I didn’t want to just be a bodybuilding champion. I wanted to be the best bodybuilder of all time.
Dig deep down and ask yourselves, who do you want to be? Not want, but WHO?
I’m talking about figuring out for yourselves what makes you happy. You have to think outside the box that’s what I believe after all. What’s the point of being on this earth if all you want is to be like everyone and avoid trouble.
We have so many rules in this life about everything. I say break the rules, not the law, but the rules.
Dig deep down. Ask yourselves. Who do you want to be?
Not want, but who?
I’m talking about figuring out for yourself what makes you happy.
You never listen that you can’t do something.
Don’t be afraid to fail.
Anything I’ve ever attempted I was always willing to fail.
Don’t be afraid of making decisions. You can’t be paralyzed by fear of failure or you would never push yourself.
If you push it is because you believe in yourself and in your vision. And you know it’s the right thing to do. Success will come. So don’t be afraid to fail.
I mean how many times have you heard that you can’t do this and you can’t do that because it has never been done before? So pay no attention to the people who say it can’t be done.
If I would have listened to the naysayers I would still be in the Austrian Alps Yodeling. I would never have come to America. I always listened to myself say “Yes you can.”
You never want to fail because you didn’t work hard enough. Work your butt off. I always believed in leaving no stone unturned. No Pain, No Gain.
When you are out there partying and horsing around, someone out there at the same time is working hard. Someone is working hard and someone is winning. Just remember that.
You can’t climb the ladder of success with your hands in the pockets.
– Arnold Schwarzenegger
“In today’s increasingly saturated product marketplace, surface appeal is not enough to elevate me-too products or services above the pack, or to yield sustained success. The harder trick is to use design to get beneath that superficial marketing level and to delve down to core business issues such as: What do people really need? And how can we best provide that?
That business should be focused on offering goods and services people actually want and need may seem obvious. Why would companies do otherwise? The reason is that they often are focused more on their own existing capabilities and objectives than on the needs of others.“
– Warren Berger, GLIMMER: How Design Can Transform Your Life, and Maybe Even The World, pg 100
From the description on youtube:
zenfilm “”Â June 09, 2010Â “”Â The Ford Fiesta Movement Mission 4 film from Team Houston “Pause” presents an unusual twist on romance with sci-fi/fantasy overtones. Pause was filmed in one day by the Zenfilm creative team and features the sights and sounds of America’s 4th largest city set to the music of Houston artists Southern Backtones and Tyagaraja. To vote for this film in the competition simply text “Zenfilm” to 44144 . There will be no spam… we promise. Thanks for your support.
In the process of explainingÂ SEO (search engine optimization) over the years I frequently demonstrate that if you Google “God in Houston” the top results areÂ not churches. Now I’m not talking about the local results that show the churches, but the actual search results below that that listsÂ KSBJ as the top result for “God in Houston” when searched on Google. And the only paid search result is for “Houston Gold” – like the shiny stuff you make jewelry out of. Here is a screen shot:
From a technical perspective, this makes perfect sense. Because theÂ largest churches inÂ Houston do not mention the word “God” on their web sites. Yes really. Using aÂ search engine keyword analyzer, a test of second.org shows the following.
Note the title is “Second Baptist Church, Houston, TX.” Thus they will likely rank for “Churches in Houston” but not for “God in Houston.” A simple fix would be to update the title to “Second Baptist Church, Serving God in Houston TX”.
I mention this becauseÂ exactness of speech matters. It means that some of our largest churches have zero (0) possibility of being returned if a downtrodden person googles for them in the middle of the night. It means missed connections when a bible study group at a particular church might be the perfect connection for a fellow Houstonian. But we will never know because of a failure of exactness of speech.
On the flip side, a tip of the hat toÂ Braeswood Assembly of God church which comes up for both the physical location and second natural ranking after KSBJ in the search results. And all because they mention the word “God” in their title.
So be specific. Be exact. And I’ll leave it to you to search for the ministers’ names – they rank a bit higher than God.
