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No Bamboozle! The DNA Of SUCCESS Shared In 8 Words.



The Most Important 14 Words About The Key To Success You'll Ever Read.

What Is The DNA Of Success?

Here it is:

“Knowing What Other’s Don’t


Doing What Other’s Won’t.”

Smart-Action breathes life into the Universal-Success-Law equationKnowledge + Action = Success.

Knowing What Others Don’t

The more you know, the more valuable and attractive you are (provided you share it).  Let me ask you, as I ask myself:

  1. What do we know that others don’t?
  2. How do we unlearn the familiar old, the formerly friendly and currently weak obsolete?
  3. How do we embrace the unfamiliar, the uncomfortable new and the currently valuable?
  4. What new important valuable things are we learning?
  5. How are we reinventing ourselves, our value and our relevance?

If we don’t, others will drink our creamy milkshake.

Doing What Other’s Won’t

It’s pretty straight forward.  We gotta take action. Dramatic action. We gotta lift our asses off the chair bed couch, back away from computer TV water cooler screen and DO SMART THINGS.  We know what we have to do. Do we talk about it or do we DO IT?  Let’s DO IT NOW.

That Is All

Cheers friends and thanks for reading.

Ken Brand - Prudential Gary Greene, Realtors. I’ve proudly worn a Realtor tattoo for over 10,957+ days, practicing our craft in San Diego, Austin, Aspen and now, The Woodlands, TX. As a life long learner, I’ve studied, read, written, taught, observed and participated in spectacular face plant failures and giddy inducing triumphs. I invite you to read my blog posts here at Agent Genius and On the lighter side, you can follow my folly on Twitter and Facebook. Of course, you’re always to welcome to take the shortcut and call: 832-797-1779.

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  1. Mark Eibner

    March 1, 2010 at 9:16 am

    Ken—nice piece. When you throw out all the fluff and BS, that’s what it comes down to. KISS—when looking at ROI activities, start with this end in mind.

    • Ken Brand

      March 1, 2010 at 10:23 am

      Thanks Mark, yeah, nothing happens unless you know something and do something. Cheers.

  2. Katie

    March 1, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    Love it, so true!!

    • Ken Brand

      March 1, 2010 at 3:19 pm

      Amen Katie. Thanks for the comment – Rock ON.

  3. Justin Boland

    March 1, 2010 at 2:41 pm

    This is surely an article that’s been written 10,000 times too many, but I have gotta hand it to you — this was a master class on Being Concise. You really nailed it. A tip of the hat to you, sir.

    • Ken Brand

      March 1, 2010 at 3:25 pm

      Justin, true words, there’s nothing new under the sun, therefore, short and sweet. Thanks for the compliment. Cheers.

  4. Nashville Grant

    March 1, 2010 at 6:37 pm

    How provocative would you be on your blog? In other words, I am considering writing the truth, the whole truth, so help me God about a few developers, but fear being black balled. What would you do?

    • Ken Brand

      March 1, 2010 at 6:52 pm

      I’d be provocative, but careful not to be suicidal. Here’s the the thing, there have been and there will be law suits of libel, defamation, slander, etc. Bottom line, even if every word is the pristine truth, if you’re sued, you have to defend yourself, that costs money, big money and big time. Even if you win, you lose.

      My advice, don’t do it. If there’s some nefarious activity, it will surface on it’s own. If you see something in the news, link to it. In the mean time, steer your clients in the proper direction, but don’t use your blog or social media to fight that battle. You might win a skirmish and lose the war.

      My 2 cents.

      • Nashville Grant

        March 1, 2010 at 7:00 pm

        Reading between the lines…send the info I have to local media first. Thanks Ken.

        • Ken Brand

          March 1, 2010 at 8:07 pm

          Grant, even I can’t read between my lines, I’m not suggesting you send it to the local media. I’m saying, focus on what you do and don’t be the publisher. If you see something worth linking to, then do so.

  5. CindyinIndy

    March 1, 2010 at 9:50 pm

    In a word, “execution”. Most Realtors are high “I’s” and the planning is far more fun than the actual doing. I’ve watched nearly 25 Realtors start blogging on my town and at first I was “oh no” and after 18 months, I’m the only one still doing it every 4th day. My position on Google is hard earned in time, but I remain consistent if nothing else.

