Four Ways to Market Smarter in 2019

Looking to energize your base or drum up new leads? A new year is a great time to refresh your marketing matrix. Whether you’ve been in business for two months or for 20 years, creating awareness and interest is always a current challenge. Here are four areas to tweak as you build a competitive edge this year. 1. Know Your … Read More

What the Amazon Effect Means for Your Small Business

What the Amazon Effect Means for Your Small Business

When Josh Silverman took over Etsy (an e-commerce website focused on handmade and vintage items), he faced immense pressure to revive the company financially. He didn’t disappoint. While shedding jobs and increasing holiday promotions, Etsy swung from a $29.9 million loss (in 2016) to an $81.8 million net income in 2017. Managing this feat in the face of Amazon’s competition … Read More

Four Exercises to Fuel Your Design Innovation

Four Exercises to Fuel Your Design Innovation

Even the most brilliant creators need new fuel from time to time. If you’re feeling stifled or uninspired (or you just want to have fun!) consider some of these creative “sparks” from designer Jim Krause to ignite fresh perspective in your monthly routine. Exercise: Make a puddle of ink. Blow the ink around using a straw. Consider layering different colors … Read More

Team Collaboration Transforms Customer Service

Team Collaboration Transforms Customer Service

T-Mobile touts itself as “America’s Fastest Unlimited Network.” In a fiercely competitive market, T-Mobile knows one of its most crucial responsibilities is to bring pleasurable customer support to the millions who call their helpline each month. While traditionally its call service center resembled a factory floor (cubicles brimming with reps donning headsets), T-Mobile has dedicated the past decade to reinventing … Read More

Target Local Consumers with Event Sponsorship

Target Local Consumers with Event Sponsorship

Corporate sponsorship is one of the most effective marketing channels, but most businesses haven’t tried it. What is event sponsorship and why should you consider it? From a 5K road race to a good old-fashioned neighborhood picnic, companies that get outside their walls can make a huge splash in the community. Won’t You Be My Neighbor? Businesses that rely on … Read More

Etiquette Training for a New Generation

Johnny Oleksinski of the New York Post has a bone to pick with millennials and their bad manners. Consider one technology-related example: “Last week I watched in horror as a 20-something girl carefully snapped a photo of a basket of onions,” said Oleksinski. “But we weren’t at a serene farm or the Marché d’Aligre in Paris — we were crammed into the Columbus Circle Whole Foods. Thousands of customers were streaming through the aisle trying to grab some garlic for their dinners, and Little Miss Annie Leibovitz was blocking traffic to get some artsy snaps of nightshades. Will she print out these photos? Nope. A pile of white spheres under fluorescent light is even too dull for Instagram. Next time, Annie, take a breath and think about where you are . . . Pay for your brie wrap and vamoose.” Etiquette is Part of Your Brand Oleksinski isn’t alone. Modern professionals are finding a suffocating relationship with technology has left them oblivious to social basics their elders took for granted. Presentation, both personal and professional, is a key to showing who you are. And etiquette training of all kinds is making a resurgence for millennials. “Etiquette is so much a part of your brand,” said Rachel Isgar, a Phoenix-based etiquette coach and author. “Just a few improvements can help your career.” People respond to people, and poor manners may mean a hindered partnership, a missed promotion, or a collapsed deal. Companies like Beaumont Etiquette, which runs a marquee “finishing program” in the Plaza Hotel of Manhattan, have recognized a unique need for social training in the modern generation. For $125, a participant can take part in a two-hour group session that teaches courtesy gestures, personal hygiene, and a range of soft skills conducive to successful socializing. “Even if it was not something you were taught as a child, anyone can learn to have good etiquette, and it’s up to you to teach yourself,” founder Myka Meiers said. “I think, sadly, people become very self-involved . . . and forget about others. What I wish these people could learn is that by spending just a little time each day making someone else happy and spreading kindness, even the smallest gesture, their lives could be so much more fulfilled.” Meiers says honoring others includes everything from table manners to Twitter posts. Just as we once taught people to “think before you speak,” how much more crucial should it be to “think before you post?” “If you don’t want your grandmother or your boss to read it, don’t post it,” Meiers said. “Once it’s on the web, it’s out there for good.” Want to curb your own bad behavior? Consider ten smartphone tips for starters: 1. Never ignore those you’re with to make a call or text. 2. Apologize to your guest if you need to respond to an important message. 3. Never leave your ringer on in quiet places. 4. Never use offensive language while using your phone in public. 5. Don’t post work-related complaints on social media. 6. Don’t photograph everything. 7. Never post on social media while you’re under the influence. 8. Don’t place your phone on the table during meetings. 9. Don’t text people about work outside of normal office hours. 10. Don’t dehumanize cashiers by using your phone while someone serves you. Daniel Post-Senning, co-author of the 19th edition of “Emily Post’s Etiquette: Manners for Today,” says ultimately good manners are about putting others first, whether that’s online or at a dinner party. While social customs change, manners are timeless: “Manners are really reflections of core principles,” Daniel says. “Consideration, respect and honesty.”

Johnny Oleksinski of the New York Post has a bone to pick with millennials and their bad manners. Consider one technology-related example: “Last week I watched in horror as a 20-something girl carefully snapped a photo of a basket of onions,” said Oleksinski. “But we weren’t at a serene farm or the Marché d’Aligre in Paris — we were crammed … Read More

Tips to Become a More Decisive Leader

Each January, people set New Year’s resolutions, embrace a visionary attitude for the year, or dream about possibilities for the future. Some people thrive due to this natural “reset,” but others ignore it altogether. And some people just feel stuck. They wrestle with questions like these:    “I’d like to write a book, but where would I start?”    “I … Read More

Boost Online Reviews to Drive Profitable Consumer Action

How do you grab a lifeline on “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” You ask the audience! While experts tend to get a trivia question right two-thirds of the time, the audience gets that answer right 91 percent of the time. Why? Because individually we are limited, but collectively we are genius. In today’s global economy, buyers understand the importance … Read More

Craft First-Class Flyers with 5 Quick Tricks

Want to grab attention for your event, promotion, or group? Flyers are a low-cost form of mass communication that can be personally delivered, distributed through mail, posted in public places, or sent via e-mail. Flyers are fun to create and provide a great place to experiment with unusual images or layouts. As you explore the possibilities, here are five areas … Read More

Build a Culture of Success Through Kindness

Build a Culture of Success Through Kindness

Stephen Cannon became president and CEO of Mercedes-Benz in 2012. Though he was convinced about the quality of his cars, he recognized the success of his brand was rooted in the kindness of his people. Cannon understood that the company, the true essence of Mercedes-Benz, was embodied by the people who sold and serviced the cars, including how generously they … Read More