|There are not too many BKBG Shareholders or Preferred Partners that have too little to do. To start the new year off on a more productive footing, consider the following.|
In his new book, This is Marketing, Seth Godin contemplates dog food. "Dog food must be getting better. More nutritious and, of course, delicious," Godin suggests as he notes that Americans spend more than $24 billion annually on dog food. The average price of dog food continues to increase, and so has the number of gourmet ingredients, such as sweet potatoes, elk and free-range bison.
Myth: Not everyone can be creative.
Fact: Most everyone is passionate about something, and when you are passionate, creative juices flow freely.
Research has found that expertise in any particular field is required to produce creative results. To understand a problem you need to know what would constitute a solution. In order to promote creative solutions among team members identify the skills that they need, offer feedback on their work and encourage team members to address areas where their skill set needs to improve. Amazon, for example, believes the ability to write effectively is key to creative performance. That's why the company mandates employees to write six-page memos throughout their time at the company. Employees receive feedback and coaching on their memos and they know that if they want to advance, memo writing needs to be at the top of the skill set ladder.
Payless pulled a fast one several weeks ago in storied Santa Monica, CA. The discount footwear purveyor took over a former Armani store and stocked it with $19.99 pumps and $39.99 boots. That should not surprise anyone familiar with Payless, but that's not the whole story. The company and its marketing agency then invited groups of Southern California influencers to attend the grand opening of a new retailer called "Palessi" and asked their invited guests to comment on the merchandise featured in the store.
Fifty percent of US consumers cite email as their preferred method of contact from brands, according to Gartner L2’s Digital IQ Index. What makes for an effective email from a brick and mortar retailer? It certain is not a discount coupon offer. According to the survey, open rates for discount offers declined from 20 percent in 2017 to 18 percent in 2018. What does work are informative emails.
The reason why focusing on features and benefits of products does not work is because the brain craves meaning before details, claims University of Washington School of Medicine molecular biologist John Medina. When a customer does not understand what a new kitchen or bath will do for them, how it will affect their lives and how it will make them feel every time they cross the threshold, there’s little chance that talking about the number of finishes or options available will make an impact.
Most people, given the right circumstances will do the right things, claims Dr. James Doty, a clinical professor of neurosurgery at Stanford University and founding director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education. In a recent podcast, Dr. Doty gave new meaning of being a hero. “Being a hero doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to jump off a bridge into freezing water and pull somebody out of the water. Being a hero can simply mean recognizing a situation where somebody is at risk and making the effort to go and help them.” An act of heroism can be as simple as helping a senior citizen to cross the street or standing up to someone is who bullying a coworker or friend.
BKBG Conference Workshop Leader Derek Gaunt from the Black Swan Group, provided great guidance on how to negotiate with those you love. When you negotiate pricing or a business transaction, the consequences of failure are not as high as when you fail to reach an effective solution with a spouse, partner or child. Black Swan notes that when you are connected to someone on a deeper emotional level you naturally hold them to higher standards than you do to individuals involved in business transactions. That’s why Black Swan recommends different approaches for loved ones than team members, suppliers, contractors or other business associates.
Operating a kitchen and bath showroom is not easy. There are constant demands and the fact for many is that the “to-do” list never is completely done. You put in long hours and the demands of your position likely come at the cost of a good night’s sleep. What’s the trade off? Research shows that when leaders trade sleep to work more, they become less effective, are more hostile and have less effective relationships with team members, are less likely to inspire others and experience declining engagement rates on the teams that they manage. When you are tired, you become more impulsive, less creative and innovative and less likely to make the best decisions.
Everyone struggles to make tough decisions. Is there a process that can make tough decision making easier? The answer is yes according to management consultant Rick Houcek and he turns to Winston Churchill as his guide. Churchill is one of the most loved and loathed characters of the 20th Century. Credited with protecting England from Hitler’s onslaught in World War II, Churchill was forced to make thousands of life-death decisions. Churchill developed a process outlined in his book, Churchill on Leadership that he deemed “5 distinct truths” to make decisions: