Author: John Moore

Walking Towards Omelas

Every Monday we have a “family meeting” at Brains on Fire. It’s not a mandatory meeting but everyone attends. During these meetings, our head honcho, Robbin Phillips, leads the discussion from project updates to deep dives into our financials to celebrating personal successes to the occasional tequila shot. (Now you know why everyone attends.) Inspired …

Plato. Profits. Purpose.

The ancient philosopher Plato made significant contributions to humankind. His philosophical fingerprints can still be felt today in how we think about mathematics, science/nature, morals, politics and the arts. Perhaps we should add “brand strategy” to the long list of contributions Plato has made to civilization. To explain “how great companies have great purposes,” the …

The Rules of Social Media Haven’t Changed

I stumbled upon a decade old video of me talking about how businesses can better use social media to connect more meaningfully with people. We’re talking 2007 when Myspace was the place to be online. Twitter was the darling of the SXSWi 2007 conference. Facebook had recently extended beyond .edu addresses. People were digging Digg …

My Stutter. My Monster.

We all face something that prevents us being the person we are destined to become. My something is a MONSTER that confronts me nearly every waking moment. My stutter is my MONSTER. For too many years, stuttering stifled my voice and stunted my growth. It wasn’t until I reached a very low point in my …

Branding Made Easy

The headline is misleading. Branding isn’t easy but it can be made easy. How? By being simple. Yes, simple. The most simplistic brands give people what they want at the moment they want it without complication. And in the process, these brands earn devotion (and dollars) from customers. According to the Siegel+Gale’s Global Brand Simplicity …

People Still Buy Things in Stores

Wait. Stop the train. Listen up.   People still buy things in stores.   I know. I know. It’s not sexy to say we actually bought a book in a bookstore. Nor is it cool to buy shoes, snacks, socks and so much other stuff from a retailer that exists in the physical world. All …

Great Brands Help People Be Great

A core belief in our PASSION CONVERSATION book is the need to rewire a marketer’s brain to appreciate creating opportunities (online and offline) for the customers you serve to share their own stories. A lot of good can come out of encouraging people to talk about themselves, their lives, their hopes, and their accomplishments. Ultimately, …

Customer Service Starts when the Customer Experience Falls Apart

Canceling DirecTV and going with a competitor wasn’t on my to-do list when I moved last month. But that’s exactly what happened. After far too many crisscross conversations with different customer service reps telling me different things, I could not reward DirectTV with my continued loyalty. I will not bore you with all the gory …

A Goliath Can Become a David Again

Earlier this month I was talking with a regional franchise chain with aspirations to grow big… really BIG. But they want to grow BIG without losing their soul. Easier said than done. That conversation reminded me of the growth issue we faced at Starbucks in the late 1990s. At that time, Starbucks was fast approaching …

Inspiration for Changing Your Ways

It must have been the October 2000 issue of Fast Company where I first came across Bruce Mau’s Incomplete Manifesto for Growth. It rocked my world then and it still does today. Bruce Mau is a renowned designer and he founded a design shop that delivers transformative experiences. In 1998 he gave a presentation on …

Creating Difference

Bernadette Jiwa is a kindred sprit to Brains on Fire. She thinks like we think. Her book, DIFFERENCE, is comfort food to us because she understands that “marketing is, and has always been, a transfer of emotion.” We dedicated lots of pages in our book to explaining how the best marketing is about loving people …

What’s the Business Impact of Word of Mouth?

Everyone believes word of mouth has an impact on business from increasing awareness to driving sales. But proving the return on investment in word-of-mouth marketing has been an elusive quest for marketers. Earlier this year, WOMMA set out to answer this increasingly important question. Working with brands like AT&T, Frito-Lay, Intuit, PepsiCo, Weight Watchers and …

Crisis as a Turning Point

These days when I’m out spreading the gospel of THE PASSION CONVERSATION I tell a seldom-heard story about Whole Foods Market that helped to shape the culture of the company in its early days. I use this story to introduce the importance of knowing the “Founder’s Story” as a way to spark passion with employees …

The Container Store Super Fan

As a kid growing up in Dallas I can remember going to a local shop that sold boxes and bins. That seemed odd to me but not to my mom, who was the CEO of household operations at the Moore family. She wanted to make sure every room was organized and The Container Store was …

An Apology 32 Years in the Making

32 years ago I was adjusting to the awkward world of being a seventh grader in junior high school. The awkwardness was compounded for me because of my wicked good stutter. I could hardly string together two words, much less two sentences, without violently stuttering. People laughed at me. People made fun of me. People …

Getting Smarter about Facebook

Brains on Fire has always issued a cautionary warning about putting all your brand eggs in any one social media basket. The reason is simple: When you don’t control the space, you don’t make the rules. It’s much like renting a house, if the landlord says no dogs… no dogs. If Facebook says you have …

Every Marketing Problem is a People Problem

In the soon-to-be published THE PASSION CONVERSATION book, we try our best to help you unlearn your current marketing mindset by convincing you it’s more exciting to be in the people business rather than whatever business you think you’re in.During my days as a marketing manager at Starbucks it was drilled into our psyche to …

The Business of Love and Passion

At Brains on Fire we believe with all our hearts and souls, it is possible to fall madly and passionately in love with the people you serve. And we believe that it’s possible for those folks to fall in love with you, too; and, yes, for you to become famous and grow your organization because …

Making Disruption Personal

A disruption is always an interruption. It’s something that gets in our way preventing us from doing what we set out to do. That’s the negative take. But there’s a positive angle from which to view a disruption. Bill Jensen reframes the conversation about disruption in his book, Disrupt! Think Epic. Be Epic. Yes, he …

Stepping Up and Growing

In the annals of Brains on Fire culture, it is written: We like seeing people grow. Ourselves. Our Clients. And for us, growth and leadership go hand in hand. Around here we believe that we are all leaders. Not just the partners. Not just the ones who have been here the longest or have the …

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