Think about it. Whether you’re making a product, delivering a service, designing, marketing, innovating or financing – doesn’t the result happen only when you get people to actually do something different?
Actions are the fundamental currency. No actions, no cash.
So, success in business – and in achieving any worthy end – is a battle between manipulation and inspiration.
Manipulation is when we use tricks to get people to do things.
Inspiration is when they do those things because those things are meaningful and satisfying to them.
A business can be built on manipulation for a while. Offers. Urgency. Price manipulations. Sales. Scarcity. Emotional hyping. There is a whole business literature of tricks. Direct and interactive marketers have proven them. Persuasion designers have honed them. Behavioral economists have proved them in double-blind studies.
Manipulation works. For a while.
But manipulation doesn’t satisfy. In fact, it sucks meaning. Organizations that rely too heavily on manipulations build a house of cards, without coherence, loyalty or passion.
Inspiration, as Simon Sinek has said, starts with Why.
When people are doing because they are inspired to do, they value their own actions differently. We saw this when we attracted more customers for an online broker by offering a stuffed monkey (really) than by offering $350 dollars cash, just for signing up.
The monkey meant, “I’m in this crazy tribe.”
The money meant, “I’ll take the bribe.”
Which do you think acquired more valuable customers? Correct. The monkey.
Which do you think acquired more customers in the first place? Also, the monkey.
Most people are surprised by that. Knowing all I do about inspiring action, I was also surprised.
This broker built an incredibly powerful and valuable brand. It inspired passion that converted into fast growth, intense engagement and rock solid loyalty.
Want a metric to measure and manage this by? Call it your Inspiring Action Quotient.
How much do you lead, market, attract, convert and build through Inspiration? That’s the numerator, the number on top.
How much do you manipulate in order to generate the actions that grow your business? That’s the denominator.
Next Friday, May 5th, the agency will officially turn 21 years of age.
As an agency so focused on the future – accountable for building our clients brands and driving results – we seldom have the opportunity to reflect on the accomplishments of the past.
But for this, our coming-of-age party, we will make an exception. We’re finally legal to drink, and there’s a lot to raise our glass to.
First and foremost, for 21 years of building truly inspiring partnerships with our clients, both old and new. Together, we’ve been able to bring so many beautiful and inspiring ideas to life. BIG ideas. Ideas that inspire people to make more inspiring decisions and form more empowering habits. These are the ideas that help change the world, and we couldn’t be more grateful to have collaborated on them with you.
To 21 years of always remaining true to our core values of love, courage, and understanding. While the industry has changed over the last two decades, our values have not. They are the pillars that this agency was founded on, and we’re proud to have never wavered from them.
To 21 years of being fully transparent and honest with our media, and using these practices to create powerful brand associations and increase acquisition efficiency. Where much of the industry has fallen short, we have not. We have and always will be completely accountable to our clients, and we wouldn’t want it any other way.
To 21 years of designing phenomenal fulfillment experiences and iconic actions. These are the experiences that emotionally connect the brand to the consumer. They take brand advocates and turn them into devotees, and they start well before most people realize. Every interaction and every touchpoint is designed with the user in mind.
All the people, relationships, hard work, innovations, creativity and undying displays of empathy have made these past 21 years so rewarding.
So with that in mind, please join us at our agency next week as we celebrate 21 years in business. You can RSVP to the event on Facebook HERE. We’d love to see you there.
Our match has been struck, and it’s burning hotter and brighter than ever. We can’t wait to see this marketing blaze grow. Here’s to the next 21.
When a brand inspires action in a way that demonstrates love, courage, and understanding like Airbnb did this past week – we celebrate them.
As part of their new campaign titled “We Accept”, the company recently announced that the Airbnb community will provide free housing to refugees and those recently barred from entering the US.
Airbnb believes in the inspiring idea that no matter who you are, where you’re from, who you love, or who you worship, you deserve to belong. They then sprung that idea into action in a meaningful and iconic way. It’s a powerful stance from a brand committed to helping people live better lives.
