Monday, February 25, 2013

Reinventing Pac-Man:

How to Create a Brand That Becomes Timeless



Remember the first real video game to make it big? It was Pac-Man. At a time when space shooter games like Space Invaders and Asteroids dominated the new video game arcade market, Pac-Man stood apart. Perhaps it was the fact that it was so simple—a little yellow circle character ate its way around a maze attempting to avoid four primary colored enemies: Blinky, Pinky, Inky and Clyde. Or maybe it’s because you could eat a white power dot and the tides would turn and you could attack. Or maybe it was the first arcade game to attract women as well as men equally.



But let’s delve deeper and ask ourselves what made the Pac-Man franchise so successful? And why after 30 years, is it still loved by millions?

The reason Pac-Man did so well as a game is because it had ever-increasing challenges that kept pace with the user. And as a brand, it kept reinventing itself according to the customer!

 

Invented by a young game designer named Toru Iwatani, Pac-Man was his attempt to design a game that wasn’t violent and appealed to bother genders. Released in the United States in October of 1980 sales took off…and an estimated 25 BILLION quarters were pumped into Pac-Man. Remember, this is the early 80s, this kind of money was unheard of for video games.



But what made Pac-Man and eventually Ms. Pac-Man such an iconic brand that is STILL in use today, is the fact that it did something completely different from everyone else—it captured the hearts and minds of gamers all over the world. 



Here are three rules to follow, whether developing a marketing campaign, or managing your best employees…let’s learn from Pac-Man.



1) Create a Criteria for Success 


Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man are simple. There is a maze, and dots you have to eat, and creatures to avoid, and even cooler stuff to eat — like pretzels, apples and oranges— which earns you even more points. It is so simple that there are no instructions on the game console. You can figure it out within one play.



The same with your marketing…keep it simple. When something is too complex, forget it, I’m walking away. Keep it simple. Sometimes intuitive is best.



Just look at all the devices out there today that rely on intuition to figure them out.  My iPhone has 5 buttons on it with no labels. There is no way my father's generation could figure this device out unless I showed him. But if I hand it to a 2 year old, they can use it in seconds. 



2) Continuously Increase the Pay-Off


There are only 4 levels in Ms. Pac-Man but no 2 games are ever the same. Each level goes faster, and as the risk becomes greater, so do the rewards, and with higher numbers from eating oranges, pretzels and cherries, you could really get higher scores the higher you go.



Brands that do not evolve or take no risks eventually lose our interest. Remember Starbucks Cafe restaurants? Of course not. They took a risk and it failed. But Starbucks is also trying new products and new flavors to peak our interest. 

But more importantly, as a brand it is smart to keep challenging your customers with greater and greater rewards for being a loyal customer.

Let me explain a little better. A brand is not a logo or a service but the EXPERIENCE a customer has with your company or product. Just check out the brands that keep us interested, challenged and provide a great experience: Apple, Dave & Busters, Cadillac, Zappos! and Google. Each of these brands attempts to keep our interest by introducing newer and better products, better customer service and cooler experiences. In many cases, these companies have also reinvented their market sectors.



And ANOTHER THING these brands do: they listen to their employees for ideas!


So sit down with some of your most talented people and ask them for some cool ideas…and get ‘em out there into the real world quickly. Time and technology wait for no one!



3) Give Customers What They Want

And while we are at it, you may have some great ideas, but chances are your customers have even better ideas for you to implement. Like Ms. Pac-Man. After Pac-Man was out for a while, a team of MIT grad students decided to create an add-on board that transformed the Pac-Man game into Ms. Pac-Man.

When they approached Midway, the game company that represented Namco here in the United States, they didn’t get angry, or ignore the new idea or try to sue them for opening up the game and tinkering with it. Instead they helped them rename it (the students originally called it Pac-Woman and Mrs. Pac-Man) and admitted they were looking for a spin-off to Pac-Man. 



Ms. Pac-Man sold 115,000 arcade game consoles
in its first three months! 



