Inside My Brain

Thoughts about startups, tech, marketing, and life

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How consistent is your brand?

I’m sitting in a Whole Foods having breakfast while my car is getting an oil change, and I’m in awe of how well this company brands its supermarkets.

The Whole Foods’ brand is based on being healthy, high quality, and sustainable.

And I can’t put my finger on just one thing, but once I walk into any Whole Foods, I just feel healthier. I still feel kind of healthy even after eating scrambled eggs, a couple of sausage links, and potatoes.

Maybe it’s the green signs. Or the wood accents everywhere. It’s not just the interior design, though. This brand extends to its products and employees, too.

The product packaging of its 365 brand exudes freshness. And the company’s employees typically look very happy and healthy.

Whole-Foods-365-basket2

Whole Foods 365 Products. Photo courtesy of KCRW.

The brand is consistent throughout all aspects of its operations.

Which begs the question, how consistent are the brands that you work with, whether it’s your company or personal brand?

Let’s take your company brand to start. Are you communicating a consistent set of values? Does your company’s personality shine through in the interactions with your customers? What is your company you known for?

Similar questions can be asked about your personal brand. If you don’t think you have one, you should listen to this episode of my podcast where Chris Dessi talks about how to build a personal brand.

Google yourself. What comes up? What is the online world’s perception of you? What do your friends and family think of when they hear your name, talk with you, and see you? Is it consistent?

“Brand” is such a nebulous term. It’s the collection of appearance, personality, culture, and anything else that can impact how you are viewed by others.

How consistent is your brand?

I’d love to hear from you. Write your thoughts in the comments, tweet at me @mikewchan, or email me at mike@mikewchan.com.

I hope you found this interesting! If so, please share this article with the share buttons on the left.

Then sign up for my email list below and connect with me on Twitter for future updates. And check out my podcast at GoandGrowPodcast.com!

Waking up before the alarm goes off

alarm clock

I hate when that happens.

Sometimes I wake up an hour before the alarm goes off, and other times it’s only a few minutes.

Either way, when this happens, I feel like I start the day off on the wrong foot. It’s like I’m already derailed, and the day hasn’t even started.

An analog of this happens all the time. For one reason or another, you might get thrown off course from your task, project, or goal.

Maybe a competitor swoops in with a great product just as you’re about to launch yours. This happened with the first version of Android, where Google basically started over after the iPhone launched.

Or maybe that one day that you skipped going to the gym turns into one week, then one month. And your goal of losing 5 pounds seems unattainable.

Or maybe there are just so many distractions that you can’t seem to concentrate on the task at hand.

How you react to these situations says a lot about you.

Google redesigned Android, which turned out pretty good.

Getting your butt back in the gym will start the cycle of good habits again.

And shutting off the notifications on your phone and closing your email tool will take away those distractions.

But will you take the time to do those things? How will you rebound when you wake up before the alarm goes off and things get derailed?

I’d love to hear from you. Write your thoughts in the comments, tweet at me @mikewchan, or email me at mike@mikewchan.com.

I hope you found this interesting! If so, please share this article with the share buttons on the left. Then sign up for my email list below and connect with me on Twitter for future updates. And check out my podcast at GoandGrowPodcast.com!

Appreciation of technology

I’m flying to a buddy’s wedding and didn’t bring my computer, so I’m blogging from my phone while on the flight.

Typing anything from your phone – an email, text message, Facebook post, a tweet – is an everyday occurrence and second nature for most.

But that doesn’t make it any less amazing to me.

Just a few years ago, I would never have been able to write this post, or anything,  on my phone.

I wonder how I will be writing my articles in a few years.

What kind of device will I use to write?

Will I even use a device, or will I be able to  just think of the words and they’ll be magically published?

Technology never ceases to amaze me, and it seems like what was only possible in our imagination is becoming reality.

Driving cars, artificial intelligence, virtual reality.

I have no idea what our world will look like on 5, 10, or 20 years. But I cant wait to see it.

And whatever the world will look like, I’ll appreciate the role technology plays then like I do now.

Now I can get on with my life

Sometimes there are events that are just all-consuming and put your life on hold.  Even though they may be positive, you just want to get them over with so you can get back to living normally.

Vicky and I closed on our new home on Monday. It was an amazing feeling, but it’s a day that we sooooo wanted to get over with, because there were so many things that we need to do that hinged on that day.

Now that we’ve closed, we can move on with our lives.

We can change our address for all of our bank accounts and credit cards. We can schedule everything we need to move. Buy everything we need to buy.

There is a still a ton to do, but at least now most of them can be put in motion.

I remember back in my college days when I couldn’t wait for that last final of the semester to be over.

Or scrambling to get all the work done to meet that big deadline.

These big events or deadlines are always important; they wouldn’t be “big” if they weren’t substantial.

But I’m always so happy when they’re over with.

Now that we’ve closed on the home, I can get on with my life!

Have you ever felt the same way I’m feeling right now? I’d love to hear from you. Write your thoughts in the comments, tweet at me @mikewchan, or email me at mike@mikewchan.com.

I hope you found this interesting! If so, please share this article with the share buttons on the left. Then sign up for my email list below and connect with me on Twitter for future updates. And check out my podcast at GoandGrowPodcast.com!

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

shrek beauty

I come across many apps and websites on a daily basis.

Some I think are beautifully designed and well thought-out. Others look like crap or don’t make any sense to me why buttons are placed where they are or why things work the way they do.

Sometimes people agree with me, other times they disagree.

That’s the wonderful thing about design, or anything subjective, really – that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

What might be ugly to some is beautiful to others.

What might be a good experience to one person is subpar to another.

Another interesting thing is that there are many layers of beauty.

The interface of an app like Gmail might not look as nice as other email applications such as Yahoo Mail or Outlook.com. But it just works much better, which is a thing of beauty.

In everyday life, beautiful people on the outside might be ugly on the inside. And vice versa. But everyone will look different to everyone, inside and out.

Everyone has their own opinion of what beauty is, and no one is right or wrong.

Beauty being in the eye of the beholder is a beautiful thing.

What are your thoughts about beauty? Do you believe it’s in the eye of the beholder? I’d love to hear from you. Write your thoughts in the comments, tweet at me @mikewchan, or email me at mike@mikewchan.com.

I hope you found this interesting! If so, please share this article with the share buttons on the left. Then sign up for my email list below and connect with me on Twitter for future updates. And check out my podcast at GoandGrowPodcast.com!

Image courtesy of Dreamworks Animation.

Guest Post for Thorn Tech – The Week in Tech: Amazon launches Home Services and Dash Button, Jay-Z announces Tidal, and more

Amazon Dash Button

Check out my latest guest post on ThornTech.com titled “The Week in Tech: Amazon launches Home Services and Dash Button, Jay-Z announces Tidal, and more.

This week we talk about the launch of two new Amazon services, announcement of Jay-Z’s streaming music product, IBM’s commitment to the Internet of Things, and the hack of GitHub being attributed to the Chinese government.

I hope you found this interesting! If so, please connect with me on TwitterGoogle+, and LinkedIn for future updates.