Blog

Bringing Back Recess

Yesterday was one of those unusually cool autumnal days we don’t see a lot of this time of year in South Carolina. The kind of weather that compels you to slow down and take note of the world. The choreography of leaves dancing in the wind. A man walking a matching pair of dogs down …

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Arousal, Word of Mouth Marketing and WOMM-U

Yup. Kind of blurry iphone photo. But that’s Geno. Quick — before you read this post, drop and give me 50 push ups. Nope. I’m not kidding. I’m doing an experiment. Do your push ups, (I’ll wait.) Then keep reading! Ok. Done? Good. I’m getting excited about going to WOMM-U in May. Are you going? …

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Do you make your customers feel at home?

I’ve always loved the front door of Brains on Fire’s worldwide headquarters. Do you see the face? The other day Cordell and I had a little email exchange. I’m not sure how it even began, but somewhere along the way he shared this thought: I sometimes wonder if our modern age has created an entire …

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We could all use a little pixie dust.

When I was little, I had a lot of fantastical ideas. I was convinced my stuffed animals came to life at night to protect the house from burglars lurking in the shadows. I tried to make a deal with the Tooth Fairy to keep her spare change and leave me a unicorn. Once I even …

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Start Something.

Photo from my friend John Bielenberg‘s iphone. Don’t you just want to know where that road leads? I love the start of things. Start up companies and organizations fascinate me. I love hearing stories of first kisses and first dates. And first jobs and first cars. I cry at weddings. And when babies are born. …

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Being an Outsider

I’ve been blessed to have a traveled a fair amount in my life. I have been to Africa several times, the Caribbean, Canada and the UK. Most recently I chaperoned high school students in Italy for ten days. As we crisscrossed Italy by bus, I read Imagine by Jonah Lehner. By some form of divine …

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Storytelling and Wonder.

Last week I took a needed break from my crazy-busy-full life and spent some relaxing time on the coast. I turned off my iphone. (I even put it in another room while I slept.) I shut off my computer. I rode bikes. I watched clouds and listened to the wind. I walked on the sand …

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Saying a lot in a little: Tag(line), you’re it!

Copywriters are not typically known for our brevity when it comes to words. Ask any designer, they’ll tell you. There is an epic battle between designers and writers waging on in agencies around the world. Designers: Can we chop the copy by half? Writers: Can we alter the design to include the copy? As wonderful …

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Digital Path to Purchase

“Digital path to purchase” is a really popular topic these days. Rightly so: businesses are working hard to navigate a world who’s information and (increasingly) commerce happen through the internet. I’m not going to pontificate or predict on the subject – there’s plenty of both out there. What brought the topic to the front of …

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11 More Days!

One of the coolest things about the people I work with everyday is this: Everyone is an artist. Seriously. Megan is our “workflow” guru but she is also a talented painter and photographer. Last week the Brains on Fire crew gathered at my house to celebrate Eric’s upcoming marriage to Julie. They actually meet because …

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It’s About People.

We’re all in marketing grad school. Surrounded by massive changes in how we communicate, we need to study and share and listen hard with an open hearts and minds. The good folks at KellerFay are some of the best “professors” I know in the Word in the Mouth Marketing world. At Brains on Fire, we …

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Growing Pains (and Pins): Should Brands be on Pinterest?

“Pinterest really seems like the next big thing.” “I’m not sure how we can use [Pinterest], but I’m on it because it seems like we should be.” “I don’t know how it will add value to our marketing, but we’re getting on Pinterest because everyone else is.” The above are REAL statements I have come …

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Word of Mouth: A Small Example

My fiancée and I recently had a conversation about some of our experiences working retail jobs. The scenario was simple: “If you had to work front-line retail at any store in the Mall [in Greenville, SC], where would you work?” Her only caveat was that I was barred from choosing the Apple Store so that …

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Beautiful Mistakes.

Adults over-think. We really do. We think about what we wear, who said what to who, who reports to who, the list is long and crazy. We long to be right and look smart and have perfect relationships at home and at work. We set crazy expectations for ourselves and pace our lives to be …

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Instagram Happy and the Return of ChatPack Friday.

These are the bookshelves in my den. I got them at Design Within Reach. Crazy, huh? Alright. Let’s have some fun today. It’s Friday. And the weather in our part of the world is amazing. It’s part of why we love to call this place home. Sorry if you’re still stuck in cold. I’m actually …

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No One Sets Out to be Mediocre

Couldn’t find a photo we own rights to for this post, so I am sharing one of my iphone pics. This is Josh, our intern, doing his best impression of Geno! I was stumbling around looking for something in my outlook folders and I found this in an email from Jenn Goff, a past tribe …

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It’s Alive! It’s Dead!

I ran across two statistics recently that made me stop and think about predicting either success or failure too soon. First, I read that last month The Daily iPad app celebrated having 100,000 subscribers in its first year of operation (1). “Interesting,” I thought, “didn’t people proclaim that The Daily was doomed to fail?” A …

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Guest Post: When You Rock, The World Pays Attention

This is a guest post from Steve Jones, author of Brand Like A Rockstar. I wrote a post after seeing the title of his book, and the article sparked a great conversation between us, which eventually led to this post. Thanks for the conversation and the post, Steve! A few months ago, Eric Dodds of …

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The Intimacy of Small Groups

Photo from diningforwomen.org. About six years ago, my former business partner asked me to have breakfast with a friend of his, Marsha Wallace. I agreed. But as I was getting dressed and while driving to meet with them at a small little breakfast place in Greenville, I promised myself not to add one bit of …

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Missed Opportunity by Nokia

Today’s post will be short and to the point. I have a bandaid on my index finger, and it makes typing laborious and error-laden. Not too long ago I ran across a unique feature length film called Olive (1). While the storyline seems intriguing, what drew many people’s attention was the fact that the makers …

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