Corporate Branding Digest, March 5, 2015


6 Ways to Take Advantage of Negative Reviews
(Forbes, 11.02.15)

With sites like Yelp and Google Reviews a single customer can share his or her poor experience with your company with millions of people by a few clicks of the mouse. From there, your reputation can be dragged in the mud by any crackpot or veiled competitor.


5 Common Fears of Leadership. And How to Conquer Them
(Inc., 28.01.15)

“In the absence of orders I will lead my team and accomplish the mission. I lead by example in all situations.” —Navy SEAL Creed


When to Sell with Facts and Figures, and When to Appeal to Emotions
(Harvard Business Review, 25.01.15)

When should salespeople sell with facts and figures, and when should we try to speak to the buyer’s emotional subconscious, instead? When do you talk to Mr. Intuitive, and when to Mr. Rational?


6 Secrets to Writing a Better Brand Positioning Statement
(Entrepreneur, 15.01.15)

A brand positioning statement is a concise version of your mission or vision statement. Sound intimidating? Well, they shouldn’t be. They are actually pretty simple to construct. These read, “I am a [noun, such as coach] who helps [audience, for example women] [result, i.e get healthy] so they can [benefit, for instance love their life!]”


“Great vision without great people is irrelevant.” —Jim Collins


Corporate Branding Digest, March 4, 2015


Five New Challenges for Tomorrow’s Global Marketing Leaders
(Forbes, 11.02.15)

In a global world, brands need to speak a lot of different customers’ languages. And, as mobile, social and software increasingly break down traditional communications borders to transform how brands communicate with consumers, marketing leaders are facing new strategic challenges as they look to develop global marketing fluency.


4 Branding Lessons That You Don’t Want to Learn the Hard Way
(Entrepreneur, 20.01.15)

When you’re branding your company, you obviously want everything to go smoothly. Unfortunately, there are some easy branding mistakes to make along the way. Here are some of the common mistakes that new businesses make regarding their branding. Avoid them at all costs.


12 Pivotal Lessons Steve Jobs Taught Guy Kawasaki
(Inc., 26.11.14)

Guy Kawasaki is one of the only people alive to survive working for Steve Jobs—twice. Here are the lessons he learned.


7 Steps to Deliver Better Customer Experiences
(Harvard Business Review, 03.02.15)

A surprising thing happened during a recent brainstorming session I led for a retail client. We were supposed to be coming up with ideas for improving the company’s customer experiences, but the head of operations could not think of a single new customer service idea to explore. And the development leader failed to identify any new ideas for store layout or building features. And the merchandising vice president had difficulty understanding why “product” was one of the categories we were discussing.


“Human beings have an innate inner drive to be autonomous, self-determined, and connected to one another.” —Daniel Pink


Corporate Branding Digest, Feb. 3, 2015


The Dress and Customer: Perception Is Reality
(CMO.com, 03.03.15)

In the latest exploding Internet meme, the dress quickly became a metaphor for how people see the same things differently. From politicians to pop stars, everyone had an opinion on whether this dress was white and gold or blue and black. And unless you’ve been on a digital holiday, you likely had an opinion as well, as nearly 30 million people viewed the post as of Friday afternoon.


Are Today’s Marketers Tomorrow’s CEOs?
(Forbes.com, 05.02.15)

Over the past 30 years, there has been tremendous change in the role of marketers within the firm. A “Chief Marketing Officer” title was created, CMOs serve on leadership teams, and many are invited into the boardroom. Recently, we’ve witnessed CMOs stepping into CEO roles. Just last week, the Chief Brand Officer of McDonald’s, Steve Easterbrook, was appointed the new CEO.


The 10 Commandments of Leadership
(Inc., 02.02.15)

Becoming a great leader comes down to remembering and following these 10 simple rules.


When Building an Online Brand, Start with the Foundation
(Entrepreneur, 26.01.14)

One of my goals for 2015 is to focus more on my personal brand both online and off. To me this means clarifying exactly what my mission and vision are, and conveying that to the world in a concise and attractive way.


“Greatness and nearsightedness are incompatible. Meaningful achievement depends on lifting one’s sights and pushing toward the horizon.” —Daniel Pink


Corporate Branding Digest, March 2, 2015


4 Unwritten Commandments of the Corporate Communicator
(Ragan, 25.02.15)

Corporate communicators need observe only four commandments, not 10, to do a superlative job. But those four are inviolable. Here they are.


