Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Bela Hatvany, Harvard MBA, inventor of the touch-screen, talks about keeping his investors and employees happy.

 Successful business founder and investor, inventor of the touch screen, Bela Hatvany, talks about founding your own business.




After selling multiple companies for many hundreds of millions of dollars, Bela founded the world's first charitable giving site in 2000, Just giving.  

Bela talks about his start-up business philosophy: He embraces not only looking after his investors but his employees too.

Image result for justgiving


Monday, November 11, 2019

Four reasons you should be allowed to work from home (and two ways your company can still screw that up)



A long time ago, I had a boss who insisted that we always meet up in craft beer pubs even though two of the marketing team were non-drinkers and none of the group enjoyed craft beer.

He also insisted we wore jackets at a retail digital marketing event in July in Chicago when it was baking hot and all the other attendees were in t-shirts and button-downs.

He got mad at me because I took a day off after an exhausting three-day event to go skiing at a mountain resort nearby. 

Well, he also didn't allow our team to work from home on Fridays when the ENTIRE rest of the office (including him) was working from home on Fridays. 

Why do companies, even some nimble tech startups insist that all their workers work in the office EVERY. SINGLE. DAY?

Here are my reasons why you should let your employees work from home

1. Productivity. In the UK this is at an all-time low. And I have to assume part of the problem is created my distrusting management who can't believe that their team is conscientious enough to clock in a full days work while they are at home.

The most productive I've ever been is when I've worked from home one day and in the office for four.  I almost always end up getting more done on that one day I'm working from home.

But I'm a big extravert (100% extravert in Briggs Myers). If even someone like me who thrives on working with others, benefits so much from working from home, imagine how much your talented, hard-working introverts will gain from it.

2. Open-plan offices. The preponderance of open-plan offices is proof that, as the writer, Somerset Maugham put it “The fact that a great many people believe something is no guarantee of its truth.” 

Almost every company has them, and virtually every piece of research on them shows that they are ineffective. They do not create open, warm, friendly, convivial environments. Generally, they create the opposite. 

If you want to have a great, honest conversation with a colleague, your open-plan office is not the place to do it. 

3. People have lives. When I had that boss who refused to let me work from home on Fridays, I had two small children. My wife was also working a demanding job, full time as a recruiting manager for another tech company. 

I also had some health issues which thankfully I don't have anymore. It would have meant the world to me, my wife and family. It would have multiplied my loyalty to the company more than anything, including money. 

4. Commute. Some of the companies I've worked for have been one and a half hours from my house. If I had had to go into the office every day, that would be fifteen hours travelling a week. Some part-time jobs are fifteen hours a week! Not to mention the toll on the environment of all that travelling. And the cost. 

And two of the ways companies still manage to screw up the work from home experience....... 

1. Out of sight. Out of mind. Yes, I'm working from home. No, I'm not happy to be ignored entirely. I've worked in a few roles that were WFH almost wholly, and this happened way too often. When it did, I found it almost impossible to have those tough but necessary conversations like thrashing out the annual budget.

2. Some people don't adapt to it well. HR directors having conversations over the phone that should be done face to face, at the very least on a video call. 

Bosses that keep shifting conference call times, or being late for them, in a way that they would never do for in-person meetings - they'd be too ashamed... You get the picture!


Saturday, November 02, 2019

Social media has turned the world upside down - How have marketers responded?




The Doors is my favourite rock group. Their lead singer, Jim Morrison, graduated with a degree in Film at the prestigious UCLA Film School, where he studied with acclaimed film director Francis Ford Coppola. Jim Morrison was also a poet.

One important aspect of Marketing is getting attention. Almost fifty years since he died, Morrison still generates a massive following on social media and he still sells a lot of records.

Back in 2005 when I was at Boston University School of Management, pursuing my full-time MBA, I had the idea of writing a paper about organisations like the Doors that had a devoted fan base that was drawn, above all, to their authenticity.


When I wrote my paper about 'realness' in Marketing back then, I was influenced by a Harvard Business School case study* written by the new Dean of Boston University's business school, Susan Fournier. 

The case study she wrote was about the Harley Davidson Owners group or ‘Hogs’ as they affectionately call themselves. It was also HBS's first-ever 'multi-media' case study.

