Babyfonics Genius Disrupts Reading.

11 responses.

Heidi Dobbs, Founder Babyfonics GeniusLast week we talked about disruptors. This week we’ve got a great example of disruption called Babyfonics Genius. And if you have a child or grandchild who’s learning to read, you’ll really enjoy this post.

New mother Heidi Dobbs was busy teaching her pre-school children to read when she had a brainstorm — what’s the point of teaching kids the ABCs if it doesn’t actually help them read? Wouldn’t it be better to teach children the letters’ sounds instead? That way her kids could sing the sounds together and automatically read the word.

Example? Joey knows all his ABCs. Courtney doesn’t know her ABCs – but she knows her lettersounds. Both kids start kindergarten. The teacher asks Joey to read the word “ant.” He recites the letters “A…N…T.” The teacher asks Courtney to read the same word, and she says “aaaaa… nnnnn… ttttt — ant!”

Heidi developed her program and sent both her children and her nieces and nephews off to school already knowing how to read simple words and sentences.

Their teachers’ reactions?

Some of their teachers were thrilled. Some were nonplused. But most were surprised that kids who couldn’t identify their ABCs could actually read while the other students who knew the ABCs could not.

Despite this, none of the teachers were interested in using this system in their classrooms. After all, the ABCs and reading had been taught the same way for years. The teachers pointed out that the system wasn’t proven. It wasn’t accredited. And its inventor didn’t have “Dr.” before her name or a string of impressive initials after it. The fact that Heidi’s kids and her sister’s kids were the best readers in their classes didn’t seem to matter.

We’re Ready To Be Disrupted.

So Heidi did what so many red-blooded American inventors have done before her. She developed her system herself and offered it to exactly the people who would be most interested – the engaged and involved parents of preschool-aged children. Except instead of having to create books and games and work with printers and pay for inventory and rent storage space and pay for advertising and shipping, Heidi used Internet technology and created an app called Babyfonics Genius.

Five days after uploading her reading app to the Apple App Store, Babyfonics Genius was made available to the public and parents everywhere were given access to a whole new way of teaching their children to read.

There’s no publishing company, no middleman, no distributor, and no wholesaler. In other words, there’s no one to get between Heidi and the kids she wants to teach. Just a great new idea that’s helping parents everywhere.

FOX Business anchor Melissa Francis, herself a mother of small children, interviewed Heidi on her show Money with Melissa Francis, and parents who tuned in were immediately able to pull their phones out of their pockets and download Babyfonics Genius. But of course it didn’t stop there. Heidi repurposed the footage on YouTube and on her various social media feeds (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.) and gave even more parents the opportunity to learn about her innovation.

Soon more and more new students will show up at their schools knowing how to read but not knowing the names of the letters they’re reading and more and more teachers will be puzzled. At a parent-teacher night or at a PTA meeting maybe, they’ll ask a parent how come their child can already read and more folks will know about Heidi’s disruptive breakthrough. But none of it will have gone through the traditional channels.

Eventually Babyfonics Genius will be a ubiquitous success, resident on every new parent and grandparent’s iPhone, and everyone will know about it. Yahoo or Google or Microsoft will pay a billion dollars for Babyfonics Genius and Heidi’s smiling face will be on the cover of Forbes or Fortune or Fast Company’s richest 40 under 40 edition. Perhaps Babyfonics Genius will be so successful that Heidi will be even more famous that her major league infielder husband Greg.

But right now Babyfonics Genius is a disruptive little idea waiting to be discovered. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. And don’t hesitate to download it if you have little ones at home.




The Disruptors vs. the Disrupted.

13 responses.

The two guys sitting next to me on the plane disrupted my peace and quiet by chattering away like old friends. I couldn’t open up my laptop until we “reached a comfortable cruising altitude of 10,000 feet” so I was stuck listening to them even though I really didn’t want to.

Turns out the first guy was creating new video technology application and the second guy had been in the video rental and installation business for 30 years so they had a lot to talk about. Basically their conversational ping-pong went something like this:

Guy One: “We’re going to readjust the framitz on the whosie-whatser which will double our resolution. That will allow the gesungie to process twice as much data in half the time.”

