Cause Branding Digest, April 28, 2015

3 Ways Brands Can Use Corporate Social Responsibility Principles to Create Better Advertising
(Fast Company, 07.04.15)

A genuine attempt to build trust with an audience—and give a brand a sense of purpose—can be far more effective than traditional ads.

Building a Socially Responsible Company: From the CEO to the Front Desk
(Triple Pundit, 01.04.15)

What do a union advocate, a freelancer and an ex-convict have in common? There’s no punch line here—they’re all successful leaders and social entrepreneurs.

Decoding Green Twitter: Secrets for Online Sustainability Success
(GreenBiz, 12.02.15)

Cross-sector, cross-industry and cross-cultural connecting and collaborating have to speed the path for business sustainability, because business may be our only hope to get the job done. And it could be your individual prerogative as a sustainability leader—even more than your corporate affiliation — that helps you best mobilize support and join the march.

Erase the Line Between Cause and Marketing
(Entrepreneur, 03.12.14)

Something is new on the cause-marketing front, and big companies and entrepreneurs alike would be wise to notice—and employ. There’s experimentation in doing the sort of thing that might have once been part of cause marketing as overt marketing. The result may be good for businesses and communities alike.

“It is a truly powerful phenomenon when a brand makes a stand for what it believes in.” —Simon Mainwaring

Personal Branding Digest, April 24, 2015

10 Ways to Build Your Personal Brand (And Why You Should)
(AlleyWatch, 15.04.15)

The term “personal brand” has become a buzzword recently. So what is it, exactly? Your personal brand is how people see you; how they’d describe you—similar to how people describe famous people or companies. It is the set of values and characteristics that describe who you are and guide your choices—in work and in life. Your personal brand is what makes you, you.

4 LinkedIn Strategies to Boost Your Personal Brand
(Small Business Trends, 13.04.15)

In order to encourage more exposure for your personal brand, it’s important to be actively communicating with your fans and followers. With the right LinkedIn strategies in place, your business can attract leads to your products or services.

5 Reasons Why Your Personal Branding Strategy Isn’t Working
(Entrepreneur, 01.04.15)

Personal branding isn’t always simple. It entails more, for example, than simply executing a straightforward series of tasks, then immediately reaping the benefits.

Tweets on the Ground: Optimizing Twitter for Personal Branding
(Business2Community, 25.03.15)

Successful personal branding and job search requires both social media and physical networking. This blog post offers strategic suggestions for the convergence or grounding of these networking efforts when using Twitter.

“On Facebook today … [people] are keeping up with their friends and family, but they’re also building an image and identity for themselves, which in a sense is their brand. They’re connecting with the audience that they want to connect to. It’s almost a disadvantage if you’re not on it now.” —Mark Zuckerberg

Lifestyle Branding Digest, April 22, 2015

What Origins Discovered When It Went After the Millennial Market
(Fast Company, 14.04.15)

Lessons in marketing face cream to women too young for wrinkles, but seeking a natural glow.

Being Human Is How Your Branding Strategy Will Succeed
(Entrepreneur, 08.04.15)

Ask any group of people what branding is and they’ll tell you all sorts of things. From the logo and business cards to the reputation of a company. They’ll talk about branding being an experience, interaction and visuals that match. And they’re right: All of these things are part of branding.

Pay Attention to Details if You Want Your Customers to Pay More
(Small Business Trends, 24.03.15)

Providing a great value is something customers usually appreciate. And in some instances, customers don’t mind paying a bit more for a better overall experience either.

9 Steps to Creating Successful Brand/Celebrity Partnerships
(Forbes, 02.03.15)

The right brand-celebrity partnership can be a very successful tool in building brand equity and establishing believable connections with consumers. On the other hand, the wrong partnership can be devastating to a brand. This is why it is so important to take the right steps to improve the likelihood of success.

