One of the interactive exercises that I do with audiences in my keynotes and workshops is a corporate branding one. We split the room in to groups who are given the name of a coffee store and they have to come up with three words that best describe that store. Usually I pick Starbucks (Expensive, American, Barista - are three common responses), Tim Hortons (Canadian, Timbits, Hockey) and Coffee Time (Who?, Dirty, Tasteless) - it gets the message across about defining your brand simply and also the difference between rational and emotional attributes.
Based on the recent Globe & Mail article for next year I might switch that third store to Second Cup (Local, Average, Messy) and see if the perceptions of audiences changes as the company continues to roll out its new approach to the market. Take a moment to read the article and check the comments - better than a focus group!
As you Review Your Year - what three words would you want to be known for?