Thursday, April 30, 2009

5 Steps In Trendhunting: presentation at 2009 Event Marketing Summit

The 7th Annual Event Marketing Summit was held this week in Chicago. I was able to attend along with Melissa Strebing and Michelle Travis from STINSON's corporate communications team.

The summit has always been a great source of ideas ranging from how to leverage new trends and tools to amplifying reach and prioritizing marketing objectives. This year was no different - and included several informative breakout sessions - one in particular presented by Lorin Pollack-Platto, Event Marketing Director for Google, on ways to be cost-conscious and user-friendly when planning events.

A highlight of the event was the luncheon keynote presentation. Jeremy Gutsche, founder of and innovation expert was there to give advice on being Cool and going viral with your brand.

"Popular is not cool. Cool is the next big thing."

To find the next big thing you must start by Trendhunting.

Here are the 5 steps in Trendhunting:

1. Reset your expectations

· There's no point innovating if you think you already know the answer - avoid your bias

2. Observe your customers

· In all industries, innovation starts by observing customers. Observe customers in their zone by interacting with them, observing product use, and watching the purchase.

3. Hunt for cool

· Get inspiration by hunting for cool. Ex:

4. Cluster Insights Into Trends

· Cluster the cool trends, and then re-cluster. That's how to unlock insight.

5. Develop a Point of View

· Identify how to act upon your new trend.

For Jeremy's complete presentation, watch his YouTube video:

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

25 People Who Are Influencing Technology Most

Thanks to Steve Pridgeon, STINSON Brand Innovation's Virtual Chief Information Officer from TechCare Systems, for sending me this list of the 25 people who are influencing business through the use of technology.

1. Larry Page, Eric Schmidt, Sergey Brin-GOOGLE
2. Jeff Bezos-AMAZON
3. Steve Jobs-APPLE
6. Shigeru Miyamoto-NINTENDO
7. Jason Kilar-HULU
8. Marissa Mayer-GOOGLE
9. Ray Ozzie-MICROSOFT
11. Same Palmisano-IBM
12. Evan Williams-TWITTER
15. James Inhofe-U.S. SENATOR
17. Marc Andreessen-NING
18. Brad Anderson-BEST BUY
19. Arianna Huffington-THE HUFFINGTON POST
20. Rex Tillerson-EXXON MOBIL
21. Jerry Shen-ASUS
22. Lawrence Lessig-STANDFORD
23. David Bohrman-CNN
24. Reid Hoffman-LINKEDIN
25. Robert Zemeckis-FILM DIRECTOR

To read what they are doing for technology (with the best and worst of results) follow the link

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

11 views on the question: “Which Biotech and Pharma companies would you say are growing the best during the economic down turn?”

Recently, Jonah Manning of BeAspired Inc. in Tallahassee, Florida asked “Which Biotech and Pharma companies would you say are growing the best during the economic down turn?”

Here are some the answers you might find interesting, plus a view from STINSON Brand Innovation.

Miguel Vilaplana, MD, MBA -- Biogen Idec, Amgen, Novo Nordisk, Pharmamar (Spanish), Life Technologies (for sure, Stem cells and anything related to cell culture etc. as Advancell; Spanish too...), Lonza (Stem cell department). However, how many of the medium-sized biotechs will survive after 2009? I do not know. Pfizer/Wyeth movement and Roche/Genentech hostile approach are telling us that M&A are just starting. Who is not able to stay without movement? Novartis, BMS (buy or be bought?), GSK, Merck ... We are going to see several movements there and some of the medium-sized pharma will have to buy or might be bought, and you can bet according to this parameters: total revenues, pipeline, sales force and manufacturing (being the first two, the most important I guess).

Chris Pounds
-- Myriad Genetics just announced our Q4 2008 numbers and saw ~50% annual revenue growth over 2007.

Belkis Castro & Mary Jo Miller -- I would have to add Novartis to the list of growing companies. I just read their press release today and they are showing growth and actually hiring. They have over 80+ openings just in the US. For a large Pharma company they seem to be adding value without having to cut personnel.

Lin Chen -- I'd say more globalized company will more likely to survive this wave of economic downturn. Those who focus their business in the U.S. will suffer more for sure.

