Branding Management During Times of Crisis via Evita Robinson
There is turmoil in the streets of the United States. We are in the midst of a period of social unrest that the U.S hasn’t seen in years. Recent and continuous killings of Black men by the police have pushed the nation to a crisis point that is being noticed far beyond the continental U.S. As an entrepreneur it is often a difficult balance to represent your growing brand while dealing with troubles that transcend business. The time, energy and commitment to your business could easily be undone if you act incorrectly during this time of high emotions and sensitivity.
Nomadness Travel Tribe creator Evita Robinson is the embodiment of being the Face of your Brand so she understands the symmetry between business and personal quite well. She dove into this topic via Facebook Live and shares some great insight.
Check out for video below.
Sometimes it’s bigger then just the business. Make sure you are following Evita in all her many ventures so you got miss the big things she has upcoming.
SAMURAI RIDES: WELCOME TO SUMMER WITH THE 2016 MITSUBISHI OUTLANDER
With Summer now in full swing Samurai Rides rolls along with another look at a great vehicle. I’m developing a thing for these Crossover SUV’s. I think my youthful days of driving up and down the East Coast in a massive SUV is still a part of my driver make up but with age comes appreciation for the streamlined smaller designs. One of my favorites has been the Mitsubishi Outlander. I’ve been fortunate enough to review the 2015 Outlander and the smaller Sport edition of the same year. This time around I went back to see what’s new with this years 2016 Outlander. Let’s check it out.
First thing I noticed in this years model was the new grill. The new metallic design over the fresh new blacked out center bumper really makes it stands out giving the Outlander a little more aggressive look in my opinion.
Next up were the new larger wheels. Mitsubishi has thrown 18 inch alloy wheels on the new Outlander that goes great with the new grille. The Outlander really steps up the initial impression you get visually without doing anything overly drastic.
Stepping inside the Outlander the full leather finish and spacious seating that I’m accustomed to is back and this year the leather has been extended to the steering wheel as well. That just adds one more layer of comfort to the driving experience.
The Outlander was my very first CX SUV and one of my first Samurai Rides reviews. It introduced me to a lot of the motion sensor safety features that are now staples across most cars. Below is the detailed info for the Lane Departure, Cruise Control and Collision systems.
The available Lane Departure Warning (LDW)4 system uses an onboard camera to monitor lane position in front of the vehicle, alerting the driver if it detects the vehicle leaving it’s lane unintentionally. Additionally, the available Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC)5system uses 77GHz radar technology to accurately judge distances between you and the vehicle ahead, helping you maintain a safe driving distance. By alerting the driver, the available Forward Collision Mitigation (FCM)6system can help you avoid accidents – and even automatically apply the brakes, if necessary.
Along with those top notch safety aids I appreciate features that speak to real life activities that we often overlook. With the sizable amount of entertainment features available to you, Mitsubishi has kicked in a safety restriction on the touch screen while the car is in motion. If you are listening to music you can scan up or down, you can switch between USB and radio but you cant manually search through music while you drive. It’s a common sense move that many don’t even think about. Business points for that one.
While I was running around with the Outlander, I was preparing for the arrival of my parents to meet their new Grandson Max. That resulted in a lot of back and forth runs to the store for supplies. Smooth handling and great mileage were really on display with the Outlander. At the end of an active week I put 4/5 of a tank of gas in for under $20.
Mitsubishi really earned my respect back in late 2014 and everything I’ve driven since has performed well and exceeded expectations. The Outlander came into 2016 with roughly 100 new improvements and features which you can see here in there entirety. Get behind the wheel of this CX and I promise you it’ll be a positive experience.
THE STORY OF THE SOCIAL MEDIA SAMURAI: COMMUNICATION SHORTCOMINGS
It seems that every and all things comes down to communication. What you say, how you say it and in my case who you elect to say it too. I’ve always viewed information as selective. Everything isn’t for everyone to know and I would base this on my own personal check list of criteria. What is the overall value of this info, does it relate directly to the person I’d be telling it too, is the info complete in itself or part of something larger I may not want to share at this time, is this something that makes me happy? That’s just an example of what runs through my head both personally and professionally when I express myself. In a time when it seems that a majority of people express themselves first then think about it later I’m definitely part of the “Think twice, press send button once” crowd. For the most part it’s a communication method that has served me well.
