Posts Tagged ‘Matisse’

  • When It’s Okay to Let Your Brand Go to The Dogs!

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    It’s very okay when you’re a dog walker!

    When I read  Corey Kilgannon’s  article, “Dressed to Lead the Pack,” in the New York Times this week, I recognized a hugely successful branding story.

    It’s Precious Costello Caldwell’s story, a dog walker who sets a unique sartorial tone for himself, his employees and even his dogs. Mr. Caldwell was 67 years old and contemplating a career change when he got the inspiration for his new business. Sitting on a park bench in New York City, he noticed the dog walkers looked rather shabby compared to the well-groomed pets in their care.

    He realized that the same owners, who valued the image of their pampered pets, would also value a unique image for their dog walkers and he set about creating a professional brand dog owners could trust.

    “Mr. Caldwell,” says Kilgannon, “is always impeccably turned out in an outfit that seems to borrow equally from Ralph Lauren, Indiana Jones and the Marlboro Man: boots, rugged canvas pants, an olive green sweater and a matching vest bearing a self-drawn logo for his dog-walking company, Royal Wolves.  He provides the same outfit to his staff of other dog walkers. The pups themselves he accessorizes with real leather leashes and a yellow neckerchief, custom printed with the dog’s name.”

    Caldwell says, “We are such eye catchers, everyone asks us for a business card.”

    Caldwell exemplified these 3 classic branding techniques as he took his brand to the dogs – and success:

    1. Establishing His Character, Originality and Authenticity.  Too many brands are packaged, programmed, and plastic. You won’t get very far if you try to be something you’re not. Rather, your personal brand is about figuring out who you really are and what you do best, and then living that brand out. It’s the essence of authenticity.

    2. Identifying and Showcasing His Skills and Talents.   Caldwell had grown up living next door to a kennel where he helped walk the dogs, and years later the skills and his affection for dogs still came naturally to him.

    3. Letting His Voice Be Heard and Seen. In this multimedia world you need to create a spoken, written, and visual message, which is relevant and consistent. Caldwell says, “I stand out. I’m a walking advertisement. People see me and they tell their friends.”

    As we said in an earlier blog post, you have the power to Be Like Matisse and Reinvent Your Life as a Work of Art, or, as in Precious Caldwell’s case,  as the leader of a pack – of dogs of course!

  • All that Is New Is Old: Celebrating Vintage and Resilience

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    “The charm of history and its enigmatic lesson consist in the fact that, from age to age, nothing changes and yet everything is completely different.” — Aldous Huxley.

    I was struck , today, by the incongruence of three recent articles: two about the sadness of losing, in one case, and the shrinking of, in another, two highly successful, beloved, media institutions, and a third celebrating  5 Vintage Versions of Modern Social Media from Centuries Ago.

    Our loss of the venerable, weekly Life magazine, was a salient point in the NY Times obituary of Life’s last Managing Editor, Ralph Graves. The obit hails Graves’ valiant efforts to keep this American institution afloat in its turbulent final years.

    “Life,” the obituary notes, “was one of a number of general-interest magazines — among the others were Look and The Saturday Evening Post — that both informed and entertained large numbers of Americans throughout the 1940s and ’50s.

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    Life, in particular, with its emphasis on photography, was said to be the country’s chief source for learning what the world looked like.” Until the advent of TV…

    Another headline, PBS News Hour Facing Cutbacks, Layoffs and Office Closings, mournfully reminds us of the rapidly shrinking halcyon days of in-depth news coverage.

    Then, thank heavens, Maria Popova’s, weekly edition of Brain Pickings popped up in my in-box. Popova’s celebrating  5 Vintage Versions of Modern Social Media from Centuries Ago assures us that all that is new in modern start-ups definitely has roots in all that is old. Positively music to the ears of this 60+ start-up entrepreneur!

    Popova covers everything from Voltaire’s status updates to Edison’s viral videos, including what Diderot has to do with data visualization as she notes, “We’ve previously made the case that everything builds on what came before yet our human tendency is to inflate and overestimate the novelty of our ideas. Today, we turn to five concepts from the centuries of yore remarkably similar to the central premises of five of today’s social web darlings [Twitter, Facebook, Quora, YouTube, and Tumblr].”

    Popova’s insights are, as always, brilliant in their clarity. I’d only add one more “modern darling,” infographics. In another illuminating posting, The Lives of 10 Famous Painters Visualized  as Minimalist Infographic Biographies, Popova visually distills the lives of artists, Pollock, Dalí, Matisse, Klimt, Picasso, Mondrian, Klee, Boccioni, Kandinsky, and Miro, in modern infographics!

    We never stop learning. The format may be completely different, but our curiosity never changes.

    Vintage is vintage and Resilience is key!


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