“Passion.” That’s exactly what a growing number of young women and men have for animals.
Therefore, as THE NEW YORK TIMES reports, they work very hard to prepare for veterinary school, which is difficult to get into. Those who are admitted take on six-figure student loan debt. At the end of three years not many are the lucky ones to be hired for the few jobs out there. And, most of those few jobs hardly pay enough to justify the loan debt.
Professional tragedies like that one as well as those happening among the passionate in journalism and law schools have more and more people considering what “passion” means. Could it simply denote love of something and that’s about all? Passion doesn’t necessarily translate into professional career success.
More importantly, what does “passion” indicate about the professional? Would you dare have your wedding dress produced by someone who ad reads “Passionate About Your Special Day” or the one whose ad reads “Produced 200 wedding dresses for Brides Whose Testimonials Are Framed In Our Shop?”
In short, what message are you sending when you use the term “passion?” Not a clear one. Therefore, businesses and nonprofits might rethink leveraging “passion” in marketing communications and public relations. In addition to not really meaning much as a message about your product or service, it is overused.
Kate Sirignano, founder of Image Marketing Consultants, invites you for a complimentary consultation on your marketing, public relations, partnership, special events, and social media needs firstname.lastname@example.org, 203-404-4868.
Technology has made The Sharing Economy Possible. For example, smartphones facilitate finding out about a room to rent for two nights in an apartment in Stamford, Connecticut. However, at its core and where businesses can profit and nonprofits can enhance their brandnames and fundraising, The Sharing Economy is a mindset.
In its cover story on The Sharing Economy, THE ECONOMIST (subscription required) hammers that this way of conducting transactions gives access to just about everything to just about everyone. On a commercial level, Zipcar brought that maintream in college towns. Students had access to cars to run errands or take day trips without the resources or responsibility of owning a car. More recently Airbnb gives tourists access to great lodging at a much cheaper rate than traditional hotels do.
How can you leverage the sharing mindset to generate better outcomes for your enterprise or nonprofit? Here are three tips:
Collaborate. You have down cold how students get admitted to elite educational institutions. The neighbor’s public relations firm has the resources to prepare the application materials and coach the interview process. Put that together and you both can be more successful, without having to “own” any additional lines of business. The additional payoff is the partnership can expand the brand identities of both.
Be more opportunistic than strategic. You might not have planned to lease the back of your hair salon to the psychic whose space flooded. But you do. Soon enough you’re passing on customers to each other. The local paper covers this match. Eventually, you both need more square footage.
Parachute in and help. Networks often are built on the pooling of different assets. At the top of the list are information, skills, and contacts. The new solo lawyer can’t attract clients. You tutor her on how to market, re-do her website for organic search (SEO), and bring in your friend who was busted for a DUI as her first case. As her practice flourishes, she refers business to you and others on your network.
How much you can gain and give through The Sharing Economy depends on how much of a shift you can make from the status quo to out of the box ways of approaching individual and organizational success.
Kate Sirignano invites you to a complimentary consultation for your “Sharing Economy” inititiaves, partnerships, marketing, public relations, special events, and social media. Please contact email@example.com, 203-404-4868.
“How could we have ‘bet the ranch’ on a marketing campaign we didn’t test enough?”
That kind of regret is typical of businesspeople who find that they have made a major mistake. They are shocked that it happened. Their confidence has taken a hit. And they want some bulletproof guidance on how they can avoid such errors in the future.
The reality is that businesses always made mistakes, sometimes big ones like when Coca-Cola introduced “New Coke” and Ford manufacturerd the Edsel. What is different now is that businesses have less of a margin for error so the resources that mistake consumed are highly visible on the balance sheet. Also, competition is more fierce, eager to take advantage of a stumble. In addition, there is the fear of not being able to bounce back.
Because of the severe consequences of mistakes for businesses, hands-on managment experts such as Reid Hoffman, cofounder of social network for professionals LinkedIn, recommend placing small bets, not investing too much in any one initiative. In his new book “The Start-up of You,” Hoffman confirms the uncertainty of the marketplace of the 21st century. There are more unknowns than knowns out there. Businesses, at best, are handed lots of pieces of the puzzle. It will take time, a lot of false starts, and a lot of course correction to put the pieces together. Therefore, it is downright reckless to assume that any one venture will pan out.
Smart businesspeople, shows Hoffman, currently test out their hunches in launching a new company, determining pricing, configuring marketing approaches, and training the sales force in relatively small steps. Frequently, they simultaneously have several of those small initiatives, for example in marketing, going at once. They will select the ones which work and toss the rest. The expense can be peanuts.
Kate Sirignano, founder of Image Marketing Consultants, invites you to a complimentary consultation for your marketing, public relations, partnerships, special events, and social media needs firstname.lastname@example.org 203-404-4868.
Marissa Mayer, Chief Executive Officer at Yahoo, has created a global controversy by her ban on telecommuting. She contends that innovation mandates people collaborate in person, eyeball to eyeball, not via digital devices. Research backs up that, yes, working alone in one’s home office does boost productivity but it is a constraint on the bubbling up of new ideas. We at Image Marketing Consultants agree in the power of human beings joining together in person. One of our special areas of expertise is special events.
