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ProTip: For More Creativity, Color Inside the Lines

Michelle Nitchie | Dec 3, 2015 10:00:00 AM

Stained_Glass.jpgCreativity loves constraint.  People often think of it in terms of artistic work—unbridled, unguided effort that leads to beautiful effect.  If you look deeper, however, you’ll find that some of the most inspiring art forms—haikus, sonatas, religious paintings, are fraught with constraints.  They’re beautiful because creativity triumphed over the rules…Creativity, in fact, thrives best when constrained.

-Marissa Mayer

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Topics: Marketing, Innovation, Inspiration

ProTip: Never Sell on Price Alone

Michelle Nitchie | Sep 17, 2015 10:00:00 AM

A commercial product, technology or service should never be sold on price alone. The seller who touts a cheaper price alone as a reason to buy will not last long. There is always someone willing or able to sell more cheaply.

- Geoff Ficke


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Topics: Branding, Marketing

What's Your Story?

Michelle Nitchie | May 14, 2015 10:00:00 AM

Chalkboard_StoryAt the most basic level, effective marketing is good storytelling.  It involves using a variety of means to communicate a cohesive message about your company.  Part of that message relates to the products and services you offer, but the rest has to do with the experience, or even the benefit a consumer gets from doing business with you.

-Kirk Kazanjian, Driving Loyalty

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Topics: Branding, Marketing

Another Take on Hospitality Trends for 2015

Jana Love | Apr 14, 2015 10:00:00 AM

millennialWhat are Millennials? According to, Wikipedia, Millennials (also known as the Millennial Generation or Generation Y) are the demographic cohort following Generation X. There are no precise dates when the generation starts and ends. Researchers and commentators use birth years ranging from the early 1980's to the early 2000's. 

Robert Rauch wrote an article, Top 10 Hospitality Industry Trends in 2015 that discusses the profile of a Millennial. The major focus for this group is exploration, interaction, and experience. Rauch says, "They are looking for a unique and novel experience and this has and will continue to command change within the market." 

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Topics: Business Skills, Customer Experience, Marketing, Hospitality Trends, Social Media

ProTip: 1 Easy Activity to Enhance Your Brand Image

Michelle Nitchie | Oct 30, 2014 8:00:00 AM

ProTip_Brand_PersonaHere's a little game to get you thinking.  I like to tell owners to think of their brand as a person or a personality.  It's a creative way to brainstorm and help you "put a face" on what you are trying to convey.  Close your eyes and consider…

What does this person act like, dress like, sound like?  What makes them stand out?  Are they fun, serious, silly, funny, educated?  Are they sophisticated, youthful, mature?  Who will like them?  Why are they likeable?  What do they stand for and believe in?  How do they conduct themselves?  What are they skilled at?  What do they represent?  What color would better suit this person?  What symbols or letters would best represent them?  What name would a person like this have?  What words would you use to describe this person?  What catchphrase or sentence would tell another person how to describe them?  What would tell people all they need to know about this person?

- Tabatha Coffey, Own It!

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Topics: Branding, Marketing

The Power of Empowering Your Customers

Katie Scheer | Sep 2, 2014 10:00:00 AM

empowerThere's no better way to market your company or to add some "pow!" to your credibility than to have your satisfied customers do the work for you.  When you give these happy customers the power to make a difference in your business, they automatically become more emotionally invested in the relationship and your company's success.  Everyone likes to know that their voice has been heard and that they have made a positive impact, so why wouldn't you capitalize on your biggest marketing asset- your current customers- by empowering them to help you to be better and to earn more business?

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Topics: Listening, Marketing, Customer Feedback, Empowerment