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Talking Points: The Power of Outsiders

Who is your spokesperson? Why does it matter? What makes a spokesperson great?

In my recent post, Who Is Your Brand’s Spokesperson?, I examined the various types of brand spokespeople. While we’ve all encountered “Charismatic Leader” types such as Steve Jobs, who serve as both c-suite executives and the public face of their brand, there’s an underrecognized and underutilized voice that we don’t often hear – that of the “Outsider.”
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Who is your spokesperson?

Talking Points: Who Is Your Brand’s Spokesperson?

Who is your spokesperson? Why does it matter? What makes a spokesperson great?

Over the last decade, Eidson & Partners has trained more than 1,200 speakers across multiple industries to represent their brands. Throughout this process, we’ve noticed that there are some clear patterns to what works and why. In this series, I’ll be examining different approaches to developing great spokespeople and delivering impactful messaging.

The PR field has rapidly evolved as the social media era has taken hold. New platforms for public engagement have redefined both who is thought of as a spokesperson or influencer and how they spread their brand’s message to their audience. When everyone within a company or brand has a public profile, there are countless opportunities to tell a brand’s story to the public. Who can make the greatest impact?
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What Kickstarter Helped Startups Achieve in 2016

Innovators and startups take many different paths on their journey from idea to execution. As a founder of SparkLabKC, an accelerator program in Kansas City, MO, I was privileged to witness many of the ways in which scrappy startup founders pursued funding. These entrepreneurs, driven by their unique vision for the future, work tirelessly to share that vision with the rest of us.

Of course, they can’t do it without funding. While the current investment climate makes it possible for many young companies to achieve the dream of landing venture capital or other major investments, not all startups are in a position to avail themselves of traditional methods. Where can they turn?
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ep-15-how-successful-brands-evolve-over-time

How Successful Brands Evolve Over Time

A brand is a promise you make to your customers. It’s a hallmark of the consistency, quality, and efficacy of a company’s products or services. A brand is also an aspirational statement – we’ve encouraged brand-makers to ask themselves “Who do our customers want to be?”. A brand at its best both answers and fulfills this question.

But what happens as a brand ages and evolves? As a brand weathers multiple decades of innovation and market variation, change isn’t just an inevitability, it’s a mandate: evolve or risk being left behind. Here’s a look at three brands that have transitioned successfully over multiple decades of existence, with an eye towards what today’s brand-makers can learn from their example.
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Inside The Innovative Mind: Virtual & Augmented Reality

2016 has been a banner year for consumer Virtual Reality technology. The Oculus Rift (arguably the first successful VR platform) was released earlier this year and the well-reviewed Oculus Touch controller arrived this month just in time for the holiday season. Microsoft, Playstation, Google, and other big names have also released VR products. While VR technology has largely captured the public imagination in the context of gaming, there are many innovative possibilities for its use and development in the near future.

What can innovative minds learn from the long history of efforts to develop effective virtual reality technology, and what new possibilities does it create?
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Innovation Includes a Challenge to Do Good

I write often about the seeds of innovation – where ideas come from and how those ideas are developed into revolutionary products and services. I am drawn to these examinations because I believe that true innovation has a measurable impact. It solves an existing problem in the marketplace or opens up new possibilities for growth and success.

However, innovation doesn’t always mean creating new technology from the ground up. Often, innovative minds match existing technology with real-world problems to create an unexpected outcome and an impact that positively affects real people.

In this holiday season, I want to explore how technology can meet needs that allow us to flourish.
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ep-12-innovative-mind-spacex

Inside the Innovative Mind: Elon Musk & SpaceX

Two years ago, Elon Musk’s SpaceX received a $2.6 billion contract from NASA to develop commercial spaceflight and manned launch capabilities. After the 2011 conclusion of its Shuttle program, NASA looked to SpaceX and Boeing, two private companies, to return manned launches to American soil. This public-private partnership signaled the beginning of an exciting new time in space innovation and exploration.

After several years of decline, it seems that private companies like SpaceX and Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origins are now successfully reinvigorating the American space industry. As an aerospace enthusiast and industry consultant, these developments are tremendously exciting. As an entrepreneur and startup coach, they prompt me to consider the lessons that innovators can learn and apply from an examination of SpaceX’s success.
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