Blog | The Brainzooming Group - Part 196 – page 196
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Sometimes guest blog posts are pretty straight forward. Other times, getting a guest blog post done means going the non-traditional route and actually being creative (what a novel concept!).

As I mentioned in Tuesday’s 10 More Ways to Be Creative Like a Kid post, I’ve been bugging Stacy Harmon (@Just_Stacy on Twitter) to write her take on kid creativity based on her 3 sons and introducing kid-like creativity ideas at her workplace.

Stacy and I decided to get together for lunch at a local pizza place which has paper on the tables for drawing while you wait (which in our case seemed like forever just to get two mini-pizzas). Given the opportunity to doodle, it seemed like the best way to create Stacy’s version of more ways to be creative like a kid was to talk about her summer, find out what the kids are up to, and cartoon it as we went!

We did just that, resulting in today’s cartoon guest blog post from @Just_Stacy (her stories, my cartoons), along with the very cool Creative Insta-Gator she drew all from letters of the alphabet. It was a great lunch, a fun post, and a whole new frontier in creative guest blogging!

So if you’ve ALWAYS wanted to do a guest post for Brainzooming, you’re located in the Kansas City area, and you’re willing to buy me a mini-pizza for lunch, let me know. I’d love to feature more ideas for ways we adults can get back in touch with the creativity of kids.  Enjoy!

 

To tap into your own extreme creativity, download the free ebook, “Taking the NO Out of InNOvation” to enhance your perspective! For an organizational creativity boost, contact The Brainzooming Group to help your team be more successful by rapidly expanding strategic options and creating innovative plans to efficiently implement. Email us at brainzooming@gmail.com or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can deliver these benefits for you.

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It’s always helpful when someone calls you on a good intention to make sure you actually follow through on it. When I spoke last month to the Transportation Marketing & Sales Association on social media strategy, the format allowed the audience to select from among 12 topics in the social media framework to customize the presentation to the social media strategy issues most relevant for them. To provide additional background on the social media strategic topics we didn’t talk about, I promised to create a compilation of links that formed the backbone of the presentation’s content. The full compilation has been on my to-do list ever since, and a very kind email from one of the TMSA attendees late last week prompted me to get it done!

My rationalization for the delay? The list now includes several posts written in the last two weeks (after the TMSA conference), including the post on who should create content that’s generated so many rich comments here and nearly 6,000 page views in its first week on the Social Media Today blog as well.

OVERVIEW

STRATEGY

1. Integration

 2. ROI

3. Guidelines

SOCIAL NETWORKING

4. Listening

5. Building Relationships

6. Getting Noticed

INFRASTRUCTURE

7. Platforms

8. Time and Talent

9. Minimizing Risk

SOCIAL BUSINESS

10. Content Marketing

11. Customer Engagement

12. Innovation

 

The Brainzooming Group helps make smart organizations more successful by rapidly expanding their strategic options and creating innovative plans they can efficiently implement. Email us at brainzooming@gmail.com or call 816-509-5320 to learn how we’ve developed  integrated social media strategy for other brands and can do the same for yours.


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Last time I wrote a blog post on “10 More Ways to Be Creative like a Kid.” I was having lunch that day with reader Stacy Harmon and was trying to convince her to write an answer post on being creative like a kid. It wasn’t enough to get Stacy to write anything yet, but the post was picked up by an email newsletter and resulted in the biggest day ever on the Brainzooming blog. I’m having lunch with Stacy again today (whose son Cooper suggested the creativity idea, “Glitter makes everything cool”), so the time seemed right for an updated Summer Vacation Edition of “10 More Ways to Be Creative like a Kid!”

  • Sleep in really, really late. Get up and eat. Go back to sleep. Get up and create.
  • Hit the swimming pool, forget all your cares, splash around like it’s the last day of summer vacation. Go back to work tomorrow – only if you must though.
  • Throw a pizza party lunch this summer and invite interesting people from different departments you’d like to meet.
  • When you want to surprise someone with your creativity, tiptoe up behind them and startle them with your amazing creativity.
  • Take somebody outside and dare the person to do something creative in the next 10 minutes.
  • Ride roller coasters at an amusement park or fair. Scream your head off. When you get off the ride, put all the mental cobwebs you shook loose into the nearest trash can.
  • If somebody at work says they’re not creative, put them into time-out until they admit how creative they are.
  • Have a meeting in a break room and make s’mores for everybody in the mircowave (9 seconds cooking time according to my wife, Cyndi).
  • Write old worn out ideas on a cardboard box. Blow up the box with firecrackers. Video the explosion and show the video at work to people who love old ideas.
  • Celebrate and cheer wildly when something goes well.

