Friday, November 9, 2012

Thought Leadership as a Core Marketing Platform

Thought leadership is an excellent business tactic. Thought leaders are often people or organizations that are innovative and share these ideas through publications, presentations, and social media. They are considered an authority on a specialized topic area, either by possessing great expertise or having become the leader in a segment.

The textbook definition of a “Thought Leader” is an individual or firm that prospects, clients, referral sources, intermediaries and even competitors recognize as one of the foremost authorities in selected areas of specialization, resulting in its being the go-to individual or organization for said expertise.

In lamens terms, we’re talking about “brilliance.” What’s essential to understand is that brilliance doesn’t exist in a vacuum, and it’s a total waste of time to debate whether it’s authentic or not. Brilliance is a function of acclaim, created where others bestow the accolades.

The concept of building thought leadership as a platform for marketing is strange because so many companies use thought leadership as a complement. “Here’s why we think we’re experts, so we wrote about it.” Shifting the mindset to using thought leadership as a foundation means that you’re developing expertise at the core of your business: through your products, service, technology, and more.

Thought leadership is should be intentional, not an afterthought. In school, you learn marketing should be integrated throughout the business. How you ship something is a marketing opportunity. How customer service answers the phone is a marketing opportunity. Where you source your goods is a marketing opportunity. The reality of business is that we hardly ever think of marketing in such a holistic manner.

Understandably, businesses don’t always have perfect examples like the one above where there’s a chance at holistic marketing. In fact, the role of CMO is still considered fairly new in industry, so many decisions are made without marketing consideration. If thought leadership is supposed to be a platform for a firm’s brand and position in the marketplace, companies must start thinking about the holistic approach.

To make thought leadership a platform for marketing, here are Creative Innovations’ tips to get started:

• Revisit the company brand: Is your brand saying everything you want? Is it clear? Has it changed over time?

• Do an audit: Look at your assets, everything from website to packaging, and see what you have. Catalog what you’ve been producing and start categorizing the messages.

• Begin to calibrate: Did someone push out an infographic cause it might be cool? Has your twitter account been closed down for days? Do your luxury products get delivered in dented boxes? Assess how far off from your desired brand your assets currently are.

• Develop thought leadership everywhere: Make your big ideas central to the business, not just messages to share quarterly.

Thought leadership encourages you to take a position on something, and so it’s an opportunity to implement that through the business. Be the authority, don’t just tell us.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Increase Productivity with Innovation

Ready to increase productivity? Get ready to innovate!

The CIN Team brainstorms innovative ways to improve productivity our business and our clients’ business. Our innovation has led to multiple, highly successful brand launches in the natural product industry. Take a page from our Innovation Book, and create an exceedingly productive team with creative, industry changing outcomes!

Many business owners make the mistake of assuming that productivity means working themselves and their employees harder, but putting more pressure on your employees to get more done can actually be counterproductive. When it comes to increasing productivity, what most businesses need is innovation.

Innovation means finding intelligent and creative ways to improve your business, rather than just cracking the whip harder. Innovation is how you can find ways of improving the output of your business and employees for less effort and cost, and it is the best way to truly increase your productivity on an ongoing basis.

Productivity is the measure of the output of a process against the amount of effort required. In business terms, this can equate to a number of different things but it is commonly held to be the amount of work produced by employees for the amount of time put in, or the profits generated by a certain amount of expenditure. Put very simply, increasing productivity means increasing what comes out, without increasing what goes in.

Additionally, productivity is a significant factor in the survival or demise of many businesses both large and small, and it is even considered important on a national economic scale. Low productivity can lead to decreased profits, unnecessary expenses and a general feeling of apathy among your employees. If you want your business to succeed, you need to make sure it is working as productively as possible – and to do that you need to innovate.

Working harder at the same thing in the same way may increase your productivity to a certain extent, but there is only so much that you will be able to improve without some form of change or innovation. Pushing employees too hard can lead to lack of motivation, stress, fatigue and increased absenteeism, all of which can negatively affect your overall productivity and your business bottom line.

