Browsing Tag


Brainstorming: The rules of the game

Everything is a process, just most of us don’t think of it that way. Creativity and innovation can follow a process as well. This presentation on brainstorming is a good primer on how to engage, what should be the ground rules and the process for closure and follow up.  In my group of friends after a bunch of brainstorming, we all send out an email that says: Here are the things which still sound good in the morning, if we all have one of the same listed, we pursue it. Not very formal, but a process, so check this one out:

Marketing IS in the Middle: Jeff Schroeder

The next marketer is Jeff Schroeder, a person I have worked for and who has definitely helped me understand the importance of brand, product and an integrated approach to attacking the market.  Jeff currently is the President of CulinaryPrep and working in the consumer space now, but has extensive B2B, Financial Services and software market knowledge as well.  At the end of the day, product needs to move and that’s one thing the Jeff taught me.  I’m definitely appreciative of his interview below as this is his busy season shipping product.

What marketing roles have you had and in what markets?

My most recent marketing roles have been as the head of the marketing department.  This has included responsibility for product, pricing, brand and marketing communications.  I have been CMO or head of marketing in several business sectors, including Information Services, Financial Services and Consumer Products.

When you look at your career in marketing, what discipline/component have you found most interesting/challenging?

My two greatest challenges are moving from consumer products to financial services and then launching a new consumer product; CulinaryPrep.  The first, moving into financial services required me to reapply all the discipline and process from consumer products to a new business sector.  The challenge was doing this while learning a new sector, customers and company.  The second, launching the CulinaryPrep has been the ultimate test.  We had to build the brand, the positioning and go-to-market plan while we were starting up and building a new company.

What do you feel the most important component of a successful marketing gig?  (Product, Brand, Positioning)

I believe the single most important component is a quality product.  With a quality product you can build your brand and develop the positioning and messaging that the consumer will respond to.  A quality product will also give you the repeat and referrals you need to be sustainable.

If you could design the perfect corporate environment for a marketer to be successful what would that be?

It would allow the marketer to make the critical decisions that are necessary to manage a P&L and build a great brand.  This means everything from product, brand and advertising to key business partners.

How far is this from reality?

Today, for most companies still pretty far away.  Marketing is one of those functions that gets a lot of help from other departments and executives.  Everyone believes they are a great marketer and can do the job of CMO.

While unexpected, I am appreciative – Alltop Branding Listing

Alltop. I don't know how I got there either.

YEEE HAW! Spatially Relevant recently was added to Alltop under the Branding Section, I think it may have something to do with the eBook, The Social Marketing Construct: Evolving brands and changing realities, but I really don’t know how. It could have been the Presidential Brand post, which I really liked writing with Sheryl’s help.   Could be Sheryl’s Out Telling Stories piece?  Sheryl is such a better brand person than I and completely saturated with work to the point she can’t blog, but only edit.  Obviously she didn’t edit this one.

Alltop. How the hell did that happen?

I really have no idea, I sorta was hoping it was my Social Brand Management Slideshare show, but that was so long ago, there is no way.  Another no way it is possible piece is the Brand Extension of the 5th P, but since most folks haven’t read that again no way.

I did search my email and I did find a thread with Neenz, so perhaps that was the selection driver.  At the end of the day, it is about value and value is different for every person and marketing is clearly about telling stories and developing a brand and that is about all I know, which apparently may be enough.

After reviewing the list SR is clearly with good company/in over our heads.   I can’t inventory all of them, but here are a few of the cool kids, which SR now needs to try and keep up with:

  • The Big Kahuna – The brand identity guru, Scott White.  Gosh I Hope that is how he wants his brand identity cited.
  • A Clear Eye – Tom Asacker’s blog, this guy does brand math and I’m always happy see people do math.
  • The Brand Strategy Blog – Not sure their green assertion in the article I linked to is right, since I know some REALLY old folk who are more green than most 23 yr old vegan’s I know.
  • Krishna De’s Blog – There is a little micro-casting going on over on Krishna’s blog with the Wicklow County piece, but heck it’s a community service and it is Ireland, so you should be able to drive most anywhere at anytime.
  • Dimbulb – “Brand on the Run” is just clever, no way I will ever be that clever.  Added to my reader.
  • Branding Blog – I’m not sure I’m going to meet cool people and get them rich, so you may want to check out the branding blog, as you ain’t gettin that here team.
  • Personal Branding Blog – Any person that has a post on Italy and personal branding has to being adding some value, since Italy IS brand from an export perspective.  I guess that is what you get with a “global team” of writers.
  • Dave Knox’s Hard Knox Life is an interesting play on words/name and he appears to have some interesting fact based research.
  • Brand Curve – The coolest brand blog name out there, IMHO
  • Whiplash – Any one with an Obama piece has to be OK.
  • The Engaging Brand Blog – Not sure what it is, but the site makes me dizzy, not so much via the feed though.  Could be the far better content than I or something else.
  • Guy Richards – I like to blog about business travel too.  Mainly how much I suck at it.
  • Greteman Group – I really like their logo, content is good too.
  • Orange Blog – Just got nominated for being a top advertising blog.  Kudos.
  • The Brand Elastic – The second coolest name for a branding blog.   Brand is definitely situational – people, location, age, activities, interactions and the name supports that, plus they are featuring National Geographic post right now.
  • Director Tom – Actually met him at a conference last year.  Very cool to finally be close to his caliber, ok not really that close, but on the same list anyhow.
  • Expert in the Rough – Not sure, but I think he is using a geology metaphor, so I wonder what is the hardness of the Alltop list on Moh’s scale? Mica? Feldspar?
  • Brains on Fire – As a marketer, I clearly know hair on fire, I guess brains on fire is the equivalent of not noticing the fire for a while and it getting a little out of control.  The thank you video is a good idea, might be better than a list.
  • ID-ology – Cool name and any blog with a category called brilliant thinking has to have some good content.
  • Tungsten – I just want to live in the mountains and brand, which is apparently what these folks do.  Right on!

