AmEx Debuts Its Most Mobile-Integrated, Rewards-Focused Credit Card

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

AmEx has offered a number of different cards to consumers: The Blue Card appeals to those who like cash back options and the Platinum card is specialized for consumers who travel. There’s even a Black Card for high-net-worth individuals. Today, the company is debuting a brand-new rewards-focused credit card, called Everyday, aimed at consumers who use AmEx for most of their everyday purchases.

While the AmEx Everyday card is broadly focused on the frequent spender, and “multi-tasker,” the core audience is the busy mom. As AmEx US Consumer Services President (and former Skype CEO) Josh Silverman explains, the typical Everyday card user uses credit and or debit cards at least twice a day. AmEx says that moms spend 18 percent more on monthly expenses compared to the general population (which, as a mom, I believe).

The card itself doesn’t have a yearly fee, and it allows for a revolving balance…

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Saying No to the Niche: Throwing Conventional Wisdom Out of the Door

business people edited


One of my favorite chats on Twitter is #Blogchat which is hosted by Mack Collier. This chat is full of great nuggets that you can immediately apply to your blog.  The topics vary and the thought leaders that drop in are extremely helpful.  I would highly recommend this chat to anyone that is looking to monetize their blog.

One of the ideas that came out of the most recent #Blogchat was the notion that one should pick their niche to focus on within their business. I had to think twice about if I was in agreement with this idea or not.  I recognize that conventional wisdom would tell you that you can not be great at everything.  Although studying and mastering one topic is a novel idea, but is just not one that I see as beneficial to my clients.  I look at my client roster and think that they need someone who knows how to develop a strategic marketing communication plan, a social media strategy, out of this world events, and being able to speak to the media on their behalf if that is necessary.  I don’t think that a client should feel the need to hire multiple consultants to cover their marketing needs.  I do understand that one person can not literally know everything.  For example, I am not a graphic designer and I recognize that is a service that I will have to hire out for if a client has that need.  I am also not a website designer, but I can provide top notch strategic counsel to someone that needs to develop content flow on their site (to bad I do not have enough time to work on my own site).

Another person that I enjoy learning from is Marie Forleo .  She recently sent out her video to launch her upcoming B-School.  One of the ideas that she mentioned was that she is of the mindset that it is great to be a ‘multipassionate entrepreneur.’ She feels like this idea of designating a niche is completely wrong for some people. (How timely?!?) The comments agreeing with this thought process were in the hundreds (if you have time, take a look at her site). Not that I was planning on changing my mind once I had thought this through, but this video made it even better that someone else that is very successful feels the same way.

I would absolutely love to hear your feedback on this topic.  Do you believe that someone should pick a niche and stick with it or do you think someone can be great at being a generalist? My gut feeling tells me that the answers will probably be slightly generational in nature.  Just a hunch!

Dosomething.Org Taps Snapchat For Teen-Centric Valentine’s Campaign

Nicole I. Henderson, MBA:

Interesting use of Snapchat!

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Dosomething , a not-for-profit focused on making volunteer work and social change exciting to people under 25, is going after its key demographic where they’re comfortable: Snapchat.

The company used the photo-sharing platform, which has yet to launch a formal advertising or brand program, to run a Valentine’s-themed campaign in NYC.

“We noticed that teenagers, our core demographic, were flocking away from Facebook,” said DoSomething’s Colleen Wormsley. “But they love Snapchat.”

DoSomething first signed up for a Snapchat account in November of 2013, with Bryce Mathias in charge of the channel. The company alerted their Twitter following that they now had a Snapchat account, and simply waited for requests to come in. Mathias, a male model, mostly sent selfies to new friends making goofy faces.

The team learned that they received more response snaps during school days, so Mathias began setting aside a block of time just before lunch to…

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On-Demand Ride-Sharing Startup Lyft Is Raising Another Big Round Of Funding

Nicole I. Henderson, MBA:

Lyft is definitely a company to watch!

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Lyft is raising yet another big round of funding, according to sources. The company, which is seeking to make ride-sharing mainstream in cities across the U.S. and around the world, is expected to use the new cash to fund expansion into new cities and territories.

We’ve heard Lyft has pitched a number of venture firms and late-stage institutional investors, but hedge fund Coatue Management seems to be in the lead for the deal. Coatue has recently invested in hot companies like Box, SnapChat, and HotelTonight, and is part of a growing trend of hedge funds making bets on later-stage startups with traction.

Andreessen Horowitz, which led Lyft’s $60 million Series C round, is also expected to contribute a large chunk of cash. Other investors in Lyft include Founders Fund, Floodgate, Mayfield Fund, K9 Ventures, Ooga Labs, fbFund, and Keith Rabois.

The company was founded as Zimride…

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Mom 2.0 Summit — We’ll Be There!

This is one of the top summits to attend for all things related to Mommy Blogging. As an official Mompreneur, we love connecting great brands with the mom audiences. This will be our first year attending this summit, but we are sure it will not disappoint.  The connections made at a summit like this will help us to better serve the needs of our clients.

Take a look at the intro video:

Here’s What Would Make Google’s Smartwatch Awesome

Nicole I. Henderson, MBA:

In future technology news ….

