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Making the World a better place

Marketing a Super Hero

If your job wasn’t to market your company anymore but to market a Super Hero instead, what would you change?  What would you do differently?  Try for a minute as a thought exercise to put yourself in the shoes of a Super Hero marketer.

Pick one, Batman, Ironman, Superman, Wonder-women or Wolverine, which ever you like, you are now their marketing manager.  What does the super hero want out of this? (What is their goal?)  Who’s your target?  How can you get to them?  How do you tell people about a Super Hero?

This shouldn’t be that difficult; after all it is a Super Hero right?  The storey’s already  “sticky” all you have to do is encourage it, right?

If all businesses were like this then we wouldn’t need to market them to the extent we do today.  If the story’s good enough it will spread won’t it?  Thus saving money on advertising.  One could come to a conclusion that maybe you shouldn’t be focusing your efforts on marketing so much but on transforming your business into a Super Hero.

Act Before You Think

I know what you’re thinking and no, it’s not a typo, this post is titled act before you think. We have all heard the original saying stating the opposite but I think in some situations you must act before you think or else your thoughts will influence your actions in a negative way.

Have you have had to make a bad phone call, I mean the one you loath to make but have to?  Ever scheduled a meeting with someone you didn’t want to and felt completely awkward the entire time leading up to the meeting to find out that it wasn’t that bad after all?  Personally I hate these moments, talking to people I don’t know isn’t easy, especially if my mind is trying to think about every conceivable outcome.  So what do I do?  I don’t think about it, I believe I excel in these situations if I’m not thinking about it and just do it.

When we step outside our comfort zone it can be very scary, you don’t know what to expect, your hands are clammy, you get gassy and your thoughts are racing.  But nine times out of ten it isn’t half as bad as we think it is, our thoughts make it to be worse than it actually is.  So trust your instinct and act before you think.

Benefits:

  1. Your gut instinct is usually right, let it be your guide through this awkward situation.
  2. Every time you step out of your comfort zone you grow, you learn, you adapt in ways you never could have within your comfort zone.
  3. Every time you step out of your comfort zone it gets easier and easier.

So get out there and take advantage of those situations that you avoided at all costs, it is in those moments that we grow the most.  To some it all up I think the Lulu Lemon bag says it best; “Do one thing every day that scares you.”

The Future of Exercising?

The gym I go to has stationary bikes with TV screens build in them and handle bars that you actually use to steer.  You can ride around a boring track or play the dragon coin game, the future of stationary biking.  The bike has gears like a normal bike and it steers like a normal bike but you peddle around a small village collecting coins and dragons, unlike a normal bike.  This is the closest I have ever come to having fun while exercising.  I hate exercising.

Someone out there understood that biking can be rather boring so why not throw in a little game to pass the time, albeit not a sophisticated game but enough to peek my interest.  It got me thinking, why do I dread going to this insufferable place to sweat my heart out day in, day out with no end in sight?  Why can’t exercising be fun?  And don’t just tell me Pilates is fun or that class my Mom goes to is “fun” exercise, no its not, not to me anyway.

The first computerized exercise bike was developed in the late 1960’s and since then all we’ve done is make the seats a bit more comfortable and put together a simple Asian game to make peddling a tad more enjoyable?  It doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to understand that there may be void in this market.  Wii Fit has taken advantage of people who want more out of their work outs, the popular game has proved very profitable for the Nintendo company selling just under 20 million units thus far.  Why wouldn’t it sell?  They took an activity the general public should be doing regularly that is not enjoyable and made it fun, seems like a formula for success to me.  But what is surprising is that no one else is doing it.

How many national gym chains are doing research and development into making exercising more enjoyable?  Have they ever?  Or are they just trying to make the next big machine?  Has anyone thought about flipping the industry on its head?  Possibly paying people to workout by getting them to do surveys while running?  Or why wouldn’t they take a page out of Nintendo’s book and make a video game that involved cardiovascular activity?  If we made exercising fun, and I mean actually fun it would increase the number of people working out and make our country healthier.

This could change the way our kids exercise and save our health care system millions of dollars, or it could just be my fat ass complaining because I hate working out.  You can decide.  But if you can take anything in your life that is not enjoyable and make it fun, you’re on to something and please let me know about it!

Don’t be an Asshole

There is a man who lives in my city, I’ve seen him around for quite some time now but anytime I say hello or talk to him it’s like he doesn’t have the time of day and saying hello to me is a burden.  He’s an asshole.  I questioned my friend that knows him much better than I do and he said the same thing, “Yup, definitely an asshole.”  So it’s confirmed, he is in fact an asshole.  Maybe he doesn’t mean to (highly unlikely), maybe I come off the same way to him (I’m a smiler so highly unlikely) so why does he do it?   I think some people are just not happy people, they don’t want to meet anyone else, they’re satisfied with their friend circle and yes maybe saying a cheery HI, HOW ARE YA!?!? to me is a burden.

But wait, there is a silver lining to my cloudy relationship with this asshole.  Recently I heard he started his own company.  HIS OWN COMPANY?  An asshole trying to make it as a business owner?  I had to see for myself and low and behold when I checked online he did start a company.  Personally I have no idea how he is going to make it, especially in a city this size where the word gets around so fast.  I know I won’t support his business.

Here’s a free tip to any entrepreneur:  Don’t be an Asshole.

I’m sure you’re not and don’t ever plan to be but in our fast paced society the little things matter, smile at people, say hi once in a while, it’s not that hard.  And for you budding entrepreneurs, meet people, talk to them, remember there name.  The person I know that has the most “social capital”, knows the most people and is doing quite well for himself has done two things and continues to do them extremely well.

1.  Remembers every persons name he meets (well pretty close and if he forgets I’ve seen even him find the name).

2.  Makes other people feel like they are the most important people in the world.

Not difficult right?  Try it out for yourself, you’ll be amazed at what can happen.  So don’t be an asshole, it’ll get you much further in life.  The more positive of a person you are the more people want to talk and associate with you, a smart strategy for any entrepreneur.

mmmmmm Your Company Looks Good

Want your company to look good?  Want people to look up to your brand? Want people to say, “Wow, what a sexy brand!” Unless you are Richard Branson, you’re company’s brand isn’t that sexy.  Don’t fret there is a solution.

At a recent Chamber of Commerce presentation I was attending, there was a small committee waiting to greet me immediately as I walked in.  This wasn’t your regular Wal-mart greeter, far from it.  Later I found out it was the DirectWest Street team, four great looking individuals begging to show me something on my phone, how could I resist?  I learned how to do a local search on my phones browser, useful for a person like me or anyone that doesn’t carry a phone book on their hip.  The interesting part is I’ve seen this service offered on a billboard before but never tried it out, until that day.

Involving your brand with young, beautiful people is a great way to better the brands perception, you can’t help but smile when talking to these folks.  In Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink he talks about how good looking people are easier to talk to and much easier remembered, our first impression of these people is almost always positive, why not use this to your brands advantage?

Captive Audience understands this, being the pioneer of street teams in the Regina area, they are doing more of this and for good reason.  Because we remember interactions with the street team.  I don’t have to listen to a billboard, a TV commercial or any advertisement for that matter, I am great at ignoring (we all are) but you try say no to a good looking person, it is VERY difficult.  This is why this type of guerilla advertising will grow, it’s effective and a much better alternative to mass media.

So the next time you want to get your message across, use a street team, you’re helping your brand out more than you think.