Monday, June 07, 2004

June 7, 2004
Just returned from a three-day-conference in Keystone, Colorado. Met some really dynamic people, enjoyed the cool, mountain air and learned a ton. The Western and English Trade Association hired two very dynamic speakers. On Friday morning we had Robert Stevenson who wrote the book, How to Soar Like An Eagle In A World Full of Turkeys. Then on Saturday morning we got the wisdom of Robert Wendover from the Center for Generational Studies. His talk was titled, “From Ricky & Lucy to Beavis & Butthead” and he walked us through the four generational markets: Matures, Baby Boomers, Gen X-ers and Millenniums. The most profound thing he told us is that Matures (WWII folks) will sit and listen to a boring speaker for an hour, while Baby Boomers will pull out their work and do it, looking up from time to time to pretend to be paying attention, Gen X-ers will give the speaker 10 minutes, and Millenniums 30 seconds and if it isn’t interesting to them they will walk out even if it means walking right in front of the speaker. Wow! They were out of here, fifteen sentences ago.

Here’s the basic notes I took. Insights that impressed me, or I thought applied to the magazine:
• What do we do that’s stupid? What do we need to stop doing? Make a list (see next item)
• the FUBAR list: what things have we done to “foul up beyond all reason”, and we need to have this as a list to give to new employees so they won’t go there.
• Hispanics are driving the boot market right now (what can we do to capture this market?)
• Hip Hop is driving belt buckle sales, and hats especially in diverse, loud colors
• Women don’t buy brands, they join them.
• Men refer 2.6 people to a brand they like, women—21
• The 8/16 Rule: if people had good service they’ll tell 8 people, if it was bad they’ll tell 16
• The idea that gets the most resistance is probably the best idea (The John Wesley Hardin cover?)
• women often make the best sales people because they actually listen, and like to talk. It is an acquired talent for most men.
• We need a radio partnership. (I need to exploit my old radio contacts)
• is the benchmark for convenience. One click and it’s on the way. Also, if you make an order for more than $25 you get free shipping. This is huge.
• You need to create social interaction (like at Festival of the West), create events.
• Freebies to the right people. Jones Cola gave away it’s pop to the hippest people they could find. (story with this: “Who’s the coolest person you know?” then went to that person and asked the same question until they got to the hippest guy, then gave him a soda for free.)
• 340,000 people are currently making a living on e-bay.
• Affluence always trumps culture. Money rules.
• 19% of American wage earners believe they are in the top 1% of wager earners.
• You have got to make your customer go Wow! Do we make our customers go Wow!?
• Praise in public, criticize in private
• Motivate with family by being a family, you need to involve your employee’s family to create a happy environment.
• EZTDBW: Easy to do business with
• Success is never final
• It’s not the big that eat the small, it’s the fast that eat the slow.
• The Big Secret: treat everyone special
• Always follow through in a timely and consistent manner
• We cannot become what we need to be by being what we are now.
• “The key to success is to double your failures.”—Tom Watson, former CEO of IBM
• Don’t think of me as a boss, think of me as a friend who’s never wrong.

“How can a president not be an actor?
—Ronald Reagan (1911-2004), when asked "How could an actor become president?"

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