Magowitz Does It AGAIN!

Posted 5 CommentsPosted in charity, experience, faith, fun, Leadership, mattress industry, purpose

We had another incredible weekend thanks to Roger Magowitz and the Seena Magowitz golf classic. Roger has been working hard along with Dr. Daniel Von Hoff and the great people at tgen, to find a cure for pancreatic cancer and I am happy to report that they are making some great progress. They are extending life for people and getting much closer to finding a test that will help in early detection. Roger, Liz McBeth and everyone else involved… thanks for what you do and for putting on a first-class event!

On Saturday we visited a dude ranch where Kinsley and I had a vicious competition in three events…bow and arrow target shooting, hatchet throwing and steer roping. It was close but in the end, I pulled it off and won the cowboy challenge which is a big deal because Kinsly beats me in just about every competition we have. (I blame it on my age and the fact that he has way better hair.) Then Kinsley and I were invited to the big arena to compete against Phil Sherman from Customatic, and his team to milk a goat. Phil’s group didn’t just win, they obliterated us HOWEVER, it turns out that Phil was a ringer. He was named the #1 goat milker on the east coast as a member of the Future Farmers Of America, so it was never really a fair fight. (I may have that detail wrong but we are going with it.) On Sunday people played golf, Kinsley and his foursome won the ugly golf pants competition AGAIN, and I went on a hike to see if I could climb Camelback Mountain. I did and lived to tell about it and had an incredible day.

The best part of the weekend is always the dinner on Saturday night where we get to listen to Dr. Von Hoff talk about the progress he is making, Kinsley and I get to be auctioneers doing our best to extract money out of the audience, and this year we heard from several of the WARRIORS currently inflicted with pancreatic cancer. These people have every reason to have a bad attitude, feel sorry for themselves and be angry at the world but that’s not what you get from them. Through tears, they express their gratitude for Dr. Von Hoff, their friends and family, and everyone in the room standing with them in their struggle. They talk about the love they have for the people in their life and they express their HOPE to one day find a cure for it all. They are fighters and they inspire me in ways I can’t express in words.

Remember that no matter what you are facing it isn’t what you are dealing with, it’s how you choose to react to what you are dealing with. Parts of life can really suck there is no doubt, but if you have the right people in your world and a strong faith in something other than yourself, you can get through anything.

Kinley’s outfit may be ugly BUT, it has a very cool Kippo phone pocket on the side. www.kippo.com

Dr. Von Hoff, in my house we pray for you and Ann often, and for the people you work with and the patients you care for. Thank you for who you are and for the incredibly bright light you shine. 

 

TikTok And You Won’t Stop

Posted 1 CommentPosted in advertising, creativity, culture, e-commerce, fun, marketing, mattress industry, Retail, social media

Is your store a brand or do you carry “RELEVANT” brands in your store? We have a good discussion in this episode of the Dos Marcos Podcast about these questions and much, much more. How do you know if you even have a brand? Listen to find out!

My daughter Gabby is 17 and my son Nick is 15 so thanks to them I am fairly up to speed on some of the recent social media trends that could impact your business. But before I get to that, I want to bring you up to speed on some of the new language being used today (by my son and his crew), so you can clearly communicate with the younger generation. Ready?

             Gabby and Nick

Salty: When someone says, “That’s salty bro.” this is a bad thing. It would be like me saying “that is unfortunate” or “the outcome of this event fell short of my expectation.”

Sweaty: This one is tricky because it can be both good and bad. My daughter was named 2nd Team All-Conference in softball yesterday so my wife actually said, “that’s so sweaty” and according to my son, she used the word in its proper context. Well done Bridget. Now…you could also say…”that dude is so sweaty when he plays”, which would be a reference to the fact that he is diving all over the court and he plays at a 10 all the time, even in a casual pick up game.

Tryhard: Normally we praise someone that is trying hard to achieve success in their life. Evidently, you can go too far in that pursuit. You may hear someone say, “DUDE, you are such a TRY HARD” after watching the aforementioned kid on the basketball court. It could also be used to reference an ass kisser who is going that extra mile at the office to gain favor with the boss. Used in context…ass kisser brings the boss coffee before the Monday morning meeting begins and so you say…”Jim, YOU’RE SUCH A TRY HARD! SIT DOWN.”

EXTRA: This is typically used in the negative when someone does too much with their appearance or with a social media post. I INCORRECTLY used this word on my wife at a basketball tournament in an effort to compliment her. She was a little late and was approaching a group of us parents sitting courtside waiting for the game to begin. She was all dolled up and looked terrific so I say, “Honey look at you!!!  All “EXTRA” for the game today.” Apparently you should not use this word as a compliment or in a way that would cause them to feel like they are overdressed. My advice…don’t try these words out in large groups of people until you get the hang of it.

