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Pounding hooves. Frilly hats. Nose-tickling champagne. These were all featured on the lawn at the Spokane Polo Club last Sunday at the Cobra Roofing Polo Classic, a fundraising event for the Spokane Ronald McDonald House. The Polo Classic is the largest event of its kind west of the Mississippi River.
My wife, Chris, and I were invited to attend with Mark and Marti D'Agostino, owners of Meridian Construction. Marti is also the Development Director for Ronald McDonald House.
Over 1,200 people attended the event, enjoying a fabulous artwalk, an exciting game of polo (won by the Washington Trust Bank team 6-4), fine food by Fery's Catering, and a great silent auction.
While it was a warm, sunny day, guests were comfortable drinking and dining under the shade of white tents, and by the shade cast by hundreds of elaborate hats worn by the beautifully-attired women.
The event was a fun opportunity for people watching, as everyone attended in their polo finery. It was great to see so many friends and clients supporting such a wonderful cause, and impressive and heartening to see such a quality event put on in Spokane. Over 300 volunteers gave their time to assist in making things just right.
Congratulations to the Spokane Ronald McDonald House, and thank you to the volunteers, sponsors and team that coordinated the event. And a particular thanks to Mark and Marti. We really had a great time.
When Klündt | Hosmer says we are big on branding, we mean it.
As a condition of continued employment, all staff were required to get a Klündt | Hosmer tattoo that reads,
"Klündt | Hosmer Abandons Mediocrity". Unfortunately, the tattoo artist was hard of hearing so the tattoos read "Coon Hummer Is Big On Democracy".
We want to point out that this is a good lesson to all clients... don't hire the cheapest guy around. You'll get what you pay for and it may end up tattooed on your a** for life.
We are now looking for a good plastic surgeon who needs a logo and is willing to do work for trade. Please contact Diane Mahan with any suggestions.
Last week Klündt | Hosmer started some internal development work.
Every once in a while it is wise for every business to take a look at what it's doing and how it's doing it. Fortunately, we have a great partner to help us conduct these examinations. John Scherer is a business and personal development consultant who has helped thousands of business executives and their teams reconnect with what drives them.
John has been doing a lot of corporate work in Poland, but on a trip back to the U.S., he stopped by and spent a couple of days at Klündt | Hosmer. On day one, Darin, Jean and I met with John and got clear on our goals for the business and in the personal work that we do. Day two was spent with all of our team, getting clear on the course Klündt | Hosmer can take as we grow from a 22-year-old "mature" company, into a next phase "entrepreneurial" company.
After a "set the stage" session with John, everyone divided into teams and the brainstorming began. We each developed a long list of ways to energize our business, inspire our industry, add value to our clients and be more fulfilled by what we do. It was an awesome two days to reconnect with each other, strive toward a common goal, and bring our "spirits" into our work.
John recently published a new book titled: "The Five Questions That Change Everything". As we continue this corporate exploration process, we will ask ourselves each of those five questions. The answers that come from this inquiry will form the basis of the ongoing development that Klündt | Hosmer will undertake as a company.
As many of us in the business world deal with challenging economic times, it makes me reflect on a T.S. Elliot quote John uses in the introduction of his book, "Everyone gets the experience; some get the lesson."
We are actively looking for and embracing the lesson that will enable us to serve our clients better, strive for excellence in all we do and empower the true spirit of everyone that works at Klündt | Hosmer.
It's pretty darn cool.
Many of you remember Annie Stillar, the wonderful interactive traffic coordinator that worked at Klündt | Hosmer (in a variety of capacities) for the past six years.
This spring, she felt led to expand her career horizons and get involved with her passion... youth theatre. So she accepted a summer position working with a theatre organization in Portland, and spent the rest of her spring tooling around Europe to the delight of European guys in a number of countries.
She's back in Portland now, and just emailed us a recent self-portrait photo. All we can say is," Annie, you apparently left your sense of style in your old desk drawer back at Klündt | Hosmer. If you want we'll FedEx it to you. Please."
