Imagine this guy showing up at your office for a job interview. It’s likely your judgment filter would kick in in less than 30 seconds, and you will conclude the applicant is severely out of touch and may have been living in a cave for the last 30 years.
Not a good first impression.
This week I was working with a trade association that has engaged me to speak to 5 of their chapters in 2014 on branding. During our negotiations, I mentioned to my contact that the trade association’s current logo needed a facelift. In addition to the logo mark being too busy, a major part of the design was the state of Florida.
Lose the “So last decade” logos.
Yikes! Someone call the brand police, Using the state as art is passé, just like a blue leisure.
The light blue leisure suit is a great metaphor for branding that is outdated and reflects a tired or should be retired elements.
Sure light blue leisure suits had their hay day. Along with fax machines and the Sony Walkman. But unless you a putting together an exhibit at a history museum, they need to go away and be replaced with something current.
Design styles change just like fashion. Is your logo or look and feel of your brand communications relevant and in tune with the times.
Even if your brand image is nostalgic or classic, it’s important to make sure it’s still relevant.
Beyond logo marks and the look and feel of a brand, here are two other areas where those light blue leisure suits can pop their ugly heads.
Update your sad office décor.
Last month I gave a speech to a design and construction company. They worked on a lot of cool projects. Their work was creative and modern, yet their office was filled with light blue leisure suits.
Their décor was full of way ugly and old furniture, hanging plants that were popular in the 70’s and art that did not support their brand essence.
The next one I was recently guilty of.
Upgrade the tired technology.
Until last month, I was using an old iphone. One of my clients called me out. Karen, what’s up with the antique phone. He was right, my choice of equipment was dated and not consistent with my image as a progressive and relevant branding authority.
Touch points like your logo, office décor and even the equipment you use should represent you are, not who you were in another life.
This week audit your top touch points.
Your web site
Your brand identity, logo, look and feel of materials
Your business cards
Your social media image
Spot a light blue leisure suit? You know what to do.
This week, I accompanied my dear friend, Pam Iorio, the former Mayor of Tampa, to the Lead & Succeed event in Tampa. If this event comes to your town, attend. For five bucks you will hear top notch business speakers and likely make some great contacts too.
Pam was one of several keynote speakers and she inspired everyone, including me, to find a higher level of leadership in themselves.
She shared stories about her journey in life and she talked about the three important behaviors that she sees in great leaders.
1) They don’t waste energy fretting about the competition. They focus on their own performance and improving.
2) They treat everyone with respect and make everyone feel important.
3) They don’t give self-doubt a chair at any party.
While these points are pretty simple advice, if you think back to any moments of soft leadership you observed, or were a part of, they were not likely practiced.
Along with Pam, the speaker roster was impressive and included: Steve Forbes, Les Brown, Carly Fiorina, Terry Bradshaw, Former Congresswoman, Gabby Giffords and her husband, Former Astronaut and Space Shuttle Commander, Mark E. Kelly.
Pam and I got to meet Gabby and Mark just before their talk. While our time together was brief, it reminded me just how precious life really is and how things we all take for granted, like speaking and having a healthy, functioning body, can be taken from us in 45 seconds. Gabby’s resilient spirit and will to return to normalcy, while dealing with the tremendous scars and pain of that dark day in 2011, were beyond inspirational.
A couple of weeks ago, I seduced many of you into opening my blog only to find out that I’ve not read Fifty Shades of Gray yet but did read Magic of Impromptu Speaking, by Andrill Sedniev, while taking some time off of work.
I promised a review on the book, so here goes.
The book caught my attention as its subtitle states: Create a speech that can be remembered for years in under 30 seconds. The fact is, I and gazillions of other book buyers gravitate to titles that promise fast and almost immediate results. A good formula to remember when you are writing product copy or selling a book.
So was he telling the truth or committing a marketing sin and telling a big white lie?
It’s a gray area. Maybe not fifty shades but at least three. The book is excellent, filled with wisdom that can be applied to formal speeches and varied other opportunities of attention, like when doing a media interview, interviewing for a job or taking a stance in a board meeting. All good stuff for building a brand.
His driving premise points out that in any speech only small pieces are truly remembered and these message gems are often unscripted, off the cuff and impromptu.
So if you knew that going in, you’d think Andrii delivered on his claim. If you were expecting the ability to craft a speech, a brilliant 30-60 minute presentation in 30 seconds you may question his claim, but no one will be disappointed in this book.
4 brand building take-a-ways:
1) Great speeches answer questions.