    • Ken Brand

      March 2, 2010 at 7:31 am

      Good point CindyInIndy (love that handle), I struggle with my pinhead in the clouds. I mean I have a million great ideas, but if I don’t actually do some of them I’m sunk. Awareness is the step I think. And your point about Google and our long tails in general is important. ELB’s are the Exponential Little Bits add up over time. The key thing, get started, little by little, it adds up. Cheers.

  6. Mike Bowler Sr.

    March 1, 2010 at 10:33 pm

    Ken, good points, most are not willing to pay the price as Cindy pointed out above with the Bloggers. I was just commenting tonight about the information overload. It is almost a full time job to stay abreast and sort through what is valuable and what’s not in our industry today, in addition to marketing real estate. Trends are becoming more fast paced and can be complicating chores, if we allow them to be. I am speaking of social media, RTB, RPR, business models, being green, etc etc. Your title says it all: “Knowing What Other’s Don’t
    plus –>>>Doing What Other’s Won’t.” will make all of us who communicate better at what we do. Thanks, Mike

    • Ken Brand

      March 2, 2010 at 7:34 am

      You’re right Mike and I often feel overwhelmed too. Like you said, keeping up is a full time job, just like every other successful professional, what ever you field, you have to keep your eyes, ears and mind wide open. While the lazy lounge, winners scramble. Thanks for the comment.

  7. Susie Blackmon

    March 2, 2010 at 6:39 am

    You always make excellent points. Sharing is where it’s at, and keeping up with the new info is a passion of mine (one of them anyway). I’ve learned from teaching that most realtors won’t put in the time and diligence required to blog, etc. They are missing so much! Earning trust and respect takes lots of time and consistency. Over the past few years of studying and learning real estate, I have to be honest and tell you I wonder more every day why I don’t call myself a consumer advocate rather than a realtor. The mindset that real estate is always the best investment over time has been blown out of the water. Doing what others won’t …. hmmm, that rings a loud bell with me. 😉

    • Ken Brand

      March 2, 2010 at 7:39 am

      Thanks @SusieBlackmon, your point is well taken. I don’t think “lazy” or “casual” is a real estate agent affliction, it’s human nature. Actually, I’m thankful for it, more people were kick-ass, it’d make succeeding more difficult. As for doing what other won’t, I hear you, this is the source of great advantage, adventure and sometimes trouble;-) Cheers Susie, have a BIG day.

  8. Nick Sweeney, DotLoop Social Media

    March 3, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    Very nice equation there, Ken. Well played…

    • Ken Brand

      March 17, 2010 at 3:07 pm

      Thanks Nick, every squirrel finds a nut now and then. I think I found one here. Cheers.

  9. Ken Jansen

    March 17, 2010 at 2:56 pm

    Wow..such a fantastic summary in 8 words. I am going to print that off and hang it by my desk. Nice job.


    • Ken Brand

      March 17, 2010 at 3:09 pm

      Thanks Ken. You’re not just saying that because we have the same name are you? Ken is a fantastic name isn’t it? Yeah, it’s my new mantra, easy to remember and keeps me focused when I’m VERY easily distracted. Cheers Ken.

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Business Marketing

The use of offline marketing can still be advantageous in a digital world

(BUSINESS) Offline marketing is usually skipped over nowadays for the sparkly, shining ‘digital’ marketing strategies, but don’t forget the roots.



offline marketing billboard

Everywhere you look, people want to talk about digital marketing. In fact, if you don’t have a digital marketing strategy in today’s business world, you’re not going to last long. But just because digital marketing is popular, don’t assume that offline marketing no longer yields value.

When used together, these strategies can produce significant returns.

“Some people will argue that traditional marketing is dead, but there are several benefits to including offline advertising in your overall marketing campaign,” sales expert Larry Myler admits. “Combining both offline and online campaigns can help boost your brand’s visibility, and help it stand out amongst competitors who may be busy flooding the digital space.”

How do you use offline marketing in a manner that’s both cost-effective and high in exposure? While your business will dictate how you should proceed, here are a few offline marketing methods that still return considerable value in today’s marketplace.

