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Jim Stengel is the former head of marketing for Proctor & Gamble. The ideas he expresses in this book are consistent to those being expressed by Daniel Pink in “A Whole New Mind” and Jim Collins in his latest book, “Great By Choice”.
Stengel preaches that it’s essential for business leaders to combine ideals and artistry, very right-brained functions, with rigorous left-brained analysis in order to create a brand leading product or service . He collaborated with WPP’s Millward Brown Optimor’s neuroscience unit to use MRI’s to measure how quickly people associate ideals with brands.
The Stengel 50 list was created from this research. These companies outperformed the S&P 500 by 400% over the first decade of this century. Most importantly, they discovered that associations with a brand’s perceived ideas have a strong relationship with consumer preference, consideration and choice.
According to Stengel, a Brand Ideal is the essence of the business which is embraced by everyone in the company , from the CEO to the receptionist, and is amplified by everything that the company does. In these cynical times, that’s a tough order. So, like Jim Collins’ concept of “the right person in the right seat on the bus”, Stengel has found that the leaders in his Stengel 50 companies devote a lot of time and attention to recruiting with the idea that one bad hire can be highly toxic.
Daniel Pink talks about the need to think “symphonically”. Apparently, Stengel agrees. He believes that CEO’s need to be “whole-brained” which , I believe, means that they need to take a holistic approach and to think in terms of decades rather than months, quarters, or years. He introduces the concept of the Brand Artist, someone who is accountable for the soul of the brand and its ideal. Stengel says that a company needs to measure its progress on the ideal not only with customers but with employees as well.
According to Stengel , a brand’s success relies on its ability to satisfy one of the following fundamental values: elicit joy, enable connection, inspire exploration, evoke pride, or positively impact society. Bottom-line: your brand has to walk the walk as well as talk the talk in a world that demands transparency and authenticity.
One company on the Stengel 50 list is Chipotle. I’ve never been to one of their restaurants and I thought of Chipotle as another Taco Bell-type franchise. Then, I saw their TV spot during the SuperBowl
and my attitude towards the Chipotle brand changed.
As usual, I “read” the audiobook version. At times, I found the writing to be a bit stilted. Nevertheless, I think you’ll find the stories about the various brands and the concepts in this book to be both useful and enlightening.
Remember when you were a kid and it seemed to take forever for the holidays to arrive?
Now, every year seems to go by faster than the one before. Chalk it up to perception. When you’ve lived only 13 years, one year equals 1/13th of your life. When you’re thirty-five, a year equals 1/35th of your life. You get the picture.
I can’t say that the first year of the second decade of the 21st century has been my favorite year. But, as I reflect upon my personal experiences, I’m surprised at how many high points there are.
2011 marked a couple of significant anniversaries. My wife, Molly and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary in July. It amazes me that I’ve been married this long. In fact, it’s hard for me to think of myself now as not being married even though I maintained my bachelorhood longer than most.
This year also marked the Big 3-0 birthday of MTV: Music Television where I was privileged to be part of the channel’s original management team. It was fun to do some radio and print interviews about those early days at a channel which paved the way for television as we know it today. It was also nice to have my contribution acknowledged in the book, “I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution” by Craig Marks and Rob Tannenbaum which was released in conjunction with the 30th anniversary.
Some other memories from 2011:
*My mother and younger brother spending the Christmas holidays with us in Saratoga.
*Our family vacation to Los Angeles and San Diego in March to visit with my wife’s cousin, John Woodcock and his wife, Susan. We were awakened at 8AM one morning at our beachfront hotel in San Diego by my daughter’s boyfriend in Saratoga who told us about the tsunami that hit Japan and was threatening America’s west coast. We’d gone to bed early and were oblivious to the situation. We certainly gained some perspective about what it’s like to live in Southern California.
