Alice asked the Chesire Cat, who was sitting in a tree.
“What road do I take?”
“Where do you want to go?” the cat asked.
“I don’t know” Alice answered.
“Then, it really doesn’t matter, does it?” said the cat.

If your destination or goals are vague, then the decisions you make will reflect that.

You can apply this philosophy to numerous aspects of your life, be it your job, your personal life, your retirement plans etc unless you’re clear on what you really want, then you’re unlikely to make informed decisions that will help you achieve something truly fulfilling, you need a compass to point you in the right direction.

In Branding terms, these are referred to as your Core Values… as I’ve written before “Your core values are the very essence of what you or your company stand for, strip away everything else and the core values remain, they become your compass in good times and bad times, they guide your decision making process” more on that here

Applying this sort of branding technique to your personal life may seem a bit strange at first, but it could really help, especially if you’re stuck in a rut, or find it difficult to make decisions. Core Values are a reflection of who you are, your essence, you don’t make them up, you discover and refine them.

As David Eagleman explains in his book Incognito, “The next time a friend laments that she cannot decide between two options, tell her to flip a coin. The important part is to assess her gut feeling after the coin lands. If she feels a subtle sense of relief at being told what to do by the coin, then that’s the right choice for her. If instead, she concludes that it’s ludicrous for her to make that decision based on a coin toss, that will cue her to choose the other option”

Why? It’s all to do with the fact that the unconscious mind has already made the decision, it’s just that your conscious mind, which is much slower, hasn’t caught up yet, in this instance, your unconscious mind represents your Core Values. So if you’re someone that usually goes with your gut feeling, great, but wouldn’t it be good to refine the process!

Practise What You Tweet

October 21, 2010

I read this article yesterday about Evan Williams, co-founder of Twitter, and how he rarely tweets, sure enough he only has 128 tweets! which was a little surprising, especially as he’s now head of product development… but as he says he uses Twitter for consumption not broadcasting… although he follows just 1,284 users, while he has 1,257,315 followers (that’s almost a 1,000 to 1 ratio).

As the post highlights, a lack of engagement or passion in another of Evan’s earlier startups Odeo, doomed it from day 1, even though he was able to source funding, he just didn’t appear compelled or interested enough in it to keep it going. I have no doubt Twitter will continue to thrive with or without Evan’s tweets, but it is interesting nonetheless.

To build a company you really have to believe in it and use it’s services. The same is true when building your brand, you have to live and breath your ethos. I posted a few days ago, that you have to be authentic, if you’re not, and you can’t convince yourself, how will you ever convince those you connect with or your customers!

I’m in the early stages of building and launching a new company named no paper onto the world, as the name implies, we don’t use paper. I live and breath this ideology, I only purchase eBooks, no paper books, I have Kindles, Sony eReaders, iPads, iPhones, laptops all choc full of eBooks. Our iPads and iPhones are our daily notebooks (FYI there’s a no paper iApp coming soon). We have a no paper office policy, no printer, no fax machines, no paper notepads in meetings or on people’s desks. Paper invoices are ignored and go unpaid until we receive an electronic version, we do not accept cheques only bank transfers for payment, most if not all business is handled electronically. That may sound draconian at first, but when you adhere to the rules not because you have to, but because you want to, you realise they weren’t rules, they were advice. Then a wonderful thing starts to happen, you become emotionally engaged in the ethos, it becomes visceral (more on that by Anne), you start putting forward your own suggestions, it’s no longer just part of your life, you become part of it. This harks back to the definition of leadership

At home I don’t send letters, birthday or xmas cards and my family and friends know not to send them to me either (I’d rather a phone call or text, costs less and I find it’s more engaging and personal), all my utilities, bills and bank statements are electronic or online, I’m converting all my old paper bank statements, utility bills, insurance records etc into electronic versions (and experimenting in the best way to reference and store them, again something we’re working on at no paper), I refuse to have junk mail and freebie newspapers pushed through my letterbox… I could go on, but you get the idea, I live and breath the brand values of my business… as the saying goes, “If you truly want to understand something, try changing it” but that also works in reverse, “If you truly want to change something, try understanding it!” the only way I can truly understand a life with no paper is to live one… if I can do it, then hopefully I can encourage others to do the same, then in turn they will encourage others.

The Name Game

October 19, 2010

I’ve previously posted with best practices for naming your company, but I just stumbled across this article on Startups.com with 17 (18 actually!) suggestions of things to bear in mind when naming your company, definitely a good read if you’re in the market for naming a product or company

The AAA of Branding

October 18, 2010

It’s been a while since I’ve sat down to write anything about branding so I thought I’d dip my toe into it again and start with a short rule of three that successful brands follow.

Attractive: Your customers need a reason, a desire to engage with you. To be drawn in by your brand story and ethos

Authentic: You have to be genuine, you have to be true to what you say. Live your brand by practicing what you preach

Applicable: Your customers need a reason to use you or your service, to make a connection with you, you need to make a difference in their life

that’s all for today, more soon

Although it’s about a year old, I just stumbled across this advert…

Ground Crew, Pilots, Air Hostesses, body paint, need I say more? Let’s just that Air New Zealand are being upfront about themselves

Plus the inflight safety video

Mind you, Cebu Pacific have a novel way of keeping your attention during the safety video

To promote their exhibition stand at the Frankfurt Book Fair, Eichborn the publisher with the fly prepared 200 flies with an ultra light banner. The banner was attached with natural wax. After a short time the banner dropped off by itself. And the flies were not harmed.

The concept is certainly remarkable, if not unforgettable, but whether those experiencing this viral campaign remember the company name as well or just the fact that they saw flies with adverts attached to them is another question?

I first saw this on the Unionversity website

Fun Feels Good

October 22, 2009

I saw this on Jodi’s Blog the other day and thought what a brilliant way of showing how approaching an issue in a new or fun way can have terrific results by engaging the user in a visceral experience (see Anne’s blog for more on that). What’s also interesting is that this is entirely a marketing exercise by Volkswagon.

more info at The Fun Theory