by DW Green — July 23, 2015Humor should be a prerequisite to life’s lessons. It helps keep us sane; keeps us from taking ourselves too seriously. It calms our apprehensions and puts life’s imperfections into perspective. Humor is the diversion we need to get us through the trials and tribulations of our lives. Humor is the ability to laugh at ourselves and only to laugh with others. Humor is the defining characteristic between the pessimist and the optimist. Humor may be defined as sudden whim, but being whimsical is not all bad! Here’s one of my favorite ad themes. Sure garlic isn’t a high tonnage item, but there are many items that be tied into a garlic promotion.For A Guy Who Smells He Sure Is PopularAnd the winner, by a nose, For Most Popular Seasoning is…(drumroll please) …Garlic!” The thunderous applause from people everywhere drowns out the boos and hisses from jealous spices like oregano, cumin and tarragon. After all, garlic is hardly Mr. Congeniality, loudly announcing himself throughout the house at mealtimes, or smack in the middle of a kiss. He’s not terribly photogenic, with his short, stocky body and unkempt goatee. And he thinks he can kick any recipe in town. Is it possible that this bulbous bully has a Napoleon complex?Maybe. But despite garlic’s egocentric qualities, we have all grown to love him. After all, garlic has been adored for centuries, not only for its robust flavor, but also its magical and medicinal qualities....read more
by DW Green — July 1, 2015Thoughtfulness. A simple enough concept; yet not always easy to practice. Once mastered, however, it is one of the greatest gifts you can give; and not just to friends and loved ones on special occasions and holidays…but to everyone, always. And, as you establish yourself as thoughtful to others, they’ll go out of their way to please you back. Thoughtfulness is a habit; internalized, it becomes a way of life, a part of our being. It’s always cool when a renowned business expert validates a belief. Here’s a short article on thoughtfulness by Tom Peter’s.
Service: on Thoughtfulness
—Tom PetersI think it was the recession—the great recession, or whatever you want to call it—that really got me thinking about this. You know, when times are very tough and tough decisions have to be made, as they certainly have to be made, fundamental human decency toward one another is arguably more important than at any other time.And somehow or another, the word thoughtfulness came into my mind. And I like the word thoughtfulness. And then the next step in this process—and I’d ask you to think about this—many of you, most of you, probably have some kind of value statement. Put the employee first, put the customer first, put the shareholder first, whatever it is. And so, I am really literally asking you—it’s probably only got, like, five lines, right?—I want one of those five lines, or six lines, to say—precis...read more
by DW Green — June 25, 2015In view of Adam’s Cyber Monday blog and the resistance he’s encountered with respect to its markdown, considering the program from a different perspective might prove beneficial. Very simplistically a business must produce revenue in excess of costs in sufficient quantity and with sufficient regularity to attract and hold investors in the enterprise, and must keep at least abreast and sometimes ahead of competitive offerings.There is a wonderful book, The Marketing Imagination by Theodore Levitt. It was first published in 1983. Mr. Levitt was an economist and professor at Harvard Business School. He proposed a definition for corporate purpose: Rather than merely making money, it is to create and keep a customer. His book resonated with me. I believe that a business leader’s top priority is sales and the company’s ability to attract and keep customers. Sometimes this requires selling product at or below cost.The following is an excerpt from The Marketing Imagination.
“Profit is a meaningless statement of the corporate purpose. Without customers in sufficient and steady numbers there is no business and no profit. No business can function effectively without a clear view of how to get and hold customers, what its prospective customers want and need, and what options competitors give them, and without explicit strategies and programs focused on what goes on in the market place, rather than what’s possible at th...read more
by DW Green — June 19, 2015Listening is an extremely important quality. Being “present” in a conversation is the biggest gift you can give to another person. When someone feels that they have been “heard” they feel accepted and appreciated. We can all learn when we truly listen. The listening article below by Chris McGoff is excellent. I hope you it enjoy it as much as I do. I read it often to remind myself to be present in my conversations.
Make yourself available.
by Chris McGoff
My expected guest was an executive of a major enterprise and one of my most important customers. I requested the meeting with her to solicit her feedback on how my team was doing and to better understand her priorities and pressing issues—to hear how we could enhance our value to her. I also needed to ask her a favor. I had a big agenda, and the stakes were high. Too much was on the line merely to listen attentively. I was there to be a listening from nothing deeply.You have likely internalized the value of listening. I now challenge you to stop listening and start being a listening from nothing deeply. How does this differ? The changes are subtle; the shifts in behavior, small. But the response will be staggering: People...read more
by DW Green — May 27, 2015I’m an ardent proponent of product and service guarantees. A guarantee is a promise or assurance that a company will stand behind the quality of products it sells or services it performs. Guarantees build trust and loyalty with consumers. In a sense, a guarantee is a company’s commitment to the well being of its customers. Wow, what an intriguing approach to serving the customer. Imagine a conscious intention by company leaders to enhance the well-being* of a customer. Is that possible?