If you truly want to increase your productivity and help improve your business, the best approach to take is to find more efficient and innovative ways of increasing output rather than just putting more stress on existing systems. Innovation doesn’t have to be overwhelming or scary; it can start with a few small changes to help increase your business systems and then build from there.

An outside view may also be able to help. A fresh mind of a friendly fellow business operator, or a professional innovator may see things in a different light. They will find it easier to ask “what are you trying to achieve here?”, and “is there a better, different way of going about it?”.

Monday, October 22, 2012

“Faster, Stronger” Omega-3 Source

Studies have shown krill oil has more omega-3s, making the crustacean sourced oil a better choice than fish oil for fighting diseases.

In a 2010 study, a reduction of plasma triglycerides was observed in those subjects in the krill oil group having the highest baseline value. Researchers also found a significant improvement in the HDL cholesterol/triglyceride ratio after krill oil treatment, which was not seen after fish oil treatment. Researchers also note that krill oil contains astaxanthin, which helps krill oil from becoming oxidized.

Total amount of EPA and DHA provided in the krill oil supplementation was 62.8 percent of that provided in the fish oil with comparable results. The bioefficiency of the krill oil EPA and DHA is likely due to the fact that the fatty acids are in the phospholipid form which has previously been shown to be more bioefficient than the triglyceride form. Krill oil provides the majority of its omega-3 fatty acids in the form of phospholipids, whereas other common marine oils contain omega-3 fatty acids in the form of triglycerides or ethyl esters.

A significant increase in plasma EPA, DHA, and docosapentaenoic acid (DPA) was observed in the subjects supplemented with both krill and fish oil polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) as compared with the controls, but there were no significant differences in the changes in any of the omega-3 PUFAs between the fish oil and the krill oil groups.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Power Up Meals with Super Foods

For busy consumers of all ages, five foods boast high scores in essential nutrients — iron, calcium, magnesium, vitamin K, folate, vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids, in particular. To get the most out of your next meal try mixing in one of these five super foods!

Broccoli is practically unrivaled among all foods when it comes to protecting against cancer. Its powerful phytonutrients not only help neutralize carcinogens, but they also stimulate detoxifying enzymes that help the body rid itself of cancer-causing and other harmful toxins. What’s more, broccoli is a superior source of folate, a B vitamin that’s needed for making and protecting DNA, producing new blood, forming new cells, and synthesizing protein. Folate has also been tied to a decreased risk of some cancers in adults. Broccoli is an excellent source of dietary fiber and of vitamins C, K, and A, and it’s a good source of manganese, tryptophan, potassium, B vitamins, phosphorus, magnesium, and protein. It’s also high in calcium, iron, zinc, and vitamin E. Many of these nutrients work in partnership: Vitamin C helps the body absorb iron; vitamin K anchors calcium to the bone; dietary fiber promotes better absorption of all nutrients.
Quick and healthy tip: For optimal taste and nutrition, steam broccoli florets for no more than five minutes, or until they turn bright green.

Onions have many healing and health-promoting properties: They’re anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and a natural blood thinner. Rich in chromium, vitamin C, and dietary fiber, onions are also a good source of manganese, vitamin B6, tryptophan, folate, and potassium. This bulbous vegetable is used to combat cancer, arthritis, and osteoporosis, and it helps fight infections, colds, fevers, and asthma. Onions also help prevent constipation, increase blood circulation, improve gastrointestinal health, promote heart health, and are thought to help lower blood pressure and triglycerides.
Quick and healthy tip: Keep a container of diced raw onion in the fridge to add to meals all week — it’ll spice up a sandwich or salad, and it’s an easy addition to quick stir-fries.

