Posted by: SteveMcAuliffe | April 30, 2014

There’s More To Great Branding Than Advertising

Brand StoryAs digital disrupts more marketplaces, brands become more important and valuable – not less. They provide meaning and satisfy emotional needs. As consumers experience information overload, the tendency to gravitate toward what’s familiar increases. At the same time, reliance on traditional tools, like advertising, corporate identity programs, and PR, to build brands is waning. So how can companies strengthen their brands? Look at Apple: Since its “Think Different” ad campaign, it has withdrawn from image-building ads, kept a smaller marketing budget, and instead, focused brand efforts on creating a well-designed, holistic product experience. Firms must be able to tell a meaningful story through actions and products, not words in ads or statements. Products and services should encapsulate a brand and communicate value without an additional layer of advertising. Make your brand more central and embed it across the customer value chain.

Full article at Harvard Business Review

Posted by: SteveMcAuliffe | November 26, 2013

Is Storytelling a Science?

Stories have the power to hold human attention and shape our thinking.

Master storytellers are wizards who lull us into a trance.  When entranced by story, we lose track of our immediate surroundings as our minds teleport us into an alternative story universe.

Storytelling

Humans live in a storm of stories. We live in stories all day long, and dream in stories all night long. We communicate through stories and learn from them. We collapse gratefully into stories after a long day at work. Without personal life stories to organize our experience, our own lives would lack coherence and meaning.

Most of us think of stories as a way to pleasantly while away our leisure time. Is there any evidence that story is actually effective in influencing us–in modifying our thinking and behavior? Yes. Lots.  They infect the audience and have the unique power to change minds.

Is it now time for the next wave in storytelling?  The digital revolution has put a massive number of new and powerful tools at the storyteller’s disposal. And if technology has revolutionized our tools, shouldn’t this lead to a revolution in the stories themselves?

Everything in the digital universe is two-way, interactive, and collaborative. Interactivity seems to be the holy grail… but is that good?

Interaction is precisely what most of us don’t want during story time. Wouldn’t you rather have the sensation of falling through the pages of a book and losing track of yourself in a land of make-believe.

Excerpts from Fast Company articles by Jonathan Gottschall

Posted by: SteveMcAuliffe | November 19, 2013

A Word of Thanks…

Thanksgiving GratitudeThe season is upon us! And before everyone gets caught up in the excitement of the holidays, I’d like to pause a moment to offer a simple Thank You.

Your confidence, your ongoing encouragement and your new friendships enrich us all and help us appreciate our own many blessings.

We’re truly honored by your continued support. Our best wishes to you and your family for a happy and healthy Thanksgiving Day!

With Gratitude,

Steve

Posted by: SteveMcAuliffe | November 12, 2013

Dismantling the Sales Machine

Sales leaders have long fixated on process discipline, monitoring reps’ conformance to “optimal” behaviors and their performance of specified activities. Recently, however, this sales machine has stalled. The approaches that once led to predictable progress in a sale do not work with today’s customers, who are empowered with more information than ever before.

The New World of SalesThe new environment favors creative and adaptable sellers who challenge customers with disruptive insights into their housing needs—and offer unexpected solutions. Such “insight selling” gives associates latitude to discover what the customer has already concluded about its needs and the available solutions, determine who the decision makers are, look for signals that the customer is receptive to a new insight about their home, and then figure out how best to proceed.

Most organizations, despite faltering sales performance, still have a climate that emphasizes compliance rather than judgment.

To create a judgment-oriented sales climate, managers must serve as connectors within and beyond their teams, providing a continual flow of information that supports sales professionals as they exercise their judgment on individual transactions. These managers must also focus on the long term, monitoring customers’ behaviors and directing associate’s creativity and critical thinking to the most-promising opportunities. And they need to hire champions—not necessarily those with sales backgrounds—who can thrive in the new climate.

Please read entire HBR article here

Posted by: SteveMcAuliffe | July 29, 2013

4 trends that will define housing in the second half of 2013

Real estate experts are sounding off on the trends that will help shape the sector in the second half of 2013.

