Branding Yourself - Bruce Turkel

Branding Yourself

You Are Known By The Company You Keep.

You Are Known By The Company You Keep.

I like it when I see a collection of political candidate signs clustered together on someone’s yard. Especially when the assortment includes a sign for their preferred presidential candidate. That’s because as much as I try to stay up-to-date with local and regional politics, I often don’t know about a specific commissioner, judge, or state ...

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If it’s Not Worth it to Them, it’s Not Worth it to You.

If it’s Not Worth it to Them, it’s Not Worth it to You.

My father was a general contractor on Miami Beach in the 1960s. As innovative as my dad was, the business was still a rather analog affair. Supplies were delivered on flatbeds, building materials were inventoried on a clipboard, boards were nailed together by hand, and job sites were cleaned up by laborers with shovels, push ...

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It’s Not Magic, It’s Music.

It’s Not Magic, It’s Music.

Gloria and I were watching some music awards show where Bruno Mars was performing Amy Winehouse’s song Valerie. During the performance, the horn players were doing a little dance when all of a sudden they jumped up and did a coordinated dance move. Of course they did it at precisely the same time. If you ...

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I Had No Idea What Was Going To Happen.

I Had No Idea What Was Going To Happen.

Not very long ago – sometime in early to mid-April – it seemed as if almost everyone I know was calling and telling me they were how concerned they were. Covid. Unrest. Lockdown. Politics. The economy. Despite their concerns, the common word they all seemed to use was “uncertainty.” After hearing different versions of the ...

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How Competent Are You Really?

How Competent Are You Really?

Do you think you’re smarter or more talented than the people around you? More to the point, do you think you’re smarter or more talented than you really are? If so, you’re not alone. The Dunning-Kruger Effect describes a specific cognitive bias that causes people to overestimate their knowledge or ability. Simply put, it explains ...

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Reality and Madness. Sadness or Euphoria.

Reality and Madness. Sadness or Euphoria.

I think that Billy Joel is one of the greatest songwriters in modern American pop music. Joel stands along with Stevie Wonder, James Taylor, Carole King, Jackson Brown, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Smokey Robinson, and Bruce Springsteen. Of course your list may vary. My favorite Billy Joel song? Summer Highland Falls, from his Turnstiles album ...

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How You Can Write A Book.

How You Can Write A Book.

You know the old joke: How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, man, practice. Here’s today’s version: How do you write a book? Write, man, write. At least once a week someone asks my advice about writing a book. The conversation usually goes something like this: Potential author: “Hey Bruce… you’ve published a bunch ...

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Is Your Brand Racist or Racial?

Is Your Brand Racist or Racial?

Recently all of these storied brands have come under protest and scrutiny for being offensive: Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben’s, Mrs. Butterworth’s, Eskimo Pie, Barbie, GI Joe, the Washington Redskins, the Cleveland Indians, the Atlanta Braves. How about all of those Disney movies you grew up with? Jungle Book, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Or ...

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The Psychologist’s Fallacy and Your Business.

The Psychologist’s Fallacy and Your Business.

Back in 1996 I was browsing the shelves of a bookstore (remember them?) when I happened across Caleb Carr’s novel The Alienist. I was already a big fan of historical fiction, especially concerning the Victorian age, and the book became an instant favor of mine. My memory of it was so strong that when I ...

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Don’t Bore Us. Get to the Chorus.

Don’t Bore Us. Get to the Chorus.

Berry Gordy Jr., founder of Motown Records, was a notoriously mercurial and mercenary businessman.  Although Gordy was responsible for some of the most powerful, popular, and passionate R&B and soul music ever created, the stories of him making musical decisions based on finances instead of aesthetics are legion. What’s more, Gordy insisted on ironclad creative ...

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The Serenity Prayer and The Coronavirus.

The Serenity Prayer and The Coronavirus.

The Serenity Prayer and The Coronavirus. American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr composed his famous Serenity Prayer in 1923. Throughout the 1930s and 40s the prayer spread throughout church groups and was adapted by Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12-step programs without attribution to the original author. According to Wikipedia, Niebuhr used it in a 1943 sermon in ...

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Surprises From The MasterMind

Surprises From The MasterMind

Surprises From The MasterMind About ten years ago I heard about a MasterMind that was being created for what I’m calling the “superstar speakers.” It was put together by the top seven or eight money-makers in my industry. I wanted into that club. Badly. Or so I thought. So I signed up for the three-day ...

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Fee or Free? Which Helps The Most?

Fee or Free? Which Helps The Most?

My friend Cathy Berkowitz ran a risk-management consulting firm. She and her business partner would tour factories and recommend the steps needed to protect companies against potential calamities. Cathy soon discovered that the problem with her business concept wasn’t that her services weren’t needed, but that prevention is the most difficult thing to sell. Why? ...

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Coronavirus and the Tyranny of Seamlessness.

Coronavirus and the Tyranny of Seamlessness.

Coronavirus and the Tyranny of Seamlessness. Ironically enough, one of the most important aspects to shooting good video is the audio. I’ve learned that viewers will put up with fuzzy shots or shaky images, but if the sound is bad or hard to hear, they’ll sign off almost immediately. Because of that, I’m always fretting ...

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Healing the Coronavirus’ Effect on Small Business

Healing the Coronavirus’ Effect on Small Business

Healing the Coronavirus’ Effect on Small Business 25 or so years ago, a prestigious design magazine held a competition; They asked famous graphic designers to create a poster about themselves. Needless to say, most of the winning responses were beautifully designed examples of the designers’ egos run amuck. All but one. My friend Michael Bierut’s ...