Harley Davidsons do not compete with other motorcycles in any typical way. They are not particularly fast, reliable, eco-friendly or advanced. 

They are certainly not cheap. BMW’s, Yamahas, Ducattis or Honda’s will outstrip them here in every way. But what Harley Davidsons do have, which the other brands lack, is a unique bond with their customers.

The Harley Davidson Owners Groups ('Hogs')

The Hog club goes on rides, and the riders catalogue all of their adventures. A few years ago a marketer suggested that Harley start using dirt and grease-free chrome. 

But the Harley team shot this idea down instantly. They believed that part of the appeal for a Harley owner of having that bike is cleaning the grease off of it after a hard days ride.


Lululemon (image below) is another top brand that's established an almost cult-like following. Lululemon isn't just a product, it's a lifestyle.




Since I wrote that paper, a celebrity and property developer, Donald Trump, first put himself forward as a candidate as a publicity stunt to increase TV ratings on his show 'The Apprentice'.


The now, US President, Donald Trump made many outrageous statements during this period. Yet every time the political experts said ‘that’s it, he’s crossed the line. He's finished’, he just got more popular. The pundits couldn't believe it.

Similarly, Nike took a decidedly political stand on Colin Kaepernick, quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, kneeling during the National Anthem to protest against racism in the USA.


Most marketers at the time said that Nike made a terrible mistake bringing out this ad. 80% of marketers today still say that you shouldn’t take a strong position at risk of alienating your customers.

But just as in the case of Trump, being controversial worked for Nike. Nike has made six billion US dollars since that ad, that was loved and loathed in equal measure. 


‘The Movie’ a poem by Jim Morrison
The auditorium was vast and silent
as we seated and were darkened, the voice continued.
The program for this evening is not new.
You’ve seen this entertainment through and through.
You’ve seen your birth your life and death
you might recall all of the rest.
Did you have a good world when you died?
Enough to base a movie on?


* Harvard Business SchoolBuilding brand community on the Harley-Davidson Posse Ride
https://store.hbr.org/product/building-brand-community-on-the-harley-davidson-posse-ride/501015

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Highest paid Google executive says sponsorship was the key to her success



I've always admired powerful and accomplished women. So I was excited to go along to see Dame Minoche Shafik, Director of the LSE, talk to Google's CFO, Ruth Porat, about the future of the school at LSE 2030. Ruth Porat is the highest-paid executive at Google, making $47 Million (£38 Million) a year.


Ruth and her husband, Anthony Paduano (who now runs a law firm), who met as students at LSE, have established  a new endowment scholarship fund for women students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Dame Minoche said that her ambition for the LSE is to be the leading social science institution, with the most significant global impact. It is already ranked 2nd in the world just behind Harvard University.

Ruth began her discussion talking about the importance of AI. She said that they were using it at Google to reduce their energy costs by 30%. AI is also at the heart of its algorithmic search engine technology.

The future of AI impacts every industry. It takes a combination of Social scientists and engineers to build AI systems. Later in her discussion, Ruth talked about the importance of education. She said that much of business life is jargon, but you need to be educated to cut through that. I learned this when I took my degree at the LSE. 

Ruth added that AI is a simple concept and not hard to understand if you break it down right. But that on the face of it, the terminology makes it sound highly complex. The key to understanding AI, as with most topics, is education. 

She went on to talk about her father, who instilled the importance of education in her. Her father got a PhD in physics and then went on to become a professor at Stanford, where Ruth studied as well (Stanford, University of Pennsylvania, LSE).

Ruth talked about how to change culture. She said that this always starts at the top. She gave one of the best examples of how she changed the culture at Morgan Stanley and Google when talking about this subject that has become increasingly 'woke' and out of touch to the majority of ordinary people. 

She asked the room how many women had experienced men talking over them in business meetings. Everyone laughed in acknowledgement.

Ruth then said that when this happens, she always points it out, since, as she put it 'if you don’t want my voice now, then do you even want me here in the room?'.

The most important part of Ruth's talk for me was about how She had transformed her career with the help of great sponsors. Initially, She had worked at Morgan Stanley for an egotistical boss who had taken credit for all her work.

She realised that despite her best efforts, she would get nowhere with this individual. So Ruth began to search around for someone who wanted to take a risk on her.