Andrii’s book and formula puts attention on situations where there are questions. Which is important. Questions are thrown at us all everyday. If you are preparing for a full-blown presentation, you can still benefit from his concepts. Just ask yourself questions you believe your audience will be thinking and address them in your content.
2) Your mental state matters.
Whenever you are on stage (literally or figuratively), or poised to talk or answer questions, being in a high-performance mental state is critical. This means being relaxed, open-minded, confident and excited.
3) Don’t strive to be perfect.
This is self-inflicted stress. There are no speech police that will arrest you if you miss a point or can’t answer a question.
4) Stories provide anchors and associations that audiences need.
Stories connect facts, data and principles to life and hopefully your audience is alive. As a business expert, you should have a handful of stories that you can recite blindfolded, or hanging by your toes, on any given day with poise and passion.
Which brings me to my next adventure.
This week I’m headed to Colorado Springs to spend a couple days working with a long-time coach and adviser of mine, Doug Stevenson.
Doug a former actor and stand up comedian created the Story Theater Method, authored a book by the same name and is a master storyteller. His work helps professional speakers, like me, topic experts, and businesses leaders around the globe, deliver stories that rock, persuade and stick.
I’m looking forward to amping up my story telling, enjoying the mountains and maybe even some snow.
Next week, I’ll recap what I learn.
This past weekend, I traveled to Columbus, Ohio, to attend the Ohio State University versus Penn State football game. I had a fabulous time and picked up some great brand building ideas that can apply to many businesses.
Here’s the recap on my adventure and eight branding building ideas.
1) Southwest Airline’s identity is in transition. Brands change.
The quirky, casual carrier has evolved. Their frequent flyer program still works and is one of the best for rewarding loyalty. My plane ticket was free.
Their once low-cost pricing strategy is just a memory and bags fly free soon may be too. Their uniforms have also evolved. The khaki shorts and t-shirts are in the closet and a more formal garb is being sported, maybe to align better with the more upscale pricing. The seats are getting smaller and the people are getting fatter. Unfortunately, I sat next to someone who needed to buy two seats but they did not. Not sure the same Southwest Airline’s lovable brand will last.
2) Mascots play an important role in a brand’s story.
On Friday night, we went to a hockey game. The local team, the Columbus Blue Jackets, won. Watching a game on a high-definition, mega screen confirms if you’re a well-funded sports offering and you don’t have the latest technology (Listen up Tampa Bay Bucs and Raymond James stadium) you are irrelevant and the experience will suck. However, a low-tech brand asset for a sports team can be a mascot. But the Blue Jackets’ Stinger, I’m still trying to figure out. He’s an odd, bug-like booster with really bad teeth and blood-shot eyes. Rumor has it kids love him. Maybe he’s a sympathy brand and they feel sorry for the guy.
3) College football brands can teach us all a lot.
The Ohio State Buckeyes have a strong brand. With one hundred plus years of tradition (consistency), winning seasons (performance), and a popular coach (leadership), the OSU fan base (brand ambassadors) is as devoted as many religious followers. Pictured with me below is The Buckeye Guy; a super fan since 1977, has his own website, is an enthusiastic character and dedicated supporter. The OSU brand experience was remarkable, emotionally charged, entertaining and full of on-brand touch points everywhere (thanks Rick and Lori).
I spent Saturday afternoon at the Short North Arts District, an artsy, architectural cool, inspirational retail spot located right before you get to downtown Columbus. A great experience, I saw lots of creative and cool ideas that can apply to many businesses. Here’s what I saw:
4) Being relevant helps brands stand out
Most banks environments are boring and corporate, however, First Community Bank, on High Street, showcases local artists on its walls and feels as artsy and bohemian as its patrons.
5) Uncommon spaces make great billboards
The Zoom Room provides urban dogs with a dedicated indoor space to train, socialize and shop. They are proud of the fact that they train dog lovers, not the dogs, and use their entrance door as a nice billboard to promote services to up-right walker buyers.
6) Packaging gives brand legs
Memorable, branded packaging gives small stores and businesses added exposure on the shopping strip and lasts even longer if the bag is reusable. Bink Davies is a fun gift shop with lots of unique finds.
7) Great name and art keep brands top of mind
Ugly Tuna Saloona is a campus hangout with a great name and no website. They use Facebook and Twitter as their message and brand communicators. The outdoor art is awesome and serves as a photo background for patrons to forever remember their experience.
8) Holiday market segmenting adds emotional appeal.
