As designers and thought leaders for trade shows and other dimensional spaces, we often encounter reasons as to why an idea or an concept will not gain momentum. We are used to hearing phrases like "I am not sure my boss will like it." "I don't have the authority." "We can't take the chance." "We have always done it this way." "This is just a passing trend." "I am all for it, but...". You get the point. We are too happy to wallow in the safe zone of status quo.
As human beings we have been endowed with the power to reason. We use it for the smallest need to the highest abstraction. "From the wheel to the skyscraper, everything we are and everything we have, comes from one attribute of man — the function of his reasoning mind." Ayn Rand was a eternal champion of the power of reason. The very essence of her philosophy, "Objectivism" stresses the concept of happiness as the moral purpose of a mans' life, "with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute." However, she also realized that nothing moves without passion. She says," Throughout the centuries there were men who took first steps down new roads armed with nothing but their own vision. The great creators, the thinkers, the artists, the scientists, the inventors-stood alone against the men of their time. Every great new thought was opposed. Every great new invention was denounced. The first motor was considered foolish. The first airplane was considered impossible. The power loom was considered vicious. Anesthesia was considered sinful. But the men of unborrowed vision went ahead. They fought, they suffered and they paid. But they won."
Mind is a powerful mechanism. It is a dance of passion and reason, a symphony of fire and ice in varying fahrenheit. To realize our full potential, we need to integrate passion and reason in our play and in our work. Reason alone, is cold, calculating, confining and "passion, unattended, is a flame that burns to its own destruction." Next time, you encounter, "we do not have budget for it” or "we have never done it that way", be electrified by the passion of your creative solution but be armed by the sword of your reason. Give it 200% - but be prepared for stumbling blocks. Be alert, for what you can learn. You will see your passion did not fail you. It has sprout new shoots in the most diffident projects and ideas.
Among the hills, when you sit in the cool shade of the white poplars, sharing the peace and serenity of distant fields and meadows - then let your heart say in silence, "God rests in reason."
And when the storm comes, and the mighty wind shakes the forest, and thunder and lightning proclaim the majesty of the sky - then let your heart say in awe, "God moves in passion."
And since you are a breath in God's sphere, and a leaf in God's forest, you too should rest in reason and move in passion. Kahil Gibran
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Resting in magnificence, between passionate red and optimistic yellow, is the fun flamboyant orange. It evokes a contradiction in dualism. It is a "love me' or a "hate me" color. Orange is that color that has manifested in our reality as an envoy of safety as well as an agent of death. It is the requirement of OSHA that certain construction equipment and accessories be painted safety orange. Dioxin in Agent Orange is known to cause cancer, birth defects and dysfunction.
The psychological effect of orange is instantaneous. It screams attention and haste. It gives strength and energy to your visuals, delivering an instant impression that is most often universally understood. Orange work wonders in chaotic market places like trade shows. It exudes energy and confidence and stimulates activity. It is often called the "silent salesperson" for it encourages people to gather and socialize. It also inspires physical confidence and individualistic independence.
Orange is a high-arousal color. It relates to the primal gut instincts. It is the color of the Sacral Chakra. It is the seat of our inherent creativity. The energy associated with orange brings about increased feeling of motivation, well-being, positive thinking and inner joy. Perhaps, that is the reason the color choice is saffron for the sages and seers, since the beginning of time.
Use orange to stimulate your appetite and your performance.
Orange is always on the move. Orange brings out the extrovert in you and releases you of your inhibitions, often encouraging you to express your inner calling. It is the color of adventure. Use it as your guide. It will not fail you.
Find yourself. Be the blazing trendsetter that you are!
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"Of all those in the army close to the commander none is more intimate than the secret agent; of all rewards none more liberal than those given to secret agents; of all matters none is more confidential than those relating to secret operations." Sun Tzu
We live in an Age of Knowledge. The competitive edge lies no longer only in gaining new sales lead or finding new partners and alliances. Gaining competitive intelligence over your industry, customer, competitor, suppliers, and potential partners are the new prerequisites of your competitive advantage and your marketing managers are the secret agents of this new battlefield. The goal of competitive intelligence is to convert raw data into something that can lead to a competitive asset. It gives you insights into what might happen in the near future. This process requires that we go from data to information to intelligence. Here is a basic example:
Data = Prices for our products have dropped by 5%
Information = New offshore facilities have lower labor costs
Intelligence = Our key competitor is about to acquire a facility in India that will . .
The differences between data, information, and intelligence can be subtle, but very real:
Data = Unconnected pieces of information: Nice to know, but so what!
Information = Increased knowledge derived by understanding the relationships of data: Interesting, but how does it relate to what I do!
Intelligence = Organizing the information to fully appreciate the implications and impact on the organization: Oh really, then we better do something!
Given this relationship between data, information and intelligence, now you are armed to visit your competitors' trade show booth and ask them questions on:
Product/service features and benefits.
Recent product/service introductions and upgrades.
Installation and maintenance.
Pricing strategies: commercial, non-profit, governmental
Special pricing policies - do they offer: credit, discounts, incentives, consignments.
Corporate and business philosophy
Be gracious and subtle. Remember: “Knowledge is what you are after. Information is the raw material you use. Intelligence is what finds and processes information.” The Intelligence Edge by George Friedman, Meredith Friedman, Colin Chapman and John S. Baker, Jr.
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Before moving forward, take a look at the above illustration.
Take your time. What do you think it is?
Now check out here what it really is?
The fine orange sticky dust that settles onto our fingers when mindlessly snacking on the guilty pleasures, is perhaps not the first thing that comes to our mind when we start exploring neuroscience, that which has given rise to not so new wave of marketing called neuromarketing.
After scanning the brains of a carefully chosen group of consumers, in 2008 it was discovered that the "icky coating triggers an unusually powerful response in the brain: a sense of giddy subversion that consumers enjoy over the messiness of the product." Frito-Lay leveraged that information into its advertising campaign for Cheetos, which has made the most out of the brains' response to the mess. NeuroFocus, the company behind the research earned a Grand Ogilvy award for advertising research for "demonstrating the most successful use of research in the creation of superior advertising that achieves a critical business objective."
The capturing of the synaptic brain waves seems to be the ultimate promise of neuromarketing. It takes about half a second for the sub-conscious to react to a stimulus received by the brain. During this vital time frame, the sub-conscious mind is free from memories and cultural convictions. It is in a state of primal potency: not polluted social norms and cultural beliefs. It is in this state that the cheese flavored orange dust of Cheetos seems pretty adventurous. However, once this action moves to the conscious level, the artificially flavored and colored MSG dust is, kind of repulsive.
"I bet you, long ago if you looked at cave paintings, there were a bunch of Cro-Magnon men and women sitting around a fire in focus groups wondering whether to go hunt mastodon that night," says A. K. Pradeep, founder and CEO of NeuroFocus. "Today, our focus groups are no different." Being under the constant pressure of political correctness, we have denied ourselves the inner truth. Pradeep believes he can get at the truth.
Read more about the players of neuromarketing who are spending millions to find out what you like and why like it. Explore how you can use the research to further your trade show marketing efforts.
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In my writings I am often an explorer, a map maker, sometimes a voyager of the human mind and other times: a creator who is tormented by the inner longing to expand, express and delight !