LOHAS Leadership Summit

Incredible session. The two key thoughts.

Dominique Counseil (President, Aveda):

“As a leader: I don’t think it’s our job to have ideas…there are plenty of ideas around us. We need to listen more.” (ed. – YES!)

Michael Crooke (CEO, Revolution Living):

“I think the most major thing that we’ve done with technology is how we market our brands. Word Of Mouth Marketing is the only way to grow and nurture our brands in an authentic way. You’ve got to have authenticity and transparency, and things like blogs are a big part of that. We’re using RSS feeds, and podcasting, and the demographic we’re going after isn’t a demographic…it’s a psychographic…and those people want to connect to the company, and do it on their terms, and on their platform. The more ways a customer can connect with the company, each new way has the potential to double the customer’s lifetime value. Because of blogs, because of podcasting, because of Word of Mouth, we’ll connect.”

More after the jump

Liveblogging LOHAS – Megatrends with Patricia Aburdene

Patricia Aburdene is the author of Megatrends 2010: The Rise of Conscious Capitalism.

According to Aburdene, "conscious capitalism" the predominant trend to watch in the coming years.  (In contrast to what she calls "unconscious capitalism" as defined as Friedman’s statement "the social responsibility of business is to increase profits.")

Three ways to run a company to meet these trends correctly:

  • Values –work harder to link the values you stand for with your product
  • Standards — Eductate the customer to differentiate between diluted standards, and the higher standards that you embrace.
  • Authenticity — Walk the talk.  The customer needs to know that the way that the business is run is aligned with the same values that show up in the marketing of the product.

More here.

Liveblogging LOHAS – Marketing

Am livelogging the LOHAS conference in Santa Monica over the next couple of days. (I’ll be doing the full writeups over at the Blue Marble blog.) First session was “LOHAS Marketing.”

Mark Spellum, Editor in Chief, Plenty Magazine

Susan West Kurz, CEO, Dr. Hauschka Skin Care
Rick Ridgeway, VP Communications and Environmental Initiatives, Patagonia
Laura Coblentz – VP Marketing, Wild Oats
Peter David Pedersen – CEO, E-Squared

That said, the two lines that popped out, from Susan Kurz, “Authenticity is the ultimate luxury” and the one from Rick Ridgeway, “when given a personality test, companies are social deviants and pathological liars” require some further thought.

More after the jump.


Best line I’ve read all day.

“Good social networks provide ways for people to create just the sort of information to create useful affinities or ways to find the people you’re interested in networking with. This is something I call the social surface area (graphic) but I think the potential for this in the enterprise are clearly still there, once initial concerns are overcome. Thus, the social media companies that find good ways to increase a user’s social surface area without disrupting the business itself will tend to be most successful.”Dion Hinchcliffe (ZDNet), from his post Social Networking Makes A Play For The Enterprise

Spot. On.

Haystack Updates – April 26, 2006

A bunch of news on the Haystack front. In addition to moving to a new infrastructure provider, have put in a load of new capabilities. The most notable two are:

Profile Permalinks

We realized that, if businesses are going to be using the system to enable customers to find the “right” person to help them from within an organization, organizational representatives need to be as visible as possible. So, in addition to finding individuals via the Haystack tag navigation, profiles are now permalinked and, therefore, discoverable via the big search engines. This also means that you can put a link to your Haystack profile in your email signature, or even link to it from a webpage. Or even from within a blog post.

Example: Permalinks to Dennis Howlett, Denise Ryan and Andrew Taylor.

And check this…the Google visibility rocks.

Private Haystacks

We’ve had a number of customers come to us and say “I love what you’re doing…can we use this just ourselves, and not make the profiles visible?” The answer is now yes. So, Shel Holtz writes the following about “enterprise social networking” behind the firewall.

Shel: “To me, [enterprise social networking] means within the organization. I am convinced that there is tremendous potential in an all-internal social networking platform for large organizations that lets employees get knowledge and information, and make connections, among themselves.”

There you go, Mr. Holtz. Any Haystack administrator can now choose to make his or her Haystack “private,” and only allow visibility to those who are in the network. The Haystack itself doesn’t even show up in the directory. Done. Next?

