A Brand New Recipe For Branding

In a recent article, I told the story of when I was a young whippersnapper, attaining classes at what was then and still is called "one of the more famous hotel schools in North America", the marketing professor gave us an interesting, but quite challenging assignment.

We were to find a hospitality business that marketed itself by using the participation of the owner as part of the "distinctiveness" of the business. At the time, this seemed like a most difficult assignment, because in those days, it seemed that not too many people really stood out in this field. At least that what it seemed like to me in my youth. Or maybe it was just that they did not want to either make a fool of themselves. There seemed little need to drive the world to their door. I chose a very different restaurant enclosed within an old 19th century Mansion in this very cosmopolitan city. It was called Julie's Mansion and was owned and operated by a very eccentric, but wonderful showman who knew that he had to differentiate his restaurant from all the rest. He knew that the best way to do that – after the assumption of great food, entertainment and service – was to turn himself into the "brand."

My job, as a young hospitality student, was to watch him carefully and learn as much as I could. One Saturday night I showed up and Julie was trying to 'insert' himself into the home team's pro hockey uniform. It was immediately obvious that Julie had never played hockey. To see a middle-aged man struggling to get into and then have to have me extricate him from the jersey, equipment, elbow pads et al, was hilarious for a young guy like me, who had been on skates and playing the game since age four. He certainly was not afraid to make a fool of himself. When I showed up that night, he had less than no idea what piece of equipment went where, and was struggling with the shin guards. He had got himself all tangled up with what he thought were hip guards, when in fact they were shoulder pads, worn over the shoulders. It was indeed the first time I had ever seen a 'player' wearing shoulder pads, stretched around his butt.

I helped him get 'dressed'. Next came the taping of the hockey stick. This was really hilarious, watching this fellow trying to figure out the right way to tape a hockey stick without making a mess of it and looking foolish to his customers. He had a special plan for that stick.

I taped his stick and now he was ready. He had on his uniform, equipment and helmet, borrowed from one of the local NHL players who were a frequent guest at the mansion. Now, he actually looked like a real NHL hockey player … in black and white running shoes, sans skates!

Then Julie 'flew through' the different alcoves and floors of the restaurant with a big ball of foodservice aluminum foil as his 'puck'. He stick-handled in and out and between tables, took shots with the aluminum ball off the walls, cross-checked his own waiters trying to serve tables, all the while yelling cheers and the phrase made famous' round the world, by Foster Hewitt : "he shoots …. he scores!" All this, at the top of his lungs. Then he had planned for a horn to sound loudly indicating that the 'period of play' in his imaginary 'game' was over. It was now time to go to the dressing room. In a flash, just like an on-stage magician, he quickly disappeared into thin air, hidden in his office.

My face was covered in tears. I could not stop laughing! The restaurant was in an uproar. Guests were laughing so hard … one guy literally fell off his chair. The waiters were laughing, the guests were laughing, I was laughing and all the while Julie was having a ball too. Here was a restaurateur who made his work fun.

I had not met one of these types before. I really liked and respected this fellow. But I figured then, and still today, that anyone who had that much fun … and made that much money … must know something the others did not. And he did. He became his own brand. 'Distinctive. 'Differentiated. 'There is attractive to people who are sick of seeing the same old, same old every day. People are attracted to differences not similarities. Take a look at what you can do with yours. It's right under your own nose.

© Copyright, Roy W. MacNaughton, 2006

6 Things Influencing Web Development

Web development holds the prime service part in the Digital Marketing spectrum involving hosting, database and website designing as the crucial aspects of this domain. Once the basic requirements meet the expectations and local hosting checks are complete, the website availability is public on the World Wide Web (www) after completion. Despite of the basic pointers mentioned for website completion, a few segments still hold a major influence in the process of web development to make it a flexible, responsive and attractive to customers or fail to appeal due to lack of proper security features discussed in a quick 6-thing list below:

1) Static website over dynamic

Static websites are gaining importance on an everyday basis providing a stronger focused online content and shelter for bloggers or ventures. Affordable and low costs, enhanced speed and performance with additional ease of understanding and security are amongst a few benefits of a static website. Although, leaving aside the development part, dynamic websites can be complex to understand and load for consumers due to its various database structures created for dynamic website functionality annoying the users trying to use various services, whereas plain text and simple development makes a static website easy to understand and stream through.

2) AI’s incorporation in Web development

Artificial Intelligence (AI) depicts a life created through machines, mostly a computer system intending to give consumer – an easier and smoother reasoning’s and explanations. Although AI is still in the process of reaching the public and making an impact in their life with its existence, the coming future definitely holds a crucial part across the world! The developers are extending these services in the educational department for the benefits of students and easing out the entire learning system. Intense AI development can strengthen the alternates for future generations commencing a new dimension for understanding and living life.

3) Bots functioning or malfunctioning

Automatic programs running continuously over the web are termed as Bots. Python, PHP, Java, AngularJS, and NodeJS are the main languages Bots run on, creating easy to understand graphical user interface over a web page. Bots fill forms automatically, manage and operate through every single step and can be a big security threat for customers or enterprises. However, a developer needs a set of latest skills to make it function or protect it from running over a website script.