1. Yard signs

When most people think about yard signs, their minds immediately go to political signs that you see posted everywhere during campaign season. However, yard signs have a lot more utility and value beyond campaigning. They’re actually an extremely cost-effective form of offline advertising.

The great thing about yard signs is that you can print your own custom designs for just dollars and, when properly stored, they last for years. They’re also free to place, assuming you have access to property where it’s legal to advertise. This makes them a practical addition to a low-budget marketing campaign.

2. Billboards

The fact that you notice billboards when driving down an interstate or highway is a testament to the reality that other people are also being exposed to these valuable advertisements. If you’ve never considered implementing billboards into your marketing strategy, now’s a good time to think about it.

With billboard advertising, you have to be really careful with design, structure, and execution. “Considering we’re on the move when we read billboards, we don’t have a lot of time to take them in. Six seconds has been touted as the industry average for reading a billboard,” copywriter Paul Suggett explains. “So, around six words is all you should use to get the message across.”

3. Promotional giveaways

It’s the tangible nature of physical marketing that makes it so valuable. Yard signs and billboards are great, but make sure you’re also taking advantage of promotional giveaways as a way of getting something into the hands of your customers.

Promotional giveaways, no matter how simple, generally produce a healthy return on investment. They increase brand awareness and recall, while giving customers positive associations with your brand. (Who doesn’t love getting something for free?)

4. Local event sponsorships

One aspect of offline marketing businesses frequently forget about is local event sponsorships. These sponsorships are usually cost-effective and tend to offer great returns in terms of audience engagement.

Local event sponsorships can usually be found simply by checking the calendar of events in your city. Any time there’s a public event, farmer’s market, parade, sporting event, concert, or fundraiser, there’s an opportunity for you to get your name out there. Look for events where you feel like your target audience is most likely to attend.

Offline marketing is anything but dead.

If your goal is to stand out in a crowded marketplace where all your competitors are investing heavily in social media, SEO, PPC advertising, and blogging, then it’s certainly worth supplementing your existing digital strategy with traditional offline marketing methods that reach your audience at multiple touchpoints.

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Business Marketing

What you can learn from Ulta Beauty’s marketing mix up with Kate Spade

(MARKETING) Ulta Beauty’s insensitive marketing email surrounding the Kate Spade brand can be a lesson: Be cautious and respond to crisis appropriately.



Woman typing on computer representing the Ulta Beauty and Kate Spade email scandal

Last week in an email sent to subscribers, Ulta Beauty made light of designer Kate Spade’s suicide. Ulta said the lighthearted connection to Spade’s death was unintentional. The email sparked anger across social media and some national news outlets picked up the story. In an emailed response to the New York Post, Ulta apologized to their customers, their Kate Spade corporate partners, and Kate Spade’s family. They ended by saying they will strive to do better.

Words matter. Messaging matters. Hopefully, we can all learn a lesson from this painful mistake.

Check your tone. It’s one of the early things we teach writing students. The tone should match the content. If the icon you’re using to sell a product ended their own life, perhaps light and fun isn’t the tone you should embrace. Ever. But most businesses won’t be dealing with well-known people whose stories have been shared with millions. It’s up to business owners and those who write their copy to ensure the tone matches the message.

Always have a second pair of eyes look over words going out to the public. Or even a third and fourth. Often those in the creative room are brainstorming messages, reworking copy, and looking for the perfect pitch. And they get it. It sounds good, looks good, is easy to say and share, and, best of all, it will lead to sales. Having a multi-person system in place to check the copy and someone separate to give final approval can help catch the oh-my-God-no great words, but absolutely not pieces of sales copy.

Listen to your customer base and have a system in place to listen quickly. All businesses need systems for immediate customer response in play. Ulta caught their so-called oversight quickly.  But they’re a huge brand and Kate Spade was a beloved fashion icon. The negative response went viral and they had a giant mess to clean up. Companies make messes with their words often, messes that don’t immediately go viral but lead to real pain for consumers. When customers ask you to stop a message, listen to them and act.

Apologies don’t make excuses. If you’re caught in a messaging mess of your own making, I’m sorry goes a long way. If needed, follow that apology up with a plan to show you’re serious about “doing better” and making sure this never happens again.

