Friday, January 30, 2009

4 Million Snuggies. Even more on backorder. But you can win one today!

If you haven't heard by now the latest phenomenon Americans are crazy about -- Snuggies.
Snuggies are "the super soft, thick, luxurious fleece with roomy oversized sleeves that let you do what you want and still be wrapped totally in warmth". The Snuggie is conquering the sour economy by selling over 4 million units in just three months--and are currently on backorder!

The acceptance of Snuggies may be a result of the quirky commercials that show a family wearing Snuggies to a football game, and a man wrapped up on his couch reading looking like he just stepped out of a "Star Wars" movie.

"We weren't afraid to have a little fun," said Fred Vanore, president of Blue Moon Studios, which produced the Snuggie ads.

Snuggie brand may have hit exactly what American consumers need right now in this economy --comfort and good value, with a little fun. Here at STINSON we decided to get in on the fun and make our own Snuggie commercial. Watch our blog in the next few days to see how we use our Snuggies around the STINSON office.

Now, if you're ready to join in on the Snuggie craze you have two options. You could visit and place your order and wait 6 to 8 weeks --OR you could win your very own Snuggie from the Brand Innovator blog.

WIN YOUR VERY OWN SNUGGIE (plus, a bonus book light to read our new book, Forward.Fast. ) Here's how: share with us your own Snuggie video or your favorite Snuggie video on YouTube. You can even tell us where you plan to wear your Snuggie. We'll select 10 people from the comment board to receive a free Snuggie! (contest open until Monday 2/9/09)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

8th redesign of 1 timeless symbol -- the new Good Housekeeping seal

In 1909, Good Housekeeping Magazine developed the Good Housekeeping seal of approval. This seal has been applied for more than a century on consumer products -- all tested at the Good Housekeeping Research Institute (GHRI).

Since that first seal was introduced, it has had several "face-lifts" (7 to be exact). Now, with the 100-year anniversary looming, the company has decided to redesign the seal once more, with a more timeless look.

"The thing about doing any kind of redesign of something that well known,"” said Louise Fili, the graphic designer hired to remake the seal, "is that you have to keep at least one element so people can make the leap. In this case it was the oval and the star, so not just the baby boomers would be able to recognize it."

Ms. Fili's version supports her timeless idea by dropping the verb "promises" and switching the primary seal colors from blue and red to classic black and white. See the changes below.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

7 Steps in The Practice of Discipline

If you're going to upgrade your personal brand this year, you'll have to discipline yourself to do what you know needs to be done.

Perhaps the best definition of self-discipline comes from Brian Tracy:
"Self discipline is the ability to make yourself do what you should do when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not."

He reminds us that it's easy to do something when you feel like it but it's when you don't feel like it and you force yourself to do it anyway that you move your life and career onto the fast track.

What decisions do you need to make today in order to start moving toward being world-class in our field? Whatever it is, make a decision today and then get started. This single act alone can change the whole direction of your life.

Here are seven steps to success shared with me in a recent note from Brian Tracy.

It's a powerful 7-step formula that you can use to set and achieve your goals for the rest of your life. Every single successful person uses this formula or some variation of this formula to achieve vastly more than the average person. And so can you. Here it is:

1. Decide What You Want
Decide exactly what it is you want in each part of your life. Become a "meaningful specific" rather than a "wandering generality."

2. Write it Down
Write it clearly and in detail. Always think on paper. A goal that is not in writing is not a goal at all. It is merely a wish and it has no energy behind it.

3. Set A Deadline
A deadline acts as a "forcing system" in your subconscious mind. It motivates you to do the things necessary to make your goal come true. If it is a big enough goal, set sub-deadlines as well. Don't leave this to chance.

4. Make A List
Include everything you can think of that you are going to have to do to achieve your goal. When you think of new tasks and activities, write them on your list until your list is complete.

5. Organize Your List
Turn your list into a plan. Decide what you will have to do first and what you will have to do second. Decide what is more important and what is less important. And then write out your plan on paper, the same way you would develop a blueprint to build your dream house.

6. Take Action
Do something. Do anything. But get busy. Get going.

7. Do Something Every Day
Move in the direction of your most important goal every day. Develop the discipline of doing something 365 days each year that is moving you forward. You will be absolutely astonished at how much you accomplish when you utilize this formula in your life every single day.

Here are two Action Exercises you can do to put these ideas into action immediately.

First, decide exactly what you want, write it down with a deadline, make a plan and take action - on at least one goal - today!

Second, determine the price you will have to pay to achieve this goal and then get busy paying that price - whatever it is.

