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Tomorrow's sales today.

Back in the fall of 1993, Datastream Systems Inc. was being co-served by James Gibbons Creative Consulting and Perimeter Designs (Anne Peck's firm), when they decided they needed an advertising agency. After about a ten minute conversation with Marketing VP, Amelia Fusaro, and an equally lengthy discussion between the principals at Perimeter Designs and James Gibbons Creative, the agency now known as Gibbons | Peck was born. And Datastream was our first client. As part of our series about things we've learned from our clients, this post focuses on the simple, yet brilliant philosophy of John Sterling, Datastream VP of…


Operation Safe Pregnancy-Power of a compelling fact.

Back in the early days, we worked with a couple of passionate ladies named Earnest and Vail. They were high-powered advocates for the cause of exposing and addressing domestic violence as an everyday issue in our society. Not all that long ago, it was very had to do anything about domestic violence, even if you knew about it. And because of the dynamics of the situation, most of it went unreported. Part of the work of Earnest and Vail led them to the narrow sub-issue of "battering during pregnancy." They came to us with about a ream of statistics and…


Personality Styles.

Both brands and individuals have personality styles. These are defined by methodology like Myers-Briggs, HBDI, DISK, and a whole alphabet soup of other instruments. But a big part of it comes down to sensitivity vs. insensitivity and emotional vs. rational. Everyone has the tendency to overvalue one's own personality and undervalue the personalities of others. Without getting into the argument over whether one personality is actually superior to another (even though I would love to got there some time), it is unfruitful to think of them in superiority | inferiority terms. It is, however, useful to know how to read…


Begin with the end in mind.

I think that was one of Stephen Covey's seven habits of highly annoying people. Not sure. But it certainly applies to creative strategy. Whenever I look at a creative brief and see an objective like... run an spot on 93.5 FM, or create an ad...I become very frustrated. Now, that it is a radio spot or an ad is part of the strategy, but not the important part. Good strategies begin with the end in mind. Take hill 43. Increase sales by x percent. Make people love us. Stuff like that. Advertising ought to be about attitude and behavior modification.…


Our clients are awesome.

I think it's a great title for a book. At the very least, it's a great name for a biographical blog category, featuring little vignette | case studies of clients and the things we've learned from them. Okay, so there are funny things, like the senior executive who hated the color purple so much he turned purple when he saw it in a layout. But there are also really serious things, like the sales VP who taught us the principle of "moving next quarter's sales into this quarter." That urgency about moving a lead up the ladder and closing the…


How "Likeable" are you?

We've launched a few social media programs lately. The whole process has been very influential on my functional vocabulary. I can't say I've learned new words, but I sure use words routinely I never thought I would. Like blog platform. And micro-site. And RSS feed (about which, I understand Facebook is pretty persnickety). I remain unimpressed, even as I have become a bit more aware of Twitter, tweets, tweet deck, and hash tags. But the word that rules the social media lexicon, at least around here, is "Like". It's kind of funny. For the first time since High School, I…


Scalable and portable.

These are important concepts we learned from our consultant. They are particularly important for franchise concepts. In fact, we had a client a while back that started as a franchise concept, but the very successful first location found itself so dependent on the personalities of the owners (an asset that cannot be easily duplicated at each subsequent location) that they decided not to roll it out. Sad for them. Sad for us. Scalable simply means that the size of the operation can be adjusted upward or downward with relative ease. For example, Asian car makers were able to scale their…


It's fun to look back sometimes.

Our friend, Grace, stopped by for a brief visit yesterday. We are like proud parents (professionally speaking) when we think of Grace. The day we first met her, she was coming to show her portfolio in order to get an internship. That would have been ... like ... well, several years ago. We were impressed with both her work and with her, even at the time. She is not a large person, but she has a certain presence about her. She is not a loud person, but she makes you want to hear what she has to say. Of course,…


A sense of place.

A friend of ours has invited us on a tour of Israel. Yay! In his letter to us, and in a book he wrote about the connection between "The Land" and the Bible, he points out that learning the land provides great insight into the Book. It gives it a sense of place. This makes all kinds of sense. And it seems to have a great application to branding.Retail brands, in particular, benefit from a sense of place. Some brands do great in their initial location. But, underestimating the importance of place, they whither in subsequent locations. We did some…


Abracadabra, Please and Thank You!

I am, by nature, a self-absorbed ingrate. It took me many years to figure out that the person with the best idea isn't necessarily the most important person in the room. It took me almost that long to figure out that my ideas weren't necessarily the best ideas just because they were mine. There is a Spirit dwelling in me that tells me to be thankful. But He is very polite and allows me to overrule Him. Unfortunate.I have had moments of clarity over the years. Heideggerian "coming into the clear" moments, in which I have said "Please," and walls…


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