In which channel
To what effect
Who shares what
With what intent
To what effect
What started in 2007 as the Tendenci User Conference, was canceled in 2008 due to a very unwelcome hurricane, has now morphed into SchipulCon 2009. Planned by @MagsMac, the conference has a great lineup of speakers including Deirdre Breakenridge, the author of PR 2.0.
And of course a HUGE thanks to our sponsors without which this would not be happening!
The company is 12 years old today. Wow. What a journey so far!
A huge THANK YOU to our clients, our employees and all of our supporters over the last 12 years. Black swans do exist, and thrive, with a lot of help from their friends. THANK YOU!
We’ll have a party after SchipulCon 09 to celebrate. But I had to post to mark the occasion. Thanks again y’all.
I am a fan of Facebook. I enjoy using it and it has brought me closer to a lot of awesome people. We are even approaching 1000 people on our Facebook Fan Page!
But I can’t handle Facebook’s lack of respect for our privacy. The fact that it shows me “dating website” advertisements (I’m married and they KNOW this!?) even after I mark them “thumbs down” and “irrelevant” or sometimes even “offensive.” Yet they return.
In response to previous privacy concerns, Facebook launched a charm offensive for better Facebook Governance. As someone who studies PR, this was a smart thing to do. Start by listening and their blog in fact did request feedback. Great job! But wait! There’s more!
A few months go by and this poor chap finds a dating advertisement on his Facebook profile featuring a photo of HIS WIFE! Not cool. At all. Facebook’s response on the unauthorized use of the photos is:
In the past couple of days, a rumor has begun spreading that claims we have changed our policies for third-party advertisers and the use of your photos. These rumors are false, and we have made no such change in our advertising policies.
If you see a Wall post or receive a message with the following language or something similar, it is this false rumor:
FACEBOOK has agreed to let third party advertisers use your posted pictures WITHOUT your permission.
The advertisements that started these rumors were not from Facebook but placed within applications by third parties. Those ads violated our policies by misusing profile photos, and we already required the removal of those deceptive ads from third-party applications before this rumor began spreading.
I feel for them. But the answer seems weak – it wasn’t us. It was a third party. And we stopped the practice AFTER y’all complained about it. The weak link in the chain here is the facebook application provider. I’d like to see two things change to improve security and privacy on facebook.
- Facebook needs to be explicit about the “reputation” of a particular application provider or advertiser. Make this transparent. I LOVE the “report this” next to the advertisements, but as I mentioned above, for me they are ignoring my feedback. And why can’t I see EVERYONE’S feedback on an application or an advertisement? Would this type of transparency be a bad thing?
- We, the Facebook customers, need to uninstall as many applications as possible. We need to uninstall these unnecessary Facebook applications for our own safety until we can see more transparency. Just remove them. Only add back the necessary ones. So many people remove the box from their profile and THINK they have removed the application. They have not!
We propose September 1st 2009 as Uninstall Facebook Applications Internationally Day (UFAID).
Not all applications mind you, just the ones you don’t trust or recognize.
To uninstall your Facebook Applications follow these steps:
- Login to Facebook
- Click on your “Profile” link at the top of the page.
- Scroll down to the “Applications” link on the lower left. Click it.
- Click “Edit Apps” link which should take you to a page like this: http://www.facebook.com/editapps.php
- IMPORTANT Change “Show” from “Recently Used” to “Authorized”!
- Click the “X” next to the applications you want to remove.
- Repeat until all cruft and untrustworthy applications are removed.
Find any applications you did not realize were installed? Yup, thought you would. Put them in the comments below so we can see the sneaky ones?
Free laptops are good. Yup, call it a material incentive on top of social motivation, but we are giving away a free laptop to one of the fans of the Schipul Facebook page on June 30th 2009. Get the details here!
- Read the blog post on the free laptop giveaway for fans of the Schipul FB page. Comments are appreciated but the winner will be selected from the FB fans.
- Become a fan by clicking the “become a fan” link on our page.
- Wait until June 30th and wooooot!
