Okay, get out your pen and make a list for me. I want you to write down all of the things your company has done this year so far to make things a little more fun. It could be an internal thing, or it could be something that you did for your customer base, I don’t care just tally it up. How long did your list get?
I thought about my blog post today after reading about THIS press release from Sean Fry in the Linked In group Mattress Industry Executives. Sean announced today that he was building the largest mattress store in the world that would measure 1 mile in length, feature a roller coaster on the roof without seat belts so if the passengers fly out they will land on one of those mattress below, and it would have a liquor license to properly serve the drunken foot traffic that is common in Vegas. No he is not serious about the reality of this store, but he is serious about making things a little more fun for us all on this 2015 April Fools day.
There are some old fashion corporate types that don’t understand why they should worry about doing anything fun for their own people or for their customer which is fine but sad. Those are the leaders that absolutely don’t get what inspires people to do MORE than what is expected. If you want your own people or your customers to react to you in the best way possible, then give them a reason to have that positive feeling when they are around you or when they walk through the door.
Case in point: When Clive Golden was with Protect-A-Bed, he, Kelly Gordon, (now Kelly Stagner), Alan Eisenberg, Lawrence Hirshon and others were the people to hang out with at market or to buy from because they were FUN to be around. I wasn’t buying anything from them but they always included me as we shared mutual friends, and it never felt like work when you were with them. They had a good product don’t get me wrong, but they built their business on relationships and just having a good time with friends and customers. They knew what they were doing and it worked. Well.
I wrote about this subject in June of last year in my blog titled, “Is Your Team Happy and Why Should You Care?” In that post I ask you to take this idea to your team and I also site examples of other companies that are great at this. Have you taken me up on my suggestion?
My hat is off to Sean Fry and all that he is doing on his website Sleepinglikealog.com where he reviews mattresses, sleep aids, pillows and more. He has great content and is a FUN person to have in this industry, so check him out or follow him on twitter @seanthomasfry.
Now stop reading this blog and figure out a way to make your work day, company, presentations, or office environment more fun and I guarantee you will like the results. Don’t you do better when your task is more enjoyable?!?
Thanks for the shout out Mark! I’m just glad at least one person appreciated my somewhat twisted and mildly dark sense of humor. Haha.
This little press release was really just an experiment, just a thought exercise. It basically bombed, but I was able to amuse myself for a bit. Here’s a few things I learned:
1. Satire is very difficult. I have so much respect for the writers at The Onion for doing what they do. Those guys are good.
2. April Fools day has been thoroughly hijacked by “the internet,” so it’s really hard to get something to spread unless it’s done really, really well and it helps to have a large following to help give it a boost. Richard Branson can pull these things off because well, he’s Richard Branson, but he also has a massive following. This year he did a ‘Virgin moves to Branson, Missouri’ campaign which spread well, but I think it upset some people living in Branson. There’s always the risk of a joke backfiring somehow.
I find mattresses and the subject of sleep and mattresses to be two of the most difficult things to make fun and interesting. It’s damn near impossible. They’re two of the most boring subjects in the world. No one cares about sleep (unless they aren’t getting any) and mattresses aren’t ‘top of mind’ until they’re on the market for one, as you know.
So I tried to think of something that was totally ridiculous, totally over the top, and I came up with the concept of a mattress store with an overhead roller coaster that served free beer on the Las Vegas strip.
Obviously totally absurd, but I ended up thinking that it just might be possible for something like that to actually work in the real world just by virtue of the sheer amount of publicity it would generate.
I think if you goal was to get it to spread in a viral way and it didn’t then you can say it wasn’t a success but I do think it made some impact in the industry. Look at us talking about it now! 🙂 You are right, it is hard to make this industry interesting but we must keep trying. Maybe some idiot out there could create a rap video about mattresses.