Yet, there are still lessons to be learned. In personal matters I’m extremely tight-lipped with things until I’m ready to share. It’s a way that many don’t always get/like but it’s what works for me so I honestly don’t need it to make sense to others. When I’m not happy I play things really close to the chest. When I am happy I don’t want to mess things up by talking about it too much. It’s an internal balance for me and I can admit that in trying to reach that balance I’m not usually worried about other people’s view on it. I’m a guy that overall doesn’t like to waste words so that has resulted in folks not hearing what they think they should.
I’m learning that’s not always the best way to approach things. As much as I speak to the power of family, friends and community, I am realizing that my cause is better served by having more faith in the people I trust to react well to whatever it is I have to share. Even if the initial reactions aren’t that positive, the result of having more open communication in the end will show who truly is down for supporting me.
There is no blueprint to this thing called life. You’re going to get thrown an array of things you may have no idea how to handle and your best bet is that you make sure that with each passeing situation you handle it better than the one before it. I’m committing myself to that level of improvement. Wish me good luck.
Samurai Rides: Spring Forward to Summer with the 2016 Toyota Rav 4 Hybrid
This is a pleasant surprise indeed. Samurai Rides gets it’s first time behind the wheel of a new Toyota vehicle to finish out the final days of spring. This is a pleasure for me mainly because Toyota is the go to car brand of my parents. The Avalon and the Camry have held my parents down for years now. Even beyond that, the streets of my home town New Rochelle are full of Toyota rides. With all that being said I’ve had no experience with the Rav 4 so it’s still a fresh experience and I’m ready to share it with you.
So as I’ve mentioned I’m no stranger to Toyota. In regards to the Rav 4, my initial thought when I learned I was getting one was a college flashback. I remembered the compact 2 door vehicle that my friend drove on campus that I knew I couldn’t fit in. Fast forward to 2016 and space is one of the last things I had to worry about with the Rav 4. First things first, the Magnetic Grey finish on the car was killer and the blue trimmed logo adds a nice touch.
Off top you’re getting the standard goodies like remote access aka smart key, power everything from mirrors to seats to the moon roof. There is plenty of leg room so immediately I’m in a comfortable zone. Now one thing that many others may not noticed that made me happy was the cup holder. I have large cups that usually don’t fit but this Toyota design is perfect. It’s the little things that matter so bonus points for that.
Summer time often calls for heavier packing be it for road trips or store runs for BBQ supplies. Not to mention now with a baby on board that’s just more cargo to carry around. Either way the trunk space had me fully covered and that was without the seats folded down so you’d be in great shape for any serious luggage packing if need be.
The Rav 4’s safety features were all on point. Sensitive enough to alert me to possible issues, especially in the rain but not so sensitive that they were constantly going off. The collection of Toyota safety indicators range form pedestrian alerts to lane departure. Take a moment to look more into the Safety aspect of the Rav 4 here.
My trips range from the short to the long these days and one of the tech tools I look forward to is the entertainment system. The satellite radio is already a must have but that USB plug in brings the real joy to the road as you can get your summer time playlists lined up to make for a memorable ride. With the sound powered by the good people at JBL Audio the tunes are crisp and clean, with no static.
Alright I know all the bells and wistles are nice but handling the road is what it all comes down to and I have to say that I was not disappointed with how the Rav 4 hugged the highway. In perfect weather and heavy rain up and down the Jersey Turnpike Toyota’s Hybrid SUV came thru with flying colors. The RAV4 Hybrid’s performance is a product of it’s gas engine, electric motor and hybrid battery which you can monitor very easily on your dash. All that tech is combining for nearly 200 horsepower and the acceleration is swift.
In all honestly Toyota is a brand that speaks for itself. There’s not much I could say that isn’t known, but I think hearing this from a source you know and trust does help if you’re on the fence about your next ride. Plus for me personally it was good to see how the Rav 4 fared in the compact SUV field where I’ve reviewed so many other stand out rides. Hopefully I’ll get to bring you more of what Toyota has lined up.