 

So listen to your customers, especially the ones who have become advocates. They may have better ideas for your company than you could come up with in 10 brainstorming sessions. Look, if people like your brand, that means you got them emotionally ...and therefore, they want you to make your stuff better. So why not listen to them?

And keep tweaking your company until you strike gold. In today’s NOW culture, customers respond immediately to something that captures their mind, and their hearts.
 
So don’t be afraid to create a brand that is iconic.

Thank you for reading...


Brad Szollose
Award-winning author, business consultant and keynote speaker


Brad Szollose is a management consultant and keynote speaker who helps smart companies understand just how much technology has transformed corporate culture and behavior…and how that impacts management, interaction and expectations in The Information Age.



But this is not based on management theory: With a 30 year career as an entrepreneur he knows firsthand what it’s like to grow a company from a simple idea in a coffee shop to an internationally recognized brand.


Brad is a former C-Level Internet Executive who went from entrepreneur to IPO in 3 yrs—co-founding K2 Design, the very first Dot Com Agency to go public on NASDAQ. His company experienced 425% hyper-growth for 5 straight years, expanded from 2 business partners to 4 with 60+ employees and offices worldwide. At its height, K2 was valuated at over $26 million. 

His results only management model (ROWE) was applied to the first wave of young Generation Y workers producing great results—winning K2 the Arthur Andersen NY Enterprise Award for Best Practices in Fostering Innovation.

Brad Szollose is the *award-winning author of Liquid Leadership: From Woodstock to Wikipedia which explores the subject of new leadership styles – mainly how to get the tech-savvy Generation Y and analogue driven Baby Boomers working together. ISBN-13: 978-1608320554

Known for his humorous and thought-provoking presentations, Szollose received the highest testimonial of his career from a C-Level audience member: "I just had my mind blown." Brad’s keynotes and workshops are highly interactive, heart-warming, humorous, and filled with high-content information that challenge assumptions and help leaders and managers create a better work environment for innovation to thrive.


Liquid Leadership has been called "THE guidebook for the 21st Century" and has won the 2011 Axiom Business Book Award silver medal for leadership, The Indie Business Book runner up silver medal as well as becoming a #1 Best-Selling Business Book on Amazon for Organizational Learning. Published in the United States by Greenleaf Book Group, in India by Prolibris and in South Korea by UI Books/Iljinsa Publishing.

Mr. Szollose also writes a monthly column on business and marketing techniques that reach Generation Y for A Captured Mind newsletter and is part of The Mind Capture Group faculty.

Today, Brad helps businesses close the Digital Divide by understanding it as a Cultural Divide – created by the new tech-savvy worker...and customer. 



* 2011 Axiom Business Book silver medal winner in the leadership

* #1 Amazon Best-Selling Author

"I just had my mind blown..." - A.S., Vistage, New York

Liquid Leadership by Brad Szollose is available at all major bookstores and for Kindle, Nook, iPad and Sony ereaders. Internationally published in India and S. Korea.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Liquid Leadership
is Released in
South Korea!!!




리퀴드 리더십 by Brad Szollose
On February 10th, 2013 my book Liquid Leadership: From Woodstock to Wikipedia was released in South Korea. Exciting to me that I have new friends in the Far East who are interested in my work.

But even more amazing to me is the year long effort to translate Liquid Leadership into another language. This is not an easy task. I made this edition special for the people of South Korea by adding stories of such noteworthy Korean Companies as Hyundai, Kia, and Samsung.

These are the Korean based companies that are giving American Brands like GMC, Ford and Apple a run for their money.



A special THANK YOU goes out to UI Books for reaching out to me and my publisher at Greenleaf Books in Texas, USA over a YEAR and a HALF ago.

UI Books/Iljinsa Publishing in South Korea
 has done an EXTRAORDINARY job making Liquid Leadership look beautiful both inside and out. 


Here, take a look:
리퀴드 리더십 interior. 2 Color...beautiful.




리퀴드 리더십 exterior design...also beautiful.

To order 리퀴드 리더십 by Brad Szollose, click here.

I hope I have honored The Korean people with the very best of my work...

Thank you for reading...


Brad Szollose
Award-winning author, business consultant and keynote speaker

PS: If you are interested in one of our white papers entitled... 

