The Best Commercial of 2015

Emotional, unexpected, concrete, credible and tells a story. From Chip and Dan Heath’s Made to Stick this commercial is incredibly “sticky”. I like giving the presentation on Made to Stick to my class. I try to get students to use the 6 principles as a guide to thinking about and developing communications.

Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath-hand out

 

You can watch a commercial like the Royal Dutch Guide Dog one and check the boxes that apply to the ad. The best ads are many different “Sticky” factors all rolled into one. Try it on your next newsletter, your business cards or anything else, the more “sticky” your message, the better odds someone remembers it.

My Top 5 Articles From Last Month

The top five articles of the month

1. Dubai Police will use facial recognition and Google Glass to look for wanted criminals

Why is this important? The next step in the interconnected web is using software and hardware to better serve at our jobs. For Police enforcement this means facial recognition software. It’ll some time before it comes to Canada but I’d be willing to bet not as long as we think!

2. Select seven to hold ‘Internet reboot’ keys

Why is this important? Did you know if the internet goes down due to a terrorist attack or natural disaster 7 people hold keys of which 5 only have to meet in the U.S. to re-boot the internet. Have you ever thought what would happen if the internet goes down? I’ve never until now. We assume it’ll run forever, uninterrupted. But have you ever been working and the internet went out, what did you do? It happened last week at a clients office, I was lost, scared, lonely and I didn’t know what to do. I hope you never face that desolate situation ever.

3. The Psychology Behind Costco’s Free Samples

Why is this important? This article was fascinating, basically if you want to increase your profits, offer free samples, well for Costco it works quite well. When speaking with young marketing minds they usually jump to

4. The best Canadian Business schools for Marketers

Why is this important? The Globe and Mail decided that ranking Canadian Business schools might be of interest, well you’re right, it isn’t. UNLESS you’re in highschool, love marketing, and want to go to the school where most people like you would go. A neat little experiment that the Globe has tried here, the real question is do you trust the rankings?

5. Starting today UK citizens are free to copy MP3s, CDs and DVDs for personal use

Why is this important? The first major country to revamp their copyright laws to reflect the change that the Internet is caused to the music industry. You can now download songs and movies for personal use in the UK. It won’t be long before more first world countries follow in the UK’s footsteps.

What Have I Been Up To At Strategy Lab?

Get a website that turns visitors into customers

Well I’m glad you asked! We’ve been busy working away on project like the Prairie Spruce Commons Cohousing Project (a first of it’s kind in Regina). We’ve been doing some fun work with KSP Technology that involves potlucks and Nerf gun fights.


Also made friends with a Saskatoon local grocer called SaskMade Marketplacejust another ridiculously cool story of a home grown Saskatchewan business. Born and raised in Saskatoon. They’re big supporters of supporting local, helping grow our community and sourcing many other Saskatchewan based companies. They do these amazing corporate gift baskets that include all Saskatchewan wares. Pretty sweeet!!

And we’ve had the pleasure of working on one of the coolest projects we’ve ever been a part of, it’s called “4 to 40“. Yup, 4 to 40, that’s the amount of hours you need to hire someone for to be considered an “inclusive employer”.

4 to 40 – A New Partnership from Strategy Lab on Vimeo.

It’s a project we started working on with Sasktel, the University of Regina Campus For All Program and Creative Options Regina (COR).

I am still on the Alumni Board, and have gone from just being on the Regina Volleyball Club board to President this year. I have a vision to grow Volleyball in this city and province, taking ownership is the only way I know how to create change. (actually I just complained too much and when you complain too much in a no-for-profit you end up doing the work). Brandon just put a website together for the Regina Volleyball Club. See below.

RVC's brand new website

We’ve been busy! Possibly another conference in Regina coming up soon too. We need to follow up what we did last year in #Awesome13 (How to be Awesome Online). We’re thinking How to be Awesome Offline in an Online World”. Counterintuitive I know. Deep right? That’s what we were going for.

Our province is on a growth spurt right now and it’s amazing to see. We also filmed a few new videos for our marketing page (you can thank Brandon for that).

Enough about me. how he hell have you been?!?

 

Find a bunch of Strategy Lab’s Resources here:

Remarkably amazing videos you need to watch | Strategy Lab Video’s page | Jeph’s Speaking page

Why Using an RFP to Hire a Company is Fundamentally Flawed

Regina recycling not recycling glass

RFP=Request For Proposal. When a public institution needs to contract a company to do a job they aren’t capable of themselves, they send out a Request For Proposal (RFP). The RFP outlines what needs to be done, what tools should be used and some contain a whole lot more. A RFP is basically the project outline for any company that wants to bid on the project. Just like the recycling service in Regina, the City put out an RFP and Emterra won it.

When it comes to RFP’s the cheapest company usually wins. In business, simply going with the cheapest solution is rarely a good idea for your business.

Case in point: City of Regina hasn’t been recycling glass food containers

Turns out the “recycling” company (Emterra) the city hired doesn’t recycle glass. Doesn’t recycle glass?!?  What do you mean? Isn’t that a major portion of what we recycle?
When the city put the RFP out about recycling pickup, Emterra responded (conveniently leaving the glass part out) and quoted a cheaper price to do the job.

The city went with the cheaper option, without reading the fine print.

RFP’s suck. It’s a race to the bottom. It’s undercutting everyone else to get a job, that’s not right nor is it sustainable. Even if you do win the RFP, you have no budget room whatsoever, you have a slim chance at making this project successful, you’re forced to cut corners to make it work. Sadly it is the public entities that use RFP’s that pay the price.

