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.



What’s the most powerful marketing tool you have?

– An Ivy League degree?

– A great corporate brand behind you?

– A  large budget, great agency partners and loyal consumers?

No- the answer is YOU. You are the most powerful marketing tool you have. Once you understand and embrace that, you can fine tune your personal brand, develop your personal publicity kit and with both in hand, begin or leverage the network of connections you have created and nutured.

Now more than ever in this global workplace, you need a personal brand to give you the competitive edge. Deliver on that personal brand promise with every interaction or communication you have. Define your own personal publicity plan to launch or catapult your personal brand.  Build and nuture a strong network of connections that will become your personal brand champions.

Let us show you how and why your personal brand matters. Please visit our site at for more information and resources.

Overheard the other day- ” Marketers are a dime a dozen”.

Perhaps, but we subscribe to the theory that the delta between the dime (10) and the dozen (12) is actually 2 and therefore great marketers are a rare breed. The successful marketers we know all have one thing in common: they are resourceful and well networked. They have learned the value of a personal network and have developed their own brand champions within their inner circle or sphere of influence.

These marketers see the bigger picture and find those partners who will make their ideas come to light. “Out of the box” is now better termed “Networking for Success”. And that’s why we love what we do.

Here are our Networking Rules to live by: PLANS

1) PROTECT -just like your family; be honest and guard against ill will done to them

2) LEVERAGE -ask for guidance, recommendations and support to make things happen

3) ALLEGIANCE -pinkie swears and IOU’s apply here

4) NURTURE -share your knowledge, insight and most importantly, your time

5) SUPPORT – everyone appreciates a pat on the back, especially during the rough times