*While in California, we were able to get some business done. Molly visited her client at TVG and met with the VP/Marketing at Santa Anita Raceway. I was able to meet with staff members at Loyola Marymount University’s student-run radio station, KXLU and to discuss media opportunities with former Albanian, Kevin Callahan while visiting him at KSON-FM, San Diego.
*Western Swing and Salsa dance lessons for Molly and me by our friend, David Levesque of Dancin’ Time. (She was good. Me, not so much.)
*Elton John with Leon Russell at Madison Square Garden in March. The tickets were a gift from my stepdaughter, Jessica.
*Being interviewed for Russian radio about American culture and media by my friend, journalist Vladimir Abarinov.
*Our youngest daughter, Sarah successfully transitioning from public high school to the private all-girl Emma Wilard School and embracing the experience of her senior year.
*The relief of learning that Sarah passed her driver’s test after being denied a passing score on her first 2 attempts.(I was dreading having to deal with an emotionally overwrought teenage girl who failed to pass on her 3rd try.)
*College campus visits with Sarah in July and October to New England, northern & western New York as well as the New York Finger Lakes region. I really enjoyed the conversations with my daughter and having the chance to watch her evolving maturity in handling the different situations we encountered during our trips.
It was good to make new friends during the past year and to reconnect with old friends and acquaintances such as: Joe Templin, Charles Warner, Scott Bingham, Dale Brooks, Michael Grace, Rosemary Young, Monica Mahaffey, Eric Strauss, Ray Patterson, Judi Clements, Bob Buchman, Jessie Scott, Mike Lembo, Batt Johnson, Pam Green, Rob Sisco, Hatem Dammak, Neerav Patel, Bill Polk, Susan Arbetter, Jay Werth, Bilel Besbes, Cindy Sivak, Rose Giangiobbe, Sierra Julie Sullivan, Dan & Jen Austin, Dick Heatherton, Joan Myers, Leslie Leventman, Tom Freston, George Gerrity, Holly Greene, Dale Willman, Ray Zoller, Joe Condon, Patrick Ryan, Michael Vallone, Joe Reilly, Dawn Dawson, David Levesque and Terry McNiff.
From a business standpoint, 2011 marked another year of evolution for Brindle Media with projects for Siena College and the New York Racing Association. My former boss at Albany Broadcasting, John Kelly asked me to work with Siena’s nationally-recognized radio station, WVCR-FM on focusing its programming product and strategizing for future development. During the summer, I once again worked with NYRA at world-renowned Saratoga Race Course to enhance the customer experience (CX) for and increase customer usage of the track’s computerized Self-Service Terminals (SSTs). In the Fall, I also created two targeted online newspapers using Paper.li, Buzz4Boomers designed for members of the Baby Boomer generation and 12866Buzz intended to provide news of neighborhood and social community interest for residents of Saratoga Springs. At this point, they’re both works in progress.
I tried to take advantage of as many learning opportunities as possible during the past year either by attending events such as Amy Mengel’s Social Media Breakfast Tech Valley, attending webinars, and reviewing audio or video interviews. Some webinars and interviews which I found enlightening this year included:
*Dan Zarella’s Hubspot webinars “Most Legendary Marketing Showdown”, “The Science of SEO”, “New Science of Social Media”, “The Science of Analytics”, “The Science of Timing” , and “The Science of Email Marketing”. www.Hubspot.com
*Reach Personal Branding’s Entrepreneurial Training Series www.ReachPersonalBranding.com
*Reach Personal Branding’s William Arruda’ss interviews with Tony Beshara, Gina Rudan, Seth Godin, Ken Blanchard, Stever Robbins, Bernadette Martin, Kevin Eikenberry, and Dr. Samantha Collins.
*Greig Well’s “Linkedin Insider Secrets” webinar.
