Cure for ADRD (Attention Deficit Relational Disorder) announced!

Impactiviti Pharmaceuticals today announced the approval of Relativiti (aprillinate oneicus), a unique therapy for treating Attention Deficit Relational Disorder (ADRD).

ADRD is a syndrome that affects approximately 96% of all males, and is characterized by a lack of listening skills, a disinterest in spousal conversation, and an obsession with sports and beer at the expense of participating in interactive male-female relationships. The 4% not so afflicted are generally comatose at any given time.

“It’s a miracle!” proclaimed Sallie Mae Keelover, whose husband was a self-described poster child for ADRD. “He used to come home from work, sit in front of ESPN Sportscenter, and grunt unintelligible syllables in response to anything I said. I could have married a houseplant if I’d wanted that kind of response to my loving attention. Now, all I have to do is slip a few grams of Relativiti into his drink, and within minutes, he is gazing deeply into my eyes and asking about my day – he even empathizes when I tell him about the latest gossip from my girlfriends.”

Relativiti (pron. Ree-late-iv-i-tee) works by temporarily transforming testosterone to a new “hybrid hormone” called Testrogen, which enables the subject to maintain critical elements of his masculinity, while also experiencing more classic female relationship traits. As an added bonus, there is also a short-term memory loss while under the influence of Relativiti, so that subjects are not aware of the temporary shift into relational mode, thereby preserving their fragile sense of impervious manhood.

In Phase III clinical trials, 99.5% of spousal units reported immense satisfaction with the results of using Relativiti, while 0.0% of the test subjects were aware of what the heck was going on. Several spousal units dropped out due to Traumatic Stress Disorder or heart attack after seeing the drug’s effects, but these risks were deemed acceptable in light of the encouraging results produced. The Fooz and Drug Association (FDA), after a few grams of Relativiti were slipped into their drinking water during deliberations, sympathized with the plight of women everywhere and fast-tracked the drug through an unheard-of 6-hour approval process (clinical note: Relativiti has a half-life of ~7 hours). Side effects were mild and transient, including drinking ultra-light beer, reading People magazine, and having difficulty deciding which power tie to wear to work. These effects generally disappeared after activities such as firing up a loud chainsaw.

Impactiviti Pharmaceuticals has been barraged with requests for Relativiti ever since word of the approval leaked out via the newly established FDA Gossip-line blog. An emotional Steve Woodpuffin, President of Impactiviti Pharma, held a news conference during which he expressed his profound feelings for the half of the world which continually wrestles with the ravages of ADRD.

“It’s been difficult, all these years, seeing women suffer with men who, due to inbred Hormonal Imbalance Syndrome (HIS), could or would not communicate effectively. After seeing the soulful look in the eyes of our initial test subjects – their genuine interest in a non-directed conversation, their affectionate expressions of care, their readiness to drop all for the sake of helping with the dishes – we knew we were well on the way to solving one of the world’s ‘Big Ones.’ The fact that we’ll make boatloads of cash in the process has also not been lost on me,” stated Woodpuffin.

Relativiti will be available, by prescription only (or OTC, or on street corners) in three strengths – Big, Mega, and Ultra-Strength. It should be noted that use of Ultra-Strength, typically administered for truck drivers and Sumo wrestlers, may cause brief episodes of uncontrollable weeping. A new formulation, for men with sensitive skin, is also in the works.

For those spousal units who truly need to administer Relativiti “on the sly,” a special fast-dissolving powdered formulation is available for sprinkling into food or drink.

For more information, please see our pharma website at Or our branding website at Oh, you’re already there. Well, happy first of April!

Brand Impactiviti now StickyFigure

For quite some time, I’ve been contemplating a name change for this blog, and this division of my business. It turns out that I need to create more of a separation between my pharma consulting division (Impactiviti), and my brand consulting work. So, welcome to StickyFigure!

Why that name? Simple – my goal is to figure out ways to make messages that stick. I was inspired by Malcolm Gladwell’s chapter in Freakonomics about “sticky” communications, and the subsequent book by Dan and Chip Heath entitled Made to Stick. These books pointed me more clearly in the direction that I was made for – communications that stick!

As Heard on The Street

This week, I was surprised to receive a phone call from a mainstream reporter (, asking for my opinions on small business branding.

I guess I had a lot of pent-up ideas, because I found myself, quite uncharacteristically, letting loose a stream of thoughts and words.

Here’s the article on website.

Impactiviti now on Small Business Branding blog

I have recently been asked to be a contributor to the Small Business Branding (SBB) blog. This blog features posts from a group of writers who are devoted to the art and science of branding and marketing, with a particular focus on smaller business.

Here is my first post. I look forward to fruitful collaboration with SBB and its growing audience!

Brand Memories

I was sitting at my desk today, riffling through old memory banks to try to identify brands from other eons of my life (childhood, teenage years, college, young adult) – something has to be very special and memorable to endure the decades.

Then, going to pick up some wine for tonight’s dinner, I saw a name that I hadn’t seen for many years. French Rabbit.

Back when my bride and I were relative newlyweds living in Nashville, and just discovering the pleasures of wine, there was a brand we bought frequently (both red and white) called French Rabbit. Why? Well, it was cheap. And reasonably drinkable, at that young stage in our pilgrimage.

Now they come in this funky new “tetra” packaging. It was still cheap, so for old time’s sake, I picked up a bottle box thingie of Merlot.

It’s red, it’s liquid, and it’s inoffensive. Would I buy it again? Nah – but I still enjoyed connecting with a brand from the past. Even if it was one of the earliest to do the “cute animal” thing for a label!

Treating workers like adults? What a concept!

From the San Jose Mercury News:


When it comes to vacation, Netflix has a simple policy: take as much as you’d like. Just make sure your work is done.

Employees at the online movie retailer often leave for three, four, even five weeks at a time and never clock in or out. Vacation limits and face-time requirements, says Netflix Chief Executive Reed Hastings, are “a relic of the industrial age.”

“The worst thing is for a manager to come in and tell me: `Let’s give Susie a huge raise because she’s always in the office.’ What do I care? I want managers to come to me and say: `Let’s give a really big raise to Sally because she’s getting a lot done’ – not because she’s chained to her desk.”

Across America, executives are searching for ways to keep experienced Baby Boomers at their companies and attract younger workers, many of whom are used to controlling which songs they listen to and where they get their news.

Netflix’s time off rules – or lack thereof – are part of a broad culture of employee autonomy instilled in the company when Hastings founded it a decade ago. The executives trust staffers to make their own decisions on everything – from whether to bring their dog to the office to how much of their salary they want in cash and how much in stock options. Workers are treated, as Chief Talent Officer Patty McCord likes to say, as adults.

“We want our employees to have great freedom – freedom to be brilliant or freedom to make mistakes,” Hastings said.

That might sound like executive blather, but to hear employees tell it, on the way to almost $1 billion in sales last year, Netflix has made good on its promises to workers…(read the whole article).


Best Buy has implemented a similar structure. I hope this “virus” spreads. Actually measuring by results, instead of punch cards…I can hardly think of a better way to attract and keep the best people, and get optimal output!

No Wimpy Wines, part deux

After my recent post on Ravenswood Winery’s marketing approach, I exchanged a few messages with Becky Carroll, who recently wrote up her (very positive) experience with Ravenswood on her blog, Customers Rock!