November 17, 2005

"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow."    --- Melody Beattie

In this issue: AbuLLard: The Yin and Yang of Leadership
Things To Be Thankful For - Systematic Message Platforms
Brand Element: Branded Thank You's
HayLoise's Book Review: Brand Leaderships: The Next Level of Brand Revolution
Brand Tip: Thanks Giving

Happy Thanksgiving!

AbuLLard Talks about Leadership

"Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results." --Andrew Carnegie

Call us: 215.732.1553
[email protected]

The Yin and Yang of Leadership

Recently we were asked to give a talk on the topic of Leadership to the IABC (International Association of Business Communicators), and we wondered how to present the issue of leadership to people who help other people communicate. 

How do we lead when we are often not in position of being the “leader”? But as communicators, isn’t it our job to “lead” people to do the right thing when it comes to communications? To help them express the right kind of messages? To encourage them to present themselves in a manner appropriate for themselves and their business?

After several discussions, we came up with the title for this talk of the “Yin and Yang of Leadership.” Because leadership comes in many forms and is continually changing. On the one side, there’s the image of a leader in front of a crowd, an army, whatever… for me it’s the image Mel Gibson shouting at a horde of blue faced men “Do you want to be free” and they throw themselves into battle behind him. That’s the Yang kind of leadership. It is frequently based on personality and charisma and there’s some kind of higher cause to be followed.

In organizations we seldom have that driving force and need another form of leadership, the Yin. This style of leadership is based on presence, persuasion. It’s more a process of “herding” than leading a charge. It’s an adaptive process of keeping a team on a path and moving forward while dealing with obstacles and changes in your environment.

How does one do that and do it well? I like to think of leadership in terms of the dance…
One person leads … but the other person must be aware of the basics of the dance. They must understand the rhythm of the music and the meaning of the dance.

The leader has the vision but he has to make sure that he shares that vision with the rest of the team. The following quote from the Harvard Business Review Case Study on the J. Peterman Company sums up what happens if you don't:

"All the thinking about the brand, the niche, the target market -- it was intuitive for a very long time. I wish now that we'd written down our ideas, our concept - in detail - at the start. ... Failing to make sure that everyone knows what you stand for and why -- that can come right back and ambush you much sooner than you realize.

The partner (your team) must know what kind of steps to expect.

Even though one person leads,  it’s really a partnership. Each dancer must respect the others space and be aware of subtle signals that lead to a change of direction ...

In business there will always be challenges. You have to learn how to meet them  by adapting, adjusting, and re-prioritizing.

Most of all the “partner” has to learn to trust the leader… especially when it comes to the lifts and dips!

Today people are talking about "resonant leadership" -- Richard Boyatzis, Annie McKee, Resonant Leadership, Harvard Business School Press say that leaders can amplify their effectiveness by "resonating" with their team. This means blending "financial, human, intellectual, environmental, and social capital into a potent recipe for effective performance in organizations." In other words, in addition to being great to work with, they get results.

We'll talk more about the CattLeLogos Eight Facets of Leadership: Vision; Articulation; Action Plans; Accountability; Presence; Emotional Intelligence; Communication; and Humanity.

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Upcoming Speaking Engagements and Seminars

Technology and Brand Management
Friday, December 9, 2005
8:30 AM to Noon
The Cherry Hill Library

This seminar is offered
at a low price of
$65.00 each
Click here to sign up.

The Cherry Hill Library is located at:
1100 Kings Highway North
Cherry Hill, New Jersey 08034-1911
(856) 667-0300
Click here for directions

Next Year, 2006
(Egads! Already?)
February 9, 2006,
Annual Procurement Event & Expo
at the Pines Manor, Edison, NJ

A joint workshop with
Liz Cruz-Kaegi of CKQuest
on Cross Cultural Marketing

Click Here for more information

February 22, 2006
E-Women Network
Monthly Luncheon

The ABC's of Branding

Click Here for more information


AudhumbLa's Eye on the Internet

Last month, we discussed scary things, and in particular, message platforms that last and last.

This month, lets talk about systematic message platforms.  Rarer on the Web than they should be, we're thankful when we see them.

Interested in learning more about Technology's impacts on your Brand?   Our new seminar series starting October 28th, may be for you.


Things To Be Thankful For - Systematic Message Platforms

Ever walk into a crowded room?  One where everybody is talking at once?  If you're not careful, your web site can be just like that crowded room — full of noise, different voices, and oft-conflicting stories.  Each and every page of your web site — press releases and other news, product information, general background, newsletter archives, and so on — can be accessed one right after the other (or even all at once).  Each page, and the messages it contains, needs to be consistent, if not harmonious, with the other pages on your site.

