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What a first day at The Big Ideas in Higher Education Conference (#BigIdeas12)!

I flew in from Kansas City Thursday morning and arrived at Rutgers University just as the first presentation was about to begin.  And in keeping with what happens at church if you arrive late, I was placed in the front row, first seat – about 6 feet from the interviewing area. For someone who usually hangs back, it put me right in the heart of great presentations on social networking, disruption (particular of higher education), innovation, and incredible stories of the triumph of the human spirit.

Suffice it to say there will likely be multiple recap posts from The Big Ideas in Higher Education Conference on the Brainzooming blog.

I’m doing an innovation workshop today called “Making Big Ideas Happen.” My charge is to integrate all fifteen #BigIdeas12 presentations from today and make strategic connections to help attendees of The Big Ideas in Higher Education Conference to apply the lessons from an eclectic group of TED-like presentations into their work and personal lives. While I tried to make some guesses upfront about what presenters would talk about relative to innovation and strategic connections, there were definitely late night adjustments to the “Making Big Ideas Happen” session to ensure it reflected all the incredible content from the opening session.

To support “Making Big Ideas Happen,” here are links to a variety to articles supporting topics we’ll be talking about in today’s workshop. And once again, while this is targeted for workshop attendees, the concepts are of benefit to a much broader audience:

Capturing Big Ideas and Strategic Connections: Big Ideas in Higher Education Conference – This setup post for The Big Ideas in Higher Education Conference lends itself to looking for strategic connections in any situation where you’re processing content

Did You Know Video: Although a few years old at this point, this video gets your attention with a compelling presentation of the demographic and technological realities of modern education.

6 Strategic Success Skills for Today’s WorkplaceRecaps some of the educational and attitudinal changes needed to prepare students with the success skills needed to enter today’s workplace.

Brainzooming – First Questions – A short and sweet article on the fundamental strategic question to ask.

Strategic Connections – 3 Tips for Identifying More OpportunitiesThese 3 steps provide a strong way to look for many more and richer strategic connections.

Extending Brainstorming Ground Rules to Everyday Business Life – There are typical approaches to brainstorming that can benefit coming up with ideas in brainstorming sessions. If you work at it, you can extend this approach to every day work life too.

Look Inside for Distinctive Talents – 5 questions to identify your distinctive talents as a first step to taking better advantage of them to shape your creative pursuits.

Why strategic thinking doesn’t happen, part 3 – Somebody’s missing – A brief case for the value of incorporating individuals with different thinking and implementation styles to get more innovative thinking.

Crowdsourcing Diverse Input – 3 Ways to Make Crowdsourcing Work Harder – Crowdsourcing for input is great, but if you want it to be fruitful for the crowd and the requesting organization, providing appropriate structure is important.

6 Ways Social Networking Platforms Can Boost Creative Thinking –  Social networking platforms can be an outstanding source to boost creative thinking – if you use them well.

Benjamin Zander and the Art of Possibilities - A small snippet of the wonderful Benjamin Zander presentation where he lets us in on the Art of Possibilities with the vital admonition: It’s all invented!

A Poor Question for Valentine’s Day: “Can You Change Your Look?” - If you’re always looking at the same situation from the same place, you’ll see the same things. Change how you look at the status quo and find incredible new ideas.

15 Ways Whoever Is Going to Disrupt Your Market Isn’t Like You- Trust me, higher education played the part of a big fire hydrant during day one, and there was a lot of peeing going on around it. The forces that disrupt higher education aren’t going to have pretty quads and columned buildings!

11 Strategic Questions for Disruptive Innovation in Markets – If higher education professionals (or any of us) are up for truly disruptive innovation, here are 1 strategic questions you can use to start identifying opportunities.

We’ve Seen the Enemy & They Don’t Look Anything Like Us – More questions to begin understanding who might be the surprising disruptive forces in a market. One critical element is to generalize and understand what is like your current situation.

Change Your Character – One of the easiest ways to come up with new ideas is to delegate your innovation challenge to someone else. Here’s a creative thinking exercise that does just that.

Creating Memorable Experiences – There are three keys to creating memorable experiences for any event – whether it’s a special event or an event that happens every day.

Creating Intriguing Social Media Content – 3 Fundamental Steps – There are also three keys to identifying and creating intriguing social media content. Get these right, and you’ll have much stronger content.

