There is a great story about the battle for dominance between McDonald’s and Burger King. There was a time - just like when television only had 3 channels - that you really only had 3 or 4 choices for a quick meal. McDonald’s was the category leader (although not a phrase used at the time). They had process and procedure. They built an empire, including an efficient real estate empire…Read More
Jill Soley and I were pleased to offer this webinar for our forthcoming book. We share research from 40 interviews of founders, marketers, and investors and break it down into 5 key deliverables -- 5 practical tips to bring back into your own organization.Read More
Call it GAFA or FAGA or throw in Netflix for the "N" to get be FANG person, but the big four have been Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon. All four of them are competing for ever increasingly overlapping territory. Think of this as a Venn diagram of 4 circles getting larger and larger until they almost completely overlap.
But in the end ....Read More
Crafting your brand is scary. It seems like a lot of effort and it is ridiculously challenging to put that mirror up to yourself and ask "What is it that I truly stand for? What do I want to be known as?"
You know you need to do something. You may be up for the whole package with a complete brand overhaul or you just want to make sure you aren't doing something unintentionally damaging.Read More
A leader will help your organization steer through tough times; a good leader will have a plan in place already to react quickly to change; a great leader will have course corrected long ago so that you will never know what dangers were in your path.Read More
It seems like our nature is geared toward comfort and the pursuit of comfort. Isn't that the goal of our labors - to achieve some coziness? To be your best, however, the place to be is "uncomfortable." This is not to mean wearing your pants too tight, or putting on Red Sox attire at Yankee Stadium. "Uncomfortable" motivates and clarifies our direction. It gives us insight into the problems around us and our very best innovations come from those very uncomfortable places.Read More
Has competition in the technology sector given way to something more mean-spirited? Have we moved from the guise of providing value to our stakeholders (be they shareholders, employees, or our buyers) into a philosophy of hyper-competition, or "win at any cost?" Is the sole object now to just win?Read More
Your origin story might be a “Eureka!” moment or you might have been drawn to the idea for years, but you are bringing your innovation to the market. A few early customers come over via word-of-mouth or friends in your network. You have some early funding. It’s hard but you love it.
Then, as the saying goes, “stuff is about to get real.” It becomes harder to win at scale. Pressures to continue to grow mount and your path to revenue becomes murky.Read More
Over the last 10 years we have seen a dramatic rise in the more human side of our executives. This has not been caused by our leadership suddenly joining support groups, seeking counseling, or - as HBO's comedy Silicon Valley would have you believe - going on a drug fueled vision quest. Our executive class has become more human because the markets and the customers have demanded it.Read More
There are few guarantees in life. But in over 25 years of experiencing leadership at large established Blue Chip companies, Silicon Valley startups, regional offices around the world, and seeing a few "Is this legal?" enterprises, there have been a score of moderately good leaders and only a few really great ones. 100% - every single time - the good ones don't even think to ask; the great leaders always ask one simple question.Read More
Traditionally, the CEO has come from just about anyplace but marketing. Companies bent on operational excellence might look to their finance teams or their COO to take the top slot. Organizations focused on innovation might look to a CTO type. Those focused on market share fished in their sales pool for their next big tuna. But rare was the organization that focused on the dynamic relationship between company and customer. Is it time for a marketing CEO?Read More
Efficiency has been replaced by effectiveness. Organizations have awoken to an era of social business, customer centricity, and new ideas of what constitutes a leader.
I recently stood up in front of my colleagues at SAP and professed my 4 greatest failures . . . and the lessons learned from each, which directly led me to the role I have today - helping to change how a world-class brand rethinks our approach to the new marketplace. What was folly just a few years ago is now being taught for the next generation of leaders at B-schools around the globe and in practice in some very smart organziations.Read More
There are so many great components to this question. “Where” can be location or viewed as status. “Your” can be a personal brand, corporate brand, location-based brand (I’m a Californian, straight up!), etc. “Brand” is loaded with all kinds of misunderstood ideas of what it means to be a brand. For anyone who thinks they don’t have a brand or that it doesn’t need building, well … think again.Read More