Sometime, about 400,000 years
ago, our ancestors mastered fire. This phenomenal breakthrough
changed our diets, extended our days, unleashed our imaginations
and inspired us to ponder about the heavens.
Today, our world is very different. We live in flattened world -
both metaphorically and psychologically. Our body and mind has
never, ever been so fragmented before. Our body remains in
physical space, while the brain travels in a virtual space that
is both nowhere and everywhere at once. Our nervous system is
getting bombarded by this pool of data, which is not influenced
"just by the environment—as was the case for millennia—but
We’ve re-imagined our firelight space. The "ALWAYS ON" Internet
is now, our 'hangout space'. The sharing of information is fast,
furious, unfiltered, and often very sloppy. We tend to remember
where online information is located, rather than the information
itself.... so much so, that the joke goes...“That’s why Google
cares about driver less cars: It’s so we can search more on
Google from the back seat.”
No doubt, our technology, our inventions have changed our minds
and reconfigured the wiring of our synapses, priming us "for a
different mode of living, problem-solving, and adapting. In the
process, a tapestry of new thoughts arises, and one’s worldview
changes." Today, our focus is helping you with this adaptation.
The ideas furnished here should help you rinse off the mildew of
mediocrity and get you thinking about how your business have to
adapt to the changing times.
Be on the Forefront
I know it is easier said than done.
However, when you realize that a NASA put a
person on the moon at a time when it sounded like science
fiction with a single cultural mantra of "Failure is not an
Option", it gives us hope and inspires us to be more.
Very few can deny that more often than not, we show up as
exhibitors and event producers without having an overarching
mission that we have set out to accomplish. We do not know how
to make best use of the venue. We do not know much about the
attendees, who we are catering to. We show up with our same old
branded materials, with the same spiel, and we expect to take
home a bag full of leads. Hence, the first order of the day is,
your brand before you
show up at trade shows.
People do not want more information from you
They want faith in you, your success, your goals, your
mission... Once they make your mission, their mission, you have
tapped into the powerful force of faith.
Before committing to an
event schedule inject some energy into your brand. If you can
layer with value driven technology, you are ahead of the game.
The Avon Walk for Breast Cancer
- Cosmetics Caring for a Cause.
When you are in the same business, as ten thousand other
companies, how do you justify your existence?
opportunity for women to discuss and trade beauty tips, while
providing the brand access to deep user metrics. This has
energized the brand to stay in the forefront of innovation. Know
where you stand amongst your rivals. Work from there.
Palo Alto Networks
is a new comer in the space
where Cisco is the reigning giant. Yet, "It is assessed as a
Leader, mostly because of its NGFW design, direction of the
market along the NGFW path, consistent displacement of
competitors, rapidly increasing revenue and market share, and
market disruption that forces competitors in all quadrants to
If you are an underdog, re-imagine your offering. No point
crowding the over crowded space. That is how
the kind of momentum that it did.
Before committing to an
event schedule, think about the stories you are going to weave
for a certain set of attendees and how they relate to your
offerings. "A great brand is a story that is never completely
More often than not, companies consider their logo the be all
and end all of brand implementation. By failing to delve deeper
into this “potential power,” companies fail to capitalize on
reinforcing their specific set of values. Simply put, "a good
brand does more than establish a visual language; it creates an
immersive experience for every person who enters their space or
who works with their products. For example, Home Depot, supplies
volunteer home builders, some of the materials, and supports in
raising money and awareness for Habitat for Humanity. By doing
so, Home Depot has developed an eco-system that extends beyond
the everyday offerings.
Steve Jobs, sure was the face of Apple. But, more importantly he
was the wisdom-keeper of the mission 'Think Different". He knew
how to drive brand offering. The result – Humanization of
Technology. “It is in Apple’s DNA that technology alone is not
enough—it’s technology married with liberal arts, married with
the humanities, that yields us the results that make our heart
Such platitudes may be common in Silicon Valley, where shiny
gadgets and lofty language goes hand in hand. But what set all
of Jobs’s companies apart, from Pixar to NeXT to Apple, was,
indeed, a required commandment, that computer scientists must
work together with artists and designers—that
the best ideas reside at the cross roads of technology and
If you happen to be a
start up looking for a quick buy out, it would be futile to read
any further. However, if you are a start up, who have dared to
imagine in bringing about some disruptive changes, then, by all
means this is for you.
Plan out a 3 year show schedule with all the decision makers and
your core customers. Chart out the journey and that should lay
out your path of progression. It is your job to cut through the
noise and move people. Technology has given us all the channels,
all the tools, all the data. You still need to come up "with the
gem of a notion, the single idea that will unlock it all.”
40 Years in Making.
“The most important right we have is the right to be
This powerful mission statement helped Patagonia in the last 4
decades to create business out of environmental stewardship and
social responsibility. Patagonia is a member of 1% for the
Planet and they are a Certified Benefit Corporation. It
developed leadership in reporting transparency, responsible
marketing, employee engagement and consumer education. In doing
so, it created new industries and a thriving eco-sphere where
other environmentally oriented start-ups are nurtured and
encourage to thrive. The story goes...
“About thirty years ago, we were in Bozeman, Montana for an
employee conference. We told the staff at our hotel not to
change the sheets and towels every day. The front page of the
Bozeman newspaper runs the headline, “Hotel Guests Reject Clean
Sheets.” It was great advertising, yes. But this was way before
anyone thought of doing this to save the environment.”
A Brand is What a Brand Does.
Making the Opposites Work: Modern commitment to growth and
reducing consumption was the challenge that the brand faced as
it developed and matured. "What do we tell customers who accuse
us of hypocrisy?" The answer was
Patagonia did not stop there. Their more recent adventure, was a
well thought out tryst with technology and human emotion. The
Your PATH TO RE-IMAGINATION
There are any paths to reach a certain destination. And, this
that I coin out is one of the many.
1. Seek out your exiting customers and ask them how they
perceive your brand.
2. Give them a guideline that they can work with.
How do they judge your product. It is your job to find out how
does their perceived quality compare to the actual quality.
How do you demonstrate your authority in the space. Customers
judge authority using three dimensions – expertise (which
includes innovation), trustworthiness, and (believe it or not)
Find out how relevant your product is to their unique needs.
Find out how superior your brand is compared to your
Once, your customers have done this for you, now you have a
strategy, that you can develop before you hit the show floor.
However, reward these customers and provide them with enticing
opportunities that will
TECHNOLOGY HAS REPLACED A LOT OF FACE-TO-FACE ENCOUNTERS
Yet, we are not the most socially connected we’ve ever been—that
was when we lived in small tribes. However, in our cells and
instincts, we still crave that sense of belonging. Those with a
strong social instinct survived to pass their genes along to the
next generation. "We still follow that instinct by flocking to
social media, which connects us to a vast multicultural human
tribe—even though it isn’t always personal."
You have aced it if you can make some personal connections at
your events. That
should be your mantra, your sole pledge. How do you do it? You
re-invent your relationships with your brand, your product and
your services into something that makes more sense.
The 21st century will see almost 1000 times more technological
innovation than the twentieth. And to that end 2015, is and will
continue to be another year of surge, surprise and advancement.
It is our job to get a grasp of it, and make our brand more
interesting, involving and invigorating.