Monday, February 28, 2011









ROYALTY from dcgottaeat on Vimeo.

Pebbles the beautiful! from dcgottaeat on Vimeo.

PEBBLES BOOTYSHAKE from dcgottaeat on Vimeo.





Friday, February 25, 2011










adidas Originals by Originals Jeremy Scott   JS Teddy Bears Pink | Available Now
The winter weather got you in a funk? Maybe a smiling pink stuffed animal might lighten your mood a bit. Joining its JS Wings Glow In The Dark and JS Wings Clear, the JS Teddy Bears in Pink from adidas Originals by Originals Jeremy Scott just landed at select adidas Originals retail locations, including WEST of New York City. The same frighteningly adorable, big headed bear, in the identical open arms, needing a hug stance. But now in effervescent pink fur, you’re just not sure whether embrace it or condemn it to eternal damnation by cutting its head off? Why not see them in person first then judge for yourself?
147 West 72nd Street | Map
New York, NY 10023
TEL #: 212-787-8595

adidas Originals by Originals Jeremy Scott   JS Teddy Bears Pink | Available Now
adidas Originals by Originals Jeremy Scott   JS Teddy Bears Pink | Available Now
adidas Originals by Originals Jeremy Scott   JS Teddy Bears Pink | Available Now
adidas Originals by Originals Jeremy Scott   JS Teddy Bears Pink | Available Now
adidas Originals by Originals Jeremy Scott   JS Teddy Bears Pink | Available Now
adidas Originals by Originals Jeremy Scott   JS Teddy Bears Pink | Available Now

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Hip-Hop’s New Business Model: Major-Label Rappers Stay ‘Independent’

Wiz Khalifa
Wiz KhalifaPhoto: Alexis Maindrault
With his independently released mixtape So Far Gone, Drake went from digital dynamo (2,000 downloads in ten minutes) to Grammy nominee all before he signed on any dotted lines. Or maybe not: While a major-label bidding war supposedly raged, rumor had it that he was already signed to Young Money/Universal. Either way, the excitement around his quick, seemingly unassisted rise translated into true stardom. And today, a number of up-and-coming rappers, eager to re-create his magic, are at pains to represent themselves as boot-strapping independent artists — even when they’ve got freshly inked major-label deals.
This phenomenon existed before Drake. “I was over at Interscope when we signed Souljah Boy,” recalls Archibald Bonkers, manager of Indiana rapper Freddie Gibbs and A&R for HHH Artists from 2004 to 2007. “At the first radio meeting after he was signed, [the label decided to] do nothing. They didn’t want to mess with the grassroots.” But recent examples of rappers who have secretly signed to labels while continuing to market themselves suggest that the trend’s truly taking hold among those still trying to make their break. The idea is simple: Artists market themselves gradually, via social networks and blogs, avoiding oversaturation. They make their music using low-budget production techniques. And then, once their “indie” success wins notice in the mainstream, their label backers come out from behind the curtains.
According to industry insiders, Pittsburgh’s Wiz Khalifa has been signed to Atlantic Records for close to a month now. (You may have noticed Kush and Orange Juice, the title of his most recent mixtape, trending on Twitter and Google.) Asked about the signing, Khalifa said, “Whatever people want it to be, that’s what it is. I didn’t say yes, I didn’t say no.” Either way, he released Kush independently, planning, as he told, the publicity behind the project himself. “The mixtape was done last month, but I really wanted to do it up and make sure something like this [buzz] would happen,” he said. “I got some more tricks up my sleeve, too.”
Meanwhile, Atlanta’s Spree Wilson recently inked a deal with Jive records without disclosing it. “They want me to market myself,” he explains. “Mixtapes, pre-projects — all before the album, [in order] to create a buzz.” (Release dates for Spree’s upcoming projects have yet to be announced.) And Warner Bros. calls Brooklynite Theophilus London — who independently released I Want You in August April and counts Solange Knowles among his fans — a "new signee," despite the fact that it's known that he was signed late last year.
These marketing plans are meant to capitalize on, and strengthen, an artist’s independently generated buzz. Practical concerns aside, this carries the always-magical whiff of rebellion. “Rebel music always does well, because kids always want to rebel against something,“ says Archibald Bonkers. It’s the new hip-hop cred: succeeding without a record label. So why sign to a major at all? “Money. That’s the only thing,” says Khalifa. Rappers “have to start rolling the weed and sweetening the lemonade.”


