“Be the Flame… Not the Moth”
~ Giacomo Casanova
The Story Behind Casanova Engagement
My name is Kurt Minson, and I have spent more than 20 years investigating high-performing professional firms and interviewing their top leaders. During that time, I got up close and very personal with them to see what made certain practices stronger, more dynamic and ultimately more successful than those of their competitors.
I found that the individual practice stories and brand cultures may have been very diverse and there was always strong technical expertise in house, but there also was always one thing that stood out boldly. The best in class firms, regardless of professional discipline, had a powerful internal firm culture that was deeply dedicated to individual clients. These firms delivered a memorable client experience and were committed to the process of attracting and fully engaging each client, maintaining high-value relations with them for as long as possible.
What also became crystal clear, in the midst of these investigations, was that the vast majority of High Trust Professionals (HTPs) are not born to or educated in engagement culture, related marketing strategy or advanced engagement processes.
And while strong technical skills and hard work will certainly move the needle for many a practice, to achieve the highest levels of practice success, work-life balance and professional satisfaction, creation of an engagement culture must be of the highest priority.
Casanova Engagement was founded specifically to help forge and nurture such a culture through the use of 8 key services: Assessment, Ideation, Branding, Strategy, Culture, Lead Generation, Coaching/Training and Social Media/PR. When the 8 are deployed together and integrated for maximum practice success, they are referred to as the Engagement 1 System™.
This Casanova Engagement success platform was born out of the previously mentioned research and addressed these vital firm needs. Further, this approach was inspired by the life and exploits of Venetian adventurer, author, entrepreneur, polymath and historic lover of women, Giacomo Casanova.
Unbeknownst to most people, Giacomo Giralamo Casanova, the son of traveling actors, was a multi-lingual, self-made Renaissance man. He was a successful businessman, gambler, innovator, poet, priest, spy, mystic, epicure, musician, novelist, soldier, bold European traveler and, of course, a renowned rake.
Casanova was also one of the 18th century’s foremost self marketers, who crafted and constructed his own exceptional brand, the Chevalier de Seingalt, completely from scratch. But mainly he is the Casanova Engagement namesake because the man truly understood how to leverage the drama and emotion of great stories to attract and engage wealthy patrons, business associates, the brightest luminaries of his day as well as the many targets of his romantic affections.
And I believe this is an understanding worthy of imitation.
It has been said that it takes an investment of 10,000 hours to master a skill. Imagine what an investment of more than twice that in education, training, research and experience will deliver for your business.
Humans are feeling animals and respond more quickly and deeply to emotional appeals. Casanova’s suite of strategies taps into the energy of emotion to supercharge brands and grab market attention.
Casanova Engagement Services are integrated to smoothly reinforce each other and deliver the extra reach and consistent power every firm, practice or other business needs to win.
With all that Casanova Engagement does, we really only have a single motivation: to always look for ways and means to increase the engagement power of our clients’ cultures and thereby increase revenues and profits.
Casanova Engagement Timeline
1994 Company founded as Ultimate Images Group, providing personal image consulting services for professionals in High Trust areas such as accounting, architecture, financial planning and law.
1995 First office opens in Akron’s Wallhaven area.
1997 Ultimate Images Group expands its range to include personal branding efforts and individual promotions for professionals with a high degree of public contact and client attraction responsibility.
1998 Ultimate Images Group introduces business marketing to its original image-based work mix. The emphasis in this area is on the needs of High Trust professionals.
1998 Kurt Minson reads and is impacted by the engagement ideas in The Platinum Rule by Tony Alessandra, PhD, and Michael J. O’Connor, PhD.
1999 Kurt devotes more time studying the power and nature of the connections between the most successful brands, their marketing, presentation and human emotions.
1999 Kurt begins to interview managing partners and directors of successful high trust firms and practices.
2001 Ultimate Images Group changes its name to The M Group Consultants to reflect its growth beyond image and greater emphasis on design-led business marketing.
2001 Firm focus adapts to address the needs of 8 key High Trust Professions through the lens of The Platinum Rule-style communications.
2002 The M Group opens a new office on Main Street, Downtown Akron, Ohio to be closer to its High Trust professional clients.
2002 Kurt begins his study of the life, talents and passions of Giacomo Giralamo Casanova.
2004 Adds sales coaching and training to The M Group services.
2007 Integrates emotional intelligence and psychology to the core of firm vision.
2010 Leverages cultural ethnography and social psychology into the engagement marketing process.
2012 New office opens in the East End area of Akron, Ohio.
2015 Ideas for rebranding to reflect an emotive approach emerges.
2017 Transition to the name, brand and concept of Casanova Engagement begins.
2018 8 Key service offerings and a special process of delivery are integrated into the Engagement 1 System™.
2020 Transition of the company name from The M Group to Casanova Engagement is completed.
2021 The firm is re-launched as Casanova Engagement Marketing.
Kurt Minson is the Founder and Managing Director of Casanova Engagement Marketing. He has more than 25 years of award-winning, multi-million dollar relational sales, engagement marketing, business development, engagement training and strategic planning experience with regional, national and international companies.
His ongoing interview series, The HTP Project (High Trust Professionals), has included in-depth talks with a number of prominent Managing Partners and Managing Directors of highly regarded professional service firms and practices. Casanova Engagement leverages Kurt’s focused social science education, professional engagement expertise and the rich data mined from The HTP Project to deliver formidable force and thought leadership in a number of key areas. These include engagement marketing, the creation of passionate brands, the development of engagement cultures and related growth strategies for High Trust Professionals and their firms.
Kurt has been featured in the Akron Beacon Journal, 91.3 FM The Summit’s “Life & Lyrics,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer’s “The Boss” segment, WVIZ Ideastream’s “Civic Forum of the Air,” The Greater Akron Chamber’s Young Professionals of Akron Profile and Akron Life & Leisure’s “The Young & Mighty” segment. He was also saluted as A Man of Consequence by the Akron Black Women’s Leadership Caucus.
Kurt was born and raised in Akron, Ohio and is a devoted Akronite. He is the grandson of noted East Akron community activist Arthur “Art” Minson and has been involved in a wide range of civic and charitable projects that support Greater Akron and the Northeast Ohio region.
This involvement includes serving on more than 20 different non-profit boards of directors. Kurt is a graduate The University of Akron, having earned B.A.s in Philosophy, Psychology and Sociology, a minor in Economics and concentrations in German, French, History and the Classics.
A popular writer and speaker, Kurt is a contributing author to the collaborative business book 49 Marketing Secrets (THAT WORK) to Grow Sales. He is currently working on Casanova’s Secrets of Engagement. This new book focuses on the key factors involved in high performance client and talent engagement based on the life and adventures of Venetian legend Giacomo Casanova, as documented in his famous autobiography L’Histoire de Ma Vie.
Kurt is available for speaking engagements, marketing assessments and consulting in the areas of engagement marketing strategy and business development, passionate brands, the Prime Idea for Engagement, impact narratives, engagement training/coaching and process, competitive intelligence, positioning, wardrobe and image, personal promotions, client retention, sphere development, the client experience and the full engagement outcome.
Kurt A. Minson