12.05.2006


Cheers for Chipchick

The lovely chicks over at Chipchick - Tech and Gadgets From a Girl's Perspective - blogged the Glo to Sleep the other day. Not sure how they found us, but so glad they did!

First thing that morning, we started to see lots of hits on our website, all coming from their blog, and before we knew it, we were getting hits from another blog - Crave on C-net. Bless the viral nature of the web, because by afternoon, we had even more visitors, these ones coming from another cool blog - Ubergizmo. This blog was titled "Insomniacs receive new hope" and was very flattering.

All day, we watched our StatCounter in fascination, as the sleepy came to our website to check things out. Orders, phone calls, comments and questions poured in, and it would end up to be our busiest day since we opened the doors.

By the next morning, we'd gone international! Blogged in Swedish on GadGeeks, in Portuguese on Digitaldrops, and in French on Ubergizmo/French.

We've been so busy since, that this is the first chance I've had to blog!

Today, we noticed a load of hits from Russia and Estonia and found a Glo to Sleep blog written in Russian on PopGadget! It's a lengthy post, and while we don't speak Russian, we had it loosely translated in Google, and it's very informative, as well as complimentary.

So, thanks to all the "gadget bloggers" out there! We believe that if everyone starts to get the sleep they need, the world will be a happier place - and you've helped us take another step towards that. And once our new customers become Glo to Sleepyheads, I'm sure they'll thank you too!

11.30.2006

All That We Let In
I was listening to an NPR On the Media podcast this morning from a few weeks ago and the guest said that whatever a blog is, it has to be exactly of the moment. She said, if it takes you longer than an hour and a half to write then it isn't a blog, that it's true and real in the moment that you are writing it and, in essence, is afterwords disposable.

Most of us would be shy to state a strong belief only to disagree with ourselves tomorrow, or the next day. But it was Ralph Waldo Emerson who said that a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of litle minds. He said that we must speak what we believe today in our loudest voice and, tomorrow, do the same even if it be different. It was his position that a ship that made a hundred tacks on its journey would reveal, in the end, its true course and destination. His belief was that consistency gets us nowhere. His point was that after a thousand tacks we will still regress to the essence of our true path. That from the macro level those seeemingly flip-flop choices of tacking back and forth bring us to the same ultimate destination.

So it is now that I beg for the macro. To see how it is that what I am doing now will lead to my ultimate truth. Hmmmm. This relates, at least in the ephemeral sense, to what it is that I blogged about this summer. What is truth? What is it that is constant, if anything?

Here, now, in this moment, I can only believe in here, the present. There is nothing else. There is only now and am I am too tired to consider what it is that brought us here. That, or, perhaps, I am unwilling to consider it.

"We are in an evolution I have heard it said. Everyone so busy now but do we move ahead. Planets hurling and atoms splitting. And a sweater for your love you sit there knitting. Well, I don't know where it all begins and I don't know where it will end, but we're better off for all that we let in."

And there it is. What is it that we let in? Please, God, if there is one, can we let it be more than about blatant and bland consumerism? Can it be about something more? Can it be about pushing ahead and helping the human venture? Can we get there?

Perhaps I'll believe differently on another day, but I believe that the Glo to Sleep will make a difference. I believe that the world will catch up to where we are and they will understand what Tim has created for the world.

Here's hoping.

11.21.2006


Mmmmm. Toast.

A toasty new site, discovered by The Marketing God-in. We wanted our name on toast, so we bought a piece for $40 USD. And the best part is that all proceeds are being donated to charity. Fun AND worthy!



11.07.2006


Beyond A Marketing Campaign

When Dove initially launched their Real Beauty campaign, back in 2004, I was one of the first to stand up and applaud. I even remember calling into a radio talk show, to give my thumbs up (and strong opinion) as men and women openly discussed the idea of using REAL women in ads and on billboards (most of the male callers, at that time, were disgusted to have to look at some women's "flabby thighs" or round belly - they wanted to see supermodels!).

Well, the latest in the Dove campaign is a fast-forward-type film of the creation of a supermodel image. Several of my girlfriends have sent me the link - passing it along to everyone in their own address book. I'm witnessing something beyond a campaign - I'm seeing a movement. A movement of women embracing their own real beauty. A movement of mothers sharing these images of "real beauty" with their daughters. A movement where women can feel like it's okay to just be themselves.

As a marketer, I admire the Dove Real Beauty campaign. As a woman, I'm in awe of the Real Beauty movement. As both, a marketer and a woman, I thank Dove.

11.03.2006


Listen Up!

My daughter is profoundly deaf. She has a cochlear implant and with her equipment turned on she can hear sounds as quiet as 20dB - a kitten's meow, the sound of a brush going through her hair, or a tweeting bird high in a tree. With her equipment turned off, she hears nothing.

We have spent countless hours working on her hearing and speech and the one thing I have learned, that stands out more than anything, is the distinct difference between hearing and listening. I see it clearly every day with my deaf daughter, but I also see it in many of the hearing people in my life. I'm sure everyone does.

There are people in our lives that never care to listen (or hear) - they seem very comfortable only talking and seem to take much joy in whatever they are saying. They obviously do not feel the need to hear what others have to say.

Then there is the complete opposite to that - a person that is kind and thoughtful, quite soft-spoken, and intensely private. During a conversation, they continually ask questions, encouraging you to talk. It appears as if they are listening and interested, but I often think they can't really be listening because they're too busy, in their own mind, thinking of how to keep you talking so they don't have to.

