Monday, May 31, 2010

All things in their season!

No matter what hold on! Just as you are about to give up, surrender, call it a day, remember the lesson of a traveling man because redemption is right around the corner. Trust the dots will connect.

Summer in the City at last

Today is May 31, Memorial Day here in the emerald city on the southwestern shore of Lake Michigan. The coleus, sweet potato vine, daisies and coneflowers have replaced the tulips on Michigan Ave. A butterfly flutters outside, everyone is cruising Lake Shore Drive and The Plaza at the Park Grill has opened. Summer has arrived at last. The shackles of winter are now officially set asunder. Life is magical for the next few months under a warm summer sky. The duties seem a little lighter, the step a little more bouncy and the smile is genuine.

Let's go out and have some fun!

Thank you for standing Watch

Memorial Day is dedicated to those who gave their last full measure of devotion so that I have the freedom to sit under a summer sky and share my thoughts openly with the world. Those who stand Watch whether on foreign soil or throughout the highways and byways of America this day also allow freedoms light to shine brightly. We as a people are indebted to those brave fellow citizens that preserve our democracy.

Thank someone today who has stood Watch or is standing Watch.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Living in the future

You are in the future. All your past striving has brought you here.

Live together or die alone!

May you walk in beauty!


Text is the VHS, email is betamax

Breaking News: its over, never really a contest. Everyone forgot "keep it simple, stupid". Any business needing to stay in touch with customers needs to focus their efforts on text and using smartphones. Forgot email, much to bulky and brain intensive. Background noise that requires filtering overran the important content like weeds in the late summer garden. There are programs that will text your customer when their order is ready, when the service they requested has been completed and all of it pops up in a format they are really comfortable in.

Is your business still using Betamax, why?

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Adding value is a process

Mark Harrison shares some thoughts on the process of adding value.

Don’t be scared to fail. When you do something new, you’ll do it badly and you might even be afraid to do it at all. If and when you do fail, you might not want to go through the experience again. But if you push through that initial failure, pick yourself up and keep going, you’ll start to improve and eventually you’ll be good at what you’re doing.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Employee bullying

Employee bullying has been handled with a wink and a nod for far too long. Individual states and possibly the federal government will step in to rectify what employers should have been doing all along. The financial consequences for a small business is extinction.

Sarah Needlemann writes about a law in New York state that will most certainly spread to many other jurisdictions.

A significant number of U.S. workers say they are— and soon those in New York may be able to sue their employers, including small businesses, for any suffering they experience at the hands of a toxic boss or other workplace bully.

Business owners should also consider the possibility that they might actually be bullies. One telltale sign: A high turnover rate, says Gary Namie, co-founder of the Workplace Bullying Institute, an employee-rights group in Bellingham, Wash. "You're creating a place that reasonable people don't want to stay in," he says. "You've probably focused on whatever it is you make or sell and don't have an incentive to get management skills."

Another indicator of a bully business owner is if he or she takes all the credit for their company's success, says Vicky Oliver, author of "Bad Bosses, Crazy Coworkers & Other Office Idiots." "If everything is your idea," she says, "it's probably because you're bullying the people who work for you into submission.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Are you nuts?

Creativity and schizophrenia have the same markers, you are kidding right?

"The study shows that highly creative people who did well on the divergent tests had a lower density of D2 receptors in the thalamus than less-creative people," Ullen said. "Schizophrenics are also known to have low D2 density in this part of the brain, suggesting a cause of the link between mental illness and creativity."

The thalamus region of the brain, the authors noted, is a kind of filter for information before it moves on to the cortex region, which handles understanding and reasoning.

The researchers pointed out that people with highly creative skills have previously been shown to also have a higher likelihood of having mental illness in their family. Creativity itself has also been associated with a modestly higher risk for both bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

The magic of 3

Rick Broida shares the to-do list magic of 3,

Only put three items on your to-do-list. I find this entire process immensely satisfying. For starters, a three-item list seems very manageable. Doesn’t matter how busy I am, I know I can accomplish at least those three things.

What’s more, it may sound silly, but drawing a line through a completed task feels really good — much better than clicking a checkbox in Outlook or an online to-do list. And at the end of the day, crumpling up that sheet makes me feel accomplished — even if I have 10 other tasks that didn’t get done.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Diet Coke your way.