What Every Business Needs
to Know About Generation Y:

Understanding How Technology Transforms Culture and Behavior, and Impacts Management, Interaction and Expectations
 

email us with your name, title and email address.
Your information is confidential.

Ask me how I can help your company evolve into the 21st Century of Management.


Brad Szollose is a management consultant and keynote speaker who helps smart companies understand just how much technology has transformed corporate culture and behavior…and how that impacts management, interaction and expectations in The Information Age.



But this is not based on management theory: With a 30 year career as an entrepreneur he knows firsthand what it’s like to grow a company from a simple idea in a coffee shop to an internationally recognized brand.


Brad is a former C-Level Internet Executive who went from entrepreneur to IPO in 3 yrs—co-founding K2 Design, the very first Dot Com Agency to go public on NASDAQ. His company experienced 425% hyper-growth for 5 straight years, expanded from 2 business partners to 4 with 60+ employees and offices worldwide. At its height, K2 was valuated at over $26 million. 

His results only management model (ROWE) was applied to the first wave of young Generation Y workers producing great results—winning K2 the Arthur Andersen NY Enterprise Award for Best Practices in Fostering Innovation.

Brad Szollose is the *award-winning author of Liquid Leadership: From Woodstock to Wikipedia which explores the subject of new leadership styles – mainly how to get the tech-savvy Generation Y and analogue driven Baby Boomers working together. ISBN-13: 978-1608320554

Known for his humorous and thought-provoking presentations, Szollose received the highest testimonial of his career from a C-Level audience member: "I just had my mind blown." Brad’s keynotes and workshops are highly interactive, heart-warming, humorous, and filled with high-content information that challenge assumptions and help leaders and managers create a better work environment for innovation to thrive.


Liquid Leadership has been called "THE guidebook for the 21st Century" and has won the 2011 Axiom Business Book Award silver medal for leadership, The Indie Business Book runner up silver medal as well as becoming a #1 Best-Selling Business Book on Amazon for Organizational Learning. Published in the United States by Greenleaf Book Group, in India by Prolibris and in South Korea by UI Books/Iljinsa Publishing.

Mr. Szollose also writes a monthly column on business and marketing techniques that reach Generation Y for A Captured Mind newsletter and is part of The Mind Capture Group faculty.

Today, Brad helps businesses close the Digital Divide by understanding it as a Cultural Divide – created by the new tech-savvy worker...and customer. 



* 2011 Axiom Business Book silver medal winner in the leadership

* #1 Amazon Best-Selling Author

"I just had my mind blown..." - A.S., Vistage, New York

Liquid Leadership by Brad Szollose is available at all major bookstores and for Kindle, Nook, iPad and Sony ereaders. Internationally published in India and S. Korea.

Monday, February 11, 2013

The Secret to Innovation:

Part 3 of 3



The final installment in our Innovation Series:
Excerpted from Liquid Leadership: From Woodstock to Wikipedia, page 125, Isn't Creativity Just For Artistic Types?


People Yearn to Do What We Do Best in the
Service of Something Larger than Ourselves



More and more companies, in order to create a certain level of engagement among their employees, have created a transcendent, purpose-filled work environment where everyone feels as if they are a contributor to something bigger than themselves.

That makes coming to work more enjoyable, and it is also a way to attract and retain talent.


When people have a sense of purpose built into
what they do, you don’t just get an employee—
you get a person’s talent, passion, and full attention.


Most people around the world just show up to a job and do what it takes to get ahead. But real engagement — real, 100 percent commitment — requires a workplace that isn’t just making stuff but, in some way, changing the world. On the other hand, when a company doesn’t have a purpose, they lose their direction and start making both bad products and bad decisions.

Like I’ve said before, change begins within.


Companies that are flourishing in this economy are the ones that inspire their workforce, both inside and out, with a sense of purpose! And the little secret is this: Purpose and profits go hand in hand.

In short, companies that nurture a results-only, creative culture trust their people to be self-directed and give them the training and the challenge so they can do so. Try putting that in a mission statement."

