Plus: Loving a Brand, Budget Deficit Woes, Alternative Transportation, Good Business Etiquette, Bad Corporate Writing and MORE.
Sometimes the Internet seems like it’s gotten too big. To help navigate this sea of information, IMT continues its weekly Wednesday feature that spotlights some of the more interesting, informative and amusing resources that might have slipped under your radar — all in bite-sized chunks.
- Why We Fall in Love with Brands | People often develop strong attachments to certain brands, and there’s some interesting science behind this type of consumerism. In an interview with The Atlantic, marketing expert Susan Fournier explains how brand relationships often resemble human relationships based on “trust, satisfaction, love and commitment,” and that the strongest brand connections are built on supporting people in living their lives, rather than simple involvement. Plus: Fast Company’s 4 Ways to Create Brand Content People Actually Care About.
- 6 Grim Facts about the Budget Deficit | With Congress unable to agree on any of the proposed deficit-reduction plans, it seems unlikely the United States will balance its budgets any time soon. CBS MoneyWatch looks at some of the startling details underlying our record-high budget gap, including: total outstanding public debt reached $15.6 trillion in March; dividing this debt by the labor force shows each American worker owes a record $100,720; and the Federal Reserve’s holdings of U.S. Treasuries rose $1.1 trillion over the past four years, effectively underwriting much of the deficit spending.
- Bikes and Buses: A New Transportation Era | Alternative transportation options have surged as oil prices have risen worldwide. With an increasing number of people opting to ride a bike, hop on a bus or sign up for a car-sharing service, the traditional car-ownership model may someday be a thing of the past. GE’s Txchnologist blog looks at the effect these new modes of transportation will have on the world.
- Business Etiquette that Matters | Manners and attitude speak volumes about the way we conduct business. “Boil it down and etiquette is really all about making people feel good,” Eliza Browning, VP of Crane & Co., writes at Inc.com. “It’s not about rules or telling people what to do, or not to do, it’s about ensuring some basic social comforts.” Browning offers 5 basic tips to help bring etiquette back to business.
- How Phones Steer Our Choices | Your suspicion that your smartphone is spying on you may be justified after all. A recent article in New Scientist explains how complex algorithms employed by consumer websites and smartphone apps carefully filter our search results and deliver targeted advertisements, essentially steering us toward making the types of decisions companies hope or expect us to make. Plus: MarketWatch’s What It Really Costs When You Lose Your Smartphone.
- Phrases You Can Replace with One Word | Communication in business should be clear and direct. Unfortunately, years of language dilution have corrupted clear communication, turning meaningful business writing into an empty vessel that treats words as filler – or “stuff” that takes up space on a page. At PR Daily, corporate communication expert Laura Hal Brockway highlights 20 phrases that writers can replace with a single word to be more direct.
- Han Solo or Vito Corleone: Who Would You Rather Work For? | Two of the most-shared stories by LinkedIn members recently were columns based on fictional, troubled heroes as business icons: Forbes, on career lessons from Star Wars’ Han Solo, and Fast Company, on leaderships lessons from The Godfather’s Vito Corleone. “Pros and cons of Han: Goes out of his way to help you when you’re stuck (in a cave with a hungry wampa, for example), but also a selfish boss who shoots first (you’re fired),” LinkedIn’s blog explains. “On the Corleone front: Your manager has so much respect that every project you work on gets plenty of resources and support. On the other hand: You quake in fear of ending up on his bad side.” Who would you rather work for?