A Poem About Differentiation

A differentiator is what sets you apart from the competition.

It’s playing sports vs playing ball.

It’s smiling when life throws you those base curves,

because by the end of the day, everyone will remember.

In marketing, a differentiator makes people revel.

At times in silence, but that silence is awe.

You have differentiated your product when,

people know your name by your vision,

your philosophy, your mission statement.

Your audience begins to recognize your slogan,

they begin to identify with your colours.

You are en route to differentiating when,

you feel nervous and yet grounded.

At the end of the day,

you feel like you’re taking a risk

like you’re in trouble for something because

it pushes boundaries, it causes discussions,

it breaks the rules but never forget,

you are leading the group.

A true differentiator cannot be physically realized, because it has infinite gain at infinite frequency – Wikepedia

Digital reach is UNLIMITED. How does art make a difference? COOL is an UNLIMITED concept. Take that back to the couch when you break. Like someone in sales talking about sales, talking about art takes vision. It takes direction and you must be a leader through and through. I am obviously trying to push myself. Always, always tryin’ ta be that purple cow. Let’s remind the crowd again –

Purple cow:

The concept of the Purple Cow was introduced by Seth Godin in his groundbreaking book by the same title.  Recently I read it again because it is full of ideas and case studies on how to make your business remarkable. When you drive by a heard of cattle they all look like cows and it doesn’t seem out of the ordinary.  But if you drive by a heard and standing in the field is a Purple Cow you have to tell someone because it is so different.  When something forces you to remark on it, by definition it is remarkable.  This is what your new business strategy should be focusing on, finding ways to make your customers talk about your products to their friends.

I write about differentiation in light of the launch of DirectFood.store, an online platform that enables local farmers and vendors to sell their products to consumers, restaurants, and care homes. The food is fresh. SO FRESH. The food is local. SO LOCAL. And you get it right away, to your doorstep, the next day. DIRECT TO YOUR DOOR.

I helped to develop the brand identity which you can witness on our recently revamped website. And I run our social media campaign, which is meant to be fresh, in the definition of COOL, like Will Smith Fresh Prince of Bel-Air COOL, that shirt is sick COOL, those kicks are dope COOL.

COOL is just one aspect of the brand, obviously my favourite. But DirectFood.store is also about:

  • Supporting local businesses
  • Engaging the community
  • Spreading the good word about fresh, healthy, organic & local food
  • Promoting a good cause for the good of all people

Just wanted to share some graphics I created that are live on the website. And you need to follow us on Instagram, to check out the REAL DEAL grid. 2 posts per day. Slammin’ balls against the ground. ALL BALL SPORTS. It’s bold. It’s cheeky. It’s collage. It promotes our core values + image. It’s inspired by a retro van, who needs a name…any ideas?

I AM STILL AN ART DIRECTOR. PERIOD.

WHY DOES RANTING END BEFORE YOU’RE FINISHED?

Never let anyone sway you otherwise. If you’re capable, you’re capable. You don’t go back in time. You move forward. And forward-thinking people, know the game. But they’ve got their own game going on, and other people play that. That’s it. Goodnight.

PS – Props to Gurwinder!

PPS – A little lightness. I am lovin’ my work, my day, my grind at i-Open Technologies!

Delivering Real & Sustainable Technology Solutions for a Better Planet. Hi Ray!

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The Audience Journey

Hey everyone!

As writers, we encounter roadblocks. For myself, one main challenge is believing that my voice, tone, and style are appropriate for business. Letters are usually a personal message sent to a loved one or friend. They can also be a crucial marketing piece, a clever (business letters should be clever) tactic to generate warmer leads.

So, how then do we craft a letter to a prospective client? And is there a way to write a letter that has the voice, tone, and style of a personal message?

In my mind, I envision a communicative piece that is not only unique (resonates with the world) and relatable but effective in portraying a brand’s core message and purpose. After all, at this stage, we are not trying to sell, we are building momentum to get to the selling point. Through powerful storytelling, our approach should stir emotion, provide vital detail, and promote a new relationship that could ultimately blossom into conversion.

I’ve put together notes based on a course I’m taking about brand strategy and expression. The notes identify our writer, audience and customer along a certain trajectory, starting with an introduction to their wants and needs and ending with a transformed sentiment that ushers the participants toward exploring whatever they have defined it to be, on a deeper level.

Have a read and let me know what you think!

Existing World

Using what we know about our audience, we want to paint a picture of our customer’s backstory. This backstory includes what they are familiar with, and how they see themselves. Our goal is to distinguish what type of information could draw the customer in. By identifying relevant demographics and psychographics, then establishing a matching voice, tone, and style, we can conjure an experience that the customer will be ready to associate with.

