Merchant or Brand Builder – A New Definition of Entrepreneur

SHORT-TERM PROFITS OR LONG-TERM BRAND EQUITY?

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At the 2014 World Conference on Entrepreneurship in Dublin last week, we heard a common question: “Do we need a new definition of entrepreneurship?” The word “entrepreneur” has had different definitions since its inception. In 1734, it first appeared in the book Essay on the Nature of Trade in General by the Irish-French … [Read more...]

Elon Musk – Brand Builder Delux

THINK BIG, REALLY BIG!

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When we are asked, "Who is your brand building hero?" the answer is easy: Elon Musk. He has built and sold brand after brand. He is the classic entrepreneur, taking the money from his last sale and plowing it into a new project, each one more daring than the last. With names like Zip2, PayPal, Tesla, and SpaceX, he's … [Read more...]

The Anti-Discrimination Brand

DISCRIMINATION IS BAD FOR BUSINESS

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Arizona tried it and Mississippi passed it - laws that give permission to businesses to discriminate based on strongly held religious beliefs. The Arizona governor was so pressured by businesses that feared a big drop in revenue that she vetoed a bill that would have allowed businesses to refuse service to members of the … [Read more...]

Starbucks’ Decision to Scrap Cup Recycling Tarnishes a Progressive Brand Image

IS IT TOO COSTLY TO BE THE GOOD GUY?

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Starbucks serves 4 billion disposable cups a year to eco-conscious patrons. So in 2008, in order to improve their brand image, they announced that all company-operated stores would offer recycling by 2015. But in its 2013 Global Responsibility Report (out just in time for Earth Day), Starbucks announced that it was not … [Read more...]

Beware of TMT (Too Much Trouble)

WORK-AROUNDS ARE JUST TOO MUCH WORK

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When processes or products suffer from inefficiency, a too-limited focus, or become less relevant, their designers try to “fix” the situation by requiring some action from the users. These “fixes" are an afterthought that usually require the performance of a series of onerous steps by the user to achieve the desired … [Read more...]

College Courses for Brand Builders

THE RETURN OF THE LIBERAL ARTS

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When we talk to students about entrepreneurship, we are often asked, “What courses should I take in college besides entrepreneurship?” Entrepreneurship classes do a great job providing students with the structural and operational tools required to build their business. But ultimately, all businesses are brand … [Read more...]

To Build Your Brand, Know What Questions to Ask of the Data

THINGS LOOK GREAT IN THE REAR VIEW MIRROR!

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With instant access to seemingly endless amounts of data at your fingertips, it’s tempting to think that you can answer any question or solve any problem with the click of a mouse. Questions? Maybe. But solutions may be another thing. Most difficult problem solving requires more than access to data. It requires knowing what … [Read more...]