Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Apple or Stephen Hawking or Harvard University: Which is the most intelligent brand?

Apple or Stephen Hawking or Harvard University:  Which is the most intelligent brand?: by Jason Li 2012 ©

A bit of fun....

Which brand is the best representation of intelligence?...

Where humankind can say this is how clever we are?


I thought of Garry Kasparov as a definite contender – the man is a chess genius and it’s pretty much impossible for any human to beat him. But then, the only thing that can spoil his credentials, if you can spoil his credentials, is to say that chess people play for hours-on-end every day going over the same situations and practice moves. I know how practice can improve your performance from playing football as we used to practice free kick routines sometimes to mix things up, and even those who were not the brightest seem to look like they did something clever.

However, this definitely does not detract from Kasparov as a proven chess genius over a very long period of time as he has beaten other dedicated professionals fair and square.

Sir David Attenborough is possibly the world’s most famous natural history film-maker. Whether it involves plants, global warming or prehistoric dinosaurs... Sir David Attenborough can tell you the facts. Every programme he presents is absolutely fascinating.

However, his brand is based on learning facts and regurgitating natural history facts in the most interesting way. As much as I love and admire his work and style, a memory expert could well copy Sir David Attenborough and provide a credible imitation. Again, this is not to take away from his deserved super brand status in this subjective question. Sir David Attenborough is an excellent and close contender too (beating millions of other worthy intelligent brands).

The top three intelligent brands

Many people judge success based on money and funny enough – success. Apple is therefore the most successful product brand in the world. At the time of writing, Apple was the company with the largest capitalisation in the world. The business world is occupied by very motivated, dedicated, clever, educated, smart and ambitious people in the world. Apple is ahead of all competitors at the moment and so must be in the top three.

Smart people go to university as a norm. You do get exceptions, but in general, if you’re smart you go to university. HarvardUniversity is well known around the world as a destination where many of the world’s smartest people go to take in more information in their specialists interests.

Most of us are aware Harvard University had two mega successful commercial students – Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates. Even though they left before completing their degrees, they still choose Harvard which means there will be other students like them at the university.

Stephen Hawkins is world renown as a leading physicist at Cambridge University. Cambridge University itself is pretty much on par with Harvard, just not as glamorous. Hawkins has to be in the running as he develops new theories which mathematicians and physicists are playing catch up to understand. To develop new ideas explaining the universe and put your reputation on the block as other physicists test your ideas for holes (pardon the pun) is both brave and smart if the world has to wait for you to provide a theory to advance everyone else’s knowledge.

My vote

People at Harvard University can replicate what Apple do, and likewise those at Apple could easily create a university like Harvard.

I believe if Stephen Hawking learnt to programme, he would have the capacity to programme software or design products at Apple, and of course lecture at Harvard. If Stephen Hawking dedicated to chess he would definitely beat some of the top pros.

However, I’m not sure if there are more than only a handful of the people at Harvard University or Apple who have the original thinking in science and mathematics on the same level as Stephen Hawking. There will be brilliant specialists in design, art, science subjects and mathematics. However, Stephen Hawking is advanced in all these and more. Original thinkers who can explain black holes and quantum gravity in the universe only come along once in a generation.

For me Stephen Hawking is the most intelligent brand in the world.

(Stephen Hawking wins £1.8 million Fundamental Physics Prize - December 2012)
Daily Mail article, Universe Today article.

Maybe a mathematician will work out a formula to work out which is the most intelligent brand one day.

Do you agree? Ask this one question to someone you know as it will be fun to find out what people think. How did they arrive at their chosen intelligent brand?

If you liked this article, you will really make my day if you forward it on. J

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Sunday, 11 November 2012

Scaling up your business for multiple lead generation

Scaling up your business for multiple lead generation: by Jason Li 2012 ©

If you are a small business and working all hours of the day, but want more revenue as your reward, then scaling up your business is the next step.

Here are some answers if you’ve been wanting to generate a few more leads or customers every week for your business.

In fact, from what I’ve seen... being good at lead generation is vital to business success.

To help you scale up in terms of offering more for new and existing customers...

So that they can spend more money with you without adding much costs to you.

Scaling up

Scaling up your business is the way you can keep increasing your business so that it expands and brings in more revenue. So I’m going to share a several secrets that I’ve seen – and best of all they are all practically doable without needing too much training.

This can either be done yourself, or by working with other people.

Once you have found a way to begin scaling up, you can just keep on adding more add-ons until your business grows to a size that is much bigger than it is today.

Scaling up small businesses with more lead generation

When you are self employed then you do absolutely everything in the business...

In fact, small businesses with two or three people tend to work this way as well. So it can feel really hard to even contemplate ways of scaling up your business.

