Branding - Bruce Turkel

Branding

The Difference That Makes The Difference.

My friend Will told me a great story the other day… After college Will ended up in the entertainment business. He lived his life on the road managing famous bands. He grew his business into the largest tour management company in the country. Will’s roommate in college was Charlie who also ended up in the ...

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I Am A Bonehead.

I Am A Bonehead.

Years ago a good friend of mine was invited to speak at one of those big motivational speaker events. You know the kind – the ones that advertise celebrity speakers such as George W. Bush, Mr. T, and some famous Southern college football coach. They set the admission price really low to fill the venue ...

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All Different Hobbies Are The Same.

All Different Hobbies Are The Same.

Friends invited us to join them for dinner at their sailing club the other night. Thanks to Coronavirus, the restaurant isn’t open but they’re allowed to bring in food. So we were able to sit by the water and enjoy delicious take-out Thai food while we watched the boats and the pelicans and enjoyed some ...

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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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What Will Coronavirus Change? What Will Coronavirus Not Change?

What Will Coronavirus Change? What Will Coronavirus Not Change?

What Will Coronavirus Change? What Will Coronavirus Not Change? People who look ahead to let us know what’s going to happen call themselves futurists or prophets. The more cynical amongst us call them crystal ball gazers or witch doctors. After all, if fortune tellers are so good at their craft, why do they labor in ...

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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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Business Strategies to Survive Coronavirus.

Business Strategies to Survive Coronavirus.

It was Winston Churchill who first said: “Never let a good crisis go to waste.” Churchill’s words are perfectly appropriate considering what’s going on today with the Coronavirus and Covid-19. This could very well be the crises he was talking about. According to The Harvard Business Review (HBR), “in studying the marketing successes and failures ...

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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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Build Your Business With Emotion, Not Reason

Build Your Business With Emotion, Not Reason

It’s time for you to market your business like a pickup truck. That’s because Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) is about to release their 2020 Jeep Gladiator; a midsized truck based on their best-selling Wrangler four-door SUV. The Gladiator is a nostalgic recreation loosely inspired by Jeep’s original Gladiator pickup truck that was built between 1962 ...

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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 Truth According to Uber

The Truth According to Uber

Uber’s new CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, is new to his position, but a recent email to employees proves he is a thoughtful inspirational speaker.When UK officials announced that they would not renew Uber’s license to operate in London, Uber announced its plan to appeal the decision. Moreover, Uber’s chief executive sent a remarkable email to his employees: “While the ...

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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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A Dozen Oysters and Your Brand Strategy.

The Swan Oyster Depot does all this because after 115 years in business they know who they are and why their customers keep coming back. Whether they know it or not, the guys behind the counter have carefully aligned their products and services and their authentic truth, with their customers’ aspirational desires. They clearly and consistently talk their talk and walk their walk and reinforce their brand value.

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Futureproof Your Brand and Your Business.

Your consumers’ reasons for buying what you sell, as well as their ability to pay for those purchases, is changing faster than ever before. And whether your customers are soon-to-be-unemployed cab and truck drivers or household purchasers who have just discovered Amazon Prime, it’s critical for your messaging and sales strategies to change as well.

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The More Things Change, The More Things Change.

The way to futureproof your brand is to build it around the true emotional benefit you provide for your customers. By letting them know that their lives are better because they do business with you, you’ll be letting your customers know that they should continue to work with you because of — or in spite of — where technology takes us.

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Are You a Dancing Bear?

Are you operating from fear or are you looking towards accomplishing the things that will make you feel good about yourself and your life? Or are you a dancing bear, yo-yoing back and forth pain and pleasure or are you moving positively into the future? And even more importantly, are you writing resolutions that allow you to further express your authentic truth or are you using resolutions to force yourself into unnatural behaviors?