“Brand is not a product, that’s for sure; it’s not one item. It’s an idea; it’s a theory; it’s a meaning; it’s how you carry yourself. It’s aspirational; it’s inspirational.” —Kevin Plank

Corporate Branding Digest, Feb. 2, 2015

Belichick and Carroll Prove There’s More than One Way to Lead
(Inc., 28.01.15)

The Super Bowl exemplifies the importance of embracing an authentic leadership style to produce a winning team.

4 Ways Marketers Can Learn from a Journalist’s Approach to Content Planning
(TopRank, 22.01.15)

“Be the media” isn’t just a buzz phrase. It’s a live process and philosophy that brings in leads and moves products and services. It’s the concept of content as sales staff. It’s “write it and they will come.” OK, so I got ahead of myself with that last one. It’s not quite that simple.

Great Leaders Can Double Profits, Research Shows
(Forbes, 15.01.15)

To some extent, the connection between leadership and the bottom line has been made. Yet most evidence on this point comes merely from the personal treatises of famous and successful executives. While interesting, the variety of opinions we hear on leadership’s role in profit creation are incomplete and even contradictory. As a result, my colleague Joe Folkman and I have gathered research that supports the bold claim that leaders, good and bad, directly affect the bottom line of the organization.

Do Brands Need to ‘Speak American’?
(Entrepreneur, 08.12.14)

Brands are ignoring 60 percent or more of the U.S. consumer base, according to a new study. The study proclaims that an area of the country it calls “The New Heartland” is a culturally different swath of America, and in order to market to this segment of the nation, brands must learn to “Speak American.”

“The last 10 percent it takes to launch something takes as much energy as the first 90.” —Rob Kalin

Corporate Branding Digest, Jan. 26, 2015

Marketing in 2015: Make the Customer Experience Count
(The Guardian, 26.01.14)

In the modern, connected world, nearly every company is working towards a digital frontier of meaningful customer experiences across all channels. As we charge into 2015, it’s imperative that marketers realise that the customer journey is an integrated, enduring experience that needs to evolve as the customer interacts with your brand – from in-store, to mobile, online, email, sales and support.

Sharp Corners: The Key to Customer Engagement
(, 21.01.15)

Have you ever wondered how some brands get along without ever having to issue a coupon? How did Apple build a following so strong that its users are borderline fanatical? Why is the Harley-Davidson logo tattooed on many a rider’s arm?

Embrace a New Leadership Mindset by Facing 8 Critical Realities
(Forbes, 06.01.15)

As we enter the New Year together, this is the perfect time to reflect upon the ways we can mature and grow as leaders. With the economy beginning to show signs of life, leaders must take stock of their attitude, approach and style and identify ways to improve their performance for the betterment of the employees and the organizations they serve. This process begins by accepting the fact that you may need to adopt a new leadership mindset—a realization awakened by your past experiences, previously missed opportunities and the business trends that demand it.

5 Ways to Maintain Brand Engagement on Mobile After the Holiday Rush
(Entrepreneur, 05.01.15)

During the holidays, everyone ramps up their advertising efforts. And as mobile continues to become a larger part of the consumer experience, brands are focusing on increasing mobile advertising to meet new shoppers on devices. While sales skyrocket during this time, numbers usually slump after the holidays are over.

“If something is important enough, even if the odds are against you, you should still do it.” —Elon Musk

Corporate Branding Digest, Oct. 15, 2014

Your Brand’s Positioning Should Rest on the One Thing You Do Best
(Entrepreneur, 17.09.14)

A really important part of crafting your brand’s positioning is to understand the functional benefits that you offer as a product or service. What do you “do” for your customers?

CEOs Can No Longer Stay Neutral on Society’s Big Issues
(The Globe and Mail, 26.08.14)

When Apple chief executive officer Tim Cook decided to lead a contingent of his employees in a Pride Day parade in San Francisco in June, he was subtly crossing into uncharted waters for a major business leader.

