Should You Show’em Your Age?

15 11 2013

When you are focused on Branding, the age of your company need not be in the message!

Regardless if your company has been in business for 40, 50, 60 0r 70+ years, that fact has not made a difference in your success.  In fact, of the Eye Cubed leaders that I know and have spoken to, “years in business” means very little in the decision making process to choose a business partner.  The statement of age says nothing about brand, brand promise, value, service, needs or culture.   I am sure there is a lot to learn about companies who lose sight of the aforementioned characteristics and the Eye Cubed branding messages that go along with them.  Just ask any former executive from these industry icons:

50 yr anniversary

  1. Bethlehem Steel Company who built America’s infrastructure for 146 years (bankrupt)
  2. Paine Webber who advised clients for 123 years (bankrupt)
  3. Woolworth Company who provided a retail experience for 122 years (bankrupt)

What branding messages actually have the greatest impact for B2B or B2C initiatives?

Solving Needs 

McDonalds brand promise of “speed” defines the need they solve in one word.       

One of the most important questions to ask is; “Is ‘what we do’ solving a need for our clients?”  As long as the resounding answer is “YES”, there is no need to make a shift.  However, do not take this answer for granted.  If the tides turn and have left you unprepared and unaware that you are no longer solving a need, your organization may become shipwrecked among the throngs of defunct companies around you.

Flexibility With Execution

Apple “makes it easier to love technology so that you can experience the future” .

If you are good with ‘what you do’, take a critical view into ‘how you do it’.  This analysis includes innovating processes by bringing technology into your firm.  Your team needs to demonstrate an understanding of Corporate Hydrology by analyzing income streams and finding ways to make them wider, longer or deeper.  They need to find new ones as well to counteract the fact that, if left unchecked, all income streams share one thing in common…they will all eventually dry up and cease to exist.

Delivering Promises

FedEx delivers “peace of mind” with every package.

Everything your firm claims it will and can do must be delivered without fail.  It is critical to promise as much as possible as long as your delivery has a 100% success rate.  Clients and prospects should know the promises you make to them and your accountability should be shared as well.

Exceptional Experiences

Zappos is “Powered by Service” like no other retail provider.

There is so much to measure, one can easily get bogged down into the mundane metrics of your operation.  However, there is one measurement that you should fight to attain and invest in acquiring.  This metric should be pursued with all of the importance your company can muster.  After each and every encounter or interaction with anyone on your team, the consumer or business partner’s willingness to REFER your organization to a friend or colleague defines your relevance, value and execution.

Adding Value

AAA‘s membership exudes “safety, security, peace of mind, value, convenience and trust” and brings a loyalty unmatched among membership clubs.

Is your value proposition one dimensional?  I certainly hope not.  As a sustainable entity, providing multi-layered value places your organization as a leader among your peers.  As part of an ongoing process, we must challenge ourselves to enhance the value proposition to lock our customers into a lifelong relationship with our firms.

So when it comes to the messages you send as marketing or branding initiatives, Eye Cubed companies don’t waste words.  Eye Cubed leaders know why they are in business and what will keep them relevant into the next generation.  While we learned from Mark Sessel in a prior blog post that we must never let them see you sweat, we learn today that we should never let’em know your age!

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How Can You “Build The Vision For Innovation” With Eye-Cubed U?

10 09 2013

Has Apple lost it’s innovative edge? 71%  of respondents to a Bloomberg Global Poll say “YES”

Has Microsoft been dethroned due to Steve Ballmer’s lack of focus on innovation? According to Harvard Business Review, there is no question.

These giants have been scrutinized for falling out of the lead.  It seems as if the prodigal innovative leaders of each company carried the ball that kept them at the top of their game.  Did anyone believe that Bill Gates or Steve Jobs could easily be replaced?  I think not.  While each of us may be a far cry from Bill or Steve, we have an obligation to bring our organizations forward in turbulent times.  We must survive and thrive.

great profile pic

Once you know that you need to be driving your company along the Eye-Cubed Super Highway towards innovation, it is time to take the many lessons of the past and design a plan to get there.

  1. Make sure you have the diversity in leadership personality to lead innovative change.  The value of differing thought processes and skills lead to success.
  2. Perform Corporate Hydrology exercises and deeply analyze your streams of income.  Make them wider, deeper, longer and if possible, find new ones.
  3. Analyze your past and present using Dendochronology tools and determine if your organization has been innovative enough over the years and remains innovative enough today. Add the rings of change to your growing tree and visualize the evolution of each corporate innovation.
  4. Scrutinize your innovations and make sure they benefit the customer. It is all about them and not about us.  Never lose sight of the end-game.  Without the consumer, we are all looking for new jobs.
  5. Develop a consistent plan to innovate every year, especially when times are good.  This prevents you having to “swing for the fences” on the final pitch.
  6. Follow a plan to choose which innovations to pursue by determining which ones to do in the short term, medium term and long term.  Create a process to measure each opportunity.
  7. Make sure your innovators know what to expect as they effectively bring about change.  The road to greatness for innovators is long and hard.  Give them support along the way.
  8. Follow effective plans to gain buy-in among your teams.  Your great idea will die on the vine without senior management support.
  9. Understand that the innovative path from point A to point B is not always straight.  Prepare for twists, turns and huge bumps in the road.
  10. Utilize collaborative techniques to optimize the innovative process.  Bring others in and enhance your idea.