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Dealing With Sexual Harassment in Your Company

Soon more workaday businessmen will start reaping the ills of their bad behavior. When that becomes commonplace, businesses in your own hometown — hell, even the company you work for — might have to start dealing with the long overdue fallout of sexual harassment. Remember that people make decisions based on their emotions and justify those decisions with facts. Brands that forget this simple truism do so at their own peril.

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What Do YOU Think Disruption Means?

Savvy marketers are always looking for ways to interrupt your view, make you question your traditional activity or try something different. And whether you’re trying to sell crackers, direct clients to your investment company, or fill your cruise ships, disruption is still an effective way to reach your potential customers. Because unless you’re the market leader, lulling them to continue doing what they’ve always done is not the way to build your business. Getting their attention is.

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You Cannot Square A Circle.

Are you presenting your brand, your business, and yourself in simple terms that your customers can understand? Or are you wrapping yourself in acres of tiresome talk? Are you using big words when small ones will do? Are you using long rationalizations when simple examples offer more clarity? Are you writing an SAT essay when you should be tweeting a competitive advantage? If you are, you are squaring the circle.

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The Secret To Building a Successful Business.

Showing your customers not just how you can help them achieve what they want but how they can be who they want to be puts you in a singular position way above your competition. And making your customers feel good not about just what you can do for them but about themselves will secure your placement in their roster of critical contributors to their own success.

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Five Things You Can Learn From Fireman Bob’s GoFundMe site.

After Hurricane Irma left an 82-year old retired fireman homeless, we created a GoFundMe site to help him rebuild his home. Building Bob’s site taught me about how to use the GoFundMe app but it also taught me a lot about how to use social media as a promotional tool. I discovered five simple tips that can make your social media efforts more successful.

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Make Business Simple – My Four-Word Rules For Success. #10 in a Series.

We’ve spent the last few weeks talking about my four-word rules for business success.  My goal remains simple: I want to give you easy to implement tools, tactics, and techniques to make your business better. Each rule is only four words long because often that’s all it takes to make a huge difference when you ...

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Make Business Simple – Four-Word Rules For Success – #3.

Make Business Simple – Four-Word Rules For Success Success If you’ve been reading along, you know we’ve spent the last few weeks talking about the four-word rules for business success.  My goal remains simple: I want to give you easy to implement tools, tactics, and techniques to make your business better. Each rule is only ...

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Make Business Simple – Four-Word Rules for Success

Make Business Simple – Four-Word Rules for Success Leonardo da Vinci wrote, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” Confucius said, “Life is really simple, but we insist in making it complicated.” Chopin believed, “Simplicity is the final achievement.” If those brilliant minds got it right, then why do spend so much time, money, effort, and heartache ...

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The Streisand Effect and Your Brand

The Streisand Effect and Your Brand Value. Photographer Kenneth Adelman took an aerial photo of Barbra Streisand’s Malibu mansion. In return, the singer sued him for $50,000,000 citing violation of privacy. Before the suit, “Image 3850” (the photo of Streisand’s mansion) had been downloaded from the California Coastal Records Project collection of 12,000 images only ...

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Job Opportunities for Millennials and More

Job Opportunities for Millennials and More Are you looking for job opportunities? You probably don’t need me to tell you that for certain groups these are unprecedented economic times. Our children are the first generation in living memory predicted not to do better than their parents. And this despite the history of our great country ...

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Can you Transcend Politics?

Transcend politics. Companies including Uber, Lyft, Under Armor, Starbucks, Coca-Cola, Nike, and Anheuser Busch have all found themselves on one side or the other of the current chasm of political polarization. Celebrities including Beyoncé, Steph Curry, The Rock, Tom Brady, Mike Tyson, and Dennis Rodman have too. Once upon a time it was business suicide to ...

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The Brand Battlefield – Trump vs. Business vs. Trump

The Brand Battlefield The Trump administration banned immigration from seven predominately Muslim countries. Two days later Starbucks’ chairman and chief executive officer, Howard Schultz, marched onto the brand battlefield and promised the company will hire 10,000 refugees over five years across 75 countries. Uber CEO Travis Kalanick rolled onto the brand battlefield stating Trump’s order would, “affect ...

