Friday, March 29, 2013

Insight for brand leaders (and those who want to be)

on Leadership

“Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” 
— Peter F. Drucker

Thursday, March 28, 2013

N-of-8 methods combined with ForwardFast brand model

When N-of-8 methods are combined with our ForwardFast® branding model, you can 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 – is the name, symbol, font, design appealing – and can it be sustained in an extended life cycle?
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 package design, campaign copy, delivery system.
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?

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

1.4 billion people mature: the China market for healthcare

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter
 Idaho brands like Simplot and Micron have benefited from the emergence of China as a global economic giant.  Idaho's exports to China have risen from $700 million in 1987 to more than $5 billion today across all sectors.

But what are the new opportunities for Idaho businesses to grow dramatically as the nation of 1.4 billion people matures.

"China is moving from being the world factory to being the world market," said Manuel Menendez, a businessman who has been making deals in China for 30 years.

This shift, along with huge wealth accumulated by individual Chinese, will help nearly every segment of Idaho's economy – including health care.

Menendez was the keynote speaker at a one-day China Business Summit I attended last month in Boise. It was sponsored by the state and several Idaho businesses. I joined business executives from around Idaho to hear how to integrate China trade into our brand strategies.

Gov. Butch Otter opened the session, sharing advice he has gained from visits to 83 countries in 18 trade missions since 1987. Both he and Menendez spoke of the importance of having partners in China who know the country, and the cultural and political landscapes.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Reason for brand narrative

on Storytelling

"Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world today." -Robert McKee

Monday, March 25, 2013

Inspiration for listening

on Listening

"When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen." 
- Ernest Hemingway

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

N-of-8 to develop brand extensions

Yesterday, I shared how we can use N-of-8 for new product development.
Today, here are some ways we have used N-of-8 to develop brand extensions.

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

First, consider the main reasons for managing the life cycle:
  • rediscover the potential of under-promoted 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.

With an N-of-8 workshop, you can accomplish these.

Monday, March 18, 2013

N-of-8 application: Exposing unexpected global challenges and opportunities

By its nature, research in health, science, and technology dictates thinking outside the “box” in new and creative ways, seeking fresh perspectives and continuously tapping new innovations for cost-effective and environment-friendly products.

Medical research goes hand in hand with the advent of globalization in the economy, commerce, and societal trends and values. International collaboration in medical research will create fertile conditions for research innovations, understanding, and common solutions to common problems.

The basic logic of N-of-8 New Product Conception applies branding excellence at the international level that is compatible with the global research cooperation in research, development, and scientific activities.

Using N-of-8 should mean that significantly greater financial resources and human intellectual talent can be concentrated on solving the most significant health problems – and increase the timely application of new approaches that would reduce morbidity and mortality in the most significant numbers worldwide.

Obviously, yet importantly, in today’s real-time knowledge sharing, an N-of-8 approach can give a brand team in multiple markets simultaneous access to new product ideas to address similarly demands and issues – motivating the team to more global integration,  more competitiveness, and greater sustainability in product usage.

To work towards creating such vision, N-of-8 can:

Create enabling procedures – the frameworks for research that take into consideration the global market in fostering innovations. Enabling procedures take into consideration the mobility of scientists across borders.

Mobilize human capital – to focus both scientists and marketers, strengthening their collaborative capacity.  Idea generation with cultural competency and sensitivity can lead to successful cross-cultural collaboration.

Build collaboration mechanisms and joint programs – to clearly define goals and processes that lower barriers to product development and enhance synergy.

Systematically address the main barriers that are often issues that lead team down “blind alleys” and block the discussion and dissemination of new ideas and prototypes.  N-of-8 can promote global standardization and harmonization of research knowledge.

Improve idea management and sharing – with a model, tools, and structure for global brand development, creating common standards for documentation and collaboration practices.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

8 ways gaming has gone mainstream

1. Legitimacy of competition
2. Social networking
3. Tech-friendly media
4. More than just entertainment
5. Declining competition
6. Gaming goes big
7. Increasing cultural relevancy
8. Capturing the casual audience

Thursday, March 14, 2013

8 Types of Meeting Attendees

The Talker
You know what I'm talking about. People who think talking is the same as contributing.

