Elevator speech secret: nobody sells to everybody

What I remember most about my first visit to the Wisconsin State Fair was the guy in the vendor building selling “super-shammies.” A miracle of spill management technology, these super absorbent sheets were able to soak up copious amounts of anything you might drip,...

Spellcheck doesn’t know write from wrong

I remember the first time I experienced spellcheck. “So, I just type away,” I asked gleefully, “and this spellchecker fixes all my mistakes? It’s like there’s an English teacher in the computer!” Turns out, it’s not. Because while spellcheck can indicate when...

Consistency vs. repetition: change it up or get tuned out

It doesn’t take a marketing expert to recognize the importance of consistency. Whatever your platform, building brand recognition demands consistent messaging. This does not, however, mean you should be saying exactly the same thing over and over. We all have a...

Is a picture really worth a thousand words?

Once upon a time…seriously, it seems like a lifetime ago…I used to travel around sharing my perspective on business messaging: shaping and sharing stories that engaged readers and made them want to know more. After one such presentation to a group very...

Who does your business speak to?

I used to get upset when my teenage daughter would demonstrate what I referred to as “advantageous-interpretation-disorder”…a condition that causes questions to take on whatever meaning is easiest to answer. I would ask, “Do you have any homework?” My daughter would...

What if your pants were on backward?

If you went to a party and saw a friend wearing their pants backward, would you tell them?  What if it was you with the backward pants? Would you want someone to tell you? And if they did, how would you respond? Would you be angry for the criticism, or...

Dumbing It Down vs. Clearing It Up

So often, our efforts to outshine our competitors result in overselling ourselves. We attempt to position ourselves as experts in our field and confirm that position by using complex language and industry-specific terms. We try to impress rather than inform,...

The Power of Holiday Promotions

Holidays are amazing.  They’re spiritual, emotional, and economical.  Whatever your target market’s holiday persuasion, associating your products & services with the spirit of the season creates common ground – a level on which your customer can relate...

OMG, Where Did All The Words Go?

As a Wordsmith, I’ve always had a bit of an issue with text-messaging.  In fact, I consider texting a crime against language, and a major contributor to the rapid decline in young people’s ability to communicate effectively. As a parent, though, I’ll admit I have...

Avoiding Business Wedgies

Skipping through the cable guide the other day, I came across the cinematic masterpiece, “Revenge of the Nerds.” I enjoyed that movie, but not for the same reasons as my friends (not entirely). Beyond the triumph of the super-smart over the super-strong, the nerds...