Obstacle

Whatever our customers may be struggling with is presented to us as their wants and needs. We must ask ourselves, what is their current conflict, what do they need from us, and what emotions should we spark throughout the entire experience. To capture our audience at this stage, messaging must resonate and provide an opportunity for our customer to feel empathy with the characters (voice, tone, and style) that we have now established.

Call to Action

At this step, our audience carefully embarks on the journey, as they have made the decision to call upon this obstacle in their life. Either through increased stress or via messaging that sparks action, our goal here now is to express in a clear and articulate manner the reasons why we are here for them on the journey, emphasizing benefits, launching a revelation or some educational insight.

Meeting the Guide

Here the customer finally meets the guide, who is us, the brand. After being presented with a call to action, the customer has assessed his situation, wants to be further enlightened, and find this so called trajectory to embark on. We have their hand the entire time, and soon after, they become the ones to guide us.

Challenge

Upon the new journey, the customer must now reveal her vulnerability and innermost fears. This can be accomplished through emotional investment or writing that breaks up the challenge into little pieces, making it easy to consume and digest. Our audience may be struggling, however, their desire for a resolution has been roused, so they will continue to explore the presented avenue, unafraid, because they are one step ahead of us.

Transformation

Once we have piqued our audience’s desire for change, mutual reciprocity can be established. The brand’s efforts are paying off and the audience begins to see the rewards. At this stage, it is important to portray contrast between what once was and what is today. This same contrast can be shifted slightly to represent what is today and what the future holds. The emotion felt now is hope, which leads to trust status between the customer and the beloved brand itself.

The New World

Armed with trust, our writer has a new perspective. The obstacle has been overcome and they are inspired to take new, specific actions toward changing the very framework of their business. At this step, belief is established and can continue to blossom under an established agreement or circumstance. I may not meet you, but you will meet my brand and it will help you to do your work, become a better entrepreneur and commit to a brand new cause, because we are here to create solutions for the betterment of humankind.

Go big, right?

Of course, writing the actual letter would not be so dramatic, and roles so cryptic. But what really works well reading the above, is watching a top-rated advertisement on YouTube (try using Elton John & John Lewis & Partners Piano Christmas Commercial), then immediately after, reading this post. You might find that the storyline makes more sense, and ultimately you should be able to apply it to your business letter sales process. 

Have fun ingenues!

Self-Portrait 2020

Purpose

A Story About Tripping Over Bread

As things have taken a doubtful turn, I race to the corner of the intersection, moving my head to the back to check for traffic turning right. I am mighty in this sweater I proclaim, not wearing it on my run, but in my head as I write about running. I cross over a slippery yellow grid and see three bright orange pylons. There is a construction site to my right, and a small mall with a Bell store and I always seem to think a Cobs, but there isn’t. This is the fastest I’ve gone in it must be over a year, I thought. I felt impressed with my speed but knew I still had a long way to go. Will there be a huge difference once my shoes stop blinking purple? The lights were slowly changing to green, then orange, then nothing. I could see the lavender bear making its way over the crest of Gladwin Rd, heading toward Mission, where the Vedder river was, and Chilliwack. My heart was in the that town for some reason. The bread? The bread would be over on Monday, so better start relying on something else for pleasure, I thought. I was already home, wiping the rain off my make-uped brow and scanning the kitchen for my pint of water. The bear’s cries could be heard, and thunder rang in the deep blue sky. RipnDip, I thought, taking my hoodie off. The scars on my back were getting better. It just took a little temper, and ignorance for it to heal itself back to smooth, normal skin. Vanity or was it purpose? What answer do you recommend?

Recent MART

If you follow along my wonderful journey you would know what MART means! Here are some new adventures inspired by Archie comic books, Sigmar Polke and David Hockney always. I miss making random stuff. I truly exist as an abstract artist, perhaps one day I will own a beautiful big studio with lots and lots of paint! Hope you enjoy these and if you have any thoughts or comments, please do share them!

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B7F1E432-7333-4A68-93DD-149758DA5780

A1A5A1EC-A78E-4C48-B539-6B671C490D4C

8FF3DDC8-2CED-4F2C-ADC4-0897DB92D9A1

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AI

Strategy

According to Jeremy Heimans and Henry Timms, authors of Understanding “New Power”, cooperation is “rewarding those who share their own ideas, spread those of others, or build on existing ideas to make them better.” This may be false. Cooperation is a tricky territory to navigate, especially within an environmental or technological domain. Still, a significant paradigm shift to consider – if we are moving forward, we must let go of ownership and authority to create a new wave of energy. This energy or humanistic data governance (AI) describes every interaction (digital and human) we make, and we should comply accordingly. As a writer, this can mean less writing. As a business owner, this could be thinking more dynamically. Energy is a force. It is in itself a superstructure.

