Monday, September 07, 2015

Good-Bye

This will officially be my last post for this blog. I will keep the site up and running for the sake of artifacts, archives, and references. I thank you all for your patronage, your feedback, and your interest in what I have to say.

I will refocus my personal blogging interest toward photography and conceptualizing my thoughts about the world around me.

Keep moving forward, and always Be About the Brand!!!

Sunday, September 06, 2015

A Brief Moment Experiencing the Brand of East Nashville

If you don't know by now, I am a resident of Nashville. Among the many cities recovering successfully from the Great Recession, Nashville has experienced arguably the most promising economic recovery in the nation, from the perspective of diverse economic growth and the potential to continue this trajectory in an equitable manner. For most of my life, I have longed to live in the cities of the east coast, even New England. Mostly, I enjoy the diversity of people, places, and perspectives. Lately, the characteristics of a city I value have evolved in this mid-sized conservative city.

One of my favorite places to hang out is East Nashville. Surprisingly, Nashville has developed sections of town with unique characteristics. East Nashville, for me, is a mixture of creativity, intellectual exploration, and diversity, without the pretentious posture existing in other parts of town. Last night, I stopped by my favorite craft beer market place - The Filing Station. While tasting a potential beer I would fill my growler with, some patrons decided to perform on the piano, and outside the establishment was a lively group of people heading inside or visiting the local BBQ joint Edley's. This brief moment reminded me of several things going on in my life.

One, it's okay to start living again. Now that I have found a place to exist where I am comfortable, I can begin thinking and planning on things I have designed for my direction in life. Writing is obviously one of these things, but reading is directly connected to it. So, I think I am ready to settle back down into gaining and sharing knowledge about things that interest me, and hopefully others.

Two, I can get back into my artwork. For some time now, I have been plagued with the urge to return to some form of artistic expression. Photography will be the inevitable choice, and I intend to apply this old craft to producing a series of work on gentrification and capturing diversity within unique and unexpected frames of thought. I have included my first piece below to highlight the start of what will hopefully be something great.

Three, and finally, I think I am ready to move downtown. It will help support the first two items in this blog. It's time to find a place that fits my lifestyle to entertain, to meditate, to connect, and to appreciate those things that truly add value to my life.

All this to say, it was a great experience last night, and I plan to do something about.

© 2015 Kenyatta Lovett


Sunday, August 30, 2015

The Hopeful Return

I made it a goal as a parent to encourage my daughters to always take part - as students - in one sport and one art. From the perspective of my upbringing, both served critical roles in helping me navigate through life. The involvement in sports allowed me to take on a routine of health and fitness. Team sports added the lessons of teamwork and group competitiveness. Individual sports like tennis and track brought about a different sense of competition and an awareness of self performance.

The arts served a similar but much different role in my life. Mental health was the focus in this area, and it all centered on the act of expression. In art and expression, I had a mechanism to push out the things that I internalized or those things that impacted me in some way. In both sports and art, I believe my daughters have a chance at working through the changes of life, which can be difficult to understand and often seem impossible to endure.

Today is a celebration for me. I had a chance to read and reflect, and now I am writing to you. Athletically, I have found peace and joy in cycling, with a goal to complete 100 miles per week. However, as I have come to master this aspect of life, my artistic expressions have been limited. The occasional tweet every now and then is a sign that I am alive. But, it's important that I endeavor into much more involved expression. Losing my practice for the visual arts forces me to rely heavily on writing, and while writing seems to be much easier to do given the technology, I have failed to keep it in my routine for the past six months. The result is an aimless walk through life, hoping things will come together. But they haven't. It's not that I can cycle and write my way to purpose, but pouring my energy into these two outlets, i believe, will pour out my thoughts and feelings in a structure I can interpret from a worldly view.



So, what does this have to do with branding? Moving forward, this has everything to do with a my rebranding, my refinement as a professional and thinker. It feels good to again touch this keyboard and produce something that matters to me, and hopefully some of you out there. To be honest, the separation from writing has helped me to appreciate how important it is to be in balance and to be at peace. In many ways, businesses struggle with the same circumstance. The routines are thrown off by changes in the environment that have impacted the organization in some way. And all of a sudden, the activities for health and expression are disrupted, leaving balance in jeopardy. We witnessed it with Apple in the 1990s, Ford until recently, and Coke in the 1980s. Yet to become one of the longstanding greats, this journey - lost as it may be - is necessary to understand balance in the new context.

I intend to return to my balance, equipped with new skills and evolving with old ones. It will take me a while to get it all back, but I am excited about the attempt to once again be about my brand - excellence. 

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Ready to Explore Photography Again

My painting professor Al Smith once told the class that an artist can go years, even decades, without producing any artwork, before the inspiration hits you. I thought it was crazy talk when I heard it, but it has been nearly 20 years since my last piece was completed.

I think I am to that point now to create something, and I totally understand what he means now. Wise words. 

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Doing the Things No One Else Will Do

I always give one standards statement to those asking for mentor advice. "Do the things no one else wants to do." It always throws them off, and many walk away disappointed. But in my experience as a professional and leader, I have found my value in an organization or industry to be directly correlated to the problems I can solve. And in a world where most are problem-averse, living by this philosophy would be counterintuitive. I ran across an article that somewhat address my view point. The article points out that you should seek opportunities you are interested in, and not those that appear to be the most accepted or logical. I encourage you to read the article and give me your thoughts. 

As for my philosophy, here are a few advantages of having this mindset:

  1. You can develop a niche in the workplace
  2. You can demonstrate new skills to your superiors
  3. You gain the respect of your colleagues
  4. You become an expert at something
  5. The organization will have confidence in your judgment and discernment for the organization
  6. You demonstrate the ability to deal with risk
  7. You will have to confront your insecurities of venturing into the unknown
  8. You can build a coalition of believers
  9. You will be described as a problem solver

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Monday, February 16, 2015

Provence: Stable in a Complicated Market

The other day, I posted a quick photo of my experience at one of my favorite coffee shops. Provence is a local bakery/restaurant that has been around long before the café craze (notice the accent e). I have nothing major to add about this brand except that it has managed to develop a sustainable product and service that has been mid-tier at best for the industry, but doable over a long period of time. My advice to those looking to break into a market; it may be a better plan to shoot for the middle. The benefits you can realize may be better than the immeasurable fads that cause good companies to be flashes in the pan. Provence, along with other mid-tier brands offer qualities useful to all brands:

  • Consistency
  • Value
  • Slight Modification
  • Narrow Scope
  • Cleanliness
  • Friendly Service
  • Reasonable, but Sustainable Prices
  • Solid Supply Chain

Friday, February 13, 2015

Provence



Provence, always a good experience.

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

A Focus on The Numbers

The discussion on brands can often be touchy-feely, and totally miss the primary focus: profit. I am not sure how much time I will have to dedicate to making these posts, but I would like to begin connecting brand-circumstances to financial outcomes for public and private organizations.

Why? Well that's pretty simple. We need to begin having more comprehensive discussions on organizations and brands beyond their aesthetic appeal. The world is much too complex to be caught up in unsubstantiated trends. Equally as important, the world has been flooded with too much data to overlook the ability to "connect the dots". While trends can produce significant gains in our economy and culture, sustainability, in my opinion, is more key to building the awareness necessary to sustain a healthy economy and in turn maintain a good job market.

I am still thinking on this one, but I would love to hear your ideas. It doesn't matter the type of organization. I think the theory can sufficiently apply to all.

Happy New Year everyone. Let's get to work!