Keeping the Brand Promise
Most of us in business already drank the Kool-Aid from Ken Blanchard. I am a Gung Ho! One Minute Manager with The Heart of a Leader who has spent my career Helping People Win at Work and providing Legendary Service to create Raving Fans. You may or may not have read all of those books by Blanchard, but you can’t deny he is one of the most influential minds in the business world.
The one thing I learned early on in my career was that the three secrets mentioned in Raving Fans (decide what you want, discover what the customer wants, and deliver the vision plus 1%) are all connected by the magical ability to manage expectations. In applying this to branding, I have learned that managing expectations is the key focal point between a good brand and a bad brand.
I often say that there are only three kinds of brands:
1.) Brands you know and love.
2.) Brands you know and don’t love.
3.) Brands you’ve never heard of.
The difference between a brand that you love and a brand that you hate is the brand promise. In other words, have you created a brand that keeps its promises or do you let your customers down?
Managing expectations is at the core of that process, meaning your front-line people who do that work, provide the service, and speak directly with your customer need to be honest, up-front, and willing to do whatever it takes to deliver. And sometimes the promise can be very simple. For example, I promised to send you an entertaining and informative email every Friday at 3 p.m. So far, I have kept that promise for nine years.
Yes, I started this email newsletter on August 14, 2009 and I’m still going. Thank you for reading it. #RavingFans
Monday, August 13 – Girl Scouts Rock
On Monday afternoon, we finalized plans for a market-wide recruitment campaign for Girl Scouts of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Special thanks to CEO Molly Fuller and COO Mary Black who we’ve been working with on this project. The new digital media and public relations campaign launches in less than two weeks and, trust me, we are very excited about working with the nation’s number one leadership program for girls. #NotYoMamasGirlScouts
Our partners on the Virginia Energy Sense campaign at Alliance Group had a great time sharing energy-saving tips and handing out goodies to thousands of people last weekend at the Carytown Watermelon Festival. The Virginia Energy Sense crew hits the road and will be at Get Downtown Lynchburg on Friday, September 7.
Graphic Designer Erin Rebmann models for the cool Snapchat filter we created for
Virginia Energy Sense at the 2018 Carytown Watermelon Festival.
Tuesday, August 14 – Madison+Main-iac University
In our ongoing efforts to learn more about our coworkers (and embarrass them in a public way), we held our latest Madison+Main-iac University class on Tuesday at lunch. This week’s presenter/victim was Haleigh “See Ya” Lader, our take-no-prisoners Account Executive. What did we learn about Haleigh? She loves her dog and chicken nuggets more than she loves people. #MillieTheLabradoodle
On Tuesday, we also started our PR push for the upcoming Richmond Home Show, which will be held October 12-14 at the Richmond Raceway Complex. I have a limited number of tickets, so email me if you would like a free pair of tickets to the home show.
Wednesday, August 15 – It’s All About the Kids
I’m so proud of our client Yard Works. For many years they’ve been “making the world beautiful one yard at a time,” but next week they will be beautifying three Richmond Public Schools — Fisher Elementary, Southampton Elementary, and Huguenot High School. To help out with Richmond Public Schools‘ Beautification Week they are teaming up with their friends in the industry and donating more than $7,500 of product and 50+ volunteer hours over three days.
On Wednesday mornings I am a regular at Baker’s Crust in Carytown. The coffee is good and the breakfast is better. Some Wednesdays I’m there for a networking meeting, and on others I am mentoring a young person. Last week I completely flaked on my appointment. This week I was delighted to meet with recent Longwood University grad, Laura Gottschalk, a budding graphic designer who was referred to me by friend and former Rotarian, Jamie Cyriax. Laura forgave me for dissing her last week and I promised to give her a shout out in the Weekly Report. Laura’s portfolio is quite impressive, and she recently landed a job with the International Mission Board. Take a sec and connect with her on LinkedIn.
Thursday, August 16 – Five Years in a Row
Our good friend and managing partner of CowanGates, F. Neil Cowan, Jr. was selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2019 in the field of Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs. Congratulations, Neil, for earning this highly coveted honor for five years in a row. If you’ve been injured in an accident, please do not call an actor playing a lawyer on TV. Contact Neil Cowan instead. He’s the best in the business.
Business Manager Brandy Seay went a little crazy this week
on Instagram. #SelfieQueen
Cards, Dice & Delights
Springdale at Lucy Corr
Thursday, August 23
Make a date with Lady Luck at Lucy Corr! On Thursday, August 23, Springdale at Lucy Corr is hosting a casino-themed afternoon of fun, food, door prizes, and fabulous games. Plus, when you need to take a break from the action on our casino floor, we’ll be offering tours of our spacious, maintenance-free apartments and cottages. Stop by for a fun-filled and informative afternoon and see what stress-free, active, independent living is all about!
NASCAR Race Weekend, Presented by WhosYourDriver.org
Boogity, boogity, boogity! The fall NASCAR races at Richmond Raceway are right around the turn and we can’t wait! This year’s September race weekend is being presented by our client Who’s Your Driver? and race fans will finally get to see and experience the new $30 million infield improvements at the track. Tickets are still available.
Madison+Main’s 13th Anniversary
Virginia State Fair
Wednesday, October 3
The Madison+Main-iacs will be eating giant smoked turkey legs and deep-friend Oreos on the afternoon of Wednesday, October 3. We’ll be closing the office early and heading to the Virginia State Fair to celebrate our 13th birthday. How cool is that? If you’d like to join us, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Richmond Home Show
Richmond Raceway Complex
This year’s Richmond Home Show will feature 250+ vendors, presentations by “The House Counselor” Laurie March (HGTV and DIY Network), an event-filled Senior Day, new products showcase, an upcycle challenge & more! Get your tickets today!
Friday, August 17 – Cheeseburger in Paradise
Senior Graphic Designer Carissa Ghaffari and I hit the road to visit clients in Central Virginia and we made a stop at my all-time favorite place, The Texas Inn. We dropped by the landmark Lynchburg restaurant and Carissa learned that cheeseburger is one word, not two. I’ve never had a cheeseburger in paradise, but I can say that I’ve had a Cheesy Western in Lynchburg, Virginia — and that’s the closest I’ve ever come to Nirvana. #SmellsLikeDaveSpirit
And as always, I love getting your replies to this newsletter, so special thanks to Stuart Holt, Jeb Hockman, Lynn Kinsel, Jeff Crook, Susan Sagaster, Riley O’Shea, Peter Larson, Constance Fenner, and Billy Copeland for writing me back this week. #GreatFeedback
“Feedback is the breakfast of champions.”
– Ken Blanchard