Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Brand

On Friday we went to see the opening show of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.  Our girls were particularly excited as their English Friend, Abby performed a lead role in the musical.  What strike me most was how well the show captured the theme of the famous movie.  The props were fantastic, the actors timeless and the overall tone emulated the original English theme.


It got me thinking how important it is to maintain your brand, regardless of the market you compete in.  With Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, showing it in America, Australia or even China, capturing the essence of the movie is key as folks are paying to see the product they have experienced in the past.  This is particularly true for products and services without physical attributes including literature and music.
As for Abby, she was fantastic.  Her English accent lent well to the role and her singing voice was spot on.  In fact, we just might make a second trip to see another show before they wrap up.

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Spent the weekend at a swim meet where my oldest was on a relay team for the freestyle and medley relays.  It was an absolutely wonderful day filled with ups andlittleswimmer


USA Swimming

USA Swimming (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


downs, and lots of fun!  One thing that really stuck out was that the event really focusedon teamwork and advancement of the sport.  The other thingthat was notable was the integration of this meet to the national swimming organization.

Over the past several years, I have continued to be impressed with the  USA Swimming have included to engage the kids.  There are mobile apps that have friend lists, websites, magazines and emails to keep our kids up to date on their friends and favorite professional swimmers.  Overall, I would say their program is one of the best for kids.

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World Trade Center Reflections



WTCWhile on our trip to New York City, we stopped by the World Trade Center Memorial and it was definitely memorable.  See, the last time we visited NYC was in November of 2001, weeks after 9/11.  Thinking back on that trip, the city seemed so vulnerable and the future unclear.  Today the city is in stark contrast with a clear vision to restore the area with the actions underway.  What truly captured my attention was the integration of the memorial and the new structures.  The reflection pools, the tower remnants, and the freedom tower were spectacular.  Leaving the memorial, I couldn’t help think “Do I have a clear vision for the things I am looking to achieve and have I communicated them to those involved?”  I also wondered if I was on track to achieving those goals.  Finally, I asked myself what would happen if my plans changed, how would I react.

Needless to say, the folks in charge of the World Trade Center had different plans before 2001 and have had to make many changes since then.  In the coming weeks they will complete the finishing work on the memorial and site and while I was impressed with the new center, I look forward to see what the New York City’s planners have in store for their future.



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The Cake Boss


Carlo’s Bake Shop in Hoboken, New Jersey

We recently returned from a trip to New York City.  On our drive in, we stopped over at Carlo’s Bake Shop, home of the Cake Boss.  For those of you who have not seen it the Cake Boss follows a family business that specializes in cakes made for upscale clients.  The show is very popular and has established a successful brand.

What I found most interesting is the brand was established through Reality TV, which is not always mentioned in Marketing as Social Media.  Through their productions, they are able to develop characters, present their products and build the brand image.  Judging by the long line to buy merchandise and baked goods from their shop and the excitement my wife and kids displayed when we visited, I would say it’s very effective.

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A Family That Plays Together…

We have a saying in our house “A family that plays together, stays together.”  This weekend our family ran in a local race – My wife and oldest ran the full course and my youngest and I ran the short course.  It was an absolute blast!


What made this experience fantastic was the race directors attention to detail.  Key to the race, a smooth race packet pickup with simple logistics.  We had clear instructions on where to go and what to do.  The race itself was great.  It had that big race feel with a small town smile.  There was course support throughout, and a grand finish line with a stands, medals and a fast finish.  The post race party was also great.  There was food, live music and things to do.  Everyone left with a smile.  We will definitely be returning next year!

As I reflect on the experience, this is the kind of marketing event I would want to be involved in.  After 40 years, they have clearly established their brand and a consistent message.  Next week I will be doing an Ironman Brand Race and it will be interesting to compare their planning and execution.


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RussiaI work as a product support manager, and one responsibility of my job is to learn more about our customers.  To know the customer, you have to understand their culture and the best way is to immerse yourself into it.  Recently, I traveled to Moscow, Russia to meet with customers, and I must say I was fascinated to see the culture 1st hand.  I found the people polite, helpful and friendly.  It was vastly different than the image painted in my mind growing up in the midwest of the USA.  One particular highlight of the trip was a visit to the Kremlin and Red Square.

During the trip, I was hosted by a local business leader and we had a chance to discuss cultural differences, where he made a great point.  As we were discussing recent changes to the Russian adoption policy, he indicated the Russian media had painted a picture of Americans mistreating adopted children.  I responded the American media had painted a picture of Russians preventing their infants from a great life in America.  During the conversation, we both admitted that there probably was some truth on both parts, it just depended how the media had spun it.  It also got me thinking about my perceptions of Russia as a child and how much that had been molded by the media.

As I continue in my marketing education, this experience was a sharp reminder of the power of the media and impact I can make.  It is also a strong reminder of my social responsibility with this knowledge and capability.

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Ford IRONMAN World Championship

Hawaii Vacation – Sort of…

So one item on my bucket list is to complete a full Ironman.  Thats a 2.6 Mile Swim, 112 Mile Bike and 26.2 Mile Run.  While there are many of these events held around the world, the one that I find most exciting is the original one in Hawaii.  Unfortunately, there are only two ways to get there; place top 3 in an Half Ironman race or win the a lottery drawing.  Well needless to say I have not won the lottery and at my age have no chance in finishing that fast so I am safe…  Now why I would subject my body to something so insane is beyond me…

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Module 1

So today I completed Module 1 of Strategic Marketing 2.0: Social Media and Other Innovative Technologies.  Well almost!  For some reason my pesky MacBook Pro has decided to not allow me to upload a file to eLearning.  Why is it technology works great until you really need it?

Not to turn this into a random rant, but it does seem like the technogods make it a special point to keep my ego in check…  Anybody else have this issue???

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In the House

In the words of Warren Buffett, MJ’s in the house!

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