Denny Hatch is the author of six books on marketing and four novels, and is a direct marketing writer, designer and consultant. His latest book is “Write Everything Right!” Visit him at

With a job title like chief tormentor, it’s not surprising that Stave Puzzles Founder Steve Richardson started a company blog to communicate with visitors to his firm’s Web site. Richardson gets a kick out of being in the puzzle business—Norwich, Vt.-based Stave develops custom, intricate wooden puzzles—and he likes to share that enthusiasm with customers and employees. Since last fall, he’s been experimenting with blogging, mixing personal vignettes with product highlights and customers’ stories and photos. This week, Richardson chats with Target Marketing about the lessons he’s learning from this relatively new online tool, including the delightful way it’s helping him reconnect with numerous

New York Yankees’ pitcher Cory Lidle loved flying and bought himself a Cirrus SR 20, a high performance airborne hotrod that’s supposedly built for safety. The Cirrus promotional pitch proclaims that “TAWS (Terrain Awareness Warning System), now a standard installation on all CIRRUS SRV, SR20 and SR22 aircraft, helps keep you clear of terrain and obstacles while SKYWATCH™ alerts you to airborne traffic.” Cirrus is the only plane equipped with a 55-foot parachute, which in an emergency, will explode through the roof of the plane—much like an airbag in an automobile—allowing the plane to float to earth and hit with the thump equivalent to jumping off

The name is the first public act of branding, internally and externally, according to Julie Cottineau, naming director at Interbrand, a New York-based branding consultancy "By choosing a name, you're not just saying something to the outside world about who you want to be, but also to your own people," Cottineau says. With the explosion of new products and services over the past 10 years, all 6,000 "real" (not coined) words in the English language have already been trademarked, she says. This is where creativity and patience are needed—from a starting list of 100 names, various screens usually leave only two viable contenders.

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