Social Media Content Ideation: Think – Know – Do – Sure you get to talk about topics of interest to your business. But you only get to talk about them after you’ve thought about what your audience really wants to hear about in their lives. Then you can fit what you think, know, and do to into their expectations.

Five Innovation Lessons from Improv Comedy – by Woody Bendle – A whole lot of improvisation is based on fantastic planning and anticipation. It’s ironic, but it’s the truth.

Creating Change and Change Management – 4 Strategy Options - Some change can be incremental, but often an incremental approach to change won’t do. In those cases, here are three other strategy options to consider for creating change.

Being Perceived as an Innovative Leader - Not all innovative leaders are doing outrageous things (sorry if you think otherwise, but it’s true). Many times, being an innovative leader means innovating processes to allow innovation to happen.

Share the Credit! – Give more credit for successes to others, and don’t take much (or any at all) for yourself.

Strategic Thinking – Do Your Own and Let Us Know What You Think – You don’t have to simply spit out what you hear form business experts. Consider what they have to say, then do your own strategic thinking and share it.

Outsmarting Fears about Your “Inferior” Expertise – Nobody is better at telling your own story than you. So start telling it in multiple channels! – Mike Brown

 

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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 info@brainzooming.com or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can help you enhance your strategy and implementation efforts.

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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2

I’m embarrassed to say I don’t remember the specific of the first time I tweeted with Trilby Jeeves, but it was quite some time ago. I’m sure though, my first encounter with Trilby Jeeves on Twitter had to involve creativity, acting, and her workshops to help people better understand and use their creativity. Somewhere along the line, probably in a later night conversation, I asked her to do a guest blog post. Trilby claims it was 3 years ago! I’m not sure it was that long ago, but suffice it to say I was excited recently when we got the first Trilby Jeeves guest Brainzooming post “in the house.” 

Trilby is an actor, instructor, and writer from Vancouver, Canada. Nine years ago, a back operation inspired her to change her working life and she began “Buffoonery Workshops.”  Trilby is a strong advocate for creativity (as you’ll soon learn from today’s post), and her passion is to help people play in order to lead a more balanced life. Here’s Trilby Jeeves!

Creativity and the Arts are Frivolous.

If you believe that, then you better not run into me or a few of my friends in a dark alley or even a coffee shop.

But.

Let’s say you did meet me in a coffee shop and we start talking about the recent arts education cuts. (I just heard about a whole performing arts program being sliced away, with 15 minutes notice given to the department at Keyano College in Fort McMurray, Canada).

You say, “Well, it’s about money, and the arts are frivolous, really.”

At that moment, you will see my face redden, my posture improve immensely, and you’ll sense a strange sort of energy hitting you, paralyzing you in your chair. You will not be able to shift, even if you command your legs to run.

Nope. I will have cast a “You just sit there and listen to me while I re-program, appropriately, your ignorant thinking” spell.

Are you listening closely? Maybe you should take a sip of coffee from that really cool mug someone designed.

Arts, creativity, right brain thinking, drawing, painting, performing, entertainment, storytelling, designing, poetry, dancing, song writing, singing, music and more are all words that conjure different images and feelings for each person in this world. For me, it means air to breathe.

I wonder to myself what they mean for you.

You shrug your shoulders, indicating a nonchalant commitment. “Yeah, those are all nice things, but do they make money?”

I ponder your question and realize I need to address creativity and the arts in a pragmatic way for you to actually get it. I have to let go of the emotional side of the arts for a moment (which, by the way, serves many, many purposes).

“Money, hey?”

“Well, (I refrain from calling you “dear” and releasing my inner sarcastic tone)… well, actually, if you were to do some deep examination and number crunching, you’d probably realize the arts actually bring quite a bit of good economic impact to a country.”

“Take Europe, for instance, I believe that most people voyage there because of the museums, galleries, historical architecture, food (culinary arts), and the richness of the atmosphere of cafes, theatres, and music.”

“Sure”

“Would you agree that brings quite a bit of money to an area?”

You reluctantly agree. I can tell it’s reluctant. But, I can’t stop there. I bring the debate closer to home.

