This is No Time to Skimp on Service

Think of the last time you encountered an exceptional customer service experience.  It may have been a bank teller, a hotel concierge, or even a grocer who helped you locate the perfect produce. Unfortunately, if business analysts are to be believed, you may be clinging to that memory for some time. As companies look to scale back wherever possible, the cost of customer service reps is likely to come under close scrutiny. Ostensibly, it makes fiscal sense to cut service-related co

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Leaders In Charge, But Not Always In Touch

This week's Presidential inaugural festivities have quickly morphed into the daunting reality of governing. As he contemplated his assumption of office, President Obama repeatedly vowed that he is not going to let pressures and protocol deprive him from real, unscripted interactions with the American people. When interviewed by Barbara Walters last November, Mr. Obama noted that he was fighting to hang on to his Bl

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Brand Boomerang: The Return of Eliot Spitzer

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s axiom that there are no second acts in American lives does not apply to Eliot L. Spitzer. He has enjoyed several acts (and entr'actes) already. Assistant District Attorney. New York Attorney General. The Sheriff of Wall Street. The Steamroller (a self-generated moniker). Mr. Clean. Democratic Party Super Delegate. Governor. Client 9. And now, Washington Post and Slate magazine columnist.

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Brand Management and Development: Step into the Intranet

We’re firm believers in vibrant intranets. More than a place to put an office directory and HR documentation, intranets have the capacity to help you communicate better with employees, and measure the effectiveness of that communication to communicate even better with employees, and measure the… you get the idea. What’s so great about intranets? To start with: • Your employees are busy (we hope). By posting information to an intr

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When it doesn’t pay to advertise

With Republicans accusing Obama of buying the vote and the uproar over $150,000 wardrobes just subsiding, it’s a dangerous time for an expensive half-hour infomercial. While the Obama campaign has largely been a model of branding perfection, its occasional outsized confidence (Berlin? Greek Columns? Thoughts of delaying the Phillies’ victory when Pennsylvania is a game-changer?) may have limited its success in closing the deal with the moderate middle. Can Obama’s messag

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Redefining Fine Dining: Travese City’s “Cooks’ House”

And now for something completely different... In recent years, the apogee of fine dining has been defined by chefs adroit at manipulating and transforming ingredients into virtually unrecognizable concoctions. The pioneering molecular gastronomy of Ferran Adria’s El Bulli. The Fat Duck under Heston Blumenthal, delivering on the assertion that “Preparing and serving food . . . [is] the mo

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