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Visualizing the Root of Your Most Pressing Business Problems

Visualizing the Root of Your Most Pressing Business Problems

Your business’s performance suffers when people don’t do what your business needs them to do. So why aren’t they doing what you need them to do? To help you understand why you are enduring increasing customer dissatisfaction and employee lethargy, we have prepared a paper, “The Meaning Gap: What it Means to Your Business.” The meaning gap represents the distance that’s growing between your business and the people vital to it’s success. As your business becomes more sophisticated, measured, and managed – in other words, less human – it...
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What Do Employees Truly Want? A Job That Matters

What Do Employees Truly Want? A Job That Matters

According to a recent study, over half of workers – and an amazing 72% of students – list “a job where I can make an impact” as very important or essential to their happiness. What does this mean to employers? It means that they would benefit from establishing a meaningful workplace for their employees. They would define a “purpose beyond profit” – a statement that sums up how what your company does, and how it does it, makes an impact in which employees play a vital part. They would infuse their workplace with this purpose beyond profit by...
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How the Age of Opulence Set Us Off on Mindless Consumerism

How the Age of Opulence Set Us Off on Mindless Consumerism

We came across this 1930 quote from the post “This isn’t happiness”, which was featured on the Explore blog. We believe it shows the point at which things started to get ugly. This was a call for a time of mindless consumerism. A time when people “had to be trained”. And boy, were we ever trained. Whatever it was, as long as it was “more, faster, cheaper, now”, we bought it. We filled our houses, then our garages, and then rented storage pods, with stuff we didn’t really want or need. Everything got cheaper and cheaper at a time when we made...
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Businesses That Matter Reward Loyalty in Ways That Matter

Businesses That Matter Reward Loyalty in Ways That Matter

Add a meaningful dimension to your loyalty offering to make it matter more to your best customers, your business, and the world. Your most loyal customers are no doubt financially important to you. But, is your loyalty program just a transactional system, or is it also a rewarding hug for the people loyal to your business? In other words, does your loyalty program have both an ROI and an ROM (return on meaning)? Something for Nothing Everyone loves to be rewarded for being a good customer. Points and perks are powerful ways to say “thank you”. The strongest loyalty programs...
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Feelings Are the New Values in Workplaces That Matter

Feelings Are the New Values in Workplaces That Matter

Aligning employees, getting them engaged, and creating a workplace that people not only love to work in, but strive to get a place in, is the “holy grail” for many companies. And with good reason. Without a workplace that people find gratifying, a company runs the risk of having employees working at cross purposes, working at half speed, and spending more time looking for a new job than doing their current job. In our “Meaningful Workplace” paper we talk about the need for companies to change the way they reach out to employees in the age of meaning. No doubt, your...
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Are We Really In The Age Of Meaning?

Are We Really In The Age Of Meaning?

In our white paper, The Age Of Meaning, we explore the challenges and opportunities this new era presents to business. Referring to economist Umair Haque’s contention that we’ve left the “age of opulence” – a time of hyper-consumerism based on the mantra of “bigger, faster, cheaper, now” – we make the point that the age of meaning didn’t suddenly appear. There was no “Breaking News” story, no Twitter trending topic, and no planned downtime for a total system upgrade. It crept up on us, through current events that jarred our...
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Survey Shows CMOs Starting to Recognize the Need to Matter

Survey Shows CMOs Starting to Recognize the Need to Matter

IBM regularly surveys CMOs to identify trends. A recent Forbes blog post by consultant Avi Dan reports an interesting finding from the latest survey. The traditional marketing funnel is now a series of loops, as people turn to the many new options for learning about, and being influenced about, a product or service selection. In this environment, purchase decision making changes dramatically. More and more factors are considered, and more and more of them become “deal breakers”. Today, the final cut will come down to the businesses, products, services and brands that have good...
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C-Suite Confusion, Fear and Disagreement

