A Brand New Recipe For Branding

In a recent article, I told the story of when I was a young whippersnapper, attaining classes at what was then and still is called "one of the more famous hotel schools in North America", the marketing professor gave us an interesting, but quite challenging assignment.

We were to find a hospitality business that marketed itself by using the participation of the owner as part of the "distinctiveness" of the business. At the time, this seemed like a most difficult assignment, because in those days, it seemed that not too many people really stood out in this field. At least that what it seemed like to me in my youth. Or maybe it was just that they did not want to either make a fool of themselves. There seemed little need to drive the world to their door. I chose a very different restaurant enclosed within an old 19th century Mansion in this very cosmopolitan city. It was called Julie's Mansion and was owned and operated by a very eccentric, but wonderful showman who knew that he had to differentiate his restaurant from all the rest. He knew that the best way to do that – after the assumption of great food, entertainment and service – was to turn himself into the "brand."

My job, as a young hospitality student, was to watch him carefully and learn as much as I could. One Saturday night I showed up and Julie was trying to 'insert' himself into the home team's pro hockey uniform. It was immediately obvious that Julie had never played hockey. To see a middle-aged man struggling to get into and then have to have me extricate him from the jersey, equipment, elbow pads et al, was hilarious for a young guy like me, who had been on skates and playing the game since age four. He certainly was not afraid to make a fool of himself. When I showed up that night, he had less than no idea what piece of equipment went where, and was struggling with the shin guards. He had got himself all tangled up with what he thought were hip guards, when in fact they were shoulder pads, worn over the shoulders. It was indeed the first time I had ever seen a 'player' wearing shoulder pads, stretched around his butt.

I helped him get 'dressed'. Next came the taping of the hockey stick. This was really hilarious, watching this fellow trying to figure out the right way to tape a hockey stick without making a mess of it and looking foolish to his customers. He had a special plan for that stick.

I taped his stick and now he was ready. He had on his uniform, equipment and helmet, borrowed from one of the local NHL players who were a frequent guest at the mansion. Now, he actually looked like a real NHL hockey player … in black and white running shoes, sans skates!

Then Julie 'flew through' the different alcoves and floors of the restaurant with a big ball of foodservice aluminum foil as his 'puck'. He stick-handled in and out and between tables, took shots with the aluminum ball off the walls, cross-checked his own waiters trying to serve tables, all the while yelling cheers and the phrase made famous' round the world, by Foster Hewitt : "he shoots …. he scores!" All this, at the top of his lungs. Then he had planned for a horn to sound loudly indicating that the 'period of play' in his imaginary 'game' was over. It was now time to go to the dressing room. In a flash, just like an on-stage magician, he quickly disappeared into thin air, hidden in his office.

My face was covered in tears. I could not stop laughing! The restaurant was in an uproar. Guests were laughing so hard … one guy literally fell off his chair. The waiters were laughing, the guests were laughing, I was laughing and all the while Julie was having a ball too. Here was a restaurateur who made his work fun.

I had not met one of these types before. I really liked and respected this fellow. But I figured then, and still today, that anyone who had that much fun … and made that much money … must know something the others did not. And he did. He became his own brand. 'Distinctive. 'Differentiated. 'There is attractive to people who are sick of seeing the same old, same old every day. People are attracted to differences not similarities. Take a look at what you can do with yours. It's right under your own nose.

© Copyright, Roy W. MacNaughton, 2006

Cabo San Lucas Real Estate – Your Questions Answered – Part 3

East Cape Mexico Real Estate: Living In The Corridor

It's a compromise. A big one. It's miles of gated communities, golf courses, luxury resorts and wonderful beaches. People who buy homes or condos in the corridor participate the peace and relative security of living in gated enclaves. Same as some places back home in the States. Homeowners association rules keep out the local door-to-door peddlers, sound trucks advertising the circus, neighbors raising fighting cocks and other ambience destroyers.

I've lived in and out of these places. Personally, I kinda liked the hombre that would rattle our gate at our home in the barrio every so often to offer us fresh camarones or fish. Or on one day – a sack of live lobsters for four bucks a pound. "You come back every week," I told him, "the gate is always open for you amigo." If you like to VISIT Cabo a lot, but do not want to live in Cabo, then the corridor is a good compromise. Just remember, major grocery stores, and other necessities will be three to ten miles away in Cabo or San Jose. It's like living in the burbs without the halls – without much of anything. Just you and your neighbors, behind those big guarded gates, next to the ocean. Oh, yes – Costco and Home Depot are across the highway on the Cabo end.

Corridor Developments

Over the past several years and ongoing, developers have been putting in scores of townhouses on the land side of the corridor at prices starting in the low 200's and going up from there. They usually have a community pool and other amenities, and a view of Cabo Bay if you're lucky. Appreciation has been good – some doubling in value in two years. Some are safe investments, some are dicey – depending on the strength of the builder in general. One has to be circumspect when buying anything here. More so than say in California where more real estate disclosure is required. Title insurance is critical, so is working with knowledgeable professionals who will look out for your interests first – not the developers interests.