Do These Daily Rituals to Unleash Your Vocal Leadership Skills
(Entrepreneur, 14.08.14)

During the economic recession, dentists saw a rise in patients suffering from tooth-related injuries. Many were reporting teeth-grinding and jaw-clenching as a result of the stressful times. Although the recession has been over for years, entrepreneurs know that the anxiety of running an enterprise never stops. Unfortunately, these stress-related dental habits eventually harm our speech, and thus, how we communicate.

10 Shocking Stats About Employee Engagement
(The Muse, 06.08.14)

When it comes to productivity in the workplace, employee engagement tops the list of must-haves. When employees don’t care about their work and don’t feel connected to the company in some way or another, the entire team is going to suffer.

“Innovation is the central issue in economic prosperity.” —Michael Porter

Corporate Branding Digest, Aug. 26, 2014

Big Organizational Challenges Can Be Overcome with Transparency
(Entrepreneur, 29.07.14)

With five different generations active in the workforce, it is more important and difficult than ever to keep morale high, employees engaged and turnover low.

Collaborate Across Teams, Silos and Even Companies
(Harvard Business Review, 25.07.14)

Everywhere I turn right now, I hear leaders talking about their need for collaborative leadership. It’s being identified as the fundamental differentiator in achieving strategic objectives. In order to make a difference though, it has to go beyond the polite, thoughtful behaviours of involving others, sharing information and lending strength when it’s needed. I define real collaborative leadership as: facilitating constructive interpersonal connections and activities between heterogenous groups to achieve shared goals. It is proactive and purpose-driven.

How to Become a Top Business Thinker
(Forbes, 21.07.14)

The business world is changing fast, and companies need guidance to help them thrive. “Managers are looking more widely for bright ideas—anything that will give them a competitive advantage,” says Stuart Crainer, co-founder (along with Des Dearlove), of Thinkers50, a biennial ranking of the world’s top business thinkers. In the past year, the two have released a series of six Thinkers50 books highlighting the best new ideas in strategy, innovation, leadership, management, as well as volumes on Indian thought leaders and future business thinkers.

Effective Management: Extroverts vs. Introverts
(Inc., 09.07.14)

How do you manage different personality traits to accomplish the mission?

“Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.” —Thomas Jefferson

Corporate Branding Digest, Aug. 7, 2014

How Do You Tap Into a Niche Audience?
(Forbes, 20.07.14)

All diehard fans of indie music share the same fear—that their favorite bands will become wildly popular. Mainstream success triggers a downward spiral. Commercialism sucks out everything that was once pure and original. When a former indie darling starts singing corporate jingles, fans hear funeral bells.

What Made a Great Leader in 1776
(Harvard Business Review, 03.07.14)

The ordinarily decisive George Washington was paralyzed by indecision. It was the summer of 1776, and the Continental Army was being routed by the British in New York. Sick from dysentery and smallpox, 20 percent of Washington’s forces were in no condition to fight.

21 Ways to Know You’re Leading a Great Team
(Inc., 24.06.14)

The question I most frequently get asked is “How can I tell—apart from waiting to see how years of decisions pan out—whether we’re any good at this?” Here’s the checklist I work through when I’m helping organizations assess their ability to meet in groups and make (and implement) great decisions. While it isn’t all-encompassing, it’ll give you a good start.

How to Help Your Employees Fall in Love with Their Jobs
(The Muse, 18.05.14)

Ah, love—that warm, fuzzy feeling you have when you’ve found someone you belong with. Wouldn’t it be great if your employees felt like this about working for you? Before I go any further, let me be clear: I’m not advocating anything creepy or inappropriate that would raise alarms within HR. This isn’t about romantic love—it’s about helping your employees feel inspired and connected to what they do.

“No matter how much falls on us, we keep plowing ahead. That’s the only way to keep the roads clear.” —Greg Kincaid

Corporate Branding Digest, July 11, 2014

Using Heart-Centered Leadership to Engage Your Workforce
(Entrepreneur, 17.06.14)

With recent stats showing high employee disengagement (a 2013 Gallup poll found only 13 percent of employees worldwide are engaged at work), effective leaders are turning away from the traditional management style of hierarchies and are increasingly embracing leadership strategies that encourage emotional connections.

