Allan Isfan is a co-founder of FaveQuest, a young start-up. This blog covers start-up topics.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


vacations and brands

Just to put you in context, I'm sitting on a beautiful deck overlooking the Atlantic ocean sipping on a great cold beer.Two of the kids are in the pool playing Marco Polo with some kids they just met while the other is with her mom somewhere on the beach hunting for shells and having some mommy time. I'll try to avoid getting too poetic this time ... my deep blog from San Fran overlooking the bay and Alcatraz was a bit deep. I have spent the last week travelling with family and meeting up with my sister and her family on the Atlantic coast at a great resort called Wild Dunes. It is about 20 minutes from Charleston just north of Savannah. We will definitely be back. The resort itself consists of a number of houses and condos as well as the Boardwalk Inn where we stayed. The Inn is pricey ... about $500/night for a 1 bedroom suite at peak season (July 4th week) but when on holidays, we don't like to do dishes, laundry or beds so we opted for that instead of a villa which runs at about $2000k/week.The best part is the beach. Miles and miles of fine sand and very shallow water for hundreds of feet. That makes the water very warm and safe for the kids. We were body surfing the three foot waves for hours and hunting for sand dollars and great shells. We're capping that off with a three hour boat trip to Caper's Island Saturday morning to check out wildlife including dolphins.

Since you don't read this blog for travel advice, I'd better toss in some biz stuff. That brings me to the value of brands. With three kids under 10, McDonald's is hard to avoid on a long trip. The kids can spot the golden arches before they are even visible to us and we ended up there quite a few times. We tolerate their salads and the kids burn off some steam in the PlayPlace after hours of sitting in the car. My wife and I have a similar reaction to Starbucks. There is nothing else that brings more of a smile to our face than seeing that green Starbucks logo ... the kids think we have lost our mind. There is sometimes dancing and a couple of wooohoos! My wife and I are heading to NY City this coming weekend for our anniversary and a bit of business and I already know where all the Starbucks are in Times Square where we are staying. It is hard to beat such brands when people have an emotional attachment to them. One brand that I found confusing is Holiday Inn. We stayed at an amazing Holiday Inn in Williamsburg Virginia that could have just as well been a boutique hotel in Manhattan. I figured that maybe Holiday Inn has been upgrading so we stayed at another one on the road and it was a complete dump. Not staying at Holiday Inn again ... don't know what you get. Marriott is much smarter ... they have a number of different brands under the Marriott umbrella for different tiers and markets.

For MYDYO, our brand is extremely critical. We can't afford to go through an expensive branding exercise. We need to make who we are extremely crystal clear and that message needs to get across in 3 minutes or less. This is very tough and I have been struggling with it but every pitch gets more concise and clearer. With that in mind, I'll give you a sneak peek "MYDYO is building a media personalization engine". If you work for a media company or a service provider looking to deliver media in a complete new way, give me a shout. As indicated, I'll be in NYC at the end of the week and may have a bit of time Friday am to chat (right after I deliver a non-fat wet cappuccino to my lovely wife).

For absolutely no reason, here is a link to a stupid bank robber.


Allan Isfan

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