The Coke Freestyle dispenser is shaking up the dispenser world at the NRA Show. Que up to order your favorite beverage any way you like it. Touch screens allow you to make your selection and magic happens. Coke has been testing this machine in selected markets and will roll it to a restaurant near you very soon.

Organic aisle has energy

The Organic aisles at the NRA show clearly had resonating energy, in large part to the proximity of the vendors and the smaller aisles. The Truitt Brothers presentation in the Conserve pavilion emphasized two aspects of the whole sustainability sphere that are necessary. One, it has to add value to the equation or it will not be self sustaining. Two, the most popular and effective avenue for communicating the message is storytelling because it invests the customer in the process.

Employee Onboarding

The hiring process is difficult to generalize because different behavior results in different successes at different locations. The best predictor of success in a particular position is the behavior that has been successful in the past. Hire behavior and ignore the rest of the noise.

Palm reading.

Jeff Imm shared this tidbit during his presentation in the Technology Pavilion on Tuesday 5/25.
"The next biometric identifier will be reading the veins in your hand." Average employees will have their hands scanned to sign in for work.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sorry about the wait.

Martin Gaston shares some annoying customer service phrases.

  1. Sorry about the wait.
  2. This is a redundant message that customer services operators are forced to say at the start of a conversation when the customer has been hanging on the phone for too long.

    The people saying it aren’t sorry. Nor should we expect them to be — they’re just doing their job, after all.

    But, when they open their conversation on a such a false note, it’s hard for the customer to take anything else they say as authentic.

    Of course the business is really not sorry because the wait means the business is flooded with business. I agree that in all cases it is not genuine.

You can not succeed alone

Success is always built on the help and support of others. You accomplish nothing by yourself. Stop deluding yourself that this was your idea or effort. The idea succeeded because others helped.

How does your sale help the customer's desired results

Geoffrey James channels Jeff Gitomer,

  • RULE #6:Help the customer build the customer’s own business.
  • RULE #7: Think end-of-time friendships not end-of-month totals.
  • RULE #8: Define your niche and position yourself as the expert.
  • RULE #9: Translate what you offer into the customer’s business results.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Fall down nine times, get up ten.

Roz Savage shares her rowing

Flash Crash lesson

On May 6 there was a "flash crash" in the stock market. The market recovered that day because of a reflex reaction. On May 21 the market retouched the lows of the flash crash. The lesson is of course is the answer to the question, "what is the fundamental strength of your enterprise?"

When does the breakthrough happen

Mitch Ditkoff offers this

They worked, they noodled, they struggled. They abandoned all hope, they recommitted -- and then the breakthrough came. And often at the most unexpected of moments...

...This week, keep a log of your most inspired ideas, intuitions, and dreams. When something pops for you (an inspired thought, an inkling, a sudden insight) write it down -- even if it doesn't make sense. Then, at the end of the week, read your log.

Credile Communications

Ivana Taylor previews "The Language of Trust",

The Four Principles of Credible Communication – Here is the magic formula: Be Personal, Be Plainspoken, Be Positive, Be Plausible. Really. That is all there is. These are simple words, we know what they mean and yet we don’t use these strategies nearly enough because if we did – we wouldn’t have a need for this book.

What are your customers doing these days

David Warsh offers this picture of a segment of your customer base.

And the victims of the Bust of 2008-10? They’ll do what the steelworkers and the bankers did as part of the cohorts of 1990-82 and 1980-82: they’ll search extensively for new jobs, retrain, relocate or, if they are over fifty, confront the possibility that they will never work again in their accustomed field, perhaps not work at all. They’ll reduce consumption, explore the social safety net, titrate their savings, move to their second homes or sell them, take part-time jobs on spec, or simply capitulate to a life of leisure sooner and with less income than they expected, and cultivate their interests.

This is an exaggerated version of a fate that, in varying degrees, awaits almost all retirees in Western Europe and North America in the next twenty years, as modest tax increases and benefit cuts become general. We should view with sympathy those who are in the van. A somewhat reduced retirement, sooner or later, will happen to us all.

Talented or not

Seth talks about the Gardner's multiple intelligence theory,

(1 Bodily-kinesthetic, 2 Interpersonal, 3 Verbal-linguistic, 4 Logical-mathematical, 5 Intrapersonal, 6 Visual-spatial, 7 Musical, 8 Naturalistic). This makes perfect sense—people are good at different things.