When you develop the habits of self-discipline, you will accomplish more in a month than most people accomplish in a year. If you would like to learn more on this topic from Brian Tracy, who has been empowering business professionals by sharing his knowledge all over the world, check out his audiobook, The Miracle of Self-Discipline.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

4 Tips to Get Unstuck -- So You Can Unleash More of Your Leverage Potential

We are service professionals who have a loyal fan-base of long-term clients. And we have a growing list of people who would love to work with us. And that sounds pretty great, right?

But there is just one problem.

Well, actually two problems:

One, a person can't possibly fit all these new people into his/her schedule; and two, you realize that just filling your days with more work is never going to help you get more value for your efforts.

Thats why I'm always on the look-out for ideas on how to get unstuck from the one-on-one trap and unleash our leverage potential. Here are four shared with me by Melanie Benson Strick, a business coach who teaches business people how to stop feeling overwhelmed so they can create more value and more prestige.

Tip #1: Get clear on what is really keeping you stuck. Is it having enough time to implement your idea? Is it a lack of awareness of leverage ideas? Or possibly not having enough clarity about what your clients would say yes to? When you get clear about the problem then you can identify the solution.

Tip #2: Be willing to let go of doing it yourself. If you read The CEO Factor Manifesto you will discover this is one of the biggest bottlenecks for massive growth. Do you think Oprah built her mega-empire alone? Nope, she understands the power of a team. You are going to have to get over yourself. You may think your team is never going to be as good as you, but they can get the job done well.

Tip #3: Reverse-engineer your funnel from your big offer. Think of what the ultimate end offer is (your $10k consulting offer, a big ticket group strategy session, a year-long branding program, etc.). Then look at what kind of group training could you offer to educate them on how to solve their core problem. Then give them 2 ways to implement what they've learned: one mid-level price where the group implements together and one high-level do it for them price.

Tip #4: Change your mindset from service professional to trusted advisor.” This may sound quite obvious, but if you start to look at your business as if you are the CEO then you will begin to recognize what your true role is. You may have started in your business by offering one-to-one services, but now you are going to have to re-educate clients as to why others on your team may be actually MORE qualified to serve them than you are.

I would love to hear which of these tips you will integrate to unleash your leverage potential. Be sure to share in the comments section below.

Monday, January 26, 2009

8,500 "Status Updates" on Inauguration Day

January 20, 2009 was a historic day for our nation. Millions of Americans, including people from around the world tuned in to see the 44th President of the United States of America be sworn into office. There were many things that made this special day unique from any other Inauguration Day.

As I mentioned in Monday’s post, "5 Months to Revamp an Icon," the new generation is always changing. Sometimes it is easy to forget that different generations have different perspectives and have experienced different social trends and norms, current events, and communication tools due to changing technology. I am currently reading the book Plugged In: The Generation Y Guide to Thriving at Work, which addresses these very issues. I saw a real example of this on Inauguration Day.

Facebook, the free-access social networking website, teamed up with to bring live coverage to millions of Facebook members who logged into their accounts and watched together as the Inauguration festivities unfolded on CNN. Facebook also offers what they call “status updates,” which is similar to Twittering. Basically you can share your thoughts with other Facebook members, by “updating your status.” The moment Obama started his speech, there were 8,500 status updates.

It is truly a remarkable, new-aged way to stay connected while watching an important event in history.

Friday, January 23, 2009

#11 Lincoln Avenue bus going digital?

Companies are always looking for the next creative way to market their brand. The latest: digital displays on public transportation. Both New York and Stinson Brand Innovation’s very own city of Chicago are currently the “guinea pigs” of this innovative idea. Public transportation in both of these cities is vital for commuters to get around in a somewhat orderly fashion, and advertising revenue helps close the gap of the total budget.

Titan Worldwide, an out-of -home advertising company, has started testing the first digital ads on the sides of buses. STINSON staffers who ride on downtown buses have been noticing these advertisements, which include Oreo, Dunkin’ Donuts, Sleepy’s mattresses and Sony Pictures.

Digital advertisements is just the beginning. Soon, NBC will be seen on the daily commute, along with MSNBC, Bravo, Oxygen and more. TV screens will be installed on trains to display relevant content to inform and entertain commuters.

Research is already being conducted to determine initial reception of the new ad formats. Seeing that the test go well, the Chicago Transit Authority will expect to equip 100 city buses and all 144 rail stations with 1,500 digital displays by next summer.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

#1 hotel in the world -- and now a symbol of hope

I shared with you last September my experiences in Mumbai, India, when I traveled there to speak at the 2008 Asia Brand Congress. While there I was fortunate to have some time to take in the culture, meet some great people and explore the beautiful city. My stay included a visit to the iconic Taj Palace & Tower Hotel. It is hard to believe that I took pictures at the very place such tragedy would unfold months later.