Sounds simple, but 3 frequently-made mistakes prevent many message platforms from being systematic:

No leadership, a.k.a., "too many cooks" syndrome.  Because your web site reflects your entire company, it's a common beginner's mistake to draft your messages by committee.  Bad, bad, bad.  Your messages need to be consistent and clear.  Otherwise, they're just noise.  So, assign someone control over what you say about all communications, and then make sure that they're involved with your web site.

Spontaneity, a.k.a., "ready, fire, aim" syndrome.  You just don't have the time to worry about everything; just get that one change published.  Nice in theory, poor in practice — your customers don't have time to waste but they do have time to research.  They'll find that inconsistency you've ignored, and they'll remember that about you.  Your webmaster is ultimately responsible for your site's clarity and consistency.  Make sure that maintaining these is part of their job.  Empower them with ability to say "NO" to underdeveloped messages, and listen to them when they spot an inconsistency.

Myopia, a.k.a., "product silo" syndrome.  The bigger or more diversified a company gets, the greater the tendency to build a web site in "silos".  Each silo represents one particular product area, department, location, whatever.  To keep web site contents fresh, each silo owner manages their own information, including messages.  They know their piece of the business, but may not know much else.  And it's rare if they worry about if their pieces make sense and look professional when combined with the rest of the business.  Your Communications or Marketing executive should have ultimate say in knocking down silos or getting them to operate in unison.

Remember, bad customer impressions thrive in the absence of a systematic message platform.  You've seen it before.  Off-the-cuff remarks resulting in negative impressions that last.  Press releases that sound fine by themselves but raise questions when earlier statements are considered.  And the general perception that a company is leaderless and in disarray, or that "the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing".  Once it's on-line, your message platform will be scrutinized.  Do your messages hold up under this scrutiny?  Be thankful when they do. 

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When I look at web sites, these are a few of my favorite things:

  • No Neon Colors -
    because I want to look at the page, and not be blinded by it.
  • Message Consistency -
    because a customer shouldn't need to guess at the truth.
  • Message Clarity -
    because my time is precious, and someone who can't explain himself doesn't deserve my attention.
  • Message Comprehensiveness -
    because when I'm looking for information, I'm looking for the whole story.
  • White Space and Legible Fonts -
    because I'm not ready to need reading glasses.
  • Professionals/Ghost Writers -
    because as the saying goes, not everyone is fit to teach, or in this case, fit to write.

  • Brand Element of the Month:

    How Do You Say "Thank You"?


    copyright G. Larson


    Branded "Thank You's"

    What better way to build positive brand awareness than to say "Thank you" to clients and colleagues in a branded way? Take the time to send a thank you card as opposed to a hastily punched out electronic message. If you haven't got time to do it yourself, you can find services that will hand write and send the cards for you!

    You can print your own cards, as one of our clients did (sample at right). Or you can find a style of card that suits your "brand image". We pick up any greeting cards we come across that have some kind of humorous cow image on them (samples at left, one a printed greeting card, the other electronic). What could be more appropriate for us?

    You can also send a small gift, but make sure it's an appropriate gift, an unusual gift -- something that's related to your business. Not just a pen with your name on it.

    For special "thank-you's" for special people, one of our favorite gift solutions is a gift catalogue that gives the recipient a choice of what kind of gift they want to receive. These come in a variety of categories -- food, electronics, spa packages. You can find one that's appropriate for any client.

    As another alternative, there are gift baskets. These too come in assorted styles -- among them chocolate (Yummy!), coffee, kosher, bubble bath, flowers or planters -- and can be small and simple or extravagant.

    Think about it... who among you doesn't appreciate an expression of gratitude? 

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    A Simple Postcard

    HayLoise's Books of the Month


    Are there any books that have given you important insights into branding?
    Tell us about them.

    Send HayLoise an e-mail.


    Brand Leadership: The Next Level of the Brand Revolution
    By David A. Aaker and Erich Joachimsthaler

    David Aaker is perhaps one of the best known gurus in Brand Management. Brand Leadership is his third book on how to create a brand. The first two, Managing Brand Equity (1991) and  Building Strong Brands (1996), are standard "textbooks" for anyone in the field. With Brand Leadership, Aaker again provides insight into the evolution of current thinking about Marketing, Marketing Communications, and the function/process of creating and maintaining a strong Brand.

    At the core of Aaker’s thinking captured in ‘Brand Leadership’ is that the role of  a company’s brand has evolved. It is no longer something that is relegated to the world of marketing tactics as in the classical Brand Management that we all learned, but that it is now the embodiment of your business strategy. This requires making the following changes in how you manage your Brand.

