Inside-out Blog

Dear Valued Customer

Woman sitting in front of laptop computer with drawings of eyes covering her real eyes"Dear Valued Customer,"

I recently received an email with this salutation from a company where I spent a significant amount of money about two years ago. They wanted to see if I needed more of their services. They even referenced a survey that I had “recently” filled out—but actually had done more than a year ago.

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Packaging is a preview of your brand

Moo sticker 1They say good things come in small packages, but a recent experience indicates that good experiences come wrapped in branded packaging. And we all know that good—and better yet, great—customer experiences lead to loyalty, trust and repeat purchases.

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Target better and crush your marketing goals

orange crushed canEveryone should buy my product,” is the answer we often hear from both startups and seasoned marketers when we ask about their target audiences. But marketers rarely have enough time and  budget to market effectively to everyone. Here’s 6-step method to crush your marketing goals with smarter targeting.

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Burn notice: marketing intelligence from fabled spies

640px Burn Notice logo.svgThe television series Burn Notice features a spy, a retired Navy SEAL and a former IRA operative working together as unlikely do-gooders rescuing underdogs and making bad guys quake in their boots. While the characters run full-tilt into danger (like most reasonable people won’t) they offer lessons every marketer should take to heart.

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"We've gotta get our name out there!"

megaphone clouds QUIET message for brands"We don’t have budget for advertising. We just need to get our name ‘out there.’” We hear this from small organizations a lot. There's little budget, but they still expect measurable results from a single marketing investment or activity.

But occasionally throwing your name—your brand—“out there” doesn’t do anything to build trust, loyalty or brand equity.

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Nobody likes a pushy brand

pushy brand pink handAn increasing number of brands are trying to push themselves into people’s faces. They think this approach will move audiences to their way of thinking. Instead, it does just the opposite. Here are 3 places where it happens and what to do instead.

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Customer experience behind the mask

masked person with gloves copyCOVID has challenged us all in many ways. One of the many areas slapped squarely in the face is customer experience. Experience is more than service, and is a differentiator for brands. It’s more than saying thank you or delivering a purchase promptly.

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Branders: don't wait for your customers to make a racket

cute white bunny with carrotMy mother has an irresistibly cute pet rabbit named Bandit. She’s trained him to perform a few tricks, and it turns out that he’s much smarter than anyone thought. Each day at 3:00pm, Bandit expects a baby carrot. And if a carrot isn't promptly provided at the appointed time, he makes enough racket in his cage that he can’t be ignored.

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Up, up and away: virtual retreat HOW-TOs for blue skies ahead

employee retreat up up and awayThe new year is sure to be filled with opportunity if we plan. Yes, I said it. If we plan. Though you may not be able to hold a traditional retreat, here’s inspiration for a virtual event that gets everyone connected and moving your company to new heights.

 It's as easy as 1-2-3.

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How to avoid a zombie brand-pocalypse

Tor Johnson.BrandZombies have much in common with angry current and former employees. They can decimate a brand as quickly as a village in your favorite horror movie.

Watch for the warning signs or it may be too late.

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Test kitchen for irresistible brand ideas

Cookies and big ideas are tempting to brandersAs branders, the temptation to embrace a new trend can be as irresistible as that second (or third) Girl Scout cookie. It’s always a good idea to stay attention-getting. It’s also vital to be a steward of the brand you’ve worked so hard to build.

Before your team succumbs to temptation, here’s a 1-2-3 checklist to help evaluate before you indulge.

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It costs you nothing to make me feel important

FSGC Valentine CUIt's easy to make customers and donors want to come back again if you make them feel important. It's inexpensive—even free—to do it. But it doesn't happen by accident.

Are you building a feel-the-love culture?

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The infrastructure of your company starts with culture

Infrastructure for Brands is Culture MB PilandOften unseen, corporate culture is your essential power supply that keeps everything moving full speed ahead. And like technicians who conduct an energy audit, or engineers who design bridges, you need to ensure your organization is fit from the inside out.

Here are three ways to ensure your infrastructure supports a powerful future.

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Time flies: use it or lose it

Image of clock dissolving In recent years, being busy, overworked and sleep-deprived has become a badge of honor. Ask how they’re doing at a cocktail party or a Zoom meeting, and inevitably, people proudly reply, “I am so busy.” Or they just answer emphatically, “BUSY!”

