Talk Love Not War


Change terminology. Shift mindset. Drive Profit.

Most businesses start their business with a passion to help people. They have a product, service, project, event or an idea that is going to make somebody’s life easier, nicer, prettier or just plain better. There is energy, vitality and buckets of hope.

They start with love. Then they plan for war.

Suddenly their customer who they have lovingly imagined enjoying their product, has a target on their back with an arrow going right through them. (If you really picture that – ouch that would hurt!) When the “target market” is ‘nailed’ they move on to “tactics”. (Which is an equally unpleasant visual.) I don’t want the brands I love and support to think of me as a target who won’t buy before I have an arrow right through me! And you shouldn’t either.

Semantics maybe. But try this on for size:
What if your target market becomes “your people, your crew, your neighbourhood”. Doesn’t that warm things up a whole bunch and make it easier to say the meaningful things you want to say to them? Isn’t it much easier to rally “your people” than rally people with a target on their back?

If this is all sounding a bit too hipster for you and you are reaching for your “All you need is Love” LP take a look at the science. Famous neuroscientist Antonio Damasio was able to prove that the majority of our decisions are based on our emotions, not on logical reasoning. That’s a game changing fact for marketers. Remove the target, put down that arrow, and start making emotional connections.

Give the love, to get the love.
The kind of love that goes beyond reason and builds life long brands.

Smile. Breathe and go slowly. Thich Nhat Hanh

I love words.

We spend a lot of time together, and I like to think we get along pretty well. From corporate marketing strategies, to taglines and business names and blogs I crave stringing words together and making them sing. But when it’s time to write for my own blog, I seem to freeze up. (And that’s not because I live in Saskatchewan – it’s only October!) The questions start to swirl – should I  strictly be Ms. Marketing and  “all about the niche, ‘bout the niche, ‘bout the niche” (think Meghan Trainor when you read that) or do I show a little me and what stories inspire my life. My story co pal, the brilliant Kelly Hogan advised me to do the latter. Phew, thank goodness she is so brilliant! I feel much more comfortable doing this. And besides I only have one life – and work, rest and play (and a few dog hairs) are all mushed into it.  So if that’s ok with you then read on…

Reflect on EverythingRecently I had the chance to fall in love with Whitehorse in the Yukon. The ultimate “true north strong and free experience”. It is BIG country and  encourages big, brave, and clear thinking.It was at the heart of the gold rush after all, and you can still feel the electric energy that made this –  the land of the possible (find more Yukon moments on my instagram here).

Taking this picture had me reflecting, on reflection (and yes, my kids groan at my puns) and I had a bit of a lulu moment. Life is full on most of the time and being reflective can seem to go against my movin’ and shakin’ and dream making mentality. But surely if there ever was a time and place to be reflective – this was it!!

So reflect, I did. Got quiet. Sorted through the gunk and here it is – my reflective Yukon inspired manifesto moment:

Breathe BIG.
Walk TALL.
Find the still. Feel the dirt.
Get unhinged every once in awhile
Expand your view.

(even with your kitchen dance party moves that no one sees)

Be well.
Know where you stand.
Dream about where you will stand NEXT.
Then stand THERE.
Right now.
Sometimes life hurts – and everything is important, and nothing is important all at the same time. I don’t know why.
Everything happens for a reason – is not always the answer.
Sometimes there is no answer.
Reflect what you feel in your heart.
Move people.
Make good stuff then.
Make good stuff great.
Let it go…
Pass it on.
Make brave a verb.
Put something out there.
Stay curious.
Deep listen.
Shake the world – even just a little.
Love big. Like REALLY big.


Found a bit of gold dust in the Yukon stillness, yes I did. (And remember that the phrase “a bit of a climb means something different to a Yukoner than it does to a Flatlander.)
Climb on…


Recently a friend shared this quote with me from a presentation she had been to by Peter Docker.

I felt jazzed when I heard that. Pretty powerful words, and the ideal theme for one of Story co.s first blogs.

Its a bit “leap-ish” (yes, I just invented that word) to think of standing in your future but I kind of love to be leap-ish! Because it hardly seems scary to leap into the future if you are grounded by the present.

As marketers, we always have one foot in the future, understanding and predicting the whats hot, and the whats not. And since marketers, are by nature a curious bunch we also have to add in – but why?

Why does it matter? Why should we care? And how will we inspire others to embrace our why? If we miss this step – well, we kind of miss it all! Because it’s the why that creates movements, generates loyalty, builds  communities, makes sales, and gives the world something that just makes living in it, a little easier. 

Knowing what we want our future business to look like and feel like, and do for others helps us to do what needs to be done today  – with passion and purpose. And thats the nuts and bolts of a good marketing strategy. Eyes firmly focused on the future, with your why bursting from your soul, building strategy from the core of your brand. Then you can build now, and create tactics that get you to the future you have imagined. For some that’s Forbes top 100, for others it’s being at full capacity and for others its balancing a pinot and eating bons bons on a chaise somewhere in the French Riveria. That’s the cool thing about creating your future – it’s yours!

There are some great stories along the way to the future and thats what we look forward to sharing with you here.

As I stand in my future, I see the opportunity for this blog to be a place for some galvanizing  business stories – that get you jazzed and leave you filled with energy, excitement and possibility. A place for you to imagine what it looks like when you stand in your future.  And maybe, a place that makes you feel a bit leap-ish. Soaking up your tomorrow’s, while you create your genius work in the now.

Care to share what leaps you might be taking?

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