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Episode cover_Ray Mendez_Using Core Values to Influence Strategic Decisions

Using Core Values to Influence Strategic Decisions with Ray Mendez, Masa&Boz

July 3, 2024

It’s the Fourth of July this week in the US, so I’m celebrating America’s birthday with my family. Meanwhile, I wanted to find a great episode from our vaults to help you grow your brand. This one features Ray Mendez from Masa&Boz, my old friend and branding genius. In this episode, Ray shares his expertise in strategic decision-making and transformative branding and discusses how understanding core values, leveraging AI, and focusing on sustainable growth helps in building a successful brand.

About Ray Mendez

Ray Mendez is a partner at Masa&Boz, where he crafts strategies to help businesses connect with their customers. He’s an expert in brand prototyping, strategy, and workshop leadership. Ray’s impressive resume includes roles as a Creative Director at top firms like TBWA and Saatchi & Saatchi, and he has worked with global brands such as Apple and Greenpeace. He also teaches at Pratt Institute, sharing his knowledge from a Master of Fine Arts at Syracuse University. Known for his creative solutions and high standards, Ray believes in bringing brands to life with passion and innovation.

How to Spot and Avoid Strategic Decision-Making Traps

Strategic decision-making is crucial for business success, but it’s easy to fall into common traps. One big one is overconfidence, where you rely too much on your gut instead of data. To avoid this, always back your decisions with solid information and get advice from trusted people. Another trap is confirmation bias, where you only pay attention to information supporting your beliefs. Try to get different perspectives and challenge your own assumptions to avoid this. Lastly, there’s the sunk cost fallacy, where you stick with a project just because you’ve already put a lot into it, even if it’s not working out. Make decisions based on future benefits, not past investments. Being aware of these traps and actively working to avoid them can help you make smarter, more effective strategic decisions that will really pay off for your business.

Key Insights:

  • Empower your business. Take control of your strategy and let external agencies help you articulate your vision by asking the right questions. This way, you maintain authenticity and ensure your business’s mission and values guide your growth.
  • Leverage technology. Using AI to deepen your brand’s creative opportunities helps you pinpoint key areas for improvement and enhancement, making your branding efforts more effective and resonant with your target audience.
  • Balance creativity with analytics. Combining creativity with data ensures your marketing is both imaginative and effective, attracting more customers and driving better results.
  • Measure effectiveness. Continuously analyzing your marketing efforts ensures they align with your goals, allowing you to make informed adjustments and achieve optimal outcomes.
  • Choose long-term sustainability. Focusing on the long game leads to steady and reliable growth, ensuring your business remains robust and competitive over time. As good as overnight success sounds, it’s not likely to get you far.

Ray’s best advice for entrepreneurs:

“Good marketing should be about innovating your product over time, coming up with better ideas, coming up with better solutions for your customers, rather than trying to sell something that is not good enough for them.”

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