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4/13/11 Logo Size & Shape

This week, we’ll meet at Batts Communication at 63rd St. & Willow, just across the street from the US Post Office. 7 a.m.

To continue our branding discussion, we’re going to talk a little about logos this week. I have invited a friend and Raytown resident who is a graphic designer at Bandwagon Merchandise to join in our discussion.

To start off with some fun, Tom shared this link to a fun logo quiz, check it out.

http://www.sporcle.com/games/corplogos2.php

Here is another Ries Report video regarding the size and shape of a logo:

In this video, three members of the creative team at Fletcher Prince, share a good overview of logo considerations. They are reading from scripts, so don’t expect an engaging presentation. 🙂

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4/6/11 Branding by Category & Flanking The Competition feat. Al Ries

This week, we will be returning to Missouri Funeral Care at 7 a.m.

In thinking about our test format of shorter articles, videos and white papers; it occurred to me that we don’t have to deviate from topic categories that we have discussed for the next book. With that in mind, here are two videos for us to discuss this week regarding small business branding and marketing.

Both videos are from Al Ries, who, along with his daughter Laura, have become industry experts in branding and positioning.

1. Do you believe that every brand has to be focused or can having a wide appeal work for some businesses?

2. Does the appearance of your business reflect the category that you WANT to be in for your target customers?

3. What’s the category you think you fit in for most customers and what category would you like be in?

4. Have you had an experience where you have decided not to take the competition head on and came up with a way to flank them?

Execution, Week 9 Questions

We will be back at Missouri Funeral Care tomorrow.

Assignment: Chapter 9 The Operations Process

We had a wonderful discussion for Week 8. We didn’t necessarily follow the agenda… at all. However, much of what we talked about involved strategies that a few of us are incorporating in our businesses. And, as such, we talked a lot about customer experience and tying their experience to the bottom line.

This week, we’ll have our final organized discussion about Execution. I’m going to leave the format for this discussion wide open, with the intent for us to be very specific in our discussion about operations as they relate to both people and strategy.

An Interesting Story About People, Process, Strategy & Operations

I’m a big fan of a NPR show called This American Life, and I like listen to archived episodes while I close the shop. I recently listened to this story about a joint venture between GM and Toyota, that could have changed GM’s fate. This story seems to capture how strategy, people and process all have to link together for success. Check it out:

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/403/nummi

Execution, Week 8 Questions

This week, we will be back at Missouri Funeral Care, just two doors south of Benetti’s. Let’s plan on entering through the back door.

Assignment: Chapter 8 How To Conduct A Strategy Review

Last week, in my opinion, was one of the best discussions we have had so far. Nice balance of participation and some relevant conversation as it relates to our actual businesses. Chapter 7 focused on the strategy process, and Chapter 8 follows that will a look at how to evaluate your business strategy.

The framework for this week’s discussion will be quite simple. The authors lay out a series of five questions that you should ask in a review of a strategy.

We’ll start by each sharing a particular strategy we plan to employ in our business in the near future. For example, Benetti’s will be exploring the addition of a coffee fundraising program to boost whole-bean sales.

We’ll then work around the room asking each of the five questions.

What are those five questions? Please refer to the book. 🙂

Execution, Week 7 Questions

We’ll be meeting at Batts Communication again this week, 10409 E. 63rd St. (right across Willow St. from the Post Office)

Assignment: Chapter 7 The Strategy Process: Making the Link with People and Operations

1. How does the basic goal of your business strategy compare to the definition offered by the authors at the beginning of this chapter? How is it similar or different?

2. Is it possible to not have a strategy in your business or is not having a identifiable strategy still a strategy in itself?

3. What do you do now to gain more understanding about existing customers and markets?

4. What are the obstacles to growth in your business?

5. Answer this question by assigning a percentage to each option, totaling 100 percent. How much of your time is spent thinking about a strategy for success in your business for these time periods? For example, is most of you time spent thinking how to move your company forward through the next week, or is most of your time spent positioning your business for success in 3-5 years?

– Tomorrow
– Next Week
– 3 months
– 6 months
– 1 year
– 3-5 years
– 5 or more years

Execution, Week 6 Questions

We’ll be meeting at Batts Communication again this week, 10409 E. 63rd St. (right across Willow St. from the Post Office).

Assignment, Chapter 6 “The People Process: Making the Link with Strategy and Operations”

1.) What are some examples of ways that organizations can make the connection between people and strategy? Are you the right person in the right position within your company?

2.) Think of an organization with a very shallow organizational chart. (i.e. 1 boss, 5 hands, 1 cook) What are some ways that an organization with this model challenge employees for continuous improvement and promote employee retention?

3.) Is there anyone in your business that poses a large risk if they were to be recruited away?

4.) Be prepared to discuss Candid Dialog.