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With all of our marketing textbooks, classes and degrees, and our guru books, blogs and seminars, how is it that our marketing efforts so often miss the mark?  Certainly it’s not because we don’t know what to do. It really has more to do with the lessons omitted. Specifically: How to identify and overcome the ever-present forces that can hijack your plan.

Have you ever compromised a plan in the name of team work? Adjusted critical elements or language to satisfy a vocal, yet misinformed co-worker? Or even made changes in advance to please the CEO? Personal agendas, office politics and fear of innovation can reduce any of us to willing accomplices. Leaving us owning and being accountable to watered down plans.

Be prepared for the doubters. Overcome their objections with conviction, confidence and determination to keep your plans on track.

by Dwayne Fry Brand Futurist/Commander Strategic Ops


a message from the Executive Director of The Army’s Army, Janine West:

Dear Army’s Army Partners and Members,

Last week The Army’s Army paired with Cumberland County Schools to say “Thank You” to our heroes this holiday season. Elementary, middle, and high school students from 15 different schools across Cumberland County made more than 5,000 handmade cards that were delivered by The Army’s Army to veterans and service members. From heartwarming messages of appreciation to special tributes of admiration, students were passionate about saying thank you to our military.

To showcase the these wonderful holiday cards, The Army’s Army has created a website, in which users can view each card and share them with friends and family they’d like to say thank you to. All it takes is one simple moment to share a message that could change someone’s life forever.

Please join The Army’s Army in our effort and send a card to show your thanks to our heroes.

To see and share the cards visit

Thank you for your continued support!

reposted from by Robert Shaw West, Brand Futurist, Commander in Chief, The Republik Companies


Ever heard of someone named Ralph Mcquarrie? Probably not. He’s the art director who concepted, designed and illustrated all the sets for the Star Wars movies. Click on the photo – you’ll see how mind-blowingly unheard-of his ideas were? If you don’t think so, remember, this was in1976. The bad news is that he died earlier this year. But at least take this from his life, that he, along with George Lucas, completely transformed the movie industry overnight. Just goes to show you – if you have big ideas, it doesn’t mean anything until you execute them properly. If you have big ideas and you haven’t found your George yet, start looking.

by Francis George, Creative Director, The Republik. Photo Credit: courtesy of Star Wars is a produciton of LucasFilms.


Recently, I attended a traveling exhibit of work from African artist El Anatsui. I have always felt El Anatsui was one of the most prolific artist of our generation. From the first time I read articles and saw pictures of his work, I found his story and works of art a very personal inspiration.

Until this visit, I had only experienced his art in pictures or publications.

I can say with certain, now, until you see El Anatsui’s work in person can you truly understand the impact of his work.

In pictures, you find yourself trying to understand the bigger picture of his concepts, really not putting all the pieces together. In person, you become captured by the detail of the experience he wants you to take. You truly become involved, connected. Not until now, have I truly understood the genius of his work. God truly is in the details, and god is truly in the work of El Anatsui.

I have put together a study of the textures and detail in El Anatsui’s work to hopefully help those who have never seen his genius up close and in person – the magnitude of his creativity.

We all have much to learn much, even in the smallest of details. As it is in the attention to these details that a story, a connection, a great concept is born.

This textural study of discarded objects touched by El Anatsui reflects (in most cases) only a 5% section of the entire piece. In this detail, you will hopefully see what I saw.

by Robert Shaw West Brand Futurist Commander in Chief The Republik Companies

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A MAN NAMED PEARL is an awe-inspiring documentary film about the self-taught topiary artist, Pearl Fryer. A film that tells the true story of a man against all odds thats uses his passion to transform an entire community.

Pearl spent his life challenging the stereotypes that plague our world, simply by creating a wonderland out of nature. His works of art, over the course of his life, eventually fill an entire community and attract visitors from around the world. But, most importantly in the process unifies the citizens of the poorest county in South Carolina around a common cause – the idea that a positive experience really can have a powerful impact on those it comes in contact with.

Pearl lives his life by not allowing “the obstacles that get put in (his) way determine the direction (he) takes around them”. A life lesson – much easily said than actually lived. A life lesson we all can certainly benefit from.

Pearl Fryer truly creates miracles and moves many through the visions of his topiary art. A garden devoted to expressing three simple ideals: love, peace and goodwill. A place that makes those feel very different about life than what they may have felt before they passed through his creation.

For more of Pearl’s work visit

To view the trailer for A MAN NAMED PEARL visit

I hope everyone that take the time to read this post can find the time to stop by and see Pearl at work one day while passing through this amazing South Carolina community. Trust me, you will walk away a different person.

by Robert Shaw West Brand Futurist The Republik Companies Commander in Chief 

Photo Credit: courtesy of, A MAN NAMED PEARL is a production of Suzie Films


To instill change in others, and yourself, it often involves being creative. And let me tell you, being creative every single day isn’t easy. Here’s a quote that’s kind of inspirational:

“All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through. Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me.” – Ira Glass

by Miles Cartwright Brand Futurist The Republik Sergeant Creative Ops

Photo Credit: via