I came across a couple striking advertisements for the Taj (pictured below) in Conde Nast Traveler magazine and The Wall Street Journal the other day. There are plans to rebuild the damaged section of the hotel, and the undamaged sections were able to reopen a couple of weeks ago.

My hope is that the Taj, as well as the people of Mumbai, will fully recover from this event and that I will have the opportunity to make it back again soon.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

1 website. Many bariatric benefits.

Covidien, a leading global provider of health care products, has launched a new website, that educates both patients and physicians on the benefits of bariatric surgery as a treatment for Type 2 diabetes.

Covidien is promoting a way to stop Type 2 diabetes with bariatric surgery before the effects of the disease take over the body.

The site conveys the positive results that can come from bariatric surgery by featuring testimonials from patients, data, procedural details, and pros and cons of the gastric bypass versus gastric band. It also connects patients and surgeons with a surgeon locator.

Websites have become a great tool in connecting patients and physicians, yet it has always been a little risky when marketing surgery and surgical devices to patients. Covidien successfully positioned its first venture into patient marketing through this website.

For more on Covidien follow the link to their homepage:

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

26% effect of music on vascular function – a healthy dimension of sound

Researchers are finding that listening to music can benefit you physically and mentally.

In fact, listening to upbeat music that you like can actually promote the functioning of blood vessels. Blood vessels will expand by 26% by listening to music you enjoy. This has been found to aid cognitive recovery and decrease the risk of blood clots. Upbeat music is also found to be a great motivator of physical activity.

When building a brand, I encourage our teams to appeal to all the senses so that the brand becomes memorable. Too often, branding initiatives can get stuck on just the visual details -- but what about going beyond visual branding to sonic branding?

The element of sound could connect a brand to enjoyable (and now, more healthy) feelings.

Monday, January 19, 2009

5 Months to Revamp an Icon

Talk about Forward. Fast.

Top Pepsi executives Indra Nooyi and Massimo d’Amore called for a “quantum leap” forward in transforming the soft-drink category to define Pepsi as a cultural leader. The new logo -- which took only 5 months to recreate -- has been released, with the whole campaign rolling out.

The Pepsi logo has been modified a total of 11 times in its 110-year history. This one was meant to change the classic Pepsi look to one that’s more “humorous, youthful, and with a bit more personality” by featuring a series of smiles across the white band in the middle of the Pepsi circle. Diet Pepsi will feature a grin and Pepsi Max will have a laugh -- a clever way to link together a family of brands.

Branding experts have differing opinions on whether the logo change is a good thing for the brand. Will the change be accepted, given that it is projecting a different image than its recognizable classic logo, or is this exactly what the brand needs? Pepsi has been known as the drink of the new generation...and the new generation is always changing.

I'd like to hear your thoughts, so feel free to post a comment on the Pepsi change.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

2 great mornings in “nature’s water catcher”

On Sunday and Monday mornings, Jenny and I enjoyed a trail run/hike in the riparian area outside Boise named Hull’s Gulch.

In southern Idaho, most of the annual moisture arrives during the fall and winter. Riparian areas, like Hull’s Gulch, act like natural sponges soaking up water and, under the shade of riparian plants, holding it against the dry days of summer. This is natural flood control, helping prevent flooding downstream, and is part of the healthy functioning of a desert-riparian system.

By late April, the creek will run clear. Spring is Hull’s Gulch at its most colorful as songbirds pass through on their way north. Robins and waxwings arrive as early as February. Bright finches, noisy chats and flycatchers settle down and begin building nests. Arrowleaf balsamroot, chokecherry and Wood’s rose are blossoming.

By late May the creek is drying up and by June, temperatures can be hot. But even into July and August, the willows and creek bottom grasses and shrubs remain green, and the shadiest areas can shelter small pools of water through late summer, until the fall rains come and the cycle of moisture begins again.

Along the trails, there are signs posted with poetry that captures the mood. Here’s one of my favorites.


My left hindfoot

in the track of my right

and my hind-right

in the track of my

and so on, for miles—

Me paying no attention, while
my nose rides along letting
the full report, the
whole blast of the countryside
come along toward me
on rollers of scent, and—
I come home with a chicken or
a rabbit and sit up
singing all night with my friends.
It’s baroque, my life, and
I tell it on the mountain.
I wouldn’t trade it for yours.

—William Stafford

Read more about the poetry – and the trail – at

3890-feet Above the Ordinary

Our morning trail run/hike on Hull's Gulch reminded me and Jenny of the vastness, the uniqueness, and the peacefullness of nature.

