I mis-counted last week and issue #38 was actually sent as issue #37, giving it a massive identity complex and confusing millions of people around the world. 


Fear not, #39 (I think) of the World's Best Newsletter is juicier than an explosion at a Sunny Delight factory:  

1. Three Reasons Nobody's Heard of your B2B Company

2. The trap of likability and being in charge

3. Stop saying millennials are killing your industry

4. Evidence that nothing is truly original

5. Is it "wellness?" Or religion? Or the new dieting industry? 

6. Brand over-reach? On Dove

7. Quote of the week



1. Three Reasons Nobody's Heard of your B2B Company


This week, Chief Marketer published a byline of mine (ooohhh sweet byline of miiiine... anyone? Guns N Roses? Bueller? Fine...) as a prelude to the world premiere of my talk "30+ Ways to Create B2B Buzz" at B2B Connect to Convert, Aug 21-23 in New York (register here.) You can also catch it at MarketingProfs B2B Forum, October 3-6 in Boston (register here.)

I say "world premiere" like a conference preso is a big deal... but this one is, to me. I'm distilling a caboodle of ideas and research and experience and lessons learned (read: failures) into a reference set of wildly actionable ideas. If you can't make the live events, shame on you, just kidding, I'll be doing it again virtually on my BrightTALK channel this fall. 


2. The trap of likability and being in charge


We must get better at fighting the alluring priority of "being liked."

We must do this as leaders as a matter of not only principle, and of productivity, but sanity.

For many leaders (especially women) being liked or being respected seems to be at odds. You get one or the other. This strange dichotomy has roots in double standards in the workplace - if a women stands up for what she believes, challenges others, and commands a situation she may be cast as bitchy and rude, not bossy and assured. 

But in our attempt to make everyone around us happy, we are exhausted. Though emotional intelligence matters when leading a team, this role often involves conflict between people, navigating competing deadlines, and limited resources. Throw in the need to be liked and....nope! Here's how to stop.


3. Stop saying millennials are killing your industry


Millennials are killing the golf industry. 
We are killing the napkin industry.
We're killing the car industry.
Will we kill home ownership?
Harley Davidson... watch out. Comin for you next. 

Home Depot

Enough already. This article summarizes the ridiculous trend of the headline "millennials are killing [insert industry here]." Clickbait at it's worst. 

4. Evidence that nothing is truly original.


I love the Facebook page "Writing About Writing" and highly recommend following along. 

One recent share had me laughing, and at the same time spoke to a deep insecurity about originality (always the case heading into conference season.) 

The original fidget spinner (dating back to 2000 BC). 

The lesson here for anyone feeling like they have nothing new to say: 

"Remember this when you write. Don't try to write a new story. You can't. Just write the story in the way only you are able." 

Also, wouldn't it be amazing to create fidget spinners with MY FACE on them to make this point at my upcoming events? Respond with your opinion. Just know there's a 99% chance it's happening. 

5. Is it "wellness?" Or religion? Or the new dieting industry? 


I sit here after a Saturday morning workout in the cafe of a very expensive gym (my wife is a personal trainer and I have a super exclusive discount to make the monthly fee not entirely gag-worthy.)

I am surrounded by designer active-wear and very expensive fitness trackers and protein shakes and though I feel a bit like a fish out of water (.... ok FINE THE SHAKES ARE DELICIOUS) I am hyper aware of the popularity of The Wellness Movement, capitalized for dramatic effect. 

I first came across a Jezebel article saying:

“Wellness” is often the same thing as trying to conform to an age-old beauty ideal, while wearing an “empowerment,” “self-care” cloak. It’s the feminist-ization of dieting.

It was pulling from a beautiful piece in NYT Magazine, that continued:

"If you had been watching closely, you could see that the change had come slowly. ‘‘Dieting’’ was now considered tacky. It was anti-feminist. It was arcane. In the new millennium, all bodies should be accepted, and any inclination to change a body was proof of a lack of acceptance of it. ‘

‘Weight loss’’ was a pursuit that had, somehow, landed on the wrong side of political correctness. People wanted nothing to do with it. Except that many of them did: They wanted to be thinner. They wanted to be not quite so fat. Not that there was anything wrong with being fat! They just wanted to call dieting something else entirely."

Then there was a VICE article (PS, it's VICE, you've been warned, they can be provocative) titled "How We Replaced Religion with Gwyneth Paltrow, Yoga, and 'Wellness'" correlating this movement to religion!

This whole thing is fascinating. We are paying for the permission to care for ourselves, to be part of a community of those seeking self-care, and for the experience of being looked after. 

I'm intrigued, and I'm watching. 

6. Brand over-reach? Dove


Doug Kessler penned a thoughtful response to Dove's 'Real Beauty' bottle shapes here. He says (in the pithy, nod-your-head-while-reading way he writes:)

"Maybe the real lesson here is that brands shouldn’t overstep their boundaries in their search for ‘deeper meaning.' Maybe people are starting to get sick of brands pretending to have deep values and beliefs when really they’re just… products with a sprinkling of connotation on top."

"Maybe they don’t want their beer to teach them about tolerance. Or their soft drink to heal international conflicts. Or some other beer to pretend it cares about veterans."

While I differ with Doug a bit on the amount of backlash the brand received - I do believe companies need to hear published pushback from those with the literacy and platform to describe our industry and give strong opinions sticking up for women (you can read my post on this very campaign.)  

But Doug's main point is clear, and like always, he's a refreshingly contrarian thinker in our space. Just today, I stumbled across research from Edelmen about the benefits of aligning your brand to social causes. Edelmen is in the business of communications. If their research shows it's easy to generate press by having an opinion on a social matter, they'll publish that research, and advise their clients to do it. I get it.

But I agree with and echo Doug's point... 

"hink hard about attaching your brand to things that matter way more than your brand ever could.

If you do decide to go that route: walk the talk. Paying for one child-of-a-veteran’s college education, then spending 90 times more to broadcast that fact to the world (as Bud just did with Adam Driver), may not work any more. (It did for them… whew).

In short: know your place.

Recognise that the real role you play in people’s lives might just be cleaning their faces or satisfying their thirsts.

And that maybe that’s all people want from you anyway."


7. Quote of the week


"Control is for beginners."


"When we don’t give our people the space to take calculated risks, learn, apply, and iterate, we are really risking our future.  While there is a risk to improvising and spontaneity, control brings its own insidious dangers. In our push for perfection, we over-engineer."


Quick note: 
Friends, this newsletter audience grows every week, and a lot of that is due to YOU. I just want to say thanks. Each time I get a new subscriber I let out a little "woop!" (To the chagrin of the guy on the stationary bike next to me.) While it's a cathartic experience for me to assemble these mini-rants, collection of think-pieces, and remarkably humble self-promotion (ha), I'm beyond grateful others find value in it as well. 

Spread the good news: Click here for a pre-filled tweet, here for a Facebook post that will surely go viral, and here for a LinkedIn post that will not embarrass your employer in the slightest. 

Thanks for reading, and have a great weekend,