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Archive | February, 2010

Make it impossible to do it wrong

How do you prevent your dental assistant from frying herself with X-rays all day? The “on” button is OUTSIDE of the exam room. There is no way to do it wrong. You have to leave the room to turn the machine on. Your homework: Find one thing that keeps getting screwed up and change the […]

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Newsletter #771: The “Get Great Ideas” Issue

[Welcome back to the Damn, I Wish I Thought of That Email Newsletter. This is text of the great issue all of our email subscribers just received. Sign yourself up using the handy form on the right.] You can never have too many good ideas. How a few smart brands are finding their next big […]

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Make sure they remember your service when you leave

What if you provide a service that the customer never sees? When we travel, we use a cat-sitting company. We leave, they come, we return, they’re gone. All’s well if the cat is happy and the crap is gone. Our new service, Out You Go, did a great job of leaving a lasting impression: A […]

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The danger of bad solutions

I used to be a fan of Guy Kawasaki’s “Don’t Worry, Be Crappy” just-get-it-done-and-make-it-better-later mantra. I still am for most entrepreneurial situations. But lately I’ve been nailed a few times by a band-aid solution. #1: We own a giant mobile battery for camping that can also jump start a car. One day the car wouldn’t […]

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Make the instructions better

Take two decent, similar products from two decent companies. Give one a set of instructions that are well-written, clear, and easy to follow. Guaranteed — all the word of mouth goes to the company with the better instructions. “Buy from Staples. Their stuff is so much easier to assemble.” Making customers happy is always good, […]

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Grateful Dead: The Original Social Media

Some great thoughts from Dave Churbuck about the Grateful Dead’s contributions to (inventions of) the cultural phenomenon we now call the open-source / content-sharing community. In the mid-80s I found a BBS called the Brokedown Palace where Dead Heads posted ASCII files of the shows they owned and the shows they wanted. You could download […]

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The only marketing that sticks around for a whole year

Why aren’t you printing a calendar and sending it to your customers? Nothing else has the same staying power. It gets stuck on the wall, in a prominent place, and looked at every single day. Calendars have been used as marketing for hundreds of years, but we seem to have forgotten this proven classic. Of […]

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Dear British Consul General James Clark,

When harvesting names off of a website for a mass marketing campaign, you may want to double-check the list. It would be quite embarrassing if you sent an invitation to an important reception to a fictional person like Preston Firestone. Love, Andy P.S. Lesson: You can’t fake the personal touch. Authenticity has to be authentic.

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Newsletter #770: The “Lemons to Lemonade” Issue

[Welcome back to the Damn, I Wish I Thought of That Email Newsletter. This is text of the great issue all of our email subscribers just received. Sign yourself up using the handy form on the right.] Like the old saying goes, when life hands you lemons, great marketers find ways to make lemonade. How […]

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