Three Tips for New Entrepreneurs

Three Tips for New Entrepreneurs

Every time a grocery bagger said paper or plastic, Margaret Moss would cringe, envisioning the stashes of used bags in her car or kitchen.

Her yearning to go green eventually led to a business idea: a set of reusable bags that fit into a handy pouch. In 2009, after investigating consumer camping gear and experimenting with an old sewing kit, the mother of triplets launched Repax Bags LLC with partners Sammie Bohn and Valerie Fischer.

The Metairie, La.-based company is still tiny, bringing in annual revenue of about $30,000 in 2010. But it has succeeded in winning shelf space in Whole Foods Markets, Louisiana supermarket-chain Rouses and other U.S. grocery stories. Sets retail for about $20 and include four machine-washable bags, which can each hold up to 20 pounds.

As with many new entrepreneurs, every day is an adventure and brings new learning experiences, Moss says. Here are three lessons from her journey she shares with other new business owners.
1. Don't look too far ahead.

It's important to let your inspiration for the idea keep you motivated toward successfully creating the final product. For Repax, each new step brought big challenges but also brought creative solutions. If you look too far ahead, it can be overwhelming, so stick to the task at hand and find the best solutions for now.
2. Be prepared to make sacrifices.
Aspiring business owners should know that getting a business off the ground is often a demanding endeavor. Moss says: Whether you want it to or not, your life will soon revolve around your budding business so make sure you are tied to something that you strongly believe in.
3. Believe in your mission.
The Repax team's passion and perseverance is driven by a vision: to help reduce the number of plastic shopping bags used in the U.S., which annually reaches into the billions and decrease carbon-dioxide emissions. The goal is to help make the planet healthier and happier. Every small step helps, and every person with Repax on their shoulder is not bringing home plastic and paper bags. That counts for something, says Moss.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

For Your Brand – Conversation is King

Anyone who spends any time or resources online has heard the saying “content is king”.  That, though, is so Web 1.0.
I've heard the arguments that content is king.  Yet, really, can we not get content anywhere?  Is it the content that we love or the personal style, delivery, and even packaging that bring it closer? Content may draw us closer yet conversation builds the relationships, draws us in, engages us and inspires us to share and advocate.
And people will do things for friends and good contacts that they would never do for an entity.For Your Brand - Conversation is King
Watching the classic movie "The Godfather", many people in business have used the phrase, "It's not personal, it's business".  I would venture to say that in the  27 years since that movie was made some things have changed in our world.
"It's not business, it's all personal." – is now the phrase you here as social networks become the means to the way we connect, communicate and engage.
To succeed in being visible and memorable in the Web 2.0 world, conversation is king. And, it’s about engaging conversation not just one sided “walking commercials”.  The key to anyone’s success is communication and it hinges on two types of conversations:  1. The conversations we have with ourselves – our internal talk; and 2. The conversations we have with others.
Powerful conversationsFor Your Brand - Conversation is King
Your conversations have the power to bring your business to new heights and you will see that your conversations more importantly possess the authority to shape your life into what it is you want.
Strong conversational skills with positively affect your life on and off-line.  Understand that your skills do not automatically get better when you get online.  In fact, social media is nothing more than word of mouth on steroids!  And word of mouth is a double edge sword – it can be positive and it can be very negative.  How do you make sure that it’s positive word of mouth that is flowing your way?
John Genovese, of the Rapport Key, refers to growing your connections like growing a tree. “Think about your personal network as a tree just sprouting from the earth. As you grow up, you begin to grow stems which eventually turn into branches. Each branch is a connection that you have made and each stem on that branch is a resource that you are linked to. Your goal is to be the tree with hundreds of thousands of long thick branches with smaller stems and branches sprouting out from it. Each contact you make will have his/her own group of contacts, who will be connected to you.”
Here are the basic conversational skills that you need:
  • In & outs of breaking the ice
  • How to initiate small talk
  • How to establish mutual connections and what to say about them
  • How to establish someone’s location
  • How to establish how a contact spends their time
  • How to establish their hobbies / interests to leverage conversation
  • How to establish their aims / goals for future leverage with them
  • The most successful way to part ways (by maintaining them as a contact)
And, the given in all this is that you do so authentically from your own style!
You must also be good at communicating who you are and how you help people. Really, what is your super power?  Refrain from acronyms and titles – they only box you into someone else’s experience with that position and title.  Or, they serve to make the other person feel that they “don ‘t understand” what you just said and so in return you’ll receive a “that’s interesting” or “oh, I see” which is a definite conversation stopper.
For example, I met someone for the first time at a meeting the other day and asked what do you do and she said “I’m a CIO”.   Talk about something that sat figuratively like vomit in the middle of the conversation!  It was definitely a conversation stopper.  I watched her as she repeated her introduction and repelled others as she “worked the room”.
Make sure you have your answers to the questions of “what do you do” and “what have you been up to down” in a way that informs and encourages conversation.  When you have that part of the conversation already in mind, it will free you up to truly listen which is the cornerstone to success of any conversation.

