Consumer/Lifestyle Branding Digest, May 4, 2016

The Social Cost of Bad Online Marketing
(Harvard Business Review, 20.04.16)

Dan Lyons’s book Disrupted is an often-delightful tour through startup culture, based on the author’s experience working at online marketing firm HubSpot. Despite taking the faux-curmudgeonly attitude of an anthropologist exploring the strange world of business dudes — is a sales funnel really that much of a novelty? — Lyons’s dissection of the startup world is warmly humorous far more often than it’s coldly cynical.

PR Gaining Greater Respect & Influence in Marketing Strategy
(Business2Community, 17.04.16)

Public relations is gaining greater leverage and respect in brand marketing. Many companies and brands are bestowing a larger role on public relations in their overall marketing and brand management strategy, sometimes even a leading role.

5 Subtly Effective Marketing Strategies You Never Considered Before
(Forbes, 14.04.16)

Content is king has become something of a buzzword in the world of Internet marketing. And 98% of marketers say this is their core strategy. To an extent, it’s true, but if you think you are going to post lots of content and reap the rewards you are sadly mistaken. There’s far more to making your business a success than that.

Top Ways to Use Data to Build Relationships
(Marketing Week, 08.02.16)

Consumers have a greater appreciation of their data’s value than ever before and how brands use it will ultimately determine whether they can build meaningful relationships with their target audience.

“#Content was never King. But great #communication and #teaching always have been and always will be.” —Marcus Sheridan

Personal Branding Digest, October 2, 2015

When It Comes to Personal Branding, David Price Is Right
(The Globe and Mail, 01.10.15)

In the marketing world, we constantly work with executives on their personal branding in an effort to humanize them in the eyes of their customers and position them as thought leaders within their industries. Any executive looking to develop a personal brand would be wise to take some notes from David Price.

7 Tricks for Building Your Personal Brand
(Business2Community, 18.09.15)

The concept of a brand can include many things – emotions, images, stories – but its essence hasn’t changed. A company’s brand – and a person’s brand – is an identifying mark. And it can make all the difference.

Grow Your Brand by Creating an Alter Ego
(Entrepreneur, 12.08.15)

Superman has Clark Kent, Bruce Wayne has Batman and Granger Smith has Earl Dibbles Jr. Granger Smith is a country music star and curator of one of pop culture’s most beloved alter egos. For the sake of your brand platform, I encourage you to take a page out of Smith’s playbook and create an alter ego for yourself.

The Most Valuable LinkedIn Feature You Aren’t Using
(Forbes, 06.08.15)

LinkedIn has evolved tremendously since it was founded in 2002. They have transformed their platform from a simple online resume and networking site to a comprehensive system for managing all your personal branding activities and actions. They have been adding features regularly, providing a richer and more productive experience that allows you to forge strong and meaningful relationships with your connection.

“Don’t be scared to present the real you to the world, authenticity is at the heart of success.” —Unknown

Corporate Branding Digest, August 24, 2015

Amazon Exposed: The Importance of Employer Branding
(LinkedIn Pulse, 17.08.15)

The New York Times’ expose on Amazon, and Jeff Bezos’ uncharacteristic response, have ramifications beyond the company’s Seattle campus. As a planet we are unused to flat out criticism of the online retail behemoth; yes, Amazon is a slightly impersonal shopping experience, a bit like an internet vending machine, but it is generally seen as a paragon of dot com success. But can Amazon, and its scores of imitators, really continue to grow without caring about its employees? And what can the rest of us learn about the importance of employer branding?

Bracing for Change: Be Ever Ready for Crisis
(The Nation, 28.07.15)

Recent events around the world have signalled the need for organisations to develop and update their emergency response and business continuity plans.

Five Ways B2B Brands Can Use Strategic Partnerships to Get Ahead
(Marketing Week, 19.05.15)

The benefits of forming strategic partnerships can be lucrative if chosen and executed properly. Fashion and Beauty Monitor’s Sarah Penny sets out five key steps to forming and maintaining successful long-term partnerships.

Why Corporate Brands Need Personal Brands as Support
(Forbes, 18.03.15)

There’s a branding problem in the world today. For decades, brands have served as the foundation of the marketing and advertising campaigns of countless businesses of all industries. Brands represent the core identity of businesses, with a set of color, font, style, tone, values, and voice that encapsulate the core essence of their respective business. Brands become recognizable over time, building the reputation of the business they represent and establishing relationships with their respective customers. They are a vessel for brand-consumer communications, and they remain a major pillar in any business’s core strategy.

“A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well.” —Jeff Bezos

Personal Branding Digest, April 3, 2015

4 Questions to Ask When Perfecting Your Personal Brand
(Entrepreneur, 19.03.15)

The impression you make both on and offline can make or break crucial relationships when starting or running a business.

