Remember Your Reason for Being

I just came from taping a few segments for the Hugh Hewitt Show on the subject of entrepreneurship and was reminded once again of the importance of remembering your reason for being – why you got into business in the first place.  One of the other guests on the show was Christa Duggan, owner of Portola Coffee Lab here in Orange County.  And while I had not met Christa before, I have been...

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How to Handle an Accusation: Six Essential Steps

For those who long for effective government and civil discourse, political campaign years are rarely something to look forward to.  But for those interested in branding, and particularly the relationship between branding and trust, it is a season ripe for study.  Politicians are brands.  And what they are “selling” is trust.   How these brands are created and promoted is a subject best...

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How to Build Trust in Your Brand, Part 2: Examine Your Motives

About ten years ago I was invited to New York to consult with an organization fearing for its future.  It once held a large segment of the market, but had watched that share  decline over a number of years.  The leadership team’s anxiety was high, and they called me because I had experience with their target market.  Though they’d asked me to town for a conversation, when I arrived it...

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Amazon: Penny Wise, Fortune Foolish

Today I packed my Amazon team jersey, pennant and foam “#1” finger and moved them to the dark corner of my attic, relics of a bygone era. I was once a passionate cheerleader for Amazon. Sure, I was a bit distressed at first by the pressure they placed on the mom and pop book sellers. But there was little doubt that the internet was the marketplace of the future, and I appreciated Amazon’s...

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How to Build Trust in Your Brand, Part 1: The Biology of Trust

Trust: it is the holy grail of branding. However else you define yourself (prestigious, creative, luxurious, stylish…), branding experts say that no attribute is more valuable than “trust.” Become known as “trusted” and victory is yours: customer loyalty, price stability, word-of-mouth advertising, employee recruitment and retention…the list is lengthy and amazingly valuable to...

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Danger of Delayed Gratification

When assessing the ethical development of an individual or a company, one of the first dimensions I explore is the capacity of the subject to delay gratification. To what degree is this person or group able to defer immediate satisfaction for the sake of a greater future reward? I ask this because I find the conventional wisdom generally true: the greater one’s ability to delay gratification,...

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