The photo below is in contrast to the posed and poised puggie pups in my blog’s opening comments. Short North turns a hallmark day, like Halloween, into a big event for the whole family and where anyone’s dog, or dogs, becomes a celebrity for the day. End result, happy dogs and proud parents spending lots of money at the shops and loving the experience.
Now that I’ve got your attention, sorry, this week’s blog is not about an erotic trilogy or a fantasy business mogul. Its about a real strategy that can make or break any customer experience and ultimately impact a brand.
Six months or so ago, at a charity fundraiser, I purchased a weekend getaway. It was a silent-auction item touted on the promotional poster as a “This is paradise!” stay for the weekend at a five-bedroom house on the beach on beautiful Anna Maria Island. Sounded great to me. Waterfront property, relaxation, and all in a vacation area that I had been to before and loved.
Soon after the function, I received a certificate in the mail with similar details about the house and their website.
Before I invited friends to join me, I visited the Realtor’s website who had donated the item and researched the property. The photographs looked awesome and the copy was even more intriguing than what was on the poster at the event. It not only said this was paradise but claimed this house was one of the finest beachfront properties on the island.
I was feeling good. I had helped a local charity and I was getting a gorgeous weekend retreat where I could relax and entertain guests.
Fast forward to this past weekend, the morning of my getaway, I decided to go back online to see what else I could learn about the house and the island. This time I just Googled the address and former guest reviews popped up.
To my shock, I read some very graphic and unflattering comments from other guests who had stayed there recently.
Here is what I read, “This place is a total dump”. “Old house, not maintained well”. “Very disappointed”. And if that was not bad enough, this one really got my attention, a former guest proclaimed, with several exclamation points, “This place has a serious roach problem!!!!”
OMG, what have I bought? And I’ve got guests coming from Houston in five hours to see paradise!
I immediately called the realtor to tell them about what I saw online and to remind them that the promotional materials and the website all said this was supposed to be paradise. Grant it, I have high-brow tendencies but to me, paradise means a sister property of the Ritz Carlton. Not a location where Chevy Chase filmed his last weekend from Hell movie.
In a frantic voice, I asked, “Do we have a Plan B?” And without my common sense contributing to the rant, I also said, “I don’t care what it costs, I’m not sleeping with roaches”
The realtor was very nice and put me on hold to check what was available. She got back on the phone and assured me they had other properties that I could rent for the weekend if the house I bought from the charity did not meet my expectations of paradise.
She also downplayed the negative guest comments I saw on the website. Saying those were from the craziest, grumpiest guests we’ve ever had.
She invited me to come by the office, pick up the keys to the place I bought, and if I didn’t like it, I could see other options.
I drove to the house at 827 North Shore Drive, called the Bean Point Shack. I assumed shack was slang for a very cute place. Well, it turns out, the crazy, grumpy guests were not off base at all and the name shack was a literal description.
In fact, their opinions were far more complimentary than mine would have been. This waterfront beach house, in paradise, looked more like a run-down, dilapidated, dangerously scary, no doubt roach-infested shack.
I returned to the realtor’s office and explained, “No, this place is not for me or my dog”.
“I’m sorry to hear that”, she said. “People do stay there and they like it”. I didn’t doubt her, as the many travel sites showed recently posted positive reviews on this place.
So we moved on to Plan B. She gave me keys to three different houses, none of which were part of the charity weekend offering. I selected a beautiful six-bedroom house, newly constructed, with a wonderful pool and walking distance to the beach.
At the end of the day, it all worked out. The charity received its contribution, I spent a little more money (good for the local economy), and my guests and I had a fabulous time in our vision of paradise. The realtor, was accommodating and focused on making me happy. In return, I would call them for future rentals but I would be very specific about my expectations.
The drama from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., and the urgent house hunt, I could have lived without.
The moral to this story: there are at least fifty shades of paradise depending on the buyer segment you ask. To me, paradise means quality, luxury, bug-free, and with modern conveniences. However, to 47 other guests, paradise may mean camping, a roof over their head with electricity, sunsets, and being 50-feet away from the ocean.
If your standard of paradise is similar to mine, do not consider The Bean Point Shack. You will be disgusted.
This entire experience would have been handled so differently if only the realtor had better addressed market segments and managed the buyers’ expectations in their sales messaging.
Managing buyers’ expectations is a critical strategy in brand building.
Be as specific and transparent as you can be with promotional marketing content.
Call this paradise what it really is, not what it may have been 40 years ago under the influence of a tropical drink buzz. And don’t call it one of the finest houses on the island. Describe it as an original beach cottage, with no frills, and lots of nature.
