13 Ideas on Being ‘Cool’

When you are cool you can get away with a lot.  It’s difficult to become “cool” though, most of the time it’s engrained in employees/owners/companies from the very beginning.  Being “cool” can be (and almost always is)  a competitive advantage, just ask Threadless, 22 Fresh, Coda Clothing or Vitamin Water.  It’s developing your own personal social object, your purple cow, your hedgehog strategy.  It’s the reason people both love and hate Howard Stern.  It doesn’t matter what you think of him, he has an element of ‘cool’.

Here are a few ideas on being “cool”.

  1. It’s a culture, a natural way of life.
  2. It’s being different and sticking to your guns.
  3. It’s pissing some people off to make another group happy.
  4. It’s that moment when you are unsure if you should do something or not, and you do it anyway.
  5. It’s holding a contradictory opinion from everyone else.
  6. It’s not listening to the people who put you down, they aren’t the cool ones.
  7. It’s making other people extremely happy.
  8. It’s going against the grain, not following trends but creating your own.
  9. It’s tweaking the norm to make it more enjoyable.
  10. It’s taking a seemingly regular event and making it irregular.
  11. It’s creating a semantic marker in your audience’s mind.
  12. It’s turning the mundane, menial task into an enjoyable thought provoking experience
  13. It’s making me smile when I unsubscribe from your e-mail campaign (Hat tip to Groupon for inspiring this post, I unsubscribed from Groupon Vancouver today, in doing so I stumble upon the best experience I have ever had in unsubscribing from an e-mail list)

What’s your definition of “being cool” let me know in the comments below?


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Social Media Strategy in Regina

Case Study: CookWithCampbells.ca

What is it?

A Campbell’s website that offers recipes, recipes reviews, a Youtube channel with video tutorials, connecting with Campbell’s on Facebook, “Meal Mail” the e-mail newsletter, a downloadable mobile app, and an application to submit and keep track of your recipes.  Very interactive, easy to navigate, and I love the rating system along with the comments on recipes.

How I heard about it:

A commercial on national television.

Why it’s important:

Another casualty of the internet’s rise that you may not have thought of, cookbooks.  If you know you can’t influence chef’s in the kitchen through cookbooks why not go to where they’re getting the recipes from, the internet.  Campbell’s understands that as a brand, if they want to compete in the future they must adapt to where people can find them.

The strategy seems to be provide cooks with all the resources they need and in return, those cooks will want to purchase Campbell’s products to make the delicious recipes.

Where do you find your recipes?  Are you still using cookbooks?   What do you think?

“We can get it cheaper”

We live in a Wal-mart world.  You can find anything at the absolute cheapest price.  That’s why I cringe when clients say “we can get that cheaper”.  You probably can, but is it worth it to your brand?

If the product or service will become in any way a part of your organizations outward facing communications you should not pick based on price.  Example: Your company t-shirts, website, legal counsel, Christmas gifts, brochures, letterhead, meal at a luncheon, sponsorships, business cards, dental plan, etc.

Lowest cost should never be the major deciding factor when purchasing anything for your association, organization or business.  It’s your brand, be proud of it.

Winning Isn’t Everything

I am pretty competitive, anyone that has witnessed me coaching can attest to this.  I don’t take losing well but I am beginning to learn a lot when I do lose.

This past year we had arguably the best team Winston Knoll has seen in quite some time.  We finished the regular season undefeated.  But we couldn’t seem to win in playoffs.  A couple bad attitudes was all it took.  We had two chances to go to Provincials and we lost both games.  We stopped wanting to win because we stopped being a team.  All the talent in the World doesn’t make up for a bad attitude.

Out of all the goals we set on our volleyball team this year one stands out in my mind.  Because it has nothing to do with volleyball and I believe as a coach I should have made sure we accomplished this goal.  I didn’t.

The goal was to have 100% attendance at a non-volleyball function.

I truly believe that if players can’t get along off the court there is no hope in hell they will ever get along on the court.  As I learn more and more about coaching, the more fascinating it gets.  This year I was taught a very harsh but good lesson; winning isn’t everything, but playing as a team is.  I will never forget this.

Why You Need an Online Advertising Strategy

If you don’t already have a strategy in place for your online advertising you may be leaving money on the table.  An online advertising strategy is paramount for a few reasons:

1.  How do you know what is working and what isn’t if you haven’t set a control to compare your results to?

2.  How do you pick your keywords for your long-term content strategy if you haven’t identified what those keywords are through an advertising campaign?

3.  An online advertising strategy focuses your efforts so everything you do is planned well in advance and so you are not wasting any time.

4.  How will you know if your website/e-commerce site is optimized if you’re not generating targeted traffic?

5.  How are you putting your product in front of people who ACTUALLY want to hear about it if you haven’t experimented with different messages and different demographics?

6.  If you didn’t hear already, the internet isn’t going anywhere.  It’s actually one of the only advertising mediums that is actually growing.  Why wouldn’t you get involved early to understand this new medium?

There is lots to learn about online strategy but is doesn’t have to be difficult.  The internet isn’t going anywhere and the usage rate in Saskatchewan is increasing.  Beginning with research, you must develop a strategic plan which ensures you aren’t wasting money or time on tactics that don’t equate to an increased bottom line.  Test, test, test.  Your online advertising should be you experimenting constantly to achieve better results.

Want to find out more?


306 – 535 – 9697

7 Lessons Learned Working with the University of Regina Students’ Union

1.  Just because something is right, legal, or completely logical doesn’t make it true. During the project one of our goals was to stay out of a legal battle, this meant abiding by their rules, even if we knew they were in violation of some of our basic rights.  Sometimes it is best to swallow your pride for the greater good.

2.  I believe anyone can work a ridiculous amount of hours in a week without getting burnt out, the key is to work on something* you are very passionate about. *(It is much easier to be passionate about something you believe in, not something you were told to believe in)

3.  Being a part of a large project that is actually helping people is one of the most exhilarating experiences in the World.

4.  I got more frustrated than I had ever been in my life and learned that I had more self control than I thought.  When you step out of your comfort zone you learn much about yourself.

5.  You are only as strong as your team.  The four individuals on the URSU executive are some of the brightest students at the University and will be great leaders in whatever they take on after convocation. They understand the strategic approach taken towards achieving a lofty goal and not once did they doubt their ability to lead, influence, and help affect students positively even in the face of ignorant adversity.  Thanks Tyler, Kaytlyn, Matt and Kyle.

6.  I will no longer read or support The Carillon (The University’s newspaper) or the Prairie Dog Magazine.  They were embarrassingly one-sided in the way they reported the referendum by not doing any research whatsoever into the history the CFS has had in Canada.  That is not the reason why I’m really turned off by these childish media outlets though, taking personal attacks at my friends on the Students’ Union Executive is the reason.  Several times throughout the referendum both organizations took uncalled for shots at the four Executives and would not support their opinions with facts.  Simply embarrassing.

7.  I gained an a lot of respect for the unsung heros in this referendum.  Two gentlemen who will never get the praise they deserve for the hard work they put in. My hat goes off to Mike Burton and Peter Jelinski.  The Referendum Oversight Committee was the governing body who were the final say in everything related to the referendum.  Comprised of two people from either side, Mike and Peter made up our side and they were up against two professional Referendum committee members.  Without the long hours and hard work of Mike and Peter the ‘Yes’ side would have had a landslide victory.