A Dose of Our Own Medicine – Our New Website

Every day, we work with organizations just like yours to understand their brand, their audiences, their opportunities, and their pressure points. We focus on building integrated approaches to find, build, and share the best parts of their organizations.  We help them to understand why they’re stuck, to define and embrace their quirks, their passions, and their bold truths – to move, challenge and inspire their audiences. 

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False Starts V. Failure

False starts are common in the world of sports. You know, when competitors are so anxious to get to the finish line that they jump the gun and set out before getting the signal that they’re good to go. When they do, the race has to be re-started all over again. More than once, and they often find themselves out of the race altogether.

False starts are even more common in everyday life – for much the same reason. They happen in small ways, like forgetting our phones, keys and documents as we rush out the door. They happen all the time with fitness goals (especially this time of year). They happen with jobs and careers – sometimes it takes several to land in our ‘happy place’. They happen with companies trying to launch or expand too soon often resulting in spectacular brand and financial disasters. And they happen when brands, and people, lose sight of who they really are.

False starts have the same motivators…

No matter how large, small, or frequent our false starts; whether they’re personal or business; they come from the same starting points. We rush. We become so focused on the finish line that we often don’t think things through or research enough, are blinded or boggled by the hype of what everyone else is doing and fear of being left behind or found wanting. We ignore or underestimate risks. We overestimate our skills, resources and abilities. We focus on the future and take our eye off the present.

…and the same effects.

Business or personal, false starts have pretty much the same effects as well. Stress and frustration increases, Productivity decreases, finances often stall or take a beating, and motivation suffers. We’re back at square one with our day, our career, our growth plans, and our dreams. Or are we?

False starts v. failure.

Failure is one of those words that should be eradicated from the dictionary. It’s negative. It’s defeating. It’s final… the whole concept is just wrong.

False starts, on the other hand, should be opportunities – steps on the learning curve of life and business. We can choose to see them as self-defeating, or as growing pains that help us learn more about ourselves, what we want and don’t want, and what works for us – or not. Trial and error is the stuff progress is made of – it keeps us true to our brands, and to ourselves.

Find the finish line.

Even when you learn from them, too many false starts can be defeating. Whether you’re trying to lose a few inches, keep up with your kids, colleagues or competition, running your first marathon, or launching a new product, service or business, my advice is this:

• Learn from your experiences
• Look for the positive
• Do your research – find the people that know their stuff, care about what you care
about, and care about you
• Filter the hype
• Take the time to do it right and sustain what you achieve
• Realize that faster isn’t always better

And trust that, with the right help, you’ll cross the finish line – ready to tackle the next challenge.

Want help turning false starts into forging ahead? Let’s talk.

Why Brand Storytelling Is No Fairytale

One of the things I like most about helping clients to truly understand and engage with their brands is reaching down together for their stories.

That conversation often initially elicits what effectively sounds like a resume: “I spent so many years at this company or that company, gained a lot of experience, bought or sold, and here we are.” Or, “We made this product and, as the market changed, it led to that.” These may well be how the business came to be in its current form, but it’s not the story anyone cares to hear.

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Sticky, Tricky Branding

Branding is a sticky, tricky business. Sticky, because that’s exactly what you want your brand to do – stick in the hearts and minds of your audiences. Tricky because getting your brand to do that is not quite so easy.

A sticky brand is like the perfect toffee. You anticipate the experience. Devour it with your eyes, followed by all of your senses. It has just the right smell, flavour and texture. You taste it, savour it, explore it. And the sensations linger long after it has left your tongue. You perhaps had to go a little out of your way to get that particular brand, but it was worth it – not like that other toffee you spat out when it first passed your lips and wasn’t at all what you expected.

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The True Value of Relationships

My parents always taught me to value my relationships, to treat others as I would like to be treated, and to never burn my bridges – that great big world is actually pretty small after you’ve been working in it for a while.

I’ve been blessed by the results of that sound advice with close bonds with my kids and parents, incredible friendships and truly great clients – some of whom have remained with Ink Tank for more than 25 years – and many who, over a short or long time, have become friends as well. My parents’ advice is both a lesson for life and a lesson for business. It applies to both the clients and suppliers I choose to work with, and also to the advice I give my clients to help them think differently about their businesses and understand how to authentically present their brands.

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Whether your brand is brand new, evolving or established but stuck – come play with us. We’ll break through together.
Or call us directly (416) 690-7557

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