Guy Two: “That’ll never work. I used to own 200 framiwitzers. We tried it every different way but it was a complete waste of time.”

Guy One: “Sure but that was because your framiwitzers were analog. Now that they’re digital we can push the compression of the schmutzer until they re-sync.”

Guy Two: “No way. Schmutzers are specifically designed to slow down the render rate. We tried to increase the compression but it never worked.”

Mercifully that was about the moment that I heard the little bell ding over the PA and was able to open my laptop and crank up some Led Zeppelin.

We’re Ready To Be Disrupted.When I disrupted the music and pulled my headphones off a few hours later to go the bathroom the two of them were still at it. Guy One was explaining some new technological advancement he was testing and Guy Two was insisting that it he’d already tried it and that it would never work.

It finally dawned on me that Guy One was not from the video industry. Unlike his more experienced seatmate, he came to the business with fresh views and fresh ideas. He was bright-eyed and bushytailed and full of excitement about all the possibilities. On the other hand, Guy Two was an industry lifer who had seen and heard it all. He knew everything there was to know about each idea and knew for certain that none of it would ever work.

Mark Zuckerberg, the guy who created Facebook and disrupted social media forever, did not come from the college yearbook business or the communication business. Elon Musk, the brains behind Tesla, did not come from the auto industry. Pierre Omidyar, Ebay’s originator, did not come from the auction business.

Need more? Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia, the designers of Airbnb, the online room rental service that as of spring 2014 booked more room nights than Hilton Hotels, had 10 million guests and 550,000 properties listed worldwide and a $10B valuation —making it worth more than industry players Wyndham and Hyatt, did not come from the hotel business. They were just two guys who wanted to rent out their San Francisco loft in order to help cover their rent.

Do you notice a pattern here?

These disintermediators of the communications, automotive, auction, and hotel businesses did not come from the businesses they ultimately disrupted. Instead they used their knowledge of the Internet and programming, combined with a belief that there had to be another way to accomplish what they set out to do to zig when everyone else zagged.

Thanks to the ubiquitousness of the Internet and digital technology, we are seeing businesses disrupted where we never thought possible. Remember classified ads? CraigsList put an end to them. CDs and DVD? iTunes and Netflix drove them into the ground. Maps? MapQuest. Circuit City? Amazon. Pay phones? Cell phones.

The trend that shows no sign of abating is not just the elimination of legacy business models but that the slashing will continue to be done by people who come from outside the industries that they disrupt. Technology is ubiquitous, good ideas can come from anywhere, and those outside the industry don’t know what can’t be done because they’ve never done it before.

Back to my flight and the argument between Guy One and Guy Two? It’s still going on. Guy Two is disrupted toast. He just doesn’t know it yet.




The Truest Brand In The World.

11 responses.

Bill O’ReillyThe more I write about how critical it is to discover and express both your authentic self and your customers’ deepest desires in your brand, the more questions I get. Many are about how one can discover the true self they should be promoting, or how to know exactly what their customers want. Clearly answers to both these questions require a lot more time than an email answer or even blog post offers. But the other frequent request is for a clear example of a brand that is congruent with both its own authentic self and the desires of its clients.

Sure there’s a pat list of expected answers including names such as Apple, Porsche, BMW, Panerai, Ralph Lauren, Harley-Davidson, Prius, Las Vegas, and Hermes.

But perhaps the truest brand example I can think of is Bill O’Reilly. Seriously. Bill. O. Freaking Reilly.

Before I explain, let me issue a prophylactic disclaimer. I’m neither condoning nor condemning O’Reilly’s politics in this blog. For the sake of illustrating the concept of true brand value I’ve gone out of my way to be as agnostic as possible. The point here is not the what, but the how.

Almost a year ago I was a guest on The O’Reilly Factor, coincidentally invited along with my friend and tech/social media genius Peter Shankman, as one of two marketing experts O’Reilly wanted to interview about ESPN’s decision not to run a Christmas-themed television commercial for a Catholic children’s hospital.

 

It was O’Reilly’s contention that ESPN’s refusal to run the spot was a clear example of what he called “America’s War on Christmas.” Click HERE to watch the interview.