Fine print is on the blog. Short version is fans on the FB page, excluding employees and immediate family (sorry! But we’ll make it up to y’all), selected at random. Read the details here!
Well it took me half a week, but here is the full video of our panel from the Mom2Summit last weekend. The title was “It’s the end of marketing as we know it. And we feel fine.” First the full video.
Lessons learned about video: Given this was my first real attempt at video, I learned a few things. Like you can’t work with MOV files on a PC with Movie Maker. Macs have iMovie, which rocks. And iMovie compresses video into mv4 files which is cool with youtube. Limiters: Youtube limits video length to 10 minutes. Facebook limits video length to 20 minutes. Google video allowed longer videos but they are shutting it down. The ONLY product that worked was Vimeo for a 32:56 video. In short, vimeo ROCKS!
A direct link to “It’s the end of marketing as we know it. And we feel fine“
It is a common mantra in marketing that our brands live in the mind of the consumer. A recent television commercial for a major software brand quotes the Chief Marketing Officer of a major beverage brand saying
“Our brands are owned by the consumers who love them.”
Or as the Social Customer blog quotes:
You Don’t Own Your Brand – Your Customer Does
– Christopher F. Carfi, CEO of Cerado
Perhaps the first people to observe this are Ries and Trout in the book Positioning. That brands occupy a small space, a niche, a “creneau” as the French say, in your mind. The brands are in your brain and you can’t remove them. We can not remove Coke-a-ColaTM, MicrosoftTM, DisneyTM, GoogleTM, ExxonTM, SonyTM, NFLTM, The Super BowlTM, The Olympic GamesTM, etcTM, etcTM, etcTM from our minds even if we wanted to!
And brands, mine included, invest heavily to achieve this. To place our brand in your brain we use PR tactics and advertising. And to defend our brands against infringement or dilution. Now that we own a creneau in your brain we do not want someone else to come along and mess it up! That is OUR corner of YOUR brain. Don’t touch it.
That is a hypothetical of course but the point is that if one brand tries to access that portion of your brain encoded by another brand in your brain, then we have a legal battle of the brands. Fighting. Over a space. In your brain.
Disney and the NFL are fighting over a space in YOUR brain.
And who is paying YOU for the lease of the space in your brain? Who gave the Super Bowl brand-colocation rights in your brain? And if not, can you reasonably avoid the barrage of branding messages out there designed to write on that spot in your brain? Of course not.
So why aren’t you being paid a brand colocation fee, rent if you will, by brands that are occupying your brain? You are watching tennis with your kids in the room on TV and the GEICOTM advertisements places a freakin lizard and money with googely-eyes into your head. What’s in it for you?
Not much. You are just the real estate where brands live. And you get nothing for it.
Brand Colocation Fees: a Modest Brand Proposal
You should charge brands a fee to live in our brains. Lets think about it:
If the dude was sleeping on your couch for a day and then left, you call that a “favor for a friend” or a “minor inconvenience.” But if the dude MOVED INTO your house and stayed in that same spot in your house day after day, sooner or later you’d give him a bill for rent, right? So how is this different?
In fact the unwelcome-boarder analogy can be extended. Say that another vagrant shows up. The two proceed to fight over YOUR sofa in YOUR living room. Then if you mention either of them by name they SUE YOU! Yet aren’t THEY the interlopers? Have THEY not taken residence in YOUR living room? Aren’t they quite literally fighting over your sofa, disrupting you, in your house? Why do you put up with this?
Well I tell ya, in Texas, we don’t. No sir. We all have guns and drive pickup trucks and by golly we’ll chase them out screaming like Yosemite SamTM shooting at them as you run so far awaySM. By golly. Or we’ll charge them a fair rent. Either works. You gotta be flexible in a recession, right? So anyway.
The only reasonable conclusion is that a Brand-Colocation-Fee must be charged for the brand to “co-locate” in our brain.Â A Brand-Colocation Fee (BCF) is the only fair solution to reconcile the years of free rent accumulated by these interlopers, these free riders, residing in and fighting over the sofas and man-chairs in our minds. Even that extra comfy chair your Dad always took when he got home from work. The brands want to sit in that chair too! It is only reasonable that brands must purchase the brain’s equivalent of the very fair and equitable NFL Personal Seat License (PSL).