And especially in times of crisis, these same people feel ashamed to say they have down time or that they took some time away.

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Stone Soup: the ancient lesson for today’s brands in COVID-19 crisis

STONE soup lesson for brands MB PilandYou may remember this story from childhood. Stone Soup is a European folk tale where a hungry stranger from out of town convinces the locals that his soup recipe—the basis of which is nothing more than a stone—will become something extraordinary.

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BRANDCHANTMENT: a remedy for ailing retailers

magic wand brandchantment mbpThere’s a lot of talk about how retailing—and other traditional business—is dead. And there’s much hand-wringing and complaining about how those big online giants are unfairly hurting brick-and-mortar businesses. 

While some of this pressure on physical locations is unavoidable, many retailers are driving their customers right into the arms of their online competitors.

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Don't take the person out of personal service

Where are u personal service is missingI don’t know whether it’s today’s consumer online habits or a lack of training. But I do know I don’t like it. “What’s the name?” the receptionist blankly asked me at my doctor’s office this week. Ick. There seems to be an epidemic of taking the person out of personal service.

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Branders: stop shouting and start listening

megaphone branders must stop shoutingThe strongest brands on earth have a two-sided relationship with their fans. Like any real life relationship, there’s give and take. Speaking and listening.

If you’re only focused on advertising, posting, tweeting and shouting, you’re going to miss what people say—and think—about your brand.

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You asked. I answered. Did you hear me?

Big EarRecently I received an email from a business asking me to rate a visit. While that visit was very positive, I used this survey as an opportunity to share a different and very negative experience that happened a couple months before that. This is a healthcare organization and the situation involved life and death decisions.

At the end of the survey, I had the option to share my contact information. I decided to share, wondering if anyone would reach out to me to find out more or see what they could do to improve the situation.

And then I waited.

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A dear john letter to my (former) favorite brand

Dear Brand You Broke My HeartI’ve been a loyal Mercedes Benz driver for nearly 20 years and four different E Class sedans. The last one let me down so hard I won’t go back. The reason: they cut corners and it broke my heart.

Here’s a warning to brands everywhere about the dangers of subbing cheaper materials and snubbing your loyal fans.

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Culture lessons from a turkey wrangler

Turkey culture bad for businessMy mother grew up in West Virginia. Like many families at that time, hers had a sizable garden and some chickens and turkeys. Typically, my grandmother tended the garden and kept all the myriad household projects neatly organized and running smoothly. (Martha Stewart would be proud.)

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Banish the skeletons in your brand closet

brush up your brandBranders often overlook or ignore things that can have a big impact on the impressions they make on their customers. Case in point: the coat closet.

Some organizations inadvertantly leave others with a bad taste in their mouths over their closets—or lack thereof. Here's why:

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Do you have a credo? How having a heart matters.

Martha heart painting croppedWhile many organizations say they have heart, rare are those who have created a culture that truly inspires passion. The word ‘credo’ (I believe) comes from ‘cor do’ (I give my heart).

Do employees, customers and community give their heart to your brand? Here are some things to seriously consider:

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Is your brand as appreciated as an extra button?

ButtonWhy should you be an “extra button” brand? The extra button brand is the one who gets a customer by when he’s in a pinch. It's the brand that helps a customer save face. It's the brand that has your back.

Deliver that kind of service, and you’re the life saver that builds unquestionable loyalty.

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There's no excuse for "nobody told me."

orange cross sick brandI recently heard someone in the c-suite of a company say that a key business development strategy hadn’t been launched because nobody told him to do it. I was shocked.

Why is he waiting—and by whom—to be told? Is this laziness or a symptom of something else?

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Don't talk out of both sides of your mouth: an 11 point audit for your internal brand

Zipped lips hurt brandsKeeping your brand aligned means paying attention to the messaging and stories you tell inside your organization, not just what you say in public.

Why? Because without an intentional internal brand, your public-facing messages will never be truly authentic.

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10 things that are often overlooked during a brand audit

Brand Audit Checklist MB PilandKeeping your brand aligned means regularly auditing everything that tells your story. When you evaluate advertising and PR messages, you should never overlook the many other things that speak loud and clear.