Before the summer vacation season gets away, what things are you doing to be creative like a kid? An in honor of Jim Joseph’s comment below about eating ice cream with sprinkles, here’s a little ice cream treat thrown in (start it at 1:03…trust me)! Mike Brown

 

 

To tap into your own extreme creativity, download the free ebook, “Taking the NO Out of InNOvation” to enhance your perspective! For an organizational creativity boost, contact The Brainzooming Group to help your team be more successful by rapidly expanding strategic options and creating innovative plans to efficiently implement. Email us at brainzooming@gmail.com or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can deliver these benefits for you.

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Some Monday quick thinking on inspiration, procrastination, and several other frequently touched upon topics on the Brainzooming blog:

Expectations – When you set exceptionally high standards for yourself, you have to stop listening to others who say you’re fine the way you are.

Simplicity – There’s nothing wrong with doing something really simply. It’s usually the absolute best thing, in fact.

Inspiration – It’s fascinating that people who hardly ever write a blog post suddenly have a 1,000 ideas when their blogging platform is down for 24 hours.

Procrastination – Sometimes less is more. Sometimes less just means you started preparing too late.

Self-Perception – When you’re singing your own praises, the threshold for what others consider hyperbole is pretty low. Mike Brown

The Brainzooming Group helps make smart organizations more successful by rapidly expanding their strategic options and creating innovative plans they can efficiently implement. Email us at brainzooming@gmail.com or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can deliver these benefits for you.

 

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1. Updating every three minutes.

I don’t care what it is or how important you think it is. If you suffer from run-on keyboard-itis, get your fingers over to Twitter and share away.

2. What you’re planning to eat, currently cooking, now eating, or recently ate.

Maybe Google Plus will turn into the personal vehicle Facebook is (probably not any time soon – like until later this week), but in the mean time, if you HAVE TO share a picture of your food, TWITPIC it.

3. Mock Focus Groups

This whole thing about throwing out apparently random questions to get scores of followers to chime in with answers is annoying as hell. Yea, I know it’s nice to do on Google Plus because it’s easy to track, but put a frickin’ hashtag on it and throw the question out to your 200,000 followers on Twitter.

4. Multiple Short Blog Post Fragments

Google Plus isn’t Tumblr (although it’s starting to feel a lot like it). If you want to workshop multiple blog posts, get a Tumblr site and see who you can lure over there to read them.

5. Every Link You Find Interesting

Post intriguing things. Take advantage of the ability to share and elaborate on multimedia content. Use the extra characters to provide some distinct background on what you’re sharing. That’s all wonderful. But PUHLEEZ just don’t share every Google Plus post you think is interesting and add nothing more than “nice,” “cool,” “agree.” Again, take it to Twitter and pound out reaction re-tweets to your heart’s content.

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He spoke to them in parables about the Google+ user experience and only in parables did he speak to them.

“The first days of the Google Plus user experience can be likened to a Midwestern snowstorm.

“The snow appeared as a surprise one night, and the children awoke the next morning to a beautiful blanket of white. With the break of dawn and the snow falling, children burst into the crisp air making the first footprints in the snow. They threw snowballs, constructed snow forts, and built snowmen. As the snow continued falling, everything was clean and beautiful. Yet every child knew that within a day, the temperature would rise, the forts would melt, and the beautiful landscape would turn to muddy sludge.

“To what else can the Google+ user experience be compared? The first weekend of the Google Plus user experience can be likened to receiving an invitation to a party hosted by the most popular children in town.

“For those receiving an invitation, it represented the hope of getting chummy with the popular kids, playing with their unique toys, becoming  real friends, and then lording it over all the children who weren’t invited. Yet when the time for the party came, the guests arrived to find there were no wonderful toys and the popular kids didn’t really want to play with or talk with their guests much. Instead, the popular kids wanted an audience to experience THEM. Guests were allowed to see numerous pictures of the popular kids’ families and the steaks they’d be grilling after the party. The guests were encouraged though to laugh at the jokes the popular kids were making about those they had not invited. Thus the invited guests had sufficient anecdotes they could sensationalize and share with all the children who weren’t invited to convince them they were missing something truly exquisite.

“To what can the first week of the Google+ user experience be compared? It can be likened to a person being transferred to a newly constructed school with a few friends, all the popular kids, and many unknown people who’d been attending still other schools.