She did say that often employees think that this person will just appear as if by magic. However, Ruth said that She had to 'earn the right' to have a great sponsor who could provide her with judgment, insight and help open doors for her.

Ruth explained how one sponsor persuaded her to take a job on the trading floor, a notoriously male-dominated environment. It served her in her career, though. Later a sponsor helped her secure a role in Financial Institutions Risk at Morgan Stanley in 2006, which really catapulted her forward in her career. 

One sponsor said to her: ‘I will be your senior air cover. I think you’ll soar, but I will have your back if you run into difficulties.’ Ruth said this is what she now says to those in business that she sponsors. 

Dinner with a fellow LSE alum at The Delaunay, after the talk.

Monday, September 09, 2019

What does it take to become a successful entrepreneur?

The only factor that distinguishes entrepreneurs from regular people is that entrepreneurs come from wealth and privilege – in short, they had a financial safety net. Aimee Groth, of Business Insider, made this claim in her article I just read.

But if that’s the case, why do countries with high social security safety nets, like France and Belgium, not also have the highest numbers of successful startups? 


Rank Highest Social SecurityMost new companies
1France USA
2FinlandUK
3BelgiumCanada
4ItalyIsrael
5DenmarkIndia

Jay Chaudry, the CEO of Zscaler, grew up 'dirt' poor, in a village in the Indian Himalayas.

Jay founded the Cyber Security Software company Zscaler, that I worked in Marketing for. He founded it in 2008 and it is now valued at $10 Billion on the NASDAQ.


The most successful start-up I ever worked for was founded by a guy who was brought up in a village in the Indian Himalayas.

His house didn’t even have running water. His family was clearly not wealthy. Read about Zscaler, founded by Jay Chaudhry, here.

The second most successful startup I worked for was also founded by Indian immigrants to the USA, too, who were not particularly wealthy. You can read about Visual IQ here.

No, that can’t be it. I’ve worked in enough startups to know that it’s something else. All startup founders I’ve worked for, have genius of varying degrees, and an aspect of their personality that psychologists would define as ‘Hypomania’.

Harvard medical school defines Hypomania as 'a mood state or energy level that is elevated above normal, but not so extreme as to cause impairment’.

I had a lot of fun working for another founder in the US, who had been a child prodigy. He completed a triple major degree at Carnegie Mellon in Computer Sciences, Russian and Mathematics at 16 years old. 

He went on to become the USA's youngest MBA at eighteen and youngest management consultant, at Bain & co, again at just 18 years old. 

Jay once told me that Carnegie Mellon had told him that at sixteen years of age, he was too young to pursue an MBA at their University. 

He then managed to get a counteroffer to take a PhD in Finance at Wharton which he threatened that he would pursue if he was not accepted into the MBA program. That's how he got Carnegie Mellon's MBA program at such a young age.

I learnt a lot about business from him. I have no doubt whatsoever that he demonstrated a hypomanic personality.

“Following your dreams is dangerous,” a 31-year-old woman who runs in social entrepreneurship circles in New York, and asked not to be named, told Quartz. “This whole bulk of the population is being seduced into thinking that they can just go out and pursue their dream anytime, but it’s not true.” 

But the truth is that founding a company is typically not a purely rational act. A Founder has to have outsized confidence and vision in themselves to put his or her plan into place. This is not the act of a 'normal' person.

These are the characteristics I've seen in the entrepreneurs I've worked for. It's also what I see in the entrepreneurs I mentioned above.

You might want to call it genetics, personality or something else entirely. 
  1. He (or She) is flooded with ideas.
  2. He is driven, restless, and unable to keep still.
  3. He channels his energy into the achievement of wildly grand ambitions.
  4. He often works on little sleep.
  5. He feels brilliant, unique, chosen, perhaps even destined to change the world.
  6. He becomes easily irritated by minor obstacles.
  7. He is a risk-taker.
Does this sound like an entrepreneur or founder that you know? 

Thursday, September 05, 2019

What's the most important leadership skill?

What skills does a leader need? The top leadership skill listed on LinkedIn is persuasiveness, closely aligned with Charisma. See John F Kennedy, below, possibly the world's most charismatic leaders, whose vision led to the first man on the moon fifty years ago. 