Good article in Forbes shared by Builder Online.

http://www.McAuliffeMcCormick.com

Posted by: SteveMcAuliffe | July 17, 2013

4 Keys To Turning Customers Into Brand Evangelists

In order to retain market share and keep up profitability, business leaders must continually look for new and innovative ways to engage their consumers.

To grow your brand, know what people find meaningful, connect with them thoughtfully, create joy they can’t live without, and believe in your employees…
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Be Personal
Be Smart
Be Exciting
Be Yourself
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Posted by: SteveMcAuliffe | April 23, 2013

Housing Market Synopsis

John Burns was on Fox Business News yesterday discussing a host of real estate market topics:

Investors: They won’t sell while home prices are going up.

Entry-level buyers: 30% of buyers are entry-level which is a typical number, but you would think the percentage would be higher given the recovery and the number of homeowners with no equity.John Burns--Housing Market

Gen-Y Homeownership: We ballpark that they will achieve 5% lower due to high-debt. More research is needed here.

Normal Seasonal pickup: Let’s not make a headline out of seasonally adjusted annual existing home sales being down 0.6% month over month.

California Inventory: Two (2) of our team members have received unsolicited offers on the California homes they live in

California Growth: California’s housing market is hot, despite increasing reports from our clients in Texas and Nevada that they are seeing a surge of affluent Californians moving in to avoid the new 13.3% top tax rate.

Southeast Lag: The Southeast is late to the recovery partially because investors believe that price appreciation will be less likely (note-our Consulting SVP in Atlanta, David Kalosis, reports that the markets in Atlanta and the Carolinas have improved dramatically this Spring).

Fed Stimulus: How long will the Fed keep buying $45 billion per month in mortgage securities to keep rates down?

Get in Now: At the risk of sounding like a broken record, monthly housing payments are near all-time lows and are trending up.

Pent-up Demand: Consumers can now look in the rear view mirror and see that they should have bought 6 months ago. This should increase demand.

Watch video…

http://www.McAuliffeMcCormick.com

Posted by: SteveMcAuliffe | February 11, 2013

Consumer Housing Preferences Have Changed Dramatically

As the economy continues to recover, one thing is certain: The “old normal” will not return, because consumer preferences are changing.

In the Urban Land Institute’s “Residential Futures” report, industry professionals discussed trends in the home building marketplace, touching on up-and-coming design concepts as well as trends that are no longer in vogue. Here’s a sampling:
WHAT’S IN
Walkability
Access to mass transit
Energy efficiency
Proximity to health care
A sense of community
30-minute-or-less commutes
Multigenerational housing
Lower operating costs
Suburban infill developments
Well-designed smaller floor plans
Spaces that can be transformed for different kinds of use throughout the day
Manufactured housing
Affordable, sustainable touches
Amenities that provide value, save time, or make life easier
WHAT’S OUT
Long commutes
Outer-ring suburbs
Golf-course communities
Vague “greenwash fluff” marketing language
Wasteful floor plans and square footage
Home designs from the early 2000s
High maintenance costs
Read further how consumer-housing preferences have changed dramatically since the recession.
Posted by: SteveMcAuliffe | February 2, 2013

Century 21: Smarter, Bolder, Faster

No matter who you’re pulling for in tomorrow’s Super Bowl game, it’s going to be fun keeping score of your favorite commercials.

We’re pulling for Century 21 to be Smarter, Bolder and Fast enough to finish near the top…

 

www.McAuliffeMcCormick.com

Posted by: SteveMcAuliffe | November 28, 2012

Truth in Advertising

I want to thank Tom Fishburne for reminding me of this great video…

In 2001, a 12-minute video illustrating the importance of a well thought Creative Brief was released called, “Truth in Advertising.”

This hilarious video is PG-13 because all of the characters involved say exactly what is on their mind.

McAuliffe & McCormick, Inc.

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