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A Conference to Teach Agencies How to Brand Themselves?

Michael-Gass-Portrait-325x400Fuel Lines New Business Conference, a new business conference for advertising, digital, media and PR agencies is coming to Nashville October 8-9. The conference will shake up some pre-conceived notions about agencies in today’s world.  Most agencies sell brand positioning to their clients but have none themselves.  Michael Gass, leading new business consultant, has put together some great thinkers on the subject.  We will be speaking there and we even have a discount for you.

New business has historically been a problem for agencies.

Most small to midsize agencies have no positioning and no point of differentiation. They look and sound the same.
They are often treated as vendors because they lack a positioning of expertise.
Most don’t have a target audience thus, no focus for business development efforts.
They are their own worst clients, the cobbler’s children with no shoes.
No appeal beyond their local market.
Forced to use interruption tactics to build awareness.
But, with all of these problems, new business is now much more difficult. It’s made worse by the paradigm shift in business development due to The Great Recession and the empowerment of prospects through social media. Interruptive type tactics such as cold calls, email blasts and direct mail have become ineffective and inefficient. Rainmakers who were good at new business in the past are struggling today.The Fuel Lines New Business Conference will provide 20 top-notch sessions, with inspiring insights from the best and brightest new business thought leaders, who will provide their expertise on the new drivers of business development.  To find out more, click here.  If you are interested in a early bird discount for Brand Wise friends, email us at Jamie@JamieDunham.com.

A Recipe for Food & Travel: Chef Paulette Licitra

IMG_0288Some say the food can teach you everything you need to know about a culture.

Research shows that 39% of travelers say the key reason they recently took one or more trips was the availability of culinary activities. Chef Paulette Licitra, an Italian cooking instructor in Nashville, has combined that special love for food and travel by leading “live like the locals” Italian cooking adventures.  Paulette’s trips take small groups to experience Italy as an Italian.

She has taken women to Rome, Venice, and the Amalfi Coast.  The groups stay in apartments, shop outdoor food markets, visit butcher and produce stores, and then bring it back to their local kitchen to try their hand at local specialties.  Beyond cooking, they visit popular attractions and go on wine tours.

She shares a recipe with us that she found in Ravello on the Amalfi Coast from a local chef.  Buon Viaggio & Buon Appetito!

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Simmered Cod in Acqua Pazza (Crazy Water) with Tomatoes, Garlic & Parsley.

2-3 large ripe tomatoes, coarsely diced

2-3 garlic cloves, minced

A pinch of hot pepper

1/4 cup minced parsley

salt & pepper to taste

1/4 cup olive oil

2 cups water

4 Cod fillets

1/2 loaf baguette, sliced

In a large sauté pan, with a cover, add all the ingredients, except the fish. Cover and bring to a simmer. Let simmer for about 30 minutes. Take the cover off and let liquid reduce to at least half. Add the cod fillets. Season fish with salt. Cover partially (askew), and cook until fillets are done and cooked through — about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, toast the bread slices. Serve a toasted bread slice to each person with a cod fillet and juices.

Paulette Licitra teaches cooking classes, and leads food-focused tours in Italy, Nashville & New York. Paulette completed her professional culinary studies at the Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) in NYC. She was Chef at Rustico Cooking in New York, cooked in Mario Batali’s restaurant Lupa, and her catering company Chez Paulette specialized in appetizer parties for private and corporate events. Paulette has traveled extensively in Italy for culinary research, and studied with home cooks in Lazio, Liguria, Emilia-Romagna, Piemonte, Campania, and the Veneto. She can be seen on Nashville’s Channel 4 WSMV’s “More at Midday.” Paulette is also the publisher of the online food journal, Alimentum.

LA Times: The Brand Wise Take on Endorser Ads

65a15f5839fa11e393b222000aa8011b_6There’s a great story on social media ads reported by the LA Times and savvy writer Jessica Guynn.  The piece, entitled “Like it?  Social ads turn users into unwitting endorsers”, talks about the policies of Facebook and Google to turn our “Likes” into personal endorsement ads.  I am not a fan of endorser ads as you can tell from my quote in the story.

Here’s how the endorsement works:  You click on a “like” or Google “+1” and that endorsement might show up in an ad without your approval.  We have all participated in “Likes” to get a coupon or enter a contest, but we really didn’t like that brand enough to have our name used as an unknowing advertiser.

Social media is supposed to foster authenticity, transparency and conversation between brands and consumers.  It seems that using our unwitting acknowledgements as advertising flies in the face of the basic tenets of social media.

It also seems to work as a deterrent from every clicking on a “like” again.  What’s your take?  Want to be an endorser?