                                                 Below: 50 years since the first moonshot




Without persuasiveness,, how will you get people to follow you? If you are looking for ideas on how to sell your projects, you might want to check out my infographic below.

                          Below: Salespulse to close more deals, integrates with Salesforce.



The second is Formidability. My friend John Hynes, a formidable leader, built a $25 billion city in South Korea and redeveloped Boston's seaport for $4 Billion. You can find out more about his formidability if you click on his image.

                                       Below: John Hynes, CEO of Boston Global Investors


One leadership skill that will be absolutely paramount in the next ten years will be adaptability. It won't be the strongest or the toughest, that will survive and thrive in a world that's changing faster and more unpredictably than ever. 

It will be the most flexible leader, most able to change rapidly when needed, sometimes overturning his entire strategy overnight when the circumstances change.

                                                       Is Leadership born or made? 

Trait theory suggests that it is born. Leaders tend to be extraverted, conscientious and smart, all of which have a genetic component. Intellect is between 50-80% inherited, for example.

But there's a counter-argument, believed by 50% of the population, that you can develop leadership, that it's a learned skill. Find out more on our video below.

The 34th President of United States, Dwight.D.Eisenhower once said, “The supreme quality of leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in an army, or in an office.” 

Honesty and integrity are two important ingredients which make a good leader. How can you expect your followers to be honest when you lack these qualities yourself? Leaders succeed when they stick to their values and core beliefs and without ethics, this will not be possible.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

The Ponte Morandi disaster - What can we learn?



On 14 August 2018 at around 11:36 local time, during a torrential rainstorm, a 210-metre (690 ft) section of Ponte Morandi collapsed. This was centred on the westernmost pillar 9 which crossed the Polcevera river as well as an industrial area of Sampierdarena. 

Eyewitnesses reported that the bridge was hit by lightning before it collapsed. Between 30 and 35 cars and three trucks were reported to have fallen from the bridge. 43 people died and 16 were injured. It was the 11th bridge collapse in Italy since 2013. 

I was watching a documentary about it and realised half-way through that as well as being captivating and tragic TV, it was also a brilliant analogy for business failure.

In my career, I’ve been fortunate to have worked for a Unicorn (a start-up that gets to one billion US Dollar valuation) as well as a Decacorn (Start-up that goes to ten billion). 

But I’ve also worked at a company that was failing. I think we’ve all read about such companies, from Enron to most recently, Theranos. The issues at Ponte Morandi mirror those at a failing company.

First off, the bridge was built by ‎Riccardo Morandi, an acknowledged engineering genius. But like most geniuses, he was arrogant. He had what everyone thought at the time was a great idea; to use only two supporting pillars wrapped in concrete, to prevent corrosion, instead of typically 5 or more. 
But it was a design flaw for a few reasons

1. Italian steel at the time was extremely corrosive. My family used to buy Italian cars, particularly Alfa Romeos, in the 1960s and 1970s and unlike the Porsches and BMWs they bought, the Italian cars all rusted to pieces very quickly.

            Alfa Romeo 2000 GTVs; they rusted to pieces rapidly.


2. The concrete was not poured correctly to protect the steel from the elements. This hastened the corrosion.

3. Because there was only one supporting pillar on either side if one failed then the entire bridge was in danger of falling. 

Starting in the early 1990’s many concerned parties, including quite a few engineers attempted to rectify the damage. However, the first time they closed the bridge to fix it, a host of lorry drivers protested and blocked traffic. The authorities caved in.

Then engineers tried to test the supporting pillars. The bridge owners, Autostrada, insisted on using equipment to test the bridge strength. Many engineers told them that this technology was not effective, but they ignored this advice.

Finally, even residents living underneath the bridge started to complain that the bridge did not ‘sound right’ when heavy lorries came over. Even non-specialists suspected something was not right. But again Autostrada ignored this.

Failing bridges and failing companies have much in common. If you want to read a brilliant book about what caused once-great companies to fail, I recommend one that I first read in business school ‘Why smart executives fail’.

Watch the shocking moment that the bridge collapsed - click on the video below.


Sunday, June 30, 2019

Why Leadership development is a £300 Billion industry.

