always on our minds

Good ideas are never half-baked

August 26, 2014 By: Matt Gorlaski

Have you ever come across an idea so different and bizarre you feel compelled to be a part of it?

Have you ever come across an idea so different and bizarre you feel compelled to be a part of it? That’s how many customers feel when they walk into a Johnny Cupcakes bakery for the first time. Most people walk through the door expecting the smell of freshly baked pastries. Most people expect to gaze upon artistically decorated cakes. Most people are unexpectedly surprised. In its simplest terms, Johnny Cupcakes is a t-shirt shop. The concept behind this growing brand is also very simple: cupcakes. But what makes this company great is how far the idea has been pushed. When customers walk through the doors of the “bakery” they find themselves standing amidst retro-style bakery refrigerators with t-shirts displayed on cookie sheets. All the designs created by the brand have a cupcake incorporated into a pop culture reference. These satirical...

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A Dang Good Rallying Cry

July 28, 2014 By: Holly Monacelli

Last week while my husband and I puttered around Puerto Rico, we happened upon a local smoothie shop in a

Last week while my husband and I puttered around Puerto Rico, we happened upon a local smoothie shop in a remote part of Rincon called Banana Dang! As if the name wasn’t awesome enough, the logo is a smiling banana. But more importantly, in this small surfer town, it’s a rallying cry. An excited, affirmative answer for the sea-soaked and sunburned and water-weary. Want a delicious mango and acai berry smoothie? Homemade banana bread? Strong Puerto Rican coffee? BANANA DANG, I do! Finding a rallying cry may not be as easy as it was for Banana Dang! co-owner Than Than Dang, who was born with part of it. And the idea of the store was born in 2007, the Year of the Monkey — and those guys just happen to love the main ingredient of every smoothie made here: bananas....

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Nice To Meet You, Let’s Get Married. Now.

July 24, 2014 By: Rob Waldeck

Marketing automation tools, like HubSpot or Pardot, can be a powerful and effective way to nurture prospects and turn them

Marketing automation tools, like HubSpot or Pardot, can be a powerful and effective way to nurture prospects and turn them into clients. But, in order for them to work, you need to infuse humanity into the technology. You need to act like a real person reaching out to another real person, and not software contacting a computer. Just today in my inbox I had two examples of what not to do. One email came from a marketing consulting firm noting that I had opened a previous email and therefore must be interested in their company. Well, I did open an email, but I open every email and that includes lots of emails I’m not interested in. The other email was from an SEO company whose site I had visited and downloaded some information. While I do appreciate the follow-up, I...

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Why Your Mission Matters

June 18, 2014 By: Rob Waldeck

Old friend Mike Troiano moderated a panel at the Bostinno State of Innovation conference last week with entrepreneurs who have

Old friend Mike Troiano moderated a panel at the Bostinno State of Innovation conference last week with entrepreneurs who have built $1billion companies in Massachusetts. Participants included Barbara Messing, CMO of TripAdvisor, Brad Rinklin, CMO at Akamai, Colin Angle, CEO at iRobot, Steve Conine, co-founder of Wayfair, and Jit Saxeena, Chairman of Neteeza. He asked them to rank the impact of 6 factors in the success of their businesses: Size of Market, Quality of Team, Quality of Product, Insight of Strategy, Quality of Execution and Luck. The details can be found here. Among that crew the consensus Number 1 driver in achieving $billion-scale was the Quality of Team. “If you get [the team] right, they’ll figure out all the rest,” said Jit Saxeena, Founder of Applix/Neteeza. But of course building a great team is easier said than done. To attract...

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Content that Moves People

June 17, 2014 By: Renee Bolz

According to this report by branding firm Wolff Olins, we’ve gone from 7% of people creating online content in 2006 to 77%

According to this report by branding firm Wolff Olins, we’ve gone from 7% of people creating online content in 2006 to 77% in 2013. That’s a lot of people, and a lot of content. Imagine that you run a news organization — a legitimate one that’s been objectively reporting on important global issues for more than 100 years. And all of a sudden, people are creating and reading content all over the place. Accessing news and views instantaneously from wherever they are. Often not paying attention to the source or finishing what they start. Do they still need you? Want you? Even know who you are? How can you possibly break through? When we started working with The Christian Science Monitor in 2012 it was at the height of frenzy in the world of news media, with mobile usage exploding and people reading more news than...

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