So on behalf of all of us at DiMassimo Goldstein, we’d like to thank Airbnb for putting humanity first and reminding people everywhere that empathy wins.
If you want to inspire action as well, you can donate here to assist those in need.
The brutal 2016 election year left many relationships damaged, if not destroyed. The polarizing personalities of both candidates divided even the most close-knit groups of friends, turning our news feeds and dinner tables into debate-littered battlegrounds.
But the election is over, and in the holiday spirit of togetherness, we wanted to shift the narrative to what’s most important. To give everyone out there a shovel to bury the hatchet. A chance to reach out across the aisle and mend the relationships we’ve fought so hard to build. To prove that having opposing views does not make you the opposition, and that relationships are built on empathy, not policy.
The result was Bipartisan Holiday Cards, an inspiring action project produced by our team here at DiMassimo Goldstein that utilizes the connecting power of Social Media to unite, rather than divide.
By visiting our website, you can either download and share the cards with your friends – or purchase a hard copy and deliver it right to their doorstep. And, in the spirit of giving, all proceeds go to the Morgridge Academy, a school on the National Jewish Health campus that serves children with severe asthma, diabetes, HIV/AIDs and other chronic illnesses.
The need to provide children with a safe and healthy learning environment is one thing we can all agree on.
These Holiday Cards are the first installment of a series of Bipartisan-themed cards to be released throughout the year, so please like our Facebook page to stay updated and be the first to know when the next batch is unveiled.
Unilever recently announced its purchase of Dollar Shave Club for a cool billion dollars in cash, and now our mobile devices are buzzing with prospective clients beseeching us…
“Dollar Shave Club Us, Please!
Well, I’m not one to say, “I told you so!” But, I’m going to make an exception this time.
I’ve been talking up Dollar Shave Club for the past four years. In the beginning, when the company’s launch video went viral, people thought I made a lot of sense. Six months later, they thought I had fallen behind the times, and within a year many suspected I had developed a troubling obsession with a quirky little mail order outfit.
I wrote about the company in at least six different blog posts and posted about them frequently on social networks, imploring marketers to learn what Dollar Shave Club exemplified: how to drive up brand value while driving down cost-per-acquisition.
Why the passion? Here’s why:
1) Dollar Shave Club showed us how a tiny company with a social-led brand response acquisition strategy can take share from giants. (Proctor & Gamble’s market cap is something like $232 billion!)
2) Dollar Shave Club showed us that the direct economy is taking over, and the billion dollar purchase shows us that the Unilevers of this world know it too.
The Wall Street Journal said, “Dollar Shave Club’s direct-to-consumer model gives Unilever unique consumer data and insights, according to the Wall Street Journal.”
According to Bloomberg, Unilever and P&G are masters at traditional marketing, mostly offline, but they struggle with the direct-to-consumer brand-building at which upstarts like Dollar Shave Club excel.
“These startups conduct authentic-seeming conversations with customers over social media, while the consumer products conglomerates take to Twitter and Facebook mostly to address customer complaints,” said Ryan Darnell, a principal at Basset Investment Group, which invests in such e-commerce startups as luggage seller Raden.
3) Dollar Shave Club showed us that the ultimate role of social-led, mobile-driven marketing is to drive down overall cost-per-acquisition while driving up brand value. They weren’t free media purists. They bought TV commercials and other paid media, and they optimized the efficiency and impact of the mix.
4) Dollar Shave Club showed us where the jobs are going, and what the modern definition of lean is. According to the New York Times story, $1 Billion for Dollar Shave Club: Why Every Company Should Worry, “The deal anecdotally shows that no company is safe from the creative destruction brought by technological change. The very nature of a company is fundamentally changing, becoming smaller and leaner with far fewer employees.”
5) Dollar Shave Club built a real brand because they thought of brand in the largest sense – Big Brand — not just as logos and standards, but as the entire customer and market experience. According to Bloomberg, “The key to Dollar Shave Club’s appeal is not so much its online prowess but the fact that it built a powerful brand in four years.”
