Finding the Heart in Leadership

The better you understand yourself, the better you can understand your customers and employees.

Your customers are human beings. Your employees are human beings. And yes, you are human too.

But what does it mean to be human?

As humans, we are conscious of certain names, dates, memories, beliefs, concepts, and aspects of our identity.

This collection of details are all above the surface. They are available to our conscious minds, retrievable by our thinking brains.

Below the surface, however, a vast reservoir of energy and instincts exists of which humans are not aware. Psychology calls this subterranean the subconscious mind and the unconscious mind.

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Harness The Power of Story

Harnessing the power of story can transform both your corporate culture and your brand.

“Good morning city!”

Emmet Brickowski was a construction worker, your everyday guy. He followed printed instructions on how to fit in, have everyone like him, and always be happy.

But Emmet had a greater destiny: to become a Master Builder. Master Builders don’t have to follow instructions. Inspired by others, they create from what’s inside of them.

If you don’t know Emmet, you may have heard of The Lego Movie. The Lego Movie premiered in February 2014, grossing $468 million worldwide at the box office.

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How to Hook Your Customers

Your job isn’t to create needs for your customers.  Your job is to make your customers aware of their existing needs.

Your job isn’t to create needs for your customers. Customers—humans—do a fine job of that on their own.

Your job is to make your customers aware of their existing needs. When you do this successfully, you trigger motivation in your customers. This motivation leads your customers to take action.

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A Big Mistake Most Retailers Make

Experiences are more meaningful than things.

A customer named Lisa walks into your store.

As she roams the aisles, her eyes gaze at an endless sea of colors and forms. She isn’t overwhelmed; she’s accustomed to endless choice.

Her mind is elsewhere. Something her daughter asked her this morning amuses her. She feels joy. Now she wonders if her husband kissed her before he left for work. A feeling of disconnection comes and goes.

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Beyond Loyalty Programs: 5 Ways to Create Loyal Customers

Determine what your business stands for. Then, relentlessly deliver on that promise.

Tim works down the street. He rushes into your store. Late for a meeting, he stepped into a puddle after lunch and his damp socks are bothering him.

He grabs the first pair of black mens dress socks he finds, pays for them, and hustles back to work.

Sandra takes a trip to your store after work. It’s her friend’s birthday and she needs the right gift. She always finds what she needs at your store.

Tim and Sandra are both your customers. They both contribute to your bottom line. But only one of them will lead to long-term profitability in up and down markets.

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How Cult Brands Draw Power from Their Enemies

Every revolution throughout history has a villain. Every great cause or movement has a power it draws strength from.

“The history of the present King of Great Britain,” Thomas Jefferson writes in the Declaration of Independence, “is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.”

Jefferson goes on to list 26 items as evidence of the king’s tyranny. This evidence, which takes up more than 50% of the Declaration itself, was vital to the document’s purpose: to rally the people of the thirteen colonies, to stand united as one people.

And like all great leaders of Cult Brands, the founding fathers of the United States knew that in order to stand together, you need an archenemy to stand against.

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How to Get Customers to Choose You Instead of Your Competitors

Most agencies are shooting blindly at a moving target, and they don't even know it.

Your customer has many options.

They can meander into your store or stop by your competitors’.

On their devices, they can do the same or let Google offer dozens of other alternatives they might not even know exist.

How do they really make their decision on where and what to buy? More importantly, what can you do to influence their decision to choose you?

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Be A Better Brand Manager: Be Willing To Look Within

We all use a mix of rational and irrational criteria when making our purchasing decisions.

An integral part of building a successful retail brand is having a dedicated core of customers who love your store so much that they can’t keep themselves from recommending it to their family and friends.

What inspires this behavior?

Many brand managers are stymied by this question. They fall into an all-too-common mistake, acting as if their customers were an alien species of life, prone to completely incomprehensible behaviors that can’t possibly be understood, much less predicted.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

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