Career Advice for 2015: How to Build a Personal Brand
(Financial Post, 05.03.15)

Your online presence can play a huge role in the job search. You’ve probably heard it before: 47 percent of employers search online profiles immediately after receiving an application from a promising candidate.

4 Tips for Building Your Personal Brand
(Business2Community, 28.02.15)

When entering into the professional market, your personal brand is everything. It showcases your credibility, your experiences, and what you have to offer. You may already be familiar with the foundational aspects of personal branding, such as creating a compelling LinkedIn profile and developing an online blog presence; however, there are a few things that are generally forgotten. Oftentimes PR and advertising professionals focus many of the efforts on developing brands for clients, but today we will give four key tips to help you make your brand stand out.

How to Make the Most of Your Personal Brand
(CMI, 26.02.15)

Don’t just look in the loft for what needs a clear-out this spring—look in the mirror. Personal branding experts reveal their secrets to a successful spruce-up.

“You have to understand your own personal DNA. Don’t do things because I do them or Steve Jobs or Mark Cuban tried it. You need to know your personal brand and stay true to it.” —Gary Vaynerchuk

Corporate Branding Digest, Feb. 17, 2015

The Intelligence Behind Marketing
(, 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, Dec. 5, 2014

The Container Store’s CEO on Finding and Keeping Front-Line Talent
(Harvard Business Review, 19.11.14)

In the retail business, you live and die by the quality of your employees. At The Container Store, we’re always looking for those exceptional new hires who can develop a deep understanding of our products, cultivate strong relationships with suppliers or customers, inspire their co-workers and, as a result, create significant value for our business and shareholders. We often say that one great person is better than three good people.

Busting 3 Excuses for Predominantly Male Boards
(Fast Company, 13.11.14)

The three reasons companies give for why there are so few women on their boards—and why they’re wrong.

Corner Office Turnover: Why CEOs Succeed or Fail
(Entrepreneur, 06.08.14)

The mantle of chief executive has always been an isolating one. Recent Bloomberg data show corporations changing out CEOs at the fastest pace since 2008. As Boomers retire and Gen X moves into the corner office, generational turnover is rising, but so are less-than-voluntary departures. What’s driving this uptick and, most importantly, what can a CEO do to increase tenure by accelerating his or her effectiveness?

The Three Types of Leaders the World Needs Most: Artistic, Scientific and Interpersonal
(Forbes, 29.01.14)

When people see or hear “leader,” they generally think of interpersonal leaders inspiring and enabling teams. While those interpersonal leaders are of critical import, the world needs artistic leaders and scientific leaders just as much. And you need to play your part..

“The desire for reinvention seems to arise most often when companies hear the siren call of synergy and start to expand beyond their core businesses.” —James Surowiecki

Corporate Branding Digest, Dec. 3, 2014

Can Better Workplace Leadership Solve America’s Healthcare Problem?
(Fast Company, 02.12.14)

The U.S. spends more on health care than any other country, yet we lag behind our peers. Could the answer to our health problems be at work?

JFK’s On-the-Brink Leadership Lessons
(Forbes, 29.10.14)

Fifty-two years ago, the Cuban Missile Crisis ended. For the preceding thirteen days, the world had teetered on the brink of the ultimate horror: nuclear war. How did things get to such a pass? The simple answer: a failure of leadership.

You Need a Community, Not a Network
(Harvard Business Review, 15.09.14)

The internet is great for spreading information and rallying crowds, but you can’t mobilize people to collaborate and create something of lasting value simply by connecting them via the web. To get serious results from a network, you need commitment and a continuity of relationships among the participants.

How Leaders Can Cut the BS at Work and Address Real Issues
(Entrepreneur, 05.08.14)

You talk about challenges and issues until you are blue in the face, but you still don’t get results. People promise they will do this or that, but they don’t. So you have a decision to make: “Do I bring up the tough issue, their lack of commitment, their poor performance—or not?”

“You have to trust in something—your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.” —Steve Jobs

Corporate Branding Digest, Dec. 1, 2014

Five Reasons Why Privacy Is a Crisis for Your Brand
(Forbes, 13.11.14)

Two recent surveys have revealed that a majority of Americans not only fear cybercrime more than any other threat, but also don’t trust companies with the data they’ve acquired about them. This indicts our accepted approaches to corporate privacy policies, and the regulations to which they comply.

Ken Burns on ‘The Roosevelts’ and American Leadership
(Harvard Business Review, 18.09.14)

More than nine million viewers tuned in to watch the first episode of Ken Burns’s new film “The Roosevelts” on PBS—a sign that even in an era of reality TV and critically-acclaimed cable dramas, people want to understand more about real-life leaders. Burns spoke with HBR about how his work as a filmmaker has influenced how he thinks about leadership.