 

If O’Reilly had actually permitted me to explain why ESPN had disallowed the commercial I would have told him about these three factors:

  1. To not offend their viewers, ESPN – like all television networks – has policies regarding how much religiosity they allow. Before you jump to conclusions, look at it this way. Most Americans wouldn’t mind Christian messages, and many would accept Jewish messages. Fewer still might tolerate Muslim doctrines on their TV set. But how about Baha’i teachings? Or Wiccan sermons? Or even Pastafarianism (The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster)? These are all accepted religions that are guaranteed freedom of expression under the Constitution. But because the network’s choice is to limit them all or limit none, they chose the former.
  2. EPSN – again like all television networks – has clear charity requirements. I don’t know for sure, but I’d bet the potential advertiser didn’t fill out the required 501(c) 3 forms and therefore the network couldn’t be sure that any money donated to them would be used appropriately.
  3. Did you notice that the little boy in the spot was wearing a surgical mask? And did you notice that the mask had a big red splotch on it? No TV signal wants their viewers changing the channel to avoid looking at blood.

Flying Spaghetti Monster

The funny thing is that O’Reilly, one of the highest paid personalities on television, knows these things better than I do. But explaining them doesn’t promote his brand nor engage his audience.

Bill has strategically built an aspirational brand by living the life his viewers wish they could live. Bill sells his brand to disaffected, formerly middle-class general market consumers who are angry that the life they lived is being eroded by rampant technology, increased minority rights, painful economic realities, and encroaching old age. And so O’Reilly brilliantly fabricates crises such as The War on Christmas to empathize with his audience while he first enrages and then placates them by manhandling his guests. Quite simply, O’Reilly beats up his mostly affluent, well dressed, educated, and/or minority guests because his audience wants to but can’t.

By doing this, O’Reilly has perfectly aligned his authentic self with his audience’s deepest desires and created one of the truest and most profitable brands on television.

Simply remove O’Reilly’s signature rancor, and there’s a lot to learn and emulate from his brand, regardless of what you think of his politics, his practices or his policies.




The ultimate CEO travel secret: Wash your underwear in the sink.

21 responses.

Fortune

Road warrior and brand expert Bruce Turkel travels as a competitive sport. The CEO and executive creative director of marketing consulting firm Turkel Brands travels lightest.

by      

Travel SecretI travel almost every week, but in fact I’m not traveling this week and it’s kind of shocking. Last week I was in New York for client meetings and to do a Fox Business correspondent gig in the studio instead of remotely. The week before I was in Massachusetts because my daughter is entering her third year of college. Next week I’m in Las Vegas speaking at a brand management camp. But this week I’m in Miami the whole week.

Figuring out how to hack my travel with tips and techniques has become more than a hobby, it’s almost an obsession. In our wedding vows I added to the traditional “better or worse, sickness or health, richer or poorer, only carry-on luggage.” I didn’t really—but I threatened to.

I was on a flight once and the woman in front of me kept slamming herself against the seat to get it to go back. The reason the seat wouldn’t go back is because my knees were there. I didn’t have any legroom. She finally called the flight attendant and said, “My seat won’t go back.” And I said, “The reason your seat won’t go back is because my legs are there.” The flight attendant said to me, “Sir, you have to move so she can put her seat back.” And I said, “OK, where would you like me to put my legs? We can consider the overhead compartment. Other than that I don’t really know where they’re going to go.” I promptly bought a knee defender. That was years ago, but I’ve never had the nerve to use it. I take it only for emotional support.

If you lean forward and say, “Look I’m almost 6’5”. Would you mind not leaning back quite so far?” Most people are pretty nice about it. I’ll offer to buy them a drink. But sometimes—especially on European airlines—when the people lean back, I could do dental work on them. I don’t put my seat back more than just a little inch, just to take the angle off, unless I turn around and there’s a sleeping child curled up in the seat, because I know how aggravating that can be.

I only wear three colors: gray, blue, and black. That way everything I take matches everything else. I always take knit silk ties and pocket squares with me, too. If you change your ties and the tone of your pocket square, it looks like you’re wearing a different outfit every day. That’s all anyone notices if you’re well dressed anyways.

