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Portable Holes Inc
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We Can't Be Living In The Past.
From The Desk Of Drumlin S Boulder

"We need a new advertising slogan", announced Symon, our marketing MBA whiz kid at Portable Holes' weekly Monday morning management meeting, "which encapsulates our mission, core competency, what we stand for, and how we position our product in the market place".

Reading one of his text books again, I thought snidely, and the others must have been thinking something similar. I noticed our office manager and my number one Holdsidahl-deGedder, Gloria,  almost spilled her double mocha cappucino, while The Big Guy was busy hiding behind adjusting his power tie, something he always did when he was agitated and about to disagree with someone. Carrie Balance, who takes care of the numbers was impatient to get through the meeting I knew because I kinda knew what her next couple of weeks looked like before third end. Being a private company, we decided to not do quarters because they came around too fast. Still a major set of things to do so I knew she didn't care .

So I could have interrupted him right then and there because we've all been trying to beat Symon's fancy business school education out of him ever since he joined the firm eight months ago, and I did agree our current slogan, "You'll dig our holes", was too much of an inside wink to our first trade show in San Francisco back in the early seventies. And now that there are more of us in this space, especially Stacking Pits and Cavities, our primary competitor who are about a 45 minute drive away, we have to sound modern. And I did promise Symon some time to pitch his thinking.

I've learned to listen ever since I got married. Of course it took some time since I'm a guy and women require rapt attentive listening between the lines, something us guys are not used to doing, but I learned the extra effort pays off in less grief and better perqs, with my Bene anyways. And at work listening is awesome. I try to wait until someone is done before I let my mouth try and catch up with my thinking.

So I tried real hard to let Symon keep the floor with appropriate eye contact with The Big Guy and we all listened, except Pronto our shipping manager, who I knew was still tuned out trying to figure out how he was going to ship 10,000 units of our top selling high altitude models to Boeing without clearing US customs first.

"Damn The Big Guy for suggesting we buy the &!}*{(*&( ?!! flange couplings for our control units off shore", Pronto snarled at me last Friday after having accosted me in the company cafeteria where I was happily snarfing a bowl of Magda's great chili with Carrie and Slide Rule.

"Yes damn The Big Guy", I'd agreed, but these Cuban parts,  &!}*{(*&( ?%% as they may be, were still cheaper, and we're determined to take sales away from our arch rivals, Stacking Pits & Cavities.

As Symon droned on I got thinking about price and advertising and how in the world could those cereal companies charge so much money for some fibre and a lot of air, or in my case, lots of fibre, damn that doctor.

By now I'd missed the first part of Symon's presentation while meandering through my thoughts, but I arrived back just after he said "and those dynamic stop elements are integral to comprehension and retention of a complete experience".

Now I wasn't going to show everybody how lost I was, so I just nodded in unison with the rest of the room, although it was too late when I figured out they might just also be falling asleep after what I had just heard.

But everybody woke up quickly when Symon announced he'd need $50,000 dollars to engage a local agency to come up with a new slogan, which he figured was a bargain compared to big city rates.

I had already foregone my annual trip to Kapuskasing and the new plumbing at the cottage, when our controller Carrie Balance stood up to leave and gave her usual practical input.

"Why don't we simply search the internet and look through some magazines and steal some neat slogans, or get out a Webster's dictionary and look for unique words to string together"? "I mean where do advertising agencies get their ideas anyway", she continued, "whenever a good idea is dreamt up it becomes a trend as everyone climbs aboard the bandwagon".

This seemed to me a great solution. Symon expends his creative energy to come up with a new slogan and if he finds something that satisfies his desire for a dynamic stop, I just might find out what that is. I also won't have to worry about my septic tank backing up into my cottage basement and ruining my summer, and in the end we can might simply tell the world what we do, that is, we make better holes portable.

So we voted to let Symon search the internet and a dictionary, and suggested he should also look in Bartlett's Book of Famous Quotations. Gloria volunteered to help him, which suits me fine as she was there in San Francisco and originally came up with our slogan, so if there is going to be a change, she’s going to have to be sold first. And The Big Guy stopped adjusting his power tie

Now I'm hoping for a good week. The only impediment is figuring out how to get rid of the Spanish words on those Cuban parts. Damn Yankees!

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