Friday, May 30, 2008

Blood Donation Hall of Fame

For the past 10 years, our client Fenwal has partnered with blood centers to honor individuals for their outstanding dedication and commitment to helping ensure that the life-saving gift of blood is available to patients in need.

We support the inductees to the Donation Hall of Fame – thanks to these people from all over the country for their unwavering commitment and passion for blood donation.

To read their stories, go to

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Trying really hard to live with authentic leadership

I met with our staff today to have a very open discussion on the state of the business world – and the challenges we face in it.

Some of the thoughts are worth sharing with everyone who might read my blog.

1. Speaking the truth-- clear, honest, consistent assessment

2. Leading from the heart-- our business, our people, our clients; my feelings, my vulnerabilities, my purpose

3. Demonstrating character-- trust, listen, respect

4. Showing courage-- do what is right, not just what is easy

5. Building teams and community-- a positive workplace experience

6. Deepening ourselves --understand weaknesses, but overcome fear and play to strengths

7. Dreaming bigger-- knowledge & experience + imagination

8. Caring for ourselves-- physically well to operate at world-class levels of performance

9. Committing to excellence -- What would life look like if we raised the standards well beyond what anyone could ever imagine of us?

10. Leaving a mark-- to achieve our mission of "accelerating the adoption of new medical technologies"

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Can one page of a book change everything?

Here’s what the book description says – “Wall Street Journal Business Best-Seller Jeffrey Gitomer's Little Red Book of Selling includes 12.5 Principles of Sales Greatness and strategies and answers from a lifetime of selling that will teach you how to make sales forever. In this book, you will have the opportunity to understand why sales happen. And by mastering the elements that Jeffrey Gitomer gives you, you'll make sales happen for yourself forever.”

Here’s my one line review – page 28 changed my whole year.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

A Peaceful Warrior's Way to Wellness

Today, there is a flood of information and misinformation about health in popular books and magazines. Modern medicine breaks new ground even as holistic professionals rediscover ancient wisdom. What remains is for us to integrate this information into our own lives and turn what we know into what we do.

This weekend Jenny and I had the fortune to hear “The Peaceful Warrior's Way” presented by Dan Millman in Sun Valley, Idaho. He brings a refreshing balance to the arena of wellness that embraces east and west, science and mysticism, faith and reason.

His topics included:
• keys to health and vitality
• overcoming stress and tension
• healing power of the subconscious
• turning knowledge to action

Dan offers sensible reminders and realistic strategies for sustainable wellness; living at the peak of our genetic potential for physical, emotional and spiritual health -- living with a peaceful heart and warrior spirit.

By way of background, Dan Millman is a former world-champion athlete, university coach, martial arts instructor, and college professor. His 14 books have inspired millions of readers in 29 languages. The peaceful warrior's way evolved from the world of sport to worldwide research and guidance by brilliant mentors to his calling as author and teacher. Dan shares perspectives, principles and practices easily integrated into everyday life, reminding us about "what we all know at deeper levels but tend to forget." His keynotes and seminars have influenced leaders in the fields of health, psychology, education, business, sports, and the arts. Dan's first book, Way of the Peaceful Warrior, was written in 1980 and recently adapted to a major motion picture starring Nick Nolte. Learn more at

Monday, May 19, 2008

Notes on Re-branding

I recently replied to a question from Nastasya Savina, a public relations and branding consultant from London, UK.

Nastasya posted the question: “Does it make sense to do re-branding/re-styling properly?”

She added, “Textbooks teach that re-branding should start with a meticulous analysis of company's strategic focus and the current brand perceptions of major segments of current and future target audiences. But in reality, in many rebranding cases, there was no study at all. Top management decided that the brand attributes need to be refreshed, then hired an expensive agency, and then chose the most attractive design proposal. So, I am wondering if the initial research and analysis is really a prerequisite for an effective rebranding.”

In my experience, there are indeed best practices for rebranding – in order to build a more sustainable market position and greater market penetration through stronger demand.

First, consider the main reasons for “rebranding.”
-rediscover the potential of underpromoted brands
-reinvigorate and grow products
-rethink in-licensed products
-retool for new indications/uses
-reorganize product marketing post-merger
-reconsider approach to new channels

Many practices are the same as launch, but obviously you can’t erase previous exposure. The rocket can’t simply be put back on the launch pad. One must reanalyze what worked and what must be improved.

One method is the “Forward.Fast.®” branding model. You look at six main areas of the brand to determine the rebranding improvements:

1. Likeability – what elements of the product and branding are attracting customers?
2. Logo – does the symbol, font, design appealing?
3. Quality Offering – are the main attributes of the brand simple and easy to understand?
4. Associations – what is the brand connected with, and if it’s right, could it be strengthened?
5. Attitude – consider the tone of the design, copy, packaging
6. Quality Experience – this is the newest and strongest area that many marketers are learning needs attention; does the experience of buying, using, and servicing the product match your brand – and can it be elevated?

Finally, remember to look at more than just the “brand look”. Consider all the other Marketing Ps:
-Place (distribution)
-Price (contracts, incentives)
-Promotion (unique channels)
-Packaging (novel, convenient)
-Put-ups (sizes, kits, bundles)
-Personal support (services offerings)
-Professional development (education, training, certification)