Leafy greens, such as kale, spinach, watercress, cabbage, turnip greens, collard greens, and arugula, share similar nutrient profiles, featuring impressive scores of vitamins K, A, and C; calcium; potassium; beta-carotene; manganese; folate; magnesium; iron; and dietary fiber. Along with broccoli, kale is one of the best sources of kaempferol — which has been associated with a reduced risk of heart disease. Kaemperfol is also found in tea as well as in Brussels sprouts and other greens.
Spinach is extremely high in iron, which protects the immune system and helps the body produce energy. Other dark leafy greens like Swiss chard, kelp, and turnip greens are also excellent sources of magnesium, which plays a significant role in many key biological processes. This miracle mineral has been credited with a slew of health benefits, including lowering high blood pressure, strengthening the immune system, strengthening bones, aiding in sleep, relaxing muscles, and relieving stress and anxiety.
Quick and healthy tip: To get the most nutrition out of your leafy greens, add them to a dish with a little healthy fat (like nuts) to help your body absorb the nutrients.

Beans are an incredibly rich source of folate, fiber, tryptophan, protein, iron, magnesium, and potassium, and they’ve been linked to a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and breast cancer. Hands-down one of the best food sources of fiber you can find, one cup of cooked pinto beans contains nearly 15 grams of fiber (along with a score of other essential nutrients) — but you’ll find plentiful fiber in all bean varieties. Fiber is a wonder nutrient that fills you up, regulates digestion, lowers LDL (”bad”) cholesterol, helps control weight, and has a preventive effect on diabetes and heart disease. Women’s risk of heart disease increases significantly with menopause.
Quick and healthy tip: Although dried beans are the healthiest option since they don’t have added sodium, the canned variety will do just fine as long as you rinse the beans in a colander before using them.

Wild salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, and iron, and it’s a high-quality source of protein. A word of caution: Independent studies comparing the nutritional content of wild and farmed salmon showed the farmed variety had drastically reduced levels of protein and healthy omega-3 fats. Salmon is one of the few food sources naturally rich in vitamin D, which is needed to absorb calcium, maintain proper levels of calcium in the blood, and promote normal bone growth. Our bodies don’t produce essential fatty acids, so we must get them from our diet. Wild salmon is exceptionally rich in heart-healthy omega-3 essential fatty acids, which guard against inflammation, reduce the risk of strokes, lower blood lipids, boost HDL (”good”) cholesterol, decrease blood pressure, and help prevent heart disease.
Quick and healthy tip: Salmon’s Omega-3s might be fats, but — in moderation — they’re actually pretty figure-friendly: Not only do they slow digestion, but they may also help get rid of belly fat.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Organic is Affordable

Higher prices of organic products are still a deterrent for many shoppers. Rework your food shopping strategies and mindset to fit organic into your budget. These expert tips will help guide you:

Consider hidden costs of conventional.
Buying organic may be more expensive for the individual at the grocery store checkout line, but it can save money in the long run. Nonorganic and processed foods can carry environmental costs like pollution and runoff from pesticides and herbicides, as well as potential health effects.

Prioritize certain foods.
The Organic Consumers Association and the Environmental Working Group offer lists of the more important foods to buy organic. Start with organic produce like apples, green beans, peaches, and other items that you don’t peel or that have soft skin. Eating fewer animal products, especially steak, also can be cost-effective; vegetables, beans, and greens are much cheaper nutrient sources.

Buy in bulk.
Local food co-ops often have bulk bins or bulk-food packages. This can save a lot of money because you’re reducing packaging costs and buying in large quantities.

Set goals and plan ahead.
Start by deciding what your goals are, and then look through your pantry, fridge, and freezer for foods you could replace. Next, investigate which organic brands your local stores carry. If a reasonable organic option isn’t available, read labels carefully to find an acceptable conventional solution.

Choose fresh over processed.
You can quickly make a flavorful, fresh, delicious, and wallet-friendly meal if you budget your time. One trick is to portion food like meat and fish into small freezer bags so that you can thaw the right amount, minimizing waste. Also look for organic frozen-meal options.

Break down the misconceptions.
Fuel prices have driven up food prices, evening out the cost difference between grocery stores and farmers’ markets. Organic options—and even bargains—are more plentiful as more people are picking organic over conventional. Both supply and demand are driving down organic’s costs.

Grow your own food.
Contact your community garden or local master gardener for advice on getting started. Don’t worry about planting a big garden; if you want, just create a small one on your windowsill.