on the right track

I totally agree with Jetpacks. This is a great spot.

Actually, it rises to the level of a case study of how to use creative advertising that actually shows the benefit of the product. Without ever having to shove the message down your throat, you immediately understand and agree with the message.

Of course, the problem is that you realize on the subconscious level that the commerical is a complete lie. The product they’re selling doesn’t really exist.

  • I can walk out my doorway, get in the car, and drive anywhere easily and cheaply (even with rough gas prices).
  • I can drive 90 minutes north or south and be at an international airport.
  • But to catch the closest passenger train, I would have to drive four hours on horrible roads in order to catch the City of New Orleans at 2 o’clock in the morning.

It’s all Ike’s fault. I’ve often said we should have poured the Interstate money into cost effective mass transit like trains. It would have stopped urban sprawl and maybe we wouldn’t have paved over half the country with zombie interstates. As Charles Karalt once said, “Thanks to the interstate highway system, it is now possible to travel from coast to coast without seeing anything”

watered down

I realize I just picked on Tropicana not too long ago, but their latest product has me back on the warpath.trop50They’ve introduced a product called Trop 50 which is supposedly a lower sugar juice.

If you’ll glance at the ingredient list on the back of ANY juice that says it has low sugar, you’ll find that the percentage of juice is less than 50%. In other words, they’ve watered it down. Trop 50 is a bit different as they’ve added a stevia type sweetener to mask the fact that it’s just watered down, but it’s still only 42% juice. Charging people the same amount (or more!) for half the product is a bold move in rough economic times.

btw — what happened to changing back to the old logos and packaging after the consumer backlash? They’ve changed the standard juice back, but the new product lines keep the new look? Inconsistent imaging is the first mistake on the path of brand destruction.

me 2.0

A few weeks ago, Dan Schawbel forwarded me a sneak peek of his new book, Me 2.0: Build a Powerful Brand to Achieve Career Success and asked me to offer a review.

The idea of a personal brand not a new idea. I remember chewing on the concept when Tom Peters introduced it back in one of the first issues of Fast Company magazine. But Tom may have been a little ahead of his time (he usually is). When he introduced the idea back in the late 90s, the web was still primarily a one way medium of electronic brochure websites. But today’s social web offers an easy on-ramp for anyone to build a personal brand. The problem is that most people (young and old) don’t realize they’re building (or destroying) their brand with their online actions.

Dan has geared his book toward Gen Y / Millennials young professionals. But it’s a good basic primer for anyone who wants to control the brand image they’re projecting. While Me 2.0 does offer advice on networking and the off-line real world, most of the book focuses on how to use personal websites, blogs, and social networks to build an online brand for the individual. Frankly, it should be required reading before anyone can sign up for a Facebook, LinkedIn, or other social network account.

If you’re a seasoned pro at networking (online and off), the book will probably be a bit too basic for you. But if you’re just starting a career or are new to the online world, Me 2.0 is an essential guide. The job market is rough for anyone right now — especially so for young professionals. Me 2.0 solidifies the idea that has been true for sometime now. The “company man” has faded into the background and is gone. Each individual is a product that needs to stand up and be noticed. The way to do that is with your personal brand.

It’s a lot like the old saying: the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago; the second best time is today. You should already be properly managing your personal brand. If you’re not, now is the time to start.

DISCLAIMER: Dan provided me a free copy of the book to review.