It does not matter what industry you are in, Eye-Cubed companies survive because they evolve.  Peter Drucker, one of the greatest business minds in history aptly puts it “Core competencies are different for every organization..But every organization needs one core competence: innovation”.

It is time to consider engaging Eye-Cubed U as a speaker to facilitate the analysis of your innovative process within your organization or to address the innovative leaders attending your next conference.   Take advantage of the Eye-Cubed-U philosophy.   I look forward to discussing availability for your next corporate event or conference.

David J. Sussman, Esq. CLU

SVP PFP-Schmitt Sussman Enterprises, Inc.

Founder and President, Eye-Cubed-U, LLC

Building the Vision for Inspiration. Innovation. Implementation.

Cell Phone:  203-247-2104:  Email:  dsussman@pfpservices.com





Invaluable Perspectives from Keynote Interview of David J. Sussman, Esq. CLU

22 01 2013

Do not miss Ronald Allen’s live keynote interview of David Susman, Esq. CLU, SVP of PFP and President of Eye-Cubed-U, LLC

Gain perspectives on:  Succession, Corporate Value, Leadership, Partnership, Change, Inspiration, Innovation, Family Businesses and more.  The President and innovator of Eye-Cubed-U, LLC shares his experiences and philosophies that spurred the formation of a new wave of corporate language and culture.

Click Here and listen live!  It really is a fantastic interview.  Thank you.

Tune In

Hear about these wonderful people:

Understand:

  • The culture of the credit union industry
  • Selling to the credit union industry
  • Adding value to B to B clients
  • Innovating the Insurance Industry

Perspectives on how to become a:

  • Consultant
  • Speaker
  • Keynote Speaker
  • Presenter
  • Thought Leader

Hear advice on:

Books mentioned in the interview:

Companies mentioned by David Sussman and Ronald Allen:





Presenting Your Innovation Part I: Ten Steps For Rock-Solid Preparation!

21 12 2012

Rock Solid pic

This is a key moment for you, for your career and for the future of your company.  A kick-ass presentation gives your innovation the required momentum and support to launch.  By nailing this presentation from start to finish, you will have successfully completed the Eye-Cubed process of taking the inspiration and moving the ensuing innovation to implementation. You and your team will be well on their way towards Eye-Cubed greatness.

Once you get the appropriate Time and spot on the agenda, do what is necessary to have the greatest chance of success:

plan

  1. Prepare!  That means outlining the plan of attack (You will see the outline in Part II of this series).  The more you prepare, the more professional your result will become.
  2. Less is more!  If you use Powerpoint, put one or two words on each screen.  If you use a flip chart, do not fill it with you words.  Use it for the words of your team as they come out during the meeting.
  3. People like pictures!  If you are using technology, use pictures to create powerful messages.  Creating imagery is the best way to reinforce your point.  The team will look at that picture over and over again while it is up on the screen.
  4. This is not a speech!  Do not write all of your words down and bring them into the meeting.  If you have key points or a list, put those down in a way that will trigger your thoughts.
  5. If you have humor, use it!  Break the ice if you can.  You don’t even have to be on topic.  But if you can laugh, you relax.  If you can make the team laugh, they relax.
  6. Nothing but the facts please!  You have done a lot of research.  Bring it with you.  Have it organized so you can get to it as needed.  However, do not shuffle through your papers to prove a point.  In that case, save the “proof” until after the presentation.
  7. Practice!  You have heard it this before and it is true.  You will stumble if you wing it. Just ask my mirror.  I get a standing ovation every time I present in front of it.  And my dogs have never walked out on me, even if my jokes were weak.  You must practice in order to nail this presentation.
  8. Visualize the meeting!  You have vision for your organization.  Now it is time to translate that to the presentation.  Take the time to imagine each step of the delivery in vivid detail. Then imagine the commitment to move forward.  Imagine victory!
  9. Know the characters!  Each member of your team has a distinct personality, tendency and typical reaction.  You know it well.  Now think about how to best address each one of them so that they feel heard, validated and brought into the loop as a necessary player on your innovative team.
  10. I object!  While this is no courtroom, there will certainly be objections.  And you most likely know what they are.  Use your time to prepare the best response.

Even the most spectacular innovator of our time was frustrated when he was ushered to the sidelines of the company he loved.  There was a time when Steve Jobs had the answers yet lacked the audience:

jobs-presenting

“You know, I’ve got a plan that could rescue Apple. I can’t say any more than that it’s the perfect product and the perfect strategy for Apple. But nobody there will listen to me.” – Fortune, 1995

Regardless of your past, present or future, without the Eye-Cubed skills of superior communication, planning and execution, all of the brilliant innovations in the world would continue to go unnoticed.   Make sure yours lives, thrives and has its chance to revolutionalize your world and ours.

If you, your company, your industry conference or team is in need of the best keynote speaker, motivational management consultant, or inspirational presenter for your conference, strategic planning meeting or for professional development, click on these words and see how Eye-Cubed-U is prepared to help you.