    • You must manage your Brand in a visionary way as a strategic business asset, not tactically in reaction to market forces

    • Your Brand Manager must now be high in the organization (reporting to the CEO is optimal), and very knowledgeable of your Brand's impact on Marketing and Sales. Traditionally, Brand Management has been given to less experienced, junior managers

    • Your goal is now in creating Brand Equity, that is in creating real value for your Brand in the Marketplace. Traditional Branding focused on creating a strong, consistent Brand Image.

    • Your focus needs to be on the long term benefit of building a strong Brand. That is, Brand Equity measures need to be introduced, instead of taking the shorter term view of the financial impact that is common to traditional models of Brand Management.

    Brand Leadership articulates that the marketing discipline is a science, as well as an art, that requires experience, knowledge and judgment. The fast track to excellence in marketing does not exist via a quick technique. Marketing is a system, a holistic management process consisting of many distinct disciplines. 

    If you like information laid out in clear, concise, easy to understand charts, then this book is for you. In fact a number of his diagrams are so strong that they provide a blueprint for a brand strategy.  Aaker backs up his theories with numerous examples, which are fun to read.

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    Click on the book cover image to go to its page on


    Brand Tip of the Month: Thank-You


    The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings. 


    ~Eric Hoffer, Reflections On The Human Condition 



    Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone. 


    ~G.B. Stern

    Thanks Giving from all the members of the Herd...

    We asked each member of the herd for their gratitude list to put in this section of the newsletter. The good news is that we all have very long lists. The bad news, is we don't have room for everything so here is a selection of things we are thankful for.

    AbuLLard is thankful for our clients who not only enable our business to succeed, but make it interesting and fun; our colleagues who support us in so many ways; the Herd (HayLoise, AudhumbLa, ChurnbuLL, deCaLfe and their human alter egos) an incredible group of smart, creative, talented, and wonderful people to work with; and the opportunity to do work that uses both sides of my brain, and my funny bone.

    HayLoise is thankful that Thanksgiving being celebrated with Turkey, not Steak! She is also thankful for the new members of CattLeLogos: AudhumbLa, ChurnbuLL, and deCaLfe who have added such depth to our business, and are a joy to work with. She also is thankful for the smart-mouthed furry sheep (she likes to knit you see!) and the fact that Branding no longer involves getting one’s butt burned.

    AudhumbLa is thankful for finding a herd with prime quality cattle like CattLeLogos, and no trace of mad cow disease; for AbuLLard’s leadership in finding green pastures and HayLoise’s sharp mind … and even sharper wit; for the visitors to our ranch.  We do our best to serve, and appreciate their business. And for rust-proofing because with all that NJ rain, getting the rust off my helmet and spear was becoming too much. 

    ChurnbuLL is thankful for the ability to have Conference Call Meetings that let her work from her own pasture and be near her caLves, who bring an atomic blast of sunshine each day. She is glad she has taken to heart the phrase, "How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time!" And is thankful to online cooks, who help with the problem of what to do with leftover turkey

    DeCaLfe is thankful for a year that has brought the opportunity for her to roam the wide pastures of life, and in doing so find a home, but a second family as a member of the herd. She says, "Thank you to HayLoise and all the sheep for donating their wool, so this little Southern CaLf can stay warm in the winter. And to AbuLLard, thank you for the opportunity to grow as a designer. For being a super leader and friend. PS -I love all the fun projects I have!" (Where else could you work where part of your job duties include things like putting fleece on our sheep cut-outs and wrangling the office cat?)

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    What's all this fuss about
    Tanks Giving

    GiLda: How can a Tank be giving?
    Unless of course you think
    lobbing bombs or running over things
    is "giving" somebody something.

    AbuLLard: Ah, GiLda. Excuse me...
    That's THANKSgiving.

    GiLda: Really? Thanksgiving, like with turkey and stuffing and cranberry sauce?

    AbuLLard: Yes. Thanksgiving.

    GiLda: Oh. Well.
    Thank you very much.

    Do you like our newsletter? We would love to work with you on developing a newsletter for your business.

    Give us a call: 215.732.1553 or contact us by e-mail.

    Copyright 2005 CattLeLogos Brand Management Systems, LLC. All rights reserved.

    CattLeLogos is a Registered Trademark of CattLeLogos Brand Management Systems, LLC. AbuLLard, AbuLLard's ABC's of Branding, HayLoise, AudhumbLa, ChurnbuLL, deCaLfe, and the CattLeLogos Method are trademarks and copyright CattLeLogos Brand Management Systems, LLC.

    Published November 17, 2005

    Contact us:
    [email protected]