Influential Marketing Blog
You could say I’m a lover of history.
Not the boring “memorize which King came after which King” kind of history. No, instead I love the stories that history gives us of characters that we may already know, or objects we may interact with … but seldom think about in terms of their origins. This talk shares two of my favourite stories like that.
The first is how Einstein’s brilliance truly became appreciated in his time. If you think about it, he was a humble patent clerk with ideas that challenges the status quo. So why would the establishment believe him? It turns out he owes his success largely to one man – Max Planck. It’s exactly the type of hidden connection that fascinates me. Would his ideas have been appreciated or understood without Planck?
The second story I also share is about the creation of the QWERTY keyboard design and its origins as a design “optimized” specifically for one purpose: to slow typists down. And yet when someone named Dvorak came along with a brilliant redesign of that keyboard, it was mostly rejected. Why?
Finally, I also talk about James Dyson and his invention of a new type of vacuum cleaner and why that idea – though revolutionary in his industry, also ends up succeeding. The stories of Einstein, Dvorak and Dyson illustrate a conclusion I often share in talks that big ideas are never enough. Though we tend to over glamorize them and under value the relationships and real people that are behind whether they succeed or not.
Marketers love to celebrate forgettable things. Every week I read magazines covering the most popular marketing campaigns of the moment. Reading about creative campaigns is fun. Yet it is easy to underappreciate the brands who take a long term view. The brands that choose to skip the quest for momentary results can be forgotten in our excitement to talk about…Read More >>
Some great ideas don’t work because of bad strategy. Others fail because of bad timing. And some fail because of both. This talk is about an idea like that. In the second installment of my Tuesday Talks, I wanted to share a story from a presentation from about a year ago that I delivered at a Tech Cocktail event around…Read More >>
I don’t mind being recorded. Unlike other speakers who deliver the same canned talk over 70 times a year, I speak at half as many events annually. While doing an average of 3 events a month might still seem like a lot … it is fairly selective compared to many other speakers. Yet despite limiting my talks and speaking at…Read More >>
In 2007 an association of about 50 Honda dealerships based in the Southern California area launched a bold experiment. Faced with the reality that customers generally rate car dealers among the least trustworthy people in business, Honda and their agency at the time had an idea to change that perception. The “Helpful Honda Dealers” concept was to prove Honda Dealers…Read More >>
After two days of conversations about social media with 25 of the world’s largest brands, perhaps the nicest benefit is that you don’t hear the same conclusions or experiences over and over. For the third year in a row, I had the chance to moderate and lead the Corporate Social Media Summit in NY – which brought together brand marketers from Whole…Read More >>
There aren’t many people in the world who don’t love a good soccer trick video. And when the World Cup rolls around, you might expect that there will be lots of them flooding YouTube. So over the past few weeks I have seen everything from a freestyle champion soccer player dressing up as an old man to an unexpected superstar…Read More >>
There is an original Hawaiian Beach Boy and his name is Ted. Every day at the Waikiki Beach Boys surf shop on the beach in Oahu, Ted teaches tourists how to surf and sometimes shares a story about the legendary Pink Palace hotel on the beach. Or tells visitors how he first purchased the name of the iconic business all…Read More >>
The worst mistake I ever made online was searching for a bow tie. In a world where credit card numbers and identities are being stolen en masse, that probably seems pretty innocent. Outside of the occasional danger of credit card fraud, online shopping is usually a fairly safe activity. Unless you happen to be shopping for a bow tie. Let…Read More >>
The greatest word The Simpsons ever offered to the English language was “craptacular.” When Bart Simpson used it to describe Homer’s Christmas decorations, he introduced a much needed concept for us all: something that was so bad it might actually be good. Today we are in the age of instant startups, where launching an idea from a garage suddenly seems…Read More >>