Lights, Camera, Action Sports!

An unlikely crop of blue-chip marketers are tapping extreme sports as part of their pitch. Will daring moves put them over the top?

By Barry Janoff, BRANDWEEK, 2.28.05


Cool Quote: 02.24.05

"All things being equal, people will do business with a friend; all things being unequal, people will still do business with a friend." - Mark McCormack - founder of IMG


Branded Brands

Focused and well-respected brands are cashing in by enriching each other's brands, bringing to the party their particular core competence or signature ingredients. Think Heineken and Krups, or Chanel and Ducasse.

From TrendWatching

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Making Lemons Out of Lemonade

By Michael Masterson

We got to Grappa, Park City's best Italian restaurant, at 8:44. Our reservation was for 8:45.

"I'm sorry," the hostess said, smiling. "We're running a little behind."

We were immediately disappointed.

"But we'd like to offer you complimentary Champagne and hors d'oeuvres," she said, "in the boutique across the street."

I looked out the window at the boutique. It was brightly lit and festive looking. I could see a half-dozen people milling around, sipping drinks and looking at the furniture and knick-knacks for sale. They looked like they were enjoying themselves.

"OK," I said, "but . . ."

"We'll page you there as soon as your table is ready, Mr. Masterson," she said.

Many restaurants purposely "run a little behind" so you'll wait (and spend money) in their bar. But Grappa came up with a different way to turn a restaurant's most common annoyance (waiting for a table) into a pleasant way for customers to pass the time. (And spend more money.)

It turned out to be a nice experience for us -- browsing through an upscale boutique full of interesting impulse buys for the affluent shopper. The store was half-full, which meant you could navigate your way around easily without the risk of spilling your drink or getting stuck in a crowded aisle.

I spoke to one of the boutique owners, a young guy who told me that the joint venture was working out well. "We split the cost of the Champagne and hors d'oeuvres. But the profits on the business we do is ours to keep."

One of my friends bought a silver wine-pull. I was thinking about ordering a coffeemaker when we got the call: Our table was ready.

Back at the restaurant, I mentioned that this idea -- two seemingly unrelated businesses linking up for a synergistic effect -- is an old one. In the early 1980s, Jay Abraham talked about it. Since then, I've done it many times. But this particular application was very impressive.

We talked about other potential ways to apply the same idea. The most obvious opportunity is for movie theaters and bookstores. It's not by accident that they are so often in close proximity. (See "Word to the Wise," below.) Bookstores realize that moviegoers often buy their tickets early and then look for someplace to spend the intervening time. All that extra "idle" traffic results in a lot of extra book sales.

But what's in it for the movie theaters? Right now, not much. And that's why there are so few actual joint ventures between the two. But if more of them were to get together and promote a single book-browsing and movie-watching experience, they might all do better.

For example, the bookstore could sell advance tickets at a discount up to a half-hour before the show. It could advertise this service in the store and possibly in its newspaper ads.

Promotions could be created around specific movies -- i.e., featuring related books and maybe serving dessert and coffee after the 8:00 show. At the same time, the theater could help promote after-movie book browsing through its on-screen advertising.

It seems to me that the theater/bookstore combination would provide an entertainment/education experience that people would appreciate and pay for. If a few good marketers got together and brainstormed, all sorts of good and useful ideas could be developed.

The result would be good for everyone: More sales for the bookstores and movie theaters and a more enjoyable night out for the customers.


Cool Quote: 02.21.05

"Marketing is not an event, but a process... It has a beginning, a middle, but never an end, for it is a process. You improve it, perfect it, change it, even pause it. But you never stop it completely." - Jay Conrad Levinson


Starbucks' genius blends community, caffeine

The company knows that emotion, not logic, powers the decision to pay $3.22 for a double-tall latte, extra hot with a shot of sugar-free vanilla.

From MSN Money, by John Markman

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Not Your Father's CFO

Few business roles have changed as dramatically during the last generation asthat of the chief financial officer. The classic model -- the CFO as chiefaccountant and technical expert focused narrowly on the firm's financialstatements and capital structure -- has been passé for a decade or more. Today'sCFOs have become a vital part of the corporation's leadership team and haveassumed responsibilities of a breadth and magnitude that make the title "chieffinancial officer" slightly antiquated. No longer mere business partners,leading CFOs have become active, innovative, and independent transformationagents, managing global growth and creating greater value.

From strategy+business; by Vinay Couto, Irmgard Heinz, and Mark J. Moran

To read the full article: http://www.strategy-business.com/resilience/rr00016


What's Important?

Recently I attended a meeting at a client’s headquarters. The company had
recently conducted a corporate training session, so the conference room was
littered with manuals, charts were taped to the walls and the dry erase boards
covered with notes. Amid the clutter were posters featuring inspirational
quotes. The kind that make weak managers feel strong and office workers cringe.
But there was one that was different from the others. It has stayed with me. And
its meaning becomes more clear to me the longer I consider it. It is by Charles
Swindoll and it is called “Attitude”:

The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life.
Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the
past, than education, than money, then circumstances, than failures, than
successes, than what other people think, say, or do. It is more important than
appearance, giftedness, or skill. It will make or break a company, a church, a
home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude
we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past. We cannot change the
fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The
only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our
attitude. I am convinced that life is 10 percent what happens to me and 90
percent how I react to it. And so it is with you. We are in charge of our

Are you in control of your attitude or does your
attitude control you? What can we do to keep our attitudes from standing in the
way of our goals? Of what’s important?

From: WHAT'S IMPORTANT Vol. I Issue 2 January 19, 2005 Durakis Executive Search


Affinnova in FORBES!

Check it out. Affinnova is featured in the cover story of this month's Forbes magazine! It took 9 mos. to make this happen. Takes a lot for a small, relatively untested company to get into one of the big 3 business pubs.

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