*John Souza’s Social Media Magic University series about blogging, email marketing, PPC Marketing, Mobile Marketing, and SEO. www.SocialMediaMagicUniversity.com
*David Siteman Garland’s “Rise To The Top” interviews with Blogcast FM’s Srinivas Rao, Diamond Candles co-founder Justin Winter, social media legend Chris Brogan, author Steven Pressfield, and entrepreneur Lewis Howe. www.TheRiseToTheTop.com
*Daniel Pink’s “Office Hours” interviews with “Great By Choice” author Jim Collins and “The No A**-Hole Rule” author Bob Sutton. www.DanPink.com
*Edison Media’s Tom Webster’s presentation “Turning Social Media Monitoring Into Research”.
*Adam Metz’s webinar, “The Social Customer and The Art of War”. www.AdamMetz.com
*Mark Ramsey’s conversations with Ishita Gupta (from Seth Godin’s Domino Project), Livio Radio’s Jake Sigal, JINX’s Sean Gailey , Marketing Profs’ Ann Handley, Triton Media’s Jim Kerr, Pandora CEO Joe Kennedy, Guy Kawasaki, Seth Godin, Mandalay Entertainment Group chairman Peter Guber, Social Media Examiner’s Michael Stetzner, broadcast consultant & author Valerie Geller, KCRW-FM general
manager Jennifer Ferro, and advertising guru/author Jon Winsor. www.MarkRamseyMedia.com
I’m not a particularly fast reader so I rarely find time to read books. When I’m reading, it’s usually magazine articles or blogs. So, I’m a big fan of audiobooks. Some of my favorites this year were:
*David Brooks’ “The Social Animal”
*Tom Friedman’s “That Used To Be Us”
*Steven Levy’s “In The Plex”
*Tina Fey’s “Bossy Pants”
*David McCullough’s “The Greater Journey”
*Simon Winchester’s “Atlantic”
*Laura Hillenbrand’s “Unbroken”
*Sebastian Junger’s “War”
*Dick Cavett’s “Talk Show”
*Michael Lewis’ “Boomerang”
(I’ve just started listening to this book and I’m hooked).
You can read my reviews on my Linkedin account (www.Linkedin.com/in/REBuzzBrindle)
My favorite movies this year: “The King’s Speech” and “The Help”
In September, I drove downstate to NYC to see the play, “War Horse” at the Lincoln Center. I thought play itself was a bit trite but the design of the horse puppets and the puppetry itself were amazing. I’m debating whether or not to see the movie version.
My favorite TV shows remain CBS Sunday Morning, The Daily Show and The Colbert Report although my enjoyment of Colbert’s show is on the wane. It’s getting too predictable (like Rush Limbaugh’s talk show). This year, I’ve become a fan of NBC’s “Meet The Press”. With all due respect to the late Tim Russert , David Gregory has made the show much more interesting. “30 Rock” reruns have hooked me and I’m now looking forward to the show’s return in early January.” Saturday Night Live” is back on track. There’s a lot of talent in the current cast. I have to admit to enjoying the song & dance routines on “Glee” (talented cast, strong production). And PBS American Masters series ran a terrific documentary about Woody Allen this Fall. Watching “Midnight In Paris” is on my New Year’s Eve to-do list.
Best wishes for enlightenment, surprise, joy, good health, and prosperity in 2012.
Last week, Fareed Zakara interviewed Sony Chairman Howard Stringer on CNN. During their discussion about the impact on Japan’s economy of the recent disaster, Stringer also discussed SONY’s mistakes in creating products for vertical vs horizontal platforms. The conversation offers some useful perspective about platform thinking in the 21st century.
The internet has certainly made researching a topic, company or individual easier but, if you’re like me, you still encounter a lot of stumbling blocks. Ann Smarty offers some very useful advice in this blog about Advanced Social Media Search
I’ve never used Google Adwords and, to be honest, feel a bit daunted by the process. Here’s a good primer from Matt Silverman:
I’m not a member of Rotary but my wife was once president of a local chapter and I have a lot of respect for the work that its members do. One of the missions of the International Rotary organization is to help eradicate polio. Here’s their latest :60 PSA