September 29, 2008
Today’s guest post is written by Bryan Radtke, P&G’s Shopper Based Design Brand Manager, Bengals fan, and all around good guy. Special thanks to him for picking up the slack on Hard Knox Life while I am out this week.
A few months ago I embarked on the annual painful journey that is fiscal year action plan development. The goal of this exercise is similar to many companies…put down on paper the stuff you are going to focus on for the next year, get your management buy in and sign off, and finally file it away, never looking at it again until next year. Yay! Time well spent.
I’m not sure if it’s my old age (I’m 29), the additional responsibility I’ve gained in the past year, or simply a new found passion for productivity, but what I hate more than anything is inefficient use of time. The Action Planning process definitely felt inefficient, so something had to change…and fast.
I decided to look at Action Planning for what it truly can be; a personal strategy to achieving your business goals. Excited yet? Didn’t think so.
Think about it this way. Businesses and organizations that succeed do so more often than not behind a solid, well thought out and executed strategy. Chances are if you are reading this you have a decent amount of ambition and would like to succeed in everything you do, including your career.
Think of your action plan as your personal strategy to that success.
If that didn’t hook you then try this. The unfortunate truth is no job is secure in today’s highly competitive business environment, and that includes your job. You need to earn your employer’s loyalty and bulletproof your career by communicating the unique points of difference and VALUE you bring to the table. The action plan becomes a personal compass to ensure you are:
- Adding unique value
- Elevating those around you
- Demonstrating strategic thinking and ambition
Here are the 5 principles I followed: Read the rest of this entry »
September 28, 2008
Over the next week, I will be making the move to Cincinnati to start my new assignment in Procter & Gamble Corporate Marketing. Since I haven’t yet mastered the art of mobile blogging, I have asked a few of my peers and closest friends to keep the fires the burning here at Hard Knox Life with a series of guest posts. Special thanks in advance to these guys for lending a hand during the move. I have a feeling you are really going to enjoy reading what they have to say:
Depending on how long it takes to get everything set up at the new home, I should up and running again by October 6. In the meantime, these guys will do an amazing job of providing interesting reading and I should be relatively active on Twitter.
September 25, 2008
Today from 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM, Cold Steam Creamery with be hosting the 7th Annual World’s Largest Ice Cream Social in support of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, an organization that grants wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions. a special night to join together and share the simple pleasures of life with a FREE ice cream and family fun. You’ll be treated to a 3 oz. serving of two special “Make-A-Wish Creations” inspired by Jack and Emily, two Wish Children.
- Jack’s Creation – Marshmallow ice cream with OREO® Cookies, Chocolate Chips and Fudge
- Emily’s Creation – Nutter Butter® ice cream with White Chocolate Chips, Kit Kat® and Yellow Cake
September 22, 2008
As you would expect, all the Apple Fanboys are hating on the new “I’m a PC” campaign from Microsoft. In particular, bloggers are pouncing on the fact that the ad was likely created using a Mac. In my opinion, this is just another example of Alan Wolk’s NASCAR Blindness where the left leaning, Mac loving writers of the online world completely miss the point because they have their blinders on.
The fact is, this new campaign is pretty clever for Middle America
Let me start by making some assumptions based on my experiences in the Mac vs PC debate.
- Apple’s most passionate Brand Advocates seem to be concentrated on the East and West Coast, especially in cities like New York and San Francisco.
- These Apple Fan Boys (and Girls) are more likely to be in a creative line of work (like advertising)
- They are reading media in places like the New York Times, where Apple has gotten so much praise for their “I’m a Mac” rich media buys.
- Apple celebrates their “trendiness” and the fact they are “cooler” than PC users.
So given these facts, I think the “I’m a PC” campaign is a brilliant move by Microsoft to shore up Middle America. Put yourself in the shoes of a Microsoft Brand Manager. You recognize the above assumptions but realize that the do not describe the majority of America. Just as important, you realize that a lot of people might find Apple and their smarky spokesman Justin Long just a little too smug. And finally you recognize that in this time of political division and economic uncertainty, people might appreciate advertising that does not play up stereotypes.
The new Microsoft ads work because they focus on what brings us together instead of what sets us apart. They work because they call out that most of us “are not what you call hip”… nor do we want to be. They work because they show that PC users are not about stereotypes and looking down on others. And they work because they are funny with things like “I turn #2 into energy” or “I’m a PC and I sell fish.”
My girlfriend Cindy summed it up best when she saw the ad during NFL football on Sunday. She said, “now that’s an ad for someone that thinks its stupid to spend $3,000 on a Mac just because its cool.” Enough said.