According to data from the Chief Learning Officer Business Intelligence Board, nearly 95% of learning organisations either plan to increase or maintain their current investment in leadership development.

However, are we getting value for this? Are our leaders getting better? In Politics, we have President Trump and soon to be Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

In the corporate world, we narrowly escaped a worldwide Economic catastrophe due to the mismanagement by our leaders in the Financial Services industry. 


How much the financial bailout cost US taxpayers alone



Back in 2007, the Banks were 'too big to fail', but now they are much more massive. The chart below is particularly disturbing since there is currently a recession brewing in China.



A Recent study by management consultants Mckinsey pointed out four critical areas for potential failure in leadership development training. By far the most serious was underestimating the importance of culture. 

For consultants, coaches and even in-house leadership training programs, preparing to battle the mindset within the organisation can be the gravest challenge of all. 

To add to the confusion, we are living in an age where traditional hierarchies are coming to an end. All over the world, stable hierarchies are being overthrown by often unstable networks. See Niall Ferguson's 'The Square and the Tower' for more information on this. 

In the US, the Trump network disrupted American politics. In the UK the social networking genius, Dominic Cummins disrupted UK Politics by discovering a whole swathe of disgruntled voters through digital media.

Business organisation - this is what it 

used to look like


and this is what it looks like now..... 


Diagram of a Digital Media Social Network








Another question is how to fix a toxic culture. If micro-management thrives and there is no trust in your organisation, you are looking down the barrel of a toxic work culture. 

If you don’t believe me, use one of the many employee engagement products to find out for yourself. But can leadership development fix that? Can HR fix that?

The problem with toxic work cultures (other than it being unpleasant to work in them!) is that there's no way of hiding it any more. 

With networks like Glassdoor, if you have a bad work culture it will get out quickly and you will lose out in the war for talent.


Thursday, May 30, 2019

Why Culture eats strategy for breakfast


That's a famous phrase first uttered by Mark Fields, CEO of Ford Motors and then popularised by the management guru Peter Drucker. This statement connects with people because I've heard it many times and not just in Organisational behaviour classes in my MBA program.

Culture is crucial for several reasons. In the USA, the UK and other western countries, unemployment is at a 40-year low. Your organisation needs a distinctive culture to attract talent to it. However, what's right for the economy is even more valid for specific skill sets.

Just in the UK, we have skill shortages in web design, software programming, digital marketing, and all analytics roles but particularly in data science (on Linkedin 'Data Scientist' has gone from almost zero to the top search in the last ten years) through to engineering and architecture.

In the UK, this 'skills gap' is costing our Economy £6.3 Billion per year. Companies are forced to look at anything that will give them the edge over their competitors when hiring. There is an even more pronounced skills gap in the USA. I have seen figures for this 'gap' varying from $1000 Billion to $2,500 Billion over the next ten years.

Google and Facebook are well known for their beautiful offices and perks. Salary is another way to attract talent. However, culture is perhaps the most important. The top employees want to work in an environment that suits them.

Over fifty percent of employees say that they would not take a job at a company that did not share their values. With Millennials, this percentage is even higher, sixty-five per cent or more. Millennials make up one-third of the workforce, and soon they will be in the majority. So, culture is the future.

However, even with straightforward surveys, there can be landmines. I worked as a contractor at one company where several colleagues told me confidentially that I shouldn't say anything critical in the annual survey. Apparently, the CEO had fired someone for doing that. Luckily I left the company shortly after this.

One day companies will see culture as they do brand today; Essential rather than desired. I predict that company culture will soon be measured on their balance sheets just as a brand started to be ten or fifteen years ago. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Arup Breakfast events - Six rules of Event Management


Working smarter not harder




They told me they'd tried it before and it'd been a flop. But I was confident my first event for Arup's new email management software tool would be a success.

You don't have to have a ton of money, but you have to always aim to work smart. So many companies make the fatal error of starting marketing too late. Then it's a mad rush to get everything done in time.

Check out my free startup marketing service consultation.

Running an event without the correct 'runway' of time to carry out marketing for it is stressful, arduous work. People often don't think very well in that situation.

Unless you are one of the 2% of the population who can genuinely multi-task, typically you will lose 15 IQ points when they try to accomplish this; not a 'smart' way to run an event!