The real reason I wanted to talk about trends today was to point out something that could be very relevant to your business which is the app called TikTok. TikTok was launched in 2017 but has popped up on my radar in the last six months or so. As with most things in the social media space, apps like TikTok become popular with the younger generation, grow in popularity, and then dorks like you and me get interested and start checking them out. Once that happens and we start using the platform, we ultimately ruin it for the younger crowd requiring them to invent another creative outlet that their parents don’t know about. (My Space, Facebook and now Instagram have all suffered this fate.)

TikTok is a vlog of sorts where you can create your own video 3-60 seconds in length and share it with your followers. There are dancers, singers, comedians, politicians and other bizarre things being posted and it’s awesome, but I warn you…once you start scrolling the feed, it’s a very easy way to lose an hour of your life. Or more.

TikTok was the third most downloaded app in the U.S. in the first quarter of this year and now boasts over 14.3 million users. Before you discount this as a marketing platform, consider that almost 50% of its users are between the ages of 25-65. Give this a look and let me know what you think and send me a note on creative ways you could create your own TikTok videos, and for you “TRY HARDS” out there, send us a link when you get your first one done. If you want to have some fun, make your customers feel something about your company or brand, and tell a story at the same time, then see what you can do. Greg and Katy Law at Sweet Dreams….this is ALL YOU!

 

I would share mine with you HOWEVER, my kids have threatened pain and suffering for me if I start doing my own stuff. So it’s up to you! Get SWEATY.

***Today is a gift. What are you going to do with it?

 

I Hate Being Human

Posted 1 CommentPosted in culture, experience, faith, Leadership, Management, mattresses, strategy

Two things before I get started…#1 if you have not already registered to attend the Seena Magowitz Charity Golf Tournament to support Roger in finding a cure for pancreatic cancer, then stop reading this and click HERE to sign up. I promise you will not regret it.  #2 on the Dos Marcos Podcast I talk to Derick Miller, Cheif Sales Officer, and Melanie Huet, Chief Marketing Officer at Serta/Simmons Bedding. We cover everything from their new product launch in Vegas, consumer research, brand building, Tuft & Needle and more so CHECK IT OUT.

I was on a walk with my dogs feeling sorry for myself about something not going my way, and then a little ray of light somehow broke through that thinking and I was able to remind myself that faith is a verb. My approach to life is to trust in something bigger than myself and not stress out about outcomes…He’s got me regardless of where it lands. But why do I have to constantly remind myself of this? Why do I have to continue to go through that slide into negative thinking and ultimately push myself into the better place…because I’m human and sometimes being human just sucks.

I hate the negative thinking that beats me down sometimes. I hate doing things that are bad for me knowing that they are bad for me. I hate seeing bad things happen to good people. I hate social injustice, war, death, pain, children in distress, long lines, taxes, when my wife and kids are sad, and I especially hate when the Cubs don’t make it into the playoffs.

I asked the Dos Marcos Facebook audience what they hated about being human and Dale Read said he hates the health issues he continues to have as a result of being exposed to agent orange in Vietnam. (Thank you for your service Dale.) TJ Whelan hates his constant battle with depression. And Dan White hates his insatiable desire of always wanting more. Me too.

Getting depressed? Hang on, this is where it turns. 🙂  

But how about the good parts of being human. Feeling the love from my wife and kids. The excitement and anticipation of looking forward to Christmas, birthdays, or a trip to Silver Dollar City with my family.  Driving anywhere with the top-down blasting my favorite playlist. Watching my kids play sports. How about the learning that comes from all of the crappy things that happen? Would we feel joy the way we do, if those things weren’t also going on in our life?

There are a lot of reasons to hate the hard things that happen to us. I guess it’s up to us not to really hate anything. It’s all perspective and how we choose to think about the things that happen in our life. There is a lot of darkness out there, that’s for sure, but there is also a cure for that. Strike a match…see what happens.

 

 

 

Great Customer Experience. Guaranteed.

Posted Leave a commentPosted in culture, experience, Leadership, Management, mattress industry, purpose, service

FIRST OFF TODAY….save the date for the best event in the industry, the Seena Magowitz Charity Golf Classic on November 1-3, 2019. If you haven’t been you really should go, we promise a great experience and you can help us fight a really horrible disease!

Kinsley and I had a great conversation in this episode of the Dos Marcos Podcast about my recent trip to see the good people of Badcock Furniture. These guys are awesome and so was the keynote speaker from Chic-Fil-A, David Salyers who shared some stories about how they turned fast-food restaurants into leadership academies. Tired of giving away adjustable beds? Maybe you don’t have to anymore.

In the past, I have written about creating a Kick-Ass Culture, but after listening to THIS podcast from Andy Stanley I was inspired to share a few additional thoughts. If you don’t know about Andy, he is the lead pastor for the North Point community church which is now responsible for over 90 churches worldwide and his life and leadership podcast/television broadcast are heard over 7 million times a month. In this particular episode, Andy talks to Horst Schulze, former President and COO of the Ritz-Carlton about customer experience.