C-Suite Confusion, Fear and Disagreement

It’s little wonder someone like musician David Carroll was inspired to produce a music video – that went viral – about United Airlines’s cavalier attitude toward him when he complained about how they badly damaged his guitar in transport. “United Breaks Guitars” – cited in an excellent report from the Economist Intelligence Unit – was a wake up call to United. But its point about the importance of responsive customer service in the on-line age doesn’t seem to have penetrated the business world as yet. As the infographic summarizes,...
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This is a Time of Positive, Constructive and Gratifying Change…

This is a Time of Positive, Constructive and Gratifying Change…

We published a white paper on The Age of Meaning, in which we review the many implications this new era holds for business leaders. Here we’d like to explore our claim that, “This is a time of positive, constructive and gratifying change…”. Positive change Why do we see this as a time of “positive” change? Because the thrust of this change is well-intentioned and seeks nothing less than to make this world a better place. Customers and employees seek out businesses that care about, and act responsibly about, environmental, social and workplace issues....
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Creating a Presence That Matters, Silo by Silo

Creating a Presence That Matters, Silo by Silo

Hugh Macleod makes the point that many companies diminish the impact of their overall presence by a creating fragmented experience across numerous, uncoordinated silos. In his cartoon, Hugh refers to communication channels, but each of these silos are often multiplied by other silos within companies (e.g. products, divisions, etc.). Regardless, each “silo owner” has their own “strategy”, which in the absence of an overall brand strategy they understand and respect , is whatever they think will work best to reach their short-term goals. Far better that your business...
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“We Cannot Solve Our Problems With the Same Thinking We Used to Create them.” ~Albert Einstein

“We Cannot Solve Our Problems With the Same Thinking We Used to Create them.” ~Albert Einstein

One of the challenges of modern business is to get people engaged, motivated and gratified to either work for you, or do business with you. For numerous reasons, people (formerly known as employees and customers) are more demanding of whom they work for, what they buy and whom they buy from. This sea-change of popular attitude, beliefs and behaviors have caught many businesses by surprise. Why? Because they haven’t begun to adapt their way of doing business to the reality of how people think, feel and act in this, The Age of Meaning This is a critical time for business. It’s a...
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Why What’s “Under the Hood” Matters Less These Days

Why What’s “Under the Hood” Matters Less These Days

These two photos were recently featured on a blog we came across, and vividly reminded us about how technology is disappearing from view and being replaced by other purchasing criteria. On the top left, a Mercedes from 1982; top right a recent Mercedes concept car. On bottom left, Apple II from 1977; bottom right, 2012 Apple Retina MacBook Pro. From heavy industry to high tech, progressive and confident manufacturers are literally hiding the “technological guts” of their machines and devices. Once the heroes of marketing, turbo chargers and CPUs are now relegated to powering...
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Finding a New Place on the Spectrum of “Wow”

Finding a New Place on the Spectrum of “Wow”

Many clients say they want to create a feeling of “wow.” But, there is a spectrum of wow experiences, and it is important to find the right place on that spectrum for your business, product or service. On one end is the, “OMG, I couldn’t believe it, it was sooooo cooooool” kind of wow. This is a fun sort of wow and best experienced in person. However, “OMG wows” tend to be momentary in nature; the power of the experience, while intense in the moment, fades quickly away. Also, it is very hard to convey the full feeling of that kind of wow to other...
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Irritating Ads Give Way to Conversations That Matter

Irritating Ads Give Way to Conversations That Matter

For too long, marketers have relied on TV ads to create “awareness” for their products and services. Relying on the ideas of “impact” and “frequency,” the most aggressive TV ad marketers have proved so irritating that people reached for the remote, bought TiVos, or simply stop watching television. Today smart businesses are recognizing that the most effective way of getting people to know about, try and buy their products and services is through word of mouth. And the most effective word of mouth – be it delivered through social media or through...
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Schools That Matter Truly Matter to Parents

Schools That Matter Truly Matter to Parents

With the state of education sparking parental fears and a plethora of schooling options prompting parental confusion and anxiety, smart schools are looking for ways they can matter more to parents. Of course, kids are the primary “business” of educators, but every learning institution needs to reach out and convince parents that their school is the best option. The secret lies in taking all the good that happens within your school and transforming that into thoughts that will prove personally relevant and emotionally important to parents – given their mindset, concerns and...
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