Category: Marketing

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 …

Touchpoints: Open the Box Edition

  Last week I received a really great belated birthday gift from my colleague (and fellow avid gardner), Moe. Inside the box? Handfuls of daffodil bulbs all the way from Amsterdam. As if the gift wasn’t great enough, the copywriting on the box added an extra layer of delight. Just another reminder of the value and impact of touchpoints. (Added …

What’s All This About UGC?

What’s cookin’ good lookin’? My name is Laura. I came to Brains On Fire as a college intern back in the day, and by the time I was ready to don the cap and gown, they brought me on as one of their full-time own. As a Community Manager, I spend my time nurturing the …

There’s no such thing as a rock star.

I hate it when I hear people call someone a “rock star.” Being in the business I’m in –marketing –I hear that word more than the average person. We love to label. And I just can’t stand it. The other day I shared with you the first line in a book I am reading, Play Bigger by …

Community is good for our health.

The other day I noticed a post on Linkedin from my friend Rich Jones and it lead me to the book Bowling Alone, written by Robert D. Putman. It’s know it was written a while back, but I believe the premise is still relevant.  Putnam focuses on the decline in bowling leagues in the U-S and …

A day in the life.

I’m often inspired by other industries. I believe we all benefit from looking for inspiration outside of our own lives. I’ve been inspired lately watching instragram stories unfold for companies like west elm and raven and lily and freshly picked. I also got to know the folks at Eileen Fisher a bit better recently.  After reading …

Simplifying Storytelling

Last week I had the opportunity see Larry Smith speak. (You might know him as “The guy married to that lady from Orange is the New Black.”) What you may not know is that Larry is an accomplished storyteller and runs a project called Six Word Memoirs. The premise is about simple as it gets: tell a story in six words. …

Storytelling for Unsexy Brands

Let’s be honest. Some brands, products and industries are just sexier than others. Fashion, food, transportation and travel? Sexy. Air fresheners? Not so much. I love any smart ad, but there is a special place in my heart reserved for brands that find a way to turn an unsexy product into a compelling story. Air Wick’s latest video is …

Let’s Play: Onlinesses

We’ve been working on a few new projects lately, and part of that process involves hashing and hammering out onliness statements for our clients. If you’re not familiar with onliness statements, here’s a mini crash course. Marty Neumeier, author of Zag, talks about good vs. different, and zagging when others zig to make your brand stand out. …

Personal Branding Matters

The conversation about personal branding seems to be popping up everywhere these days. Fast Company recent dubbed it “essential to career success.” 99u says “the resume is dead, the bio is king.” Inc says “virtually everyone” needs to care about personal branding, because “how people see you matters; it is a fundamental truth of being a human.” …

BlogHer15 Recap: Brands + Bloggers

Last week Moe and I headed to NYC for a couple days of vacation…followed by a handful of days learning, connecting and growing at #BlogHer15. The event was a flurry of sessions and smarts, but more than anything, it gave us new and profound perspective on the value of brand-blogger partnerships. There were some big name players present, …

No times seven.

I love this photo of the young guns from our LA office. We learn to hate hearing NO at a very early age. I googled “how many times does a toddler hear no” and found this response from Nina Spence. “A UCLA survey from a few years ago reported that the average one year old child …

Advice for college grads looking for their dream job.

Photo by Libby Williams. It’s that time of year again. There’s  a whole new, shiny  batch of graduates ready to launch out into the world. And if you’re one of them, I have a thought or 16 for you about applying and interviewing for jobs.  For what it’s worth, here’s some collective advice from me and Mary Susan (the two …

It’s not where you take things from, it’s where you take them to

I recently read a quote from film director Jim Jarmusch that challenged me: “Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things …

I hope you get pneumonia.

If I move again, it will be to a really tiny house like this one. About four years ago, I got pneumonia. Trust me. Coughing up blood makes you listen hard to a doctor’s advice to stay in bed. So I canceled my fancy plans to meet with a client on the west coast. And …

Surprise + Delight: Land Rover

When it comes to marketing, surprise and delight might be my favorite thing of all. There’s something really magical about getting to help your client become a remarkable brand by doing something remarkable. And while there are all kinds of theories about the ins and outs of surprise and delight, it’s the one part of marketing I find …

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 …

5 PSAs That Got “The Art of War” Right

Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War” is chock-full of brilliant insights. (So much so, I feel like it should be a required read for every marketer, entrepreneur and business person.) And while we, thankfully, don’t have to stand on the frontline of an actual war each day, we are immersed in a form of war. We fight for attention. …