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Posts made in July, 2015

Storytelling Car Company Takes on Giants

By on Jul 29, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Silvercar was launched in 2012 by a couple of entrepreneurs who saw an opportunity in the car rental business, where price had become the only point of competition. With a fleet composed solely of tech-loaded silver Audi A4s, smart phone enabled rentals and simple pricing, their app is being downloaded a thousand times a day and they are already in five out of the six biggest U.S. airports. How did they do it?  As Inc. magazine points out, “At its core, Silvercar allows customers to tell a more attractive story about themselves than their larger competitors do. While someone using a traditional rent-a-car doesn’t know whether he’ll be a minivan guy or a sedan guy, a Silvercar user knows he can see himself as an Audi guy…by default. Whereas a traditional rental customer may be stuck with little more than a pair of windshield wipers and a roadmap, Silvercar users know they will be able to show up to the world as tech-savvy travelers.” Every decision they make, according to their marketing guru, Russ Lemmer, is done to position Silvercar as a lifestyle brand, similar to their partner, Virgin America.  Create a product that matches the customer’s view of themselves – their story – and they will become your best salesperson. Ask yourself: Do you know your customer’s story – how they view themselves? Do they see themselves as grand adventurers, rebels, caretakers or something else? If customers love your company, congratulations?  Do you know why? Have you asked them what they don’t like about dealing with your company? They may think it’s “just how things need to be” and you may be missing out on a product or sales opportunity. Take a look at the customers who use your competition. Are they a particular personality...

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What Alzheimer’s Has Taught Me

By on Jul 7, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Healthy but with her memory ransacked by late stage Alzheimer’s, my mother recently celebrated her 96th birthday. I was born on her birthday, and when I showed up on our shared birthday with cake and presents, she told me that I looked vaguely familiar but she couldn’t quite place me.  She asked for my name. When I told her, she shook her head and said, “No, I don’t know anybody by that name, sorry.”  At this stage, I’m more bemused by the irony of that response coming from the person who actually named me and relieved that she is, overall, quite happy, than I am saddened by the fact that she doesn’t know me anymore. She’s taken to very different behaviors recently, which I know is caused by the disease.  However, they are rather charming behaviors.  Her strict religious upbringing meant she spent a lifetime with short, no-fuss hair, rarely wore makeup and definitely not nail polish, and she eschewed all ornamentation and most jewelry.  These days, she wears bright pink nail polish on her carefully manicured fingernails, lets me dress her very long and elaborately styled hair with crystal encrusted bobby pins and favors bright clothing decorated with jaunty pins.  Her demeanor has changed, too. After a lifetime of being pessimistic and critical, she has a refreshingly joyful and guileless attitude these days. So, when I’m with her, I wonder, for myself and, by extension, to my own company, what choices do I make out of habit?  Without memory, who would I be?  Do I behave out of a lifetime of decisions that I made once, remember clearly and never revisit?   Do I avoid the new in favor of the known? Am I consistent or merely entrenched?  If I change the identity of my company and do something different, do I look like I’m wavering, or like I’m...

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