At #SXSW14, Austin Kleon delivered a keynote in which he talked about vampires who suck your energy out and that being a scenius is even more important than being a genius. A scenius has the ability (and humbleness) to surround themselves with people who have different skill sets and are not afraid to share not only their knowledge, but also the process of how they get things done. It made sense with what appeared to be a constant during this year’s SXSW: all great things are created through collaboration, an open source mentality and an approach to real social…

Real Time Marketing.

Sometimes saying nothing is what gets you into the most trouble (example: not wishing your spouse a Happy Anniversary (trust me on this)). If you’re a brand, saying nothing can get you absolutely pilloried, particularly in social media and particularly over a politically hot-button topic such as the Russian anti-gay laws that, to many, have become the focus of the Sochi Olympics. Brands that take the tried-and-true approach of staying above the fray are finding that, at least in the world of always-on, always-chattering social media, where everything is amplified and reposted, the fray will come and find them. It’s…

Here We Go Again.

A couple of weeks after the brouhaha over Chick-fil-A’s CEO’s comments about same-sex marriage prompted a national debate reflected in social media, another fast-food chain, Papa John?s, has dipped its toe in the red state/blue state divide and is paying the price in public perception. Via http://mashable.com/2012/08/10/papa-johns-charts/

Diving Perception.

Chick-Fil-A’s perception with fast food eaters nationwide has taken a significant hit in most regions of the US, including the South where most of its restaurants are located, since president and COO Dan Cathy’s perceived anti-gay remarks on July 16th. However, in the Midwest, Chick-Fil-A’s perception jumped up for a week and has tapered off to where it was before the interview was published. Via http://research.yougov.com/news/2012/07/27/chck-fil-takes-perception-dive-fast-food-eaters/

Selling to the Bunker Mentality.

Extreme weather, economic uncertainty, and national security concerns are prompting a surge of entrepreneurs to market to Americans preparing for the worst. Over the last five years, the number of survival-oriented businesses?particularly those dealing with food storage and wilderness survival gear?have increased by hundreds of percentage points to hundreds of enterprises and there?s every indication that they will keep growing. Via http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-08-06/can-i-sell-you-an-underground-bunker