October 25, 2014

Creative Genius? Really?

Perhaps I tend to read too much into the intent of the Prickly Pear. The one I sent to Roy was casting Quixotic shadow puppets. This one seems to be reaching out to slap me as I walk down the sidewalk.

A lot of people have asked about this whole Tucson thing. Why are you moving? Why Tucson? What’s the plan?

The “Why” is more complicated than the “What”, so I’ll explain the why over a glass of red when you come and visit me.

Here’s “what” I’ve found: [Read more...]

Ken Burns on Story Telling

Your weekend assignment:  Watch this short film on compelling story telling.

When you’re ready to start telling your story, check out Shortcut Blogging.

CONTROL: Apple’s Secret to Delivering a Consistently Good Retail Experience

photo: apple.com

The short lesson from this article about Apple’s retail experience is that if you want people to have a consistently good experience with your store, you must CONTROL everything. No element of your store’s experience should be left up to a random element of choice as decided by an hourly employee.

A 2007 employee training manual lays out the A-P-P-L-E “steps of service” with an acronym of the company name: “Approach customers with a personalized warm welcome,” “Probe politely to understand all the customer’s needs,” “Present a solution for the customer to take home today,” “Listen for and resolve any issues or concerns,” and “End with a fond farewell and an invitation to return.” It is reportedly still in use today.

Freedom comes on the other side of control. How are you controlling the experience in your store?

 

BrandingBlog Radio: Ray Seggern and Wizard of Ads Events

Have you met Ray Seggern?

He’s been one of our Wizard of Ads partners since about 2006. He’s stepping into a role as a sort of ringmaster for many of our partners.

By ringmaster, I mean that he’s making an effort to herd our posse of cats onto a flatbed truck and getting them moving in the same direction.

He’s filling a Colonel Parker role by finding speaking gigs for us and he’s creating events where he can sell our services.

He’s got an event planned for May 16, 2012 in St. Louis and we had a chance to talk about it and he spills all the details in this interview.

I always enjoy talking to Ray, when I can get him to sit still long enough. He’s full of energy and I’m sure that a 25-minute podcast felt like an eternity to him.

BUSINESS OWNERS…you really ought to head to St. Louis for this. It’s a measly $67. Get on an airplane. Make a reservation. Go learn something.

BrandingBlog Radio: Test My Marketing with Brian Schmitt

Have you ever poured your time and energy into an ad, or an email, or a blog post, video, phone message, sales pitch, or, or, or….?

Sometimes you are just too close to the issue to realize what may be wrong with your approach, the words you’ve choosen or the the fact that you might be leaving out something critical. TestMyMarketing.com is a place where you can upload your marketing message and have it critiqued by at least 3 marketing professionals who promise not to hold back. If you can take the heat, you’re message will be tempered by fire.

Back in August of 2011, the Awesome Sauce class at Wizard Academy birthed this baby business that was adopted by a couple of students. Brian Schmitt and Matt Lenhart decided that this was an idea that they could get behind and nurse into a full-grown enterprise. Now, more than half-a-year later, they’ve added another partner, changed the name and are in the middle of another launch mode.

I had a chance to catch up with Brian Schmitt last week to discuss how things are going. You’ll like what you hear…or your money back!