12 Things that Successful Leaders Never Tolerate
(Inc., 26.01.15)

Tolerance is a virtue—most of the time. But some things should never be tolerated. To build a successful career and life, make sure as a leader these are never on your list.


7 Ways Leaders Can Achieve Big Wins
(Entrepreneur, 23.01.15)

Leaders should reflect on their businesses monthly, quarterly and annually, looking at what did and didn’t work. It’s the only way to keep pushing the needle forward and grow.


Six Lessons FSI Marketers Can Learn from Retail
(CMO.com, 22.01.15)

Banks are overwhelmed with a need to embrace a digital customer experience, but they have no historical guidance on how to do it.


“How you climb a mountain is more important than reaching the top.” —Yvon Chouinard


Corporate Branding Digest, Feb. 27, 2015


Ex-Kodak CMO Jeffrey Hayzlett Warns: Adapt, Change or Die
(CMS Wire, 24.02.15)

Jeffrey Hayzlett describes himself as a maverick marketer in cowboy boots … among other things.


Are You a CMO with Cojones? There’s an Award for That!
(CMO.com, 20.02.15)

I love learning about innovative CMOs who have taken charge strategically and creatively to make a positive difference in transforming their businesses. So my interest was piqued when I heard about the Cojones Awards, which recognize CMOs who have the courage, confidence, conviction—and, frankly, the balls—to enact change in every facet of their organizations.


Important Leadership Lessons from the Blizzard that Never Came
(Inc., 31.01.15)

Sometimes the best leadership lessons come from our everyday storms.


The Missing Ingredient of Modern Marketing
(Entrepreneur, 14.11.14)

You’ve heard this before: Your brand is the sum of customers’ complete experiences with you across all touch points.


“If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude.” —Colin Powell


Corporate Branding Digest, Feb. 26, 2015


7 Essentials for Smart Social PR Strategy
(Ragan, 18.02.15)

Practitioners face many obstacles to building and engaging online communities for their clients and brands. These guidelines can help.


Pop Stars and Craft Beer: Lessons in Branding and Trademarking
(Inc., 02.02.15)

Using trademarks to build and protect a brand is a great strategy for small businesses, but without the proper considerations, it can ultimately cause more harm than good.


The Smell of Creativity
(CMO.com, 27.01.15)

For me, it often takes just 10 minutes to understand whether an organisation is open to new creative ideas. I can smell it in the air. And I think that most of us have this skill, the ability to understand the unwritten rules of company culture.


A Bit of Empathy Might Be the Best Marketing Strategy
(Entrepreneur, 14.01.15)

It was a cold morning, which is not uncommon in St. Louis, even in the summer. Maybe it was due to the rain, but that cleared away soon, so I don’t know. I was wearing what she would have wanted to me wear. It was a Friday and it was my grandmother’s wake.


“When the reward is the activity itself—deepening learning, delighting customers, doing one’s best—there are no shortcuts.” —Daniel Pink


Corporate Branding Digest, Feb. 25, 2015


In a New Marketing World, the Product Is the Message
(Fast Company, 04.02.15)

Two revolutions in technology took place over the last 75 years that significantly affected our lives as consumers. They also had a huge impact on the meaning of brands, the influence of advertising, and the commercialization (and over-commercialization) of the world we know. They should come as no surprise—the first was television; the second was the Internet.


Big Brand Wipeouts Create Brand Strategy Lessons
(Forbes, 04.02.15)

When big brands are successful, everyone looks up to them. Sometimes we even follow their path. But what happens when big brands turn sour? It’s just another learning moment. Let’s see what we can teach ourselves from some well-known brand wipeouts.


The Marketing Team of the Future
(Clickz, 03.02.15)

As the world of marketing evolves, so must the way in which we structure our organizations and teams. Is your company ready?


Reclaim Your Brand After a Crisis (Video)
(Entrepreneur, 06.11.14)

Every company makes mistakes. But it’s how you respond that can make or break your relationship with customers and how your company is perceived. In this hangout, editorial director Ray Hennessey talks with branding and customer experience experts Karen Leland of Sterling Marketing Group and Brad Smith of Sage North America about how to come back when your company’s reputation takes a hit. Check out their advice in this short video.