Here’s a starting checklist of additional things to monitor for your public-facing brand:


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Foosball tables are no substitute for culture

Foosball table is not cultureWatch any company’s recruitment video these days and you’re likely to see a foosball table, an espresso bar and a workout room. You may be wondering if you need those to attract great employees, too.

While games and fancy coffee are nice “extras,” they’re not the foundation of your culture. There are better ways to cultivate a winning internal brand.

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Don't let dirty laundry soil your brand

Dirty laundry dirty brandYou may think that because your website is updated and your new video takes your customers’ breath away that your brand refresh is spotless.

Employee behavior contrary to your brand promise will soil your brand overnight.

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What won't you do for your brand?

What will you NOT do for your brandMany organizations have spent a significant amount of time thinking—and talking—about what they will do.

“We will deliver excellent service every time,” or “we will always be at the forefront of innovation.”

But what won’t you do?

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Stop talking about a sales funnel and think of it as a chain instead

old school sales process bad for businessOld school sales guys will tell you sales is just a numbers game. Get enough prospects into the funnel and they’ll dump out X% of customers at the bottom. Easy.

News flash, Herb Tarlek: your lack of a system is as outdated as your plaid polyester coat.

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"Not a problem" for lazy brands—and what to do about it

NOT A PROBLEM is a problem for your brand“Not a problem,” the customer service person said to me on the phone as we were wrapping up my transaction. What!? Not a problem? For who—you!? Wait a minute. Who is the customer here?

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The delivery man and dark tales: a beastly lesson for your brand

monster dooms your brandLast week, a hot, tired delivery man came into our office with some much-needed supplies. He delivered more than just packages. He delivered angry, ugly opinions about someone else’s brand.

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The customer journey starts with your employee journey

Customer and employee journey Marketers are spending a lot of time talking about the customer journey. We’re not hearing the same talk about the employee journey, and that’s a shame. Because the customer journey with your brand will be bumpy at best if the employee journey isn’t thoughtfully mapped out and put into action first.

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An ad campaign won't fix what's wrong with your team

vitaminis for your brand It’s an all-too-common malady: sales are flabby or fundraising goals are lagging, so leadership determines that a fresh new ad campaign is just the thing to make everything right.

When we start asking questions to diagnose the situation, we often discover something else: an internal problem.

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Stop driving with your parking brake on

brand danger parking brake on If you ever put your car in drive with your parking brake engaged, the car lets you know it right away. Ignore the warning at your own peril.

You know not to do it to your car. So why let it happen to your brand?

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A crisis is not the time to be handing out business cards

DHS thumbnail Have you put off planning, budgeting and—dare I say it—dreaming? If so, you’re probably working too much in the business and not enough on the business.

Don't wait for a crisis. Plan now.

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How gossip amplifies (or muffles) your brand

mic gossip brand thumbnail Amazon Chairman Jeff Bezos has famously said, “Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.”

If you take this to heart, you need to understand all the people who talk about you when you’re not in the room.

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4 tips for your intern's first day—according to an intern

Moriyah RambergSpecial blog submission by Moriyah Ramberg

I was lucky enough to be selected for MB Piland’s internship program this summer. Now that I’ve had time to reflect on it,  I'd like to share tips on how to make an internship a valuable experience for both boss and intern, starting with the first day.

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Branders: take that foot out of your mouth

smile for your brand The starlet (insert name) was stunningly beautiful—until she opened her mouth and became a devastating disappointment to her fans. Her foot will be removed from her mouth with the help of a good PR agent.

Branders: it’s harder for you. You have numerous people who can make your brand look dazzling—or like Hollywood’s biggest trainwreck.

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From groan to great: make your next retreat the best yet

employee retreat root canalBe honest: have you ever heard an employee (sincerely) say “OH cool—I’m so excited!” when you announced a staff retreat? For many, the thought of a day away from the office stuffed into a conference room to plan sounds like as much fun as a root canal.


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3 kinds of hoarding that smother your brand

hoarding hurts brandsLook into the proverbial closet of your organization. Chances are, there are a few habits or tactics you know you need to give up—but for some reason, just can’t. Worst case scenario: you have a vast store house that needs to be purged.

What’s still hanging around is weighing you down. It's a sign of sickness that needs immediate intervention.