If you find yourself in a place where a public apology is necessary, consider hiring a crisis manager to help with that plan as well.

Part of business today is constant communication with consumers. Try to have systems in place so you don’t find yourself in a “learning to do better” moment like Ulta. Words aren’t just about sales. They have power. Remember that.

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Business Marketing

Experience Design & Marketing: Where do they intersect, where do they diverge?

(MARKETING) The field of marketing has been around the sun and back, whereas experience design is a newer, but growing field. Where do they overlap?



marketing trends and experience design

Identify, understand, educate, promise, and fulfill. Is that marketing or experience design? Is it both? The closer we get to marketing in the digital spaces* being truly organic and less about carpeting mobile sites with pop-ups and interruptions, the more marketing and experience design (XD)** start to intersect.

Software experiences used to be only about getting jobs done and the learning curve it took to operate that software was accepted as unavoidable. There was no expectation for ease of use and the competitive landscape was far smaller. The same can be said of marketing; when the pool of offers and services were drastically smaller, you won with volume or referral. Now there are deep expectations for human-computer interactions, expectations of low friction when dealing with a system or entity, and more choices than there are biting Tweets. Volume rarely wins anymore unless the traffic spend is massive or the niche is narrow. Both of these are the result of crowded, loud marketplaces and way more noise than signal. So what did marketing do? What did XD do? They turn to delivering more curated, personal interactions and messages. Those are now driven not by gross demographics and forty pieces of car dealership push cards in my mailbox, but by extrapolated wants and needs taken from human voices and applied to custom outreach.

  1. XD uses ceremonies and activities to discover and define our version of market evaluation and segmentation.
  2. XD prototypes and iterates based on focus groups, unmoderated testing, business requirements validation, and the things they expose. That’s our audience testing.
  3. XD seeks to remove the uninteresting, unused, or unnecessary parts of a decision tree (journey if we must lingo) based on response and introduce a version sans those things to drive closer to the intent and outcome. This is our nurture.
  4. XD uses continuous feedback to improve, refine, and in some cases recommend next steps, products, adjustments, or augmentations. That is our remarketing/retargeting, it’s how we adjust the “campaign”.

And those are only the most obvious fibers of the common thread the disciplines share. Others with a deeper knowledge of both topics can surely add to this list tenfold. The essence of this examination is to ask the question, should marketing and experience design work in tandem? Under one shingle? Can they coexist as a federated faction under the larger umbrella of CX?

They are both a part of a unified journey and the natural progression from first exposure to adoption to “damn I love this thing, I think I’ll TikTok about it” for products and services. That kind of melding could serve a common goal; seamless brand engagement.

The people that consume whatever is being offered don’t see us, the company, the thing, as a cluster of siloed pods vaguely marching in the same direction. They see us as a whole and our disciplines should support that impression.

Marketers and Experience folk– integrate! Learn each other’s wares and purposes, share things that work and definitely those that don’t. XD gang, I mean really combining to achieve specific goals. Don’t just send them a Jake Knapp YouTube, find common goals. And marketing kin, this means more than citing some Sprinklr data and the latest NPS around trending SEO. Wonder Twin into a test and prove machine, use HCD tactics to undercover new copy strategies, and test it with a group in a Pepsi/Coke standoff. I know you are A/B-ing your work, but you can narrow that lane before you traffic it. We can learn from each other, we can benefit from one another, greatly.

I’m betting we can forge something slightly fresher than passing people through our business cotton gin and expecting them to feel like we are one. What are the afterimages that last from the time I see a LinkedIn post, follow to the affiliate, subscribe/buy and actually get something good out of the product? Don’t tell me there isn’t a marketing/design love story in there.

I look forward to following up on this with an actionable plan and (hopefully) killer outputs.

Be well, feel good, and know peace.

*Experience Design as a proper name encompasses exactly what is in the eponymous name; the experience is every interaction, passive or active, through the entire cycle. From the first shred of awareness of a product or service to the lasting relationship made– that is experience in this context.

**I’m not going to call it Digital Marketing anymore, pretty sure we aren’t doing direct mail along with our IG ads

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