While the Big 4 of Social Media, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat continue to evolve and add-on new expansive features to their respective platforms, Tumblr for many has faded into the shadows both on a personal and business level. After Yahoo failed to resurrect the mini blogging site and after years of being labeled too uncensored to control or properly monetize, Tumblr pops back into the conversation with new live video capabilities.
Does this now inject Tumblr into the realm of credibility again? It’s hard to say. For those that never left and still use it to this day, there can very well be a new sense of engagement for followers. Yet, I don’t expect to see a flock of new users signing up solely for that feature.
Here are a few factors to keep in mind with the new Tumblr Video feature.
Tumblr does not have a native streaming video option. In actuality, live video is enabled through YouNow, Kanvas, Upclose, and YouTube.
Your videos live on Tumblr, so not only can they be reblogged but users won’t miss out on your content just because they missed the live broadcast.
Tumblr will notify your followers when your video goes live, and even pin it to the top of their dashboards. This favorable placement of live content will be a big aid in getting this new feature out to the people smoothly.
There are definitely people who think there is a solid shot at business gains via this new tool. Simply Measured shares that position and gives a little insight here.
While Tumblr is not big in my marketing plan it pays to know what is going on around in the digital world and for those that do utilize that platform it’s a major upgrade that can connect people to their followers in a brand new way. Live video is clearly the next frontier and Tumblr hopes it’s the path back to success.
At the time I’m writing this, I am 22 days into my role of dad. It’s a drop in the Fatherhood bucket as I think to the 35 years that my Father has put in thus far. You hear people talk about what makes a Father and how it feels to be a Father but I can honestly now say I had no clue until it happened. I don’t mean that in some magical incomprehensible way. It’s more like a new set of senses and feelings suddenly turn on that you never had to use before.
Three weeks ago I posted a screen shot of one of my email inboxes showing a folder labeled #Rejections. It sparked a nice conversation on how we define success, failure and the path that can lead to either rejection or success. I explained that I use rejection as a motivational tool to continue my press forward. I wanted to bring that topic here and expand on it a bit. One of the major pros of social media is the ability to share and promote your motivational stories. In many cases though these stories seem incomplete. With the ability to be writer, director and producer of our own presentation, it’s easy and quite understandable when many of the ugly details get left on the cutting room floor.
There are countless memes floating around the internet about “The Struggle”. We talk about grind and hustle without really sharing that element in detail. I feel it’s needed to balance the real picture. For every successful event and business accomplishment there is a trail that is littered with obstacles and set backs. It sounds cliche’ but these pitfalls definitely do build the character needed to complete the job. It’s one thing to see the finished product but when you learn how many times that product had to be redesigned or how many people turned that product down and called it a horrible idea, you get better appreciation for what it took to get here.
In my personal journey I’ve had a duel mission of directing smaller businesses toward better digital standing while simultaneously building my own brand. My entrepreneurial background is often something that tradition mainstream business don’t know what to make of. Instead of viewing it as proof of self starting, multitasking and real world experience from the ground up, it is generally seen as lacking structure or uncertainty of focus. Even during interviews I know this is the case. While so much business is transforming and adapting to new ways of communication, there are still many that cling to classic ways of viewing things. These fresh new professional models of operation aren’t deemed worth stepping away from “what has been working”.
I’ve hit that wall numerous times. Many a great interviews has taken place that didn’t go anywhere because they viewed me as a gamble vs the person with the more conventional background even if it’s clear no one understood the role and had the genuine passion for it like me. How many people Instagram or Snapchat the meal they’re having when they get that email (because they never call anymore) to say they went with another person. Who really posts about feeling of frustration when you’re in negotiation with a potential client and they just pull out at the last minute to attempt to do what you were offering them on their own for free?
No matter what space you’re in if you’re building your own business you’ve been here. It may be financial woes, self doubt, lacking support from the people you expected from, whatever it is always find a way to pull the lesson out of it. Any and everything on this journey can be a stepping stone upward. This is why I share my story in such an open manner. It’s not just to present a rags to riches tale but it’s to truthfully show that this is not easy. It not the romanticized story you are led to believe via these internets. The process isn’t for everyone and for those that it is for, it will break you down before you reach the grand prize.
