January 2009

Makes me love Howard even more…brillant move and I believe sincere
to tie into the new administration’s rally for grassroots volunteerism to help rebuild communities, people’s spirits and the economy. Have you signed up yet? http://pledge5.starbucks.com/

I realize this will start the firestorm of controversy on both sides, which I’m actually looking forward to, so please feel free to comment…

Can I tell you how much I love Howard Schultz and my Gold Card membership? If you haven’t gotten one yet here’s their intro~

“You’re our heart and soul. You’re the people we see every day. You’re the ones who keep us going. And you’re the voices we listen to when you ask for a little recognition, and a little special treatment. Welcome to the membership you helped us create. Welcome to Starbucks Gold.”

WOW…I’m not a customer; I’m their heart and soul!!! It’s a marketers dream to have such loyal brand enthusiasts and this is another example of a smart and evocative brand campaign to gain new and retain existing fans.

So, for Howard, let me count the ways….

1) I love how he’s made oatmeal sexy, fun and less expensive than a yogurt parfait.

2) I love how he brought the holiday line-up in earlier this year, giving us a nice distraction from those economic and political woes.

3) I love how he took out a 30 second spot to encourage us to vote and offered free coffee to all who did. And loved the PR storm that hit once the complaints flurried in~ yeah FREE COFFEE FOR EVERYONE!

4) I love how he recalled his humble upbringings, the ignorant dad of his prom date berating him for his family’s car, and his beliefs on treating employees with dignity, empowerment and potential.

5) I love how he supports sustainable causes.

6) I love how he made a safe place for me to enjoy all 5 senses while reading a Malcom Gladwell book in peace.

7) I love how he created a gigantic ecosystem of local merchants and entrepreneurs wanting to compete with his brand.

8 ) I love how he is still confident and stores are still buzzing even with being 95% down YOY.

9) I love how he emphasizes the importance of knowing everyone’s name and drink.

10) I love how he took back the reigns and re-dedicated his brand to its roots and not music.

Personal brand development and publicity combined with networking is a powerful tool to compete in today’s global marketplace. I have been a practicing evangelist for years, but sadly most people only start to believe (read= panic) when they are in crisis and need to find a new opportunity. Even more sad is that they forget the importance of personal brand and networking once they move on from that crisis. Most don’t learn the value of networking and will ultimately find themselves in this situation many times.

I must thank my good friend Kathy, who has more than encouraged me to continue my mission. Thanks to her I have overcome my public speaking anxiety and have a champion who graciously shares my name and mission to many people she meets. Each semester, she invites me as a guest lecturer to her MBA and undergraduate class to review my own lessons learned, new tools & techniques out there and why personal brand matters.

I started Network Ties when I found myself part of a very sudden lay-off trying to help others get through the same crisis. Kathy has allowed me to continue to give back and in doing so, receive so much personal growth and new relationships.

Thank you my dear friend ~d

Here are 2 new terms that I find amusing and interesting. Do you?

1) Recessionista– the fantabulous (another term i giggle to) female who finds a way to still look “fabulous” on a shoestring budget. This makes me recall my college days in NYC where I found great, classic closet pieces for flea market prices. My favorite treasure is this 1940’s red satin cape jacket that I bring out each February and December. Not exactly sure how it still fits, but I always feel special in it remembering how I paid $8.50 for it!!!

2) Power Donut– the cousin of Chrome Dome, this is the new term to describe the timeless sure thing of male patterned baldness where only the ear to ear ring is left in tact. Much like my dad, this term describes the power that comes with the “character” and wisdom that typically is granted with age. The article suggests that Bic-loving, shave-it-all off men have become a dime a dozen and passé. Not sure about that but it did give props to those that haven’t yet committed to the daily extended shave, for which I personally believe takes an amazing amount of courage. Think about it- would you willingly take a blade to skin that’s outside your field of vision (back of head)? Ouch, I can’t imagine!

Checking off the blog box to re-ignite some stale blogs…step 1, post something new. Done.