Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Da Bears Defense


Wednesday, January 24, 2007

It's Like A Google Mashup Gone Terribly, Terribly Wrong

Okay... this is wrong for so many reasons, but you have to check it out.

I can't believe I'm actually going to end up using "Celine Dion" and "AC/DC" as tags together. Wow.

Da Bears Prayer

My brother sent me this via email from a fellow Bears fan in Wisconsin... Yes Virginia, they really do exist (up there).

Our papa
Who art a BEAR
Hallowed be thy fame,
Thy championship come
Thy play be run
At home as it is away.
Give us this day our Sunday win,
And forgive us our turnovers,
Though we pounce on those who turnover against us.
And lead us not to fourth and long,
But deliver us from Krenzel.
As it was in ’85, so shall it be in ’07,
Reign without end, Da-Men!!!!!!!

Subliminal Advertising?

So, this guy was watching the Iron Chef and suddenly had a craving for McDonald's fries. Not really, but he did notice a red image on screen for a split second. Because he was recording the show he was able to rewind, slow it down and see the following:

What do you think? Was this intentional mind games at work or did someone in the control room accidentally hit the wrong button for a second?

I'm not sure myself, but nevertheless I'm craving those delicious fries.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Oooh... Shiny Object On The Road!

I've often thought that business's, like people, can have psychological disorders.

I've worked with a number of organizations that if described as individuals could be said to suffer from anxiety and panic attacks, are bipolar in their decision making processes, depressed, have any one of a number of phobias, exhibit self destructive or even schizophrenic behavior. There are company's out there that are sick. No doubt about it. Chances are good that you've worked at one.

So when I came across an commentary today on The HUB titled Customer Attention Deficit Disorder I was intrigued. A company with A.D.D.?

Here's a quick refresher on A.D.D from Wikipedia:
Attention-Deficit Disorder (sometimes referred to as A.D.D.) “is thought to be a neurological disorder, always present from childhood, which manifests itself with symptoms such as hyperactivity, forgetfulness, poor impulse control, and distractibility."
The author, Robert Forrester, references Interstate Bakeries as one of several company's that he claims suffers from A.D.D. I worked at IBC a few years back, so naturally I was interested to read what he had to say.

The quick version of the article is this: Companies that get distracted away from the core reasons they've been successful in the past, by new hurdles, attacks, whims or shiny objects will likely end up in trouble. They lose connection with their core customers. They jump from audience to audience trying to get a new group of customers on board with new products or new services that the existing customers have not requested. Instead Forrester suggests sticking to what works. Dance with the one that brung ya. Don't forget your core customer. Talk to them. Cater to them. Do not leave them behind.

Forrester further explains:
We're not picking on these companies (Ford, Walmart, IBC) in particular. They are just current, prominent examples of what happens when companies become remote from, stop listening to - and consequently lose - their connection to their customers. They develop customer A.D.D.
Would simply staying with what works in the past solve these problems? Is listening to your core customers going to solve all problems and keep these companies on the right, profitable path? I agree that these companies appear to have lost touch with their core. But only listening to the ones that know you now is not enough to keep a business as a going concern. We live in an ever changing, evolving world. Organizations operate in a world of naturally occurring and human influenced events. Laws change, relationships change, technology changes, natural disasters happen. Fads come and go, trends linger and sometimes change happens before anyone realizes it.

Merely listening to your core customers is not enough. In the words of Jim Morrison I'd suggest that companies "keep your eyes on the road and your hands upon the wheel". Yes, listen to your to your core customers, but also be aware of what is going on around you. These are not mutually exclusive needs. They must work together.

Forrester, to be fair, did allude to there being other issues with some of these companies, particularly IBC. He concedes that there were "other serious management failures" leading to the company's current bankruptcy status. It just seemed to me that he focused too much on the importance of talking to your core over everything else. He is right that it is important. But if you do that successfully, if you get them on the bus and make sure they get what they need on the bus, but fail to watch out for obstacles in the path of the bus or drastic changes to the road, you may drive that nice bus off a cliff... with all your customers aboard.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Something Witty Goes Here

It's Monday night. Today was Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

I should write more than that.

It's been a while since I've written a decent post and I'm sure some of you regulars have been wondering what's up. The simple answer could be that I've been busy. That's true, but sounds like a lame excuse. Truth is I have been busy, but distracted too. I've had lot's of post ideas running in my head, but haven't taken the time to write any of them down. There's some good ones in there too. Like the one where I compare really good marketing ideas to Swiss Army knifes, the difference between toe jam and toe cheese, why the big orange head joke is funny or the philosophical marketing approach I call "Moon Shot Marketing" - that ones a doozy. It's got references to Bob Dylan, NASA and Jello. I'm going to do that one once I figure out how to say it so it makes sense to more people than just me. I mean I like it, but still... I'm only an audience of one, right?

Then there are the stories from the girls. Christmas gave us a bunch of memories that I could share. And this past weekend little Maggie was baptized. No more heathen baby. Gram said her family always called little babies heathens before they were baptized. Da's family called them pagan's. Either way, the deal is done and we now have a new soldier right to fight the good battle.

I could write about Costco. Scott wrote about it recently and we had another cake this weekend at the party. Scott was incredibly helpful taking photos for us. I think he cranked out close to two hundred. Almost all of them are print worthy.

I could write about how it was eleven years ago today that I moved to Kansas City. Covering the story behind that one would take several posts.

And I could write about Jenne and what her words have meant to me. I've been reading her blog everyday to get updates on her chemo treatments. She has written some of the most compelling words I have read. Ever. Fearless, fearful, human, all of the above and more. If you want to know what it's like to read raw emotion, read her posts. They put mine to shame.

So, I've been reading other blogs, doing some family stuff and really just taking a mental winter break for a few weeks to recharge some batteries. Working out every other day has gotten the year off to a great start (though I've been doing that since before the new year) and I'm ready to get back to business here on the blog.

Stay tuned. More to come.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

They Can't Fire You If You Don't Work There Any More

Can they?

Okay, I just check traffic to the site after being away from the blog for a week or so (okay, longer, but I'll get back into it soon I promise) and apparently I've been getting tons of traffic to this post I wrote about Jon Stewart driving the Wienermobile through the Lincoln Tunnel. Seems Jon and Stephen Colbert made a vague reference to the original incident on the Daily Show show earlier in the week. Here's the clip with Stephen Colbert talking about his "dreams".

Silly. Just plain silly. And a bit funny too.