What kind of marketing is the most effective?

sneezr.ca Have you ever asked yourself that question? I did. In fact, many years ago I spent countless hours trying to figure it out.
The answer turned out to be quite simple: word of mouth marketing. Or as I call it: the art of cultivating recommendations.

Surprised? Probably not. With recommendations, there is no sales pressure and no credibility issues. When your friends, family members or trusted co-workers recommend something or someone to you, they are genuinely trying to help you. That means a lot, which is why you usually remember it for a long time. But here is the catch: recommendations must be earned. How do you do that? Where do you start? How do you give people a reason to talk about your products/services? How do you nudge your story into every day conversations? I launched sneezr.ca to help you answer those questions.

What can Rolling Stones teach us about life

Our story begins on a clear, cold morning at approximately 10:40 AM on August 21, 2010. I was reading some articles online, while enjoying my second cup of coffee that morning, when I came across this subtle but profound observation by Kyle Steed: continue reading

What can a clean windshield teach us about life

I travel a fair bit for both work and pleasure. (My guess is that you do, too.)
My family and I just came back from an almost week long visit to Alberta and Banff.
In short, the trip was a big success (all around).
The hotels we stayed at were very nice, featuring nice restaurants, swimming pools etc.
On paper, each of these places, I bet, is dedicated to being the absolute best.
So far there is nothing interesting about this story, right?
Let me see if I can do something about that:
What’s you favorite brand of hotels? continue reading

Do you know why?

Let me ask you three simple questions:
1. Do you know why do people do business with you?
2. If “NO”, then how do you plan to go about attracting more customers?
3. Finally, if “NO” to question number 1, then why exactly would someone refer you? continue reading

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The art of personalized service

Remarkable. That’s what I first thought when I finished reading the article about David Rosen, in the July/August 2010 issue of the Inc Magazine. After I finished reading it, I had the pleasure of exchanging a few words with David and he graciously agreed to conduct a quick interview for sneezr.ca. By the way, one of David’s first comments to me was: “Nice to be featured in the same column as Steve Jobs!” But let me tell you, that was not a coincidence. (Did I mention how I actually don’t believe in the whole coincidence concept? No? Well now you know.) You see, I feel that David Rosen and Steve Jobs have a lot in common:
First, they both make hard things easy.
Second, they both understand that style is substance.
And third, they both understand that feelings are the most important facts. continue reading

What can Mike Babcock teach us about business

I picked up today’s paper (The StarPhoenix) only a few minutes after I finished my first post for today, July 17 2010. Perhaps the most interesting story in the paper featured Mike Babcock, the current Detroit Red Wings coach and one of the best coaches in the NHL‘s history, who grew up in Saskatoon. (Did I mention that this was not the lead story ???) continue reading

What can Dennis Downing teach us about business

In December of 2009, in an issue of the Economist magazine (Dec 19th issue), I read an interesting story about Dennis Downing, an Englishman who in 1998 moved to America. Here is a little taste: continue reading

How to make the postman blush ;)

What an interesting story! That’s what I thought after I first heard how Natalie Grunberg, co-founder of Panty by Post, got the inspiration for a fun and fresh business concept. In short, after having spent a summer abroad in France, Natalie asked herself the following: “Why are French women always so confident, beautiful and well put together? What’s their secret?” Their secret, Natalie decided, must be their panties… continue reading

If I started today – by Carmine Gallo

Remarkable. That’s what I first thought when I finished reading The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs by Carmine Gallo – I highly recommend it. Whether you are a novice presenter or a professional speaker, trust me, the presentations you deliver will be much, much, better after having read Carmine’s remarkable book. continue reading

What can David Rosen teach us about business

Remarkable. That’s what I first thought when I finished reading the article about David Rosen, in the July/August 2010 issue of the Inc Magazine. David is apparently a very happy and extremely successful personal wine broker with Grove Street Brokers in Healdsburg, California. I would suggest that you pick up a copy of this issue since it is jam-packed with a number of interesting stories. (Alternatively you could Google it I guess.) But for now, let me give you just a little taste: continue reading