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Choosing a face for your business

Choosing a face for your business

Every business usually looks for some celebrity to represent them. It links them to their audience and puts a human face on an otherwise anonymous organisation. However, sometimes it just doesn’t work out. Take tonight, Iceland have just dropped Kerry Katona from their advertising campaigns. It’s related to allegations that she’s involved with drugs, an image that no reputable business would want to associate with.

It’s always important to try and match a celebrity with the product or brand they’re trying to promote. For example, if you’re a vacation south beach agency, you probably don’t want an older person to be promoting your brand. Likewise, if you’re selling dentures, you wouldn’t want a young sexy model, now would you?

In a nutshell, try to match the message to your audience

Focus on the Strategy

Focus on the Strategy

Marine Institute Ireland, Strategic_Planning_S...

A great post on Seth Godin’s blog reminds us of the importance of Strategic Thinking when looking at your plans. Seth comments about how easy it is to get lost in focusing on tactical moves, while moving away from (or not having articulated) their strategic intentions.

It’s the old adage of missing the wood for the trees, tactical decision are more tangible than strategic intentions and thus more seductive. It’s also easier to measure tactical actions, thus giving the impression that more is being done. But strategy is what needs to drive these tactical actions. Without a cohesive strategy that has been conceived to move the organisation forward, there’s a massive risk of drifting away from the true course the company should be heading down. It doesn’t matter if you’re selling plasma mounts out of your garage or directing a multinational organisation; if you haven’t articulated your goals and are not using them to drive your actions, you’re heading nowhere fast.

Google beating the economic turndown

Google beating the economic turndown

Looks like Google is having a great quarter. According this report on the BBC, Q2 for 2009 has been much better than they anticipated, regardless of the fact that the rest of the economy is suffering. Here’s a snippet of the news article:

The firm saw net income reach $1.48bn (£900m) in the three months to 30 June, compared to $1.25bn a year before.

Revenue rose 3% for the period at $5.52bn and just over half – 53% – came from outside the US.

Analysts reacted broadly positively to the results, noting that the firm had performed well in containing costs.

The firm was upbeat about the results “especially given the continued macro-economic downturn”.

Chief executive Eric Schmidt said: “These results highlight the enduring strength of our business model and our responsible efforts to manage expenses.”

It’s nice to see some companies are actually doing well in this economy. A number of companies haven’t made it, and a bunch of others look like they’ve taken a crash course of ephedra, they’re becoming so lean and mean. But Google is going well, and I’m sure a number of technology firms are doing well also.

How is your firm doing?

Reading the classics

Reading the classics

I managed to get my hands on a couple of classic “management reading” books a few days ago. These are:

  • Who moved My Cheese: A timeless allegory reveals profound truths to individuals and organizations dealing with change. We each live in a “Maze”, a metaphor for the companies or organizations we work with, the communities we live in, the families we love places where we look for the things we want in life, “Cheese”. It may be an enjoyable career, loving relationships, wealth, or spiritual peace of mind. With time and experience, one character eventually succeeds and even prospers from the change in his “Maze”.In an effort to share what he has learned along the way, he records his personal discoveries on the maze walls, the “Handwriting on the Wall”. Likewise, when we begin to see the “writing on the wall”, we discover the simplicity and necessity of adapting to change.
  • The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People: A a self-help book written by Stephen R. Covey. It has sold over 15 million copies in 38 languages since first publication, which was marked by the release of a 15th anniversary edition in 2004. The book lists seven principles that, if established as habits, are supposed to help a person achieve true interdependent effectiveness. Covey argues this is achieved by aligning oneself to what he calls “true north” principles of a character ethic that he believes to be universal and timeless.

They’re two books I’ve been meaning to read for some time and thanks to a trial offered by US Unlocked, a service that allows you to shop in the US and get your products delivered to Europe, I’ve managed to acquire these books for my library. It’s a great service that provides you with a US based payment card and US based address so you can buy anything from microprocessors to grow lights and have them shipped all the way to your home.

Anyway, I’m looking forward to some reading time this weekend!