5 Reasons Why A Guarantee WorksFirst, it pushes the entire company to focus on customers’ definition of good products/service, not an executive’s assumption. Second, it sets clear performance standards, which boost employees performance and morale. Third, it generates reliable data (through payouts) when performance is poor. Fourth, it forces an organization to examine its entire service-delivery system for possible failure points. Last, it builds customer loyalty, sales and market share.What is a good guarantee? It is (1) unconditional, (2) easy to understand and communicate, (3) meaningful, (4) easy and painless to invoke, and (5) easy and quick to collect on.Cheating. Fear of customers cheating is a big hurdle for some when considering offering guarantees. Sure, there will be cheats—the handful of customers who take advantage of a guarantee to get something for nothing. What they cost the company amounts to very little compared to the benefits derived from ...read more
by DW Green — May 14, 2015Faith is our sixth core value. Faith can be a difficult word to explain and define. Heck, even Dictionary.com has seven definitions. All of which express a piece of the essence of faith.
- confidence or trust in a person or thing:
faith in another’s ability.
- belief that is not based on proof:
he had faith that the hypothesis would be substantiated by fact.
- belief in God or in the doctrines or teachings of religion:
the firm faith of the Pilgrims.
- belief in anything, as a code of ethics, standards of merit, etc.:
to be of the same faith with someone concerning honesty.
- a system of religious belief:
the Christian faith; the Jewish faith.
- the obligation of loyalty or fidelity to a person, promise, engagement, etc.:
failure to appear would be breaking faith.
- the observance of this obligation; fidelity to one’s promise, oath, allegiance, etc.:
he was the only one who proved his faith during our recent troubles.
by DW Green — May 5, 2015Yep Adam, retail is all about presentation and merchandising! Especially food retailing. People eat with their eyes. They purchase with their eyes. Of all the varied supermarket activities, the single most important, the most valued, the skill set to “own”, the key to competitive advantage is presentation/merchandising. Even the value of “street appeal” rests in the appearance of the storefront from a distance.Presentation and merchandising set the tone for the entire shopping experience. Its what creates the “likeability,” “comfortability” and “authenticity” of the retail brand. Its what creates sales and additional sales and additional sales. Of course, readable, well-designed, well-placed signs and story telling add to the magic and message of BUY ME!!If you could do just one thing for the balance of the year, work on improving your product presentation and merchandising skills. If you do, you will experience a handsome increase in sales!read more
by DW Green — April 22, 2015Perfect. Values. Wholeheartedness. Humility.Adam speaks about perfection in this week’s blog. In the spiritual realm of life, it is said that all life, in all its expressions is perfect. But spiritual is another conversation for another day and another blog, though spirit is a topic worth exploring. To provide context for the word perfection let’s consider the notion of values.Values are a set of guiding principles that unite people as they work toward achieving a common goal, their purpose. In their strongest form—when individual employee and organizational values are in sync—they generate tremendous energy. Rather than just complying, employees become more committed, enthusiastic and driven, and they have a reason for caring about their work. They enjoy a sense of collaboration, group spirit and pride that make the company more fully alive. Great service companies have a soul that underlies their strategies and day-to-day operations. Although strategies and tactics may change, the company’s value system, or soul, remains the same. It is this continuity of values that will sustain business success, even in the most volatile times. The DW Green management team spent countless hours over the course of a year working on our company values. We amassed an incredible list. And while we didn’t discard many, we identified and selected seven core values. The Number 7 represents or symbolizes perfection and completion. The number seven is a very powerful and...read more
by DW Green — April 15, 2015What do golf and magic have in common? Well, depending on the veracity and skill level of your playing partners they have a lot in common. For example, your buddy’s tee shot clearly lands in the middle of a water hazard then magically ricochets back into the fairway. Wow! Many a lost golf ball have magically appeared in their original condition after found.So in the spirit of golf season and the magical record-breaking performance of Jordon Spieth in last weeks Master Golf Tournament, lets take a look at the 10 best caddy comments to his employer golfer. Sadly, many of these comments apply to me!
Golfer: “Think I’m going to drown myself in the lake.”
Caddy: “Think you can keep your head down that long?”
Golfer: “I’d move heaven and earth to break 100 on this course.”
Caddy: “Try heaven, you’ve already moved most of the earth.”
Golfer: “Do you think my game is improving?” ...
by DW Green — April 9, 2015So Adam is talking about cool. Cool, as in the context of slang, as an interjection to express acceptance, approval or admiration. And what’s more cool neat, nifty, boss, keen, groovy than a brand mark or Icon. Brand marks are simple, clean, and an easy to remember graphic representation of a company’s Brand name. Brand marks are like punctuation symbols:
; pause longer
! exclamation mark
? question markBrand marks and icons can represent a deeper meaning of a company’s purpose or an abstract expression like the Nike swoosh. We have a Northwest client whose brand mark is a sailboat. Who would have thought of a sailboat icon for a food store? The sailboat is very meaningful to their company culture. It’s meaningful to me too. I’m proud to wear their caps and jackets that showcase their company icon.The DW Green icon reflects our design mantra “Less is greater than more.”So if you’re considering a new or updated design for your company’s brand mark, give us a call....read more