6) Dollar Shave Club exemplifies the Ten Signs of an Inspiring Action Company, which mark brands that tend to outperform in driving sales growth and brand value. The company knew what it was against – ridiculously high priced grooming products for men, starting with shaving. It knew what it was for – affordable grooming you could brag about. Dollar Shave Club’s leaders knew what their target aspired to be and do – well-groomed and smart, not cheap and face-nicked. And they knew their devotees loved being members of a cool club with lots of well-designed visual signs of their membership.
7) Dollar Shave Club used technology and system to shorten the cycle of test and optimization and to speed growth. The New York Times showed how small the company was able to remain by leveraging technology to the fullest, contrasting Dollar Shave Club to the giants that are shedding jobs by the thousands, searching for “efficiencies.”
8) Finally, Dollar Shave Club dramatized their brilliant brand idea with a few iconic actions that got us all talking, sharing and working on promoting the company for free! First, of course, was their brilliant viral video. But notice something about it that is absolutely key – it isn’t just a quirky “viral” video, but it’s also a fully functioning hard-hitting brand response television commercial as well! Later, it would run on television as well. Internet cool? Check. Hard-working sales generator? Check!! Stretches the media budget? Check!!! Generates lots of free media mentions, social shares and word-of-mouth? Check!!!!
The next action that got us all talking was when they started advertising on television – becoming one of the very few “e-commerce” start-ups to do so, and said that their ultimate goal was for HALF of their media to be paid and for half of their media to be earned!
And, finally, the sale to Unilever for that iconic number – a billion dollars, in cash no less!
Dollar Shave Club Us, Please! We suppose we’re not the only agency that is receiving that request these days, but we may be the only one that is 100% delighted. Because the main reason I’ve been writing, talking, podcasting and preaching about Dollar Shave Club these past four years is because this is exactly what we do for the excellent, disruptive, direct model, brand response, inspiring action marketers whom we are proud to call our clients.
If you too want to drive brand value up while driving cost-of-sales down, let’s talk.
Recorded in front of a live studio audience at the beautiful Time Square office of LDI Color Toolbox, longtime friends Mark DiMassimo and IT guru Thomas Clancy Jr. of Valiant Technology took the stage for what turned out to be a very special episode of the Info Junkie meets the Inspiring Action Podcast.
In this hour long episode, DiMassimo and Clancy explore the world of podcasting, field questions from a live crowd, impersonate Rush Limbaugh, discuss different ways to successfully motivate people and much much more.
This year’s Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity brought some 15,000 creative minds from the advertising world to the South of France for a week of self-indulgent celebration and free Rosé, in honor of the past year’s creative work.
Here at DiMassimo Goldstein, however, we view creativity in a different light. We measure our creative ideas not by the number of Lions we bring home, but by our capacity to inspire action. To produce creative work that goes beyond commercial intent, by helping people develop more empowering habits and lead better lives. Creativity, we believe, should be used to make actions rather than award-winning ads. The latter is simply the means to an end.
So while the rest of the industry was toasting to ‘creativity’ on the beaches of Cannes, we held our 2nd Annual Festival de Cans on our very own DiGo beach last Thursday. Just like the other Cannes, but with less emphasis on navel-gazing, and more on helping others less fortunate than us.
Friends, family and acquaintances in New York were invited to bring a can of food to our office, in exchange for a can of beer, wine or soda on us. Not only did we make lasting memories with friends old and new, but we did so for a good cause: 83 cans were donated at the end of the night to St. Francis Food Pantries & Shelters, a local organization that provides food, clothing and shelter to those in need. We even built our own Cannes Lion last year using our collected cans, before donating them to a local food bank.
Ayn Rand has said that, “A creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others.” Rather than using our creativity to win awards, we’ll continue to build brands that inspire action and influence positive change in ourselves and others. If you’d like to do the same, we’ll see you at next year’s 3rd Annual Festival de Cans. Who needs bottled Rosé, anyway.