I play the harmonica, so I also take a few harmonicas when I travel. I have found people to play with on the subways of Paris, on the streets on London, and in small towns in Provence. It always gets me invited to places and dinners. It’s great. Now if I played the cello, admittedly, it wouldn’t be quite as easy. But with the harmonica it’s quite easy.

“They love me at TSA when I get the random open bag inspection.
They open it up and say, “Oh my god. I wish everybody packed like this.”

My travel hero is Jack Reacher, a fictional detective in a series of 18 books by author Lee Child. He travels with just an ATM card and a folding toothbrush. When his clothes get dirty he throws them away and he buys new ones. I dig his travel routine. That’s my dream. But I would add a harmonica.

I have a collapsible down jacket that folds up into its own pocket. It’s essentially—when you smash it all down—the size of two pairs of socks. I take that no matter where I go because even if you’re going somewhere warm the airport is going to be freezing or the plane is going to be freezing. Even though I insist on traveling as light as possible, I even carry a down jacket if I’m going to the Caribbean or to Ibiza. It’s still jammed into my bag.

I always take button-down shirts because you can always wear them with a suit or you can wear them un-tucked with shorts. You can’t really do that with any other kind of shirt.

I am fastidious about packing. I use those little packing cubes and I organize everything. They love me at TSA when I get the random open bag inspection. They open it up and say, “Oh my god. I wish everybody packed like this.” Everything’s in a little pouch. Everything’s all nice and folded—all my cords and my cables. I’m a little psycho, as I said. But I’m OK with that! I accept myself for who I am. Travel is just so easy for me because I know exactly what I’m going to take at all times.

One of the things we’re responsible for is marketing Miami tourism. So all my suits have these little palm tree pins on them—every single one—so I’m never out of uniform. But I’ve noticed that TSA guys or hotel clerks, they always say, “Oh, I like your pin!” At which point I reach into my lapel, unhook it and give it to them. They love them. And I always get an upgrade. With hotels I get a nicer room or with rental cars I get a nicer car. Who knows what—you get something.

I really like Nooly, which is a weather app. It’s really cool because it tells you the weather in 5-minute increments. If I’m going for a run, for example, I don’t care what the weather is for the next eight hours. I care what the weather is now for the next 45 minutes. And it tells you. WeatherBug has a really cool feature called Spark that tells you if there’s lightning anywhere nearby.

“Here you have a guy who runs a company who’s traveling around washing his underwear in the sink
and then jumping on it. I get it. It’s funny. But you know what? I don’t care because I’m obsessed and it works.”

The app that I love more than any other app—I use it for travel, but it can be used for everything else—is Evernote combined with a system that I’ve learned online called thesecretweapon.org, a series of 11 videos that show how to combine David Allen’s “Getting Things Done” (GTD) with Evernote as a master “to do” list to manage your inbox and your assignments and your travel and everything else. It is phenomenal. It runs my whole life. It’s a real pain in the neck at first but if you fight your way through it and get it set up, it becomes second nature. Like my email box, I have no emails in my email box. As I open one I transfer it to Evernote and tag it.

My dad passed away a few years ago and I took his briefcase and had it refurbished. I only use that bag and my suitcase. That’s nice, that I always have his bag with me. It’s a Tumi leather briefcase of some sort. It’s old. Now they have their own custom zippers and everything. It doesn’t even have those. But I sent it back to Tumi and they redid it. In fact the woman called me and said, “You want to spend $300 to redo this bag? You can probably get a new one for a little more.” I said, “Nope, that’s the one I want.” So they fixed it up. They put it on a new handle and some new straps and cleaned it up and it’s great.

I take a couple merino wool T-shirts because, believe it or not, they do not itch. They work in all temperatures and they don’t stink, so you can wear them more than once. We all like to wear cotton T-shirts but when you sweat in them they get heavy and wet—especially when you run—and you can’t dry them after washing, so you’ve got to find a replacement. Merino wool is unbelievable. At first I was completely skeptical. First of all, I live in Miami—I’m not from a wool-wearing state. I thought it would be itchy and uncomfortable and it’s not at all. You can wash it in the sink and it dries quickly.