8 Critical Things Every Great Leader Remembers
(Inc., 10.06.14)

It’s hard to remember everything when you’re busy. But here are eight things a great leader never forgets.

Where There’s No Margin for Toxic Leadership
(Harvard Business Review, 26.05.14)

Growing a midsized firm takes a top team with zero weak links. Even one ineffective executive weakens a firm’s ability to address big problems. But building a consistently strong top leadership team is difficult for at least three reasons: the tendency to be loyal to existing members, the lack of management depth to promote from, and many CEOs’ lack of experience in many functional areas.

How Leaders Can Get Out of Their Comfort Zones
(The Fast Track, 21.05.14)

I recently spoke to Michael Fulmore, who is the author of Unleashing Your Ambition and the founder of the Fulmore Foundation, a nonprofit organization. As an educator and entrepreneur, Michael has become recognized for possessing wisdom beyond his age and is an emerging authority in the areas of transformation and leadership. After feeling the pressure of being homeless, car repossession, dropping out of college and even fathering a child as a teenager, he began a journey of personal development.

“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.” —Henry David Thoreau

Corporate Branding Digest, June 26, 2014

CMOs and CEOs Can Work Better Together
(Harvard Business Review, 20.06.14)

When Deborah DiSanzo took over as CEO of Philips Healthcare in May 2012, she knew that engineering would continue to drive innovation. But she also realized that the company needed to develop greater marketing muscle to drive a commercial transformation. As she put it, “Our markets are going through dynamic change. Who should lead our transformation? It must be marketing. Marketers need to know where their markets are going and where their customers are going, and then lead the rest of the organization.”

Why Purpose Makes You a Better Leader
(, 31.05.14)

According to Merriam-Webster, purpose is defined as the reason for which something is done or created, or for which something exists. Steve Jobs once said, “Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me. Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful, that’s what matters to me.” You see, like Jobs and other great executives who lead with a purpose tend to be less stressed, happier, more involved and much more innovative. The moment you understand the impact of your actions is when your purpose is revealed. Are you leading to make a positive mark on the world or is it solely for wealth and authority?

How to Feel More Engaged and Connected
(Entrepreneur, 30.05.14)

When you spend most of your time in an office in front of a computer, it’s easy to feel isolated. Disconnected. Disengaged. It’s ironic, considering our uber-connected online world. But contrary to what you might think, spending time on social networks actually increases your sense of isolation. That burst of instant gratification dissipates as soon as you quit, leaving you with a hollow feeling. It’s like a bottomless pit you can never fill.

What Astronauts Know About Leadership
(The Washington Post, 14.05.14)

Ellen Ochoa is a former astronaut and the first Hispanic women to go into space when she served on a nine-day mission aboard the shuttle Discovery in 1993. She is now the director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center, which was recently recognized as one of the most innovative agency subcomponents.

“I’m convinced that about half of what separates successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.” —Steve Jobs

Corporate Branding Digest, June 12, 2014

Do You Spend too Much Time Managing Instead of Leading?
(, 02.06.14)

Leadership and management skills go hand in hand to make a business owner successful. Although the two terms are often used interchangeably, they require radically different skill sets. Your business’ success relies on achieving a good balance of both, and neglecting one or the other can make everything fall apart.

Why CEOs Don’t Use Social Media
(Fox Business, 21.05.14)

Everywhere you look there are surveys and articles that say social media is the best way for executives to engage and communicate with their stakeholders—from customers and partners to employees and investors. So why aren’t business leaders getting the message?

The Key to Employee Engagement Has Less to Do with Management Than You’d Think
(Fast Company, 20.05.14)

The struggle to keep even star employees engaged never ends. Here’s how to invest in people for better connections within your company.