Guido Tomás Rozenblum -- For sure those companies that doesn't need fundings from investment institutions. Interests are going high, therefore, companies with cash such as Novartis, Invitrogen, Pfizer or Roche they may go for a trip buying small start-ups at ridiculous prices to fill up their pipelines.

Thomas Beattie -- Genentech will continue to lead in innovation over next 10+ years if Roche tender is unsuccessful. Watch the data released over next 30+ days (DNA).

Karen Strauss -- I believe that the Contract Research Organizations (CRO) that work for the Biotech and Pharma Industry are doing well. With mergers there is a chance that a particular contract could be cancelled but they usually have a wide range of clients and are able to keep revenues up.

Mike L -- The companies that benefit most from the down turn are the medium to large Pharma companies with a lot of cash. Biotech and Pharma companies are going for fire sale prices. Secondly, since Pharma and Biotech are shedding RD staff left and right, CROs are gaining huge market share.

Amy Clausen -- MD Biosciences is also experiencing good growth. We are a contract research organization and drug development company. We are continually adding staff, new services as well as searching for drug development partners.

Mohankumar Sowlay -- In the current global macroenvironment, small but innovative biotechnology companies which do not have to go to the market in the immediate future for financing needs have a good chance to survive the economic downturn. The present cost structure of big pharmaceutical companies dictated by the conventional drug development model is unsustainably high leading to a wave of cost optimization strategies. On the other hand, shareholders and employees may benefit from those companies that invest in targeted biotherapeutics, molecular diagnostics and regenerative medicine as successful product candidates from these companies become attractive acquisition targets by Big pharma. The attraction of these products to big pharma is due to the prospect of high reimbursement rates from the payers and the urgency to buffet their dwindling product pipeline. In my opinion, look for signs of prudent management of research dollars through the enlistment of global partnership in clinical development and for eventual market cultivation in emerging markets. I regularly analyze these and other company and industry strategies both from a business development and M&A perspective.

At STINSON Brand Innovation, we’re admiring two companies: CSL Behring and BioMarin.

CSL Behring
Commenting on CSL’s outlook, Dr Brian McNamee, CEO, said in February, “To-date there has been little to no impact on our sales arising from the global financial crisis. This is consistent with a product portfolio of life saving therapies and essential vaccines. However, we remain vigilant as the situation develops. Potential risks to our outlook include pressures on healthcare spend, debtors risk, foreign exchange volatility and ongoing access to long term debt. However, in this difficult economic environment, we anticipate broadly stable market conditions for CSL’s group of businesses. Research and Development spend of $153 million in the first half is expected to be similar in the second half with total spend for the year between $300 million to $310 million on a reported currency basis. Vivaglobin® (subcutaneous Immunoglobulin), a product which provides the convenience of immunoglobulin self administration, attracted significant patient growth. We have met key milestones in the approval process for increasing Privigen® manufacturing capacity. Specialty products, particularly Beriplex® P/N and Berinert® P, made a strong contribution.”


"All three of our commercial products are independently profitable, which helps fund the advancement of several promising programs including PEG-PAL for PKU and GALNS for MPS IVA. We are strategically developing earlier stage programs and looking for attractive later stage in-licensing or acquisition opportunities to ensure continued growth," said Jean-Jacques Bienaime, Chief Executive Officer of BioMarin. "We feel confident in meeting our overall top and bottom line financial objectives for 2009.”

One BioMarin growth brand, for example, is KUVAN® (sapropterin dihydrochloride) Tablets, a product for the treatment of phenylketonuria (PKU). Net product revenue was $15.5 million for the first quarter of 2009, compared to $5.8 million for the first quarter of 2008. The quantity of commercial tablets dispensed to patients, the best metric to track true patient demand, increased 9.5 percent in the first quarter of 2009 compared to the fourth quarter of 2008.

Monday, April 27, 2009

5 "Must-Read" Business Books

Recently, everyone on our STINSON Brand Innovation team chose a business book to read, summarize, and review. This was a great way for us all to benefit from the key advice from each book. We will post some of these reviews on the blog in the future.