I always take two pairs of ExOfficio travel underwear and I wash them in the sink every night. They don’t absorb moisture because they’re made of synthetic materials. But here’s the trick: You wring them out as best as you can by hand, then you take a big bath towel and lay it out on the floor—or on the bed if you’re a germophobe—and then you lay the clothes on them and roll it up like a burrito. It’s a layer of clothing, a layer of towel, a layer of clothing, a layer of towel. Then you lay this big roll on the ground and you jump on it, which transfers a lot of the water that’s left from the fabric into the towel. Then you unroll it and you hang the stuff up. It works. My wife laughs at me. My friends laugh at me. You laugh at me. It’s ok. I get it. It’s stupid. Here you have a guy who runs a company who’s traveling around washing his underwear in the sink and then jumping on it. I get it. It’s funny. But you know what? I don’t care because I’m obsessed and it works.




I Need Three Hundred Thousand Dollars.

10 responses.

I need three hundred thousand dollars. Come to think of it, maybe I need half a million dollars. I’m not really sure. I just know I have to own Singer Vehicle Design’s restored, reimagined, and reborn Porsche 911 and that’s about what they cost.

The price is variable because the cars are completely custom. And the $350 – $500,000 is the cost AFTER I deliver a pre-owned cherry 1990 – 1994 air-cooled Porsche model 964 to their California facility for the re-creation. I’ll also need 50 or 60 grand to build a climate-controlled garage at home to store my gorgeous new/old 911. And I’ll need a little more to pay for the trips back and forth to California to see my car being constructed and the shipping charges to get it home safe and sound. Of course I’d like to drive it cross-country but I can’t imagine putting all those miles and wear and tear on my pride and joy. A stone chip in the baby blue and orange Gulf racing livery? OMG, perish the thought.

Don't Compare

Come to think of it, half a million won’t really be enough. After all, this isn’t the kind of car anyone spends their last pennies on—it has to be the kind of purchase that doesn’t make a noticeable dent in your disposable income or net worth. The kind of purchase that the people on Forbes’ latest Richest People in America list could buy. The kind of buy that folks like Jerry Seinfeld, Jay Leno, Russian oligarchs or some random Arab sheik might make on their way back from the store. Heck, if the cars didn’t take so long to complete, those buyers would probably snatch up a few in different shades just to suit their moods or their dates’ eye color.

Don't compare

So how much are we up to now? Four million? Five? Would that kind of sum in my bank account be enough to justify a Singer in my garage? When would I actually have enough to pull the trigger?

In other words, how much is enough?

The other day I saw a sign that read, “Someone Else Is Happy With Less Than What You Have” and it made me think. We keep reading about the elites and the 1% and the multi-millionaires and the billionaires and what they have and what we don’t. And yet, as the sign says, someone else is happy with less than what you have.

Don’t compare With These GuysSo, how much is enough?

When do we stop and look around and take inventory and say, “This is pretty great”? When do we add all of the non-monetary luxuries we enjoy to our list and watch our metaphorical cup metaphorically runneth over? When do we stop linking our list to both the folks who have more than we do and the folks who are happy with less than we have and just stop and smile at what we’ve got?

Don't Compare

I was only 12 when my grandma Mollie died but I remember going to her apartment after elementary school. First she’d serve me a big plate of the special flat cookies she’d bake or the “cheese things without any cheese” (I hated cheese and I guess she figured it was easier to call them that then actually change the recipe) and then I’d tell her about my day. At the time I didn’t much care what someone else had as much as how quickly they’d run the 50-yard dash or how far they’d thrown the softball (always faster and further than I had, by the way).

Mollie’s answer? “Don’t compare.”

“Don’t compare” doesn’t tell me not to work for more just as it doesn’t admonish me to be happy with what I have, nor even remind me not to lord what I have over those who have less. Instead, “Don’t compare” is my constant reminder that no one else is responsible for my happiness or satisfaction – neither the people I’m striving to emulate, nor the ones who want what I already have.

My grandmother didn’t tell me that “someone else is happy with less than what you have,” nor did she lecture me about the kid who couldn’t run because he had no shoes or the kid who couldn’t throw because he had no arms. “Don’t compare” was her simple admonishment and advice that has served me well in the 43 years since I last heard her voice.

Of course “don’t compare” doesn’t tell me how to get my Singer 911 either, but somehow I’m okay with that.

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A Very Special Offer to Learn More.