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Even Idiots Don’t Like Being Told They’re Idiots.

Even Idiots Don’t Like Being Told They’re Idiots. Years and years ago I came up with a brilliant idea for attracting new business. In my daily scouring of newspapers, magazines, and other media (thankfully this was before the Internet) I’d look for advertising that I thought was poorly done. I’d rip the offending page out of ...

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Change Before You’re Forced To Change.

Change Before You’re Forced To Change. To understand the need for change, let’s review the history of the advertising industry. The business was started in the 1800’s when the publisher of a farm journal realized tractor manufacturers, seed companies, and the like couldn’t get reach all the farmers themselves but they could reach them by ...

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Saying No To Business is Easier Than You Think.

It’s the way your brand makes your customers feel about themselves that creates both value and desire. And that’s how to differentiate yourself from the clueless companies by simply thinking about your customers. After all, it’s not like they can’t find what you do somewhere else. And as we’ve said so many times before, in today’s connected world the function of your business is simply cost of entry.

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What Should You Write About? ¯_(ツ)_/¯

Here’s a weird bit of time travel: You’re reading this post on Wednesday morning or sometime after the presidential election is over. That means you already know who our next president is going to be. But I wrote this post before the election. And even though it was pretty clear to me who would prevail, there’s no way to know for sure.

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Midcentury Modern is More Popular Than Ever.

Midcentury Modern is More Popular Than Ever. Midcentury modern is a style of architecture, interior design, and product and graphic design that was created from roughly 1933 to 1965. Its development was the work of architects and designers including George Nelson, Eero Saarinen, Richard Nuetra, Arne Jacobsen, Charles and Ray Eames, and more.You know midcentury modern ...

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The Power of Three Words

L.M. Montgomery, the author of Anne of Green Gables wrote that the most powerful sentences in English are three words or fewer: “He is gone.” “She is dead.” “Too late.” The advertising industry seems to back up a count of three words as well: “Just Do It.” “Think Different.” “Got Milk?” And successful political campaigns, too, ...

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Iannarino: All About Anthony

First an admission with some very strange timing: Anthony Iannarino wrote a new book that you simply have to read. Why is the timing strange for this recommendation? Because as you’ve no doubt seen, I’ve spent the last few weeks incessantly promoting my new book, All About Them. I’ve been on Facebook and Twitter, interviewed ...

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5 P’s #3 Positioning – The Search for Meaning.

Today it’s time to talk about the third P of creating an All About Them brand, positioning. After all, once you’ve dealt with Price and Product, it’s important to understand what your product stands for. Here’s what your product doesn’t stand for: the function of what you do. As we discussed yesterday, function is cost ...

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People Don’t Buy What You Do. The 5 Ps – Product

You’ve spent almost all your time getting really good at what you do. College, maybe graduate school. An internship, entry-level job, moving up the ladder – learning, improving your skills, sharpening your abilities. Now you’re running your own business or movin’ on up the the C-suite and you’re on the top of your game. Making ...

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Write a Book

I could have written All About Them to help friends and readers like you tackle the new world we all find ourselves in. Of course I could have written it to serve as the post-modern guidebook for businesses, professionals, and entrepreneurs to learn how to not just survive but to thrive in today’s increasingly connected environment. And yes, I could have written it to show you proven, step-by-step techniques to build a powerful brand. But c’mon. We’ve been blog friends now for as many as nine years and we’ve always been honest with each other. The reason to write a book was to make my mother happy.

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Ashley Madison on Branding Adultery

Just as nothing will bring back the lives and marriages damaged by the affairs Ashley Madison facilitated, nothing will bring back the company’s initial success either. Because once the company failed to live up to their authentic truth of discretion, they cheated on themselves and created a new business model that’s answering the question nobody’s asking.