Why Top Tech CEOs Want Employees with Liberal Arts Degrees
(Fast Company, 28.08.14)

Venture capitalist Marc Andreessen once said that the average English degree holder is fated to become a shoe salesman, hawking wares to former classmates who were lucky enough to have majored in math. Meanwhile, PayPal cofounder Peter Thiel, who studied philosophy at Stanford, refers to degrees like his as “antiquated debt-fueled luxury goods.” Faced with such attacks on the liberal arts, it’s no wonder that interest in the humanities is waning. As the college year begins, many students are likely to take President Obama’s advice and forgo an art history degree for a certificate in skilled manufacturing or some other trade.

3 Keys to Hiring Great Bosses in Your Company
(Entrepreneur, 06.08.14)

Day-to-day operations—the way people treat each other, how they treat customers, whether they cooperate to get things done, etc.—has a huge impact on employee performance and morale. When your company is small, it is easier to observe company operations and relationships. As your business grows, there are too many moving parts for the lone entrepreneur to keep an eye on or to manage effectively.

“The greatest use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.” —William James

Corporate Branding Digest, Nov. 13, 2014

How to Spice Up Your PR When Your Business Isn’t Sexy
(Fast Company, 29.10.14)

When BeyondCore CEO Arijit Sengupta took an intro dance class at Stanford in 1995, he didn’t know it would transform his view of business.

How Philosophy Makes You a Better Leader
(Harvard Business Review, 19.09.14)

The goal of most executive coaching and leadership development is behavior change—help the individual identify and change the behaviors that are getting in the way of, and reinforce the behaviors associated with, effective leadership. But what about the beliefs and values that drive behavior?

Girl Guides: Mondelez CMO Dana Anderson on How to Be Fearless
(The Drum, 11.04.14)

In her new role of chief marketing officer, Dana Anderson oversees Mondelez’s global portfolio of advertising, media and marketing—the conduit between internal brand teams and agencies as they shape the public image of brands including Cadbury, Oreo and Toblerone. As part of the Drum’s series championing female role models, she tells Jen Faull why the agency/client relationship is like a Shakespearean play with lots of misunderstanding, which both sides can overcome with bravery and honesty.

Sincere Appreciation Is the Magic Ingredient for Good Morale
(Entrepreneur, 03.09.14)

Staff turnover is one of the most non-productive business expenses. The loss of productivity, relational damage with customers and vendors, negative impact on staff morale and additional training time all create significant costs for companies.

“My job is not to be easy on people. My job is to take these great people we have and to push them and make them even better.” —Steve Jobs

Corporate Branding Digest, Oct. 7, 2014

Engage Your Employees or Lose Billions
(Forbes, 29.09.14)

Most employers are failing to engage employees, and it’s costing billions of dollars. According to Gallup’s 2013 State of the Global Workplace survey, just 13 percent of worldwide employees say they are engaged at work. In the U.S., where engagement is at 30%, Gallup estimates that active disengagement (18% of the workforce) costs the economy $450 billion to $550 billion per year.

What Are Brands For?
(The Economist, 30.08.14)

Brands are the most valuable assets many companies possess. But no one agrees on how much they are worth or why.

Should Leaders Be Heroes or Relationship Builders?
(Strategy+Business, 29.07.14)

As I walked through the airport recently, a quick scan of the magazine rack showed a preponderance of glossy covers featuring photographs of single individuals: a CEO, a celebrity, a politician. This focus on the individual is an extension of a narrative tradition that goes back at least as far as Homer. We like stories about heroes, villains, and victims, and those stories are brought to life through compelling characters.

Could Moving Your Desk Make You a Better Boss?
(The Muse, 01.07.14)

The open office concept has been around for a while, but lately has come under fire. Apparently the setup—no walls, no doors, shared workspaces—undermines what the concept was designed to achieve: communication and flow of ideas among employees. According to some research, the open concept decreases employees’ job satisfaction and decreases privacy, which also affects productivity.

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

Corporate Branding Digest, Aug. 20, 2014

The Greatest Memo About Work-Life Balance Ever?
(The Washington Post, 06.08.14)

When a male CEO says he’s stepping down from his job to spend more time with his family, it’s often thought of as code for a tension-filled resignation that allows an executive to save face.

Preparing U.S. Leadership for the Cultural Demographic Shift
(Forbes, 21.07.14)

Hispanics along with African Americans and Asian Pacific Islanders surpassed one third of the U.S. population in 2010. As their numbers continue to rise, they are on track to reach 54 percent of the population by 2050—making them the minority-majority.

Expressing Your Vulnerability Makes You Stronger
(Harvard Business Review, 22.07.14)

Can vulnerability fuel growth and success? Consider the landmark research of psychologist Brené Brown as described in her book Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead. It shows that we thrive in our relationships and careers when we engage deeply in complex, stressful scenarios. Success is about participating proactively in life—not about winning a game or profiting monetarily. “There is no triumph without vulnerability,” she writes.