“Anyone who has had success has failed before.” —Queen Latifah


Corporate Branding Digest, Feb. 24, 2015


What Brand Storytellers Can Learn from the Oscars
(PRWeek, 24.02.15)

Global brands and their creative agencies often cite films and the storytellers behind them as inspiration. But they need to sit up and take note of how the great auteurs of the film industry are creatively reimagining storytelling for a new audience that has a growing appetite for honest, powerful tales. An appetite demonstrated in this year’s nominations for the Oscars’ Best Picture, a list that values true stories alongside pseudo dramas and confected creativity.


The Pink Elephant in the Room
(The Wall, 12.02.15)

Branding and political parties are much more closely aligned than people think. Both are based on delivering clever dressings of selective truths designed to build a perception, drive a desire or solve a problem. What they truly represent however, is not based on what marketing agencies, clever creative or politicians tell people they represent.


7 Navy SEAL Sayings That Will Keep Your Team Motivated
(Forbes, 20.01.15)

Whether you are an entrepreneur, working in corporate America or building a startup, it is imperative to continually seek new ways to stay inspired and driven. Being a self-starter is a fantastic quality, but we are all human and get distracted by the minutiae of our day-to-day responsibilities.


Ask Yourself: Who’s Protecting Your Company’s Brand? (Video)
(Entrepreneur, 05.11.14)

To protect a brand, everyone in your company must understand what your brand represents, what it doesn’t and the experience it’s delivering. In this Google Hangout, branding expert Karen Leland and customer service expert Brad Smith explain how staff education can lead to positive brand experiences for customers.


“Control leads to compliance; autonomy leads to engagement.” —Daniel Pink


Corporate Branding Digest, Feb. 23, 2015


Customer Experience: It’s Not What You Say, It’s How You Say It
(Forbes, 23.02.15)

Do you think your company has a disconnect between what you assume you sound like and what you actually sound like? Is it too painful to really listen to how the world hears our brands?


4 Mistakes People Make When Measuring Brand Awareness (And How to Avoid Them)
(HubSpot, 17.02.15)

One of our main jobs as marketers is to acquire new customers. To start acquiring them, we need to get our company name out there. Or as marketers would say, “build brand awareness.”


Mobile Is the New Frontier for Retargeting
(The Wall, 06.02.15)

Mobile is set to become the hottest topic in retargeting this year ahead, according to 20% of the European marketers surveyed in AdRoll’s ‘State of the Industry’ report, launched this week.


7 Concepts Every CEO Has to Nail
(Entrepreneur, 07.11.14)

Just because you call yourself a CEO doesn’t make you one. For one thing, if a board of directors doesn’t name you chief executive officer of a real corporation, you’re sort of like a silly little kid playing grownup. More importantly, you’re probably misrepresenting your abilities, as well.


“A champion is someone who gets up when he can’t.” —Jack Dempsey


Corporate Branding Digest, Feb. 20, 2015


What Defines a Digitally Mature Organization? Ask Millennials
(CMO.com, 19.02.15)

As the Millennial generation—often defined as those born from the early 80s to the early 00s—plays a larger role in defining and working within the digital ecosystem, we wanted to explore this group’s unique perspectives on what makes up a digitally mature organization.


Balancing Engagement and Marketing: Cut Clutter and Start Crowdsourcing
(HubSpot, 06.02.15)

The trend for organizations worldwide is to let customers do the talking, and it works! Customer reviews are trusted 12 times more than a marketing piece from an organization. So they’re bidding farewell to the days of static brochure-ware websites. From Coca-Cola to the American Institute of Architects, organizations realize that a community of educated and passionate members is an incredible source of trusted, user-generated content and opinions.


Why Are Most Brands Calling Their Content Marketing ‘Ineffective’?
(My Customer, 05.02.15)

Whether videos, blogs, infographics or ebooks, content is now being consumed on an unprecedented scale. And in our multichannel, multi-device, always-on world that means content represents an exciting opportunity for brands to make an impression on the customer during the product purchasing process. Little wonder, then, that content marketing has become such big news.


The 3 Best Measures of True Branding Success Are Tough to Quantify
(Entrepreneur, 05.11.14)

In recent years, it has become more and more common for startups and corporations to adopt the lean principles to running their business: start small, experiment constantly, and learn from the market.


