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Startups, Change the Conversation With Your Engineering Team

Startups, Change the Conversation With Your Engineering Team

It’s an all too familiar startup sight. Your technical co-founder and dev team have their eyes glued to screens of scrolling code as their fingers fly across keyboards and music blasts through their earbuds. They are driving hard toward the launch date, losing themselves in their work and consuming Red Bull like there’s no tomorrow. Time for a breath of fresh air. Writing on Quora, Nikos Moraitakis, Founder & CEO of WorkableHR.com, sets the following as one of ten helpful tasks non-technical co-founders should undertake: “Nurture good spirit, keep everyone...
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Your People Will Make Your Brand Meaningful (If They Believe in You)

Your People Will Make Your Brand Meaningful (If They Believe in You)

There are many “tangible” brand moments that are under direct control of a brand (the lobby people enter, the ad campaign they see, the packaging on the product they open, etc.). However, there are also many “intangible” moments that play an important part in defining the success of a brand. These are moments when people of the brand interact with other employees, customers, partners, suppliers, distributor, investors, community leaders, and so on. Behind every great brand there are great people talking with important people. When a brand seeks to move toward greater...
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How Leading Companies are Winning Through Meaningful Brand Strategies: The Research Firm’s Perspective

How Leading Companies are Winning Through Meaningful Brand Strategies: The Research Firm’s Perspective

Millward Brown, is a market research firm with offices in 56 countries. Their Stengel Study of Business Growth reaches out to consumers and employees to assess the impact of businesses and brands. Here is a summary of their findings: “The Stengel Study of Business Growth ultimately identified 50 brands with extraordinary growth over the 2000s relative to their competition. These Top 50 brands across all categories have created more meaningful relationships with people. They have far outpaced their competition in brand value, and they have contributed to faster and greater business value...
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Every Brand Should Have A “Director Of Something Special”

Every Brand Should Have A “Director Of Something Special”

Random acts of kindness and generosity are a great way to acknowledge valuable customers and employees – and to create a meaningful buzz about your brand. Why not appoint someone in your company as the “Director of Something Special” and define their role as: “To create random moments of unexpected happiness for the staff and customers of our company”? Determine an appropriate budget, keeping in mind that the real value of the exercise will be in the gesture as much as the gift itself. Then let your “Director of Something Special” find people that deserve a special “thank you” from your...
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Change How You Think About Values At Your Company

Change How You Think About Values At Your Company

“Values can be defined as broad preferences concerning appropriate courses of action or outcomes. As such, values reflect a person’s sense of right and wrong or what “ought” to be.” – Wikipedia Enterprises seek “appropriate” courses of action and outcomes, so they establish and communicate a set of corporate values. But, too many businesses find that employees aren’t sufficiently influenced by these values. In other words, they don’t fully embrace the ideals, they often act in “wrong” ways, and they don’t work together...
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What We’ve Always Yearned For; What We Especially Need Today

What We’ve Always Yearned For; What We Especially Need Today

Over the past few months I’ve been thinking about the question of nature vs nurture. What we’ve always yearned for The “nature” idea states that we humans think and behave in the same ways we have always done, since our hunter/gatherer days. It’s the notion that “nothing ever changes” when it comes to human behavior and that we are still driven by the same set of basic human needs. In today’s world the “nature” idea means that the internet, mobile technology, social media, etc. haven’t really lead to, or enabled, new human...
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Are The Inner Workings Of Your Business Stressing The Credibility Of Your Brand?

Are The Inner Workings Of Your Business Stressing The Credibility Of Your Brand?

I recently came across a Smithsonian blog post that decoded the spray-painted hieroglyphics we commonly see on our roads. The color coded system was developed after a tragedy occurred when construction workers accidentally cut through a petroleum pipe line in 1976. Each color corresponds to a different underground service. Below the surface of your brand, there’s a complex business at work. Much like the various services which we trod over every day without realizing, components of the business behind your brand are often little fiefdoms that may be working at cross-purposes when it comes to...
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If Your Employees Took A Vote, Would They Re-Elect Your CEO?

If Your Employees Took A Vote, Would They Re-Elect Your CEO?

I recently came across an article about a company so deep into democratic values that employees actually elect the CEO. The adoption of democratic principles in business is a growing phenomenon. But my question isn’t whether your business is run as a democracy. My question is, would you win re-election if it were? Have you earned the respect and admiration of your employees by not only what you say, but what you do? Have you provided them with a workplace that matters to them (and to the success of the enterprise)? Have you created a culture of respect, based on empathy, that makes people...
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What Does it Take to Get Noticed in Today’s Competitive Brand Landscape?

What Does it Take to Get Noticed in Today’s Competitive Brand Landscape?

“People will sit up and take notice of you, if you will sit up and take notice of what makes them sit up and take notice. “ – Harry Selfridge On our televisions, Jeremy Piven portrays the pioneering retailer Harry Selfridge. But even in Selfridge’s day, “brands” faced the fundamental challenge of simply getting people to take notice. Today, despite the proliferation of media via the Internet and mobility, any brand still has the task of getting noticed as one of the 5,000+ brand impressions people experience every day. Of course, if you have a product or service that is genuinely cutting...
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When People Who “Don’t Do Endorsements” Pointedly Endorse A Brand

When People Who “Don’t Do Endorsements” Pointedly Endorse A Brand

Like most people, Professor Gary Hamel does not make a habit of being a shill for brands. But… When a brand reaches out in a significant way, even the most conservative of us will end up saying something about it. We’ll find the language that helps us express the distance we see between what we appreciate and what we’ve tolerated in the past. And we’ll say it out loud, often couching our comments in a “I don’t usually do this, but…” excuse. That’s the true power of an emotionally meaningful brand strategy – a strategy that creates experiences that rise above the norm, stand apart from the...
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