There are bunch more at, check them out and find what you like.  I’m clearly over my head on this, but at least for the next day or so, I will use my listing as market focused validation that Spatially Relevant doesn’t suck, or at least the blog sucks less than I thought.  Ultimately brand takes a village and so does Spatially Relevants staying in Alltop, so thanks to all you readers and those that come by way of Alltop.



Music, Emotion and Shared Experiences

photo by you.

Education and Research – Facebook productivity.

So Alexis, you don’t know her – so I’ll tell you about her – wicked intelligent and apparently a lecturer/professor. Not much more I can be reasonably sure about, since I haven’t spoken to her since 1990, but have connected via Facebook and randomly interacted and those are my impressions. A recent Facebook note I caught from my news feed represents an interesting way to engage the network and leverage the value of the relationships. Normally I would have missed the note, but the title required a click – “music as mood-altering”. So Alexis used Facebook as a follow up/drill down on input she received in her class as an educator – kinda cool social media use case. Connectivity and access to a network can produce some interesting stuff and I think her topic/question should definitely have a response. So with that baseline, Alexis asked her network the following in the Facebook note:

This semester I’m teaching a lower-division undergrad class on language and music. The topic for the past week has been music and emotion, and we’ve looked at a couple of attempts to somehow make concrete our understanding of the mechanisms through which music can pack such an emotional wallop. Some of the mechanisms people have proposed:

  • mimicking or alluding to emotional signals of the world, e.g. fast tempos convey excitement, echo the way our hearts pound when we’re excited
  • invoking personal associations
  • connecting with the responses we have to structures changing and unfolding over time

I’ve heard a lot now about my students and their emotional experiences with music, but what about you, my friends? Does it even makes sense to seek specific musical correlates to specific emotions? How universal (or individual) are emotional responses to music?

What an interesting way to leverage social media from an educational perspective. Not sure if this was the goal, but ultimately this event could be loosely or not-so loosely defined as primary research. Sampling could be an issue. Dewy Wins!

Music and Emotions

This question makes for a timely thing having just got back from spending a weekend with friends watching live music all weekend which was accompanied by shared emotional responses with say 8,000 other folk. I have the habit lately of keeping my own setlist mainly because I can’t get out as much with 4 kids to see live music and to refer to in meetings, at airports or with friends. For me the setlist represents not just the songs, but also the experience which definitely invokes emotions. The setlits conjures up items about the event/evening, a given song’s association, the people and what I’ve actually documented about a given line item. Below are two examples from this week’s venture out to see Widespread Panic, it also represents my answer to the question posed. Typically I would edit before I post, but in the name of research/content analysis….verbatim below:

10/17 – WP – ATL -Lakewood
Set 1
Drum thing into. Hatfield
Ribs n whiskey
Sleepy monkey.
Going out west
Morning dew
Rebirtha slow.
Red beans

Set 2 9:34
Long jam> vacation jimmy killed it
Bears gone fishin
Randall bramlett?. Mega blasters old neighborhood

Chest fever.
Bust it big.
Weight of the world.


10/18 Atl 7:29

Set 1

Mr soul


Drum thing. Into Fishwater big

Last straw


up all night bramblett mega blasters

New tune/ dance needs no body. Long and boring

You should be glad



Set 2 9:16


You got yours

Blight huge


Angels on high. Lame

Momma told me not to come.3dg

Superstition mega blaster

Tall boy mega



Randall. Jb is late

Picking up pieces





The funny thing about reading your setlist later, no matter what I’m doing or where I’m at it — even thought of music is mood altering.

Random proof-point: In the Fox News clip below you can clearly see music alters the Anchors’ moods.   I’m not so sure about the chunk of coal reference, but they could turn Jimmy down a little.