I ask you about where we are currently. This café. I ask you to look around, and take in the atmosphere, how the tables are placed, the types of chairs we are sitting on, the music in the background, the lighting, the splashes of color on the mug you’re holding, and I ask if you think these elements just occurred by magic, or if some thought went into them? It is rhetorical, really, isn’t it?

Of course, someone DESIGNED everything we are experiencing. And, it translates to a monetary value. If the café had no atmosphere, do you really think they would be doing such a roaring business? I don’t think so.

But, what I have explained is very basic. Very. However, it does bring the question of art and creativity to a pretty fundamental place. Maybe that’s where we’ll get the attention of people.

If I were to bring the idea of the Performing Arts (of which I’m part of) to the discussion, I would think you might feel like you have more fodder for dismissing it as an extracurricular activity (as did Keyano College in Fort McMurray).

My guess was correct.

But, if we look at story telling as a basic human need (start with cave drawings and continue to money making filmmaking), you’ll soon realize that keeping stories secret, and not sharing, can be detrimental to your health.  (Result: a community’s health costs rise – not very economical).

I avoid the obvious (to me) benefits of seeing live performances, and coming out of a theatre with life changing ideas.

Need I suggest that when the young embrace performing arts as an option in high school or beyond, how much their confidence is built? We can turn that into a monetary response (since you seem to base everything on that) in that they will do much better in their adult life with this confidence. They might turn into entrepreneurs where creative thinking is crucial (trust me.. I am one of those people who has created her own job via the right brain road). And, they might do so well that they actually create jobs.

I see you are starting to sweat a little. I know that’s a sign you are realizing the absurdity and ignorance of your earlier thoughts, and, that perhaps you need to change your attitude.

I stop ranting. I realize I should let you re-think your ideas regarding creativity with these simple observations. My hopes are that you will look at the world through an alternate lens and realize that “artists” show up in all sorts of subtle ways.

And, if you decide that truck driving for the oil sands is more important, just remember that someone had to design that vehicle and think outside the box in order to make it a little more comfortable and safe. And, they might have even included a DVD player where you can watch those billion dollar Hollywood movies on your break.

I release my spell, watch as you nod, and thank me, shakily, and depart the busy café.  I call out after you, “If you come back tomorrow, I’ll talk about how great the arts and creativity is on a spiritual level!” You nod again.

Eventually, another person strolls over and, asks, “Is anyone sitting here?”

I smile and say, “No, please sit down.”

I breathe in.

“May I ask you a question?”

Need More Ammunition to Challenge “Creativity and the Arts Are Frivolous”?

Just in case you need a little more convincing or some ammunition for your own “Take the Frivolous out of Arts” movement, here are links to check for more information.

Books:

Online:

Vive les arts ET la créativité! Trilby Jeeves

Guest Author

The Brainzooming blog has a wonderful group of guest authors who regularly contribute their perspectives on strategy, creativity, and innovation. You can view guest author posts by clicking on the link below.

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2

I love Big Ideas.

That’s why I’m so excited about attending and speaking next week at The Big Ideas in Higher Education Conference at Rutgers University.

And in a clear departure from other higher education conference programs, even though The Big Ideas in Higher Education Conference (#BigIdeas12) is for educators, the TED-oriented and Inside the Actor’s Studio-style sessions will largely be delivered by non-educators. And having gone through the speaker bios in-depth to prepare my own session, there’s an incredible group of amazingly talented and accomplished people presenting at the two-day conference.

But Where Are the Educators at this Higher Education Conference?

Since there’s an expectation some attendees are going to struggle with the absence of a full slate of higher education presenters, my last-afternoon session is to help attendees in capturing big ideas and making strategic connections among the various sessions so they can start making things happen with The Big Ideas in Higher Education Conference content.

As I said to The Big Ideas in Higher Education Conference organizers, it would be better to do my session near the start of the conference rather than at the end. Alas, it was too late to change things around.

Instead, here are some thoughts for attendees at any conference where there are going to be speakers who may seem to have little direct connection to what you do. Even if that’s the case, there are always going to be opportunities to learn, especially from someone who knows nothing about what you know.

Capturing All Your Big Ideas and Making them Happen

Here are 3 key steps for capturing big ideas at a conference where the presenters or material are outside your focus areas:

1. List what you want from the conference beforehand.

List a few opportunities, challenges, or issues you want to address from the information presented at the conference. This will help keep your most important objectives top-of-mind throughout the conference.