Here's a photo of the trail (along with an elevation map from Jenny's Garmin GPS watch) that shows the terrain.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Thick and Thin of Charles M. Berger

Recently I learned that Charles M. Berger had passed away.

Mr. Berger was the former chairman and CEO of The Scotts Company in Port Washington, NY, and top brand marketer of H.J. Heinz Co. Throughout his career, he applied his creative abilities to project Heinz, Weight Watchers, and Scotts Miracle-Gro into the recognizable brands they are today.

I like the quote he told Design Management Journal in 2001:
“A real brand owns a very tiny but important piece of real estate in a consumer’s mind.”

And when he reminded us that some brands need to stay classically the same when he said, “In most cases, although you have to keep changing the product, the brand should be immortal.”

He was truly a leader and brand innovator in the marketing world.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

5 Ways to Build Confidence and Happiness – Dr. Charlene Proctor says, “Stop Negative Self-Talk!”

It seems our culture is ridden with negativity. Even outdated ideas we carry from our own past can derail us off the positive thought track and send us into a fit of negativity. How can we quickly change our energy around and build more confidence and happiness?

Here are some insights and guidance from Charlene M. Proctor, PhD. She is the founder of The Goddess Network, an online educational resource for topics on spirituality, relationships, and women's studies. Author of "Let Your Goddess Grow!" she is a researcher and educator in the field of women's empowerment and develops self-empowerment strategies for women in all walks of life. Her affirmations from "The Women's Book of Empowerment" reach 2.7 million web visitors daily. She currently facilitates the PATH to Empowerment program for Lighthouse Path in Michigan, a residential women's shelter for homeless mothers, teaching them how to cope with life and increase self-esteem and confidence.

Recognize non-empowering thoughts

If we believe everything that is put in front of us, we are not exercising our creativity and the power of our own mind. We are taking the easy road and subscribing to mainstream thought, which often does not have the equivalent of goodness. It's easier to let someone else do your thinking, isn't it? To shift away from negative, self-defeating thoughts, you must first recognize them. Here are a few classics: "I am not beautiful nor talented. I can't be happy. Life is hard. The world is a terrible place. I will probably fail. I'll never make any money." Awareness of what we are thinking is the first step, so learn to listen to your words, whether mental or spoken.

Set a new mental equivalent

What we think, and how we set our mental equivalent on any given day, sets the tone for what the universe will provide for us. If we want success, prosperity, better relationships, more self-confidence, or love, then that's where our mind needs to be -- not once in a while but all the time. Substitute the disasters on the morning news with a sense of positive expectation for your day. Rise out of negativity in as many ways as you can identify. Think great thoughts about everyone. See yourself as a success and that you've come to the planet with a gift. Practice verbal harmlessness (no swearing!) and know you are a worthy individual. Switch on the positive thought channel the minute you arise each day and consciously invite abundance and opportunity into your experience.

Know that thoughts create reality

In today's merge of mysticism, psychology, religion, science, and philosophy, western thinking is moving away from hard data and proof. Our culture is interested in illustrating the concept that thoughts create reality. Logical positivism had its field day, and people are beginning to embrace the power of the mind at the intuitive and spiritual level.

To turn negative self-talk around, you must discover where your mind is ingrained with patterns of negative expectation. This was discussed in the movie "What the Bleep Do We Know!?" Our neuro networks become ingrained in patterns that make us search for a chemical "hit" in our interpretation of reality. In a nutshell, when we continue to stay in negative thought patterns that do not serve our higher purpose, we are destined to keep repeating the same life experiences over and over again because we will never view reality any differently. Our lives will never improve, and living with joy seems unattainable because we are generating more of what we don't want.

Negative thoughts have a physical effect on our bodies

Our thoughts, memories, and emotions are not only part of our mental programming, but have a physiological effect on our bodies. Scientists have determined that we hard-wire our own brains by our associative memory: our associations with people, events, times, places, and things. We assign emotions to the memories recorded in complex strings of nerve cells wired together. The strings become networks of information we can access automatically at any time.

Connections between our nerve cells are strengthened when repeatedly stimulated in a process called "long term potentiation." Through associative learning, our brains are not only programmed by ordinary experiences but by extreme circumstances. Trauma actually changes the structure and function of the brain.

We rely upon many automatic programs to function. Neural networks give us an opportunity to shift into "cruise control." We don't have to think about making every keystroke when typing; we just do. We've established the network by repetition.

Thoughts affect our bodies, especially any thoughts that have become patterns that don't serve us well. For example, putting yourself down is based upon old information and not the powerful, present moment. Old experiences like despair, low self-esteem, and self-pity are emotions that give us a chemical boost of neuropeptides, which guide our perception of our current day choices.

