The Scoop @ MSCO

Clarfeld Again Ranked #1 NY Independent Financial Consultant by Barron’s

For the sixth consecutive year, Barron’s ranked Rob Clarfeld, CEO of Clarfeld Financial Advisors, New York’s #1 Independent Financial Advisor. A clinet of MSCO for that entire span, we’ve been with them every step of the way, unearthing new opportunities and streamlining their business development, so they can focus on what matters, growing wealth for their clients.

Says Clarfeld about the achievement:

“I’m thrilled by this year’s ranking; however, it is our Barron’s ranking for six consecutive years as New York’s best independent wealth advisor that attests to the consistency of our methodology, high-touch client service culture and ongoing commitment to excellence.

“This past year saw us highly ranked by Forbes, The Financial Times, as well as other publications, but the Barron’s ranking is by far the gold standard of the financial services industry.We operate in an incredibly competitive environment, among very talented firms, particularly in New York where the best of the best compete for the trust of extremely sophisticated clients.”

With a score of 99.496 out of 100, Clarfeld ranked eighth nationally in Barron’s Top 100 Independent Advisors list for 2014 and has been among the top ten nationwide for six consecutive years.

Barron’s rigorous, objective ranking is the most prestigious and respected listing within the financial advisory industry. Unlike other industry surveys that list advisors solely by assets under management, Barron’s vetting process employs an in-depth qualitative assessment of the advisor’s investment philosophy, business practices, contributions to the community and profession, as well as asset and revenue growth.

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Distinctive Offices Painted as Interior Experts

Score another hit for MSCO’s public relations team! Professional contracting magazine inPAINT’s summer issue features an article quoting MSCO client Distinctive Offices’ CEO and founder Richard Colucci as he talks about the right time to renovate commercial space. Here’s an excerpt:

“The ideal time for business owners to consider a design transformation of their office space is prior to an approaching lease renewal,” Colucci adds. “This is the perfect time to transform an entire office space—from carpet to paint—without the hassle of [a] move.”

Great job, guys! Read the entire article here.

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Pair of New Clients Join MSCO

With a reputation for building businesses of all sizes, MSCO often has an eclectic group of clients in industries ranging from athletics to insurance. This week, MSCO welcomed two new dynamic clients into the fold looking to grow their business with our marketing help:

Law Offices of Alan J Pickel – This Stamford based personal injury lawyer looks to MSCO in order to help him define a market niche and provide him with a great deal of exposure through advertising, both traditional and digital. We anticipate  success in streamlining his marketing and focusing his appeal like a laser on a particular client need.

Compensation Refunds – This B2B client comes to MSCO to help him pitch his services to businesses overpaying on insurance, particularly workers’ compensation benefits. By negotiating the complexities of insurance bureaucracy and requirements of the law, Compensation Benefits stands to help their clients recoup tens of thousands of dollars in refunds for overpayments. Given a little exposure to the right decision makers, MSCO feels this is an easy sell that could revolutionize the way insurance benefits are calculated industry wide.

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How Entrepreneurs Think

How Entrepreneurs ThinkFor starters, they think differently than everyone else. Oddly. Strangely. Never in a linear fashion. Always asymmetrically. Frequently in dangerous and outrageous ways. Einstein’s was not an entrepreneur, per se, but he said he liked to start with fantasies and work backwards to realities. If the realities existed at all.

That’s how Jobs thought. Musk. Edison. And the thousands you never heard of — and who don’t give a whit if their names are never mentioned in public.

So what are some of the key pillars of entrepreneurial thinking:

1. Dreams come before the strategies. A romantic vision that makes everything else seem superficial and commonplace. This morphs into the mission that makes the entrepreneur relentless.

2. Risk is not a “should I take the plunge or not” kind of ping pong thinking. It is a fact of life –in fact the thrill and the line in the sand that distinguishes the true entrepreneurs from the wannabes. While others may see risk as a necessary evil, entrepreneurs view it as the steep, exhilarating down slope on the dollar coaster.

3.What would no one else dare to do? Or what would the world date me to do? And in both cases, what would they think that doing it would lead to abject failure. To an entrepreneur’s mind, that’s “sign me up” time.

4. Is there a puzzle I can figure out? Something that has confounded others for years? The more daunting it appears to be, the more I want to take it on.

5.Success is never really SUCCESS. The balanced life crowd doesn’t get this, but they don’t get the restless mind of the entrepreneur. They are the lonesome cowboys of capitalism. There is always another roundup to gallop into.

6. Working for someone else is a form of imprisonment. Better to fail at creating the new widget than succeed as a middle manager at Ford.

7. Worrying about what others think of you is moronic. Time wasting. Pathetic. It’s all about the innovation.

8. Get rich: not mostly for the toys it buys but for the freedom (from everyone but yourself) it provides.

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Why Brand Obama Collapsed

ObamaBarack Obama rose to the US presidency on the power of one of the greatest and most thoughtful tech-driven viral branding and marketing campaigns in history. Brand Obama was a phenomenon for six years and two national elections.

And then suddenly the power of the brand began to deteriorate– slowly at first but then with the speed of a gathering avalanche. The question is, how did this happen and what can we learn from it for our businesses/our careers?

It all starts with the fact that the core of a great brand is not a logo but instead a “promise.” The brand promise defines what the product/service/candidate stands for. When people are attracted to the promise, they buy it. When they love the promise, they spread the word virally. When Obama promised “hope and change” from the weary old ways of Washington, the brand caught fire. And those who were happy with it and voted for the charismatic President stayed with him, even through the inevitable bumps in the road that face any product/service/candidate. Starbucks has had its setbacks but always rebounds. Amazon is in the midst of a writers’ revolt but the vast majority of its customers still adore the brand.

Things go south, at times implode, when a brand misleads. When it is perceived as no longer trustworthy. For Obama (regardless of anyone’s political position), this turning point occurred when his “promise” that one could keep their doctors and medical plans proved to be erroneous. Whether this was intentional or not, many believed that the Obama brand could no longer be taken at face value.

Once this crack in the dam occurred, the President’s actions were open to much higher levels of scrutiny. Does he work hard enough? Does he vacation too often? Is he just another politician? Is he soft in the foreign arena?

Independent polls are now revealing that Obama’s popularity is declining rapidly. In fact, his brand is collapsing. Who he is, how intelligently he thinks through issues, the way he views the world and his role– none of this may have changed.

But that’s not the point. Once trust in a brand is weakened, the love affair is over. The key is to recognize when that “crack in the damn” occurs in any brand and to take decisive action:

1. Correct any misconception that has led to brand confusion and apologize for it.

2. Demonstrate with specificity how you will move forward to restore confidence in the brand.

3. Recognize that a simple “open letter” will not suffice. Management (or a candidate) must communicate by doing as well as by speaking.

4. Meet with the key influencers in your market and seek their help in restoring the power of the brand and the loyalty to it.

 

Waiting too long inevitably leads to a loss that cannot be recovered. Brand Obama is still waiting.

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