I still haven’t even started to share with you some of the more interesting information I heard at the NSGA Conference last week. It’s too much for one blog posting, but let’s start at the very beginning…with the keynote speaker, Jeremy Gutsche. I just started reading his book, Exploiting Chaos: 150 Ways to Spark Innovation During Times of Change. It’s one of those books with a lot of pictures, so even if you aren’t a big reader you will enjoy it. I love to read but I’m the first to admit that a picture is worth a thousand words. During his presentation, we heard stories about how Smith Corona typewriters never thought they would have to adapt because they made “the world’s best typewriters.” Well how many of you have used a typewriter recently? Jeremy’s point exactly. He reminded us of the dangers of resting on your laurels since success does have a tendency to breed complacency. “Complacency will be the architecture of your downfall.” I think that’s how he put it. He talked about the strength of brands and how the old way of marketing was all about the product. Now, it’s more about the experience. He says there’s a 3-5 year window for social media opportunities and developing your brand with them. After that it will become increasingly difficult. Today you need a story, you need to create something that connects you to your customers. He advises to relentlessly obsess about your story. Your story should be simple, direct and supercharged. He showed us a few examples of good versus supercharged. You also need to know who you think you are versus who your customer thinks you are. Very very interesting food for thought Jeremy. One demonstration of social media that knocked everyone’s socks off, at least mine, was his presentation of augmented reality. This isn’t what he showed us in the presentation, I wish I had that link to show you, but this video will give you an idea of what augmented reality is in case you are not familiar with it.