Cancel old thoughts and substitute powerful ideas

Want to feel better and stop negative self-talk? Prune your old negative programming and take charge of your current circumstances. New positive thoughts create new systems in the brain, which produce new chemistry associated with new emotional change. Break your "put down" habit neuron-by-neuron and learn to react differently to life! The next time you catch yourself in a put-down, say out loud, "I cancel that" and instantly substitute a new and powerful thought about you.

It's vital to remember that your thoughts, emotions, beliefs, and physicality are intertwined. Negative self-talk down can make you feel unmotivated and physically ill. Moving your mind to a new way of being is a healthy habit you need to cultivate. Here are 5 quick ways to shift to the positive self-talk channel:

1. Check your state of mind. Choose your own attitude and emotions, not another person's outlook on life. Focus your intentions in the present moment. Because we have a choice, life originates in the mind first. As within, so without. Be consciously aware of what you want to create -- and claim it as your unique mantra.

2. Focus on today. Step away from old memories, past relationships, and hurts. Attend to the present. Find joy in what you bring to the table today. Take a deep breath, stay centered, and remind yourself you are a gift to the world!

3. See the big picture. In the universal equation, today is but a blink in time. Move gracefully through difficult moments with ease because you are not stuck there permanently -- you are going "through it"! You can do this without depleting your energy reserves by making a commitment to doing so. Remember, life goes all too quickly. Make each day count and quit wasting your energy on negative thoughts, unproductive thinking, and who said what to whom 10 years ago.

4. Release negative expectation. Focus on what YOU can do to contribute to a better world and not what others expect you to do. Pace yourself. As you practice positive expectation, you'll find that better circumstances will be attracted to you naturally. Have faith in the process!

5. Be thankful. There is no better way to change your energy than to turn up the volume on thankfulness. If you are thankful for what makes you happy, by the Law of Attraction, the universe will provide you with MORE to be thankful for. Be generous with gratitude -- to those in your life who care, to your Higher Power, and to yourself for beginning an individual spark of Divine Power. Your natural state is unlimited abundance, so be thankful for all you are and your journey.


I appreciate Dr. Proctor sharing this with me through our self-growth network. The article is ©The Goddess Network, Inc. and Charlene M. Proctor, Ph.D.

To learn more, visit

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

6 Basic Rules of Speechwriting (from Ted Sorensen, counsel to JFK)

As we prepare for Obama’s inauguration, I have been reading a great book, Counselor: A Life at the Edge of History by Ted Sorensen. Ted was best known as President John F. Kennedy's special counsel, adviser and primary speech writer.

The parallels between JFK and Obama are intriguing to consider. Yet, I can't help but wonder how Sorensen's legacy will be matched by either Axelrod or Emanuel.

I’m finding the book to be very insightful, especially a section in Chapter 12 in which he shares six basic rules of speechwriting. I couldn’t help but see the parallels with principles of strong, effective brand communications. Here are Sorensen’s rules:







Monday, January 12, 2009

6 things you personally can do when business is slow

So many people wonder what they can do personally to overcome the sense of helplessness in these tough times.

Daisy Wademan Dowling wrote in the Harvard Business Review, “In today’s economic mess, no job is secure. How to boost the chances of keeping your job? Resist the urge to linger by the water cooler and snoop for details of impending layoffs and severance packages. Instead, gracefully and steadily communicate your value to your boss, peers, and direct reports. Put yourself forward as someone the company needs to keep.”

“For example, send an email to your boss praising a young employee’s work on a recent project. You’ll demonstrate that you’re a team player and a thoughtful manager or mentor, while drawing attention to your group’s success. Meet with your boss to walk through a list of your priorities for the coming six months. You’ll let him or her know that you’re dedicated and action-oriented.”

Steve Toth, who is part of my self-growth network, sent me these ideas the other day. Steve has more then 20 years’ experience in leadership development, management consulting, and culture change.

Here are six actionable things you can do to help yourself, your company, and your customers --

1. Make marketing, lead generation and automating your systems a top priority

2. Daily visualization and meditation on your goals.
· Make it a routine/habit
· Make them real
· Give them emotion, love, feeling, and conversation

3. Be consistent and persistent with your income-producing activities.
· That means at least four hours of your day is spent in lead-generating activities.

4. Mastermind with other associates
· In your office
· Among your networks
· On social sites

5. Expect more leadership from yourself.
· Volunteer with organizations and nonprofits to give back to your community.
· Assist others, teams. and your associates.
· Allow yourself to attract more of what you WANT to yourself and those around you.