New power models will always have limited influence and impact unless they are operating within a superstructure designed to play to their strengths. 

Governance

The idea of new power is not new. For centuries, humans have searched for ways to influence society, and it is no different today. One thing’s for sure, in environmental technology (purposeful applications that utilize digital environments to authenticate realities), a ‘superstructure’ is required to transform high-level ideas into physical products. We lose product direction without a proper process (energy) in place.

AI is fluid, though noninterchangeable and can digress. A physical product is a term best used to describe an outcome. In digital reality, a new power takes actionable items related to spatial and non-spatial information to influence a decision-making process, which leads to a result.

An example of this is a dream. So, on a larger scale (the dreamscape), new power (our human ability to dream) can affect human mentality (how we feel when we wake up), it can direct human conversation (self-banter), and ultimately, it can change the way we do things (feeling sad instead of happy). Product direction requires a dream, one that can be unlocked following precise steps, as if when you awoke from your dream you could remember every vibrant detail.

New power operates differently, like a current. It is made by many. It is open, participatory, and peer-driven. It uploads, and it distributes. Like water or electricity, it’s most forceful when it surges. The goal with new power is not to hoard it but to channel it.

Branding

I wouldn’t put it any differently. New power disables groupthink. The main distinction is that peers are not forced to agree with ideas, but rather can propose alternatives or contrasting ways to look at situations. Energy has a voice and the voice has a force. Individually, we can select bits and pieces then take what we choose to be the most vital outcome or result.

It is easy to hoard ideas, hence why we share ideas through various modes of communication (social media, ads, websites). At the moment where ideas surge (individual brands becoming a full brand suite), we can use the opportunity to address a group of topics so that a more specific and arguably necessary topic can arise (how do we take a humanistic behavioralist approach to products).

Digital branding takes us back to a commonplace, to a dream, in an abrupt fashion (it is constantly changing). The current social atmosphere lets us choose how our human mind responds to digital anomalies (do we create or does creation make us), and when we are rendered incapable of seeing (becoming incapable of interpreting data), we know that it is time to try a different strategy.

As new power models become integrated into the daily lives of people and the operating systems of communities and societies, a new set of values and beliefs is being forged. Power is not just flowing differently; people are feeling and thinking differently about it. 

Security

This is AI. Models, in essence, switching established paradigms into new sets of values and beliefs. It impacts people and precisely their emotions, behaviours and insights. We can sense the change; we just haven’t figured out how to contextualize it. Digital branding gives us the power of autonomy – it integrates into our daily lives, and it is the marketer’s responsibility to make the message loud and clear – we are not scared of machines, we are still in charge.

Being Creative in a Productive State 

Hi everyone!

First, some definitions relating to this post –

Being = Choosing / Creative = Motivated / Productive = Happy / State = Requirement

Doing = Accepting / More = Drive / Less = Realization

Emotionality = The observable behavioral and physiological component of emotion. It is a measure of a person’s emotional reactivity to a stimulus. Most of these responses can be observed by other people, while some emotional responses can only be observed by the person experiencing them. (Wikipedia)

My aim with this post is to decipher emotionality, its key drivers and relationship to day-to-day environment and circumstance, including but not limited to, home and work life.

So, let’s start!

Key Drivers

    • My location
    • Wake up time
    • Grooming time
    • Good coffee
    • Food

We moved to Abbotsford. I woke up at 6:30 AM preparing for my day. I go about the motions of getting ready – shower, makeup, hair, coffee – and in the process, I am lost. My mind is buzzing, yet it is shut off. I recognize for a brief second, but I haven’t found the reason. You could say I am slightly aware that I have not found my happy place. Too early in the morning, I suggest. Shrugging imaginary shoulders, I am okay with this, because I am just getting ready to go to work. This whole process takes time, it could probably arrive sooner (happiness) if I was paying more attention. Oh, and I should probably mention that my overnight oats make a significant difference. In making me happy. Funny, they don’t always taste so good!

Relationship to Environment

    • My car
    • My commute
    • Routines, like socializing
    • Wellness activities, like yoga
    • What’s for dinner
    • Time for bed

I’m in my car, driving my new 8 minute commute. I feel rushed, but it’s okay, it’s not really bothering me. And so, this is my experience from weekday to weekday. The urgency in the situation is that I must recollect reasons why things are going well in my life. New job, great boss, opportunities for team work, collaboration. Fun, yet challenging projects. A ton of writing, well editing really. Weekly touchpoints. My Pinterest strategy. Our marketing video. Learning, growing, the usual stuff. But then, the things that aren’t going so well surface. I haven’t established a workout schedule, I left my yoga mat at the other place, I am stressed over what we’re going to have for dinner and about sleeping early – because that’s my new thing, sleeping at 9:45 PM. I used to be a runner. I just keep thinking about the scale!