“Don’t play games that you don’t understand, even if you see lots of other people making money from them.” —Tony Hsieh


Corporate Branding Digest, Feb. 19, 2015


A Step-by-Step Guide to Winning the Customer
(Strategy + Business, 11.02.15)

Companies that understand the stages of consumer purchasing decisions have an outsized influence in their outcome.


What Film Can Teach Us About Quality Content
(The Wall, 11.02.15)

Content has been a buzzword for a while now, and though we still haven’t figured out exactly what it is, the general consensus is everyone wants to get in on it.


13 Practical Leadership Tips from 10 Years of Managing People
(Forbes, 20.01.15)

In this post, I’ll share 13 actionable leadership tips to help you motivate, connect with, and inspire your team.


Why Brand Ambassadors Are Earned, Not Hired (Video)
(Entrepreneur, 10.11.14)

Not all attention from customers is positive attention for your brand. Companies that listen to their customers and their needs can provide a more positive experience and foster brand ambassadors who can’t help but sing your praises. Learn more about establishing credibility in your market in this short video with Brad Smith, EVP of customer experience at Sage North America, and Karen Leland, president of branding firm Sterling Marketing Group.


“Avoid putting yourself before others and you can become a leader among men.” —Lao Tzu


Corporate Branding Digest, Feb. 18, 2015


‘For Brands to Advertise They Need to Stop Advertising’
(The Wall, 12.02.15)

Brands communicate in hope that our view of them is consistent; that we may covet them and want to draw them close. Conversely, we all bring our own perceptions and prejudices, conscious and subconscious, to the table.


Why All Managers Must Be Leaders
(Forbes, 21.01.15)

Anyone within an organization has the potential to become a leader, but managers must be leaders. In schools and in our organizations we have been taught and conditioned to believe that managers and leaders are two separate people which is quite a harmful assumption. As a result we have managers who cannot lead and leaders who cannot manage. A leader who cannot manage has a vision of where they want to go but no idea of how to get there. A manager who cannot lead is not able to build trust and create engagement within an organization to get to where they need to go. Neither of these scenarios are practical or effective.


To Manage Your Brand, Understand Your Brand (Video)
(Entrepreneur, 11.11.14)

Whether you manage your brand yourself or hire an expert, make sure that everyone telling your story can articulate your message and your value. Learn what’s involved in this short hangout with Brad Smith, EVP of customer experience at Sage North America, and Karen Leland, president of branding firm Sterling Marketing Group.


The CEO Is the New CMO
(MediaPost, 09.02.15)

In the olden days, marketing consisted of 4 Ps (Place, Price, Promotion and, of course, Product). This approach made perfect sense, as each P defined a critical part of what ultimately made a product sell. And that really has not changed much in today’s world.


“Success does not consist in never making mistakes, but in never making the same one a second time.” —George Bernard Shaw


Corporate Branding Digest, Feb. 17, 2015


The Intelligence Behind Marketing
(CMO.com, 10.02.15)

I have a unique outlook on marketing. I believe that marketing is as much about having a deep understanding of the process and the mechanics of what you do as it is an inexact science that requires some risk-taking to be successful. In other words, the more you know, the better.


5 Tips to Move from Transactional to Meaningful Customer Relationships
(Forbes, 19.01.15)

In the past, companies have left the customer relationship building to marketing. However, today with shifting customer behavior the responsibility of nurturing customer relationships often sits with customer service. It makes sense that the continuous nurturing of the customer experience should be left to the people who support the customer before, during and after the purchase of the product. We’re seeing a small amount of large companies reflect some of the more attractive attributes of agile small businesses. They’re doing this by focusing on creating meaningful customer experiences.


Why Brands Need to Break Bad to Win
(The Wall, 15.01.15)

What can we learn in our world from “Breaking Bad”? The pioneer and the underdog of a television movement that has in recent times flipped the TV/feature film balance of power.


What Great Brands Know: Stop Waiting for Perfection (Video)
(Entrepreneur, 14.11.14)

Waiting to launch? You might rethink that. “A good plan executed today is better than a perfect plan executed next week,” said brand-building expert Denise Lee Yohn at Entrepreneur’s Ready to Launch event held last September. Watch this short video to learn about what she calls your ‘minimum viable brand’ and how it can help your business.