Bots reside within chat apps programmed as per human context to assist customers while shopping online, asking help, etc.

4) JavaScript at its Peak

Various methodologies, libraries and frameworks already based on JavaScript offer transactional and deterministic designing for websites and applications with known JavaScript elementary such as DOM, DHTML, Functions, Promises, Classes, Callbacks, RAIL, Node and Express, etc. JavaScript has the ability to enhance website appeal and structures attracting the focus of modern web developers as the main scripting platform for their projects.

5) Single page application

Undoubtedly, JavaScript is slowly replacing HTML creating wide options for developers to use and design web portals and applications for easy consumer interaction and increasing the website engagement. A user prefers to stay on a single page rather redirect or wait for a new page. ES6 invention benefits customers with best user experience and a fresh front-end development view. Thus, users will stay on a single page without navigating or page reloads. Thereby, a single application will lead the user from start to the end.

6) No place for MySQL?

HBase, Cassandra, and Mongo have already started replacing MySQL with the use of JAVA APIs, easy connectivity to Big Data & Hadoop provide operational interface ease over a long run on websites. MySQL does not support a very large database size, whereas Hadoop has such capabilities.

In case there are missing points in the list, please comment, share your ideas and give users the required updated information in this vertical.

Make Money Online Fast – Pull in Thousands of Dollars Fast Today!

As we all know the financial meltdown has impacted everyone in some way or the other. All of a Sudden our budgets are going out of control needing us to search for new ways to boost our income. The internet offers lots of opportunities to make money online fast and all from the comfort of your home. Use these 3 sure fire methods below to unearth those additional dollars.

1. Making money with eBay

If you are looking to make some extra cash online without starting a business, eBay is the answer. To allow you to money online fast using e-bay you must grasp its system in detail. Using just a home computer and the internet, this could take just two days. As soon as you put to work the system, you will realize how easy eBay actually is. Be sure to remember eBay provides more than merely buy and sell opportunities.

2. Create reviews

Lots of people are searching the internet looking for product reviews, website reviews, car reviews etc. Using a simple awareness of the English language, you could begin writing reviews and make money online fast. A number of opportunities compensate you on the day which you posted that review. Choose the sort of reviews you would like to create and create an expert status around that.

3. Forum posting

Very alike to writing reviews, forum posting is a highly profitable action, whilst you are searching for ways to make money online fast. Lots of online forums are desperate for content. You need to unearth forums that appeal to you or those that you have a certain expertise in. Search through the freelance job postings and you will discover people searching for you.

Spruce Up Your House by Gardening!

It’s a good time to start thinking and planning ahead for your garden. A neat and tidy front yard can enhance a property, but a beautifully planned one can really make an ordinary house look special.

Some accessories that will make your yard look really good can be very inexpensive. Most of us are on a budget, especially these days when we never know how much it will cost to fill up our gas tank. Sometimes at this time of the year, you can find last year’s garden accessories discounted. Benches or garden lights may be listed for sale before the new stock comes in.

There are some basic rules which apply to every garden. Before you start you should try and afford a soil test. This is quite inexpensive and either your local nursery or the Internet will tell you how to go about it. You can also buy do-it-yourself kits. The second thing is to dig compost into your garden, and now (winter) is a good time.

If you are having a soil test carried out, you will know from the results if you should add any other nutrition to your soil. A soil test will mean you will not be buying the ‘wrong’ shrubs, plants etc for your soil type.

There is one last thing that you should monitor: how long and where the sun shines on different parts of your garden. Plants can thrive without direct sunlight, but only if you plant a type that likes the shade. This can still include many bright, colorful plants (i.e. impatiens), so you can still brighten up dull areas.

Once you decide to buy, you do not want to waste your money by having the plants or shrubs die on you. The soil test will curb some of these mistakes. The other thing to do is to look up, on the Internet or from a book, your particular growing zone. If you live in an area where, for instance, you come into the ‘Hardiness Zone’, it will enable you to pick the type of plant that has the best chance of surviving in your type of climate.

Always put short and stocky plants in front of taller ones. Remember to check the expected height to know this information – do not decide by the height at purchase time. Remember that short and stocky plants are generally tougher and more resilient, so choose more of these.

Try to resist buying plants in bloom at the time of purchase. The ones that still have to bloom will probably be stronger for the transplant process. If you have more shady areas than you wish, think about drastically trimming a tree to get more sunlight onto certain patches. Remember that some plants like a lot of water, so group these together to make the watering less laborious for you.

There are many small accessories that will really make your yard stand out. Obviously a strategically placed bench -or chairs and small table- under a tree will look welcoming and relaxing. A small bridge can really enhance a yard, and you can use it as a focal point for a few reeds or grasses to give the impression of water. Or if you feel daring you can try digging your own long shaped pond. Instructions on this are easy to find in books or on the ‘net.

For cheap plants (in fact free ones!) buy a can of ‘rooting powder’ and offer to swap cuttings with your neighbors. It is not recommended to sneak out at midnight with your scissors in hand!!