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Posts from the Top Dogs Category

Hand Me My Reading Glasses Honey

April 29th, 2008 by Chief Nut

Take your logo and shrink it down to the size of your pinkie fingernail.  What will it look like?  Will it be readable? … recognizable?  Will it look like a smudge?

This is what the folks at SanDisk (the folks who make storage media) went through recently.  It was obvious that as they expanded their product offerings and as those products got incrementally smaller (like the Nintendo Wii chips), their logo began to suffer from smudge-itis.  Enter a logo redesign process! Read the full article from the team at UnderConsideration.
The logo redesign goals were to:

  • Eliminate the icon component of the signature to be similar to the other players in their space (except for Apple who uses an icon).
  • Simplify the font so it can be scaled down to smaller sizes
  • (Here’s the tricky one) NOT lose any brand equity by going too far astray from the original logo.

Despite the fact that many people might look at the after-version and chalk it off as a “whatever”, non-event … the end result (from a designer’s perspective) is the new logo is beautifully done.  All goals were met.  This, folks, is no small feat.

Question: Could your logo stand up to such rigorous scrutiny? 

Pick A Winner!

March 13th, 2008 by Chief Nut
Consider this as a potential company tagline. It could be a little generic … a little too cliche … a little too vanilla. Unless, of course you see how the rest of the brand is spun. Here’s a picture of Tammy Levesque, owner of The Fitness Edge in Meredith, NH, proudly displaying her “business card”. Yes, that’s a plastic nose! The tagline now takes on a whole new meaning. Oh, and it also is usable as a pencil sharpener!


I could go on about how Tammy gets it — but I think you can see here that she has NO problem with being fearless, and bold with her brand and marketing. During a presentation she gave yesterday, she referred to the Fish Philosophy and how the suggestion of infusing your work environment with “Play” can transform your business. Tammy, I just want to know … Are you hiring???

Amazon’s Autumn Walker is a Customer Service Genius

December 12th, 2007 by Chief Nut

We have all received customer service that’s soooo poor we were compelled to lodge a formal complaint. The next, not so shocking step, is to endure the employees rote, canned, emotion-less reply that there’s nothing in their power to do anything about it…. Their inability to provide service is compounded by the fact that they really don’t even care…. Worse yet, they’re not even willing to take the time to query what would make the situation “right.”… (heavy sigh)

A glimmer of hope shines through every now and again, however…. A. Hildebrandt recounts, on The Consumerist Blog, what starts as a tongue-in-cheek letter disguised as a customer service complaint to about their recent “Amazon’s Customer’s Vote” competition…. The post is long but WELL worth the read. Ms. Walker, in charge of Executive Customer Relations replied on behalf of Jeff Bezos…. Her reply, indeed, took thoughtfulness and (here’s the important part) TIME…. Time demonstrated that she cares … and time enough spent to demonstrate she has a sense of humor … and time enough to show she know’s what it takes to deliver exemplary customer service.

Bravo! Ms. Walker. Bravo!

Twenty Minutes … In and Out

November 21st, 2007 by Chief Nut

Yesterday, Seth points out that Real Estate brokers used to all charge the same fee. Not anymore. This begs the question, “what would you need to do to justify charging, say, 7%?” …. and, how successful would you be if you did that same thing but only charge 5%?.

Here’s a story; My wife returned from Belknap Tire and recounted an interesting story. She entered the store and the desk clerk took her keys before she was even able to set them down on the counter. After just 20 minutes she had her keys back in-hand, paid for the service and was on her merry way!

You might be thinking that it was just a slow day for them. Not so. There were 5 other customers who were tended to equally well. What about the price? GREAT! A HUNDRED dollars less than two other estimates. I’m not sure about your experiences but I’ve never been to a dealership and have been able to walk out so quickly.

Great service, great prices, attention to detail, great products, local and convenient. HECK YEAH, I think they’ve been reading Seth’s blog!

Iconic Kleenex Hits a Brand “Home Run”

November 16th, 2007 by Chief Nut

When you’ve built up soooo much brand equity over the course of generations, and have become synonymous with your entire product category (like Kleenex has done), you might tend to rest on your brand laurels a bit. Not so for this super-star brand. Watch this TV commercial and, in particular, note the tagline and the tie to the website. It just brings a tear to my eye … sniff, sniff … quick, hand me a Kleenex!

Rest In Peace Marcel

September 24th, 2007 by Chief Nut

Do you think it’s hard to define and implement a great brand? One where you can effectively stand out from your competition? Okay, try this … redefine an entire art form, become internationally famous and be the ONLY name that comes to mind when one mentions the art form. This kind of makes your brand task seem a little easier, yes? Indeed, this is what Marcel Marceau did for the art of pantomime.

From 1980 through 1982 I was a member of the University of Michigan Mime Troupe … and, yes, an idol of mine was Marcel Marceau. I had the pleasure of seeing him live in Ann Arbor but never had the opportunity of meeting him in person. It is with a truly sad heart that I say goodbye to my idol today. Marcel passed away yesterday in Paris at the age of 84. With him, passes a special set of skills that will not be seen in this world again in quite the same way; The ability to create light … to bring life to a butterfly with the flutter of a finger … to defy gravity … to evoke multiple characters simultaneously … to bring laughter with but a gesture of a hand.

The world mourns, but none more so than I. Rest in peace Monsieur Marceau.

Keep It On

April 20th, 2007 by Chief Nut

Good friend and Radio Maven, Bill Phenix (WXRV-The River), told us about a new tagline for one of his clients - Powers Generator in Spofford, NH. The company is a full service generator dealer here in New England. Their new tagline is (as you’ve guessed by now); “Keep It On.”

Short, punchy, not too direct (regarding product/service), emotion based …. this all equals LOTS of tagline velocity. BRAVO guys!!

A HOT Kiss = A HOT Brand

February 2nd, 2007 by Chief Nut

I’m constantly riffing on how advertising is more powerful when it connects with a brand based emotion rather than a product/service feature or benefit. … and don’t expect me to stop anytime soon!

In a TV commercial launched by Rembrandt Toothpaste this past week, we see a PERFECT example of this in action. The “Romantic” archetypical emotion combined with great romantic music combined with great romantic words. NO toothpaste, no pictures of toothpaste, no talking about toothpaste, NADA.

As Paris Hilton would say … “That’s Hot!”

Does Walmart Matter?

November 17th, 2006 by Chief Nut

Start up a discussion of WalMart at the next mixer you attend and watch what happens. The discussion may go in any number of directions, but it will be lively. If you have a strong opinion about “the Walmart effect” (good or bad), you’ll want to read this article by Art Carden at the Ludwig von Mises Institute.

It’s Like Christmas In Design World!

November 10th, 2006 by Chief Nut

Oh, Oh, Oh …. I can’t wait! Check out the “under development” idea of I can see this online app shaving off days or weeks on heavy design projects.