If you are looking for an educational read, check these books out -- recommended by Entrepreneur magazine. Of course, no single business book contains everything you need to know, but these are the five that can offer you some actionable ideas:

1. Will It Fly? How to Know if Your New Business Idea Has Wings….Before You Take the Leap, by Thomas K. McKnight

2. The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t work and what to Do About It, by Michael E. Gerber

3. Guerrilla Marketing: Easy and Inexpensive Strategies for Making Big Profits From Your Small Businesses, by Jay Conrad Levinson

4. The Business Planning Guide, by David H. Bangs, Jr.

5. Start Run & Grow a Successful Small Business, by Toolkit Media Group editors

To see some of the other books the STINSON team recommends, check out our Innovative Content page on Amazon.

Friday, April 24, 2009

11 Cool, 11 Old-School, & 11 Frivolous Perks

STINSON has been building a creative environment for many years. So, when Entrepreneur magazine published a review of work perks, I was intrigued.

Some of these we already enjoy here at STINSON. Some push the envelope.

Which do you feel are most meaningful perks a creative brand design firm like ours should have?

The Cool Perks:

Employee discount programs
MySpace and Facebook access on the job
Scheduling flexibility
Subsidized or on-site child care
Mentoring and training programs
Time off for volunteer work
Same-sex domestic partner benefits
Policies that let employees bring their child to work in an emergency
Gas Cards

The Old-School Perks:

Free drinks and snacks
Meal per diem
Gym memberships
Mobile phones
Company car
Holiday turkeys
Company t-shirts, stationery, pens, etc.
Holiday parties
Dry cleaning services
Friday happy hours

The Frivolous Perks:

Grants to buy hybrid cars
Reimbursements for adoption-related expenses
Pet health insurance
Paid travel expenses for spouse of employee
On-site personal grooming
Ready-to-go take-home meals
Free computers for employee personal use or loans to purchase them
Insurance coverage for sex-change operations
Free massages
Nap rooms

Thursday, April 23, 2009

5 Characteristics of Brand Naming (at least when it comes to naming a cell phone)

“What’s in a (good) product name?” asks researchers of cell phone brand names. The results reported in Advertising Age found that a clever product name can boost sales while an unpopular name could sink it.

The study says they found the most favored cell phone names belonged to Samsung and LG, while the less-liked were from Motorola and Nokia.

The Chocolate, Shine, Vu, Dare, and Decoy LG came up with were “cognitive metaphors.” Samsung came up with the winners Access, Instinct and Glyde that gave a hint of seduction that may have attracted buyers.

Here are the 5 characteristics of brand naming revealed in the cell phone study:

1. Names Matter
They create a distinct sense of identity and personality and allow an emotional connection with the product.

2. Don’t Lead with a Number
Numbers are cold and impersonal, and placing them first in a name adds an emotional barrier between the consumer and the product.

3. Focus on the 3 Fs
Names that tell something about the product’s form, function or features are more appealing.

4. Leverage Lifestyle
Pick names that make people feel cutting-edge, stylish or sexy.

5. Match the Name to the Market
If you customers aren’t into “edgy,” then round off the corners.

How do you feel these apply to our market of health science and technology brands?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

10 feel-good songs to work on your C.H.E.M.istry

1. Islands in the Stream, Dolly Parton & Kenny Rogers
2. Lost in Love, Air Supply
3. Up Where We Belong, Joe Cocker & Jennifer Warnes
4. Cruisin’, Smokey Robinson
5. Somebody’s Baby, Jackson Browne
6. Louisiana Rain, Tom Petty
7. Hungry Eyes, Eric Carmen
8. Feels Like Home, Randy Newman
9. I Think We’re Alone Now, Ritchie Cordell
10. One Rose/ Hot Buttered Rum, The Red Clay Ramblers

What’s on your feel-good playlist?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

5 passions that drive Danica Patrick and her brand

Danica Patrick has been extremely successful in the male dominated sport of auto racing. Not only did she prove herself has a talented racer, but she built her brand and was able to connect it to range of audiences.

