sweat the small stuff

Great brands may think big, but they sweat the small stuff. They know that all the little things they do or fail to do in person shape brand perceptions far more than the big things they claim through mass media. So they design their customer experiences down to last detail, and usually appeal to as many of […]


Hold the Cone

brand-as-business bit:  Hold the cone!  No, I don’t mean “hold the phone.”  I’m saying “hold the cone” because that’s what ice cream shop workers should do.  Allow me to explain: Recently while in the Virgin America terminal at SFO, I decided to treat myself to some Pinkberry.  After preparing my cone of yogurt yumminess, the […]

brand-as-business bit:  Last week as I sat working in my favorite hole-in-the-wall coffee shop as closing time drew near, I overheard two servers reading their store’s recent Yelp reviews to each other.  (This, of course, is not a good practice for employees to engage in with customers in earshot, but since I’m such a regular […]


brand-as-business bit:  In response to a recent post on strategy, Dr. Marco de Haas CEO of S-ray Diagnostics and professor at Erasmus University Rotterdam shared with me a tool that he has developed to facilitate organizational alignment around strategy.  The diagnostic tool, S-ray Alignment Scan, visually maps and objectively quantifies which organizational units are aligned and […]


I’m guessing most of you don’t frequently have the opportunity to tell your CEO to go take a crap, but that’s essentially what I did last year – and ever since, we’ve had a fruitful and rewarding relationship. […]


The adage “god is in the details” is usually offered in reference to a small mistake with big consequences. And when it comes to brand touchpoints, it’s commonly known how a screw-up here or a snafu there can cause significant damage to a brand’s image and equity. But often the most important details are ones […]


The new laws popping up which require restaurants to post calorie counts next to food listings have me concerned. This may come as a surprise to those who know me – after all, I am a fitness enthusiast and I try to practice healthy eating.   So the nutritional content of food is really important to […]


The other day I found myself doing something quite curious – after having placed an item into my grocery cart, I turned around, took it out, and returned it to the shelf.  That momentary act wasn’t strange because I’m generally a decisive person — but rather because of what caused me to reverse my actions.  […]