Top of Mind Thursday September 6, 2018: They Just Did It

Top of Mind Thursday

This week, Nike celebrated the 30th anniversary of their “Just Do It” advertising campaign by launching an ad featuring former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who started the practice of kneeling during the playing of the national anthem at NFL games.

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Kaepernick and his fellow players have said they are doing this to draw attention to the ongoing mistreatment of Black youth by police across the country. However, some people have chosen to believe that this action is meant to be disrespectful to America’s military.

Nike’s decision to feature Kaepernick in their latest campaign has re-ignited the controversy, drawing the attention of those on both sides of the issue. Some outraged customers have threatened to destroy their Nike products: one man even attempted to burn his sneakers while still wearing them.

Does this bother Nike? Probably not. In fact, one school of thought is that they expected this reaction to occur, but banked on the fact their core customer base (younger and more urban consumers) would identify with this kind of activism and more than make up for those who choose not to remain with the brand.

One industry expert estimates Nike received over $100 million of free promotion for the company in the first 48 hours alone. During that time, the company was mentioned over a million times online–a 3000% increase in conversations.

Regardless of how you feel about the kneeling issue, it’s clear Nike’s bold actions have allowed them to stand out above the noise in the marketplace.

In fact, in this case, when it came to making noise, Nike decided to go all in  and just do it.

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Top of Mind Thursday August 30, 2018: The Maverick and the Dreamer

Top of Mind Thursday

Last week, we lost one of the most influential statesmen of our generation, John McCain–a man of integrity and determination who was admired by people on both sides of the political aisle.
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A Vietnam War POW, who served in the house and the senate, and  a two-time presidential contender, McCain was the maverick. He was not afraid to stand up for what he believed in–even when political expediency suggested otherwise. Knowing he was losing his fight with an aggressive form of brain cancer, McCain crafted a final message to the American people:

 

“We weaken our greatness when we confuse our patriotism with tribal rivalries that have sown resentment and hatred and violence in all the corners of the globe. We weaken it when we hide behind walls, rather than tear them down; when we doubt the power of our ideals, rather than trust them to be the great force for change they have always been. . . . 

 

“Do not despair of our present difficulties. We believe always in the promise and greatness of America because nothing is inevitable here. Americans never quit, we never surrender, we never hide from history. We make history.”

 

His words echo the message of the famous “I have a Dream” speech, delivered by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 55 years ago this week, in Washington, D.C.

King and McCain were of vastly different backgrounds, experiences, and approaches, yet their messages are similar: We must overcome bitterness and hatred to come together and achieve our true potential, and we must not be deterred by those who put obstacles in our way.

RIP, John McCain. Free at last; free at last.

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Bridging the Gap: Tools, Behaviors, and Beliefs that Help Align Strategy And Execution

Bill Sanders
Principal and Managing Director
Roebling Strauss
www.roeblingstrauss.com

Bill Sanders is a business transformation and process innovation expert who drives organizations to execute on innovative strategy and unlock latent potential using their existing strengths. Using his proven holistic approach, Bill rapidly bridges the gap between strategy and execution by identifying the misalignments between strategy, goals, process and execution, and then designing elegant solutions that close those gaps, accelerating growth, profitability, and innovation. He is the author of the book Hierarchy to High Performance.

In this podcast, Bill tells us why static and entrenched mindsets don’t fly in today’s environment of digital transformation. He explains the four factors that ensure strategy and execution are aligned and discusses the need to regularly examine the beliefs we bring into an organization.


ListenListen to this podcast.


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Top of Mind Thursday August 23, 2018: Losing a Good Neighbor

Top of Mind Thursday

This week those of us in Northern California lost  one of our favorite retailers, home improvent and garden supplier Orchard Supply Hardware (OSH).Leverage2Market Logo

OSH was founded 87 years ago as a co-op for farmers and was a mainstay in many of our communities. The stores were stocked with great products and friendly people who were actually both knowledgeable and helpful. Their ads told us not to get lost in a big box store, and they were right.

OSH had struggled financially for many years and was bought by the Lowe’s chain five years ago out of bankruptcy. When Lowe’s started opening new stores and remodeling old ones, we thought this is good news.

This week, the company unexpectedly announced it would shut down all 87 stores by the end of the year. They said they’ll offer many OSH employees jobs at nearby Lowe’s locations.

Here’s the problem: It’s unlikely OSH employees will be a good fit for Lowe’s. OSH people took time to talk to customers, to understand the problem, and to help customers work out a solution. They knew where every product was located and who in the store was the expert in that area. They were the antithesis of the people you find in big box stores–who cover much too much territory to fulfill the same kind of function.

OSH customers aren’t necessarily a good fit for Lowe’s either. They appreciated the 1:1 experience and consciously chose to shop at OSH instead of Lowe’s or Home Depot.  And Lowe’s main business isn’t exactly healthy today either.

We see many of our favorite retailers disappearing–leaving consumers with limited choices. But this means there are now opportunities for new players to come in and offer outstanding in-person customer experiences.

Let’s hope that happens soon–before we are all lost inside a big box store.

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Let us help your business rise to the top.

linda@popky.com
(650) 281-4854
www.leverage2market.com

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