Established developments on the ocean side of the highway like Cabo Bello, Cabo del Sol and so on until you get all the way to San Jose are like gold. Some have private (by default behind gates) and semi-private beaches, beach clubs, and full resort amenities such as those found in Cabo de Sol or Palmilla.

Homes in these areas will range from around $ 500,000 USD up to ten or more million dollars. Prices are catching up to Southern California fast. How fast? Well, the new Puerto Los Cabos development on the East side of the San Jose estuary was selling ocean front building lots two years ago for 1.5 million dollars. They are now going for almost four million.

The limited number of ocean front lots in the El Dorado Country club (which went private last year) are going for twelve million dollars. But across the highway, and still with an ocean view (a half mile away) you can buy a town home with a community pool for under $ 200,000. This year …?

NEXT: Living in San Jose del Cabo

An Overview – How Important is Telecommunications in E-Commerce and On-Line Business World

Telecommunication is the term use to refer to a vast array of communication technologies that send information over distances. It is one of the enabling technology behind the internet.

Telecom infrastructures and equipment transmit and receive information or voice and data packets over different modes over very long distances.

Telecommunication is a broad term as it also covers not only data communication such as the internet but includes voice telephony as well. Land line, mobile phone, satellite phones and even Voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP) are forms of voice communication under telephony technologies. Without Telecommunication services all e-commerce and internet business-related activities would come to a grinding halt.

There are now a vast array of telecom services that connects all type of devices including computer networks, public telephone networks, television networks and radio networks.

Telecom companies are like hauling companies. They can haul information from one point to another and vice-versa. It can dedicate one particular communication channel to connect a private computer network of one company say to its branch’s computer network located in another country. The service is called international lease line service. Telecom companies offer a variety of service, voice and internet access services are most in-demand.

To get the best and cheapest telecom service, check-out this page on best voice and internet rates. The importance of finding the best telecom service should be stressed especially for start-up internet business.

As mentioned, the internet is a system that interconnects computer networks across the globe and its telecommunication that makes possible.

The internet is a public network free for use by anyone. Users of the internet however will have to pay telecom companies for the service of bringing internet access to their areas and for providing value-added service. Telecommunication companies have to invest millions of dollars on telecom infrastructures

In rural areas,less-populated or less-dense areas, reliable access to internet is a major problem. Despite widespread advances in communication such as GSM/CDMA, Fiber Optics, Satellite and Wireless Systems, some areas are making do with low-speed dial-up access.

Internet business needs access to reliable telecommunication services (e.g- telephone and broadband internet access is essential). Access to voice and data communication is hard especially in rural, remote and isolated areas. Few telecom companies dare to venture in because of very low potential return on investment. Telcos just won’t expand in areas with low projected return on investment.

Internet access via satellite or VSAT is the easiest but not the most cost-effective way due to high cost of subscribing a VSAT service.

In remote regions, local communities and entrepreneurs bonded together to put up a local communication systems in order to have access to telephone and the internet. You can find telecentre or community technology centers that serve as communication hub for the community in remote places.

What Does Reverse Osmosis Do – What is It?

What does reverse osmosis do? This is a question that we've been hearing a lot laTely. A better question would be, what is reverse osmosis good for. The answer to the second question is, not much. We'll explain why as we move along.

What does reverse osmosis do for you to provide you with clean drinking water? It is basically a de-mineralization system used by the water treatment facilities to filter out larger or see contaminants in the drinking water system. It works by using a porous or a ceramic filter to trap contaminants which have a greater molecular weight than the water itself. It will not however block anything of equal or less weight than the water.

So, what is reverse osmosis doing about all of the chemicals, microbes, and spores in our dinking water? How is it protecting us from them? The truth is that it's not designed in such a way as to do anything about them, and without the use of further filtering it's doing absolutely nothing to protect you.

When answering the question what does reverse osmosis do, we can not be completely negative. The system actually has many positive uses when it comes to industrial purposes. De-mineralization is a necessity in many field such as car washing and photo developing. Here it does an efficient and wonderful job.

What is reverse osmosis doing for your health and well being though? Not much at all we're afraid. As you may or may not be aware there are over 50,000 chemicals in use today, any of which can be found in your drinking water at any time. Chlorine, another toxin, is used to disenfect the water, but there are limits to it's effectiveness. Many forms of microscopic bacteria are imperfect to chlorine, and can cause serious gastric distress if ingested.

What does reverse osmosis do to prevent these microbes from reaching your tap? If you answered not a thing, then your catching on. The funny thing is that the very chemical used to disenfect the water does itself leave behind a microbial byproduct. As the chlorine passes, tiny spores are formed which also escape the filters grass.

Some of you may have seen advertising in recent months for rverse osmosis for your home. The ads go on about how their system is the ideal way to protect and purify your familys' drinking water. Do not believe the hype. As we've already shown you, it is an ill effective means of protection. I t really really kind of a silly concept anyway. If the water treatment plant can not decontaminate your water using the system, then what is reverse osmosis for your home going to do?

What you need to do is shop around for a high quality home system featuring an activated carbon filter. There are many different models available, and you can purchase them as individual tap units, or as whole house models.

Now, if anyone should ever ask for you, what does reverse osmosis do? You'll know to tell them, not much.