Obi-Wan

Because your company is not the hero.

March 10, 2020

Luke Skywalker is the greatest example of the "hero" archetype. He has humble beginnings and does not understand his full potential. At least, not until he is called to adventure after the murder of his Aunt, Uncle, and the desperate call of Princess Leia. Facing down this behemoth of a journey, you gotta wonder what was going on in his head at the time.

"I have no skills beyond moisture farming and I'm a decent pilot, but taking on the Empire? I need help."

That's where Obi-Wan Kenobi comes into play. The old wizard who sees the greatness within Luke and helps him to overcome his own, self-imposed limits. Despite the fact that Luke is lost without him, Obi-Wan never lets it be known. He's not focused on his own success, he's focused on the success of Luke. If Luke succeeds, that is his victory. Granted, he does all he can offering mentorship (guidance and knowledge of the Force), tools (lightsaber), instruction and feedback, and, most importantly, honest encouragement.

Here's the thing:

Most companies see themselves as Luke.They think they are the hero, that saving the world depends on them. They are wrong and their self-interest will not inspire others to be better. To quote Marty Neumeier "the best brand builders see greatness in their customers, and figure out ways to enable it."

Unleash your inner Obi-Wan, you rebel.

More you say?

Sugar Balls and Whole Wheat Wonder

Customers want a solution, but will they buy it from you?

6.12.2020

In 1999, Kellogg's was seeing a shift toward healthy breakfast options. This meant that their top sellers like Frosted Flakes, Rice Krispies, Pops, and Froot Loops (all of which are loaded with mass amounts of sugar) were becoming less and less desirable from consumers.

Now, Kellogg's could try and reposition their brand, which is known for these fun cereals. But it would take a long time, a lot of change, and hope that their fan base would still appreciate them. Or they could go a different route... like acquiring a La Jolla based company called Kashi that is already known for healthy breakfast cereals. They maintain their position and get to pump Kashi full of Kellogg's resources to gain more market share.

The point? Customers might need it, but you have to wonder whether or not they will buy it from you. Are you in a position to offer them a new solution? Will this new offering dilute your brand?

If you can't do it effectively, make a new brand.

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A Lesson in Gratitude

Being rebellious is not an excuse to forget your blessings

11.28.2019

Rebels,

Though you may believe the world can be a better place, though you believe there is much that could be done differently, though you seek to be an advocate of change, never forget that there is plenty of good all around you.

Take today to reflect on what you have been given. A true rebel remembers their blessings.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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