So, my day is a choice of two states – happiness or sadness. As simple as it sounds, this is a product of my environment and circumstance and something that I have to track to ensure that I’m making choices that move me closer toward happiness. Smiling, breathing, accepting. Working, writing, being. These are just a few good things.

Relationship to Circumstance

    • Busyness
    • Priorities
    • Deadlines
    • Time for evaluation
    • Energy level
    • Motivation level

At work, I am beginning to see that in an endless sea of assignments (which I am able to complete), the intention of the work becomes lost stacked upon other projects, priorities and deadlines. We should always go back, perhaps a week or so later, and evaluate the work once again. Scrap that. We need to re-evaluate more often, like every other day. What was it for? Did you enjoy working on it? If not, what element made it obtrusive? Was the project completed on time? Will it be put to greater use? Will it lead to larger successes in the near or distant future? I shake my head in disapproval as I re-read this. That’s not the point, Chona. The point is, you have to do, then do again, then do more and finally rest.

Home and Work Life

    • Choosing states
    • Selecting work
    • Writing
    • Conceptualizing
    • Analyzing
    • Generating ideas
    • Generating answers

In one example of choosing states, I’ve selected an image. Next, in pursuit of my happiest state, I decide to post it onto social media. The main two reasons being – I realize others will read my post and view my image and this makes me feel satisfied; and two, I am able to practice writing, designing and conceptualizing ideas and this makes me feel pleased.

The image will be broken down and some sort of analysis will occur. In this post, I have chosen a graphic image with text and the idea that I developed in my mind was pertaining to a milkshake. So, let’s call it The Milkshake. Magic. Something that obviously begets certain levels of pleasure, and contributes toward overall happiness, perhaps even eradicating sadness on the spot. A milkshake does that, as I’m well assured you are aware.

So, have a read and let me know what you think! I know we will all want a milkshake on a daily basis after this. Wink!

The Milkshake

Do we start with the milkshake or whittle it down to the ingredients? In my opinion, productivity starts with desire (I want a milkshake), then the identification of key components (organic strawberries and maple syrup), a timeline (this will take 3 minutes), a deadline (well, it’s 7:45 am so that gives me 2 extra minutes to get to work) and result/outcome (this tastes great, could use some spinach).

A Doing More with Less stance claims that we don’t necessarily need to examine details (should I add spinach), but instead take a bird’s eye view (look at these 30 options), using creativity to discover (strawberry banana, strawberry raspberry or strawberry pineapple), contribute (let’s add maple syrup) and further existing strategies (let’s add flax and hemp seed) that may or may not need review (is this milkshake healthy).

This is where creative direction or management comes in. I will listen or be the one to direct, but know that these roles are significant.

Also, I will always argue that creativity contributes toward success on a larger scale. We may not be marketing for the milkshake company, but the nutritiously delicious and beautiful milkshake we drank at the beginning of our day or in middle of this post contributes toward performance and our overall well being. Expectations.

If an image (content + creative) has power, does it come from the creator or within? What does that say?

This post ends with a 3. That’s my mood, not a 4, not a 5, but a 3. And I do appreciate that it’s Valentine’s Day. Perhaps the issue is just that I move too fast, so I’m actually way ahead of time. Yes, that’s what it is. Exactly. Sip, sip!

Thanks guys!

Realm 3

Manipura Text

Manipura

This realm is Artha, meaning all those who enter come to find their purest sense, goal, purpose or essence depending on the context of their health and advantage. There are many activities and resources here to help enable a proprietary state. You will find your closest friends, pets and an environment that promotes correct strength and well-being. In this realm, religion does not exist. It was determined in 2020 to be a complacent form of currency and it has been replaced with essential forms of thought and listening.

What are you going to offer in Manipura?

Final Documents

Hi everyone!

I worked on these two documents over the span of a year. They were presented during my second interview with I-Open Technologies and contributed toward landing the position! Have a read and I hope you enjoy them. Even though I won’t have as much time to work on Blox. Communications, I’m sure my new role will provide ample opportunity to develop and implement more exciting campaigns.

I won’t go on about the trials and tribulations of 2019, because there were too many. The year felt like a constant questioning of my best-fit existence.

This was me: So, there’s tape (and mind you, I’m pondering colour, weight and texture) on the middle of the ground and I must jump back and forth, from side to side almost every day.

In the end: I did make some spectacular connections (lol), some I hope will not expire AND I have exited on the other side (but which side of the tape, she said? L.) victorious, in my eyes.

Looking forward to fulfilling the role of Online & Digital Specialist for I-Open Technologies and their group of companies. Some keywords I hope to define and tackle – connection, automation and transformation … to the future everyone!

  1. Previous Documents Presentation
  2. Brand Strategy Presentation