The Lands Council had an idea: To increase water storage, reduce erosion, increase wildlife habitat, lengthen stream flows, and generate other water benefits for the "dry side" of Washington State... all without building large concrete dams on major tributaries. How? By reintroducing beaver back into their historical watersheds.
But what's the best way to generate land owner and public interest in this program? The timeframe and budget is tight, and the promotion needs to take off in a grassroots fashion.
After talking with me, and hooking up with Michael Pickering from The Hamilton Studio, the Lands Council had their answer.
Together, we developed and produced a 3-minute, cartoon video that introduces the whys and hows of the program, and where to go it you'd like more information. We wrote the script and drew the illustrations. The crew at Hamilton's turned it into a funny black and white video. You can see the video at The Lands Council website or on YouTube. Make sure to pass the video on to your friends. I have already seen it posted to people's Facebook pages, and the program just launched this morning.
In addition to the video, Klündt | Hosmer is producing an 8-page 'zine that will go to land owners and others who are interested in the program.
It's amazing to think that with acceptance and participation in The Beaver Solution, in a decade, there could be thousands of new beaver dams strategically located all over eastern Washington, providing water to a very thirsty landscape. It really is a win-win for everyone involved. Especially landowners and beaver.
Klündt | Hosmer had a blast working on the new broadcast advertising campaign for the Spokane Regional Convention & Visitors Bureau. Local marmots, Stan and Benny, try to figure out why so many visitors come to Spokane.
The spots were concepted, written and directed by Klündt | Hosmer, with additional direction from the CVB. The video crew at Cornerbooth Media handled the talent and shot the footage by the Spokane River near Gonzaga University. Two different scripts were written and recorded to the same video edit. The :30 second spots are airing on television stations throughout the Pacific Northwest, Canada and western Montana, and are being promoted on VisitSpokane.com and YouTube.
Why DO so many people come to Spokane, anyway? Watch the spot and see what Stan and Benny think.
A topic came up at the office last week. We were talking about recession-proof businesses and industries. What type of industries do well even when the economy is down, and how do we market ourselves to them in order to generate business our direction?
In researching the topic, I found that the following industries tend to do well (4% to 8% growth during a recession) among many others:
• Family counseling
• Video game manufacturers
• DIY retailers (hardware stores/garden centers)
• Debt collection agencies
• Auto and equipment repair and service
• Firearms and ammunition manufacturers
• Investment advice and portfolio management
• Internet and cable/sat TV providers
In Klündt | Hosmer's world, we have created branding and marketing tools for many of the above industries, including biotechnology, healthcare, internet service providers and financial service firms. We encourage clients in those industries to enhance their marketing to build brand awareness and generate new business during this recession.
I also found out that multi-level marketing programs, i.e., Amway, Avon, Melaleuca also tend to do well in a recession. I wonder what that would look like for a visual communication firm?
"Just sign-up for our program and purchase your own corporate identity package. Then find 10 companies interested in improving their corporate identities, and help each of them find 10 other companies with branding needs. In the next 120 days you may be earning $5,000 to $10,000 a week from the comfort of your own home."
Nah... I think we'll just keep doing it the traditional way. One customized visual communication plan at a time.
We had a bit of a surprise today when I was contacted by KREM2 News reporter, Grace Peña. She and camera operator Devon Haskins asked to come by our office this morning to interview me for a business segment they will be running on Monday. The topic of the segment will be what businesses should do to market and promote themselves during challenging economic times.
In the interview, I spoke with Grace about the benefits of keeping a company's marketing, advertising and branding messages going during a recession. She asked about things a business with a tightened marketing budget can do to keep their business viable. I shared some ideas for lower-cost marketing, and how now is a great time to work with media reps to get the best advertising rates and schedule options. For more info about this subject check out my May 26, 2009 blog posting, "Advertise or Die?"
