To serve: (according to Google) to perform duties or services for another person or organization.
The word implies giving of oneself, a responsibility to deliver what was promised as well as an entitlement to receive something of perceived value.
If we look at the concept of service through that lense, it reveals its value as an act of give and take.
In our current business culture of co-working, freelancing, and collaboration it seems that the idea of service based industries would increase in value and our products would become more desirable.
However, it rarely works out that way. Perhaps it is because people do not understand the basic concepts of value, or perhaps it is something deeper than that. …
I loathe the term content calendar. I get that it is an easy to sell format of content creation. I will even consent that it is a simple road map for beginners to follow. And I am well aware that large, successful businesses have the business model and long term plans to back up this strategy.
The problem I have with the concept is that for brands in development, this approach, more often than not, leads to content that does not create value for the brand or its audience. There are, after all, ads from “marketing pros” who promise you a twelve month content calendar in fifteen minutes. They usually focus on holidays, sales, and non-strategic brand promotions rather than core values and a method of establishing trust with your audience. …
“In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different.” Gabrielle Chanel
Chances are you’ve come across this quote in one form or another. There are many quotes attributed to Mademoiselle. Some are accurate, not all are. I’m willing to bet that this one likely is.
She was extraordinarily different. A rule breaker, an innovator. She solved unique problems in unique ways by embracing modernity and dramatically changed fashion for women in the process. In doing so, she founded one of the world’s most enduring and prolific brands.
Many startups come to me with the idea that their brand is special simply by virtue of the fact that it is a product that was produced by them. Nobody else can be you, this is true. …
Years ago, a very savvy businessman told me: “If you want to be successful, then you have to spend time with people doing better than you.”
At the time, I was an itty bitty seedling startup — and rather intimidated by this idea. Why would experts in the field I aspired to be part of want to spend time with me?
“What should I do,” my insecurities replied, “just call up the top expert in my field and see if they will talk to me?!”
“Yes!” was the answer.
“Yeah, OK,” was my reply.
Fast forward a few years when I am older and wiser and my itty bitty seedling has grown some strong roots and is beginning to blossom, where I now humbly submit that this was some of the best advice I ever got. …
One weekend, while reading The Wall Street Journal, the front page of the business section caught my eye. The two lead stories, “Goldman Sachs’s Messy Move to Main Street” (Liz Hoffman and Peter Rudegeair) and “The Trouble with Torid Growth”, (Heather Somerville and Rolfe Winkler) (Weekend Edition, Exchange Section, B1, Saturday/Sunday September 28–29, 2019). Both are interesting examinations into why some of the world’s most popular brands were forced to go back and do their homework.
We Co., Juul, and Goldman Sachs’s Marcus all share the same issue: they are facing serious problems as a direct result of not taking the time to strategically develop their business alongside their brand — and their brand alongside their business. …
By Susie Ippolito, Brand Strategist at Susie Ippolito Brands
There are changes brewing in social media land that aim to forever alter how we engage and (hopefully) how it affects us emotionally. Changes like the possible (and highly likely) elimination of public access to our beloved Instagram hearts and comment counts. And the pressing need to grow our skills in the ways we show our skills. Ultimately, these changes will lead to a need to increase the level of quality in our content.
Is quality defined by the absolute best product, service, or social post I am capable of putting out? Yes, in a way, but in this brave new world that will not quite suffice. In order to stand out from the crowd, brands of all shapes and sizes will have to stretch their imaginations, grow their skill sets, and embrace new mindsets like never before. …
Baseball players get paid bajillions of dollars to play the sport, which is often hard to wrap our heads around because, in the eyes of the fans, a player’s value fluctuates from game to game. When our favorite player hits one out of the park and the crowd goes wild, the player is the darling of the day and he is considered worthy of the lofty price of admission to pay his salary. However, when he strikes out or makes an error, the player becomes less worthy of his enormous price tag.
Luckily, that’s not how baseball really works. It goes deeper than that. It is a game of strategy and a quality player worthy of a multi-million dollar salary knows how to hit for the cycle. He knows that the singles, doubles, and triples are as valuable and necessary as the home runs. In baseball, a successful hit is not only gauged by the outcome, but it is also gauged by its relation to the ultimate, long term strategy of both the game and the entire season. …
I had an interesting experience today when I brought a few pieces of antique jewelry to a lovely shop in Rochester, New York. These tiny treasures had been hidden in a shoebox only to glimpse the light of day when I passed them over in favor of another piece to wear.
One of the items is a small gold broach in the shape of a tied bow, dotted with pearls with center cluster of a mine cut diamond, ruby, and sapphire in the center. A charming piece, for sure but not something I would wear.
This tiny gem brought great joy to the jeweler. On the back of the broach is a dainty little screw which, when unscrewed, releases one of the bow loops and detaches it from the rest. The jeweler told me it is a victorian piece that served as a broach that attached to a woman’s pocket watch, which would rest in her breast pocket safely secured to the broach. …
Almost every person who comes to my office for brand strategy services cries. Sometimes it is a small welling up of tears out a relief that they can share their fears about their business with someone who can help them solve their problems.
More often than not, it is a big, half of a box of tissues cry. Because the fears around entrepreneurship are real and they go beyond concerns about making enough money. They go deep into our internal dialogue and they love to engage with our insecurities.
And we are grateful to these fears! Yes! Because without them, we would have no indication of the life altering changes that take place on our entrepreneurial journey. More importantly, we would not be empowered to do the necessary and serious reflection we need to do in order to be successful. …
The Inside Out Approach to Branding
Susie Ippolito & Lea Skrinjar
What is the first thing that comes to mind? Maybe you consider the word brand to be a noun, maybe even a proper noun, and the word conjures thoughts of something iconic, a covetable product that is easily recognized around the globe. Perhaps an image of a logo or two pass through your mind. Or, maybe you consider brand to be a verb. To you, a brand has action. To brand something is to make an indelible mark upon it. This mark is intended to identify ownership. …