I hope you enjoyed this three week trip through our Innovation Series. Liquid Leadership: From Woodstock to Wikipedia helps just about everyone, whether a Baby Boomer, Gen Xer or Gen Yer, I give you the tools to be a better leader in the 21st Century.

Click here for The Secret to Innovation: Part 2 or The Secret to Innovation: Part 1.

Thank you for reading...


Brad Szollose
Award-winning author, business consultant and keynote speaker

If you haven't seen Daniel Pink's Ted Talk, I suggest you check it out...insightful:



PS: If you are interested in one of our white papers entitled... 

What Every Business Needs
to Know About Generation Y:

Understanding How Technology Transforms Culture and Behavior,
and Impacts Management, Interaction
and Expectations
 

email us with your name, title and email address.
Your information is confidential.


Ask me how I can help your company evolve into the 21st Century of Management.


Brad Szollose is a management consultant and keynote speaker who helps smart companies understand just how much technology has transformed corporate culture and behavior…and how that impacts management, interaction and expectations in The Information Age.



But this is not based on management theory: With a 30 year career as an entrepreneur he knows firsthand what it’s like to grow a company from a simple idea in a coffee shop to an internationally recognized brand.


Brad is a former C-Level Internet Executive who went from entrepreneur to IPO in 3 yrs—co-founding K2 Design, the very first Dot Com Agency to go public on NASDAQ. His company experienced 425% hyper-growth for 5 straight years, expanded from 2 business partners to 4 with 60+ employees and offices worldwide. At its height, K2 was valuated at over $26 million. 

His results only management model (ROWE) was applied to the first wave of young Generation Y workers producing great results—winning K2 the Arthur Andersen NY Enterprise Award for Best Practices in Fostering Innovation.

Brad Szollose is the *award-winning author of Liquid Leadership: From Woodstock to Wikipedia which explores the subject of new leadership styles – mainly how to get the tech-savvy Generation Y and analogue driven Baby Boomers working together. ISBN-13: 978-1608320554

Known for his humorous and thought-provoking presentations, Szollose received the highest testimonial of his career from a C-Level audience member: "I just had my mind blown." Brad’s keynotes and workshops are highly interactive, heart-warming, humorous, and filled with high-content information that challenge assumptions and help leaders and managers create a better work environment for innovation to thrive.


Liquid Leadership has been called "THE guidebook for the 21st Century" and has won the 2011 Axiom Business Book Award silver medal for leadership, The Indie Business Book runner up silver medal as well as becoming a #1 Best-Selling Business Book on Amazon for Organizational Learning. Published in the United States by Greenleaf Book Group, in India by Prolibris and in South Korea by UI Books/Iljinsa Publishing.

Mr. Szollose also writes a monthly column on business and marketing techniques that reach Generation Y for A Captured Mind newsletter and is part of The Mind Capture Group faculty.

Today, Brad helps businesses close the Digital Divide by understanding it as a Cultural Divide – created by the new tech-savvy worker...and customer. 



* 2011 Axiom Business Book silver medal winner in the leadership

* #1 Amazon Best-Selling Author

"I just had my mind blown..." - A.S., Vistage, New York

Liquid Leadership by Brad Szollose is available at all major bookstores and for Kindle, Nook, iPad and Sony ereaders. Internationally published in India and S. Korea.

Monday, February 4, 2013

The Secret to Innovation

Part 2 of 3

Excerpt from Liquid Leadership: From Woodstock to Wikipedia, page 125, Isn't Creativity Just For Artistic Types?

 

People Have a Built-in Desire to Get Better and
Better at Something They Like to Do


"Again, according to Daniel Pink in his book Drive, the second finding of the MIT and LSE (London School of Economics), studies was that people have a natural urge to get better at stuff that they like. Whether it is becoming a better musician, video gamer, or athlete, people like a challenge. Now, when that challenge is automatically built in to a great work environment, people will work nonstop to get better and better at something.

To economists who study human behavior, this makes no sense. Why learn how to play a musical instrument? It isn’t gonna make you rich or get you ahead at your job, so why do it? Yet since economists believe people are driven by money, they simply miss the point; economics are about people’s behavior, not about money. At some levels, yes, people who are struggling to put food on the table or are raising kids are driven by money.

