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Questions or Full Stops

June 13, 2019 There’s an ever-widening gap between what’s natural to us as children and what’s taught into us through the educational system and corporate culture. American author, educator, media theorist and cultural critic, Neil Postman says “children enter school as question marks and leave as full stops.” The same thing happens to employees as they enter the work world. …

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How to Build a Culture of Original Thinkers

May 30, 2019 Disruptive innovation celebrates the renegade brands that take an industry by storm. Other companies sit on the sidelines watching with envy as they grab market share and generate incredulous revenue. “Why can’t we be like them?” they ask. People believe true innovators are a rare breed. But in reality, most people are original thinkers. They just need …

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Is Management the Enemy of Innovation?

May 2, 2019 A couple of weeks ago I spoke at a conference in Stockholm, Sweden about how to bring new ideas into an organization. At the end, a woman in the audience raised her hand and asked a question: What do you do when management kills your great idea? Hands down, when I talk about innovation and how to …

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How to Conduct a Brand Transplant

January 31, 2019 There’s a story of a young boy who showed great promise as an artist. His father, an art teacher himself, sent the boy to schools to hone his talent through rigid academic exercises. A natural finesse had him easily mastering difficult techniques. Instructors entered his work in competitions against more established artists and the student quickly gained the attention …

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Why You Have Brand Detachment Disorder

January 17, 2019 In the world of great ideas, there’s iconic brands that get all the credit. Take LEGO, for example. This is a company that sells little rectangular pieces of plastic. But they consistently churn out great idea after great idea. Go to their website and besides ordering products, you can build things, share them with friends and watch videos. Five …

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Defining Modern Customer Experience

April 17, 2018 by Carla Johnson I spent last week at Oracle’s Modern Customer Experience conference in Chicago. One of the refreshing things about the work I do is being able to lift my head from my desk and spend time with really groups of people who focus on customer experience from many different angles. That’s the gift that Oracle’s …

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The Truth About Brand Extension into Unlikely Categories

March 6, 2018 by Mitch Duckler Many companies try to benefit from the equity of their established brands by launching brand extensions—new products that are introduced under an existing brand name. In our previous post, Why So Many Brand Extensions Fail, we discussed how extending brands has the potential to both heighten acceptance of  new products/services and generate positive spillover effects …

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How Well Do You Trigger Anticipation?

January 4, 2018 by Carla Johnson When I was a kid, I couldn’t wait for Sunday nights. I grew up on a farm and work was never a 9-to-5 gig. With crops, hogs and cattle, we worked whenever work needed to be done. But Sunday nights were different. Sunday night was when we had milkshakes and grilled cheese sandwiches for …

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B2B Marketing Lessons from Stove Top’s Thanksgiving Dinner Pants

November 23, 2017 by Carla Johnson To allow people to “enjoy more of Thanksgiving in comfort and style,” Stove Top designed a pair of unisex maroon pants with an elastic waistband. But they didn’t stop there. They fashionably accented the pants with a stretch band featuring an image of stuffing. And because you’ll be hungry later in the day, they …

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Pitch Perfect: Why Great Ideas Fail and How to Make Sure Yours Don’t

September 7, 2017 by Carla Johnson None of us got into B2B marketing to do boring work. Let’s think about our first jobs; we were fresh out of college…a bright-eyed, 22-year old excited about changing the world. Maybe we started working for a boron mining company and we had fabulous ideas! We were going to do things that the mining …

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7 Brutal Truths About Innovation No One Wants to Talk About

August 10, 2017 by Carla Johnson I recently shared a post on the brutal truths about creativity that no one wants to talk about, which resonated with many readers. As I’ve talked with people about creativity, they tell me that’s something they ‘aren’t.’ When I take it further get into the transition from creativity to innovation, they tell me that’s …

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Leverage Small Team Big Ideas to Catalyze Business Growth

July 25, 2017 by Babette Ten Haken Leveraging small team big ideas are critical components for business growth, scalability and expansion. In addition, these ideas move employees forward from self-limiting thought processes preventing professional development. I’ve found that team composition is highly variable in small to mid-size businesses. Not only are employees hired to fill individual positions. Also, regard for their …

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How to Turn Creativity Into Business Value and Growth

July 11, 2017 by Carla Johnson We all have ads and campaigns that stick with us. They’re clever, entertaining and memorable. But does this mean anything to anyone outside of marketing? Turns out, it should. McKinsey & Company recently used a quantitative measure that looked at the connection between creativity and business performance. To do this, they developed the Award …

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11 Brutal Truths About Creativity That No One Wants to Talk About

June 22, 2017 by Carla Johnson Creativity is a funny thing. People tell me they want more creativity in their life. They’re itchy to stretch themselves with new ideas at work. They yearn to work on amazing projects that become the envy of their peers. And they have a hankering to get out of the mind-numbing routine of their everyday …

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Unleashing Creativity & Avoiding Group Think

June 6, 2017 by Michelle Smith It’s hard to find a leader today who isn’t aggressively calling for growth and innovation within their organization and hasn’t clamored for more creative, original thinkers to make those goals a reality. But where do we find all this creative talent – and how do we harness it? Is the ability to be an …

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34 of the Best Non-Marketing Books for Marketers

May 30, 2017 by Carla Johnson A few weeks ago, Jay Acunzo asked me how I felt travel affects creativity. He certainly hit a hot button for me, because when people ask me where my best ideas come from I tell them, “on the road.” But then he asked, “But if people can’t travel, where do they get great ideas?” …

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Human-Centered Design: What It Is And Why It Matters in Marketing

April 6, 2017 by Carla Johnson I’ve been watching the backlash to Pepsi’s Kendall Jenner ad this week. According to data from Amobee Brand Intelligence, digital content engagement around Pepsi has increased significantly (366 percent in just a day), but 43 percent has mentioned Black Lives Matter, 31 percent has labeled the ad as “tone-deaf” and 10 percent has tagged …

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Human-Centered Design: What It Is And Why It Matters in Marketing

April 6, 2017 by Carla Johnson I’ve been watching the backlash to Pepsi’s Kendall Jenner ad this week. According to data from Amobee Brand Intelligence, digital content engagement around Pepsi has increased significantly (366 percent in just a day), but 43 percent has mentioned Black Lives Matter, 31 percent has labeled the ad as “tone-deaf” and 10 percent has tagged …

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Hearts or Minds, Which Do You Want?

March 30, 2017 by Carla Johnson Elliot was a good husband and father. Then he began to complain of headaches and seemed to lose his concentration and sense of responsibility. He took a battery of psychological tests, but they showed nothing. Elliot was coherent and smart with a near-flawless memory. He was referred to Antonio Damasio, head of neurology at …

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How Creative Are You? Take the Test.

March 28, 2017 by Carla Johnson A Harvard grad, Dr. Donald W. MacKinnon was a psychology professor at the University of California at Berkeley who researched creativity. In 1949 he founded The Institute of Personality Assessment and Research (IPAR). After his retirement, he was a visiting fellow at the Center for Creative Leadership. Throughout his career, MacKennon dug deep into …