business name


Guy Kawasaki . . . Genius in Action,

By Sam Horn, The Intrigue Expert

 “It’s not enough to be the best at what you do; you must be perceived to be the only one who does what you do.” – Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead

I’m always keeping my antenna up for people who are one-of-a-kind at what they do.

I had the privilege of seeing one in action last week.

As The Intrigue Expert and a communication strategist for the past 25 years; I’ve seen and given thousands of presentations. (Really).

So, when I say Guy Kawasaki’s keynote at the Invent Your Future conference in Silicon Valley was one of the best presentations I’ve ever experienced, that’s saying something.

I was compelled to take notes because it’s a privilege to watch a master in action.

I shared my observations with Guy afterwards and am sharing them here so you can learn from his shining example and adopt/adapt some of his approaches so you can enchant (and intrigue) your future audiences.

Here’s why Guy’s keynote Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds and Action was a perfect 10.

Everyone was drawn in (and enchanted) -sam horn

Everyone was drawn in (and enchanted)

Please note: I’ve distilled this debrief of his brilliant presentations into three blog posts. Check back the next couple days to read and reap additional techniques.

      1.   Guy had us at hello.

“You’ve got to be a good date for the reader.” – Kurt Vonnegut

No perfunctory opening remarks. That would have been predictable and predictable is boring.

Guy pleasantly surprised everyone by starting with an amusing riff about how most speakers run long and no one’s ever angry at a speaker for ending early so he was going to jump right into things.

Guy knows people are BBB – (Busy, Bored or Been there-heard that) and that we make up our minds in the first 60 seconds whether someone is worth our valuable time, mind and dime.

He earned our good will in the first few minutes by being a “good date” and by kicking off with humor vs. the old-fashioned “Tell ‘em what you’re going to tell ‘em approach ” which would have had us reaching for our smart phones.

Bestselling author Elmore Leonard gave a keynote at the Maui Writers Conference (which I emceed for 17 years.) During the Q & A, a participant asked, “Why are your books so popular?” “Dutch” smiled and said, “I try to leave out the parts people skip.”

Guy was instantly popular because he left out the parts people skip.

      2.    Guy engaged our head and heart – our left and right brain – with facts and feelings.

“I never developed a plan for where I was going. I just counted on one interesting job segueing into the next. I let the universe do its work.” – Bernadette Peters

Any extreme is unhealthy. Many speakers (think engineers, IT professionals, physicians, professors, etc.) focus primarily on data, theories and facts. This makes for a lopsided speech because it’s long on logic but short on interest.

Other presenters (think motivational speakers) share inspiring stories but there’s no “meat” – no tangible takeaways we can apply to reap real-world results.

Guy was a sublime balance of head and heart. He let us know from the get-go he’d distilled his presentation into ten insights and 45 minutes.

People love top ten lists because it indicates you’ve done the homework for us and edited the superfluous, which means we’ll be hearing only the most salient points, the best of the best.

Anxiety is defined in two words: “not knowing.” If we don’t know how long this is going to take or the format, we may resent the speaker because, in a way, they’re keeping us in the dark and holding us hostage.

Covering 10 points (or 7 steps or 6 keys or whatever) in a specified amount of time builds pace and momentum and keeps a speaker on track because you don’t have time to ramble. Logical left-brainers think “Oh, good. This is clearly going to be bottom-line and a good use of my time because it’s measurable and replicable.”

Furthermore, a 10 point plan provides one of the quickest organizational constructs known to humankind because it provides an easy-to-understand-and-follow pattern. Listeners feel they’re in “the Allstate Plan” (they’re in good hands) and feel well-led as one interesting point segues into the next.

Better yet, Guy balanced rhetoric (words) with photos (senses) throughout his presentation. Everyone was drawn in (and enchanted) because he “peopled his points.” His beautifully produced slides featured intellectually satisfying ideas, visually stunning images and named individuals which produced a holistic sense of symmetry. Well done!

      3.    Guy condensed his concepts into one-of-a-kind sound bites.

“    Remember, you’re more interested in what you have to say than anyone else.” – Andy Rooney, 60 Minutes

“Invoke reciprocity”.