The Boss
This person may or may not actually be the boss. The main strategy is to get everyone talking and working together constructively, then use the political capital he's just gained to hijack the meeting and implement his own agenda at the last minute. Get on his good side, because he'll be the boss eventually.

The Sigher
This guy (almost always a guy) will audibly sigh whenever he disagrees with something. If pressed, he'll refuse to go into details on why he disagrees or what exactly his problem is. I don't like this one.

The Lurker
Sits in the meeting, slightly aloof, and doesn't participate at all. He may offer a single quietly stated opinion near the end of the meeting. Mostly harmless.

The Stealth Lurker
You might think this guy is a real lurker, but he isn't. He's the one who says nothing for the whole meeting then offers a single quietly stated opinion near the end. Then, no matter what everyone else agreed on, his plan gets implemented. How did it happen? Who knows. This guy has some power you don't understand. Get to know him.

The Meanderer
This one is like the talker, except he meanders all over and creates long, drawn out metaphors that nobody understands. A friend at yahoo (the same one who hates all new yahoos) once said about a meanderer: "I love [person]. Whenever we're in a early morning meeting I throw him a real softball question then just lean back and zone out."

The Killer
Aims to destroy other people rather than win arguments or get his way. This guy is annoying but not really dangerous since he is easily recognized. The best strategy is to put him in a meeting with another killer, get them arguing, then excuse yourself and go play air hockey.

The Productive, Reasonable Contributor
If you get three of these people together in a meeting you should change the topic to quitting and starting a new company.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

7 areas of innovative solutions in medical textiles

From Fast Company
Textiles and innovation aren't two words that generally go hand in hand. That's about to change, according to the folks at the European Center of Innovative Textiles (CETI), in Lille, France.

The organization inaugurated its new headquarters last year.  Its goal is creating better, more high-tech solutions across a number of industries. Their current projects show that potential.

Specific to health care, CETI is working to develop new fabric for wound dressing, in which medicine, antivirals, and antibacterials are already integrated into the fibers. Looking further to the future, the organization envisions nonwoven textiles that can be used as a "seed" to rebuild tissue.

Medical, sport & leisure, hygiene, and protection represent over 25% of technical textiles market in value and volume. 

Medical textiles offer innovation solutions in the following application sectors:
  1. wound care,
  2. regenerative medicine,
  3. filtration,
  4. hospital hygiene,
  5. implants,
  6. orthoses and
  7. personal independence

Friday, March 08, 2013

N-of-8 case study: Leveraging an existing asset to a larger vision

It's good to look back on successful uses of N-of-8 to learn how it might apply to your current challenges.

Here was one situation from a few years ago:

Precedex is an important product for Hospira, one that can change practice and benefit patients.  The company was committed to reaching big goals and making this a blockbuster product for Hospira.   

And step one was bringing the corporate decision-makers together in one room for a workshop to use their collective experience and expertise to drive thinking, establish priorities, and focus on the most important things – the right things in the right order.

The Precedex team recognized the importance of developing a “vision” strategy – building a solid foundation for this unique and valuable product.

The main goal for this N-of-8 Vision Advancement was to initiate the development of a three-year Precedex strategy map that would identify the overarching strategy, sub-strategies, issues and top-line tactics for increasing awareness, expanding reach, and increasing sales. The team understood the importance of identifying and articulating a value proposition from the perspective of the customer and came together to explore and develop Precedex strategy maps using the N-of-8 along with our Strategic GPS® process.

We began the N-of-8 initiative with pre-workshop “listening” interviews designed to gather preliminary ideas and thinking around what was possible.  In the session, the team determined “where we are” in relation to the customer, and advanced the thinking to identify “where we want to be” in 3 to 5 years, from a customer perspective.

This exploration further focused and defined thinking as it relates to overall strategy and vision development.

