Customer Behavior is one of the most telling truths in business, and one of the best ways to learn about your customers is to watch them and listen to them!
From Steve Yastrow's book, Brand Harmony (page 54-55).
"Jerry Hirschberg, president of Nissan Design, tells a great story about how his team determined the best colors for a line of children's furniture in 2001. The tendency, of course, is for adults to think that kids want things in big, bold primary colors. While observing children at play in a day care cent, one of Jerry's designers got down on the floor and asked one of the children if she could see his box of crayons. She poured the crayons out and looked for those that were the shortest, i.e., the most used. Those colors did not happen to be the bold, primary colors that most would have guessed they would be. The result was a line of children's furniture in earth tones. Most of your customers aren't as forthcoming and honest as children; they may not tell you their favorite color, but you certainly can look for their shortest crayons."
This year's TEDx inspiration "Velocity" was on Saturday. While there I got to listen to:
Gary Hirsch - Great improvisor, Collaborator & Robot Illustrator
Stephen Kellogg - Great musician with four girls
Mohammad Khan Kharoti - Educating girls in rural Afghanistan
Rebecca Shapiro - Local Portland artist
Tyler Jones - Sustainable farming from Corvallis, OR
Juvie Hall & Cynthia Lopez - Women promoting women's worldwide demolition derby
Jensine Larsen - Crowdsourcing - connecting women worldwide
Jim Zemlin - CEO of Linux foundation
Brian Liindstrom - Local film/documentary director
Bruce Livingston - PlayWrite director for Youth at the Edge
Roxie McGovern - CHAP (Children's Healing Art Project) director
Dmae Roberts - Film maker (a Daughter's Song)
Sing With Us - A people's choir
It was well worth the money! I recommend it to everyone for some inspiration in today's crazy hurried world.
This last February I was priviledged to have Molly's Fund honor me in their newsletter for employee of the month. Here are the questions that they asked and my responses:
How did you first hear about Molly's Fund?
Why did you become interested in being a part of Molly's Fund?
mj: After taking on the position as the Marketing Committee Co-Chairman (shared with my partner in crime, Handyman Bob), I realized that I had found another avenue to share my marketing passion. Molly's Fund is on the fast track to helping people with lupus which I am learning more about everyday. I love being a part of this culture.
What is your day job?
mj: I am owner/designer at Inkspot Graphics. I have a real passion to be a "storyteller" for my clients. I research their business, who their competitors are and document who their target market is. Whit all this information, I will propose to my client how to capture the attention of their target market. I will often ask, "What makes you different than all your competitors and how are you going to "stick out" to your target market? (He also translates this passion and expertise in his diligent and incomparable work with Molly's Fund Fighting Lupus.)
I love being a "connector"! If we were to sit down for a casual cup of coffee, I guarantee that in 20 minutes I will say, "I know someone that you need to talk to…". To be a successful business owner today you need to always tweak your business strategy, take risks and have a "purpose".
I am always trying to put my education degree to use. I have recognized that whatever facet I am involved with I am always trying to share my knowledge to better everyone around me. I realize that my passion for marketing will eventually help everyone succeed.
They cal me "amazing mike" because I am the master at creating clever concepts and seeing them all the way through completion. I stay on top of all my vendors and oversee a consistent quality of my client's brand. I will take into consideration all those that I work with and offer a hand when they need to take that first hurdling step…
What are some fun trivia facts about Mike Johnson that most people don't know?
- Umpired softball & hardball for 25 years.
- Bartended for 15 years in the Pacific Northwest.
- Love to cook (and usually make enough for an army) because I come from a large family. I am the oldest of four boys.
- Married to my lovely wife, Paula for 17 years. We have adopted two children, Rachael (21) and Teresa (14), and now a new grandfather to Ledger.
- Rowed Crew at Western Washington University for two years.
- Love to play pinochle, poker and drink local microbrew IPA (or margarita, red wine, Irish whiskey, etc.)
- Found out the hard way that I am not a great "tourist". To find out more, ask me about my honeymoon to Maui…but only if you have an hour to kill and want to laugh so hard you'll cry your eyes out.
- And finally… wait for the "Amazing Mike" movie! You'll never forget it.