And like a PSL is not a seat, just the rights to buy a seat, so too a BCF doesn’t guarantee a space in your brain, just the branding rights to that corner of your brain. If I have no need for a number-one-or-number-two creneau for aircraft engines, then you can ignore the brands anyway.
Hey, it’s YOUR BRAIN, right? RIGHT?
How to calculate the Brand-Colocation Fee
This of course brings us to three new challenges:
- How to calculate the appropriate BCF for a given brand and;
- how to collect the appropriate fees from a brand and;
- how to disburse the interlopers’ money to the brain-land-owners
First lets agree that the average consumer knows thousands of brands and has many many “positions” in her mind as a consumer. Each of these positions is unique and has one, maybe two brands, that occupy that space. Number one or number two.
Additionally brands are faced with a global marketplace and regional competitors. It is very confusing to track whose brain has recorded which brand. And so as not to be a burden to the brands, we humbly suggest that brand colocation fees should be modest on a per-person scale. But how do we manage this?
A Brand Colocation Fee Union (BCFU) to Manage BCF Collection and Disbursement
We need an efficient oversight committee to calculate and manage the collection of brand colocation fees. To take into account birth and death so Disney isn’t paying a BCF to a deceased account. Yet we, the brain holders, need equitable representation. We need in fact a Union to ensure our brain space is properly represented. But what do we call this Union? I propose a Brand Colocation Fee Union.
The Brand Colocation Fee Union, or BCFU for short, will manage the calculation and collection of brand colocation fees in a fair and equitable way for brands and the consumers alike.
Given this is a complex matter we further propose to put all of the Corrupt New York Bankers back to work creating brand lookup tables and more imaginary math to calculate a fair and equitable and defensible (and probably corrupt) set of rate tables.
The BCFU brand source tables should take into account factors including but not limited to:
- Some brands are welcome and I, as a consumer, will gladly waive the fee. Yes this means I am brain washed, but why else do open source advocates love the completely proprietary Apple brand? So sometimes the BCFU fee should be zero. We can sort the crazies using demographic data.
- Fees should be equitable and reasonable. Given the relatively low cost of many consumer products, say a Coke, an annual fee for even such a strong brand might only be one (1) US dollar per person per year (not consumer as even non-buyers carry the burden of the coke brand in their brain).
- Brands that insist on existing in our brains, but serve no purpose but to annoy, should be penalized! Just cause they bug us. Specifically brands should be penalized for advertising to the wrong demographic. Think “Head On” or “The Clapper” – two brands closely followed by Capital One, AFLAC and Geico for seriously-damn-annoying factor. These people should pay a reasonable person $10 per year.
- Political brands, as much as I hate to say it, should be exempt from BCFU fees when sending information for the service of their constituents. But should reasonably be charged a penalty for negative campaigning. After all, they are working to reposition a brand in your brain to a new position in YOUR BRAIN. Again, we leave this to the BCFU to calculate with their fancy economists.
- Crappy brands like Larry Flint or Girls Gone Wild – they owe me BIG. I want 1 million dollars per year for these stupid brands! But again, being a reasonable and represented person, I’ll defer to the wisdom of the unions when it comes to equitable brand taxation.
Next Steps in the Battle to Win Back Your Mind (or at least charge rent for the space)
To recap, given Brands exist in OUR BRAINS. we should charge a fair rent.
We propose to call that brand-rent a brand colocation fee (BCF). And, being American, we wish to outsource the hard part to a union called the Brand Colocation Fee Union (BCFU).
What are your thoughts? Which brands should pay the most? The least? Which politician or law firm can get this started for us? A brain-space space-race. Our new bureaucracy, the BCFU, surely wouldn’t let us down?
