Tom Peters

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 dennyhatch.com.

Andrea Syverson is the founder and president of IER Partners, which has guided and strengthened brands of all sizes with savvy best practices for creating customers for life. Combining her passion of adventurous listening and working across diverse industries, her "outsider-insider" creative branding and merchandising expertise and objectivity has been valued by companies as diverse as Spanx, Ben & Jerry's, Celestial Seasonings, CHEFS and Boston Proper.  She holds an MBA and has dedicated more than 20 years to providing clients both domestic and international with innovative approaches to branding, product development and creative messaging. She is the author of  two books in which she shares her hands-on approach for both brand building and creating customer-centric products that enhance brands: ThinkAbout: 77 Creative Prompts for Innovators, and BrandAbout: A Seriously Playful Approach for Passionate Brand-Builders and Merchants. You may reach her at asyverson@ierpartners.com.

According to a recent study by Randstad U.S., "The Workplace 2025," found that, as early as 2019, as much as 50 percent of the workforce will be made up of agile workers (i.e. contractors, freelancers, consultants or temporary workers). This means we’re moving into a gig economy, and, if you neglect your personal brand, you’re going to be left behind.

As the 1940s air war in Europe intensified, the Allies faced a major problem. Their bombers would leave England by the hundreds, but too many of them didn’t return, brought down by extremely heavy enemy flak. The Allies desperately needed to beef up the armor on their planes to provide protection, but armoring an entire plane, or even an entire cockpit, involved far too much weight. How could they choose the few especially vulnerable places to be armored? A couple of clever engineers solved this problem with a counterintuitive analysis. After comprehensively logging the locations of flak damage inflicted around

Due to the real-time nature of digital media and social technologies, content creation is increasingly a treasure trove of opportunity for business. Marketing and communication professionals are the forefront of this movement. Brands as publishers is a broader concept than just pushing out content. 1. Simplify someone's life. That's the appeal of Tim Ferriss, for example. 2. Evoke strong emotions about the art of marketing. Guy Kawasaki does that in person and across social media. 3. Be visual. That's very much the appeal with David Armano's work.

Great brands differentiate themselves in many ways. But the way that will win the most hearts, minds and wallets is never forgetting that you are only in business to serve your customers.

As fast-paced professionals running departments or full-fledged businesses—managing people and projects and schedules and products—listening can sometimes fall off our to-do lists. We don't have time to really pause and listen well. While we may see the value in making time, few of us actually do.

As an outsider-insider to my clients, my role is often “questioner-in-chief” (to use a borrowed term from management expert Tom Peters). Recently, I was leading a brandstorming session with a financial services client when one of the employees pulled me aside during a break and said, “I didn’t want to ask this question in front of the group because I was afraid it would seem silly …” and then proceeded to ask me a very important and profound question pertinent to our strategic planning work.

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