That brings us to the next kind of person - the one who talks alot, enjoys talking, but pauses to pretend to listen. You know they are not really listening - if you are having a face-to-face conversation, you can see the vacant look when you're talking, or how easily distracted they become with their surroundings. Or the worst is when you are on the phone, and it's your turn to talk and there is always this big ol' pregnant pause after you've said your bit - you know damn well they are not listening to you. It's unfair, because you have patiently listened to all they are saying, and when it's your turn, you deserve the same courtesy. When I sense this is happening, I always test the person by not finishing a thought, or saying something completely random - I'm always right . . . they don't pick up on the incongruity. They weren't listening. It's annoying and it's hurtful.

Or how about the "arguer"? They are so anxious to disagree with you that they choose not to listen to what you are saying. They are watching your mouth move, but not listening. You wanna bang your head against the wall when they're done talking because you had just made the exact same point they just did, but they're standing there, arguing with you. So clearly not listening!

Then there's our children. (Especially teenagers!) They nod and agree when you are trying to tell them something important, but you know they are not listening. And as a parent, you test them. "What did I just say?!" We talk slowly and loudly when we really need them to listen - we get in their face. But, we're often met with the blank stare. They can hear us! But they are not listening.

My own mom is a great listener (not to mention, always has great advice after she's listened). My best friend is a wonderful listener! I tend to talk a bit more than her, but I always feel like she's listening - no matter what I'm carrying on about. I do the same for her. That's why we're best friends. (And we do alot of talking and listening!!)

I have always had a natural salesmanship ability - my first boss told me I could sell ice to the Inuit. I was once asked what made me such a great salesperson. My response, "I listen. I listen to what is being said and I even listen to what is not being said." It's how you connect with people.

So many people we come across have such wonderful and interesting things to say. Our kids have the most amazing things to say.
Are you listening?


10.23.2006


Don't Go Changin'

In grade 10 Social Studies class, I remember having an open discussion about government policies and social reform. My teacher shared some great ideas to better society, that seemed common sensical, and I questioned why society wouldn't embrace such changes. He explained to me that people are skeptical and afraid of change. My 15 year-old idealistic brain struggled to understand such a concept - afraid of change? Even if that change makes it better for all involved?

Fast forward two years - it was the first week of my last year of school. We had a new cafeteria manager and after just days on the new job, she decided to move the cafeteria tables. Our once institutional-like arrangement of long rows of tables, from one end of the room to the other, was no longer. Instead, groups were formed by taking two rectangular tables, placed side by side, with ten chairs placed around the tables. I was outraged! Who was she to go and move all the tables and chairs? They were fine just the way they were. They had always been like that, didn't she know that?

I immediately started protesting. Posters all over the school demanding the cafeteria be returned to normal, petitions, organized bans of the cafeteria. I wouldn't stop until justice was done! One day, my beloved Social Studies teacher approached me and gently asked what I was doing. "I'm exercising my democratic right! Freedom of speech! This isn't a dictatorship! She should have put the table-moving to a vote!" In my teacher's calm and unassuming manner, he suggested that I try out the new arrangement, that perhaps I would like it. "After all," he said with a twinkle in his eye, "you, of all people, are not afraid of change."

Boing!!

The posters came down, the petition was trashed, and I persuaded the students to move back indoors and eat their lunch in the cafeteria. Guess what? We liked the new set-up. It was cozier. Easier to have a conversation. Remarkably quieter. Fewer food fights. It was better for everyone.

Since those high school days, I have continually made an effort to embrace change - some times it's easier said than done, but then again, everything is easier said than done. And all around me, I recognize in people that fear of change and I witness the reactionary skepticism. No where more am I aware of it than with the Glo to Sleep.

But we, as inventors and marketers, are not alone - most new ideas and products are met with skepticism, met with a resistance to accept and adopt. People are reluctant to change their lifestyle, their patterns, their routines. Or as Seth Godin puts it, unwilling to change their "worldview".

"The horseless carriage is just a fad!"

"A washing machine?! People today are just lazy!"

"What's wrong with 8-track?!"

"The internet?! Who's going to use that?!"

"E-mail, Schmee-mail! I'll send my letters the old-fashioned way, thank you!"

A German philosopher, by the name of Arthur Schopenhauer, once said,
"All truth passes through three stages: First, it is ridiculed; second, it is violently opposed; and third, it is accepted as self-evident."

Any inventor, scientist, ideasmith, or marketer can relate to that! But it's those of us - who persevere, who believe in our idea, who are willing to be ridiculed, who are willing to face questions and disbelief - that will see it through until the change and shift is made and our idea is accepted as obvious.

And at that point, we will all be better for it.


10.19.2006

The Moth Effect

Lunesta, the prescription sleeping pill from Sepracor Inc, asks you to "take the 7 day challenge" on their website.
Hmmm . . . is that like, "We challenge you to not get addicted in 7 days!"
Sure, Lunesta has "been approved for long-term use" - they splash that on almost every page of their site - but in teeny tiny print, on a page that is only to be accessed by physicians, they say Lunesta is a sedative hypnotic and produces withrawal signs and symptoms following discontinuation.
I'm going out on a limb here . . . but I think that's Doc speak for "they are addictive".
So, yeah! Those 7 free pills are probably the perfect amount to get you hooked.
And they need you to get hooked because they have spent $161.9 million in advertising in 2006 alone. See! You weren't hallucinating . . . there really are little green moths fluttering about everywhere you look. (You don't start hallucinating until you take the 7 day challenge!)

Feeling blue? Pop a pill.
Need an erection? Pop a pill.
Are you fat? Pop a pill.
Can't sleep? Pop a pill.

A healthy life requires balance, and as the pace and pressures of modern life become more hectic, and as all the pill popping increasingly disconnects you from the rhythms of nature, achieving this balance becomes more difficult.

But why not take a 7 day challenge to live life more balanced, more healthy, more happy?! The world will be a better place for it!