I had the privilege of moderating the panel “It’s the end of Marketing as we know it. And we feel fine.” at the Mom2Summit this weekend in Houston. With the help of Katie we coordinated a panel with these three talented bloggers:
- Kirsten Chase (Motherhood Uncensored, Cool Mom Picks)
- Jordan Ferney (Oh Happy Day)
- Jenny Lawson (The Bloggess, Good Mom, Bad Mom)
In the planning phase it occurred to me that panel introductions are typically a bit boring. This led to “instead of introductions we could do ____” type thinking and conversations with HK. Various ideas such as non-existent peacock sightings (don’t ask) and bullhorns were ruled out.
Somewhere along the way Rachel suggested we do “interpretive readings” which led to a quick call to a friend from AAF at the Pastorini Bosby talent agency in Houston. They provided three amazing options and we would up selecting the brilliant actor David George. And David rocked the house!
Update: Here is the panel followed by the introductions:
Without further adieu. Here are the three blogger introductions for my panel at Mom2summit! (And a huge shout out to Katie Laird for all of her help putting the panel together!)
Thanks to our organizers and the sponsors of Mom2Summit for bringing this great conversation to Houston! I also know from working with her that Maggie put in a ton of time on the summit so thanks Maggie!
So all of this time I have actually liked Gwen Bell. And THEN I find out her panel is at the exact same time as my panel at the Mom2Summit in Houston Texas! Check the Saturday morning agenda. Oh ya, Gwen’s treachery is all there in black and white. Same bat time, competing bat channel at 9:30 AM. So now I must swear a blood oath to be Gwen’s mortal enemy!!!
Moving right along, the Mom2Summit isn’t just for moms. It is a conversation between women and marketers. From the site:
The Mom 2.0 Summit is a place for marketers, bloggers, and mompreneurs to get to know one another. A place to connect, converse, and build relationships. This year’s Summit discussions will focus on social media, marketing, networks, and brand building. We will explore what those relationships mean and how we all contribute to social media.
I am very excited about moderating the panel with
- Kirsten Chase (Motherhood Uncensored, Cool Mom Picks)
- Jordan Ferney (Oh Happy Day)
- Jenny Lawson (The Bloggess, Good Mom, Bad Mom)
Initially I declined to be on the panel because it was recommended by Katie, who is a little crazy, Maggie who is a little cheesy, and it has Jenny on the panel, who is a LOT crazy. Throw in Laura and Monica as two of the organizers and well it could get dangerous for a guy. But I’m brave. Plus I have a score to settle with a certain blogger competing for my time slot….
I hope to see y’all next week at the Mom 2 Summit!
UPDATE: Had an awesome pre conference call with Kirsten, Jordan and Jenny with the help of Katie. Really think this panel is going to have a lot of value for our attendees. So go register!
UPDATE UPDATE: Um…. I completely think @gwenbell rocks!
Reading Gwen’s post Leave it at the Alter about personal brands got me thinking.
Perhaps our online personal brands are really pseudonyms for the Umbrella Corporation? A protective wrapper than includes a “a highly-trained security force capable of rescue, reconnaissance, and para-military operations“ division. And one sub-corp that makes band aids for the kids when they skin a knee so we also get some good PR for our radical transparency.
So for the sake of argument, let’s assume that personal brand are the umbrella. Yet humans, like Tara, are very diverse creatures. We cycle through roles as Goffman‘s Symbolic interactionists. From wikipedia:
…people act toward things based on the meaning those things have for them; and these meanings are derived from social interaction and modified through interpretation.
A fancy way of saying we act differently in different situations when we play different roles. As a speaker I am outgoing. As a person, not so much, testing as an introvert.
The fundamental flaw with personal brands and radical transparency is brand consumers can’t handle this dissonance. Yet a human will always be a messy puddle of emotions and role playing and bluffing and reality.
The Law of Singularity: The most important aspect of a brand is its single-mindedness. What is a brand? A singular idea or concept that you own inside the mind of the prospect. It’s as simple or as difficult as that.
So real brands CAN be consistent. Coke-a-Cola is “the real thing”. Personal brands, being human, can NOT truly be consistent. Unless we hold back and show only our personal-brand-act in all public channels.
