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Archive for May, 2009

Ok. I Am Buying. Is It Red Or White?

Friday, May 29th, 2009

So you are out with your friends. Is it red or white?

At a wedding is it red or white?

On a first date is it red or white?

Lots of questions. Is your answer always the same? Does it depend on your mood? By now you know I am talking about wine. Red and white wine.

What is your favorite?

Do you prefer Pinot Grigio? How about a Chardonnay? What are your thoughts about Cabernet Sauvignon, Chianti, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Zinfandel? Is that what I am ordering for you?

Lots of choices!

Most high end restaurants have their own special wine lists that could be the size of a novel. As you are reading the choices from front to back, what are you thinking about?

  • Looking for that one special bottle?
     
  • What are your thoughts on the house wine?
     
  • Do you have a favorite wine for a special occasion?

I am curious. Do you ever pick the restaurant based on wine selection?

So once again I ask you. I am buying. Is it red or white?

Look forward to reading your comments.

Are You As Tired Of Sports Clichés As I Am?

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

As you know I watch a lot of sports and with sports comes interviews–some during games and some the old traditional way before and after games.

I must admit I like a good interview. I like when an athlete goes out there and says something different, points out a strategy that I didn’t think of or saw during the game. I guess I am looking for some freshness.

Most interviews are almost done in a robot like fashion. No emotion and the athletes or most of them are programmed to say the same thing. Here are some clichés that I am tired of hearing:

  • We are taking this season one day at a time
     
  • That other team has some great players on their team
     
  • The other team plays hard
     
  • We just had to come out and play our game
     
  • The other team plays with a lot of emotion
     
  • He has a great work ethic
     
  • The other team gave 110 percent
     
  • I am just going to try my hardest tonight

These are a few of the sports clichés that everyone says and frankly I am tired of.

  • What are your thoughts?
     
  • What clichés are you tired of?

I look forward to your comments.

Now Is Your Chance To See How Much YOU REALLY LOVE LUCY! Take This Quick Friday Fun And Short Quiz! (** Contest Closed **)

Friday, May 22nd, 2009

Isle of LucyThis contest is now closed. Click here to see the final results and answers to the quiz.

I grew up watching Lucille Ball in I love Lucy. Once of the funniest scenes ever is when she is working on the chocolate assembly line trying to package the chocolate and gets behind quickly and starts to eat them and hide them. Very funny! Another great scene is when she was squashing the grapes to make wine. Hysterical!

I enjoyed her personality and truly thought that everyone LOVED LUCY!

Well now is your chance to see how much you know about her with a quick quiz. As always the quiz will be timed, rotated and each participant will have different random questions.

Click here to take the “I Love Lucy” Friday Fun Quiz.

There will be a prize for the winner (that will involve something related to Lucille Ball). The contest will close at 3:00 PM on Monday, June 8th. Answers will be posted later that day.

Good luck.

Ask Not What Your Company Can Do For You — Ask What You Can Do For Your Company

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

It has been almost 50 years ago that John F. Kennedy said, "Ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country."

I have always admired JFK and not only what he said but how he said it. Clearly he was a great communicator. I believe his famous quote should be tweaked ever so slightly in 2009 and changed to "Ask not what your company can do for you — ask what you can do for your company."

Hopefully over time your company has provided for you. During that time you received training, went to conferences, had your 401k funded, received raises and bonuses and provided a nice atmosphere. If they haven’t, you might be working for the wrong company.

Unfortunately in 2009 companies need their staff more than ever. They need you to find ways to increase revenue, decrease expenses and improve the bottom line. They need you to take care of clients. Deliver every day on every project. In essence the new standard is to be GREAT! Anything less than that and your current clients might go elsewhere. They might call your competitor which will obviously have a negative effect on revenue.

Companies today need your best effort! This is the hardest business environment that I have ever worked within and I am sure that is true for many of you.

So I say to you, "Ask not what your company can do for you — ask what you can do for your company."

What are you doing for your company?

How are you going above and beyond for your company?

Do you believe most people are working harder now?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Time To Use Your Points!

Monday, May 18th, 2009

Lots of things are changing in this world–some things for the better and some things for the worse. Clearly pricing on some products and services are the lowest they have been in years.

Over the years I have accumulated a lot of points in a number of programs. Yes I have frequent traveler points in American Airlines, Marriott and American Express. Over the years the only one I have really used most if not all of my points is American Airlines. I tend to go through them quickly since I mostly use them for family vacations.

I have decided to start using the other points I have. So recently I have bought luggage, a new briefcase and some other things.

One of the main reasons I am starting to use them more often is I feel the programs are starting to change and you will need more points to travel and buy certain items. So based on that belief I made that decision. I am pretty good with acquiring points. For me I really like loyalty programs. I have an American Airlines and Marriott credit card. I also have my American Airlines number linked to my Tom Thumb (grocery store) rewards card.

  • What rewards programs are you part of?
     
  • What do you use them for?
     
  • Do rewards programs change your buying behavior?
     
  • Do you have any best practices in terms of getting more points from the companies you use?

I look forward to your comments.

Some Friday Fun — Which Is Your Favorite Picture?

Friday, May 15th, 2009

A big thanks to MC for sharing an email with some very funny pictures. I pared the email to six pictures that I think are pretty funny! My favorite without question is the note written in ketchup on the table. "We waited 30 minutes — no service" is hysterical and very, very, very creative! We have all been in restaurants and been aggravated with long waits, but this customer found a very creative way to get their point across.
 
 
No passing in stool zone
 
 
Piled higher and deeper!
 