That’s exactly what Emterra did, they didn’t exactly come out and say they weren’t going to recycle glass but with how little they’re getting paid per bin pickup there’s a reason they can’t process glass. And from the cities response you KNOW they didn’t catch it, if anything it sounds like it was directly the city’s fault.

Lets stop using RFP’s they aren’t helping anyone.

** I am making an assumption here that Emterra mischievously left the glass recycling out to create the cost savings. I recognize that they may have found it in hindsight and been an honest mistake. But if it looks like a duck and it quacks like a duck, it’s probably not a chicken!!!

The Two Things Every Leader Of A Nonprofit Must Have

Dr Seuss QuotesA vision and they must care, a lot.

I’ve worked with many Nonprofits,  as well as volunteered on several boards (currently president of one and vice president of another). I’ve seen the good and the bad, the purpose driven and the lost souls.

One day going back and forth with a good friend discussing the growth strategy of Nonprofit organizations she pitches me, “if you want to run a successful Nonprofit the person in charge has to have a vision of what they want to create and they must care a whole lot.” This struck me as odd because how could something so complex as the leadership of a Nonprofits be summed up by satisfying two variables? It couldn’t possibly be that simple could it?

This moment in time reminded me of a Woody Guthrie quote.

“Any fool can make something complicated. It takes a genius to make it simple.”

Nonprofit leadership comes down to two things. Having a vision and caring. A leader with an inspirational vision but doesn’t care is a snake oil salesman. They have grandiose ideas, they’re smooth talkers, they could sell a Ketchup Popsicle to a women in white gloves. But when the chips fall, when the going get tough, when the real work begins, this snake oil slinging fella is nowhere to be found. Read more

6 Parables of Business Strategy

beautiful women

I found these a while back, I didn’t write them but they are gems of business advice.

Parable 1:
A man is getting into the shower just as his wife is finishing up her shower, when the doorbell rings. The wife quickly wraps herself in a towel and runs downstairs. When she opens the door, there stands Bob, the next-door neighbor.
Before she says a word, Bob says, “I’ll give you $800 to drop that towel.” After thinking for a moment, the woman drops her towel and stands naked in front of Bob After a few seconds, Bob hands her $800 and leaves.

The woman wraps back up in the towel and goes back upstairs. When she gets to the bathroom, her husband asks, “Who was that?”
“It was Bob the next door neighbor,” she replies.
“Great!” the husband says, “did he say anything about the $800 he owes me?”

Moral of the story :

If you share critical information pertaining to credit and risk with your shareholders in time, you may be in a position to prevent avoidable exposure.

Parable 2:
A priest offered a Nun a lift. She got in and crossed her legs, forcing her gown to reveal a leg. The priest nearly had an accident. After controlling the car, he stealthily slid his hand up her leg.

The nun said, “Father, remember Psalm 129?” The priest removed his hand. But, changing gears, he let his hand slide up her leg again. The nun once again said, “Father, remember Psalm 129?” The priest apologized “Sorry sister but the flesh is weak” Arriving at the convent, the nun sighed heavily and went on her way. On his arrival at the church, the priest rushed to look up Psalm 129 It said, “Go forth and seek, further up, you will find glory.”

Moral of the story:

If you are not well informed in your job, you might miss a great opportunity.

Parable 3:
A sales rep, an administration clerk, and the manager are walking to lunch when they find an antique oil lamp. They rub it and a Genie comes out.
The Genie says, “I’ll give each of you just one wish.”
“Me first! Me first!” says the admin clerk. “I want to be in the Bahamas , driving a speedboat, without a care in the world.”Puff! She’s gone.
“Me next! Me next!” says the sales rep. “I want to be in Hawaii , relaxing on the beach with my personal masseuse, an endless supply of Pina Coladas and the love of my life.”

Puff! He’s gone.

“OK, you’re up,” the Genie says to the manager. The manager says, “I want those two back in the office after lunch.”

Moral of the story:

Always let your boss have the first say.

Parable 4:
An eagle was sitting on a tree resting, doing nothing. A small rabbit saw the eagle and asked him,

Can I also sit like you and do nothing?”
The eagle answered: “Sure , why not.”
So, the rabbit sat on the ground below the eagle and rested. All of a sudden, a fox appeared, jumped on the rabbit and ate it.

Moral of the story:

To be sitting and doing nothing, you must be sitting very, very high > >> up.

Parable 5:
A turkey was chatting with a bull. “I would love to be able to get to the top of that tree,” sighed the turkey, “but I haven’t got the
energy.”
“Well, why don’t you nibble on some of my droppings?” replied the bull. “They’re packed with nutrients.”
The turkey pecked at a lump of dung, and found it actually gave him enough strength to reach the lowest branch of the tree. The next day, after eating some more dung, he reached the second branch. Finally after a fourth night, the turkey was proudly perched at the top of the tree.
He was promptly spotted by a farmer, who shot him out of the tree.

Moral of the story:

Bull might get you to the top, but it won’t keep you there.

Parable 6:
A little bird was flying south for the Winter. It was so cold the bird froze and fell to the ground into a large field. While he was lying
there, a cow came by and dropped some dung on him. As the frozen bird lay there in the pile of cow dung, he began to
realize how warm he was. The dung was actually thawing him out! He lay there all warm and happy, and soon began to sing for joy.

A passing cat heard the bird singing and came to investigate. Following the sound, the cat discovered the bird under the pile of cow dung, and promptly dug him out and ate him.

Morals of the story:

(1) Not everyone who shits on you is your enemy.
(2) Not everyone who gets you out of shit is your friend.
(3) And when you’re in deep , it’s best to keep your mouth shut!