Steve Martin has an act, but that isn’t him. The fact that he inherited a personal brand of his name simply means he must live a double life, or triple life, of cover ups. Or risk not being true to the personal brand “Steve Martin” which surely isn’t him. (when did he stop doing stand up?)
So yes we have a personal brand. But they will never be as strong as a real brand.
And on that note, personal brands are horribly unfair. Think about it. People with no marketing training are compelled to come up with a brand name for all social software channels. But unlike companies that can trademark a brand; they typically don’t. And companies can buy their domain name. But how can an individual reserve their personal brand on every new social web site? So even IF an individual comes up with a great personal brand, they have no formal method of protecting it. Completely an unfair challenge to the individual. Yet there it is.
Great post on personal branding Gwen! Clearly you got me thinking. Thanks!
The image? Hans Haacke’s Blue Sail. It is every changing and completely dependent upon the fan as part of the installation. Just as our personal brands are completely dependent on how others perceive them. Whether in person or through social media. Our brands are singular and exist in the mind of the consumer, correct or not, if we wish or not, they just are. Sitting in a spot in their brain. And that is a tad bit unfair…
The song is pretty catchy. I love creativity! The whole things was done in one (1) take. Amazing! A few links:
We had a client situation come up today where they are really pressing for a free modification, and a good one, for the Tendenci software. But no budget. And a short time line. I so desperately wanted to say "yes!" But that would be bad.
Erving Goffman describes it as:
If the activity of an individual is to embody several ideal standards, and if a good showing is to be made, it is likely then that some of these standards will be sustained in public by the private sacrifice of some of the others. Often, of course, the performer will sacrifice those standards whose loss can be concealed… (pg 44)
In our particular situation we could easily do a quick-fix that might even placate the client. But it would bump back quadrant 2 activities. And fast isn’t always best. Back to Goffman:
So, too, if a service is judged on the basis of speed and quality, quality is likely to fall before speed because poor quality can be concealed but not slow service. (pg 45)
Or to put it another way, slow down, focus on quality, and fade the heat on time lines. It is always better long term to build a rock solid and secure product than it is to placate an impatient modification request. Even if you get beat up a bit in the process.
We have been talking about web marketing and headlines for a while now. So it was great to wake up to A List Apart’s post on the importance of headlines. Ogilvy would be proud.
Texas Tech and Alabama have both lost all understanding of marketing fundamentals. Based on this lack of knowledge they are charging forward wasting millions of Alumni dollars. So in order I’ll cover the bone-headed-ness and then why it is bone headed.
- The University of Alabama is suing an artist who depicts football games in his art work.
Mr. Moore’s paintings, reproduced in prints and on merchandise,
violated the university’s trademark rights, the suit said. It asked a
federal judge to forbid him to, among other things, use the
university’s “famous crimson and white color scheme.“
- Texas Tech on the other hand is suing a bookstore for selling T-shirts about Texas Tech with words like "Raider Land" and such. From the press release:
“We regret having to make the choice to file a lawsuit against Red
Raider Outfitters. Texas Tech never wants to find itself in the
position of suing a local business owner. In this case, however, we
believe Red Raider Outfitters forced us to take actions to protect our
marks. Raider Red, Wreck “˜em Tech, Raiderland and many other symbols
and phrases are important parts of the spirit and image of Texas Tech.
We took this action not only to protect our trademark but also to
protect licensed vendors who properly pay royalty fees to produce Texas
Tech merchandise,“ said Craig Wells, Texas Tech Senior Associate AD.
They are also prevented from using the trademarked "Texas Tech’s well known scarlet-and-black color scheme"
OK, it is possible for reasonable people to disagree so let me start with where I am coming from. After the jump….
One new discovery for me at least was the VALS framework from SRI Consulting Business Intelligence. The visual at the right is how they divide up the eight vals types. Visit the SRIC site for more information.
On a slightly different topic – I really like the simplicity of PRSA’s definition of public relations. It goes like this:
"Public relations helps an organization and its publics adapt mutually to each other."