Great Leadership Comes Down to One Thing
(Forbes, 24.04.14)

If we agree leadership is an organization’s competitive advantage, there is a salient formula to allow us to understand, and I believe predict which leaders will be successful.

“Efficiency is doing the thing right. Effectiveness is doing the right thing.” —Peter Drucker

Corporate Branding Digest, March 27, 2014

The Future of Business: 4 Ways Companies Will Change
(Fast Company, 20.03.14)

We’ve shifted to a business world where collaboration and connection are replacing hierarchy and bureaucracy. The outdated “alpha” notion of aggressive management has given way to the modern era of cooperative “beta” leadership.

More CEOs Should Tell Anti-Environment Shareholders to Buzz Off
(Harvard Business Review, 11.03.14)

Apple CEO Tim Cook recently said something to a shareholder that you very rarely hear: take a hike. I’m paraphrasing, but only slightly. At the company’s latest shareholder meeting, a think tank, NCPPR, pushed Apple to stop pursuing environmental initiatives like investing in renewable energy. Cook went on a tirade—or at least what passes for one from the very cool and collected CEO. He made it clear that he makes choices for reasons beyond just the profit motive. As he put it, “If you only want me to make decisions that have a clear ROI, then you should get out of the stock.”

6 Ways a Leader Should Show Up
(Entrepreneur, 07.03.14)

How a leader shows up is everything. Tired after a rough night sleep? People don’t care. Having a rough hair day? Oh well. Angry from that last conversation you had with a colleague? Get over it. The attitude you display, the words you speak, the body language you exude and the scornful faces that you don’t think anybody else sees (but of course they do), all contribute to the value—or lack thereof—that you, as a leader, create for others.

Managing Expectations: The Most Underrated Leadership Skills
(Inc., 06.03.14)

Managing expectations is a vastly underutilized skill, in my opinion. Not everyone does it, but maybe if more did, we could avoid a lot of the day-to-day drama that goes on in every office.

“Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do, and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.” —George S. Patton

Corporate Branding Digest, Feb. 19, 2014

Richard Branson on Not Going It Alone
(Entrepreneur, 17.02.14)

I love bumping into people and finding out who they are and what they’re working on. You never know who you’re going to meet. Such encounters can be valuable: If you think about how your most important relationships began—with business partners, your spouse, with friends and mentors—the stories will almost all involve chance meetings. My curiosity about others and ability to connect with people have helped me to succeed—after all, if people don’t know who you are, they are not going to do business with you.

Twilight of the Brands
(The New Yorker, 17.02.14)

Twelve months ago, Lululemon Athletica was one of the hottest brands in the world. Sales of its high-priced yoga gear were exploding; the company was expanding into new markets; experts were in awe of its “cultlike following.” As one observer put it, “They’re more than apparel. They’re a life style.” But then customers started complaining about pilling fabrics, bleeding dyes, and, most memorably, yoga pants so thin that they effectively became transparent when you bent over.

Abraham Lincoln’s Brilliant Method for Handling Setbacks
(Inc., 11.02.14)

What was the secret of Abraham Lincoln’s success in dealing with people? Incredibly, this is not just a question that a business journalist would ask. Dale Carnegie himself—the legendary author of How to Win Friends and Influence People—asked the exact same question on page 8 of that famous book.

PR Insider: The End of Brand and the Beginning of Reputation
(PR News, 06.02.14)

A few months ago, I stood in an office in the Gaza Strip in front of a room full of men and women who are committed humanitarians. They have risked their lives multiple times to deliver food to the most vulnerable people of Gaza during conflicts and live every day under a blockade with power outages, raw sewage flooding the streets, and the constant risk of violence. My translator whispered to me: “Most of these people are warehouse workers, so perhaps you might simplify your presentation?” Not only that, although my organization was changing name, we can’t change it in Gaza because the territory is ruled by Hamas, and we cannot interact with a terrorist organization.

“If you make listening and observation your occupation, you will gain much more than you can by talk.” —Robert Baden-Powell