BrainJams New Orleans – May 4, 2006

Chris Heuer and Kristie Wells, Grace Davis, and many others are trekking to New Orleans next week. Why?

Chris Heuer writes:

“Though I have only been to New Orleans once before, I have a deep love for this great American city and I really want to help bring it back from the tragedy that was Katrina. As a technologist, business strategist, entrepreneur and humanist, I have been been working with BrainJams over the last few months to bring people together to learn from one another in the real world. While I can’t rebuild the houses that were lost or donate millions of dollars, I can work towards connecting the small businesses of New Orleans with an understanding of how they can make the most of emerging Internet technologies. More importantly, I can help facilitate real, personal connections between the people who are building these Internet tools and the local business community in New Orleans who need the best available thinking to help rebuild their local economy.

BrainJams is about people sharing what they know with one another – people helping people, treating one another with respect and working to understand each another’s unique ability to contribute towards a common goal. If you are interested in working towards
revitalizing New Orleans, won’t you join us for a conversation between the business community in New Orleans and people who understand emerging Web 2.0 technologies such as blogs, wikis, social bookmarking, tags, open source software such as Drupal, and other Web services?

I believe that together, we can discover innovative solutions to the business problems that are being faced today, as well as learn from one another how to make the most of what we already have. We know from firsthand experience that the traditional way of running a conference was seldom best for the attendees. The most interesting parts of the conference were often the hallway conversations we had with other attendees. Often times, the people in the audience have better insights to share than those speaking on the panel. BrainJams takes away the “power of the podium” and puts it in the hands of the people in the audience. We turn attendees into participants, and in so doing, make it easier for everyone to get what they need from the event while having a turn to step up on the soap box to share their ideas, concerns and experiences.”

Register here. It’s free to attend.

It Also Means “Surely Deep-Fried Cutlet”

Seth points to an article about “how KitKat became number one.”

The two quotes from the article linked above that raised my hackles:

Year 3: Some ads began to appear. They didn’t look like ads. They were cute little stories about teachers, mothers, students and the lucky charm. The ads were fiction, but real Japanese moms began packing KitKats for their kids when they left home to take the exams.

Year 4: Real people began to appear in the ads that didn’t look like ads. No product was ever shown. Just a subtle little KitKat logo.

This is why marketers are distrusted.

Now, I’ve got some questions. I did a quick Google search on kitto katsu, and came up with only about 700 hits. Almost all of those were references to this story. (Granted, most “real” references would most likely be in Kanji, and therefore not picked up by Google. But still.)

As best as I could tell, very few of the references were actually people wishing each other luck, except in the context of this story. Wouldn’t you think that if this were a “real” phrase that had been around for a while, it would be in more common usage?

I’m not a Japanese speaker, although I can order the nihon biiru with the best of them. I am willing to admit that kitto katsu, as a phrase, now may be being used in the manner described in the article above. But I wonder: did kitto katsu, as a phrase, exist in the language before KitKat’s marketing machine began pushing this story? Or did some marketing suit look up kitto and katsu, and create the phrase in order to push the product?

That’s “Mr. Inc” To You, Pal

I thought I’d share part of an email solicitation I received today from destinationCRM.

If the incongruity of the “do as we say, not as we do” wasn’t so depressing, it’d be really, really funny.

(NOTE: The letter has been edited for space.)

Dear Inc,

In an effort to keep our online directory as accurate as possible, all listings older that 1/1/05 will be rendered inactive.

Why is this important? Because our directory database is integrated throughout all editorial content on our site.

Act now and have your online status upgraded to “Premium Partner” immediately

For information about this Buyers Guide offer, please call or email me at your convenience.

To have yourself or your public relations professional placed on our editor’s advance editorial email update list, just reply to me with full contact information.

If you are interested in any of the above opportunities, please contact me as soon as possible.

Thanks for your time.

Warm Regards,

[name redacted]
CRM Media, LLC

::shakes head::

(disclosure: I’ve written for DestinationCRM in the past.)