Focus on focusing

When times are tough, we often lose sight of our core offering. We try to become everything for everyone. When we can't please, we appease. When that fails, we lower our prices. And from thereon in, the game's over. Unless you're Walmart.

 

Word Up to John Jantsch at Duct Tape Marketing for this short reminder about the importance of staying focused. 

 

When it comes to growing a business few things have more power than a narrow focus. Too often business owners want to be many things in order to capture as much business as possible. That seems to make sense, but what happens in most cases is that the business brand gets so diluted that the only way to capture any business is to compete on price – say it with me – there will always be someone willing to go out of business faster than you if you compete on price!


Tis the Season

We've decked the halls, sent out the cards, wrapped the gifts, ordered the turkey and trimmed the tree. So the Holiday preparations are all pretty much taken care of. There's only one thing left to do: say thanks... to everyone who helped make this past year so enjoyable.

Clients, suppliers, creatives, industry partners, technical experts, actors, musicians, photographers, illustrators, food stylists... the list goes on and on and I couldn't be happier. One of the best things about this business is having the opportunity to work with so many great people.

 

 

Our heartfelt thanks to...

 

Al Scornaienchi

Alison Little
Andi State

André Lachance
André Mantha

Anne Bergeron
Annie Henderson

Annie Perez-Leon
Aretha Barrett

Avril Dieno
Bil Riggenberg

Brad Pollock
Brigitte Ledermann

Bruce Dinsmore
Carmen Churcott

Carmen Michelle Dunn
Carrie Findlay

Cedric Marin
Charles Bertrand
Charles Ouellet
Christian Joyal
Christian Langlois
Christina Provencher
Claude Castonguay
Claudia Besso
Colleen Sigurdson
Daintry Dalton
Danielle Laberge
David Stanger
Dawn Lawlor
Deb Ray
Denis-Éric Pednault
Dominic Bujold
Don Eng
Eevin-Leigh Schlamp
Éric Blais
France Bourget
François Bedard
François Bélanger
Fred Roberdet
Gary Jung
Gilles Paquette
Gillian Bryant
Guy Guertin
Guylaine Vouligny
Hans Laroche
Hind Bouzekri
Imen Zitouni
Isabelle Cardinal
Isabelle Reid
Jayne and Don at JMB
JC Doucet
Jean Longpré
Jean-Denis Richard
Jean-François Richard
Jean-François Rouleau
Jean-François Talbot
Jean-François Vézina
Jean-Pascal Beaudoin
Jennifer Colonval
Jennifer Stanger
Jessica Bassermann
Jonathan Desbiens
José Tétrault
Josée Charron
Julie Dickson
Justin Waites
Karim Waked
Kathleen Fee
Kathryn Slater
Kelly DeLa Ronde
Kim Bubbs
Kim Handysides
L’Oreille Cassée
Laura Teasdale
Lisa Suliteanu
Lora Casasola
Lori LaMont

Lori Morley
Lori White
Louise Pauzé
Lucie Doucet
Ludovic Poirier
Manon Varin
Marie-Claude Langlois
Marina Alberti
Mark Camacho
Marlène Circé
Marlene Thrasher
Martin Boisselle
Martine Beliveau
Mary Stanger
Maryse Hébert-Tétrault
Maryse Tétrault-Gauthier
Matt Holland
Maud Cantin
Megan McCann
Mélanie Dunberry
Michel Chioini
Natalie Blouin
Nathalie Poirier
Neil Shee
Nicole Billingsley
Olivier Rivard
Pascal Desjardins
Patricia Chuey
Patrick Fleury
Patrick Lauzon
Patrick Préfontaine
Péo
Pierre Léonard
Pierre Nolin
Pol Therrien
Rhonda Bagnall
Richard Horn
Roberto Wilson
Sabina Bastien
Sandro Di Cori
Shannon Joutel
Shannon Schafer
Simon Bousquet
Sopheak Cheng
Stefano Faustini
Stéphane Martin
Stephen Hall
Susan Almgren
Sylvie Barrière
Sylvie Martel
Tanya Jacobini
Teresa Mufford

Tommy Lacroix
Urmi Aneja
Valérie Lebreux
Vincent Dufour
Wayne Moore
Wilfred Lebouthillier
Yan Dal Santo
Zena Billey

 

If I've forgotten anyone's name, please blame it on the mulled wine.


Microsoft tagline test.

Today's Huffington Post has an article about Microsoft's new tagline Be What's Next – asking readers to rate their level of appreciation. Mine wouldn't be very high up the list. First off, it's trying way too hard. Sounds like the client brief read out loud. It's a wish. And my guess is that it will rest largely unfulfilled. Aside from their Xbox property, it has been a long time since Microsoft brought us anything hot and new. Apple owns that niche hands down. “Be what's next” is a wannabe statement. It's short. Which is good. It’s obviously a distilled version of the communications positioning. But it's not ownable. Any company invested in innovation and R&D could say it. It’s also kind of like admitting they’re nowhere right now. Is it memorable? Is it clever? Does it rhyme? Alliteration? Come on guys, does it have anything whatsoever that might make it stick in your mind aside from the glaring irony of it? Sorry. Microsoft wants to be the next big thing. Sure, go for it. But until then, everybody's happy with what's big right now.

 

Here's a great collection of taglines from the folks at chomchom.

 

And a photo that sums it up:

 


Pounds go by so fast.

 

Yikes! I was digging around in my files and came up with these. On the left, my first agency head shot from 1990. The photo on the right is pretty much the way I look these days. In between, something from 1999. Three shots covering 20 years and 25 lbs. Time and weight. They both seem to add up so quickly. One thing has been constant these past 20 years: the smile on my face. I still love what I do and I still look forward to the next brief with excitement and anticipation. So bring on the next 20 years. But not the lbs, OK?!


Maya and Michael in the Yoga Tree

On June 20th, I got downward-dogging to the serious business of yoga in San Francisco with none other than Michael Franti. The event was hosted by the good people at the Yoga Tree, with proceeds going to Michael's annual Power to the Peaceful festival. Great cause, great vibes, great hugs. Namaste.