This last weekend I had the honor of speaking at the “Better Together Summit”, a national meeting put on by the buying group BrandSource. These guys bring in thousands of people representing over 4,500 stores across the United States and they were fired up.
Brand Source CEO, Jim Ristow took the stage in the first general session and let the audience know that the sole purpose for his group is to support them, the small furniture and appliance retailer that make up the “backbone of America”. He talked about the changing landscape with the growth of e-commerce, and how Brand Source is well positioned to help all of their members succeed by utilizing their AVB marketing division to create copy, video and photography that will make the members websites come to life. CONTENT IS KING! Jim also pointed out that “we don’t celebrate, we innovate”, and shared even more ways that Brand Source was going to help its members thrive in their local markets.
Later that afternoon, Jason Dorsey took the stage as one of the world leaders on research around Gen Z and Millennials. Jason isn’t just a speaker, he is a researcher and he knows his stuff. To be honest, I just about walked out to make phone calls because I had a lot going on and I really didn’t want to sit through another boring speech where a millennial stands on stage and lectures me about how I don’t understand his generation; as if it’s ALL ABOUT THEM. It was one of the most entertaining speeches I have heard in a long time with great content, some eye-opening stats that I had not heard before, and he brought me to the realization that it is ALL ABOUT THEM. Well, a lot of it anyway, as they represent more buying power than any other demographic by a long shot and if you are going to sell them, you certainly need to understand them. There are some big misconceptions about the different generations so check out this Ted Talk by Jason, be entertained for 18 minutes and learn a few things along the way.
My speech at the event was based on one of our Dos Marcos podcast “Top 10 Reasons Your Business Might Suck” which must have rung a bell with people because we had a good crowd in our session. It’s clear that people are looking for answers. Traffic is down for many and this shift to e-commerce has a lot of people off balance. How do I get my traffic back? How do I sell more to the people walking in my doors? How do we deal with billboards telling our consumers that we are greedy when we are just trying to make a living like everybody else? These retailers told me about their stores, some were brand new to the industry and some were 4th generation family owned businesses but they were all there for the same reason. To learn something that would help thrive in their markets. My guess is that the people attending events like this, taking an active role in finding a solution, are the ones that will be around for the 5th and 6th generations to come.
Kinsley and I are going to unpack this a lot more in a podcast that we record next week so tune in and hear all about it, including the story about how Jeff Willis from Famous Tate FORCED ME ON STAGE during a moment of weakness to participate in the LIVE BAND KARAOKE at BB Kings Blues bar. This one could have gone better! Remember, our new podcast website is DosMarcospodcast.com or you can find us in most of your podcast apps, just search DosMarcospodcast.
A big thank you to Brand Source for bringing me out to speak to their members, and to all of my new friends from the event. You made it awesome for me and I am grateful! Sorry but I gotta go. I ripped up the emergency check in my wallet so now I have to figure out what Venmo is. Thanks a lot Jason.