On a recent trip to Las Vegas for two girlfriends’ double/debaucherous birthday celebrations, I was walking the strip thinking this town defies logic. It’s like an island (or mirage?) in the hardpan desert with gold rush roots, that since the 1930s, has been attracting gamblers, jet setters, and thrill-seekers by the horse, bus and planeload.

A tourism mecca that survived the impact of World War II and 9/11, it’s been brat-pack hip, politically incorrect, and “Hangover” hilarious. And somewhere in there, it’s managed to become family-friendly. Which means it’s Sin City Disneyland for adults AND fun for kids. All while steadily increasing prices, and travel & convention market share.

With never-ending development and construction, Las Vegas continues to create and recreate its undying vision to be the ultimate attraction in the absolute middle of nowhere.

So it occurs to me–on this quest down the strip to find a nutritious brunch before the next wave of crazy/fun birthday events kicked in–that Las Vegas is a self-made brand that personifies brand reinvention.

It lives it at every touch-point. In fact, from first-class food and hotels, to the cha-ching of world-class shows and ding-ding-ding of money-sucking slot machines, it breathes not only reinvention, but hope and possibility. And that’s what keeps the peeps coming back.

Vegas is an ever-changing entertainment centre for our ADD society that maintains just enough retro-vintage while “keeping up” with what’s trending.

And therein lies the reality for brands today.

Quite simply:  innovate or die. Status quo is not an option. Reinvention = relevance.

Apple did it when it focused on hand-held devices, McDonalds did it with “I’m lovin’ it,” and Samsung’s doing it before our very eyes.

When it comes to branding, reinvention is relative. Which is why I’m clicking-my-heels with excitement to finally unleash and introduce you to Lipstick Sky Marketing. The rebrand of SMDmarketing, a humble little company I’ve been nurturing since 1990. SMDmarketing began as a way to use a 2nd bedroom (ok closet) and dabble in marketing consulting (as in actually start charging friends and family for marketing advice). So when I (happily) parted ways with a (bang head, repeat) employer in 1994, I decided to fly the SMDmarketing flag full-time.

My first client was Intrawest–a renaissance real estate development company that took North America resort destinations by storm, including flagship Whistler-Blackcomb Resort in Whistler, BC. Intrawest was on fire in the 90s, about as visionary and entrepreneurial as they come. To this day, the rock stars of real estate, and I loved being a part of their Resort Club team.

Fast-forward 20 more years–with a few stopovers along the way including successfully opening western Canada’s first Hilton hotel franchise, and buying into a regional franchise for a start-up (#epicfail) golf training centre concept–and SMDmarketing stood strong and waiting in the wings.

Over the years, my team and I have had a blast helping reinvent many loyal clients and brands big and small. So I’m pretty sure there’s a collective round of applause happening, with clients, friends and family celebrating me “practicing what I preach” with this rebrand to Lipstick Sky Marketing.

The transition has been quite the labour of love, so to me, it feels more like a rebirth… the kind that leaves stretch marks.

It’s scary and exhilarating at the same time, but with change and reinvention comes Vegas-levels of hope and possibility. Thanks for being here and taking this journey with me.


Questions or thoughts on the new brand and website? How about a recap of your reinvention? Leave a comment below. Thanks!

PS:  Find this interesting… maybe even Tweetable?