“While the new school was clean and spacious (since it would one day hold thousands of times more students), the initial excitement was dampened because so many really close friends were still attending the old neighborhood school. To see those close friends, a person would have to do it before school, after school, or heaven forbid, cut class and miss out on what the popular kids were doing and talking about. So despite all the honor of being present for the first week of Google Plus, students still longed for the faces and books which filled their old schools.”

And to what can the second weekend of the Google+ user experience be compared? We’re about to see. Let the chaos begin.Mike Brown

Note: I couldn’t let any more time go by without weighing in on Google Plus, even if it is a bit tongue-in-cheek. Although based on some of Google celebrating and Facebook bashing going on this week, I wouldn’t be surprised if someone didn’t try to write a “Gospel According to Google.”

For helpful, detailed analysis on Google Plus, check out the work Nate Riggs has done this week to identify tips and how-tos:

 

The Brainzooming Group helps make smart organizations more successful by rapidly expanding their strategic options and creating innovative plans they can efficiently implement. Email us at brainzooming@gmail.com or call 816-509-5320 to learn how we can develop an integrated social media strategy for your brand.

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David Rogers, author of “The Network Is Your Customer” and executive director of the Center on Global Brand Leadership at Columbia Business School, stopped by the Kansas City Public Library last week for a speech on his book and its 5 strategy implications for brands.

Strategy Implications from New Customer Roles

“The Network Is Your Customer” examines how networks connect and change us since individuals can now be viewed as networks themselves. Rogers’ social networking model recognizes the advent of mobile technology in opening a whole new array of brand roles for individuals. These brand roles include (among others) serving as:

One implication of the self-organizing nature of networks is brands should see themselves as situated within a network, but not at its center.

With this fundamental shift, simply adding a Facebook page to a traditional advertising strategy, sharing intermittent content, and getting people to like a brand isn’t sufficient. Fully realizing the opportunity requires rethinking a brand’s business model.

5 Customer Behaviors Requiring Strategy Responses

There are 5 customer behaviors David Rogers calls for brands to strategically address within the “network is your customer” model. He covers the 5 strategies in the video below:

1. Access – Provide the network with easy, flexible, and quick interaction on network members’ own schedules.

2. Engage – The interruption model advertising uses isn’t resonating anymore. Every company needs to think and act as a media company by creating compelling, attractive content.

3. Customize – How do you deliver an incredible number of choices – both virtual (gaming, Pandora) and physical (Starbucks design your Signature drink, Amazon) – so consumers can dial in their wants and needs?

4. Connect – Listen and interact in the marketplace with audience members by responding (@Comcast Cares), providing forums for conversation, and inviting ideas from outside the company (Dell).

5. Collaborate – Open contributions (the 100 million hours behind Wikipedia), open competition (Innocentive), and open platforms (the iApp marketplace) are all examples of new models of creation-oriented collaboration between brands and audiences.

David Rogers advises brands to not start with technology (since it will always be changing and developing), but instead to begin with understanding what the organization wants to achieve.

When asked who does all five of them well, David Rogers pointed to Dell and the 2008 Obama campaign. Getting a handle on the 5 behaviors can be overwhelming for companies, but the best brands are figuring out how they can help customers carry out these desired behaviors.

My 3 Walk-Away Ideas

I discovered the David Rogers talk via the Social Media Club of Kansas City, but it was decidedly NOT a typical local social media crowd. There was very little live tweeting, other than my tweets. This fact was interestingly pointed out to David Rogers during the Q&A section by an individual who just happened to be sitting next to me – unbeknownst to him. He reported the number of live tweeters and wondered aloud whether this “Brainzooming person” was an intense introvert (huh?).

Amid my many tweets on what David Rogers shared, I managed a few reflections on ideas triggered for me by his remarks:

  • Amazon is a great example that where the virtual and physical worlds touch, density is still important.
  • Maybe the push for brands to create great content will lead to a radical re-imagination of the original soap opera model?
  • The move from physical to virtual (seen most especially in content) will dramatically extend to services and other products too as apps change how services and goods are created, delivered, and maintained, and replenished.

It was definitely a worthwhile and thought provoking trip downtown! – Mike Brown

 

The Brainzooming Group helps make smart organizations more successful by rapidly expanding their strategic options and creating innovative plans they can efficiently implement. Email us at brainzooming@gmail.com or call 816-509-5320 to learn how we can develop an integrated social media strategy for your brand.

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