All of this goes back to one of my most simple rules. We do not have control over all that happens around us but we always control how we react/respond to it. Never forget your power and keep on pressing forward. Your rejections are often your greatest assets.
Mary Meeker’s 2016 KPCB Internet Trends Report Sheds Light on the Future of Digital Marketing
There are an endless amount of people delivering advice and guidance about how the Internet is evolving and what he next moves will be to heighten digital business. To me there has to be a balance between the data and the narrative. Many things said across social platforms pick up stem but they aren’t actually true. To that extent I was diving into the KPCB Internet Trends Report from Mary Meeker for 2016 and there is a ton of info about today’s internet activity that would be well applied to your strategies going forward. I’m still going through the report but you will be glad you took the time to do so as well.
After the jump are a few of the standout points along with her recent interview discussing the report, which you can get access to at the end of this post.
The Epic Trunk Show Returns with Lifestyle, Fashion & Music
This past weekend Manhattan’s Shop Studios was the place to be for another edition of the formerly named Ultimate Trunk Show. Now known as the Epic & Co. Trunk Show the evenings event is a collection of indie fashion brands, lifestyle accessories and services that allow you a fresh look at some quality clothing for the summer season and pamper yourself a little as the Epic & Co provided complimentary massages, nail treatment and shoe cleaning throughout the day. The Trunk Show definitely succeeds in presently an showroom experience to remember.
The free-flowing Hennessy never fails in setting a calm laid back atmosphere. Whether you were on the main floor sampling the fashions or the rooftop awaiting a massage you could enjoy one of the V.S drinks being offered that evening.
Now what would such an event be like without music though? We wouldn’t have to wonder as DJ 9AM held down the tunes with right mixture of classics with a healthy dose of newer material.
Over the course of the evening I saw some familiar favorites like the always fly Heirport Apparel line.
Dirty Razkal returned with some new items including some back packs that I really was feeling.
Personally I really like the items that Kingdom Native had on display. Bringing a positive faith-based theme to fashion I appreciated what they were doing simply from the standpoint of counteracting the react wave of satanic themed items that have been made popular by many of today’s Hip Hop mega stars like Lil Wayne.
Most notably is the popularized upside down cross images that have ended up on so many fashion pieces. For this reason alone Kingdom Naive gets my support.
Along with them, Imperfect Apparel had some items that I can picture a few of my friends rocking this summer from the US to Japan. I would also point people in the direction of Born Republic Co. for a solid selection of accessories from necklaces to bracelets and more.
Now I do want to give you guys my personal pick of the day. It’s great to look good but often times keeping things fresh and clean is a head ache. Sneaker loves will appreciate this because I brought my Nike Pythons to the event hoping to restore their shine.
EcoSOLElution used nothing more than a brush, water and their natural solution to deliver a major cleaning on my sneakers. This is a true must have for your favorite sneaker head. Get some asap. You’ll be glad you did.
Covering this event I was working with the good folks at Mr Refined so make sure you swing by their side of the Internet to get more insights and a lot more images from the show!!
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #Mach3Signature #CollectiveBias
Getting Summer Time Smooth With The #Mach3Signature – New Daddy Edition
With all the running around I do, it would be very easy to overlook certain elements of personal care. I see it all the time. From nails to skin to hair, there has always been this mentality that part of manhood meant being extra rough around the edges. There is definitely a time and place for that, but for me I have to keep in mind the benefits of keeping things smooth as well. Enter the new Gillette®Mach3® Signature Edition. Your face is reserved for the most important people in your life. That may be a mother’s touch, a partner’s kiss, or in my case, the curious hands of a newborn baby. I can’t have that precious skin touching rough skin, so let’s make sure that isn’t an issue.
I’m no stranger to Gillette® and their high quality shaving products. As I made my way to Costco to pick up the new Gillette® Mach3® Signature Edition and Fusion ProGlide 2-in-1 Shave Gel, I already felt confident at the shave I’d get from it. This pick-up essentially will take you through the summer, as the pack comes with 14 replaceable blade cartridges along with a razor itself. At an amazing price of $36.99, there will be no running back to the store for refills anytime soon.