The Mis-branding of the Healthcare Debate

I am not heavily into politics.

But, like the rest of America, I couldn’t help watching the whole health care debate and vote this weekend.

At least casually, from the treadmill at my gym/tennis club.

And I overheard some interesting conversations among the members there.

Some of the dynamics I observed seem relevant to me as a more general lesson in good vs. bad branding…

The Pet Rock and other Favorite 70’s Brands

Today is my birthday.

Rather than focus on the fact that I am another year older, and freaking out about the passage of time etc. – I’ve decided to focus on the brands of my youth- some of which I miss.

As a child growing up in the 70’s, I remember a lot of iconic brands- many of which are no longer with us.

Check out Retroland.com and search under the 70’s in case you miss some of them too.

I have distinct images of myself in front of the bathroom mirror singing into my hair brush or accepting my academy award (thanking my mother of course).

I probably also thanked product sponsors and gave them a shout out for for making me look so beautiful and glamorous.

Top on my list were:

“Gee Your Hair Smells Terrific” Shampoo (the best name ever)

Herbal Essences (who could forget that green bottle and distinct smell?)

Making Working from Home, Work

Snow is blanketing much of the North East and schools are closed and businesses are urging many people not to commute. So maybe you, like me, are working from home today.

Maybe this is a once in a while occurrence, or maybe it’s part of your regular routine.

But it got me thinking about an article I read in the MIT Sloan Management Review titled Set Up Remote Workers to Thrive and how to make working from home work (for entrepreneurs or both employee and employer).

 

According to the article, more than 10% of the 2010 work force telecommutes from home, more than triple the levels of 2000.

Lots of forces are at play here. Better remote technology, a shift towards more freelance labor particularly in areas like IT, accounting and public relations.  I am sure there is also a rise in consultants due to the downsizing in many large corporations that also contributes to this rising trend.

The article sites some clear cost savings benefits for employers; IBM saves $100 Million a year by allowing 42% of employees to work remotely.

There are also many benefits for employees including more flexibility, lower commuting costs, and saved commuting time which presumably can be re-invested in family time.

There are also several challenges outlined;

#1 Finding the Right Work-Life Balance

#2 Overcoming Workplace Isolation

Keeping Green Resolutions

I was talking to some colleagues about New Year’s resolutions and one said his resolution was to try to not use any plastic bags.

This surprised me in that he isn’t the sort of person that you would readily identify as the “tree hugger” type. But then on further reflection I realized it actually made sense because the “plastic issue” seems to have gone pretty mainstream. I myself blogged about it last May in a post, “The Scarlett P.”

I’ve made a few resolutions myself this New Year and, I am happy to say, I am doing pretty well at keeping.

Except one.

The one that’s turning out to be the doozy is to drink less bottled water.