Event team photo, me in the red tie



I held our first event in Arup's headquarters in London on March 14th. 28 Hands have its second breakfast event on Wednesday 8th May. 

I aimed for 16 at the first event and made 22. I already have 50 attendees registered for the second event when it's still one month away. 

Thursday 14 March was a big day for Mail Manager. Not only did we have our first breakfast event. However, we were also running the Viewpoint Mail Manager webinar: Viewpoint for Projects and mail manager integration.

That month, myself and my other marketing manager, Joanne Waddell, took our email campaign numbers from the average of 2000 a month to 123,000! Joanne is one of the best marketers I've worked with so we had fun building that success together!

I also managed to generate some low-cost PPC, and Social Media leads on top of that.

Senior Client Manager, Mario Christophides, started the morning with hard, but fair, statements:

Other industries are quicker to adapt than construction

UK productivity issue which we address by working longer hours

We can achieve better productiveness by collaborating better. 

Lucy Prior then provided an overview of how Mail Manager helps Arup capture 80% of their project correspondence. 

She explained that Arup developed Mail Manager in response to email becoming a significant problem for their business, particularly commercially sensitive information being locked in inboxes.

Project Managers and Engineers were not sharing data across their teams and in frustration, Arup developed Mail Manager for their own employees.


Lucy Prior,  Mail Manager's Top Salesperson, presenting a live software demo at the event.

   
         
Paul Hill is an Information Manager within Arup's program project management office.

Paul leads Information Management on large projects using a variety of software including Common Data Environments such as ProjectWise which Mail Manager integrates.


              Paul Hill, Information Manager at Arup, with Lucy Prior, Mail Manager's Senior Salesperson.


                


Paul said that at Arup, thanks to Mail Manager, email is no longer a problem – it’s a problem that we have solved.

He demonstrated by showing us the 'Social network' of projects he was working on, and how one project, in particular, he’d been working on since 2011.

Paul showed us that hundreds of people had sent over 35,000 emails during this project. Using the Mail Manager search, he’s able to access anything across the project in a matter of seconds. 

Six rules for setting up, running and following up on your first event:

Planning, Planning, Planning


1. PRE-EVENT EMAIL MARKETING

 I set up an email automation campaign for one month or more before the event. My automation will include a series of 'if/not' decision trees; If my prospect opens and clicks on the first ever email I send them one which is more personalised and has more detail in it.


If not, I send them an email that will try to capture their interest with a catchy subject line and a variety of topics.  If my prospect hits on the event landing page but does not sign up, I will send them a reminder email a few days later, again, perhaps with some video of a previous keynote and so on.

I create a top Landing page to maximise the number of attendees. 

2. SOCIAL MEDIA

Create 'buzz' around the event. Fortunately, I have a lot of friends in Branding who know a lot about this. One used to work for HSBC, another ran EMEA Brand Management for Hyatt Hotels,  and yet another friend of mine was Chief Creative Officer at Coca Cola. It helps to talk with 'ideas' people to come up with events and marketing that will 'hit them between the eyes'.                                                                                                                                                                                      

3. LISTEN TO YOUR PROSPECTS

You can use social media to understand your audience better.  Posting titbits on linked or Twitter will get you many reactions. Monitor these religiously to get a feel for what your prospects want to see and hear, not only at the event but before and after it. I also use surveys at the event and online tools like Survey Monkey. However, keep these short and sweet. No one wants to spend twenty minutes filling out hundreds of questions. Limit it to five, with the option for them to leave comments. 

4. KEEP NOTES ON WHAT IS WORKING AND NOT WORKING

My last event, one of our prospects asked if we had sent an outlook calendar invite to him for the date. I had not done that. But I checked into our new CRM system and saw that I could send invites en mass. I will certainly be doing this for the next event. Your prospects and customers know what they want better than you. Don't ever forget that.

5. HAVE SOME BIG NAMES

I'm a startup to mid-size kind of guy. I tend to do well in those nimble, fast-growing companies. But we all like to hear about the big names, whether it's celebrities, billionaires, supermodels or large organisations. Some names I've had at events I've run, have been anyone from Verizon Wireless to Black rock, from Mckinsey to TJ Maxx.