What we find, special event after special event, is that human beings need to get together, in the flesh, where they can interact with each other, cell by cell. The power of that kind of interaction has been confirmed by researchers in the field of mirror neurons. We influence each other directly. The professional who’s a type of Idea Factory will set in play the creative thinking of all the others there. The professional who’s known as The Implementer will start the ball rolling on how to test out the ideas. The professional who’s The Connector will get members of the group to sign up for tasks.
Mayer’s decree will continue to be controversial. But there’s no question that there is a surge in demand of people finding ways to get together. Here at Image Marketing Consultants we are receiving increasing requests to plan and oversee special events.
Kate Sirignano, founder of Image Marketing Consultants, invites you to a complimentary consultation for your special events, marketing, public relations, partnerships, and social media email@example.com, 203-404-4868.
There was a business which positioned itself as the best friend of the frugal. Its mission statement described how it pulled out all stops to supply the budget-conscious with the best quality at the best price. The enterprise did well.
Then a relative who had studied design introduced into the chain upscale merchandise ranging from Coach-like pocketbooks to hand-crafted earrings. Those sold like hotcakes at premium prices. Yet, the business considered stopping the line because it conflicted with the mission statement. In short, what the business said about itself or its narrative was getting in the way of more revenue and profit, with not a lot of heavy lifting.
As the economy keeps changing and organizations find themselves with new challenges and opportunities, their narratives can be holding them back. They might have adopted a risk-averse stance, for example, in hard times. Now that times are better for them those narratives about staying the course are constraints on growth. A bakery whose story is about total indulgence is hesitating in introducing heathy desserts. A writing firm which has been serving small business and promotes that in all its marketing material feels it cannot bid on larger accounts.
In short, your organization’s story about itself or its narrative can have more negative impacts than any competitor might. Here are four tips on how to break the hold of the past on your present:
Identify your narrative and determine if it still is accurate. Remember that everything changes. You organization is continually reconfiguring itself and you might not have realigned your marketing materials, including the mission statement, to what is really happening now.
Calculate the risk of adding or deleting elements from your story. You might be considering adding “luxury you can afford” to your identity as an ecommerce company providing the best bargains of the web. The risk could be reduced if you phase in the phrase, along with the merchandise, “Including some luxury items you can afford.” Consumers are more apt to accept change that is introduced in small bites. Ask for feedback on the addition or deletion. Consumers love to express their opinion.
Conduct small experiements. Even a mom-and-pop business can do test marketing. All that takes is to conduct small experiments which do not disrupt the rest of the business. For instance, the bakery can restrict one shelf to healthy desserts and promote them in a muted way. If that turns out to be too quiet a launch, then the counter person can offer complimentary samples to customers and an employee dressed like a vegetable or fruit can distribute flyers about the introduction in the neighborhood.
Host a special event, all the better with partners. Stage celebrations to include consumers in what’s new which stays. Special events are becoming increasingly in demand because Americans, after so many tragedies and disappointments in the 21st century, want to come together and enjoy being with each other. Also, they are weary of digital connecting. The bakery which is grossing one-third of revenues through healthy desserts can orchestrate a celebration in the neighborhood. The theme can be taking care of ourselves. That can be done in partnership with other healthy players such as the yoga studio, gym, farmers’ market, and chain drug store.
Kate Sirignano, founder of Image Marketing Consultants, invites you to a complimentary consultation on your positioning, marketing, public relations, partnerships, special events, and social media firstname.lastname@example.org, 203-404-4868.
Economists from JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley forecast that GDP (Gross Domestic Product) growth will “rebound” this first quarter of 2013. However, that doesn’t mean that organizations will not continue to lay off employees, that is conduct a Reduction-in-Force (RIF).
RIFs have become the “new normal” and not only for cost efficiency. As your products/services, market conditions, and technology keep changing so might manpower needs. For example, you are closing down your physical office and becoming an ecommerce business. Here are tips how to manage that RIF to protect your brand, prevent customer/client flight, and maintain positive community relations.
Tell the story of why this is necessary for the business. The deep economic downturn has conditioned all constituencies to accept layoffs as a restructuring must. Explain in detail how the changes will strengthen the business. If you predict eventual growth which can create jobs in the future, say that.
Identify the right mediums at the right time to tell this story to employees, vendors, customers/clients, investors, community leaders, and regulatory agencies. For employees,for example, in-person conversations are the best approach. If you are a public company, all material information must be released to all investors at the same time.
Make effort to place employees within or outside the organization. There may be jobs within your organization employees can fill or you may be able to contract with them for just-in-time assignments. On the night a Connecticut political leader lost the election, in his televised concession speech he appealed to employers to hire his staff. That positioned him as a selfless hero. It can enhance your brand.
Keep constituencies up-to-date about your progress. Layoffs are tricky business because they can send the signal that the organization is in distress. That’s exactly why you must disclose in detail in a timely manner the results coming from the new approaches. For example, what technology have you been able to purchase with the funds freed up from manpower expenses?
Kate Sirignano, founder of Image Marketing Consultants, invites you to a complimentary consultation on your communications, marketing, partnerships, special events, and social media email@example.com, 203-404-4868.