Your Name is Your Brand

“With a name like Smuckers it has got to be good.” A recent TV ad restated this basic (and great) marketing strategey from Smuckers….your name is your brand.

In all the businesses I have been a part of ….we worked hard to protect the name. Our name was our business. If we did not act properly or gave poor service it reflected directly on the business and even more so on our family name….as our name was part of the business name.

What Smuckers is saying is that their name defines the quality of their products and the company.

Lesson Learned:

Your name defines the quality of your work.


New Places Producing Olive Oil

Several years ago, I became fascinated with the Food Network. I watched some of the chefs and thought I could do that. One of the first things in better food is the use of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)….it’s healthier and makes food taste better.  Now EVOO is in our pantry.

Most olive oil is imported from Spain and Italy and other mediterranean countries….the traditional producers….and grown in old trees….hand harvested.

Today’s News and Observer had a story on new producers of EVOO in Chile and Australia. In Chile, a company called Olisur is revolutionizing the olive oil industry. It is growing the olive trees closer together and shorter….using mechaical haversters….so that the olives get to the mill faster….while they are the freshest.

Cost efficiencies mean Olisur oils can be high-quality without being high-priced.

Besides the benefits of using EVOO….two lessons:

  • There are better and newer ways to grow….process….and market an age old product.
  • All this is taking place on a 6,500 acre estate south of Santiago, Chile.

Photos of the ultra-modern Olisur factory:


“….the senior executives spent the entire day talking about profits, market share and growth… they never once mentioned that the pharmaceuticals (product) they were selling were saving lives….” – Seth Godin

The statement reminded me of the way Amway approached the selling process years ago. The distributors seldom sold the product (s)….they sold the concept of multi-level distribution. In those days….it was successful for some folks. It doesn’t work well in the U.S. today….though globally it still does. Most of Amway sales are overseas.

I often encounter businesses/organizations that don’t focus on the product. For some reason they expect people to buy their product or become a member of the organization….simply because they exist.

I recently encountered a group that wanted to recreate something that worked 30 years ago. They fail to realize that the product will no longer be attractive to those that they want to reach.  What makes it even more difficult is the unwillingness to listen to new ideas….or accept that the product is out-of-date.

The lesson learned:

Create….develop new products to reach new markets. If not customers will seek out new products elsewhere. The product is the star of the show.


“40 years down the drain! If Tony Hayward really went yachting, then my years of trying to influence leadership behavior were a total waste.” -Tom Peters

“Yachting rich elitist sport. In clean water. Wearing Rolls Royce cap. Stuck his finger in Gulf folks’ eye.” – Tom Peters

Obviously the CEO of BP hasn’t paid attention to Tom Peters or for that fact anyone else in his responses to the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

I would think that BP is using every resource they can to solve the problem….and that’s the first priority….secondly repair any damages….thirdly provide compensation.

Yet….there is a real leadership issue when major incidences like this occur. It would seem that one would forego a yacht race untill the well is secured….really poor leadership from the CEO’s part and the BP Board of Directors.


  • It is all about leadership….whether business….government….military….social organizations
  • Leaders listen to those that have knowledge….wisdom….experience
  • Leaders listen to those who disagree with them
  • Leaders have to gain….maintain trust….don’t go to a yacht race until the problem is solved


Fresh and New

I follow many internet sites….always looking for fresh and new ideas. I use the internet to screen businesses that I want to investigate further. More and more the internet is the primary information source….it’s not the yellow pages anymore.

So the big question is: If you have an internet presence….whay isn’t it current and up-to-date? I visit some sites that haven’t been maintained in years. Often their information is limited and generic. One organization that I’m familiar with would qualify for the “worst web site” award.

While it takes some effort….keeping a website current….it generates a strong return on investment….and continuous return to the website.

Home Depot


Great businesses/organizations change. I have preferred Lowes….they just seemed to have a more pleasant atmosphere and fairly knowledgeable people.

Yet….I bought a large purchase at Home Depot and the process was a nice surprise. There was a greeter at the door offering me an ad flyer. He also asked me what I was looking for. I told him what it was. As I was walking to the right aisle….I heard a announcement that a customer was going to that department….me. As soon as I reached the product….another associate was immediately there asking if he could help. Pretty good customer service.

Both the greeter and associate were older gentlemen….I wonder what that means? A change?

As for Home Depot in the future….the product that I purchased had better reviews than the one at Lowes….and was less expensive. Plus I bought another item that was 1/2 the price of the identical one at Lowes.

I’ll give Home Depot more chances in the future….they have changed….and it seems for the better.


Great Design + Great Idea from Wisconsin

Farm to market….farm to table are the latest trends in healthy foods. The idea of creating a roadside market on a trailer is a great idea.

It took some imagination to recreate the roadside market on a trailer that can be moved to different locations.

Not only does the trailer bring the farm to customers….it also presents the products in an authentic setting.

That’s what marketing is all about!

There is always a way to do something better and different.