6. Become a Student of Personal Development
· spend a minimum of 30 minutes a day reading books, CDs, DVDs.
· Learn to identify your limiting beliefs and replace them with the positive polar opposite. This becomes your new mindset.
· Update your “My Mindset” document with your new beliefs. Read it out loud with passion and conviction daily.
· Become “forward thinking”.

Overall, Steve says, in every situation ask yourself these questions:
· Control Question - “What do I want?”
· Action Question - “What am I going to do about it?”

Sunday, January 11, 2009

43 Ideas to jumpstart your new year

John Moore, creator of the blog Brand Autopsy, has made it a tradition to dedicate his New Year’s Eve post to Bruce Mau’s Incomplete Manifesto for Change the past couple years. 

I enjoyed reading the incomplete list because it flips traditional ways of thinking to bring out creativity and innovation-which are both needed for change.

If your looking for some ideas to jump start your 2009 follow the link:

Friday, January 09, 2009

Some say ours is just a Starbucks, but it’s a really different kind of Starbucks. And now, the staff has been recognized for it.

Our Roscoe Village neighborhood Starbucks just won the company’s award for “Creating the Coffeehouse Experience.” Executives from Seattle came to share the award with the manager, baristas, and even customers who were there.

Our café is in a converted drugstore and soda shoppe. So it has cushy diner-style booths and an old-fashioned counter with bar stools. There's even an old-timey red telephone booth.

The other side of the store has the usual comfy stuffed chairs, tables, and cozy fireplace.

And, last but not least, they have art on the walls from local artists.

If you’re looking for a different coffeehouse experience from this otherwise ubiquitous brand, visit our neighborhood Starbucks at 2023 W Roscoe St. (between Damen Ave & Seeley Ave.)

Thursday, January 08, 2009

4 insights on “The Law of Compensation” – and 2 specific exercises from Brian Tracy

Ralph Waldo Emerson, in his essay, "Compensation," wrote that each person is compensated in like manner for that which he or she has contributed. Brian Tracy calls it “The Law of Compensation”, which is a restatement of the Law of Sowing and Reaping.

It says that you will always be compensated for your efforts and for your contribution, whatever it is, however much or however little. Brian Tracy has been empowering business professionals by sharing his knowledge all over the world. Here are four insights he sent me recently – along with two specific techniques will allow you to apply the learnings and reach your goals, perhaps even achieve the unthinkable.

1. Increase Your Value
This Law of Compensation also says that you can never be compensated in the long term for more than you put in. The income you earn today is your compensation for what you have done in the past. If you want to increase your compensation, you must increase the value of your contribution.

2. Fill Your Mind with Success
Your mental attitude, your feelings of happiness and satisfaction, are also the result of the things that you have put into your own mind. If you fill your own mind with thoughts, visions and ideas of success, happiness and optimism, you will be compensated by those positive experiences in your daily activities.

3. Do More Than You're Paid For
Another corollary of the Law of Sowing and Reaping is what is sometimes called the, "Law of Overcompensation." This law says that great success comes from those who always make it a habit to put in more than they take out. They do more than they are paid for. They are always looking for opportunities to exceed expectations. And because they are always overcompensating, they are always being over rewarded with the esteem of their employers and customers and with the financial rewards that go along with their personal success.

4. Provide the Causes, Enjoy the Effects
One of your main responsibilities in life is to align yourself and your activities with Law of Cause and Effect (and its corollaries), accepting that it is an inexorable law that always works, whether anyone is looking or not. Your job is to institute the causes that are consistent with the effects that you want to enjoy in your life. When you do, you will realize and enjoy the rewards you desire.

Action Exercises

Here are two things Brian Tracy says you can do immediately to put these ideas into action.

First, remind yourself regularly that your rewards will always be in direct proportion to your service to others. How could you increase the value of your services to your customers today?

Second, look for ways to go the extra mile, to use the Law of Overcompensation in everything you do. This is the great secret of success.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

8 ways that better marketing elected Barack Obama

When the book is written on this election, it should not be titled "The Making of a President," but "The Marketing of a President." Barack Obama's campaign is a case study in marketing excellence.

This is the view of John Quelch, non-executive director of WPP Group and of Pepsi Bottling Group. Quelch is also a professor at Harvard Business School, known worldwide for his research on global marketing, global branding and marketing communications.

Quelch goes on to say:

True, it was always going to be a Democratic year. An unpopular war, an incumbent Republican president with rock bottom approval ratings, and many Republican incumbents retiring from Congress as a result all meant that change was in the air. Add to that the economic meltdown that decimated millions of 401K retirement plans and undercut any Republican claim to be the better steward of the economy.

But, even so, for an inexperienced single term African-American senator tagged with the most liberal voting record to defeat the heir apparent in his own party and then go on to hold off the much-vaunted Republican machine is a truly remarkable achievement. Much of it has to do with Obama's instinct for marketing.

