Crashing the party

This morning when the shuttle pulled into work, this site is what we saw:

BMW from across the street now parked in mail room

A car from the dealership across the street rolled out of its service bay and crashed into the mail room of our office. Thank goodness it was very early in the morning and no one was yet in the mail room.

BMW from across the street now parked in mail room

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DIY Work Bench

I built a work bench today by improvising some plans based upon the combination of this bench and this one from DIY network. The first bench plan was the basis for my plan, I shortened the length a bit, but then seeing the bench on DIY network’s site, I decided the high back would be nice. I’ve yet to add the peg board, but that will be second round. The whole thing used six 8′ 2×4’s, about 2/3 of a 4×8 sheet of 1/2″ MDF and 1/4″ sanded pine (the MDF is the base for the top and shelf, the pine gives it a nice look).

DIY Work Bench

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Relationship Marketing

I rarely write about work, but today I got one of those emails that made me wonder what someone is thinking.

In this I got a recap of a meeting focused on defining “Relationship Marketing” best practices.  What I think most people totally miss is that they think a consumer wants a relationship with a brand.  In rare cases I think that can be true.  However, in most consumer packaged goods I think that it is highly unlikely that a consumer wants a relationship with a brand; rather I think a person forms a relationship with a cherished other and the role of a brand is to enhance that relationship.

Take for example a branded broom.  I don’t have a relationship with that branded broom or even the brand that made the broom.  I have a relationship with my home; it keeps me warm, it gives me a place to entertain my friends, it gives me a place to relax.  That branded broom enhances my relationship with my home by helping me keep it clean better than any other branded broom.  When the broom wears out, I’ll probably buy another one made by that brand since it’s taken good care of my house; but the focus is entirely on my home and what takes the best care of my home.  If the floors don’t get clean I’m not going to drop the home, I’m going to drop the branded broom and get another.

You could say the same for pet food: the relationship is between the owner and the pet, the food enhances the relationship by improving the pet’s life.  Diapers: the relationship is between mother/father and baby, the diaper enhances the relationship by keeping the baby dry and allowing more mobility.  Detergent: relationship between a person and herself/her family, a good detergent makes the clothes look better making the wearer look better; my mom uses Tide because she loves me and wants me to look my best.

So to me, if you’re going to try to do “Relationship Marketing” you have to focus on the relationship that your brand is enhancing.  Focus on making the product perform the best to enhance that relationship.  Focus the “Relationship Marketing” on how the person’s relationship with the cherished other is better with your brand in it.

I’d welcome other opinions on this one.

This ruined my day

Uggh, what awful news: The Enquirer – Mairose Grocery will close.  Just as books like The Omnivore’s Dilemma and Fast Food Nation have piqued my interest in learning where my meat is coming from and searching out quality meat, the grocer two doors down from me closes!!!  What a freakin’ shame.  Do I really have to become a vegetarian until I can find a place that isn’t putting anti-biotics, hormones, and worse in my meat?

Anyone know where to get locally, humanely raised and processed meat in Cincinnati?  Please leave a comment!