Version: primary October 2015 - Page 2 of 2 - Gemba Marketing

10 Ways to Stop Feeling So Stressed Out

This is a blog post for the obscure subset of people who sometimes feel stressed out, which according to statistics is actually most of you. Turns out stress is incredibly common. Holy crap, right? Who knew? According to the American Psychological Association, millennials tend to report the highest stress levels, but baby boomers also report stress levels that are higher than they consider healthy. On average, women report higher stress levels than men. The number-one cause of stress in the U.S. is—you guessed it—job pressure. So how can we do battle with this giant, ever-present stress beast? Here are a couple of hot tips: 1. Do some breathing techniques. Breathe in for four counts, hold it for seven counts, and breathe out for eight. Science says this works. 2. Go for a walk, a run, or a bike ride. Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make people happy. 3. Talk to somebody. 4. Talk to somebody while you’re walking. Presumably this will relieve your stress twice as fast. 5. Read a good book. 6. Listen to your jams. Studies say music is an important stress-relieving tool and has been since the dawn of time. 7. Make a to-do list. Put some easy things on it so that you can check them off. Don’t you feel better already? 8. Let it out. Never underestimate the power of just straight-up yelling into a perfectly good pillow. 9. Be one with nature. Go for a hike and commune with the trees. 10. Work with us. Arguably the most stressful thing ever is having to do things, so why not pawn that burden off on somebody else? Maybe you’ve got an...

The Tear Meter: Why Pixar Movies Make Us Cry

The Internet is full of things. Funny things, sad things—and sometimes things that make you laugh and ugly-cry simultaneously. This is one such thing.   If the goal of experiential marketing is to build experiences, connect with consumers, and impact emotions, then advertisers everywhere could take a page out of Pixar’s book. What you’re looking at here is a parody video that the good people at Above Average created, but would it really surprise any of us to discover that Pixar really does have a SadLab? A big part of going to see Up or Inside Out is knowing that you’re going to be a disgusting mess of snot and tears by the end of it. We see Pixar movies to share a collective nostalgic experience. But the fact that they harken back to the days of our youth—that’s not the only reason we openly weep right there in the theater. We also do it because watching a bunch of toys accept their impending fiery deaths is really freaking traumatic, okay? I’ll give this particular video a 2/5 on the Tear Meter because it was really more funny than sad. However, they also forced me to remember the first ten minutes of Up, and it completely ruined my day....

How to Brainstorm (& Do It Right)

Ideas don’t just form themselves. If they did, our jobs would be a lot easier, and there would be a lot less frustrated binge-snacking. No, ideas are birthed from the very depths of writer’s block when all seems lost, from a crazy unformed wisp of a concept that seems too stupid to actually say out loud, and from hours-long brainstorming sessions that leave you a shell of your former self. Look, I’m not saying brainstorming is the worst thing ever. I am saying that good ideas come in all shapes and sizes, and that sometimes they come easily and sometimes they don’t. And it’s easy, when they don’t, to feel like that’s it. You’re done. You’ve maxed out. You’ve already produced all the good ideas you’re capable of, and now you’re just a wrung-out towel of unoriginality. But that just isn’t the way it works. We discussed the creative potential of the human brain when we read Tom and David Kelley’s Creative Confidence for our book club, and the thing they tried to drive home more than any other is that people are not wells of creativity; they’re more like bottomless pits. It all starts with believing that you are capable of creativity. The next step is to actually be creative. Here at Gemba, we often start off with an activity to get the creative juices flowing. I once took part in a brainstorming sesh where we pre-gamed by messing around with Play-Doh. After that, we adhere to the golden rules: You’ll notice the judgment thing is on there twice. Plenty of perfectly good ideas come from unruly, terrible ideas with no hope of...

Does Your Car Have a Name? No? We’ll Give You a Hand.

I’m sure psychologists have a lot to say about our tendency to name our cars, and it probably has something to do with identity, materialism, self-esteem, whatever. But at the very least, can we just agree that getting to name stuff is one of the best things about being a person? It’s right up there with having pizza delivered and sleeping in on a Saturday. Today is National Name Your Car Day (for real). According to a study conducted by the Automobile Association, about 40% of people name their car. In this office, we’ve got a maroon Pontiac G4 named Maria; “Babe the Blue Ox,” named after the sidekick to Paul Bunyan; a jeep called “The Boss,” because “she’s always right”; “The Mango Tango,” which is the orangest truck I’ve ever seen in my entire life; and “Ol’ Blue,” who is old, loud enough to hear from 2 miles away, and can shoot water from the windshield at other cars. Naming stuff is an experience we all want to have. Babies are kind of a time commitment. Goldfish last like two days. Cars serve as a nice middle ground, and that’s why this whole car-naming juggernaut makes for a fantastic and compelling marketing tool. Toyota partnered up with Conill to bring people free customized nameplates in the same style and typeface as the official Toyota marque. But if you don’t already have a moniker for your vehicle, you can check out AutoAccessoriesGarage.com—they’ve fashioned a Car Name Generator specifically for Name Your Car Day. I did it for my car and got the name “Willy Honka,” which is almost suspiciously accurate—because if there’s a car alarm going off in the office parking lot,...