• Maslow's hierarchy of needs exists for companies as well—to survive and thrive, it’s critical that you find which level you are at today, then work to reach a form of corporate self-actualization that benefits employers, employees, and even society at large.

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  • OK, it's that time of year when we all become transactional. We overstuff our bellies on Thanksgiving Thursday and then overextend our credit on Black Friday when America's malls remind us that capitalism is alive and kickin' in the good old US of A. But, what if a retailer were to take a more transformational approach to their customers during this busy time of year? Or, what if you or I were to purchase experiences rather than possessions as a way of gifting our relatives and friends?

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  • I was a freshly-minted adult when I graduated from Stanford Business School half a lifetime ago (23 years to be exact). Along with my classmate Seth Godin who was also a youngster when he graduated, I found all the theory that filled the biz school classrooms to be rather stale. Seth and I were so bored that we created our own independent studies course where we interviewed interesting businesspeople and asked them to share their rules for success (the result, “Business Rules of Thumb,” was the first book for us both…good luck finding a copy).

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  • One of the most basic tenets of corporate marketing is that a company should focus its promotional investment on its target market. In other words, market to those who are most likely to buy from you. Seems simple enough and, having run a niche-oriented boutique hotel business for more than two decades, I can say that this focused approach creates great bang for the buck.

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  • The marketing excesses of the past few years left broken pieces scattered across the branding landscape. As a result, many companies are left with bogged-down, boring — even dying and dead — brands. Now take a look at your brand: Do you know what's broken? Do you know how to fix it?

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