The date of our Tribal Signature Boot Camp is getting closer and closer. No hard sell needed but if you’d like to learn more about it and what it can do for you, please click HERE. This is an event you won’t want to miss — we’re going to cover the exact steps you and your company need to follow to establish a powerful Tribal Signature that will help you build your brand equity.

Here’s what dental business consultant Virginia Moore said about last year’s conference:

A fresh perspective,

Information that really works,

A message that captures everything relevant about today’s culture… and is entertaining!

You will receive that and more when you have Bruce Turkel speak to your organization.

Having been in attendance both when Bruce took the main stage at the National Speaker’s Association Annual Convention and in an intimate workshop setting, I can personally attest to both the message and the application of his recommendations.

Watching 1200 attendees at NSA (and this is an audience of professional speakers!) held spellbound by both Bruce’s message and his delivery of that message was an undeniable testament to his ability to captivate an audience and offer information that can revolutionize their marketing approach.

After an intensive 2-day workshop under Bruce’s tutelage, I was able to successfully re-brand myself and develop a website and marketing material that differentiates my services and has boosted my visibility to dentists and meeting planners.

The only risk in considering Bruce Turkel for your meeting would be to not book him! He has a message and way of sharing it that can change the way dentists connect with patients and prospective patients. A message that I have never before seen delivered in the over 25 years that I’ve been in dentistry.

I guarantee you’ll have attendees thanking you for bringing him to your meeting. 

Sincerely,

Virginia Moore

There’s no obligation to find out more. All you have to do is click HERE.




SPAM — and a very special offer.

3 responses.

Those of us who use the Internet to send marketing materials run the risk of sending unwanted emails – SPAM – to our distribution list. Sometimes it’s inadvertent – people sign up for all sorts of things they later decide they don’t want and often people sign up their friends or relatives without telling them. Sometimes it’s on purpose – plenty of companies send spam to anyone they’ve come into contact with and even harvest names and addresses for later use with no thought to whether their recipients actually want the materials.

SPAM

So for companies and individuals who are looking to build their brand online, it’s crucial to handle spam requests properly. Even though most distribution companies include a big fat “UNSUBSCRIBE” button on their mailings, lots of recipients of spam still hit “reply” and ask to be removed from the list. Many of these requests are civil. Some are not. If I shared the less friendly unsubscribe requests I’ve received they would curl your hair.

Different mail distribution companies (MyEmma, Listrak, Constant Contact, and their ilk) have systems and protocols for reducing spam but most of them rely on the honor system, requesting and requiring their clients to only send materials to addresses that have opted in. These requirements are not foolproof – a quick calculation of the volume of spam you receive proves this.

But the real key for marketers is to make the unsubscribe process as simple and friendly as possible. One of the easiest ways is to require nothing more from the unsubscriber than a mouse click – simply click one button and you’re done. A second way is to respond with a personal note, apologizing for the imposition and confirming the unsubscribe. In my experience, the later scenario can even result in a re-subscription request. Apparently people are so surprised to find that someone has actually read and processed their spam request that they give the sender a second chance.

That’s why I was so stunned to receive this response after I clicked on the “unsubscribe” button on a local university’s mailing. I have removed their identification to protect the ham-fisted but didn’t change anything else.

“If you do not wish to receive further fundraising communications from UNIVERSITY, please send your request by email to the following address: Development@UNIVERSITY or telephone the appropriate individual below. Please provide us with your name, phone number, and physical address, so that we may respect your wishes not to receive further fundraising communications. Only complete requests can be processed. You may receive additional communications while your request is processed.”

Can you believe it? Not only did they send unsolicited spam, but they’ve requested that I stop what I’m doing to call them or send them an email and provide all my contact information so they can respect my wishes.

I might understand this if it was a third-world scam phishing expedition trying to steal my data – a Nigerian oil bonanza or a fake bank application perhaps – but this was from one of Miami’s most prestigious universities.

Kinda makes you wonder what they teach in their marketing classes, huh?

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

A Very Special Offer to Learn More.

The date of our Tribal Signature Boot Camp is getting closer and closer. No hard sell needed but if you’d like to learn more about it and what it can do for you, please click HERE. This is an event you won’t want to miss — we’re going to cover the exact steps you and your company need to follow to establish a powerful Tribal Signature that will help you build your brand equity.