2. Don’t take notes. Capture ideas and thought starters – even challenging and apparently irrelevant ones.

It’s great to take notes at a conference. But in addition, capture and keep a separate list of ideas & comments from the presenters. These are the concepts that really get you thinking, even if you don’t know what to think about them. Maybe it’s an interesting statistic. It could very well be something that connects with you on emotional level (think: excited, stunned, energized, angered, stimulated, challenged, etc.), even if it’s apathy or boredom from wondering why the presenter is sharing information you don’t think connects with you.

Organize these ideas and thought starters relative to how much you relate to the information and how much the concepts intrigue you. The matrix below presents a way to organize your notes:

3. Start Making Strategic Connections

Some strategic connections between your list in number 1 and ideas / concepts shared at the conference will be naturals (“Lessons” should be directly applicable to your interests; ”Familiar” ideas may need a little creative sizzle).

Other strategic connections will be more challenging to identify, but those are often the most fruitful ones for innovation opportunities.

To help identify potential strategic connections look for the following relationships between your list and the conference ideas:

  • Similarities
  • Stark differences
  • Shared characteristics
  • Similar inputs and/or outputs among them
  • Sequential relationships between items on each list

After having identified these relationships, you should be able to more easily find “Big Ideas” within the “Ideas” quadrant. This will occur as you link your related to opportunities/challenges to ideas / concepts from the conference content.

Ideas in the “Huh?” category should provide relatively fertile ground for additional brainstorming to identify innovative connections you missed seeing the first time through.

What’s Next?

These first three steps will get you started in looking at ideas shared at an innovative business conference in new ways.

What’s next in terms of additional techniques for innovatively adapting ideas to your organizational situation is the topic of my presentation for The Big Ideas in Education Conference?

Coming out of my session (“Take all of your Big Ideas and Make them Happen, an Innovation Workshop”), I’ll share multiple strategic techniques exercises to derive even greater value from an innovative conference experience.

And if you want to follow along, track The Big Ideas Education Conference on Twitter at #BigIdeas12. – Mike Brown

 

Subscribe for Free to the Brainzooming blog email updates.

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 info@brainzooming.com or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can help you enhance your strategy and implementation efforts.

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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5

There’s been a great reaction to the Brainzooming article on 10 Brainstorming Questions from Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, the Food Network celebration of off-beat restaurants hosted by Guy Fieri.

Since becoming a fan of this Food Network show, I’ve made it to three featured restaurants. The most recent was RJ’s Bob-Be-Que in Mission, KS earlier this week for Buck-a-Bone Tuesday, which means $1 per rib. That’s good eating!

But in the interest of turning my fascination with Diners, Drive-ins and Dives and Guy Fieri into something other than extra pounds, it’s time for more reality TV-driven extreme creativity! To the earlier 10 brainstorming questions, let’s add these 6 extreme creativity lessons gleaned from a recent Diners, Drive-ins and Dives marathon:

1. Go be a fish out of water

Maybe extreme creativity is tough for you. If it is, one way to turn yourself into an extreme creativity force is taking your talents and applying them in a completely unexpected and new environment. There are a variety of “Triple D” stories where a chef radically changed geographic location or work environment to trigger extreme creativity. Put a Louisiana-influenced Cajun cook in Minnesota, and you have a fish out of water recipe for extreme creativity. Where can you be a fish out of water?

2. Fuse unrelated creativity channels together

It seems like there have been several stops lately on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives involving a parked food truck supplying the kitchen facilities for a bar or restaurant. There’s an idea for you. How can you fuse two or more apparently unrelated creativity channels together to create something people don’t expect?

3. Do your extreme creativity old style

Despite modern innovations available to cooks, many manifest extreme creativity by foregoing new ways of doing things. For instance, despite the availability of incredible industrial food mixers, there are many instances where cooks are mixing things by hand because it provides closeness to the work and an awareness of quality variations. Do you have a similar opportunity to apply old style techniques to your creativity to turn it into extreme creativity?

4. Figure out the equivalent of deep frying in your area of extreme creativity

Watching any episode of “Triple D,” it’s clear you can deep fry any food, and it has a high probability of being very good. The more outlandish the food, the more outrageous the success. There’s got to be something to this. What’s the equivalent of deep frying in your focus area? What’s the one thing you can do to make your creativity extremely crispy, crunchy, and incredibly tasty? Whatever it is in your field, pursue your own version of deep fried extreme creativity!