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

8 ways to be ruthless with your time

  1. Say no. Expand beyond what you were told and say ‘no’ to any requests on your time that don’t actually move your work along. You can be nice about it, but avoid taking on new projects. I know that you’re thinking that you can’t just going around telling everyone that you aren’t going to help them, and, sure, if you have some time to spare, there isn’t anything wrong with lending a helping hand. But your work must come before helping others. 
  2. Stop hitting snooze. I will struggle with my alarm clock until the day I die. But giving in to the temptation of the snooze button will only lose both you and I precious time. It’s a bad habit to start, and a hard one to stop. As long as you are getting enough sleep, though, you need to get up when the buzzer goes off. If you need another hour in the day, why would you spend an hour dozing in bed after your alarm’s gone off?
  3. Procrastinate. In fact, I suggest that you procrastinate shamelessly. As a freelance writer, I make a point to work on projects in the order of their due dates. This means that I’m often finishing up projects hours or even minutes before they’re actually due. It also means that I don’t have to worry about incorporating last minute changes — because I can do it the first time around. I’ve had plenty of projects canceled midway through, as well. If I procrastinate, I can avoid wasting my time on work that I might not get paid for.
  4. Put big tasks first. Get your biggest task or project done first thing in the morning. You’ll need the most time in your day for the big projects. Small tasks (even if they’re important) can be done in the fifteen minutes between meetings or waiting for the bus. Develop your ability to estimate how long a task will take you: do you need to sit down and spend some time to get it done? Or can you do it on your way to your next stop?
  5. Leave early. If you can get somewhere even a few minutes early, you’ll probably have to wait — which is a waste of time, right? Wrong! Remember those small tasks you want to get done today, but haven’t gotten to yet? Make use of those few valuable minutes to return a phone call, write a memo or plan out tomorrow. You may need to drag along a few office supplies — I keep a notebook and pen with me at all times, personally — but you’d be surprised what you can get done. If it’s a nice day, consider just sitting in your car with the windows down. You’ll even get the benefit of a little extra fresh air.
  6. Ignore irrelevancies. As painful as it is to turn off your email for even a few minutes, it’s probably not relevant to the project you need to be working on right now. Be ruthless with yourself and turn off your email and other distractions (instant messenger, phone and anything else). You can always respond later — and if it’s a real emergency, like the building is burning down around your ears, somebody will probably come in to your office to let you know.
  7. Stay aware. At about two o’clock each afternoon, I feel like the only thing I want to do is take a nap. But I know that I can make myself more aware — enough, at least, to concentrate on my work — by taking a walk out in the fresh air and downing a soda. Keeping yourself focused is key to getting a project done and over with: if you’re less than aware of what you’re working on, you not only run the risk of making a mistake, you’re also likely to take much longer to finish your project. And the more time, you spend on a particular task, the less time you have for every other thing you want to do today.
  8. Plan your day. While you may need to have a flexible plan for your day, you still need an outline of the day. List what you absolutely must get done today, what meetings you have planned and any other notes you’ll need for the day. While you don’t have to be strict to the point of refusing to do anything not on your plan, having an actual schedule for your day can help you to be ruthless with others’ requests on your time: “I’d love to help you out, Jane, but I’m completely scheduled today.”

Friday, March 01, 2013

How would you compare and contrast “closed loop” marketing e-platforms?

I'm working on an unbiased appraisal of the features, advantages and limitations of “closed loop” marketing e-platforms.

Closed Loop Marketing refers to a loop of two-way messaging with customers. Marketing messages and materials are pushed to the customer based upon insights on customer preferences, or accessed in a self-service model. Based on data gathered during the interaction, a cycle of continuous improvement is enacted; for example enhanced knowledge about the customer and customer preferences allow us to refine the message or content to improve subsequent interactions.

When the insights gained during a customer interaction are used to make a change in the sales and marketing approach in order to improve a subsequent interaction, the loop is closed.

CLM is about building relationships using data gleaned from customer interactions through various communication channels to support the continuous refining of relationships. The selection of the channel should be driven by customer preference and/or receptivity. A secondary benefit of closed loop marketing is an improved customer database and refined segmentation including behavioral attributes.

Closed Loop Marketing can operate at many different levels of sophistication. As knowledge about the customer increases, the content becomes more and more relevant based on our ability to adapt the channel, content, message, or other preferences.

I’d be interested in your experiences with these customer interactions for closed loop marketing:

  • Face-to-face
  • Remote
  • eDetailing
  • Web sites
  • Self-service content libraries
  • Call centers
  • Internet (including on-line ordering)