 
I think I left mine in the car . . . Can I use yours?
 
 
Well . . . okay.  Just this one time.
 
 
. . . and don't play with matches
 
 
Toskana vs. Toskana
 

  • What is your favorite?
     
  • Which one don’t you like?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Hey, What’s In Your Closet?

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009

A few weeks ago I was in NY and speaking with a few industry contacts and the next thing I know we got chatting about closets. Yes closets. I know looking back on it I can’t believe that there were a few of us actually discussing the subject, but we were. Quickly we drew a connection between how funny people can be with their closet and of course the blog–perfect blog topic. The conversation was really centered around this question: "How is your closet set up?"

  • Do you have different sections?
     
  • Is everything mixed together?
     
  • Are they color coded?
     
  • Do you move your summer/winter clothes around?

Some of you are probably laughing (I don’t blame you at all), while others are probably saying "Hey! My closet is very organized and I am proud of it!"

For me, my closet is somewhat organized.

  • I have my suits all together
     
  • Dress shirts all together–not in order by color
     
  • Shoes lined up
     
  • Casual clothes (polo shirts) in order by color
     
  • Sweatshirts all stacked up on a shelf

Overall it works for me. I can find things pretty quick. I guess I wish I would have my dress shirts in order by color as well. Maybe I will do that.

Your turn:

  • What does your closet look like?
     
  • How organized is it?
     
  • How about some tips to share?
     
  • Is it a mess?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Sorry Mrs. Fields You Let Me Down!

Monday, May 11th, 2009

So there I am in Las Vegas at McCarran Airport. Just finished a great lunch that consisted of fries, a burger, and water and am now ready for dessert prior to jumping on a plane. I look up and there I see Mrs. Fields cookies — hello warm cookies. I sprint over there — ok walk somewhat fast — and get in a line with five other people craving something sweet. As I get closer to the counter I see two employees standing and talking with each other and every minute or so acknowledging a customer. At this point I notice there are six bins for cookies. Four of them are empty and the other two only have one in them. No problem I say (to myself). They have some hot cookies in the back and haven’t moved them forward to the counter. As the countdown begins in a few more seconds I will be at the front of the line and have a few warm cookies.

The person behind the counter finally looked at me and said "yes." With excitement I respond, "What cookies do you have in the back?" She doesn’t answer me and I restate: "Do you have any warm cookies? These bins are empty." Much to my surprise, she didn’t answer me again although she did shake her head as to say "no." I couldn’t believe it! In the middle of the day around 2:00, Mrs. Fields has no warm cookies! . . . Has no cookies and apparently staff that isn’t customer friendly and really couldn’t care less. I proceed to walk out of line in sheer disappointment and frankly frustration that people treat CUSTOMERS like that!

  • What companies have you been disappointed with recently?
     
  • Did you still make a purchase?
     
  • Will you go back to them again?

I look forward to reading your comments.

P.S. I have had other great experiences with Mrs. Fields. It just was that this one wasn’t good at all.

What Words Do You Like In Advertising?

Friday, May 8th, 2009

As you know I try and read USA Today daily. For the past six months I have been cutting out full page advertisements that companies have placed in this newspaper. At this point, there must be 150 ads sitting on my desk (please read on–before you call me a packrat) and a few times a month, I will review them to see what words and messages companies are keying on during this challenging economic time. I went through them and listed twenty-two of them in alphabetical order:

  1. Challenge
  2. Champions
  3. Confidence
  4. Demand the best
  5. Dependable
  6. Exclusive
  7. Frugal
  8. Happiness
  9. Honor
  10. It deserves
  11. On time
  12. Stability
  13. Stick Together
  14. Stimulate
  15. Stimulus
  16. Stimulus package
  17. Struggle
  18. Thank you
  19. Together
  20. Trust
  21. Understand
  22. We salute

For me I really like these words: confidence, exclusive, honor (especially in the context of being their client), understand and trust. For me these words will resonate with me and make a difference, and I believe using the right words makes an ENORMOUS difference in advertising. Even more so now, than perhaps ever before.

The words that don’t work for me is anything to do with the stimulus package, stimulus, stimulate; they have a negative connotation in my mind. I also don’t like we salute, frugal and struggle in advertising. It doesn’t work for me and especially the word frugal never works for me. Frugal seems cheap, inexpensive and not worthy. Just my opinion.

I realize that you don’t have the advertising in front of you but I still think you can answer these few questions:

  • What words do you like?
     
  • What words do you think make a difference?
     
  • What words do you not like?

I look forward to reading your comments.

What Are Your Favorite Boxing Movies?

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009

Okay, I love movies! I really love sports movies! The question is, what are your favorite boxing movies? There have been a tremendous number of boxing movies. To name a few:

What a list! And I have probably left off a ton more. When I think about boxing movies, I think about the storyline, the characters, how realistic the boxing scenes are and how vivid they are. When I do that, a few boxing movies quickly rise to the top of my list. The first one was produced in 1980 and starred Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci. The movie is great. I really like the cinematography and the fight scenes are so real. And I love that the movie was shot in black and white! What a classic! De Niro is amazing–a great actor.

My second favorite movie is Rocky. I really like the "fight to the top" story and really love the overachiever aspect of the movie. It was cool how the city got behind this kid from Philadelphia. Stallone is really at the top of his game in this movie. I remember seeing the Rocky statue for the first time in Philadelphia (near the Art Museum) and thinking how cool that was.

  • Do you like boxing movies?
     
  • What do you think of my choices?
     
  • What are your favorite boxing movies of all time?

Look forward to reading your comments.