The reality is that all your employees or vendors are better at some things than others. A lot of your personal success comes from recognizing what people are good at and letting them do it. The problem of course is that your myopic because you have a relationship, be it with a vendor or employee based on them performing a specific function. Before you discard them entirely perhaps it would be beneficial to give them other duties.

NRA 2010: Sustainability

Eco Products

Produce Marketing

Distant Lands

Fresh Origins

Friday, May 21, 2010

The power of attentiveness

Sydney Barrows shares Danny Meyer's secret,

New York restaurateur Danny Meyer is a master of detail, and his employees are trained to notice, and when appropriate act on, even the tiniest scraps of information they observe or discover about a guest. If you happen to mention when making a reservation that it's a birthday dinner, the manager will make it a point to come to the table and extend Danny's birthday wishes to the appropriate person. If a staff member overhears a conversation in which one of the guests mentions they either like or dislike something, within minutes, everyone who might come into contact with that guest knows about it. And they tailor your food accordingly, too.

NRA 2010: Operational


Open Table


The Lease Coach


Pizza Butler




NRA 2010: POS

Restaurant Manager



Surprising the focus was not as heavy into wireless as I had supposed. My thinking was that wireless would be the only options they would be promoting.

NRA 2010: Menu

Words are all I have

Copper Tea

HomeFree Treats

The Niman Ranch


NRA 2010: Design

Tabletop Fire pits


The Dobbins Group


Big Ass Fans

Calcana-patio heaters


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Insurance, it is a start.

Noam Levy offers this news from the National Restaurant Association

The association plans to announce Friday, at its annual convention in Chicago, a website and a menu of insurance plans in Pennsylvania and Colorado and then expand into California, Texas, Florida, Illinois and several other states within a year.

"This is a business issue for the restaurant industry," said Dawn Sweeney, chief executive of the influential restaurant group, which represents about 380,000 employers nationwide.

"Because of the narrow profit margins of the restaurant business, it has been an ongoing real challenge for our industry to find affordable [insurance] products they could offer to employees," Sweeney said.

Sweeney, who began the push to create an insurance partnership more than two years ago, said the association's members had identified healthcare as a top issue of concern.

Help your customers succeed.

Adrianna Gardella provides insight into helping your customers succeed.

Winning ultimately boils down to profits and profit growth. When you win, your company grows, new people are hired, and you move up in the organization. Amazing things happen when an organization begins to think first about how it can help its customers make more money. When your customers don’t make more money doing business with you versus your competitors, you lose.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

I do not care what you are against, I care what you are for.

There is enough negative in the world, so I do not care what your business is against. As a customer I care what your business is for.

Creativity is the new coin of the realm

Austin Carr shares

creativity is now the most important leadership quality for success in business, outweighing even integrity and global thinking, according to a new study by IBM.

About 60% of CEOs polled cited creativity as the most important leadership quality, compared with 52% for integrity and 35% for global thinking. Creative leaders are also more prepared to break with the status quo of industry, enterprise and revenue models, and they are 81% more likely to rate innovation as a "crucial capability."

Share the gifts

Christopher Leonard shares different twist on giving

The new store in the upscale St. Louis suburb of Clayton is the first of what will Panera hopes will be many around the country. Ronald Shaich, Panera's CEO until last week, was on hand at the new bakery Monday to explain the system to customers.

The pilot restaurant is run by a nonprofit foundation. If it can sustain itself financially, Panera will expand the model around the country within months. It all depends on whether customers will abide by the motto that hangs above the deli counter: "Take what you need, leave your fair share."

Panera hopes to open a similar location in every community where it operates. Other nonprofits have opened community kitchens, where customers set the price, and the idea has spread among food enthusiasts and philanthropists. But Panera brings new scale to the idea — its community restaurants will use the company's distribution system and have access to its national food suppliers.

I totally applaud the effort

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The challenges that await

Tyler directs us to this

The second is ‘the nutrition transition’: generations that once lived on grains, pulses and legumes have been replaced by more prosperous people with a taste for meat and dairy. Crops like maize which once fed many of us directly now feed fewer of us indirectly, via a costly diversion from which they emerge in the value-added form of meat. Global production of food – all food – will have to increase by 50 per cent over the next 20 years to cater for two billion extra people and cope with the rising demand for meat.