5. Smash different parts into one

Most meals are served in separate courses: appetizer, entrée, side dishes, dessert. It’s not surprising to see all those courses smashed together into one menu item at restaurants featured on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives. How can you employ the same idea? How can you take what would normally be separate creative pursuits and smash them together into one colossal creative feast?

6. Don’t clean up after you’ve gotten all creative

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but a lot of places on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives aren’t all that clean. Some of the chefs even take pride in how the flavor of the cooking builds up over time on utensils and cooking surfaces. While that’s a little disconcerting, there can definitely be something to it creatively. Having the afterglow of past creative highlights on your tools might be just what you need to inspire some extreme creativity. – Mike Brown

 

Download the free ebook, “Taking the NO Out of InNOvation” to help you generate fantastic ideas! For an organizational innovation 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 info@brainzooming.com or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can deliver these benefits for you.

 

 

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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1

Recently, venture capitalist and senior Kauffman fellow, Paul Kedrosky, gave the last of four scheduled presentations at the Kauffman Foundation relating to Google Fiber. He concentrated on what Kansas City should do to make sure it—and the U.S.—gets the most out of the Google Fiber innovation opportunity. Here are four specific lessons on Google Fiber innovation from Paul Kedrosky that likely apply to our organizations as we strive for greater innovation.

1. Co-location

Kedrosky said some applications are not appropriate for development in Kansas City. Development must take place close to where they will eventually be used because even with extremely fast internet connects, execution or feedback will not be fast enough. The reason for this may be physical (in the case of stock trading, the speed of light is the limitation) or they may be sociological or cultural.

The lesson: Make sure that functions in your organization requiring nearly immediate feedback are in proximity—in terms of both physical location and where they fit in the hierarchy. Think sales and marketing, or production and engineering as examples where co-location is critical.

2. Upload/download symmetry

No matter how fast you can download information, it really does not matter if your upload bandwidth is too narrow. Eventually the download will become “occluded,” that is stopped or slowed because the response (upload) moves too slowly

The lesson: If senior management is not giving fast enough feedback and providing enough information, it makes no difference how much capacity an organization has. The organization will eventually stop what it is doing because it is waiting for senior management direction.

3. Understand the advantage/inevitability of flat-rate pricing

Historically the trend in communications is to flat rate pricing. The same first-class stamp takes your letter across the street or across the country. Likewise, long distance calling is rarely metered anymore. Widespread adoption and use becomes the counterbalance for falling prices.

The lesson: Customers shy away from pricing that involves cognitive complexity and risk. They ask questions such as, “What happens if I go over my limit?” or ”What else might I want to do with this product that I won’t be able to?” Look for ways you can make your pricing model flatter. Think restaurants and buffets. Also, consider making standard the options and add-ons that customers want or need. Price in a way that forgoes some upfront revenue but creates more satisfied customers—who, in turn, are likely to return and buy more.

4. Encourage playful experimentation and waste

Paul Kedrosky believes Kansas City will only make the creative breakthroughs in using Gigabit speed if it actively encourages, even demands, playful experimentation and waste. Indeed the title of his presentation was “Waste Lots, Want Lots.” Waste should come in two forms: waste of bandwidth and waste of latency.

The lesson: Ask these questions: Would you have encouraged (and rewarded) an employee who spent time in the back shop soldering seemingly random circuit boards together? Would you have encouraged (and rewarded) an employee who spent time, lots of time, trying to figure out a more systematic way to meet girls? If the answer is no, then you would have not been in on the founding of either Apple or Facebook. You may say that there are no Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg working for you. You are most likely right, and we could know at least one reason why. –Barrett Sydnor

 

How can ultra high-speed internet speeds drive innovation? “Building the Gigabit City: Brainzooming a Google Fiber Roadmap,” a free 120-page report, shares 60 business opportunities for driving innovation and hundreds of ideas for education, healthcare, jobs, community activities, and more.  Download this exclusive Google Fiber report sponsored by Social Media Club of Kansas City and The Brainzooming Group addressing how ultra high-speed internet can spur economic development, growth, and improved lifestyles globally. 