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Break the ice: 4 ways to better cold calling

defrost your cold callsWhether you’re raising money, growing customers, pitching a reporter or recruiting committee members, you have to make some asks. It can be uncomfortable. But to advance your objectives, you’ve gotta brave the cold.

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Brands: be yourself—everyone else is already taken

easter bunny copy catCUOscar Wilde famously wrote these words to individuals. Branders should take heed as well.

Are you borrowing from another brand’s unique positioning?

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How about a "cleanse" for your brand?

Brand Juice Cleanse MB PilandEverywhere you go, people are revved up about exercising and eating right. And you can’t avoid hearing about the latest cleanse. (TMI). It’s possible that your brand needs all that extra attention, too.

Just how far should you go?


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Sweet 16: strategies for the (brand) new year

sweet 16 for your brand thumbnailThough this week heralds the arrival of a brand new year, we’ll be making resolutions for 2017 before we know it.

Don't let 2016 slip away because you were busy.

Here are 16 strategies for a stronger, more profitable brand.

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How a ride-along can speed innovation and sales

windshield speed ride alongWhat could you learn if you and your employees really rode along on your customer's journey?

It can definitely build your brand.

Here's how to learn more and get profits speeding ahead.

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Let’s Just Be Friends

its not youRelationships sometimes don’t work out, and there’s a break up. The same is true for your employees and you.

“it’s not you, it’s me”

Not every employee will be with you for a lifetime. Sometimes they leave you. When they do leave, do you know why?

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"Good enough" is not good enough for your brand

SIgn of an ugly brandI’ve seen an awful lot of brand ugliness lately. Ugly design, cheap quality and slipshod work.

A “good enough” philosophy tells employees and customers a lot about your organization. Here are 3 DON’Ts:

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I don't want to take your @#$% survey

surveyRecently I received a letter from a business along with a survey. “I want to get to know you and your company,” the letter said.

But it was just plain lazy.

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3 things to stop doing to your brand now

Stop sign for your brandMental habits turn into strategic and tactical action.

Are there some harmful habits you need to break? Here’s a quick check for things you should stop doing right now.

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Why building employee loyalty is like dating

Take a good look adams kovacs 1960Turnover is very costly to business. It can cost a company up to 30% of the employee’s salary (and some say more) to replace someone. And in today’s labor market, there’s a lot of movement.

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Please don't make me ask for the bacon

brand missing baconTwice this week, I’ve selected a menu item specifically because it was supposed to have something dear to my heart on it. Bacon! Both times, bacon was missing. It got me thinking about the way I felt, and how brands can disappoint their people in a similar way.


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Why Fear Doesn’t Work

angry faceIt’s a great day when you can whip through a meeting, present the plan and assign roles and responsibilities. Everyone is nodding and then they all go back to their desks and get to work. That’s solid, effective leadership, right?

Not so fast. Fear might factor into the silence.

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Your brand’s most important sign: the exit

brand exit sign thumbnailThere's a lot of talk about displaying welcome mats and rolling out the red carpet for customers. But are you also taking care of them on the way out? Here are 6 ways to ask the right questions.


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Keep employees, board and customers in love long after they buy your brand

Swan Go Container Builds Brand DelightPeople pay for your brand with their hard-earned money. They also pay with things they hold even dearer: their affection, their advocacy and their time. Are they getting what they pay for?


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Tired of hosting “me-too” events?

TCT Art of MurderMany non-profit organizations have golf tournaments, 5k runs and fancy dance-dinner parties with silent auctions. But when you can make your purpose and mission part of the experience of the event, the result is far more powerful and memorable. It reinforces your mission like nothing else.

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Why you absolutely must create theatre for your brand

theatricalmask pinkA blockbuster brand has all the elements of great theatre.

Creating drama, pageantry and excitement with both employees and customers generates raving fans who tell others.

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selling without listening: a 1-sighted equation

Short Sighted SalesBusiness process is important. Presenting and promoting options to customers is a necessity.

But when brands focus too much on selling and not enough on listening, profits will inevitably fall. Case in point:

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5 Ways Santa Can Run Your Business Better

Santa Claus holding piggy bankNaughty kids get coal in their stockings. The nice kids get what they want. As a high growth business, how do you get what you want in your stocking? Here are some handy tips from Santa to fill your "stocking"—and your business—with profit and prosperity.

