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MAC and No Cheese – The tag line trifecta of Memorable, Approachable and Credible

You have refined your personal value propositions using the techniques of exponential differentiation and the Three Circles. You have even developed a punchy tag line and hook for your email signature and business card with a slightly modified version for verbal delivery during mixers and industry events. This article will introduce the MAC technique of … Continue reading

Ohayou Gozaimasu…Creative Use of Cultural Differences in Japan

Last week I had the opportunity to facilitate a strategy workshop for a leading telecommunications company in Japan. As part of my preparation, I spent quite a bit of time contemplating how cultural differences in language, organizational behavior, and general interpersonal interactions might affect the outcome of the workshop. I was especially concerned about people’s … Continue reading

Understanding your competitive field: The beauty and simplicity of the “3 Circle” model

One of the most elegant and simple frameworks for comprehensively analyzing your competitive field is Urbany and Davis’  3 Circle model. It uses a simple Venn diagram with overlapping circles representing “customers,”  “competitors,” and “company” to comprehensively describe a series of important factors in your competitive environment. Some of the most important elements of the … Continue reading

How to sound fake and insincere every time – Important differences between spoken and written language

Have you ever had the privilege of sitting through a painful conference presentation after a delicious, heavy catered lunch and slowly drifting off to sleep as the – earnest and well-prepared – presenter carefully reads off his elegant remarks? You may even have tried to keep up with the slides and “spoken” words, but after … Continue reading

Supercharge your Referral Network: Help Them Help You with TVPs

One of the memorable scenes from the mid-90s hit Jerry Maguire was Tom Cruise’s emphatic appeal to his prospective client “Help Me …. Help YOU!” Put yourself in Tom Cruise’s / Jerry Maguire’s shoes for a moment, but imagine yourself to be the superstar athlete with lots of undiscovered potential – and Jerry is your … Continue reading

What’s Your Sweet Spot?

We all bring a unique mix of skills, experiences, and competencies to prospective employers and clients. Each one of them individually may be attractive or marginally differentiated, but competing against a large set of “me-too” offers out there. Let’s say we have successfully translated a generic commodity skill – such as PHP programming – into … Continue reading

Brilliant Location-Aware Advertising – Lessons for Personal Branding from Manhattan Mini Storage Posters

When you hear “location-aware” or “location-based” advertising you may think of amazing 4G mobile device technology that serves highly targeted ads with pinpoint geo-coded accuracy. This post deals with a different kind of low-tech location-based advertising. I am referring to the ingeniously “localized” advertising posters for Manhattan Mini Storage displayed on billboards and subway cars … Continue reading

You in 5 seconds or less – Why your Personal Value Proposition “Hook” Matters

You may have heard of an elevator pitch – a one to three sentence summary of a product, service, company, vision or personal value proposition that can be delivered in 30 seconds or less. A good personal elevator pitch contains relevant experience, credibility builders (such as education or awards) and – importantly – your impact … Continue reading