5 Ways to Win Back Your Employees’ Trust
(Inc., 30.06.14)

Layoffs, scandal, and office gossip can all take a toll—but there are always ways to win back your workers.

“Energy and persistence conquer all things.” —Benjamin Franklin

Corporate Branding Digest, July 22, 2014

Why Pixar President Ed Catmull’s New Book Is One of the Best Reads on Creative Leadership
(Forbes, 11.07.14)

At first glance, the new book about Pixar, Creativity, Inc. (Random House, April 2014), seems like a deluxe version of the account of creative enterprise and management with which we have become increasingly familiar. With war stories of perseverance and eventual success in the market, hard-won advice on how to overcome obstacles to creativity (as promised in the subtitle), and a concluding set of leadership principles, my first impression was that this would be an entertaining if inspiring victory lap for a storied creative organization.

Don’t Play with Dead Snakes, and Other Management Advice
(Harvard Business Review, 25.06.14)

“If you see a snake, kill it. Don’t play with dead snakes. And everything looks like a snake at first.” This sounds like it might be advice from a paranoid outdoorsman. But its author, Jim Barksdale, meant it as a guide to the business world—that dangerous environment where, famously, only the paranoid survive.

12 Personality Traits that Make You a Rock-Star Boss (Infographic)
(Entrepreneur, 12.06.14)

Relationships can go two ways. And if a relationship isn’t working, it’s so tempting—and so easy—to look across the table to find the problem. But the problem may be you.

5 Toughest Personalities at Work—and How to Manage Them
(Inc., 05.05.14)

Running a business would be easy if only you didn’t have to manage people. The bigger your company grows, the smaller the likelihood that everyone in it will be easy to supervise. As the boss you always (or almost always) have the option to terminate anyone who is truly a drag on your company. But good talent is hard to find, so before you go down that road, it’s worth the effort to try and make a difficult person work more effectively within your company.

“Leaders get out in front and stay there by raising the standards by which they judge themselves – and by which they are willing to be judged.” —Frederick W. Smith

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

Corporate Branding Digest, Jan. 9, 2014

Don’t Abandon Innovation—Simplify It
(Harvard Business Review, 06.01.14)

My fellow HBR blogger Bill Taylor recently made a pitch for all of us to stop using the word “innovation” in 2014. Despite his plea, I suspect this word isn’t going anywhere. It’s too important as a driver of growth and renewal. What can be done, in the spirit of Bill’s admonishment, is to stop getting tangled up in all of the variations, nuances, tools, techniques, models, frameworks and paradigms of innovation. Somehow we’ve taken a simple concept—the idea of systematically finding, encouraging, and implementing new ideas for growth—and we’ve made it horribly complex. And of course, by complexifying innovation, we’ve probably started to kill it.

Why All-Hands Meetings Are Worth Every Penny
(Entrepreneur, 02.01.14)

Depending on the size of your company, an all-hands meeting can cost tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, or even millions of dollars. It is worth every penny.

Corporate Leadership: The Experts Pose Key Questions for Leading CEOs
(The Wall Street Journal, 27.11.13)

At The Wall Street Journal’s 2013 CEO Council Conference, leading corporate executives from a range of industries gathered to discuss some of today’s most pressing issues.

Chapter 12: The Art of Strategic Influence
(The Build Network, 02.08.13)

Your individual talents and abilities are a given. To perform at the highest level, you should also strengthen your ties to executive peers, coworkers, and external stakeholders. Nurture key relationships to the point where you have true strategic influence.

“Complacency is the enemy of progress.” —Dave Stutman

Corporate Branding Digest, Sept. 25, 2013

The Shocking Truth About Brands
(Forbes, 29.08.13)

A theater gleefully kicks out disruptive customers. A clothing manufacturer urges consumers not to buy their newest jacket. A small restaurant opens its doors five minutes after closing to serve a meal to one family. What do these brands have in common? People remember them.

Drive a More Peronalized Experience Through Web Content Management
(, 17.09.13)

Giving customers or prospects the best experience possible is an age-old business goal. By facilitating more relevant, personalized direct marketing and customer interaction, advances in technology are allowing us to get closer to realizing that ambition than ever before.

6 Basic Human Needs to Rethink Marketing
(Social Media Today, 07.09.13)

As marketers, it’s our job to use stories to build relationships with our audience that both meet their needs and align with the brand we represent. But how do we know which needs hit the hot buttons that are sure to evoke a response?

Six Reasons to Create an Online Video Strategy
(MediaPost, 24.09.13)

It’s no secret that online video is booming. The average American watches 22 hours of video each month. A recent comScore study reports that 187 million Americans watched nearly 50 billion online videos in July 2013.

“Knowledge comes by taking things apart: analysis. But wisdom comes by putting things together.” —John A. Morrison