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Three Questions Every Professional Needs to Ask

The Three Questions Every Professional Needs to Ask. As service professionals we all do the same thing. Sure, I create branding programs and advertising plans and you write screenplays, reconcile trial balances, argue court cases, engineer air-conditioning schematics, run a convention and visitors’ bureau, manage finances, diagnose health issues, or whatever it is you do. ...

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Unintended Consequences

When you see something you don’t understand and you exclaim, “WTF??!!” understand that those initials do not stand for “What The F@#k??!!” but instead mean “Where’s The Future??!!” Because each time your intuition tells you that something odd is going on, it’s also telling you there could be unintended consequences in the making. That could mean that there’s a potential opportunity brewing too. It’s up to you to find it.

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The Donald Trump brand v. The Hillary Clinton brand

Unless Bernie Sanders can appeal to the Democratic Super Delegates’ sense of fairness and get them to reconsider their commitments based on the outcome of the most recent state primaries and caucuses, our November presidential contest will be between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. As I see it, this election is an incredible opportunity for ...

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One Word Brands. The Key to Donald Trump’s Success.

One Word Brands. The Key to Donald Trump’s Success. Of the estimated $2 billion dollars in free media Donald Trump has received during the 2016 presidential campaign, lots of it has been dedicated to explaining his surprisingly successful rise as the GOP’s presumptive presidential nominee. Some pundits acknowledge Trump’s mastery of today’s most influential media. As ...

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Brand Building Methods.

The old school way to build a brand was to work on sales pitches. The better you pitch, the more you sell. But today it’s essential to uncover the essential truths that will help you construct an offer that consumers will be compelled to choose. Because as I’ve talked about so many times before, the key to building a powerful brand is to discover your authentic truth and express it to your audiences by showing them how your brand resonates in their lives.

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How Do You Build a Brand?

Dealstorming is a scalable, repeatable process that any B2B sales team can use to encourage a breakthrough on a tough sale. Tim’s plan suggests including every person who has a stake in the sale, questioning existing assumptions, and channeling the collective experience of the group, to uncover creative solutions and achieve a stunning 70% close ratio.

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Bowie is Dead. I’m Sorry for Your Loss.

David Bowie passed away on Sunday at the age of 69. And even if you didn’t really know him, you just lost a vital role model. Bowie was a lot of things: Musician. Rock star. Fashion plate. Gender identity activist. Businessman. Songwriter. Record producer. Multi-instrumentalist. Painter. Actor. Arranger. Dramatist. And the ultimate zeitgeist cypher of ...

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Interest Follows Investment.

As sensitive as I am to someone asking me to knock out a “quick logo,” or “just a little speech – won’t take you anytime at all,” I’m embarrassed to admit I’ve been guilty of this same crime. I’ve devalued more than one person’s knowledge, effort, and experience by asking for a quick solution to a problem that deserved all of the skills and attention a professional could rally. But not surprisingly, when I have done this I’m never happy with the results. Not necessarily because my chosen professional didn’t make the appropriate effort but because I callously undervalued their abilities and achievements.

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This Lifeguard Tale Tells It All.

When the little swimmer’s head ducked under the waves and didn’t pop right back up his grandmother started running towards the lifeguard station screaming, “My grandson’s drowning, my grandson’s drowning. Help! HELP!!” The strapping lifeguard scanned the ocean with his binoculars in the direction the hysterical woman was pointing. After a quick moment he spun ...

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What The Hell Does Volkswagen Do Now?

By now everyone on the planet knows about Volkswagen’s troubles. Quite simply, Volkswagen knowingly and maliciously installed software in their “smart diesel” cars designed to provide false emissions readings to government testers around the world. Estimates are that Volkswagens pollute at levels 40 times greater than U.S. government rules allow. Not twice as bad or even ...