Define and Refine Your Brand Communication

Define and Refine Your Brand Communication

Posted on | April 24, 2010 | by Maria Elena Duron | 4 Comments
Socialnomics I’m enjoying the book Socialnomics by Erik Qualman.  It focuses on how social media transforms the way we live and do business.  And, I agree.  Social media is just another form of communication and those formats are ever changing – as we see with the extinction of the pay phone.
One particular excerpt I enjoyed was the topic of “Assessing You Life Every Minute”.   Addressing that age-old question of “What am I doing with my life’, Qualman quotes Bill Tily, from a personal interview. Tily at the age of 83 shares,
I actually made a habit of physically printing out my social media updates from the previous month and going through them one by one and highlighting updates that were necessarily contributing to a “full” life.  Over time, I reduced the amount of “waste” and actually became so cognizant of it during the actually act of updating my stats that I’d recognized in that specific moment in time what I would deem an “unfruitful activity” and cease engaging in it immediately.  I wish these social media tools were around a long time ago!”
How many of us have ever printed out our updates in Facebook , Twitter or LinkedIn; or our blog posts and comments we’ve made regarding blog posts?
3819843421_3e1b29bba7 Would our communication be something that we would be ‘proud’ of?
Take the challenge and look at just this last week’s updates and leave feedback in the comment section below on how you fared.
A recent survey by Hubpages, found that people find that 84% of status updates are negative.
Use your updates to DEFINE your brand and share what makes you unique.  Focus on those things and look that every Facebook status update, every Twitter tweet, every linked in news update – does each one support the definition of who you are?   Do they exude your brand attributes or excrete something different?
Next, REFINE your updates.  No doubt there will be negative stuff that happens in our lives.  The key question to ask before you post about these events (and it’s actually the same question to ask yourself in real life – even if it has nothing to do with posting to anywhere), is this:  What can I learn from what I’m experiencing?
Now, share what you’ve learned in your update.
This will refine your communication to be genuine and yet more valuable because there’s a problem and solution (or solution mindset) that you are communicating.  That will refine your communication to being on brand and ultimately make your updates and brand attributes more visible and viral as people “like” your update or retweet it.
Do let me know how you do on reviewing your last week’s updates!


What is brand engagement?  It is when you can engage others in a way that they can verbalize what makes you unique.
I believe that the branding process is not complete until you engage someone with your brand.  That phrase, “they’re an expert in their own mind”, is just that – in your mind.  True brand success comes when you can engage others with your brand by successfully expressing and exuding to them what your brand is that they, in turn, can speak of and communicate your brand through the credibility of their own voice to the people who know, like and trust them.

Twitter chat?
Every Wednesday I moderate a chat on Twitter known as #brandchat.  We discuss all things about “branding”.  In the month, we designate a certain focus or theme for our chats to keep all the chatters basically ‘rowing in the same direction’ although the span and depth of a topic provides a vast array of conversations that can happen.  On week one, we focus on “general questions, topics, ideas” centered on branding.  Week two we focus small business brands.  For week three our theme focuses on big business brands and non-profit brands.  And, on week four we focus on personal brands.
What I’ve found in moderating #brandchat is this, the people that complain the most about “personal branding” and it’s existence (because many of the complainers are those who say it doesn’t exists – that it lives in some blogger’s fantasy) are the ones who use the facets of personal branding the most.  Interesting, isn’t it?
Do they deliberately try to throw others ‘off the scent’ so they won’t have any competition or is it because ‘branding has become rote’ to them?
So, what is the definition of personal branding? (the most commonly asked question in our chat and the most diversely answered.)  I’ve said (and so have many others), ‘it is the space you (or a product) takes up in someone’s mind.”
The facets of personal branding
1.  It is discovering what makes you unique.
Discover Your Personal Brand I’ve never met anyone online who says, “yup, that’s me – I’m just like everyone else”.  In fact, those who are extremely active in the online space are unique and leaders in their field.  These “non-personal branders” are so good a communicating what makes them unique – they can do it in 140 characters or less!  How about that for great personal brand dexterity?
2.  It is finding the best communication tools and avenues that express that uniqueness
Some prefer blogging while others eNewsletters.  Others like writing on the wall while still others tweet. And, some are strictly face to face people.
3.  It is exuding that uniqueness in everything verbal and non-verbal (confirming that it is true and genuine)
So, you say you’re easily accessible and yet you only check voice messages once a day.  And, email maybe once every other day.  And, maybe you don’t have an office or store front – in fact, you may be very difficult to find.  No matter what you say – it’s what they experience that is the true brand communication.  If a disconnect exists between what you say and what you do, your credibility is shot.
4.  It is engaging that uniqueness in a way that others can verbalize what makes you unique
So, if you say and express you brand in the woods and nobody hears it, is it still your brand?  Or, does brand, by the very definition mean that there’s others involved?