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Boo-yah! What Navy SEALs know about training excellence

US Navy SEALs insigniaIn many companies, training is a low priority. But every high performance organization acts differently. They're the ones who become legendary.

Case in point: Navy SEALs. Here are 4 lessons they can teach every corporate leader:

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Get out of your own way: 3 obstacles to profit that start with you

get out of your own way to grow your brandToo many CEOs are looking for growth but can't seem to get out of their current rut. Their greatest obstacle? Themselves.

Here are 3 common examples and how to obliterate them.

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Tactics without strategy is just noise

toppled queenWe often encounter business leaders trying to skip to the end without doing the hard work it really takes to get there. They jump from one big idea—or consultant—to the next, looking for the shortcut to leapfrog past their competition.

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Environmental Branding: True Brand Immersion

brand-immersion-croppedCreating a powerful brand experience goes far beyond having a sign outside and welcome mat at the front door. It's about expressing the brand's personality and promise everywhere. Read on for ways your environment can get your brand off the B list.

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A simple employee recognition builds a contagious brand

Peer recognition helps build a healthy cultureEmployee recognition programs can be healthy internal brand builders—or just band-aids. St. Mary's Medical Center in Grand Junction, Colorado has a program that makes everyone feel fantastic.

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Brand focus: Keep your eye on the ball

Royals mascot2Here in Kansas, everyone's got World Series Fever. The Kansas City Royals are playing in the series for the first time since 1985. Royals merchandise is flying off the shelves and blue is to be seen everywhere.

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Bran-damage: 10 sneaky things that poke holes in your brand

Brand with a holeSneaky, insidious little inconsistencies in your brand add up to big holes. That means you have to work harder or spend more to overcome them—unless you act quickly. Read on for our top 10 things to watch.


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How to make your employee appreciation event one they'll actually appreciate

employee party: make it one worth celebratingEmployee appreciation events are usually born of good intentions. But somewhere in the planning process, committees and "have tos" suck out all the fun faster than a Dyson Ball. Here are 4 ways to make your event a rousing success.

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Walgreen's Be Well slogan: prescription or placebo?

Walgreen LogoI dropped in at Walgreens recently, picked up a few items to help me battle a wretched cold, and the woman at the cash register thanked me and said, "Be well." I felt like she really meant it and I almost stopped in my tracks.

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Screen Shot 2014-09-25 at 5.18.27 PMDo your employees love your brand, and you, so much that they'd go on strike for you if you were fired?

Sounds crazy, but it happened this summer.

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Fruit bowls and brands: beware the buried blemish

one bad apple can spoil the whole brandAt the bottom of the fruit bowl, out of sight, a tiny blemish starts to fester. On top, everything looks beautiful and healthy. But eventually, an odor develops. By the time you investigate—and actually find it—it has spread.

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4 ways to sell without selling out

MB Piland teaches cross selling to grow salesEvery high growth company wants to continue to grow sales and profits. And whether "sales" is in their title or not, you must get everyone throughout the organization to offer more to customers. Read on for 4 examples that offer win-win help—not just selling stuff people don't need.

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pink and black baseball coach capFootball is here! To "kick things off," here's our checklist to build a winning team, along with quotes from Paul "Bear" Bryant, one of the most highly regarded college football coaches of all time.

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Infographic: mapping brand experience

MB Piland brand map infographicA meaningful brand is much more than just a logo or slogan. When done well, it delivers an experience that's far more than the sum of its parts. See our infographic for a look at how to evaluate and build yours further.

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Time to dance with the one who brought you

help customers fall in love with your brandThe heartbreak of going on a date with her "steady," only to see him schmoozing up the other girls at the party has a lot in common with the mob of marketing messages targeted at new customer acquisition.

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Did you find everything you need?

a full shopping bag leads to more sales and profitHow many times have you heard that question: at a check-out counter, at the end of a website transaction or the closing of a customer service call? I'll ask you another question: how many times did you believe the question was sincere?

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Infographic: Map your internal-external strategy

Internal Brand Alignment detailPlanning for a well-aligned marketing strategy is important. When the internal brand and external brand are in sync it's far easier to build loyalty, revenue and profit. Read more for a fictitious graph and some inspiration.