1. Obama's personal charisma, his listening and public speaking skills, his consistently positive and unruffled demeanor and his compelling biography attracted the attention and empathy of voters.

2. Obama converted this empathy into tangible support. More citizens volunteered time and money to help the Obama campaign than any previous presidential candidate. Indeed, he attracted more donors than the entire Democratic or Republican party nationwide. Almost half of Obama's unprecedented $639 million in funds raised from individuals came from small donors giving $300 or less.

3. His fundraising prowess was aided by his appreciation and use of all communications media, notably the Internet, to engage voters. Obama picked up where Howard Dean left off. He leveraged his website, the blogosphere, and even user-generated content (remember Obama Girl) and video games to engage not just donors and volunteers but all citizens. From the imaginative campaign logo to the thirty minute infomercial, Obama's communications were professional without being slick, attention-getting without being in-your-face.

4. Obama reached out to all citizens. He targeted his message beyond previous or likely voters. He built a coalition that energized young, first-time voters and registered thousands of previous non-voters. His organization encouraged early voting by Democrats to build well-publicized poll leads and to reduce the chances of supporters being discouraged from voting by long lines at polling places on election day. This policy of inclusion meant that voting records were set in the general election and the primaries.

5. His advertising messages and his tone and demeanor throughout the campaign consistently communicated his upbeat themes of hope and "change you can believe in." The emotional appeal was buttressed with solid and specific policy details. The ability to combine emotional with functional benefits and the discipline to be consistent in positioning and message delivery are core to all successful branding campaigns. Ads that dealt with specific policy issues, even ads criticizing McCain, all continued to communicate the core themes.

6. He anticipated and outsmarted the competition. Throughout, he showed respect for Clinton and then McCain, even as he successfully tagged a McCain administration as Bush's third term. But he and his advisers managed the political chess board brilliantly. Early on, he anticipated and defused negative criticisms by admitting to past indiscretions his autobiography. His campaign rebutted the criticisms in a hostile biography point-by-point before they gained traction. Negative advertising by his opponents was countered quickly, not only in ads but on the internet as well.

7. He fought the ground war as brilliantly as the air war. Building on Howard Dean's 50 state strategy, he built his primary delegate count by investing time in Democratic caucuses in red states; the organizations he built for the primaries in these states set him up to win several of them in the general. In the closing weeks, he put McCain on defense in multiple red states, making it tough for the Republican to focus his efforts. Having relied on public funding, McCain ended up having to make some tough trade-offs regarding where to go and where to spend his money. Obama did not.

8. Obama chose an excellent marketing and campaign team, and managed them well. From start to finish, there was no public dissension. He chose a non-controversial, experienced Senator as his running mate who complemented his lack of foreign policy skills. McCain only assembled a smooth-running campaign team late in the day. And the maverick made a surprise choice of an unknown running mate that, in the final analysis, undercut his ability to tag Obama as inexperienced and called his judgment into question.

Like any great brand, Obama has built up a bond of trust with the American people. His election has also given the US the opportunity to reestablish its moral leadership around the world. But like any brand, he has to deliver now on his promises, both actual and perceived. In the current economy, that will not be easy.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

New White Paper, “Creating a Quality Brand Experience Through Event Marketing”

My company, STINSON Brand Innovation, just released a new white paper for pharma and medical brand marketers entitled, “Creating a Quality Brand Experience Through Event Marketing.”

The white paper is available for free download at This newest white paper features case studies from the 2008 Experiential Marketing Summit and applications of key learnings for health, science, and technology brands. The white paper covers the following areas for creating a brand experience through event marketing:

· Top 6 Steps to a Successful Event
· Building Brands One Touchpoint at a Time
· Creating High Touch, High Volume Events
· Transforming the Tradeshow Portfolio
· Rewriting the Rules of Event Marketing
· Developing an Event Measurement Dashboard

Increased competition in the event marketing arena has lead us to find new and innovative ways of expanding the brand experience for our health, science, and technology clients’ brands. We apply the learnings from the Summit each year to our own case studies in hopes of making a bigger impact each time we participate in a new event.

This Brand Experience white paper not only includes mentions of case studies from well-known companies speaking at the Summit, but also provides charts, worksheets and tactics to help guide the audience in the steps it takes to create brand experiences at any type of event.

Monday, January 05, 2009

The Joy of Failure -- Build Your Support Network for Happiness & Success

What if you knew no one would slice off your right leg if you made a big mistake?

What if you were rewarded for the courage and confidence to fail?