Change the way we explain things to ourselves

Robert Pagliarini offers this

According to Dr. Seligman, “Optimistic people tend to interpret troubles as transient, controllable, and specific to one situation. Pessimistic people, in contrast, believe that their troubles last forever, undermine everything they do and are uncontrollable.” In short, if we can change the way we explain the events that occur in our lives, we will be less likely to suffer from learned helplessness.

Who works for who

Seth shares this;

"I work for you, what's next on my agenda to support you and help make your numbers go up?"

Surviving without Alcohol

Amanda Gold chronicles the rise of non alcoholic

They're not the only ones who would appreciate the drinks that fall into the category - they're all nonalcoholic - but no matter the audience, the message is clear: These are the libations you can throw back without worry.

Whether it's because of a restaurant's style of food or the lack of a liquor license, more Bay Area restaurants are investing time and energy in creating unusual liquor-free drinks to serve their patrons.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Wash it away

Nell explains

It turns out that Shakespeare was really onto something when he imagined Lady Macbeth trying to clean her conscience by rubbing invisible bloodstains from her hands. A few years ago, scientists asked people to describe a past unethical act. If people were then given a chance to clean their hands, they later expressed less guilt and shame than people who hadn't cleansed.

This finding fascinated Spike W. S. Lee, a psychology researcher at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He wondered if hand washing could restore more than just a sense of moral purity. After all, "cleanliness is next to godliness," but people also often talk about "starting over with a clean slate."

"Maybe there is a broader phenomenon here," says Lee. "Anything from the past, any kind of negative emotional experiences, might be washed away."

What about bacon?

Bacontastic facts
Hat tip: Chart Porn

Confidence in markets

This past week was a ride in the markets

Regulators, exchanges and trading firms are still trying to get to the bottom of what caused Thursday's freefall and how it managed to rebound. In the meantime, the biggest U.S. stock exchanges traded barbs, each alleging that the other's market model contributed to the chaos. NYSE Euronext said that about 4,000 trades were broken on Thursday after being identified as clearly erroneous as per exchange rules.

How do you as a small entrepreneur handle the ride? Clearly you have no control over the events and it does impact your business?

Keep calm and carry on!

Long term stress

Seth shares this; The long term stress is starting to become prevalent in far too many individuals and organizations. The natural progression without some circuit breaker is to reframe the discussion entirely.

More and more, I'm seeing bus company behavior from previously great organizations. It's a symptom of companies (and cultures) under long-term stress. These are all traits that occur when you allow standards to erode, when you embrace the status quo and when management gives up. You don't need lots of money or squadrons of people to change this, you just need to care.

Being aware of the continual negotiations

Changing Minds makes the point the we are continually negotiating at some level and if we bring awareness to that negotiating we would be more successful.

This pattern continues into other areas of life. How often, for example do you silently negotiate in conversations about who speaks when? Issues of power, fairness and need are resolved through action rather than explicit discussion.

As a general persuasion point this is worthy of reflection. If you can consciously navigate what are normally subconscious negotiations then you can become a lot more successful at changing minds

NRA 2010: Rework the menu

Press release from: Culinology

Moderated by RCA Immediate Past President Harry Crane (Kraft Foods, Inc.) and joined by influential panelists including Robert Okura (The Cheesecake Factory) and Rick Tramonto (Tru Restaurant), this highly anticipated session will feature a notable panel of industry professionals each having value-engineered menus at operations ranging from QSR’s to fine dining. They will share their savvy approach to Culinology®, the successful blending of culinary arts and food science.

All NRA Show attendees are invited to attend this educational session, taking place on Saturday, May 22 from noon to 1:30 p.m., room S403a, McCormick Place , Chicago .

Harry Crane

Executive Chef Culinary Resources & Strategy, Kraft Foods, Inc.

Melissa Haupt

Executive Chef, Applebee's Services

Robert Okura

VP of Culinary Development/Corporate Executive Chef, The Cheesecake Factory

Marshall Scarborough

Manager Product Development/Research Chef, Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen

Cammie Spillyards

Director of Food and Beverage Innovation, Chili's Bar and Grill

Rick Tramonto

Executive Chef/Partner, Tru Restaurant

Thursday, May 6, 2010

High Octane suds

Evan George explains

Others that have actively competed for the strongest beer title include Dogfish Head in Delaware and the Boston Beer Co., whose Utopias is also one of the most expensive beers, at more than $150 retail.