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Blitzster Can Build Your Social Media Followers

Technology continues to provide many new tools for brand building. Over the next few months I’m going to talk about different apps and sites that we’re using for our clients and our own online marketing. I think you’ll find these recommendations eye-opening and very useful. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while now or if you’ve been ...

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Donald Trump is Not Running for President.

Remember the village idiot? He was the only one person who watched the naked emperor parade down the street and pointed out that the emperor wasn’t wearing clothes. Everyone else fumfered and mumbled and looked at their feet. Only the village idiot dared mouth what everyone else was thinking. Apparently I’m the village idiot because ...

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Rhino Horn, Uber’s Logistics, & Your Business.

A recent story on public radio talked about the logistics of pursuing smugglers of coveted black rhino horns. The officer interviewed made the point that the discoveries made in this case also helped uncover smugglers of guns, drugs, and even human traffickers. His point was that the skills needed to bring in the banned aphrodisiac ...

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Not So Smart Luggage

Smart Luggage for the Connected Age promised the title in last week’s New York Times. It featured a company that’s releasing “smart luggage” packed with up-to-the-minute features including “a Bluetooth-enabled lock, GPS tracking, and a USB port for recharging a device. It has a built-in scale, too.” Samsonite is also getting into the smart luggage act with ...

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925

925<247365 2,400 years ago Socrates said, “ὁ δὲ ἀνεξέταστος βίος οὐ βιωτὸς ἀνθρώπῳ.” (For those few of you who don’t read Greek, Socrates’ statement translates to something like, “The unexamined life is not worth living.”) Thanks to the computer’s limitless ability to compile measurements and metrics, companies and professionals now have a way to apply ...

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The Trouble with Transparency.

Last Friday’s edition of The New York Times included two stories on the trouble with transparency that few readers probably connected even though the problem affects all of us. One article was about how Brian Williams “misremembered” his flight on a United States military helicopter that was forced down by enemy fire in 2003 under the headline, “With ...

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Cyber Monday is the Buggy Whip of E-Tailing.

Cyber Monday’s business press was all atwitter looking at that day as well as Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Technology Tuesday. Makes me wonder when they’re going to celebrate WTF Wednesday, too. But this year something new happened. All of a sudden Cyber Monday sales figures are coming in wonky. And experts are falling all over ...

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Victoria’s Secret Secret

Victoria’s Secret UK showed a lineup of beautiful young women wearing their lingerie under the headline “The Perfect Body” and generated over 26,000 angry signatures. Protesters complained that the campaign “offensive and damaging to women.” The uproar was not enough to get Victoria’s Secret to apologize or scuttle the campaign but they did reissue the same ad ...

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Opportunity (or You’ll Never Know If You Never Go).

A good friend of mine got the opportunity to speak at a very prestigious event. Besides the honor of the invitation, my friend was hoping to attract a big crowd, sell some of his books, and generate some buzz. Unfortunately, the organizers had some challenges—and a comedy of errors ensued. My buddy’s name was misspelled ...

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The ultimate CEO travel secret: Wash your underwear in the sink.

Road warrior and brand expert Bruce Turkel travels as a competitive sport. The CEO and executive creative director of marketing consulting firm Turkel Brands travels lightest. by Robert Hackett  @rhhackett   OCTOBER 1, 2014, 10:00 AM EDT I travel almost every week, but in fact I’m not traveling this week and it’s kind of shocking. Last week I was ...

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Be the Best at Everything You do From Now on.

There’s always one in every group and our harmonica master class was no different. Each time the instructor would ask if there were any questions, “That Guy” would raise his hand. “Little Walter was the best. And I read somewhere he used a 1940’s Astatic taxi dispatcher’s microphone. So I tracked one of those mics down and ...

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Hey World Cup, What You China Do?

Did you see what China just did? Amidst cries of outrage and scads of adverse attention, they managed to shift the negative news they’ve been receiving away from their cultural and politically significant aggression and toward fuzzy pandas. After all, everyone loves pandas. Time Magazine and The Wall Street Journal reported that China is backing ...

