Tag Archive: News


A couple of weeks ago I laid out 13 tips for wrapping up 2012 and preparing for the new year at work. My expert sources suggested that you complete outstanding projects; establish new goals; reflect on accomplishments; get organized; and tie up loose ends–among other things.

Now, as you return to the office in 2013, there are a few things you can do to ensure you start the year off right.

forbes“A new year is a brand new beginning,” says Anna Sidana, VP of marketing at Simply Hired. “If we take the time to step back from our day-to-day and hit reset, it is a chance to look ahead with a new perspective and make every day count.”

She suggests you take a moment to reflect on your life–both professional and personal–and kick off the new year with renewed energy and a fresh focus. “Close out any small, nagging projects and focus on the big ones that can accelerate your career. Reach out to colleagues and strengthen those dusty relationships. A new year offers this unique opportunity to step up the game and become laser focused.”

Michael D. Brown, a career consultant, author, and motivational speaker, adds: “In this continuing economic tsunami of 2013, you must be clearly purposed and focused on success with a well-defined and proven game plan to transition yourself from a generic to a fresh and powerful personal brand,” he says. Companies and organizations can no longer afford to invest in generic employees with anemic or non-existent ROIs; and they’re not able to be competitive if they don’t have a fresh, branded and competitive workforce.

“The best success navigation plan you can have is to turn yourself into a clear, compelling, and competitive personal brand,” Brown says. “You can’t wait to do this in August; you must do this now. As such, you will be seen as someone who can add and deliver value in these turbulent times.”

Click here to read the full article.

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Domino’s Risks All with Recipe Change

Domino’s Pizza, the world’s largest pizza delivery chain, is not content to sit back and let its size and market penetration support the standing of its brand. Starting this week, Domino’s is taking the enormous step of changing its core pizza recipe. Domino’s says the new recipe, which features a garlic seasoned crust, new sauce and new cheese, is more flavorful than the recipe it has based its brand upon since opening as a single pizza shop in Michigan in 1960.

Domino’s proudly says it is “reinventing” its pizza from the crust up to reflect changing consumer tastes. The chain is taking this bold step following an overall decline in pizza delivery sales and its coming in last, tied with kids’ pizza chain Chuck E. Cheese, in a 2009 consumer preference survey.

Folks, this is huge news in the world of branding. Arguably this is the most earth-shattering brand reinvention by a major global company since Coca-Cola launched its “New Coke” formula in 1985. Mass consumer rejection caused Coca-Cola to revert to its original recipe in a relatively short period of time, and New Coke is generally considered one of the worst mistakes in marketing history.

Time will tell if Domino’s surprisingly aggressive move will soar or fall flat. But keep in mind that rival pizza chain Papa John’s has been making inroads against industry leaders Domino’s and Pizza Hut by simply offering a well-crafted branding message about the top quality of its ingredients.

Clearly, Domino’s had to do something in the face of slumping sales and poor customer satisfaction results. But if your personal brand is facing similar hurdles, or your “dough” is no longer making dough, think carefully before enacting a similar wholesale change to the core components of your brand.

Talk to current and prospective customers and clients and be willing to hear honest feedback, even if it’s stuff you don’t want to hear. Ask your Branding Board of Advisers to review your marketing materials, personal pitch, general performance and presentation, and listen to their suggestions for improvement.

I’m not saying that Domino’s is necessarily wrong or that at certain times total brand reinvention may not be the way to jump-start a flagging business. I am saying that this type of wholesale brand change must not be entered into lightly or quickly. It is entirely possible that a few tweaks to how you promote your product or service or simply working harder will produce the improvements you are looking for.

Coca-Cola was big enough to weather the storm created by New Coke, and if Domino’s recipe change fails it may also possess the size and built-in customer base to carry on. Your personal brand, however, probably cannot survive a total reinvention if it goes wrong.

How much of your brand are you willing to change or enhance to increase your compensation? Let us know!
http://www.themichaeldbrown.com

Will Breakfast save Starbucks?

In an effort to get more people to walk through the doors- Starbucks offered five new breakfast items this Wednesday.

Oatmeal
Chewy fruit and nut bar
Apple bran muffin
Berry Stella (multigrain pastry)
Protein Plate (hard-boiled egg, whole wheat bagel, peanut butter, cheese and fruit)

All of these items are touted as having no artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners or corn syrup.

I am just not sure if these items will make we want to visit Starbucks more, what about you?

In an ever-increasing competitive retail world, you have to offer the customer a TOTAL experience (where most of the experience is FREE) if you want to remain competitive. Many retailers (Panera Bread and Caribou Coffee been two fierce Starbucks competitors) have offered free Wi-Fi for a while. Starbucks in the meantime was still clinging to the TMobile deal where you had to sign up for an account, pay $6 an hour. It had basically just become a hassle for folks who just wanted to grab a cup of coffee and check their email for a few minutes.

Starbucks on Monday announced it was dropping T-Mobile’s $6-an-hour Wi-Fi service for AT&T, which will provide coffee- house customers with two free hours of Internet access a day. With about 7,000 Starbucks locations in the United States, that’s a major boon for AT&T. Now the question is, how long will hotels, airports and other venues be able to continue charging sky-high fees for a service that many people see as essential as running water and electricity. I was at a hotel recently that charged $19.95 a day; I don’t think I will be going back.

Quick question for you? Is free Wi-Fi part of your decision process when determining where to spend your money?

http://www.FreshCustomerService.com