“Conduct a ‘Premortum.”

“Incur a Debt.”

“Frame Thy Competition.”

“Separate the Believers.”

These are just a few of Guy’s featured sound-bites (and chapter titles).

How could you NOT want to know more?

Guy got his ideas in our mental front door because he was not content to be common.

Instead of lazily sharing platitudes and clichés (“Make it a win-win. It’s all about team.”), he coined first-of-their-kind phrases that got our eyebrows up.

(Side note: What’s The Eyebrow Test? It is a technique described in my book POP! that gives you a way to test how compelling your communication is . . anywhere, anytime . . . in 5 seconds . . . for free.

Eyebrow Test? It is a technique described in my book POP!

The goal is to get their eyebrows UP

You don’t have to convene a focus group and spend thousands of dollars to determine whether your idea is commercially-viable.

Simply tell someone your main point (or your elevator speech, business name, book title, the first 60 seconds of your pitch/presentation, or the first paragraph of your marketing copy) . . . and watch their eyebrows.

If their eyebrows knit or furrow, it means they’re confused. They didn’t get it. And if they didn’t get it, you won’t get it.

The goal is to get their eyebrows UP.

Try it right now. Lift your eyebrows. Do you feel intrigued? Curious? Like you want to know more?

THAT’s your goal as a communicator – to get the eyebrows up of busy, distracted decision-makers because it means you just got your message in their mental door.)

Guy’s succinct sound-bites made his content POP! Because no matter how many books we’ve read or seminars we’ve attended, we’d never heard this before.

Comedian Jonathan Winters said, “I have a photographic memory. I just haven’t developed it yet. By developing original take-aways and NURDS (new words like Premortum), Guy made his content memorable and sticky.

Unique sound-bites give his content a long tail of influence. People love “the next new thing” and are more likely to share freshly-phrased ideas around the water-cooler – which means they’ll become Guy’s tribe and take his work viral by becoming his voluntary word-of-mouth ambassadors.

Phrases like “invoke reciprocity” are also monetizable and merchandisable.

People will pay for refrigerator magnets (or coffee mugs or t-shirts) with catchy phrases like this. This keeps you and your proprietary ideas “in sight-in-mind” with your target customers which gives your material even longer legs. It’s all good.

Check the next blog to discover more ways Guy demonstrated
platform brilliance.

Today’s Washington Post has a fun article about knitting.

Really.

The title Where It’s Knit, Knit, Knit at The Old Ballgame plays off the lyrics of the 7th inning stretch classic Take Me Out to the Ballgame.

The focus of the article is on the Stitch and Pitch phenomenon (since when can the words knitting and phenomenon be found in the same sentence?) that is part of a marketing scheme to attract dye-hard knitters (sorry, couldn’t resist) to 23 Major League Baseball games a year.

I propose this “movement” (yup, that’s what it’s referred to in the article, take it up with the Post) wouldn’t be attracting so much attention if it didn’t have such a fun, immediately memorable name.

What’s the point?

Words that rhyme are remembered over time.

Abby Marks-Beale, a consulting client and one of our country’s experts on speed-reading, wanted to develop a program and book on how to speed-read using the computer. Her initial title, Read More, Faster: Increasing Productivity Online While Saving Paper, Time and Frustration didn’t ring or resonate.

We kept brainstorming and finally came up with Increasing Productivity Online While Saving Paper, Frustration and Time. See how rhyming “online” and “time” made her title POP? What’s amazing to me is that re-arranging the exact same words until they rhymed changed the rhythm so her title has a lilt that makes it fluent instead of flat.

Do you have other instances of rhymed brands, names, titles, slogans and mottos that POP!?

Submit your favorite (s) and I’ll give a free, autographed copy of POP! Stand Out in Any Crowd to the winner and feature your submission (with your permission) in my June 11th blog.

What’s one of the breakout TV shows this season?

“Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?”

Learn from this title. Look at the lead lines in your blog postings, articles, chapters, and Web pages.