6. SHOW THEM THE LOVE

 I always want to show my prospects that I care. I want great food, inspiring talks, fantastic giveaways and attractive hosts. I may be getting a bit old to be 'young and beautiful', but I dress up and wear a suit and tie to look my very best.

My attendees have taken valuable time out of their busy schedules to see us. I want to do the absolute best to make that an outstanding and hopefully memorable and useful, experience for them.

To continue your Marketing journey to understand how to generate leads, and bring them through the marketing flywheel to close, click on the start button for my website.

Breakfast event link


   
          

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Branding and strategy: Head of European Marketing at Hyatt



Henny Frazer, Ex-Head of Brands, Hyatt Hotels.

One of my pleasures is meeting up with an old friend after a long absence. It was great to meet Henny after all these years. Henny has been living in Zurich, Switzerland for the last five years and I have been living in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, for ten.

We met up at The Ivy Chelsea Garden, on the King's Road, which was appropriate for several reasons;

First, it used to be a Dive bar called Henry J Beans that we hung out at when we were young. The restaurant and we have 'grown-up' over the years...We also both grew up in the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea.

Secondly, it's a unique restaurant and Henny is an expert on them. Hospitality is her business; Specifically, luxury travel and hotels.


Henny Frazer, Ex-head of branding of Hyatt Hotels, Second from the left



My experience of branding comes mainly from working with agencies and corporate communications teams. My sector is fast-growing tech companies. Henny has worked with well-established luxury brands.

From a marketing perspective, we are at opposite ends of the spectrum. But I'm fascinated by branding. And who could deny Henny's undeniable talent for branding and strategy?

We both had travelled around India with a friend for several months when we were younger, and we talked about that first. Henny was in the south, in Goa. I was up in the North at Manali. We had both gone to the famous 'full moon' parties (In Goa in the winter and Manali in the summer).

The internet is a double-edged sword; in some ways, it's helped to strengthen and give new dimensions to certain marque brands. In other ways, it has commoditised a host of products. 

Price comparison sites have hammered the hotel business, in the same way, it's eaten into margins in the airline industry. A race to the bottom has ensued. The hotel business has also been threatened by disruptive technologies like Air BnB.

Henny talked about this and her work to try to distinguish brands so that they captured strong positive emotions and loyalty, which is falling amongst customers generally.

Andaz Hotel, Delhi




I was eager to find out more and asked Henny for examples. Henny told me a great story about her marketing initiative for the Andaz Delhi. Many hotels are having the same conversation; We are glamorous, we cater for your every need, we are beautiful and so on...


Connecting with the young and fashionable in Delhi





Henny had a different idea to really connect the hotel with the history and culture of Delhi, including the new young hip culture growing in the city. The main message for the Andaz brand is:


‘Arrive a Visitor, Depart a Local’


Henny and her team produced a book to go with the campaign, called 401 reasons to fall in love with Delhi.

Why 401 Reasons? It’s simple - Andaz Delhi has 401 guestrooms. Every room has its own reason, which is defined in the book.

Besides, as you enter each guestroom or suite, you will also find a unique piece of art, illustrating each reason.

The book covers a range of subjects from art and architecture to local delicacies, nature and shops. They produced the album with reasons like:

Reason 161 - Lassi                     
'Lassi is the much-loved yoghurt drink enjoyed all over  India. The sweet-tart drink is consumed in vast quantities in Delhi and may be served in fine hand-etched silver and brass cups, or terracotta tumblers and even plastic cups.'

Then the book would be left open at this page, for guests staying in room 161. Here's a link to the booklet.

She changed the conversation and managed to develop a deeper, more significant bond with Hyatt customers in the process.

We covered such a wide range of subjects at lunch. But I think my favourites were: 

Grand Hyatt which has a powerful ‘Living Grand’ message and the Hyatt Centric brand which offers a springboard to discover a city. I enviously had seen footage of Henny at a Flow Rida concert at Hyatt Centric Chicago Magnificent Mile.  

Or the Hotel Du Louvre in which she, with the hotel team, worked on the rebranding of this hotel as it is has become part of the Unbound Collection by Hyatt. This hotel is all about slowing down and really becoming inspired by Paris.

They worked with a great illustrator and have produced a cute cartoon announcing the re-opening of the hotel.

Henny & me Beaufort House, King's Road, in Chelsea