By k | December 31, 2007 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Trendwatching has come out with
their top 8 trends for 2008

They are
status spheres
(status symbol consumption based on lifestyle),
premiumization
(high end products in EVERY industry),
snack culture
(temporary or transient pleasure buys),
online oxygen
(increase reliance on the internet),
eco-ionic
(broadcasting eco-credentials to others),
brand butlers
(marketing by taking care of the consumer…
think Charmin sponsored public restrooms),
Make It Yourself
(consumers wishing to create and
personalize products themselves)
and
crowd mining
(using consumers input and sweat equity).

By k | December 30, 2007 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

The Pantone Fashion Report highlights
the top ten colors of Spring 2008

What does this have to do
with product development? 
Everything if you’re in the fashion or
any other trendy, fad driven industry
(or thinking about a blog redesign). 

One top pick? 
“Daiquiri Green, a brighter version of
the popular earth-tone yellow-greens
naturally associated with eco-awareness.” 

You read that right. 
Eco-awareness. 
The colors are a reflection of the consumers they target. 
They are well worth tracking.  

By k | December 29, 2007 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

I often hear from employees
that there is no room in their jobs for innovation. 

That is a bullsh** excuse. 

Take one “impossible” example: 
a posting at a missle defense command center
during the fearful 1950’s. 
No room for innovation or creativity, right? 
Wrong.  

In 1955, a department store promotion
accidently put NORAD
as their contact number for Santa. 
Instead of turning the kiddies away,
the airmen not only took the calls
but added a military twist. 

This year, on December 24th, 
NORAD
(staffed by volunteers and 
funded fully by donations)
handled half a million calls and
over a billion website hits. 

If there’s room for
innovation and customer service
in the military,
there’s room for
innovation and customer service
in your organization.  

By k | December 28, 2007 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

Have you ever participated in
a discussion or interview and
wish that a certain question had been asked? 

The Media Interview reminds us not to wait. 

“Your key message should never be dependent
on an interviewer asking the right questions;
you’re responsible for getting your point across.”

There are always opportunities
to answer the questions
you haven’t been asked,
working the information into the discussion.

By k | December 27, 2007 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

Brian Solis has a great post
on executives and public relations
including this point… 

“Just because you created the product
doesn’t mean you’re the best person to sell it.

I’ve worked with some of the most passionate executives
that just don’t click with the people
they’re trying to engage -
no matter how hard they try.

Suck it up and get a spokesperson
who can help tell the story to the people
that will help grow your business.” 

PR folks are experts. 
Use those experts.

By k | December 26, 2007 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I’ve read advice saying
to gather all the members of a project launch team
together from day one. 
This supposedly promotes ownership of the project. 
I disagree. 
It promotes frustration. 

I recently joined a group project. 
My role was to help implement. 
I was a doer. 

This was the first day of the project so
the group was still at the conceptual part. 
They were thinking. 

(Because they wanted this product to be “unique”,
they weren’t interested in my input.) 

Three weeks later,
I’m still waiting for the go-ahead decision. 

Am I frustrated? 
Yes. 
Am I ready to walk away? 
Yes. 

Bring people onboard
when you need them or their insights,
not before. 

By k | December 25, 2007 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Successful people come
from all backgrounds, all beliefs but
most of them have one belief in common. 

They believe life is not a zero-sum game (win-lose).  
It is abundant (win-win). 

Rich Kaarlgard in Forbes calls zero-sum thinking 
the “World’s Worst Disease“ 
I agree. 
And it is especially deadly for innovation.  

With zero-sum game,
there would be no “new” markets,
simply stolen markets. 
There would be no line extensions
because the products would fully cannibalize
the existing offering.  
Entering competitors wouldn’t grow a market. 
Companies would grow only by stealing
from other companies.    

By k | December 24, 2007 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I was in a Florida Target recently and
it seemed that every second woman
was wearing daytime pajamas.  
My loved one was shocked, 
commenting on this “new” trend. 

Daytime pajamas are NOT a new trend. 
They were being worn in the 30’s

What IS new is wearing them to the store. 
Inside wear has become outside wear.
Daytime pajamas are going upscale. 

Could you think of a new occasion
for using your product?

By k | December 23, 2007 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I’m a big believer that
buffers are where the truly exciting opportunities lie. 

Have a bit of a financial buffer? 
Then you can invest in that bit of marketing
that will pay off big, sure,
but only in a year. 

Are your projects ahead of schedule? 
Then you can take on that high profile,
executive fast track assignment
everyone else would kill for but
doesn’t have time for. 

So whatever spare moment/dollar/resource I have,
I use it to build buffer,
creating space for those future opportunities.  

By k | December 22, 2007 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

The latest trend in email is the empty email,
an email with the message in the title only. 

Sure, its quick and easy but
use with caution. 

Every time you send an empty email,
you’re training your reader…
to not open your message. 

Is that what you want? 
To never ever have your emails read?