But we all know this; it is just common sense.
Once again, Daniel Pink states it best—if you don’t pay people enough, they won’t be motivated. Simply put, if you aren’t willing to pay your people well for what they do, they will not be engaged in the company’s mission.

The simple and wonderful thing about us all is this: Once we are making enough money, we are free to engage in all sorts of challenging things.

And what escapes most behavioral scientists is that people are driven to get better at something because it gives us a sense of accomplishment.

It seems that facing a challenge and mastering that challenge over time enriches us beyond the printed page, beyond even our sense of logic. Why did I enroll in Shaolin Kempo at forty-five years of age? I wanted a bigger challenge. It also gave me a sense of contribution to my nephew’s world—a sense of “This is bigger than me”—and that led me to the next finding."

Part 3 to be continued next week....

Click here for The Secret to Innovation: Part 1

And this makes me wonder...

Do governments and economists forget that economies
are not made up of pie charts and marketplaces,
but are made up of people?


Something to ponder.

Thank you for reading...


Brad Szollose
Award-winning author, business consultant and keynote speaker

If you haven't seen Daniel Pink's Ted Talk, I suggest you check it out...insightful:



PS: If you are interested in one of our white papers entitled... 

What Every Business Needs
to Know About Generation Y:

Understanding How Technology Transforms Culture and Behavior,
and Impacts Management, Interaction
and Expectations
 

email us with your name, title and email address.
Your information is confidential.


Ask me how I can help your company evolve into the 21st Century of Management.


Brad Szollose is a management consultant and keynote speaker who helps smart companies understand just how much technology has transformed corporate culture and behavior…and how that impacts management, interaction and expectations in The Information Age.



But this is not based on management theory: With a 30 career as an entrepreneur he knows firsthand what it’s like to grow a company from a simple idea in a coffee shop to an internationally recognized brand.


Brad is a former C-Level Internet Executive who went from entrepreneur to IPO in 3 yrs—co-founding K2 Design, the very first Dot Com Agency to go public on NASDAQ. His company experienced 425% hyper-growth for 5 straight years, expanded from 2 business partners to 4 with 60+ employees and offices worldwide. At its height, K2 was valuated at over $26 million. 

His results only management model (ROWE) was applied to the first wave of young Generation Y workers producing great results—winning K2 the Arthur Andersen NY Enterprise Award for Best Practices in Fostering Innovation.

Brad Szollose is the *award-winning author of Liquid Leadership: From Woodstock to Wikipedia which explores the subject of new leadership styles – mainly how to get the tech-savvy Generation Y and analogue driven Baby Boomers working together. ISBN-13: 978-1608320554

Known for his humorous and thought-provoking presentations, Szollose received the highest testimonial of his career from a C-Level audience member: "I just had my mind blown." Brad’s keynotes and workshops are highly interactive, heart-warming, humorous, and filled with high-content information that challenge assumptions and help leaders and managers create a better work environment for innovation to thrive.


Liquid Leadership has been called "THE guidebook for the 21st Century" and has won the 2011 Axiom Business Book Award silver medal for leadership, The Indie Business Book runner up silver medal as well as becoming a #1 Best-Selling Business Book on Amazon for Organizational Learning. Published in the United States by Greenleaf Book Group, in India by Prolibris and in South Korea by UI Books/Iljinsa Publishing.

Mr. Szollose also writes a monthly column on business and marketing techniques that reach Generation Y for A Captured Mind newsletter and is part of The Mind Capture Group faculty.

Today, Brad helps businesses close the Digital Divide by understanding it as a Cultural Divide – created by the new tech-savvy worker...and customer. 



* 2011 Axiom Business Book silver medal winner in the leadership

* #1 Amazon Best-Selling Author

"I just had my mind blown..." - A.S., Vistage, New York

Liquid Leadership by Brad Szollose is available at all major bookstores and for Kindle, Nook, iPad and Sony ereaders. Internationally published in India and S. Korea.