Do they start off by simply describing what you have to say or sell?

Why not rephrase those introductory remarks into questions that elicit answers? You’ll be setting up two-way communication instead of a one-way sermon.

Look at the difference between “Don’t Sabotage Yourself” and “Are You Sabotaging Yourself?” One is an order. Do you know anyone who likes to be ordered around? The other Socratically causes people to stop, reflect, and respond.

Next time you write marketing material, ask yourself, “How can I open with a question so I’m capturing interest instead of making a statement?”

Why is that so important? Statements sit on the page. Questions engage.

Best-selling author Elmore Leonard was once asked why he thought his books were so popular. His answer? “I try to leave out the parts people skip.”

I had the pleasure of sharing my POP! tips on a podcast recently with John Jantsch – author of Duct Tape Marketing and creator of Forbes’ and Fast Company’s #1 rated blog on small business and marketing.

As you may already know, POP! stands for Purposeful, Original, and Pithy – the three prerequisites to sticky messages that capture and keep your attention.

John modeled the POP! process with his succinct definition of marketing. He said, “Marketing is getting somebody who has a need to know you, like you, and trust that you can supply it for them.”

John also mentioned his sure-fire system for test-marketing his material to make sure it POP!s. He runs it by his four teenaged daughters to see if they “get it and want it.” He added, “They’re imaginative, playful and have no time for B.S. If it doesn’t pass their litmus test, it’s back to the editing room.”

Look at your marketing messages and elevator speech.

Are you leaving out the parts people skip? Have you condensed the definition of what you do into a succinct sound-bite? Do you have a litmus test to see if people “get and want” what you have to offer?

If so, kudos. If not, it’s back to the drawing board or . . . listen to our podcast that talks about how you can market your business by developing attention-grabbing names, slogans, and ad campaigns at www.DuctTapeMarketing.com.

When you want to get an important message out to millions of people and a 30-second PSA just won’t do, why not make a movie?

In a recent article by the Washington Post, Ted Leonsis describes his new business model of “filmanthropy.” It’s no surprise to me that Ted has coined such a trademarkable phrase and concept – he was in my 2006 POP! Hall of Fame. Why? A year ago, Ted Googled himself and was unhappy to discover several unflattering articles featured first. Rather than passively complaining about this, he proactivTEd Leonsisely initiated his own blog, Ted’s Takes, so he could control his professional persona. Click here to find out what happened as a result of him joining the blogosphere.

Ted describes this new term “filmanthropy” (what I call a Half and Half Word in my book POP! Stand Out in Any Crowd), and how satisfying it was to make “Nanking,” a movie with a cause that made its debut at the Sundance Film Festival in last Saturday.

“It’s where you can shed light on a big issue. You raise the money around your charity and make something that can drive people to understand an issue,” said Leonsis. “It brings together philanthropy and understanding how media works. You’re going to see a lot of people doing this because a studio probably wouldn’t do a story like this.”

The blog OnPhilanthropy.com featured a post describing how socially conscious films are not new – however “filmanthropy” is an innovative way to give donors a more tangible vehicle to bring awareness to a favorite cause. Instead of simply writing a check and having it “disappear” into a foundation’s budget, contributors get to see the fruits of their labor of love.

***********************************************************************************************
Sam Horn, author of POP! Stand out In Any Crowd (Perigee)
Want more? Visit http://www.SamHornPOP.com
Interested in interviewing Sam? Call 1 800 SAM-3455 or email info@samhorn.com

How do you explain an abstract concept so people “get it?” Just ask the 3-time Pulitzer Prize winning author of such best selling books as The World is Flat and The Lexus and the Olive Tree.

In his speeches, Thomas Friedman uses the “Pottery Barn Rule” of “You break it, you own it” to describe his stance on the War in Iraq. The result? An abstract concept crystallizes in the minds of the audience.

Friedman’s quotes have been referenced by such thought-leaders as Bob Woodward of the Washington Post, former Secretary of State Colin Powell and the online anyone-can-contribute encyclopedia, Wikipedia. Such references only increase Friedman’s credibility and expertise on the subject.