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The Clippers and Things You Don’t Want Your Mom to See.

You’ve all seen the sordid headlines by now—there’s nothing useful I can add. LA Clippers’ basketball team owner Donald Sterling made disgraceful racist remarks, and now the team’s market value is plummeting and the NBA and others are scrambling for a way to rescue their failing brand. But let’s look at the big picture for ...

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The Catholic Church’s Latest Brand Refresh.

You’d have to be living under a rock not to notice that the Catholic Church has gone through some cataclysmic shifts of late. From the horror of “pedophile priests” to Pope Francis’ refreshing reframe, the seemingly immovable institution has changed plenty. But surprisingly enough, a strong reaction to where the Church’s brand has been heading ...

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What Can You Learn From A Tattooed Guy Named Junior And A Restaurateur Named Joe?

Walk into Junior’s in Jupiter, Florida and you might be surprised at what you find. The walls are painted with graffiti. The furniture is constructed from industrial diamond plate steel, and red and black leather. And the proprietor is wearing a Harley-Davidson mechanic’s shirt, with short sleeves of course, to show off his fully tattooed ...

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When The Student Is Ready, Will The Teacher Really Appear?

“When one door closes, another opens.” “The universe will provide.” “If you can conceive it you can achieve it.” [Parental warning: I hate insipid bromides. If these are sayings you appreciate, things you hang on the wall or slather on your coffee mugs, please don’t read any further. You’re not going to be happy, and ...

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Adding MOP To Your Marketing.

Spend enough time talking to online marketers or digitally savvy traditional advertisers and you’ll hear lots of conversation—and consternation—about the power of online reviews. According to these marketers, the comments and critiques on review sites such as TripAdvisor and Yelp are key to either their company’s success or failure. But according to a fascinating new ...

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“Beware Irony…

…those who get it, get it anyway. Those who don’t, never will.” Have you seen the ad for the new Cadillac ELR? It features a very smug 40-something actor, Neal McDonough, strolling through his Dwell magazine-perfect house, kissing his beautiful wife, high-fiving his beautiful kids, and showing off all his tastefully extravagant belongings while pontificating ...

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Does The NFL Bullying Scandal Signal The End Of Football?

The other day someone asked my brilliant friend John DeMarchi what he thought would happen in the NFL scandal. “Which NFL scandal?” DeMarchi asked, “the bullying scandal, the suicide scandal, the racial slur team name scandal, the concussion conundrum scandal or the guy who shot his girlfriend in the stadium parking lot scandal?” Seems like ...

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The One Question You Should Never Ask.

My friend Phil Allen, brilliant lawyer and blazing lead guitar player for The Southbound Suspects, told me this story: The defense attorney was questioning the prosecution’s star witness. “So you say you actually saw my client bite off the victim’s ear in the bar fight?” “Yes I did,” the witness answered nervously. “But it’s a ...

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What Can Your Brand Learn From Being On Stage?

We all believe that one thing causes another. Newton’s third law of motion states: “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” The Byrds sang Pete Seeger’s interpretation of a passage from the Book of Ecclesiastes: “For every thing, (turn turn turn) there is a season.” One of the hottest new iPhone app’s ...

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The Difference Between Everything and Anything.

This email exchange is almost all verbatim. I removed the names and identifiable facts. Potential Client:   “It was a pleasure visiting your website and speaking with you today, Bruce. I have attached our ad agency RFP (Request For Proposal). We look forward to your proposal. If you have any questions please contact me.” Agency: ...

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3 Cheap Ways To Build Your Brand (Or Become Mayor).

A partner in a successful medical services company had a problem. Her business was undergoing a number of new competitive challenges as larger, national businesses had begun to market to her clients. Worse, they were offering genericized services at significantly lower prices. What’s more, her clients themselves were requesting that her company unbundle its services ...

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