These are the questions raised by Doris Helge, Ph.D., "The Joy Coach" and author of "Transforming Pain Into Power." She also hosts the syndicated radio show "The More Joy on the Job Radio Show."

Enjoy this article she shared as part of our expert network:

I want to introduce you to the one person who can give you this gift. I also want to help you surround yourself with group support during this personal growth process. First, let's make sure we're on the same page.


Failure is a secret ingredient in the recipe for success. Great parents discover how to help a child thrive because they have the courage to blunder over and over until they learn more about their little one's temperament and needs. In the process, they establish a loving relationship that lasts for a lifetime. In fact, most kids eventually provide partial care for their parents.

What about screwed-up romantic relationships and friendships? My consistent relationship disasters were the key that unlocked the door to a loving partnership that, during the past 12 years, has amazed me with growing love and trust. A series of painful experiences in which I felt like a victim showed me just how much I didn't love myself. Other people were mirroring my lack of self-respect back to me. I began healing the one relationship that was holding me back -- my relationship with myself. I stopped fretting about why other people didn't like or respect me and focused on accepting my warts. Like a miracle, connections with other people became fun and rewarding.

I learned to trust the process of my life -- especially when it made no sense to me. When I began celebrating every mistake, the journey from "Oh, poor me" to "Wow!" I can be a fully empowered woman and help other people" became much easier and faster.

Mistakes are also essential in the business world. Post-it notes, penicillin, and vulcanized rubber were all created by mistake. Employees who play it safe instead of taking healthy risks are usually initially rewarded for conformity. However, they're eventually passed over when it's promotion time. Steady Freddy and Betty aren't considered innovative enough for leadership positions. It's impossible to stand out when you're struggling to do what everyone else does.

What if Oprah had worried more often about what people would think if her flamboyant ideas flopped? Even though she had been told over and over, "You're not the type of person people want to listen to," Oprah kept following her passion until she became the empowered woman you see today.


When I coach client teams and Mastermind Groups, we applaud our "Hall of Shame" because participants had the courage to take healthy risks. We celebrate every mistake because we know life is a giant school, and the road to success is not a straight line.

Like medical students, we eagerly dissect what we laughingly call "courage cadavers" to discover why a specific adventure failed. Without this knowledge, we couldn't turn a fiasco into a major success.

Our openness with each other helps everyone. We bond with tears and laughter. We also save each other heartaches and time. None of us have time to make every possible mistake, so participants learn from each other's failures. During our Mastermind Calls, anyone who wants to jump into "The Seat of Honor" shares what they've learned as the rest of the group listens attentively. Those of us who've had a similar problem avoid repeating it because we view the experience from a new perspective. Participants who haven't yet faced the dilemma avoid it.

If you aren't yet connected with a great group of people who support you, reach out now. Identify new, objective people who will help you transform your mistakes into successes. Make sure your new friends understand the power of healthy risk taking. Friends and family may appear to have your best interests at heart, but they're not objective and your personal growth can make them antsy. Why? When we change, we mirror to others how their lives could be different. Most people resist change, even when it's clearly to their advantage. Friends and family have a picture of who you are. It's probably an outdated photo. They may Unconsciously prefer hanging out with an unhappy version of you because it's familiar and doesn't push their buttons.


Give it a go right now. Use your non-dominant hand to write a letter or throw a ball.

Notice that you don't expect a perfect performance when you engage in an activity for which you have no natural aptitude. Observe how easily you can excuse ordinary or poor accomplishment.

This simple exercise can help you squelch your tendency to judge your efforts harshly.

Give yourself permission to be as flawed as the rest of us. Each time you make a mistake, learn something valuable. Then redirect your efforts in a positive direction.

A very dear friend told me when she was dying that she had no regrets about her mistakes. Her body was fading rapidly, but her blue eyes were clear and bright. I was honored to hold her hand as she whispered, "Live with passion. It's better to regret what you've done than what you never tried to accomplish."

How about you? Are you failing enough to be successful?

Thursday, January 01, 2009

1/1/2009 – and no more pens, pads, or mugs!

The New York Times rang in the year with an article on the new voluntary PhRMA guidelines. These guidelines were established so the relationship between the industry and the doctors would be based more on education of the drugs being prescribed, and putting the focus back on the most important element -- the patient.

Starting today, these tchakes will be no longer accepted by doctors.

In the past, doctors have been given branded freebies that ranged from pens and t-shirts to bandages and coffee mugs (not to mention what some viewed as lavish trips and meals). While I never thought the money spent on most of these promos could be construed unduly influencing doctor prescriptions, it’s high time we take on the new challenge to look beyond just branding the ordinary, and to really bring out innovation for the future of pharmaceutical branding.

For the full article go to: .