The Executive Branding Worksheet: 10 Steps to Defining Your Authentic Personal Brand

Perceptions and definitions of personal branding vary greatly and misconceptions abound. Here's my take on it:
"Personal Branding links your passions, key personal attributes, and strengths with your value proposition, in a crystal clear message that differentiates your unique promise of value from your peers and resonates with your target audience."
What’s great about branding is that it generates the kind of chemistry that indicates good fit to decision makers assessing whether to hire you or do business with you.
In my practice as an Executive Job Search and Branding Strategist, I've been incorporating what’s now called personal branding in my clients' career marketing communications for many years. It's always been my mission to differentiate them from their competition in the job market, create chemistry in otherwise flat career marketing materials, and strategically position them for job search acceleration.
But there's so much more to learn. I continuously tweak, refine, and improve my clients’ personal branding development process. To enhance my expertise, I completed the Reach Certified Personal Branding Strategist program.  
The process was intense and at first overwhelming. Being introspective and digging deep was somewhat painful, but ultimately eye-opening, affirming, and energizing.
Uncovering and pulling together all of the following 10 components will arm you with a compelling personal brand message to anchor and weave throughout all your online and offline career marketing communications.
Here’s an abbreviated version of the branding process I went through with the Reach Personal Branding program:
1. What are your vision and purpose?
Before clearly defining your brand, look externally at the bigger picture of your vision for the world, and then internally, at how you might help the world realize your vision.
2. What are your values and passions?
You have to know yourself and what you want and need before you can move forward. Your belief system and operating principles are at the core of determining whether an opportunity in front of you will be a good fit for you. If the passions that drive you aren’t met, you probably won’t be happy.
3. What are your top goals for the next year, 2 years, and 5 years?
Work on projecting what you intend to accomplish so you can put together a strategic action plan to get there.
4. Do a self-assessment of your top brand attributes.
What 3 or 4 adjectives best describe the value you offer? What words do you use to define your personality? Here are some possibilities, but don’t limit yourself to these:
Collaborative, resilient, forward-focused, risk-taking, connected, international, visionary, diplomatic, intuitive, precise, enterprising, ethical, genuine, accessible.
5. What are your core strengths or motivated skills?
In what functions and responsibilities do you excel? What things are you the designated “go-to” person for? What would your company have a hard time replacing if you left suddenly? The possibilities are endless, but here are a few suggestions:
Identifying problems, seeing the details, leading, delegating, performing analysis, fact finding, crunching numbers, anticipating risk, motivating, mentoring, innovating, managing conflict, writing, listening, communicating.
6. Get feedback from those who know you best – at work, at home, anywhere.
The true measure of your brand is the reputation others hold of you in their hearts and minds. Notice how they introduce you to others. Ask them what your top brand attributes and core strengths are. How does your self-assessment jibe with their feedback?
7. Do a SWOT (Strengths – Weaknesses – Opportunities – Threats) analysis on yourself.
Don’t dwell on your weak points, but keep them in mind so that you don’t move into a position where that function is the main thrust of the job.
8. Who is your target audience?
Determine where you want to fit in (industry and niche area of expertise). Learn what decision makers in that field are looking for when they’re vetting candidates. Find out where those decision makers hang out and what key words will attract them, and then position yourself in front of them to capture their attention.
9. Who is your competition in the marketplace and what differentiates you from them?
Determine why decision makers should choose whatever you’re offering over the others offering similar value. What makes you the best choice? What makes you a good investment? What value will you bring that no one else will?
10. Remember the 3 Cs of personal branding:
Clarity – be clear about who you are and who you are not.
Consistency – steadfastly express your brand across all communications vehicles.
Constancy – strong brands are always visible to their target audience.
Your takeaway:
The work involved in uncovering your brand may seem daunting, but your efforts can benefit you immeasurably. My own brand development helped me re-focus the way I do business toward the kinds of work I’m most passionate about, and more deeply niche my target audience.
In job search, developing and communicating your personal brand can pre-qualify you as a good fit and accelerate your search. Your unique brand message differentiates the best you have to offer, gives a good indication of what you’re like to work with, and evidences how you make things happen.
Related posts:
10 Best of Personal Branding Strategies, Lessons, and News
15 Best of Online Brand Identity and Social Media
By Guest Blogger:  Meg Guiseppi, CPBS, MRW, CPRW – C-level/Senior-level Executive Branding Strategist, helping corporate leaders define their personal brand and create the vibrant, targeted career marketing communications they need to differentiate and strategically position their unique value proposition — online and offline.  Executive Resume Branding,