Here’s what dental business consultant Virginia Moore said about last year’s conference:

A fresh perspective,

Information that really works,

A message that captures everything relevant about today’s culture… and is entertaining!

You will receive that and more when you have Bruce Turkel speak to your organization.

Having been in attendance both when Bruce took the main stage at the National Speaker’s Association Annual Convention and in an intimate workshop setting, I can personally attest to both the message and the application of his recommendations.

Watching 1200 attendees at NSA (and this is an audience of professional speakers!) held spellbound by both Bruce’s message and his delivery of that message was an undeniable testament to his ability to captivate an audience and offer information that can revolutionize their marketing approach.

After an intensive 2-day workshop under Bruce’s tutelage, I was able to successfully re-brand myself and develop a website and marketing material that differentiates my services and has boosted my visibility to dentists and meeting planners.

The only risk in considering Bruce Turkel for your meeting would be to not book him! He has a message and way of sharing it that can change the way dentists connect with patients and prospective patients. A message that I have never before seen delivered in the over 25 years that I’ve been in dentistry.

I guarantee you’ll have attendees thanking you for bringing him to your meeting.

Sincerely,

Virginia Moore

There’s no obligation to find out more. All you have to do is click HERE.




Be Nice.

61 responses.

Josh Mayer is a nice guy who runs a wonderful advertising agency in New Orleans with his brother Mark. Josh also has a good enough marriage that his younger employees come to him for advice when they’re thinking of getting married. Josh’s advice is simple:

“Don’t marry for money. Money comes and goes.

Don’t marry for looks. Looks can fade.

Don’t marry for sex. Sex gets better and worse (and better again, if you’re lucky).

Don’t even marry for love. Love also ebbs and flows.”

Josh’s advice? “Marry for nice. Nice never goes away.”

Be NiceYou know, I spend a lot of time writing these posts and even more time thinking about what I’m going to write about. I want you to find these posts useful, enjoyable, and valuable. I’d also like them to be profound enough to make a difference to you and maybe even generate some commentary and ongoing discussion.

But Be Nice? Be nice is not something you’ve never heard before. Be nice is not earth shattering. Hell, be nice is not even profound.

But it is true.

Be Nice is the most important thing you can do to make your life better right this minute. Because being nice changes you and it changes the way the people around you react.

Since hearing Josh’s advice I’ve been trying to train myself to be nice. For example, I greet every jogger and dog-walker and bus stop sitter I pass on my morning runs. The folks I run with make fun of me when the people I greet don’t return the greeting but it doesn’t matter. I’m greeting them for myself. Here are five other simple ways to be nice:

  1. Say hello to everyone when you step into an elevator. This can get weird sometimes because most people in elevators are staring at one of three things: the floor, the floor numbers or their Be nicephone. Because of this, saying hello to people in elevators is not easy to do but it does work. Your new friends leave the elevator smiling. And you’ll get a little better at it each time.
  2. Leave a few bucks for the housekeeper when you spend the night in a hotel. Look at it this way – you give a buck to the guy behind the bar who hands you a beer and all he has to do is reach into a cooler and grab a cold one. Doesn’t the person who makes your bed and scrubs your toilet deserve at least a few bucks too?
  3. Send thank you notes. Not emails. Not Facebook likes. But nice, genuine handwritten notes scribbled on paper and posted with a real stamp. Your mom taught you to do this and your mom was right.
  4. Remember people’s names and use them when you talk. Okay, I’ll admit this is really hard for me because I have no memory for names. And Brad Pitt can’t do it because he says he suffers from prosopagnosia or face-blindness. Pitt told Esquire Magazine that, “even if he’s had a real conversation with someone, he’ll forget what the person looks like almost as soon as he or she walks away.” Pitt adds that, “so many people hate me because they think I’m disrespecting them.” I don’t know if any of that is true but it is something to work on. And it sure would make Brad Pitt seem a whole lot nicer. Not that I’d actually know.
  5. Hold the door for people. It’s easy and chivalrous and maybe even a little old-fashioned but it’s a nice thing to do. Standing when a woman comes into a room seems to me to be a bit chauvinistic and fuddy-duddyish but holding doors is just downright considerate, especially if you hold them for men and woman.