Be honest. This will keep buyers expectations aligned with reality. From here, added pleasures will just exceed their expectations. Which is a good thing and worthy of rave reviews online. Or when the buyer calls about this type of property, assess their expectations in advance and proceed accordingly.
Don’t present a distorted image of your offering. This is just asking for upset customers and bad social media reviews. Which, by the way, remain online a lot longer than just a weekend.
Photo note: while chilling this past weekend, I read a really good book called, Magic of Impromptu Speaking, by Andrii Sedniev, which I will review in next week’s blog. For the record, I’ve not read Fifty Shades of Grey yet.
The news was sad. I know he and his team gave it their all. I could feel his pain in the letter he sent to his customers and friends, it was as if someone had died.
My friend lost more than money. His entrepreneurial soul took a traumatic hit too.
It’s never easy to pull the plug on a business you started. Especially when you are an eternal optimist, which most entrepreneurs are.
You cling on to hope. You believe in miracles. Your ego screams, “No freakin way can you bail and be branded a quitter”. Egos do not always give the best advice.
There comes a time in business, when quitting is the wisest action to take. Postponing it will just delay your next success.
If you do quit and call it a failure, know that failure is a temporary state and you control the schedule.
Winners quit every day.
The day you stop the train and get off is the day you are able to get on a better one.
- Don’t beat yourself up.
- Morn for a short period of time, after all, you are human.
- Reflect on what you learned and journal your lessons.
- Do the right thing concerning your responsibilities.
- Be grateful for what you gained, the experiences, the network of contacts, the knowledge, and you don’t have to give them back.
When we lose a friend to an untimely death, we often say they are in a better place. I believe my friend is in a better place too.
Of all of my skills and talents, proofing text is not one of them. In fact, if there were an award for the most consistent practice of missing those grammar gaffes, those punctuation oversights, or the spelling snafus, I’m sure I’d be a finalist.
I’m okay with this because I know I have many other valuable skills that these grammar gurus and spelling bee society members don’t possess.
I know these shortcomings drive my journalism-minded, editing buddies nuts. I’m okay with this, too. I do respect the English language. I understand that errors and bad writing reflect poorly on one’s professional image, and that’s not good brand-building.
Therefore, while I’m not convinced that the use of my time to master these skills is a good one, I do support tapping people and products that do proof well or can aid me in the process of just cleaning up my work. This is a worthy investment.
With good intentions, I still sometimes put out work with typos because even when I hire people with better proofing skills than me, they sometimes miss stuff, too. Then I get brutally scolded by the Monday morning quarterback proofers, and I pledge to do better.
As a serial bad speller and typo-misser, I do have private moments of joy when I see The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and other credible news sources miss typographic errors, too, especially on the front page.
A new tool.
The other day, I got an e-mail from a company that requested I blog about their proofing product for some compensation, a $100 Amazon gift card. The only requirement is that I include a specific line of copy as the front of my blog post. They requested I insert this line of copy at the beginning of my blog.
“I use Grammarly for proofreading because . . . and fill in the blank with something funny.”
Sure, I can do that. See the first line of my post today*.
They also gave me a two-week trial of this Grammarly service, so, today, I’m trying it out, and I’m reporting to you my opinion about the offering.
Wait a minute.
If I’m getting a kickback, how can I be honest? I thought about that, too, so here’s what I’ve come up with. I’m inviting you, my readers, to share your most egregious typo nightmare on my Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/Brandingdiva?ref=hl.
For an example: When I owned a PR firm in Houston, we once printed 2,500 brochures and misspelled Public Relations. Instead, we called it Pubic Relations, which is an entirely different service.
Win a $100 Amazon gift card.
This means you need to post on my Facebook page a typo you saw or let slip by. The most shocking, embarrassing, or just plain funny submission will get the $100 Amazon gift card Grammarly gave me. If it’s not transferable, I’ll buy you $100 of what you want on Amazon. The contest ends on November 1st, so don’t miss out.
My take on Grammarly.
I ran this blog through their proofing app. The service can cost between $11.00 and $26.00 a month based on the length of your commitment.
It was an interesting experience. It’s easy to use, and the app caught a bunch of mistakes. Before they start reading your document, you are asked what style of work your document is, an academic paper, a creative work, or a casual communication etc.
Your paper earns a score from 0 to 100. Each mistake they pick up on, you get an explanation and an example of a similar situation with the corrected grammar, spelling, or punctuation.