Download Mixtape Free | Mixtape Player






Download Mixtape Free | Mixtape Player






Sunday, February 20, 2011




Download Mixtape Free | Mixtape Player


12 Things Every Entrepreneur Needs to Succeed in Marketing



  • Where will you be selling your product or service? Make sure you consider the pros and cons of an online outlet versus a traditional bricks and mortar approach. Also, given your service industry, where might your customers expect you to be located?
  • Have you considered your advertising strategy? Do you have a PR strategy? And what kinds of incentives will you be offering? The main question you want to answer here is, how will people know about my product, and why would they want to try it?
  • In the original research you conducted for your business plan, you should have included questions about your pricing structure. It’s important to be as competitive as possible without lowering the value of your product or service.
5. CONSUMER: Whenever I consult with a new client, I take them through this exercise.  Think about your target consumer. What do they look like? Where do they shop? Hang out? Are they online? If so, what websites do they like? Build a profile of your ultimate consumer. Even give him or her a name

6. COST: Having a competitive pricing structure isn’t enough. What will your product or service cost your consumer? Sometimes costs we don’t consider, for example, include cost of gas. Is it cheaper to buy your product online or drive to a store? Ship via 3-day air?

  • For many consumers, online shopping is the epitome of convenience. And to think less than 10 years ago, the majority of us would have never thought to purchase items via the Internet. But it’s not just about shopping online. What other experience might consumers want to do in their homes because of convenience? And how does this effect your “place” strategy?
  • Promotion is a one-way conversation. It’s you sending a message to your consumers. Communication, however, allows for a dialogue, and consumers want and need it. How will you allow consumers to give you feedback on your products and services?
  • Even if there’s a market for a product or service that may not be motivation enough to create it. You have to consider social, environmental, government, and safety issues associated with your business.
10. VALUE:
  • Price and cost are only a part of your strategy. How much value does your product add to its consumer? And, is it adding intrinsic (or just extrinsic) value? We see this reflected in advertising that calls out “environmentally friendly” or charities who call out a “red” partnership, fighting AIDS in Africa. Big brands realize that consumers want to feel good about your product or service.
11. VENUE: Mary Kay was onto something. It’s not just about shopping online, it’s about turning your home into your personal shopping venue. How does your product or service become a lifestyle

12. VOGUE:
  • Promotion and communication are vitally important, but if you’re not on trend, you can damage your brand before it even launches. And as you work to establish your brand, the wrong message can take you back dozens of steps. Think of Groupon’s recent advertising misstep during the Super Bowl. They offended tons of customers and many more potential customers. Kenneth Cole making light of the uprising in Egypt was also not well received. We become way too accustomed to trying to get customers to pay attention to us, ignoring the fact that we want their attention for the right reasons.

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Top Brands

adidas adiZero Rose 1.5 'St. Patrick"s Day'

Brand | Posted 01/20/2011

adidas adiZero Rose 1.5 'St. Patrick
Nike isnt the only one who knows how to create special colorways for their sneakers. Adidas will be releasing a special St Patricks day edition of the AdiZero Rose 1.5. Consisting of an entirely green base with a white toe and subtle hints of black and lighter green accents throughout the shoe. This special edition AdiZero Rose 1.5 will be great for the greenest holiday of the year. Expect to see D Rose in these with the matching green Bulls jersey come St Pattys day. Now we just need to wait and see what Nike will respond with.