Brands – Know Thy Customer

A recent chat with my colleagues about our kids turned into a great lesson about building resonant brands. I’d mentioned my daughter’s recent obsession with everything Ivivva – the Lululemon spinoff brand for tween girls – and one of the folks around the table suggested the company must be losing out on a lot of brand equity by going with the “Ivivva” brand, instead of calling itself “LuluKids.”

Read More

Building for Growth – Strategies for Dipping a Toe into New Markets

As anyone who has worked to build and expand a business knows all too well, growth is hard. Expanding your offering in existing markets rubs elbows with the competition and can erode differentiation, leading many companies to turn their sights overseas. But branching out into new regions has become more complex than ever.

Read More

Tackling Today’s Challenges to New Market Entry

Growing your business used to be simple. Gather data, analyze it, select a market and develop your strategy, then reap the returns. To say now it’s not that straightforward is stating the obvious.

The tactics to entering a new market need to evolve, asserts Luiz Zorzella, consultant to HighPoint Associates, seasoned expert on new markets and growth, and author of Revenue Growth: Four Proven Strategies. He proposes a fresh approach to new market entry that is more agile and dynamic in nature, and encourages flexibility, adaptability and speed.

Read More


The Lessons You Don’t Learn in Business School – Making That First Hire…Intelligently

When building a business from the ground-up, your first inclination may be to bootstrap it and do everything yourself; I know mine was. But after awhile you realize your time and energy is better spent on the 20 percent of things where you add the most value to the business. So you pivot to hiring folks who can support your growth. Sometimes you make mistakes along the way, but here is what I’ve learned from them.

Read More

The Lessons You Don’t Learn in Business School – Building to Scale

Mid-May marks the start of the annual business school graduation season. Over the next few weeks, schools from Anderson and Booth to Wharton and Yale will graduate some of the top new business talent, who all feel “ready to lead organizations into the future.” I put that in quotes – why? Because that’s the mindset coming out of business school, of the graduates themselves…but the reality is that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Read More

Melting Pot: Marketing Strategy That Takes Culture into Account

Most of us wouldn’t think of Walmart as a premiere shopping destination for ethnic foods, but walk through one of the company’s supercenters in certain neighborhoods today and you might be surprised. Mangoes and papaya are stocked next to Chinese eggplant, and the next aisle over might feature imported foods from South America – all carefully curated to appeal to growing local Hispanic and Asian populations.

Read More

Is Big Data the Answer?

Big data. It’s THE game changer your company has been looking for. It can drive dramatic cost reductions and productivity improvements, help you discover the next best product and transform your marketing strategy.

After all, big data helped UPS review routes and save $30 million every time it reduced one daily mile driven per driver. Companies are even using big data to run behavioral tests and provide insight on the best person to hire for a job.

So why aren’t you using it?

Read More

Making the Conversion: Merging Data & Experience in Analytics

The annual convergence of the end of NCAA basketball season, the onset of the NHL and NBA playoffs, the lead-up to the NFL draft, and the kickoff of the major league baseball season have player stats and sports analytics front of mind for many fans and data nuts – myself included. But rumbles of discontent portend a possible storm on the horizon. It seems not everyone’s a convert to the data-driven future of sports (or business).

Read More

Shadow IT Proves Tech Leaders Need to Shift Their Focus

The recent scandal over Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email address and host server for all of her email correspondence while serving as Secretary of State certainly provided fodder for political pundits. But the scandal also highlights an important strategic issue for organizations – the rise of consumer-friendly cloud technologies that have the ability to make work more efficient, but exist outside the control of corporate IT departments.

Read More

Time for a Marketing Upgrade: The Three Ps to Supporting an Omnichannel Strategy

On your last major in-store shopping outing, how often did you pull out your phone? Did an earlier email or online search lead you there? If you’re like the vast majority of shoppers, you probably tapped into digital channels before and/or during your shopping experience. Today there is no one, predictable path for consumers’ interaction with a brand.

Read More