I also shared about Pearson Packaging Systems, a Klündt | Hosmer client who in spite of a difficult economy is continuing to put it's best face forward with new marketing and sales literature and website updates. The KREM2 team headed to Pearson after interviewing me... so Pearson will be featured on the segment, as well.
If you find yourself close to a television on Monday morning (June 22) or can set your tivo to KREM2 News, you can watch my interview, see some of our work, and ask yourself if it is time for your company to dial-up your branding and marketing efforts in spite of the economy. The story will also be posted to the KREM.com website along with a link to Klündt | Hosmer's site.
It has been a busy past couple of weeks at Klündt | Hosmer. A lot going on, and not much time to post blog entries, but in an attempt to keep this up to date, here is a quick status report:
Annie Stillar is headed back to Spokane after spending a month touring Europe. She hit the hot spots in England, France, Italy, Greece, Austria and Ireland. We received on-going updates via email, Facebook postings and a phone call from Austria. Annie was an awesome employee at Klündt | Hosmer for six years. We hired her just before she turned 18-years-old, and it was wonderful watching her "grow-up". Once back in the states, Annie is heading to Portland to work in youth theatre. After her six years at Klündt | Hosmer, she's had plenty of practice directing "adolescents".
I was invited a speak on the topic of corporate branding and visual identity at the Spokane Club annual membership meeting last month. I also got to make a brief presentation at the Greater Spokane Incorporated monthly breakfast meeting last week. They asked me to speak on Klündt | Hosmer's tips for business success following the win of our AGORA C. Michael Archer Community Service Award.
Jean and I are working on a great opportunity working with a Christian ministry and college in the midwest. Their marketing director approached us after reading someone's Twitter posting about Logan Magazine. Interesting how social networking was used to generate new business with an organization who would never have known about us, otherwise. Hopefully, visual identity, print materials, websites, and print advertising will soon roll out of our office, with a strategic marketing plan to guide the implementation of these tactics.
We're just completing a series of multi-lingual marketing materials (brochures and a website) for a couple of manufacturing clients and a community health provider. There is a lot of international business being done in the Spokane region. Spanish, Russian, Chinese and German are some of the languages we are working with. Es una gran manera de aumentar su negocio.
That's it for a brief wrap-up. If you are interested in getting blog functionality and an easy-to-use content management system into your own business or organization's website, contact Klündt | Hosmer. As times change, it's critical to change your marketing approach to keep pace.
Yesterday, at the Greater Spokane Incorporated 2009 AGORA Awards honoring business excellence, Klündt | Hosmer received the very special, C. Michael Archer Community Service Award.
Greater Spokane Incorporated had this to say about the honor: “Klündt | Hosmer's contribution to great community causes clearly comes from their hearts - they take pride in helping to make Spokane a better place to live and work. In 2008, the company donated more than $75,000 in services to more than 16 groups and events.
“Klündt | Hosmer provides branding and visual communication services in print, web and interactive. The company's creative team has produced thousands of visual communication projects, won hundreds of professional awards, and has experience in a wide-range of industries.”
The awards event was held at the Davenport Hotel and was attended by several hundred community and city business leaders. The winners were selected by an independent team of volunteer judges for the AGORA program, which recognizes businesses in our community and region who exemplify leadership to support a strong economy and quality of life. An extensive documentation and interview process was required before the judges made their decision to award Klündt | Hosmer this honor.
Klündt | Hosmer was a finalist in the medium-sized business category in 1998 and was a finalist again this year. The C. Michael Archer Community Service Award took us by surprise, and it is an honor to be recognized for our commitment to regional causes benefiting the arts, education, the underprivileged and disabled. First Night Spokane, Big Brothers and Sisters of the Inland Northwest, Greater Spokane Incorporated, The Rypien Foundation, and Logan Magazine are among the causes that we have helped in the past year.
We want to thank the judges, Greater Spokane Incorporated and the Spokane business community for this honor. We couldn’t continue to provide this pro bono design work for these deserving organizations without the support of our clients.
All of us at Klündt | Hosmer will continue to operate in the spirit of the C. Michael Archer Community Service Award.