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Google is reportedly putting considerable brain power into a smartwatch and we couldn’t help wondering just what they’d add to the burgeoning technology. More than any other company, Google is positioned to solve the single biggest shortcoming in wearable technology: pattern recognition. What is it about our daily activities makes us fatter, more alert? What helps us get better sleep and be more productive?

Buried within the big data of our everyday decisions are gems of truth about how we can become the best versions of ourselves. Last Summer, Google’s new head of engineering and artificial intelligence pioneer, Ray Kurzweil, let me know his plans to build everyone a “cybernetic friend”.

So, we know Google wants build the perfect lifestyle recommendation engine; a watch that tracks our vital signs and movement could do just that. Here are two things it would need:

Connecting Devices – If I walk an…

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Twitter’s Dick Costolo On What It Takes To Be A Good CEO

Nicole I. Henderson, MBA:

Twitter’s CEO had a great response to the question, “What makes a great CEO?”

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

[tc_5min code="518122197"]
2013 was a very good year for Twitter, so it’s only fitting that Twitter’s CEO Dick Costolo took home the award for CEO of the year at the 7th annual Crunchies Awards held this week in San Francisco.

Backstage at the show, TechCrunch co-editor Matthew Panzarino pulled Costolo aside for a quick interview to talk about Twitter’s success over the past year and what it means to be a good CEO. When Panzarino asked Costolo to share his “playbook” for leading Twitter, he had a really thoughtful response. He said:

“I’ll say two things. We had the good fortune to have Adam Silver, the new commissioner of the NBA, in the office the other day, and someone asked him about the culture of the NBA. Adam said, ‘One of the great players in the NBA told me that championships aren’t won on the court, they’re won on the…

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Facebook Turns 10

Nicole I. Henderson, MBA:

Happy 10th FB!

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

In an open letter celebrating Facebook’s 10th anniversary, founder Mark Zuckerberg explains why he and his college friends were the ones to invent the most popular social network in the world.

“We were just students. We had way fewer resources than big companies. If they had focused on this problem, they could have done it,” wrote Zuck. “The only answer I can think of is: we just cared more.”

Ten years later, it seems to have paid off. The social network powers the digital connections of more than 1 billion users, many of whom have been on the network for years. That’s a pretty big deal — after all, how many commitments in your life have lasted multiple years? A rare few, I’m sure.

To reminisce together, Facebook has released a tool that lets you take “A Look Back” at your time on Facebook. It compiles a slideshow…

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When Effective Employee Communications Matter


Companies will often times spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a new initiative, but will not spend a fraction of that to make sure that it is communicated properly. We see this on a regular basis. One example that comes to mind is the rise of wellness programs in many of our large corporations.

The idea of a formalized wellness program is fabulous. The C-suite loves saying that they offer a wellness component for their employees. In their eyes, they are looking out for the ‘best interest of their employees.’ What the C-suite is not supporting is the communication effort needed to make these programs a success.

Many times, when the topic does not directly affect the bottom line, the higher levels of management are forced to sweep the topic under the rug. For example, Manager A has a newsletter to write each month. Manager A realizes that her success is measured by how well she produces widgets. So, in an effort to make sure her team is producing enough widgets, she uses the limited amount of space in her newsletter for widget production needs. In her eyes, she is doing what needs to be done in order to remain successful when it is time for her employee review.

This situation is happening at facilities all over the country. The problem is this behavior is very individualistic. The C-suite does not realize that by having objectives in an employees list of items that he/she must accomplish that only center around production, will continue to drive this behavior.  We do not want you to think that we view these objectives as not important, but without a balance there are softer objectives that are not going to get addressed. As the next generation of employees come in, they are looking for a more balanced lifestyle.  Not one that only involves production goals.

Just as many companies had to accept social media, companies are now going to have to accept more individuals seeking work life balance in order to keep good employees. Every company is not going to be Apple and Google, but there are steps that companies can take to begin to work towards that direction.  One of those steps is to communicate a variety of topics to employees that will help them in their whole life.  Topics such as wellness which was mentioned in the example above and the importance of investing which many new to the workplace do not see the value in starting early.  Proper communication could change their way of thinking.

Below are a couple  of steps that may help communicate with employees about topics that do not have a direct impact on the bottom line:

1. Have members of the C-suite address softer topics from time to time.  When the heads of the company are speaking these messages, this will encourage other managers to also discuss topics of this nature.

2. Cover the softer topics in multiple communication channels.  If you have a strong Intranet, company newsletter, or a social media platform, take the time to spread these softer messages that will not be tied to confidentiality. If these channels are not strong, that is OK too.  This may be what they need to bring them to life.

3. Craft the messages in a fun manner and not the typical corporate speak. There is a time to speak in a corporate tone and a time to lighten up.  It is good for employees to see the softer side of the company.  This is the side that employees are going to be more willing to engage.

Photo credit: photo credit: <a href=””>elycefeliz</a&gt; via <a href=””>photopin</a&gt; <a href=””>cc</a&gt;

Live Tweeting During the Super Bowl


We will be live tweeting as we watch the Super Bowl commercials.  Join us! We will see if anyone else comes up with an Oreo moment again this year.

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