Want another example of a company who made their concept concrete by turning the abstract into an image?

When a group of preschoolers was asked what sounds animals made, they gave the usual answers: sheep – baa, cows – moo, horses – neigh, and so on. When asked what sound ducks made, they said….”Aflac!

Do you have a nonsensical business name? Are you presenting an abstract topic? Take notes from Thomas Freidman and Aflac and turn your abstract concept into a concrete image by connecting the unknown to something it looks like or sounds like in the real world. When your audience says “Oooh, I see now,” or “Ahh, now I get it” – you’re in business.

Want more? Visit www.samhornPOP.com
Want to schedule an interview with Sam Horn, author of POP! Stand Out in Any Crowd (Perigee)? Contact Cheri Grimm, Sam Horn’s business manager at info@samhorn.com

We’ve all heard the cliche “Good thinks come to those who wait.” Congrats to AVON for “riffing” off this well-known saying to come up with a catchy slogan for their latest fund-raiser. . . “Good things come to those who walk.”

Just like a jazz pianist “riffs” of chords to create memorable music, you can create memorable taglines, slogans, and titles by re-arranging cliches instead of repeating them – just like AVON did.

Want more? Visit www.samhornpop.com
Want to schedule an interview with Sam? Contact Cheri Grimm, Sam’s Business Manager at info@samhorn.com

Yes, the year-end holidays are over, however there is still a marketing lesson to be learned from them. Two clever movie ads I saw riffed on traditional Christmas songs to come up with smile-inducing taglines.

The first trumpeted the release of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” DVD with WRECK THE HALLS. The second prominently featured a sheep along with the pig and spider from “Charlotte’s Web” with the caption FLEECE NAVIDAD.

Then there was the romance novel featured in the store window of a major bookstore. It featured a Fabio look-alike stretched out on a fur rug in front of a Yule log fire. The title? “The Knight Before Christmas.”

Valentine’s Day is only a month away. Could you tie in your blog post, article, or marketing slogan to a popular love song that is frequently mentioned along with that holiday? It could make your idea or offering more topical so it captures attention from the media and your customers.

Just comb your descriptive copy and pull out key words that explain what your program/product is or does. Those are your “core”words. Then, visit www.freelyrics.com and enter those words into the search engine. Up will come dozens of song titles with “your” phrases. Now, let the word play begin to see if you can come up with a catchy ad or promotion campaign that gets your priority project noticed and remembered.

What do Ted Leonsis, Crackberry, and Little MissMatched all have in common?

They’re all been inducted into the 2006 POP! Hall of Fame – which honors individuals and entities that have captured the public’s interest because of their originality. Previous winners have included Freakonomics, Java Jacket, Daddle, and Eats, Shoots, and Leaves.

I believe the best way to corner a niche is to create a niche. And the best way to create a niche is to coin a one-of-a-kind approach.

These people and products are examples of how anyone and anything can break out if you pleasantly surprise people with something they haven’t seen and heard before.

1.Treadmill Dance. The band OK GO catapulted from obscurity into the spotlight with their innovative dance routine on, you guessed it – treadmills. After 56 takes and much bumping and bruising, the “Treadmill Dance” was born, creating a word-of-“mouse” phenomenon which, through the distribution power of YouTube has been viewed by over 100 million people.

2. Ted’s Takes. This Vice Chair of AOL has decided to pro-actively control his public image rather than passively leaving it to chance. By blogging daily, he’s posted snippets of his celebrity-filled life and strategically linked to other high-profile entrepreneurs such as Mark Cuban. The result? He now receives up to 15,000 visits a day and his “take” on life shows up first when he’s Googled. As a bonus, he says, “I have moral authority and credibility with employees and people in the industry that I’m not just talking about Web 2.0, I’m living it.”

3. Little MissMatched. Capitalizing instead of complaining about the “lost sock phenomenon” by selling funky mismatched socks, gloves and mittens in has catapulted this online retailer into a multimillion dollar company. Their slogan? “Nothing matches but anything goes.”