Horse covers a lot of great stuff here but what I want to key on is the idea that you really need to understand what your people are thinking and feeling about you. If you’re running a company or if you are the manager of a group of people, it is critical that you are in touch with how your team looks at their work experience under your leadership. Are you doing surveys with your team on their job satisfaction? Here are some things you should understand about your people because if you do and they are happy; they will give YOUR customers a first-class experience:

  • Do they tolerate coming to work, or is their career something they feel great about?
  • Are they coming in every day just working for a paycheck, or do they understand and feel connected to the purpose behind what you do?
  • Do you really understand what is important to the people on your team and can you rank them in priority?
  • Are you intentional about using that information to drive a better experience at your company?

If you think that your top/bottom line is really the only metric you need to be paying attention to, then you have some rough waters ahead unless you’re only concerned with short term success.

Are you buying all of this? If not just look around this industry because it is really easy to see which companies get it and which ones don’t. Show me a consistently bad customer experience and I will show you a company that does not value their own people the way they should. Think that’s harsh? Then you are probably one of the companies I’m talking about.

If you understand what’s important to the people on your team, create a culture that delivers on those things and connect them all to your purpose and mission, then you are going to be incredibly hard to beat. The best leaders in any organization understand that they are there to serve their people, not the other way around. What kind of leader are you?

 

 

***Today is a gift. What will you do with it?

 

 

 

 

 

 

How Do You Define Failure?

Posted 4 CommentsPosted in e-commerce, experience, faith, Leadership, marketing, mattress industry, product development, Retail

Before I get started on this week’s blog I want to direct you to this podcast featuring Rick Anderson, the President of Tempur Sealy International. We talk about the reunion with Mattress Firm, MAP pricing, the value of the Tempur-Pedic brand, and Ricks’ very cool Caddy Shack golf bag so check it out.

Q1 of 2017 my brother Jeff and I launched a new D2C mattress brand called Herobed. The goal was to participate in the growth of the online channel and do some good along the way but it didn’t work out how we had hoped. As with any start-up we did our due diligence looking at other brands, their pricing, product construction, advertising approach, did a lot of analysis on acquisition cost etc. and felt strongly that our approach would fit a niche with consumers and capture the hearts and minds of people wanting better sleep, therefore, a better life. The problem was, even during development, the financial models that we created were constantly changing and it was impossible to keep up with new players in the category. When you enter such a dynamic segment the risk factor grows exponentially and we failed. Or did we?

Our concept was to come out with a hybrid, (pocketed coil/gel memory foam construction) which was different than pretty much anything being promoted on-line, price it slightly above the market, and create a marketing message that consumers could get behind. The idea there was that we are all somebody’s hero and in order to make an impact on those around us, we have to be the best version of ourselves, and sleep is a critical piece to that. We celebrated teachers, moms and dads, neighbors, and local charities. ANYONE that was doing something to add value to the lives of others. We donated beds and talked about sleep as a component of a happy life, turned the box into something kids could color, (what kid doesn’t like to play with a big box?), and we even delivered the bed with its very own superhero cape. But it wasn’t enough. Low conversion rates and higher than projected marketing cost kept us from the desired result.

I haven’t really talked about this until now because, in all honesty, I was a little embarrassed. I hate losing which at the time is how I was looking at the year we spent developing the brand; a big fat loss. It’s true that Herobed was not a financial success but we did get a lot from our time working on the project so was it really a net loss? We now have a very deep understanding and appreciation as to what it takes to succeed in that space and we learned a lot about digital commerce, which in today’s world is pretty valuable. Not to mention the fact that I spent a year working on this with one of my best friends who also happens to be my brother.  Somebody said that you aren’t failing if you get a solid education from the experience which I guess is true and something you should always remember if you fall short. Right? It sounds a little like the BS that you tell yourself when something doesn’t work out but there is a lot of truth in that sentiment.

I hope that there are more failures in my future because it means that I am going after my dreams and not sitting on my butt TALKING about the stuff I could do. When you hear about successful entrepreneurs, the story is typically about how they succeeded with their idea, but most of them have a long history of working on projects that didn’t turn out well. Did they fail? I guess they did/ we did in a way but all of those experiences pave the way for what will ultimately be the big win. This is true for me in business as I reflect on other “failures” but also in my personal life. I get it wrong. Try not to repeat mistakes, and always end up better as a result so I’m good with that. Bring it on! Funny thing is that the people who criticize others for failing with a business venture are usually the ones that never try something on their own because the people I know taking risk have a profound appreciation for others doing the same, and I love that about people in the startup space.

My new friend Pablo Frixione recently purchased the Herobed brand from us and has done some really good stuff. Like our version they are launching slightly above market, with a hybrid, and a solid focus on giving back, donating a free mattress to someone in need for every two Herobeds sold. Go check out their site and take a look at their Herobed Pregnancy Test, it will make you smile I promise. Great job Pablo and best of luck to you and your team!

PS

Check out the podcast How I Built This with Guy Raz. He interviews the founders of companies like Tempur-Pedic, Compaq Computer, and Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream and takes them through the early years, how they almost failed, and what ultimately lead to their success. It’s one of my favorites so give it a listen.