“People that can’t listen can’t lead.” —Chris Rock


Corporate Branding Digest, Feb. 12, 2015


When Celeb Partnerships on Social Can Win
(The Wall, 10.02.15)

Celebrity endorsements get interesting on social media, because this is where celebrities converse directly with the world rather than through a publicist or agent. It has the potential to go very wrong, of course: think Oprah Winfrey tweeting about her love for her Microsoft Surface tablet—from an iPad.


4 Content Lessons from Jimmy Fallon
(Ragan.com, 09.02.15)

The popular host of “The Tonight Show” seems always to be trending. How does he do it—and what can brand managers emulate?


Are You and Operations-Driven or Market-Driven Leader?
(Forbes, 19.01.15)

The highly competitive and changing marketplace demands a new kind of workplace culture where leaders and employees alike embrace the six characteristics mentioned in the article, Create Your Corporate Values by Design, Not by Accident. If you haven’t read it, I encourage you to do so—and while you’re at it—take the assessment at the end of the article that measures your organization’s proficiency level of each of the six characteristics.


Capture, Engage and Convert Customers with Visual Branding
(Entrepreneur, 17.11.14)

In the time it will take you to read this article, there will be over 900,000 tweets on Twitter and 7.5 million posts on Facebook. With that much content generated, how does a business get noticed and stay relevant? The answer: visual elements.


“All progress takes place outside the comfort zone.” —Michael John Bobak


Corporate Branding Digest, Feb. 11, 2015


5 Ways Brand Managers Can Avoid a Social Media Crisis
(Ragan, 03.02.15)

Though online fires are common, PR and marketing pros can quell the flames with the following tips.


Business Lessons from Nikola Tesla’s Brilliant (If Spotty) Career
(Inc., 30.01.15)

The original mad scientist would serve as inspiration for everyone from Elon Musk to Jack White. And though he was an awful businessperson, you can learn as much from his failures as you can his victories.


Thinking Outside the Box, Within Reason
(Forbes, 20.01.15)

Businesses yearn for innovation, yet seem to get stuck on how to harness creativity within their organizations. Instead they often seek assistance from outside agencies to do the ideation for them. As a result, we’ve seen some unbelievable yet underutilized talent and are often stumped as to why they have their blinders on. Below you will find some of our secrets to climb outside of the box, while still grounding those ideas in reality.


Why Your Brand Is More Important than Your Product (Video)
(Entrepreneur, 19.11.14)

Push aside your business plan and stop obsessing over your product dimensions. First, you need to think about your brand.


“It does not matter how slowly you go, so long as you do not stop.” —Confucious


Corporate Branding Digest, Feb. 9, 2015


5 Powerful Habits That Drive Every Great Leader to Success
(Inc., 27.01.15)

You can find the success you seek by adopting some very simple but powerful habits of today’s greatest leaders.


The Importance of Corporate Culture
(Forbes, 23.01.15)

Corporate culture encompasses quite a few variables ranging from the physical office environment to the fun perks that you might get to the way that you communicate with your peers and managers. In this latest episode of the #futurein5 I had the opportunity to visit Mulesoft’s offices in San Francisco. Mulesoft has around 500 employees around the world and was recently ranked my GlassDoor as one of the top 50 companies to work for in America. I thought it would be fun to check out their offices and show the world how they work.


How Far Is Too Far in the Race for Eyeballs?
(Entrepreneur, 01.12.14)

The war for eyeballs online has gotten pretty grotesque. There is seemingly nothing that is off limits. And yet, as an entrepreneur, if you are trying to grow your business, it can feel as though you need to play the game, or risk losing customers—and revenue.


The Sharing Company
(Strategy + Business, 28.10.14)

Since the mid-2000s, the so-called sharing economy has grown from almost nothing to a pool of global businesses valued in the billions of dollars. The concept—people using technology to find and purchase one another’s extra resources—represents a triumph of trust and crowdsourcing. Peer-to-peer financial firms such as Lending Club, transportation services such as Uber, and lodging brokerages such as Airbnb have all rapidly taken off, using Internet-based platforms to connect people directly without highly paid intermediaries. It’s no wonder investors are so intrigued, and the rest of us are a little enervated by all the hype.


“When you stop chasing the wrong things, you give the right things a chance to catch you.” —Lolly Daskal