4. POPera. Pop + Opera = SALES! Combining popular tunes – ala Josh Groban and II Divo – to make a how that is sure to make it big. As soon as you create a never-before-seen word, you don’t just have a clever title, tagline or brand, you have the beginnings of a business empire.

5. MasterCard – “You’re on my fantasy team.” Why did Colts quarterback Peyton Manning earn $11.5 million in endorsement income this year? Partially because of his ad-libs for Master Card in which the commercial director simply asked him to repeat what he frequently hears from fans. Speak in your target market’s language and they’ll identify with you.

6. Heinz. Yes, even packaging can POP! How many times have you pounded a ketchup bottle against your palm trying to get that thick tomato paste out? In what has to be the “Duh!” moment of the decade, someone at Heinz had the bright idea to redesign the bottle and turn it upside down so it sits on its cap. Voila. Problem solved.

7. Metronatural®. This trademarked Half & Half Word captures and communicates the dual draw of Seattle – it’s a thriving metropolis surrounded by majestic natural beauty. Thanks to POP! fan David Zinger for alerting me to another catchy city slogan “Keep it Querque” for . . . what else but Albuquerque?

8. Spot the Tot. 500 children a year are run over in their own driveway by people who inadvertently back up over them. A movement launched to prevent these tragic deaths is called “Spot the Tot” — a classic example of how “Cliff-Noting” your campaign into a clear, concise message increases the likelihood people will remember and follow its important advice.

9. Crackberry. This clever “Alphabetized Word” alludes to the addictive qualities of Blackberry (just ask the hundreds of thousands suffering from “Blackberry Thumb“). You don’t have to be a creative genius to come up with a new word. Write down 10 words that describe your pet project. Now, run them through the ABC’s, changing the sound of the first syllable to match the corresponding letter. Want another example (and a close runner-up in this category?) What do you call a cubicle with a view . . .that’s right, viewbicle.

10. No Child Left Inside. Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder, (a clever play on the words Attention-Deficit Disorder) pioneered a back-to-nature movement to reconnect children with the outdoors and developed the perfect name that “plays off” the No Child Left Behind legislation. Just as a jazz pianist riffs off common chords to create new music, POP! artists riff off common slogans to create new variations.

Want more? Visit www.samhorn.com
Want to schedule an interview with Sam? Contact Cheri Grimm in Sam’s California office at 800 SAM-3455 or email info@samhorn.com

 

There are many joys of being on a media tour — one of which is the opportunity to meet fascinating people.

Such was the case last Wednesday at the annual National Press Club Book Fair.

I was there, along with 80 other invited authors, to sign copies of POP! It was a delightful enveing kibbitzing with familiar faces and fresh faces.

A familiar face was Eleanor Herman, author of Sex with Kings and Sex with Queens, who I met a couple years ago while speaking at Bella Stander’s Promotion 101 for Authors Workshop.

Eleanor definitely knows how to POP! She shows up for media interviews and book-signings wearing a lavish ballgown with an ermine cape and royal jewels. There is no way this woman is going to get lost in a crowd. She definitely stands out and her books’ visibility and sales have benefitted as a result.

I confess, I played hookie from my table for a few minutes to meet female icon and national treasure – Helen Thomas.

In case you’re not already familiar with this pioneering journalist, she became UPI’s White House Correspondent in 1960 and was the “lady in red” who Presidents often called upon first when opening up press conferences for Q & A. Reviews on Amazon.com of her newest book Watchdogs of Democracy refer to her as the “venerable grand dame of the White House press corps” and an “uncorruptable member of the fourth estate.” She is a walking-talking history book of the last five decades of our nation’s major events because she had a front row seat at many of them.

I had an opportunity to ask Helen how she developed the courage to go where no woman had gone before. She said, “I always wanted to be in the forefront and my parents never told me it was impossible.”

Are you at the forefront of your industry?

If you want to lead the pack instead of follow it (as Helen did), check out Chapter 9, Create the Next New Thing with the Half and Half Technique, in POP! It shares specific ways to forge a new path instead of following paths already taken by others.