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People To Help You Cope With the Coronavirus Crises.

People To Help You Cope With the Coronavirus Crises.

People To Help You Cope With the Coronavirus Crises. The Coronavirus outbreak has given new meaning to the term, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” And thanks to Coronavirus we’re all dealing with the “new normal.” But pretty soon we’ll just call it “normal.” This new global pandemic affects all of us ...

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Philip Marlowe on Marketing

Philip Marlowe on Marketing

Up on stage as the opening keynote speaker, I explained to my audience why their efforts branding their businesses by promoting the functions of what they sell or what they do was ineffectual. Instead, I suggested they should spend their time establishing an emotional connection with their customers. I showed them why this would both ...

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The Best Jimmy Buffett in the World

The Best Jimmy Buffett in the World

My good buddy Tom Todoroff  is one of the leading acting and best keynote speaker coaches in the world.  Even though I have no evidence to confirm my hunch, I’m pretty sure that Michael Douglas’ character on the Kominsky Method is based, pretty accurately, on Tom’s life. A quick scan of the testimonials on Tom’s ...

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Profiting From Give and Take

Profiting From Give and Take

Newton’s Third Law of Motion states: “Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.” Later, The Byrds rerecorded Pete Seeger’s interpretation of a passage from the Book of Ecclesiastes: “For everything, (turn turn turn) there is a season.” And so, we all believe that one thing causes another. The Butterfly Effect  It’s natural to believe ...

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Duct-Taped Bananas, Jackson Pollock, and Your Brand

Duct-Taped Bananas, Jackson Pollock, and Your Brand

If you’ve been reading anything about the goings on at Art Basel in Miami, you’ve probably heard about the $120,000 banana.  If you haven’t, here’s what my buddy Keith Harmeyer wrote about the most talked-about work of art at this year’s show:  Duct-taped Bananas  The banana, duct-taped to a wall, was the work of Italian ...

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What You Can Learn from Bobby Ingram

What You Can Learn from Bobby Ingram

Bobby Ingram died last month. Bobby was a stage engineer, high school theater teacher, union stagehand, merchant marine, dolphin captivity activist, navy veteran, father, husband, recording artist, songwriter, raconteur, folk-rock troubadour, and so much more. He was also my friend. Last week Bobby’s community got together and remembered him with a memorial service and celebration ...

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How to Get the Best Results

How to Get the Best Results

The one hour, time-certain meeting convened at 10:00 AM.  It’s 11:45 and we’re only about halfway through the agenda. The enormous conference table is completely surrounded, and even more people fill the folding chairs around the walls. A DOT engineer is making his presentation on the department’s strategy to reconfigure a high-traffic roadway. The engineer ...

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CC2CC – The Most Effective Way For You To Sell Yourself

CC2CC – The Most Effective Way For You To Sell Yourself

Minutes after I walk on stage as a keynote speaker presenting on brand building, I reach into my pocket and pull out a little harmonica. After a quick introduction, I play “Minuet in G” by Johann Sebastian Bach. Once I confirm that everybody recognizes the tune (despite my tortured rendition) I play another tune, this ...

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Why is your Brand Like the Best Croissants in the World?

Why is your Brand Like the Best Croissants in the World?

My friend Naomi owns my favorite breakfast spot — the Madruga Bakery in Coral Gables, right across the street from the University of Miami. The best croissants in the world The Madruga Bakery serves the best croissants I’ve ever tasted, including ones I’ve oohed and aahed over in France, Italy and Spain. Along with the ...

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From Birken Bags to Birkenstocks

From Birken Bags to Birkenstocks

Hermés uber status symbol, the Birken Bag, range from $12,000 to more than $200,000. Fortune Magazine suggests that they might be a good investment because “Earlier this month, a single handbag sold at a Christie’s auction in Hong Kong for $223,000, breaking a world record for handbags sold at auction. That record-setting handbag was a ...

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Words That Don’t Go Together

Words That Don’t Go Together

An oxymoron is defined as a contradiction in terms. In other words, an oxymoron is a figure of speech in which two opposite ideas are joined to create an effect. Perhaps you’ve noticed oxymorons such as cruel kindness, living death, reality television, non-dairy creamer, clearly confused or act naturally. But how about asbestos baby powder? ...

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The Message and Michelangelo

The Message and Michelangelo

Recently I was interviewed by author and business growth specialist Jeff Blackman. I thought you’d enjoy reading the interview. Bruce Turkel sees things from a fascinating perspective. And it’s not because he stands six-foot-four. Instead, it’s because he has the ability to help leaders and companies “…futureproof their brands in a world of constant disruptive ...

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The Power of Story Selling

The Power of Story Selling

American mythologist Joseph Campbell was best known for his theories on the power of stories and myths. Campbell’s theory of the “monomyth” held that all great myths and stories throughout history are simply variations of one powerful meta-myth. Campbell’s theory was so universal, he was even able to extend it to our belief or disbelief ...

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Exploration, Examination, Expression.

Exploration, Examination, Expression.

This morning I read Who Will Lead? It’s one of my favorite blogs, written by my old friend John Calia. John was discussing how conflicted he felt about a recent radio appearance he’d made. Examining his feelings, John wrote, “…it has been a difficult journey to this imperfect place at which I behave imperfectly. It is especially difficult ...

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Sticks and Stones

Sticks and Stones

The advertising agency I worked at specialized in creating successful brands for residential real estate projects. We created advertising strategies, brand identity, and marketing and advertising for high-rises, gated communities, golf resorts, condominiums, and planned communities. WE knew the importance of brand awareness. And we were damn good at creating it. One of the women ...

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