Most mass-produced American beers, from Budweiser to Samuel Adams Boston Lager, rarely top 5% alcohol by volume (ABV). A typical Belgian ale, by contrast, runs closer to 8% or 9%, which can be accomplished using traditional brewing techniques. Even barleywine-style beers stick in the vicinity of 11%, well shy of most Chardonnays.

So, if these extreme concoctions are so rare Joe Six-Pack will never taste them, what's all the fuss?

Experimentation plays a key role in the beer industry, says Greg Koch, CEO of Escondido's Stone Brewing Co., one of the nation's largest craft beer producers.

"It's definitely an attention-grabber," Koch says about the high alcohol level. "But it demonstrates what's possible in the world of beer. We like anything that shows people the diversity in beer."

It takes extreme measures — and temperatures — to brew a beer as strong as liquor.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Stealth Upsell

It is not alright to offer mineral water as the only choice and then charge me. It is not alright to offer me the burger and then charge me for the double because I did not order the single. It is not alright to charge me for anything unless I am aware I am being charged.

Stealth upsell is a failed strategy that only angers your customers. Yes it will increase check average in the very very short run however it has a long term detrimental effect on your business. Why am I continually running into this strategy?

Give it up entrepreneurs, the strategy sucks!

Prepaid Reservation

Pete Wells explains the differential pricing strategy of Next restaurant.

Anyone wishing to eat at Next after its scheduled opening in the fall will pay in advance on its Web site. Like airlines, Next will offer cheaper tickets for off-peak hours. A table at 9:30 on a Tuesday night, say, would cost less than one for Saturday at 8. Ticket prices will also vary based on the menu, but will run from $45 to $75 for a five- or six-course meal.

Mix that with the service charge / tip strategy and you have the ingredients for a grand experiment

But the plan would also have value for Mr. Achatz and his main partner in Next and Alinea, Nick Kokonas. By law, restaurants may distribute tips only to those employees who work in service. But the service charge included in the ticket price “gives him control over the money,” said Bill Guilfoyle, an associate professor of business management at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y. “He can give it to whomever he sees fit.”

Civility in Talent Acquisition

Suzanne Lucas rightfully admonishes anyone involved in the hiring process.

if you’ve actually had an interview (on the phone or in person) then the recruiter should get back to you to tell you that the position has been filled, or canceled, or whatever. I’m going to say it now and let the recruiters come attack me: There is no reason short of death (of the recruiter) that justifies not getting back to a candidate. It’s just plain rude and unprofessional. Plus, you may not need that particular candidate now, but you might need him later.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Move your desk

To change your perspective, to gain new insight, to re-frame the question perhaps all that is necessary is to move your desk. When was the last time you move your desk?

It's time.

The end of procrastination

Jessica Stillman reports on an ancient adversary,

The happy conclusion: if you’re guilty of procrastination, the first step in overcoming this common vice is simply forgiving yourself for it. The more you obsess, the more likely you are to procrastinate again and do badly on future tasks.

Status is just an agreement

Trendwatching's latest newsletter highlights status.

The five trends include

1 Bigger, better, harder

2 Generosity

3 Green credentials and unconsumption

4 In the know and skills

5 Connectivity

They close with this tidbit.

Because man’s vanity, ego, his yearning to be recognized, seen, admired, heard, envied and lusted after knows no boundaries, there will always be new ways to help him/her stand out from the herd, as long as you keep a close eye on societal changes that lead to shifts in what constitutes status.

Here's what:

  • Develop a better understanding of who (and how) your customers are trying to impress. If you find your brand is still mainly focusing on BIGGER, BETTER, HARDER, but your customers aren't, then you obviously and urgently need to start exploring the rest of the STATUSPHERE.
  • If you already actively serve a diverse crowd of status seekers, figure out how you can help them to better show off their new status symbols or better tell their status stories. While they're used extensively in the BIGGER, BETTER, HARDER realm, elements like showcasing, visibility, and story ingredients are still often overlooked in the GENEROSITY, GREEN, IN THE KNOW & SKILLS, and CONNECTIVITY realms.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Forget the goverment indicators.

Barbara quotes the most reliable of the indicators. This one is much simpler than listening to the talking heads on television. Disregard this indicator at your determent.

The science of economic analysis has taken a leap forward with the discovery of a new, highly accurate economic indicator: The Nordstrom Shoe Index.

