Welcome back to Sunday Morning Coffee a time when we look back on a week that was and a glimpse forward to what's coming up. It's sort of like sitting down with friends at a coffee shop or cafe and sharing stories. And, because it's a conversation, I'm interested in your take. You can comment here or send me an e-mail Coffee is hot...have another cup?
It's getting really spooky... This past week Wellmark Blue Cross/Blue Shield, one of the largest employers in Des Moines, decided to go "all in" when it comes to battling smokers and smoking. According to published reports, in the Des Moines Register, job applicants will have to testify they are "tobacco-free" (even at home) and those employees who currently "use" will have to kick the habit by October 1. The "edict" goes into effect June 1. I'm not a smoker or tobacco user but isn't this too much? Can Gestapo tactics be next? Rewarding people who "turn in" folks that have a cigar on their deck, after supper? And leather coats appearing at your desk the next morning, "Papers! You have papers?!?" Could eating fast food be next? How about having sexual relations, unprotected? Or driving a vehicle that has bad tires? Anybody else see a problem here?
Kizzy, our African Gray parrot, has her own Twitter account. She is nearly a year old and wanted to 'stretch her wings' a bit. You can visit with her, should you wish, on Twitter: @Kizzy_Bird. Could a Facebook page be far behind? Of course...
Using on-line video to promote your business? No? Why not? Last week I published this piece about how we use video to promote our business and the products and services of our clients. Oh...here is why you should: Nielsen Research, in a study released last week, says that nearly 73% of Broadband Internet users have watched on-line videos...and actually enjoy doing so. Here is that study. You here yet? Why not?
Coming up this week I'm going to share a customer service story with you that, once again, proves you should be doing business with locally owned, family run businesses over the "big box". Price is not, and should not be, the main focus when you buy goods and services. I'm hoping that this gives hope to those business owners who are thinking "price sells" and rushing toward the bottom trying to out-price each other. It doesn't work.
You must and quick serve restaurants increased their advertising dollars by over 2% to nearly $4.1 billion during 2009. Meanwhile, and this is a bonus, what two cities in the United States does the most restaurant business. Go ahead, think on this for a minute. (I'll also suggest to you why...) New York City? Nope... St. Louis? Nope. How about that KC BBQ....ahhh....nah. It's Fort Walton Beach, FL and close behind is Myrtle Beach, SC. HUH!?!?!?? Think about it for a minute. The median age, in both cities is nearly 39 years old. Older, stable and time to use their money. Median age in St. Louis is 33 years old, Kansas City, 33, Minneapolis 32 and Des Moines, 33. Those pesky Baby-Boomers... But, don't take my word for it...here is the study complete with the numbers.
Care about the Rural Economy in America? You should... Dr. Ernie Goss of Creighton University, Omaha, had this report about the health of our rural areas. Is it better? Have a read.
Did you know that Des Moines has TWO ROLLER DERBY TEAMS? TWO!!! The Mid-Iowa Rollers and the Des Moines Derby Dames. Just another reason Des Moines is ranked, by Forbes, as the number one city in the nation for business and careers. Eat your heart out Peoria...
Last week this story about Three Rules for Retail Success got a lot of BUZZ. What happened: I went out on a scouting mission for a client of our advertising agency. I went to a number of garden centers all run by the Hy-Vee supermarket company. Some of the same stuff but a different atmosphere and shopping experience...depending on where I went. The Urbandale Hy-Vee Garden Center is amazing. Why? I think, and you already know, it comes down to three basics and those basics work in all retail settings. Ya gotta have the right people, the right product supply and an ability to merchandise what you are selling. Hat is off, once again, to my friend Jerry Kluver who...ROCKS!
Coffee is good this morning!
Last week I got a package in the mail from a friend in Minneapolis. It's a DVD, professional, about the life of David Fishel, or more direct; his life as a slave laborer during WWII and his eventual move to Des Moines. Knowing the family, Robert and Bobbi Aronson, I expected this to be good...but the 15 minute video is more than that. It is profound and a wonderful teaching tool. The video, Stolen Youth, is one of a four volume set that focuses on the Holocaust and intolerance. The series would make for a great teaching tool in schools and houses of worship and comes complete with teaching materials. More on this later...
Packing loads of stuff into this week...thanks for coming by for a read. Sunday Morning Coffee is part of our advertising agency, Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications. We'll get back to business tomorrow. Should you want to follow me on Twitter it's @MichaelLibbie (business and not-so-much), @InsightADV (business baby, business), @RuralLifeRadio (our love for everything...rural). Thanks again for finding us.