So here I’m going to share some kick-ass leverage and lead generation methods for those of you who think it would make a difference – because you’re busy and you want answers now.

Now scaling up a small business is not easy. I have seen businesses that have only one product range or a small amount of portfolio services or products on offer and really wanted to expand. Their only solution at the time was to maybe sell more of the same. An example would be a retailer locating another retail site so that they can now go from having one shop to two shops.

Obviously, this is great if you have a thriving business and can look to get a new retail shop financed with money in the bank. But not everyone can instantly afford to get another site up-and-running. What if you have no money? How long will you wait to get the money?

There is an alternative. I have seen many owners implement ways of scaling up small business in ingenious ways without having to wait years for a new site. In fact, just copying how the larger businesses do it in the following way will do you no harm.

Using ‘leverage’ in your business

Imagine you want to lift a boulder. Remember when you were kids and you came across sitting on swings and you went back-and-forth to get really high up; well in ancient times engineers used systems like these to move boulders with levers and ropes so they could move huge heavy objects that no human alone could move.

We are going to use the same practical method of using a lever to allow a small business or self employed person to leverage their business: so that a small amount of input using leverage will create a bigger output.

Leverage methods

The first and most important is using the internet: If you sell products then find a business that sells products in a similar nature to you on the internet and work out how you can apply it. Stick with this as it’s more than the obvious stated so far.

Let’s say you sell cartons of juice in packs of three, then you can start by looking at other juice etailers. Look at all the various methods they use to scale up. Next, look at businesses who sell other low cost items too that might not be juice but in multipacks; it could be packs of three tennis balls. How did they do things which your business can use as a solution? Look at the packaging, the offer, bundling with other products as examples.

Let’s say you are a dry cleaner, how could you get more passing traffic to stop and drop-off and pick-up? MacDonalds and car wash places have drive through mechanisms. Could your dry cleaner have one side of the business for drop-offs and one side for pick-ups in the shop? Could you even have a drive through for vehicles to pass clothes through a window on one lane, and collections on another window? Could you join up with a petrol station or grocery shop?

Your take away: leverage other business methods to increase your lead generation

Digital leverage methods

There will be a business out there with the same problem that came up with an internet solution that you can implement in your business. Imagine having an ecommerce site that worked in generating orders and leads without having to put money down on retail sites, or not waiting for another site in order to expand the business.

Is it possibly in any way for you to use the internet to leverage what you do? Read on for more ideas.

Digitise products

Is there any way possible for you to digitise what you do? What? Say that again? What I mean is, can you create a digital version of what you do; your products or services? Chefs and restaurants can create ebooks on how to cook meals that sell on the internet, teachers can create videos which students buy as standard lessons, teachers can provide one-to-one bespoke lessons on Skype, and businesses can create audio files to download to offer advice such as accountants, business coaches or nutritionists. These will reach people who have no time or cannot use your services immediately.

What about other products? If you have toys then you might have vlogs – video blogs - to teach kids how to do more such as Lego videos,  for business people on how to turn your smart phone into a business tool, or a hedge trimmer into ‘Average Joe’s’ favourite sculpturing tool.

Don’t just think of your local market, think country wide; worldwide even. Just think, your business could have a customer lying on deck chairs around a pool in sunny Monaco now, and she is telling her friends about your digital product that she can’t get locally.

Your take away: When you digitise, you get more people finding ways to use your products, reach more people, and give customers the opportunity to share with other people who might find your offer interesting.

Partnership Leverage methods

Partner with other product suppliers: Let’s say you are a photographer, could you create a website that includes promoting the photographic studio you use for a referral fee, partner with a wedding planner, partner with a video recording service, or add on a gallery to sell your product and exclusively other peoples stock, or partner with a camera shop to provide camera lessons to enthusiasts, or partner with a walking group, or partner with a site seeing tour.

Your take away: partnerships give you multiple ways of generating revenue and more touch points with potential clients.

Cash flow

Digital products allows you to scale up without having to spend lots of money upfront.

 In partnerships, as customers use other partner products and services, you can be promoted to them as a trusted partner. Doing it this way might be of no cost to you when using partners.

If it really succeeds, then it also provides you great feedback, and much more revenue. If you have a channel (partner) that brings in plenty of new customers then you will know what this type of customer likes. So if your leads keep coming from a walking group and they want your photography expertise you can expand on this area.

So how much can you scale up your business to a higher level from these ideas and practical methods?

Will any new lead generation ideas bring you new streams of income and more revenue? Will ideas like these add value to your business?

If you know of any businesses that may find the information here worth reading, please Pay It Forward.
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