The Power of the Unexpected

July 17, 2012

I was born different. Surgeons repaired lip, cleft and left an unexpected gift. We notice what’s different.

The brain ignores same same. It yearns for one of a kind. Chip and Dan Heath in Made To Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die say the unexpected grabs our attention. Kevin Allocca, Youtube’s Trend Manager, says the unexpected goes viral.

That happened to me. I helped with a Pap Test Awareness Campaign, producing videos and emceeing a launch. Only 40+ people came to the launch but over 200,000 people have seen the video below.

I am dressed as the Fairy Godmother, well actually kind of undressed. I am wearing wings and tiara and not much else. I get a Pap test, sort of.  It’s a completely unexpected, lighthearted approach to a (sorry I can’t resist the pun) touchy subject.

Next time you are tempted to be average, to do the same same, don’t. Be joyfully unexpected instead.


The Go Giver

July 10, 2012

Once upon a time, I was a champion. All the clichés applied. I only trained twice – when I wanted to and when I didn’t.

I learned a perfect lesson for those of you building businesses. Celebrate those who make you successful or.. in business terms.. prosper those who prosper you.

Figure skating looks like an individual sport.  It is actually a team event. So is life. I always thanked my skating team, especially in the press. I couldn’t have won gold without them. (Thank you coach and choreographer Mary Lou Marchant and sports psychologist Dr. Mario Faveri.)

When you thank your supporters you do three things.

1. You blow apart the myth that achievement is a solo effort.

2. You honour the honourable. (Our world is moving so fast that gratitude has become road kill.)

3.  You enhance the profile and prosperity of good people.


Since writing this blog, Bob Burg and John David Mann, authors of The Go Giver have been in touch (see their comments below). It’s a great book title and an even better concept.  Clearly time for me check it out.

Dr. Mario Faveri, Sports Psychologist



Competing Against A Big Brand? Try Wit.

July 3, 2012

Toronto Pride equals hot: hot people, temperature and branding. Trojan, the #1 condom company, had male models wearing tight shorts, yellow construction helmets topped with a Roman flourish of red feathers and not much else. They used every tactic in the ‘brand in hand’ street marketing manual: cool booth, hunky models, free products and great photo ops.  Price tag? $20,000+

But what can a small brand with little caché or cash do to compete for attention?  Know your market and be witty.

Toronto Cat Rescue did just that. Their “Saving Pussy” banner made people laugh. When people laugh that good feeling translates into talking, tweeting, blogging  facebooking and now Pinteresting.

Emotions are a fast track to the brain.Price tag: $500. Very good pussy.

If it is not your genius it is not your job.
Louise B. Karch