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How honeybees and jackalopes can spur innovation

800px-Pollinationn Louise DockerWhile the word "innovation" is almost ubiquitous, the ability to come up with new ideas that are truly groundbreaking seems to be anything but. Enter honeybees and jackalopes—and how they can lend a hand. (Photo by Louise Docker.)

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Oversights (like tagless tights) that strangle repeat sales

don't let your brand trip and fall because of a simple oversightSuccessful brands work hard to foster repeat sales. They often spend on big programs but can easily overlook smaller details that hobble ongoing revenue.

Here are three things to watch for:

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4 Ways to "Stretch Armstrong" your brand

70s Stretch Armstrong toy'70s era Stretch Armstrong was known for incredible, über-stretchy acrobatics that helped him catch bad guys. With engineering and ingenuity, branders can also accomplish big feats and capture more market share.

Here are 4 ways to grow sales from the inside out.

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Pomp and Circumstance

13109588 thumbnailIt's graduation season. Graduations have gotten a lot fancier since I was in school: large parties, catered food, extravagant gifts. That's a lot of pomp for their circumstance. But with the high price of higher education, some festivities are in order. It's a big deal.

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7 Tips from Shakespeare to Inspire Employees

Shakespear, birthday hat and hornTIPS FROM THE BARD

Shakespeare recently turned 450 years old. To mark the occasion, here's a review of some well known words to inspire and engage your employees from the most quoted author in the English language.

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7 Greek rituals that lead to victorious brands

greek letters: employees should wear the brand with prideAnimal House is probably the quintessential frat movie of all time. The outlandish actions of the Deltas are wildly exaggerated, but even so, they have important lessons for any brand–especially one on Double Secret Probation.

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5 tags with guts

PineValleyPowerLogoBrand slogans should be more than something that sounds cool. The best ones resonate on the inside of an organziation just as strongly as on the outside. Then, magic happens: trial, loyalty... profit. Read more for some of our favorites and why we think they're great.

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What permanent waves and bad haircuts teach high growth companies about change

hair raising change can be good for brandsWhen major changes are underway, it can be quite uncomfortable for employees. Like the shock of an unfortunate haircut, new initiatives may cause collective distress and the desire to hide. Or they could be as exciting as a brand new 'DO!

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Choosy brands choose Groucho—or do they?

Groucho knows brand strategy inside and outGroucho Marx is famously quoted as resigning from the Delaney Club quipping "I wouldn't belong to any club that would have me as a member."

Whether or not the story is actually true, it leads us to wonder why some brands are so eager to accept just anyone.

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Uncork Your Brand's Potential

Bottle for blogIf revenue and profit aren't meeting expectations, a strong marketing program can be a big boost. Stretch that marketing investment as far as possible with some simple things you can start today.

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CVS Quits for Good: Purpose or just PR?

cigs 1

There's been a lot of discussion lately about CVS Caremark's decision to stop selling cigarettes by October 1, 2014 in its stores.

Critics claim it's just a red herring gesture to outflank competitors for lucrative healthcare contracts.

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Cheerios: a brand aligned or an empty campaign?

no internal brand is like an empty cereal bowlThe Big Game is over but the conversation about the commercials continues. This year, 3 commercials tied a brand to a cause. Though they all had an emotional tug, it made me wonder whether they were authentic to the core—or simply an empty campaign.

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3 ways employees can add ZING to your ad campaign

pinklighteningFocus groups are wrapped and results from the consumer panels are in. You're ready to launch a new ad campaign and WOW the world. Will you WOW your employees, too? Here are 3 reasons you should.

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How good intentions can toll a brand's death knell

Mission MomentWe've all witnessed it: the company retreat that gets people fired-up and ready to change the world. But soon, the insistent voices of daily work drown out the enthusiasm. 

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New year's revolutions for winning brands

brands need revolution...explode the silosHave you made any business resolutions for the new year? Better yet: a business revolution. It's a new year, full of possibilities. Here are some ways to create far-reaching changes that make '14 your best year yet.

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Is your brand shade-worthy?

at MB Piland we gotta wear shadesTwentieth century philosophers Timbuk3 sang "the future's so bright, I gotta wear shades..." Their '80s era music video on MTV leaves a message for leaders of this century. You have a bright future ahead, too... if you broadcast your vision in ways that are just as engaging to internal audiences.

