Category Archives: Customer Service

A Strong Brand Name is No Joke, Even When It Is

Last night Jon Stewart referred to Kinko’s on The Daily Show, even though there’s been no such thing as Kinko’s for several years now. Customer (and comedian) references to Kinko’s only reaffirm every Chief Marketing Officer’s secret conviction: customers just … Continue reading

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How Brand Consistency Damages Brands

As a Kinko’s marketing executive, I faced a real quandary upon entering the Los Gatos branch. The coworkers had taken it upon themselves to decorate the store for Fall. There were leaves and pumpkins and colorful maize all over the … Continue reading

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Change the World by Changing the Workplace

Ironically, if you want to hit people where they live, you need to hit them where they work. For better or worse, work dominates much of our time and identity. I believe the first step to a more democratic world … Continue reading

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Customer Service and The Fisher King

Former Kinko’s Northwest President and serial entrepreneur Mike Fasth recently noted that my frequent references to Kinko’s as a $2 billion company undervalued the company significantly. “Sure, we did $2 billion in annual sales, but we trusted our coworkers with … Continue reading

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10 Suggestions for a More Democratic Workplace

E Pluribus Kinko’s: A Story of Business, Democracy, and Freaky Smart People, discusses the unusual company culture that helped Kinko’s grow and profit for thirty years, and how the loss of that culture contributed to the company’s decline and eventual … Continue reading

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Creating a Partnership Ethos

During a recent radio interview, I emphasized that retailers and service providers need to build a stronger sense of partnership among frontline coworkers. In these tough times, would you rather be surrounded by partners or by adversaries? The host asked … Continue reading

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Competencies of Branding

The four competencies of leadership, as described by USC professor Warren Bennis, also apply to branding, which, when you think about it, is a form of leadership. Bennis codified the four competencies in a 1984 essay, taking care to note … Continue reading

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