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2

I was talking with an organization’s leader the other day about how the boss can participate in the process of strategy planning and managing for change without compromising the team’s results. In his case, he was concerned that if he sat back and let his team take the lead in the process of strategy planning, they wouldn’t push for enough change. If, however, he talked first to demonstrate how far the organization needs to go in managing for change, he feared the team would agree with his comments without challenging ideas “the boss” shares.

He asked me what I’d recommend to help mitigate this particular challenge of the boss dominating in the process of strategy planning.

In this case my recommendation was based on a quick assessment that he legitimately wants his organization to undergo dramatic changes. My answer would differ if the question were coming from a leader who talks about change yet every obvious action suggests change isn’t a good thing.

With that backdrop, my first recommendation was to bring in an outside strategic facilitator (i.e., The Brainzooming Group!) so he isn’t in the dual role of trying to both participate and facilitate at the same time. Unless it’s a very rare situation, a leader has to pick one role or the other. Trying to facilitate and also participate is a recipe for problems.

Five Ways to Keep the Boss from Dominating Strategy Planning

Beyond that important recommendation, here are five other ways to deal with this challenge:

  • Incorporate anonymous responses from the team so they can say their peace and suggest ideas without being identified.
  • Reduce the leader’s presence in the strategy planning process so they are not “visibly” participating in front of all team members at all times.
  • Vary the leader’s participation so the leader isn’t always talking first, but is talking first when it makes sense to do so.
  • Use different strategy questions than the organization typically asks so employees won’t know as readily what answers to expect from the boss.
  • Use a new or clearly neutral location for the planning session so the boss can’t sit in the usual power position in a room where the team typically meets.

Those are a few of the general techniques we use to get the broadest and most balanced participation during the process of strategy planning.

Are You Facing this Same Challenge?

What things have you done successfully to ensure the boss doesn’t overly-sway a team when it’s trying to be effective at managing for change? Are there things you do that haven’t worked as well? Let’s hear them!

And if you’re facing this same challenge, give us a call so YOU can do the most and get the most from your team’s planning effort.  – 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 info@brainzooming.com or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can help you enhance your strategy and implementation efforts.

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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8

To follow-up a recent post on business branding, we wanted to offer another brand compilation featuring articles from The Brainzooming Group related to customer experience. Examining your brand through a customer experience perspective is vital when considering brand strategy modifications you hope will solidify relationships with current and future customers.

These twenty-two articles on multiple aspects of brand strategy and customer experience can help you strengthen how you’re considering and evaluating your branding approach. This is especially important if you’re losing customers unexpectedly, being attacked by competitors disrupting the marketplace, or considering expanding into new markets. If you have efforts such as these under consideration or underway, call or email The Brainzooming Group for a free check-in consultation to make sure you’ve framed up your brand strategy efforts to maximize success.

Behaviors

Customer Buying Cycle

Customer Involvement

Consumer Goods

Service Businesses

  • Delivering on the Brand Promise – Just Try Harder – A brand promise isn’t just a few words. If you aren’t going to carry out your brand promise, you should come up with a different one your brand can perform.
  • Branding Lessons with the Newlyweds at Elitch Gardens – A great brand lesson demonstrating that a brand isn’t a name. A brand is all about the customer experience, and you have to make sure the brand name IS aligned with all parts of the customer experience.
  • Helping People Help Themselves – Too often, brands go the self-service route purely out of cost savings with little regard for the impact on the customer experience. With just a little forethought, you can devise a self-service strategy that might even add value for your customers. Here are 26 potential self-service benefits to consider.
  • How Can You Reinforce Your Smelly Brand? – Just because you’re in a service business doesn’t mean you can’t use experience cues taken from physical attributes of your brand and integrate them more directly into your brand experience. Here’s proof it’s possible!
  • Strategic Thinking from the Customer’s Seat – Front line employees can generate great ideas to improve the customer experience, especially for niche customer groups who wouldn’t typically show up in the data. Are you listening to your front line employees to see what customer experience ideas they have?
  • Customize a Customer Brand Experience Very Simply – You don’t necessarily need loads of technology to provide customized customer experiences. A little forethought and some helpful suggestions (call it experience curation, if you must) can provide customized customer experiences as well.

Crisis Moments

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 info@brainzooming.com or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can help you enhance your strategy and implementation efforts.

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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