Here are 5 passions Danica says she needs to thrive:

1. A Healthy Start -- staying healthy and fit is a must.

2. A Connected State -- staying in touch with family and old friends is crucial.

3. Serial Viewings -- enjoying a good television show helps her zone out.

4. Time Out -- taking time for herself –with something as simple as a weekly pedicure-keeps her energized.

5. A Vintage Journey -- she keeps up with other hobbies, such as visiting great wine regions of the world.

Monday, April 20, 2009

13 Ways Parents Can Help Curb Child Obesity

The best way for parents to make sure kids get their recommended hour or more of moderate intensity exercise a day is to join them.

So says a report in USA Today entitled “Send the kids out to play—and go with them.” The article said that children today are too sedentary, which contributes to child obesity in America.

This was confirmed by our recent N-of-8® research with a community wellness group in Boise, ID. We uncovered a family interest in a healthy lifestyle. The whole family wants to be involved in healthy eating, and activities.

Here are some suggestions the USA Today article gives to become active together, and disguise exercise as fun:

1. skateboarding

2. biking

3. playing tag

4. swimming

5. tennis

6. playground

7. climb a tree

8. play tug-of-war

9. Hopscotch

10. jumping rope

11. gymnastics

12. basketball

13. volleyball

Sunday, April 19, 2009

24th Chapter of Luke -- Sunday School lesson at church with President and Mrs. Carter

President Carter taught his Sunday School lesson today on Luke 24, about the appearances of Jesus after the resurrection.

Square Dancing with The Carters on Main Street

Plains is so much like the little towns of Gilliam and Belcher where my roots are in Louisiana. The food was excellent; the square dancing was the best. We do-si-do’d with President and Mrs. Carter, along with our 200 new friends. Jenny almost swung the FFL (former First Lady) a little too fast. I will never forget the expression on Rosalynn’s face when Jenny’s finished the “swing and whirl” call. Overall, the evening was lots and lots of fun.

Tour of Jimmy Carter's boyhood home in Plains

We walked with the Carters to Mom’s Restaurant for fried chicken (like my Mom used to make) and awesome pecan pie (like my Granny used to make).

After a short train ride, we had a guided tour of Jimmy's boyhood home.

The afternoon concluded with a Secret Service presentation – learned about the Carter security detail and how they keep up with the “protectees”. Very interesting, although nothing classified was share (and the agent didn’t just make me say that). The POTUS was on the move…and the FFL was right there, too.

4/18 with The Carter Center -- welcome to Plains, GA

We began our afternoon in the President's hometown at the high school. He shared personal stories of his childhood, marriage to Rosalynn, start in politics. It added a lot more realism to stories I had read in his books “Hour Before Daylight” and “Turning Point.” (And the auditorium looked just like my elementary and high schools.)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

1-hour dialogue with President and Mrs. Carter

We experienced a full hour of informal Q&A of with the former president and first lady. They addressed a wide range of topics on world affairs, mental health issues, and future vision of the Center’s work.

PR Efforts at The Carter Center

Deanna Congileo, Director of Public Information – in the final briefing of the day, Deanna reviewed the wide reach of news media initiatives and introduced many new features of Center website,

Visit to Carter Presidential Library

We enjoyed seeing a full-scale replica of the Oval Office as it was when Jimmy Carter was President. We also saw the behind the scenes operations of the research library. Plus, the grounds were in bloom.

3 executive briefing on peace programs at The Carter Center

Dr. John Stremlau, VP Peace Programs – highlighted the “bottom billion” of world’s population

Dr. David Carroll, Director of Democracy Program – shared the efforts in election monitoring to ensure equal suffrage, universal suffrage, right to vote, and secret ballot

Mr. Tom Crick, Associate Director of Conflict Resolution – detailed work in Liberia to instill “rule of law”

4 executive briefings on health programs at The Carter Center

Dr. Donald Hopkins, VP of Health Programs: emphasized the Center's mission to focus on diseases that others have forgotten or ignored.

Dr. Frank Richards, Director of River Blindness program: the black flies that carry the disease are being addressed with river abate.

Dr. Ernesto Ruiz-Tiben, Director of Guinea Worm Eradication program: we're in the final stages of complete elimination. (We have a water filter pipe they use)

Dr. Thomas Bornemann, Director of Mental Health program: the biggest development is a new law that gives mental disease “parity” with physical diseases in the areas of treatment and insurance coverage.