Three paths for brands: grow, invest, or coast

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Has a brand disappointed you lately? Was it a brand you used to like, a brand you had high expectations of? It may be that that brand is coasting: succeeding based on its former reputation. Coasting is very profitable . . . until it isn’t. Brands may have become prominent due to advertising and marketing, … Continued

The one Secret Service text turned over to the January 6 committee

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Reports say that the Secret Service deleted text messages relating to the events of January 6, the date of the insurrection on Capitol Hill. According to news reports, in response to a subpoena from the January 6 Committee in the House, the Secret Service was only able to retrieve and turn over a single text … Continued

Are you verbing nouns? When to curb that verb.

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I nearly retched yesterday when a client told me to edit a passage he wrote, even though he and colleague were still “languaging” it. Languaging? Gag me. It’s a trusim that “Any noun can be verbed.” That doesn’t make it a good idea. Where to draw the line on verbing nouns In my first job, … Continued

Racism is easy

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Nobody talks about it, but racism is efficient. That’s why it’s so common. I’m not talking about burning crosses or shooting up supermarkets. I’m talking common everyday racism. Should I hire her? I don’t know if customers would relate to somebody who looks like that. I’ll hire him instead, he looks like a better choice. … Continued

How your corporate PR can help you create a sexy book proposal promotion section

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The marketing section of your book proposal is crucial to getting picked up by a mainstream publisher. If you’re part of a company you’ve lined up help from the company’s public relations and promotions department, you have a huge advantage. Here’s how to describe that asset in the proposal. Making the most of a corporate … Continued

Is it worth it to study math?

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I was a math major and had ambitions to be a mathematician. That didn’t happen. Instead, I found myself in the business world. In contrast to writing, which I consider an essential skill for almost any job, advanced mathematical ability is not clearly necessary for most jobs. But as I look back at my career, … Continued

Why layoffs really happen

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In 30 years of working for companies, I’ve seen a dozen layoffs. And I’ve observed dozens more at companies I was following closely. Why do companies choose to dump staff they’ve invested so much effort in hiring and training? The answer, more often than not, is an inevitable consequence of how companies plan for growth. … Continued

Anachronicons

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In the continual iconification of our interfaces, there are images that live on only as icons of bygone technology. I propose that we call these anachronicons (from anachronism + icons). What got me thinking about this was the knobs on my new Weber gas grill. They look like this: Are you having difficulty figuring out … Continued