On my document, they did flag some spelling errors that, in fact, were not errors but either slang or made-up names, two being their own product names.
They do point out that their app should be used as a second set of eyes and should not replace a human proofreader.
This service was helpful. But for me, it does not cure my lame grammar and spelling disease.
Proofit, another service they offer.
Okay, then, if you are someone like me who is a high producer of grammar and spelling errors, they provide another safety net or extra layer of checking. This service is called Proofit.
I also used the Proofit service to check this blog after I ran it through the Grammarly app. Proofit has a pay-for-mistakes pricing model. The worse your writing is, the more you pay, and the fees scale is based on your required turnaround time.
Instant turnaround: 2 US dollars per mistake
3-hour turnaround: 1 US dollar per mistake
24-hour turnaround: 0.50 cents per mistake
Charges are assessed only for changes made to your document. Their professional proofreaders review documents and correct only writing, spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors. They don’t read for content credibility or validity. The interface is easy to use. They work around-the-clock. They provide a quote before they begin the project, and they guarantee their work.
In less than one hour, I had my document back. They corrected all of the mistakes in the tracking mode of Microsoft Word. My document, this blog had 51 mistakes in it after it went through the first online proofing app. Since they had quoted me a fee of no more than $38.00, they billed my credit card $38.00.
After I received the proofed document, I reran it through the proofing app and my score was 100!
I like what this company is doing and recommend checking them out. They provide a couple of quality, low-cost, and around-the-clock proofing services for people like me.
We live and breathe technology. Smart phones, dumb text messages, notebooks, PDFs, videos, virtual meetings, cloud computing and all the “apps for that”.
All this stuff has certainly added convenience to our lives, however, its also created a society of gadget addicts. And Heaven forbid, there is no Internet connection for 10 minutes! Someone call 911 and order me a respirator. IT withdrawals are worse than needing a crack fix.
Technology has had a profound impact on how we function and communicate.
This new world order has also zapped the tangible factor in many business connections. The days of touch, hold in your hand marketing and ink on your fingers are gone. We are now a digital domicile. A planet of wifi, plugs, chargers and adapters.
We are all striving for meaningful ways to build lasting relationships in this highly competitive marketplace. Maybe it’s time for a little return of those long trusted tangible tools. You know the ones. Things you can feel, throw on your desk, touch with your hands, pin to your real bulletin board. Sorry Pinterest.
Here’s a novel thought.
No one else is doing it, the tangible stuff. This could be your way to stand out. Grant it, digital is cheaper than dirt but so are many of your competitors.
Do this stuff right and the results could be priceless.
I’ve been tooling around with these un-used opportunities and here’s my take on some classic tangibles. Heck, maybe its even the new black.
I just launched a five-card series of postcards and they were not the Walmart model of “low prices”. They were a significant investment for a small business. My total investment was $6,000 and that included, photography, design, printing, red envelopes, and 1st Class ladybug postage stamps (both the red envelopes and stamps are believed to bring good luck). Getting to a clean mailing list required an investment too.
Does snail mail still work?
Everyday, the average, busy businessperson receives around 300 emails and is bombarded with over 3,500 brand messages. So yes, they can work. I believe a few, well-done snail mail pieces can break through the noise and be noticed.
To date, I’ve only mailed two of the three cards and already I’ve gotten booked for a speaking event in January. The fee from this one event will cover 100% of my campaign expenses and then some. In addition to the booked speech, I’ve received 10 calls or emails from people that I’ve not talked to in years. The net effect, I’m back on their radar screen. Thank you snail mail!
Tangible business cards.
Are expensive business cards worth it? Over the years, I’ve written extensively on the importance of great business cards. Business cards are a critical touch point in branding. A cool business card is a surrogate messenger that reflects a brand image for pennies, compared to other useless expenses.
A global client recently told me their new, stand out from the crowd, two-sided business cards, cost four times as much as their old ones did. Not surprising to hear, they will likely be four times more effective too. This card is the first tangible point of contact to many business prospects and it screams their progressive, innovative brand.
Remember you only get one chance to make a good first impression.
Tangible, hand-written notes
Hand-written notes are more important than ever and they are becoming a lost art. Again, not a lot of people send hand-written notes. Instead, they take the non-tangible alternative of sending an email, blowing it off or worse yet, they send a lamo-text message. I’m sure, my relative, maybe, Emily Post, is flipping over in her grave about all of this.
