time again, but also about increasing your professional reach. Johnny often gives out free hot dog coupons to his best customers to be used to bring a friend or co-worker. Extend your reach by leveraging your success.
- Build Your Story: Hot Dog U teaches vendors to build their story and develop it in a simple, compact, and powerful 20-word pitch. If the personal brand is about emotional connections, nothing builds that faster than a great story that leads to extraordinary performance.
What does it mean to associate a person with a brand? It's about being remembered. It's about YOU, about your being recognized in your industry and within your company. It's about bringing YOUR value in direct connection with your product or service.
It's more than just, "Hey, getcher hot dog here."
Here Comes GOOGLE TV! For you TV fans (hey, I know you watch a lot of TV – It's OK) here comes Google. Google TV is positioning itself to change the way you watch TV. Google TV will be a simple way to integrate the high quality experience of your big screen TV with the variety of video available on line. Everything from YouTube to HULU will be available at your finger tips.
Karma Cup Idea Wins! The idea was called The Betacup Challenge and was created in an effort to reduce the 58 billion paper coffee cups that go to waste each year. Founded in May 2009 by Toby Daniels and Colaboratorie Mutopo, the Starbucks-backed contest invited participants to submit ideas, comment on and rate others' ideas, and engage in discussions with other community members and contest jurors.
Many of the ideas submitted were physical design concepts, but the winner was an entry that thought outside the coffee cup: the incentive-based idea called the Karma Cup which encourages customers to bring reusable cups to their local Starbucks shop for a 1-in10 chance to will a free coffee. Hmm. 1 out of 10 ain't bad odds!
It's refreshing to see major corporations embracing "crowdsourcing" for the greater good, and it's also impressive to see so much participation and public interest around what's a very serious part of America's larger waste problem.
IBM's Institute for Business Value: 1,500 CEOs were interviewed, and an amazing pattern was discovered. Coming out of one of the worst economic downturns in our lifetime, business leaders identified COMPLEXITY as their worst "enemy." The business front has expanded to include social networks, political movement, environmental responsibility, and volatility. Leaders recognized that not only is complexity a serious problem, but their lack of ability to deal with the repercussions of systems and processes that are no longer capable of performing as designed ranked as the #1 "issue" they face. Our Creative Ventures solution to these executives' concerns is an approach that places greater value on simple solutions and developing the "thoughtful reduction" model as a standard operating philosophy. That's one significant way we help transform companies.
Interested in these ideas?
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You can contact Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org or give him a call at 972-490-7717.
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