My Monday night—the night Hurricane Sandy came ashore—was spent in my fourth floor apartment on Manhattan Beach. On one side I watched the ocean waves cover the roofs of the homes on the beach. On the other side, I watched the Sheepshead Bay canal waters rush in over cars and through buildings. As I saw all this I was wishing I had packed an inflatable boat in my "to go" bag.
It's day 4 after Hurricane Sandy hit, and I'm just as anxious as I was waiting for the storm. Fortunately, my home is located in a safe zone. Unfortunately, many of my friends' and loved ones' homes aren't.
Our rise from the abyss has brought us to clarity of vision: "Finding creative ways to help our clients make the world better." We are no longer doing poorly trying to do well. We are instead fulfilling a destiny that has us—to use the Quaker words of Ben Franklin—"Doing well by doing good."
A persona is a kind of mental model—an imaginary person with a name, history and story who has a way of doing things. A persona should have enough psychological detail to allow you to conveniently step over to the persona's view, and see your products and services from her perspective.
As marketers we must never be in a position where we are just throwing shit up on the wall to see what sticks. We should be applying our creativity and artistry in execution of a strategic hypothesis that is based on research and genuine insight.
Here I write a short hero story. It may ring true for others who loved (and hated in short bursts) their fathers, who wanted to be like them and wanted not to be like them, who were proud and ashamed, who will dearly miss them when they are gone.
Is it better to have a unique name like Kinko's or a more descriptive one like Staples? Is it better to have a name that's actually a person's name like Lowe's or something that really clues you in to the core business promise is such as Home Depot? International Business Machines or just a feel good symbol like Apple?
There is danger and reward everywhere.
Last year I wrote about taking a solid two-week vacation and described taking the family to our remote Canadian island with no electricity and no running water.
That was a really good vacation.
This year, I blew it.