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Socking It to your Customers with Social Utility: A Tale of 2 Brands #CAMAExpert

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Last week, the Chicago chapter of the American Marketing Association (AMA) brought together powerful +100 year-old consumer brand Walgreens with clever, rising startup Georama to share how they each built sticky customer experiences through a committed focus to creating social media utility. Walgreens is no stranger to serving the utilitarian needs of its customers on a daily basis.  A few ... Read More »

SXSWi 2013: In Search of the Next Big Thing

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It’s that time of year…March Madness is upon us.  For most, it’s the season for NCAA championship ball accompanied by frothy green pints of Irish ale.  But for the techno-geeks, creative chics and other innovator-enthusiasts, the early part of March heralds a 5-day pilgrimage to Austin, TX for the annual South by Southwest Interactive (SXSWi) or ‘Southby’ experience as it’s ... Read More »

Dachis Social Business Summit 2013: Data, Content, Culture & Conviction

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Yesterday, I spent the day with the Dachis Group at their annual Social Business Summit (SBS), now in its 4th year as a mecca for industry thought leaders and brand pioneers to exchange insights and challenge one another in their approach to social business.  The fantastic speaker lineup included vanguard strategists and authors of the models and frameworks defining the ... Read More »

Pushing the Check-In Envelope: A Day Spent Hacking at Foursquare HQ

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Ah, the lure of the social media check-in…you may be asking, what’s all the hype about?  Is it the vain need to inform the world of where you are every moment? A serendipitous tool for finding a lunch partner or meeting up with a former colleague you didn’t know was in the same town or airport as you?  Perhaps it’s ... Read More »

Unraveling Innovation: Winter DIG Day with Engauge

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Innovation continued its disruptive march in 2012 – across not only the tech and communications fields, but other more mainstream industries such as healthcare, sports, retail and in-home appliances as well.  Its transformative pace is accelerating as fiesty digital trends quickly evolve into new business models and product inventions. Last December, I was invited by Engauge’s Digital Innovation Group (DIG) ... Read More »

Burberry’s Innovation Turn-Around: Straight from the Top

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How do you go from a relegated British 50’s classic to become one of the world’s most innovative retail brands ranked by Fast Company?  For Burberry, it took a zealous focus led by its CEO, Angela Ahrendts, to target Millennials head on and go after their native digital world. Last November, I had a chance to hear Ahrendts speak at ... Read More »

Chicago Ideas Week 2012: Tech Talk Roundup – Change, Disruption, Oh My

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My inner tech geek got a chance to indulge itself with cartoons, StarTrek and V references and a sneak peek at one of the hottest 3-D printing products to hit the streets at a few of the CIW talks last week.  Both sessions I attended served up meaty insights and perspectives from heavily road-tested entrepreneurs and change agents along with ... Read More »

Chicago Ideas Week 2012: A Tale of 4 Labs and Your Creative Muse

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I spent much of my CIW 2012 Week right in the lab – no, these were not the terrible 4-hour chem labs that cloaked entire Tuesday afternoons over my first-year at UVa – instead, I spent 90-minute power brainstorm sessions sans white coat with a lot of markers, post-its, legos and play dough. Not a Bunsen burner in sight. Each ... Read More »

Chicago Ideas Week 2012: Living the iGeneration Today and Beyond

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For one week each October, Chicago Ideas Week (CIW) brings together some of the world’s most prolific speakers to share their entrepreneurial perspectives and inspire the innovations of tomorrow at more than 130 talks, lab sessions and tours across the city of Chicago. Through the melding of artists, engineers, technologists, inventors, scientists, musicians, economists, intrapreneurs and other passionate explorers, CIW aims ... Read More »

SMWChicago12: SMW Party Experiment – Analog vs. Digital, Who Trumps Who?

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Picture it – two simultaneous parties are taking place; one with a sultry speakeasy echo of the earliest of analog days, the other with a bright, electro-chill vibe lit up over a multitude of digital flashes and screens.  In one, smartphones are not permitted; in the other, large wall screens invite participants to add their own mark to the virtual ... Read More »