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How one ceo, a big fat excuse and a million yards of bad karma burned a brand

well-aligned brand"Frankly, some women's bodies just don't actually work [for Lululemon yoga pants]" famously said Chip Wilson, chairman of Lululemmon.

There's only been an "I'm sorry I'm not sorry" from Chip.

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The Forrest Gump warning for brands everywhere

Brand New Box of Chocolates Do you know people who poke a hole in the bottom of a chocolate to see whether or not it's the one they want? The culprits I know never throw away the damaged piece they've decided against. They just sneak it back into the box. (As if no one will notice!)


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Proud to wear the mustache

alex reilly, internal brand, mustacheWe've all had one. At one time or another. You know what I'm talking about. A mustache. Maybe it's a milk mustache. A milk shake mustache. Or a pink Kool-Aid one. Then there's the one you get from an extra foamy cappuccino.

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Don't be afraid to bite off more than you can chew

fearless bite detail"Martha Ellen Bartlett, that's entirely too big a bite for a young lady."

I heard it more than once at the dinner table when I was growing up. I think it means that I enjoy food—and life—with passion. And as an adult, I still occasionally get a bit carried away.

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How a humble PB&J can build a stickier brand

MB Piland loves PBJ lunch and learns2People in your rapidly growing company are working at a hectic pace. They love the brand and are proud to give it their all. But they'll run out of energy (and the company will flounder) if you don't keep feeding their passion and purpose.

Don't let them starve!

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Why You Should Care What the Fox Says

The Fox by Victor Goodpasture ProDigital ImagingThe Fox by A. Victor GoodpastureDid I put that song in your head? You can thank me later. But first, why should you care what the fox says?

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Kill the silos, not the messenger

SizzleDoes your organization make outbound calls to support your issue or invite people to an informational event? Here's a very, very wrong way to go about it...possibly the worst voice message ever.

But it's premature to shoot the messenger.

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  1. When the left brand doesn't know what the right brand is doing
  2. "Don't Buy This Jacket"
  3. I double dog dare you to call
  4. The dating game: how does your brand stack up?
  5. Do your ambassadors wear the colors?
  6. 6 ways to ensure reengineering success
  7. Can upset employees sell Forever?
  8. How Borgification is fatal to brands
  9. How ancient Chinese wisdom rallies internal brands
  10. Does your brand's R-Value keep out the leaks?
  11. How to combat acid-flinging swans
  12. How brands say what they don't mean—and how to fix it
  13. You've gotta go with the co
  14. How to deliver one big parcel of brand happiness
  15. More gold, less gravel: internal crowdsourcing
  16. Why brands need campfires, not water coolers
  17. Sync or sink
  18. How past employees affect your future brand
  19. A culture of happiness = happy customers
  20. 4 ways silos destroy brands
  21. Are we there yet?
  22. Bulletin board as canary in a coal mine?
  23. How bow ties and pocket protectors build a genius internal brand
  24. Choose your customers first
  25. What the Marines and Argo teach us about powerful internal culture
  26. Straight up: how Maker's Mark almost put its brand on the rocks
  27. Hospitality: an inside-out brand builder
  28. Turning intense leadership into a high powered internal brand
  29. A crazy (branded) orientation that works!
  30. Why high growth companies need internal champions
  31. How Sim City is like your internal brand
  32. Why would I want to work for me?
  33. Give me a WE!
  34. Combine fun and function with a social media platform that builds your internal brand
  35. Drinking the Republican and Democratic National Convention Kool-Aid
  36. Attn C-Suite: It might not be for you
  37. Do these pants make my brand look big?
  38. Why Atomic Fireballs are like strong brands
  39. 3 ways to power up your internal brand
  40. What if fast food workers lived the brand?
  41. 3 things your employee manual probably leaves out
  42. Birds and brands: both can be small and mighty
  43. Is Penn State considering its internal brand?
  44. What's “inside” your brand?
  45. Listening between the lines
  46. JCP Magalog is worth a read
  47. Four things we love about Angry Birds
  48. “The Dip” by Seth Godin
MB Piland Advertising + Marketing: Culture Quiz
MB Piland Advertising + Marketing: Health Check