Economists were intrigued to find that statistics on consumers' attitudes toward the economy coincided with the actions of a single consumer in Chicago. Taking a closer look, they found that they could track consumer confidence and its resulting influence on the nation's economy simply by following this consumer's interactions with the shoe department at Nordstrom.

Understand how your actions impact others and ultimately your business.

Sean speaks of guidelines for MBA programs, however these "needs" easily apply to any entrepreneur.

  1. Greater self-awareness. Executives want managers who understand the impact they have on the performance of others.
  2. Development of more practical skills. Today’s managers should come equipped to lead teams, run meetings, deliver effective presentaions and give performance feedback.
  3. Understanding the big picture. Modern organizations are complex organisms, and leaders, to be effective, must understand the context of how decisions are made. It’s often better to find a good solution that can be executed easily rather than the ‘right’ solution that would be disruptive to implement.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Incorporate planned spontaneity

Andy Hanselman's pointers on planned spontaneity.

I once completed a questionnaire after staying at a hotel and mentioned a particular staff member who had been ‘outstanding’. I got a lovely letter from the manager thanking me for the feedback and telling me that this member of staff was one of his ’star players’ and that he’d be letting her know I’d mentioned her. Specific acknowledgement demonstrated to me that he was listening and that my opinions counted for something.

Free refills are a factor of rent cost?

Tyler explains the economics of the free refill

the first-order economic prediction is that drinks are sometimes used to charge for table space in the restaurant, a'la the Lott-Roberts paper. The more that land costs, the more that table space costs the restaurant. New York City establishments are usually crowded. That means they want to keep on charging you for holding the table and that means no free refills.

Misuse of marketing resources

Diane Helbig quotes a study by Dan Kennedy. How much does your business spend on acquiring new clients and why are you not focusing your limited resources on keeping the ones you have?

Sixty eight percent of clients who leave do so because they feel unappreciated, unimportant, and taken for granted.

Remarkable. So while you are working on the quality of your product, your pricing, and performance, give some thought to your customer service.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Restaurants are getting quiet

Because no one is talking. Everyone is texting. It is very possible for four people to be sitting in a restaurant and not say a word to each other. Soon they will be able to order without human contact.

Greg Burns' article expounds of the youthquake taking place,

For years, technology gurus have predicted a revolution in how Americans connect, but it never seemed to come as fast as they expected. In mobile wireless, everything from long service contracts to spotty infrastructure and the slow pace of smart-phone adoption confounded them.

The iPhone's debut in 2007 coincided with less visible advances driven by mobile messaging. The new iPad, fitting between smart phones and laptops, adds to the momentum.

"We have the right devices, the right networks and the right applications," said Roger Entner, senior vice president of research and insights at the Nielsen Co. "It's finally happening on a massive, massive scale."

It's a youthquake. At the end of last year, the average wireless subscriber sent fewer than three texts for every phone call, while teens age 13-17 sent almost 18 texts for every call.

Geo-location is not some theory, it is very real

Amy-Mae Elliott post about the trends in geo-location is enlightening.

As it’s a new area, not all companies are being an intelligent about location data — especially real-time examples — as they could be. We will soon see more connections made from the information and more graphing done to understand it. We will begin to ask not only where people are going but also why they are going to certain places. As interest in a fellow user’s location declines the further you are from it, and interest in an event likewise declines the further in the past it was, a way of capturing and using real-time location data is needed to best leverage the potentially powerful information.

Visual cues to the buying decision

Jeffery Pfeffer's post about visual cues and how they influence feelings and purchases.

companies need to be much more thoughtful about how they design and decorate their workspaces, because visual cues influence attitudes and behaviors. Companies should think about what employee behaviors and what customer reactions they desire and then experiment with cues that are likely to invoke them.

50 best restaurants on the planet

The Guardian does the leg work for you so all you have to do is visit.

Brand you mixes with brand business

Lisa Barone recommends that you entwine your personal brand with your company brand,

Through your brand, you give your customers something to hold on to. You bring them into your story and, by association, make your company a whole lot more interesting in their eyes. Jonathan Fields had a great post yesterday about business, branding and the art of storytelling that I think intersects really well here. I’d encourage you to give it a read. We’re seeing more and more businesses adopt this storytelling approach to marketing. And they’re doing it because it’s incredibly impactful. People want to do business with companies they have a relationship with. When you engage them in your story, you make them invested in what you offer.