Maybe that’s the point. Being nice means being considerate of the people you come into contact with and going out of your way to make other people happy and comfortable.

Because when you do that it will make you comfortable too.

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By the way, our Tribal Signature Boot Camp is only a few weeks away. No hard sell needed but if you’d like to learn more about it and what it can do for you, please click HERE. There’s obligation but I’m pretty sure it’s an event you won’t want to miss.




How You can Stand Out.

One response.

Thanks to Mayor Bloomberg, there’s a lovely little park in front of the Macy’s New York flagship store on 34th street between Broadway and 7th Avenue. I lucked upon a garden table and chair shaded from the sun by a big patio umbrella and cooled by the wind rushing between the buildings. With Macy’s free Wi-Fi and a nice breeze it’s the perfect spot to catch up with the office and our clients between now and my lunch meeting down the street.

The idea that a laptop, cell phone, Internet connection, and relatively comfortable place to position myself is all I need to get some work done isn’t new but I’m pleasantly surprised each time I rediscover it. I can’t even imagine how productive I wasn’t before technology made it so easy to work from almost anywhere.

Macy's Streetscape NYC

But today’s revelation comes from something else. I’ve been wandering through New York from meeting to meeting over the last few days and I’m continually struck by how many people, businesses, brands, and ideologies want to stand out, constantly vying for our attention, our time, and ultimately, our dollars and commitment. And at least half of the people I’ve passed are busy thumb-typing away on their smartphones which means there’s a whole mobile environment that’s also fighting for their eyeballs and iWallets.

But the people, too, are all trying to stand out and get attention. There’s a woman with a pink Mohawk. A guy in a Thom Browne shrunken suit. A woman teetering on seven-inch heels. A woman in a Chanel suit and flip-flops.

There go a couple of guys in skin-tight tank tops with enough muscles between them for a whole football team. There’s a woman with a little dog in a stroller. There’s an old man in a baggy suit and collapsed pleather loafers. Even the scruffy folks hoping for handouts try to outdo each other and stand out with their hand-scrawled signs.

And it’s not just the street I’m on. Hop in the subway, bounce along for 20 minutes in any direction and you’ll surface miles away but still smack dab in the same swarm of teeming humanity – all trying to stand out – striving and searching for whatever it is they’re all looking for. Commercial success? Fame? Love? Companionship? Enough spare change to get a bite to eat? It’s a dog-eat-dog world and everyone’s trying to get their bone.

So how do you stand out? How do you make a difference? How do you build your business, sell your novel, promote your website, fund your non-profit, meet your mate, change your world?

If it were only through the function of being good at what you do then you’d have reached your goal by now. After all, you’re already great at your job – an acclaimed professional, a successful practitioner, a skilled technician. But it’s not enough, is it? Because in today’s world there are plenty of people who do what we do, all of them looking for their shot, auditioning for their spot, waiting for their moment. Few of them stand out.

A-Good-Brand copy

And it’s not just on the streets of New York or Los Angeles or London or Buenos Aires, because today’s professionals only have to log on to the ‘Net to find legions of people around the world just itching to sell their wares. Radiologists in Mumbai, engineers in Beijing, web designers in Germany, social media experts in Indonesia. If people only want to buy what you do they can find it anywhere. Lucky for you, they want more.

What they want is you. More precisely they want you and how you make them feel. Even more precisely, what they want is you and how you make them feel about themselves.

For example, all cars can get people from Point A to Point B. But a Toyota Prius can make them feel environmentally conscious. And a Tesla can make them feel environmentally conscious AND successful. You see, it’s not about the function; it’s about the brand identification. A good brand makes people feel good. A great brand makes people feel good about themselves.

A Great Brand.

It’s your ability to do what you do combined with your authentic truth, your Tribal Signature, that makes you stand out so that people will choose your offering over the competition’s. All you have to do is uncover it, develop it, and promote it for all the world to see.

Want to know how? The first step to stand out is to click HERE. Don’t worry, there’s no obligation and there’s nothing to fill out, just a link to your invitation to uncover your Tribal Signature.






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