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August 18, 2005

News & Opinion: Thank You Todd and Jack

By: 800-CEO-READ @ 3:07 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

Happy Thursday to everyone and my sincere thanks to Todd and Jack for allowing me to share my views with you. I'm very excited to be here (albeit virtually).
Who am I?
First, a little background. I was graduated from UNH with a degree in Economics in the late 70's. Since then, my business journey has been a motley one. I've been in management positions in retail and manufacturing. High tech and low tech. B-to-B and B-to-C. I spent 10 years with General Electric, advancing to an executive positon in strategic planning. I participated in a management buy out of one of G.E.'s subsidiaries. I co-founded a medical device company and grew it rapidly, eventually ending in a vision collision with three of my parners. I also owned a brand consultancy and small publishing company.
It was during this uncommon journey that I experienced and rediscovered a fundamental truth: that the marketplace and the world of work are driven by feelings. Whether it's the feelings of customers, team members, suppliers or shareholders, it's their feelings - and feelings alone - that provide organizations with a lasting, competitive advantage.
Today I share this view through writing, speaking engagements, and strategic insight sessions on branding, creativity, innovation and the future of business. My mission is to help people see this truth, feel differently and ultimately transition from being "economically-driven" to "emotionally-driven."
My latest book, A Clear Eye for Branding, is my best attempt at debunking the nonsense surrounding brands and branding. What nonsense? Here's an example that I posted on last week's Fast Company BlogJam 2005:

I just read this in this month's issue of Meetings & Conventions magazine. I'm not kidding:
"Why Brand? Branding carries great weight in the corporate world, where billions of dollars are spent on advertising campaigns in a hook-'em, reel-'em-in game that, if played smartly, results in the ultimate prize: customer loyalty."
Sorry, but I'm too busy slamming my head against my desk to post a repartee.

The confusion about brands and branding is rampant. Here's a comment posted as a rebuttal to my aforementioned post:

"I'm confused. Who is arguing for or against branding. I see branding as all to often poor mans strategy. It can cost a lot, sacrifice flow and obscure opportunity for ego."

The subtitle of my new book is: Straight Talk on Today's Most Powerful Business Concept. I hope to convey the essence of that idea today. Please help me by providing some feedback. Thanks.