Wednesday, February 26, 2020

The Eyes of the Automotive World

Despite the absence of Mercedes Benz and Volvo, two iconic and aspirational brands, the 2020 Toronto International Auto Show was a hit with me.  It's always a thrill to get up and close with the latest and shiniest new models and this year was just as exciting.  Here are some takeaways:
  • Trucks and SUV's really do rule the roads.  Wow...nobody produces cars anymore.  Seriously!  Other than the Toyota Camry and some VW models, cars were not the stars of the show.
  • Why do so many vehicles have an iPad stuck awkwardly on the dash. bad...that's the interactive display.  Can't the vehicle manufacturers figure out how to integrate these yet?
  • Trucks are ridiculous for most people.  Unless you have a serious work need, a pickup truck with an exposed bed is just plain stupid.  Buy an SUV instead.
Some of the vehicles I loved:
  • The VW Arteon.  Weird name, fabulous vehicle!  Thinly disguised Audi fastback at a fraction of the price.
  • Subaru Impreza.  Sitting behind the wheel just felt right!
  • Toyota Camry.  Nice vehicle.  Love the overall appearance.  Loose the two-tone paint job though.
The biggest surprise for me was Hyundai.  It was the busiest booth by a large margin on the Saturday morning we visited.  The bad old days are way behind them...most of the Hyundai cars and SUV's look fabulous!  And they are priced well!  I even, dare I admit it, lusted after a couple of models!  What...?  Has Hyundai become an aspirational brand?

One final observation:  I love the variety of the headlight designs.  Wild and crazy!

Until next time...
Chris Morales, Marketing, Toronto

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Growing Up: Canadian Jamaican

Chris Morales, Growing Up Canadian Jamaican
'Growing Up:  Canadian Jamaican'. These are stories from my life: From my earliest years growing up in Jamaica, to growing up again in Canada as a teenager. Looking back on my journey, I can now say that I loved my my hybrid upbringing. But there were times when I resented being caught between two cultures. 

I wrote this book to help young people, particularly those recently arrived in Canada, navigate their own journey. But the stories apply to anyone at any age who is struggling with their personal identity. I hope you find one or two that resonate with you. If you do, please share with someone who could benefit.

I got stuck at age 12 growing up in Jamaica. Two years later it began again in Canada. Mentally and emotionally I tumbled between honouring my Jamaican heritage while fitting into my Canadian world. “Who are you?” we were asked repeatedly. “It depends…” was my answer to that question. 

With my upbringing, I didn’t identify with the typical ‘Jamaican’. In Jamaica we lived in the affluent suburbs outside of the capital city of Kingston. We went to Catholic private schools. We played and partied behind gated and walled yards. We travelled in comfort between these compounds. Looking back, it was an isolated and privileged upbringing. The crack was working with Dad at his Gas Station on the edge of Trench Town, a world class ghetto! 

In Canada we were jolted into middle-class life in the suburbs of Mississauga far from the Jamaican Hood. We visited family and friends in their homes in Brampton and Markham. We didn’t attend any of the traditional Caribbean or Jamaican events or activities. Actively stayed away! It was working class more than the upper class. 

And we were different. We could ‘Pass’ until we spoke. Then the Jamaican accent gave us away.I’ve grown into a Canadian Jamaican accepted by friends and business associates. 

Along the way I found my inner strength. I’ve used it to help myself and others. This book pulls together a number of stories from my journey. I hope you find one or two that resonate with you. If you do, please share with someone who may need help on their growing up journey.

Click this link to buy a copy of 'Growing Up:  Canadian Jamaican' Both eBook and Paperback available.

Until next time...
Chris Morales, Growing Up Canadian Jamaican

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

10 Small Business Marketing Tactics for 2020

Last week I spoke with a couple of budding business owners.  They are in the planning stages for a new business venture in the food and beverage industry.  This is a crowded field with a high failure rate.  Their business will compete with National Chains and Independent operators.  It will be challenging.  But they have a secret weapon:  They have stories.  Real stories from their travels around the world that they can use to market the uniqueness of their business.  That's an edge...and it may be just what they need as they take the leap of faith to start it up. of the top 10 marketing tactics for small business owners.

Until next time...
Chris Morales
Chris Morales, Marketing, Toronto,

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Maggie Dog - Morning Routine

Oh to be a Maltese living in our home!  Our Maggie Dog has been with us over 2 years.  She turned 12 years old last December 25 (yes, we celebrate on Christmas Day).  She is super protective of her 'Mommy' but is pleasant, cheerful and loyal to Sally and I.  And she loves her morning routine!!
Just another day in paradise!


Thursday, January 30, 2020

Small Business Class Guest Speaking Gig

Starting Your Small Business
This semester, I've got a class full of eager students once again in the Small Business course at George Brown College.  This 12 week course covers the fundamentals of identifying, starting and running a small business.  These students are planning their ventures and all have solid ideas!  

Here's how you can help:  Volunteer to speak in one of the upcoming classes.  Share your small business story, how you got started, mistakes you've made, successes you've had, tips on how to get through the typical challenges.  

If you are a small business owner and have about 45 minutes on Thursday evening at 6:15 pm, please contact me directly:

Thank you.

Chris Morales, George Brown College, Marketing, Toronto

Thursday, January 23, 2020

The Internet of Things Tips Over

At some point in the near future we will tip over into the Internet of Things.  Some are already there.  Recently we spoke with a couple who control everything in their 500 sq ft condo via their smartphones.  Food gets resupplied and delivered; appliances are controlled remotely;  security is monitored continuously.  They think nothing of it.  

I see the value of control; of having one device to control everything.  I say let's hurry up and get there!

Until next time...
Chris Morales
Chris Morales, Marketing, Toronto

Thursday, January 16, 2020

What happens in an Internet Minute

In an Internet minute, all 60 seconds of it, a lot goes on.  I expected huge numbers for activities like facebook, Google Searches and Social Media.  But the Netflix statistic is mind blowing:  In one Internet Minute, 694,444 hours of content are watched!  Have fun with these other stats:
Until next time...
Chris Morales
Chris Morales, Marketing, Toronto

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Sports Fans Love Social Media

Sports fans love Social Media!  Before and after...and especially during!  Once their favourite event is underway, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter are close at hand.  Sports event promoters have taken note and provide loads of content to comment on and share!  That insight plus these four others highlight why it is important to have a tight Social Media strategy for your next event:

Until next time...
Chris Morales

Chris Morales, Toronto, Marketing

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Taking the Scare out of 2020 Marketing Trends

As a small business owner, keeping the doors open is a big challenge.  Prospecting for new business while delivering service to current customers is an important balancing act.  In all the courses I teach at George Brown College, we talk about this a lot.  And in my Fundamental Skills Workshop, learning how to sell benefits versus features is a key learning takeaway.  

Predicting the future is always a mugs game.  What I can say with some certainty is that the pace of change will continue to speed up.  That presents an extra challenge for small business owners who have to decide on what to spend tight resources on.  As always it depends...

One piece of advice I give to myself and my clients is 'Focus':  You can't be all things to all customers and neither can you do all the things that are available.  In the list below of the upcoming digital marketing trends in 2020 the one that stands out is 'Going Live'.  The top Social Media Channels now make it easier than ever to 'go live':  Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and of course YouTube all have 'live' features.  All are optimized for smartphones that have become the primary we all access and communicate with each other...and companies we want to do business with.

Until next time...
Chris Morales
Chris Morales, Marketing, Toronto