We all can do this one. It’s in everyone’s budget. They will require a stamp though, so if you’re not sure what that is, Google it. Send a card, a thank-you note, or a relevant news article with a Post-it® note on it.
Take back some of those old trusted tangible tools. It’s in vogue. It’s time.
They put you to sleep, it’s a poor reflection on a good brand, and its just a down- right bad presentation, but they are still spreading around the globe.
I experienced one just the other day.
The saddest part of this story, these presenters were not first-time entrepreneurs committing a branding crime or a recent graduate new to the business world. These were executives from a large company, with resources, who should have known better.
Here’s a recap:
· The company is new to the market.
· Every move they make is crafting their brand with the local business community.
· They invited 50 would-be clients and referral sources to a very nice restaurant for lunch.
· An executive spent 30 minutes walking through a word-infested, bullet pointpacked, boring stock photoloaded PowerPoint presentation, covering what the company cared about, their goals for market share, their sweet spots for business and their strategies for growth.
· Then another executive followed with 30 more minutes of tranquilizing content with the same dreadful slides, same boring blah, blah, blah.
Nine ways to turn a speech into a brand-building event.
1. If an executive, or business leader, is not a great speaker, don’t let them speak or limit their talk time to one to two minutes.
2. Open every talk with something funny, shocking, or compelling that engages the audience within the first few minutes. If you need help with being funny, read Punchline your Bottomline by David Glickman, a fellow Floridian and my buddy. Although the book is no longer in print, you can grab a used copy on Amazon for pennies. Or hire David to punch up your materials.
3. Leverage stories.
4. Lose the bullets.
5. Highlight one to two big, important points only.
6. Use PowerPoint as an aid to help stay on your message course, not as a dissertation document.
7. Use simple, memorable graphics to back points or concepts.
8. Focus messages on topics that are relevant to the buyer and tell them what’s in it for them and the benefits.
9. Prepare and know your topic.
Speaking opportunities are powerful opportunities to make lasting impressions and build a brand.When you have a stage to show off your stuff, tell your story and leave a lasting impression to build your brand. Be grateful. Don’t waste the situation and don’t be dull and boring. That is worse than lice.
Age withers the human machine. It slows down the body and dulls the brain. As young as 35 your major organs start to decline. YIKES! For life-long achievers and supercharged entrepreneurs this can be a disheartening and brutal truth. There are two choices. One, surrender, join AARP and start drinking Ensure®, or two, you can fight it with the same passion that helped you be on your “A” game throughout life.
I’m taking option number two and will remain a relentless warrior against time.
For my body:
This means not looking at exercise as a chore, but an enjoyable event that is guaranteed to make me feel good. I love playing tennis, power walking and hitting the weight room, jamming to my favorite tunes. And it’s never to late to start. I was a total fitness slug and over weight until about the the age of 32, and didn’t start playing tennis until 40.
If you hate the thought of exercise, find some activity you enjoy. There are a lot of fun things you can do to burn calories that don’t require Spandex®. And if you think you are creative now, add 30 minutes of aerobic exercise, and your creative output will significantly accelerate. Research shows the creative boost from exercise can last for least two hours afterward. However, there’s a catch: this applies to the already physically fit. For those who rarely exercise, the fatigue may just make you want to nap and have creative dreams.
For my mind:
I just discovered Lumoisty, online brain training program. They have been running banner advertising on CNN.com. The video ads are extremely well done and advertising works, they converted me into a buyer.
The idea is quite simple. As your brain ages, it naturally looses some of it cognition performance. Your memory gets fuzzy, your attention span shrinks, and your problem solving skills get slow or even disappear. Their online games help you get mentally fit again. Like a muscle, with brain exercises you can reactivate the napping neutrons and get your cognitive brain function back.
Lumosity has over 40 million users exercising their brains and seeing impressive results. Their research shows after 4-weeks of brain exercises, you can achieve a 10-20% increase in cognitive functions. Those functions contribute to a better and happier life.
I signed up over the weekend, and I started today. It was challenging. Some of my scores were pretty pathetic. It took around 30 minutes for four exercises. The cost for an annual subscription is $5.82 a month. They offer family plans, too.
All of the brain exercises are designed like games you play on your digital device. After taking a quick test, Lumosity designs a custom brain training program based on your current functions and your areas needing improvement. They recommend, to achieve optimal results, you exercise your brain 2-4 times a week. They also offer reminders, so you don’t become a slacker. The personalized dashboard shows your progress, which is very cool. I’m going for the three times a week plan and will keep you posted.
I can definitely see the logic behind it.
Use it, or lose it!