PepperMill November 2015

Tim’s Got a Plan

Here we go! Are you ready for the Grazing Season? You know, that time of year when we are surrounded by great (‘not so good for you’) food in abundant quantities? We start the guilt around this time of year, and by the middle of November we will have abandoned ourselves to our resurrection in January.

Is it really our fault that we succumb to the powerful magnetism of appetizers from heaven, wonderful creamy salads, copious amounts of refreshing beverages, followed by just about every baked good imaginable—x10? The old proverbial last words never spoken are commonly attributed as, “I wish I worked more.” But you also never hear, “I wish I skipped that extra piece of pie on Thanksgiving.”

You might well be asking, “Tim, where is this heading? Are you taking us on a path to being a victim of the season?” Well, yeah. I guess so. A little. But the key word is “little.” If you know you’re going to enjoy a little, but be responsible, it’s doable. It’s a delicious time of the year. Have some fun with it!

What are some strategies we can employ to come out of this guilt free? Have a plan of attack. 

Keep Moving
First, you’ll have some extra days off during the holidays. Let’s make sure to use them wisely. The average exercise session should burn 400-800 calories. That goes a long way in offsetting a few glasses of wine. Second, park far away and do a few extra steps at the mall.

Munch Rhythm
Certainly don’t try to starve yourself in anticipation of that big meal. Eat regularly, especially on the days when you’ll be attending a big graze. Healthy snacks throughout the day will temper your appetite later.

Drink Smart
Most alcohol calories are completely empty. Science says that a little red wine every day is good for you, plus you look fancy toasting the holidays with that Waterford Crystal. And keep a check on those beers—some are heavy on the calories. Start with a good robust beer and then move to the Lites. Same result.

Small Plates
When at the buffet, use the One-Layer Rule. Pile only enough on your plate to have one layer with nothing touching. I just made that up. Let’s try it out this year together!

Roll With The Stroll
After dinner, don’t sit—or worse, nap. Throw a coat on and loudly proclaim, “Who wants to go for a walk?” There are many who just need a nudge. Even 20 minutes is enough to get your metabolism ignited. Then when you get back, yell “Who wants to play Twister?”

Tim Padgett
tim@peppergroup.com

“Thanksgiving is a typically American holiday … The lavish meal is a symbol of the fact that abundant consumption is the result and reward of production.”
—Ayn Rand

“The mellow sweetness of pumpkin pie off a prison spoon is something you will never forget.”
—Mitchell Burgess, Northern Exposure, Thanksgiving, 1992

The Awards Keep Rolling In

For five decades, Graphic Design USA has sponsored competitions to spotlight areas of excellence and opportunity for creative professionals. This year they recognized Pepper Group with nine 2015 American Graphic Design Awards! Just under 10,000 entries were submitted; a very highly selective 15 percent were recognized with Certificates of Excellence.

Our agency was commended for the design of:

Olds ProductsOpen Up to a World of Difference

3MCornerstone Icons

Dura-BarWe Rule Advertising

Follett School SolutionsEmpower Advertising Campaign

Griffith LaboratoriesGlobal Tastes Posters

Metals Service Center InstituteStrategic Metals Management Program Brochure

Metals Service Center InstituteMake Sharper Decisions Direct Mailer

Omron Automation & SafetyOne Day Invite

Pepper GroupSit, Sip, Click & Be Happy Mailer

This national online competition celebrates the power of well-designed websites and online communications to attract audiences, disseminate ideas and information, generate response and promote products, services and ideas.

Thank you to these and all our clients for allowing us to do such creative work!

Inc.5000 Event Speaker Highlights

Ever wish you could just get the CliffsNotes from the top speakers at a multi-day conference? Here they are! As a proud new member of the Inc.5000 club of fastest growing companies, Pepper Group attended the annual conference for some education, inspiration and the ability to meet and talk to successful entrepreneurs from all over the country. The speakers brought a lot to the table, too.

Here’s what they had to say.

Robert Herjavec

The Shark Tank and Dancing with the Stars celebrity built his fortune from very meager beginnings. It pisses him off when people complain. “Life doesn’t owe you anything. All you’re owed is an opportunity.” He leads by example too. His people work hard because he does. He also stressed that great marketing is essential. In addition, he said that it’s imperative to know your forecast for the next 12 months and exactly how you’re going to reach customers. What about Shark Tank? Each season is filmed all at once, in 17 days, so the Sharks can get back to their businesses. The average pitch is about an hour and edited down to 12 minutes. The Sharks really don’t know anything about those pitching, and if any Shark knows the entrepreneur, he or she can’t pitch. Finally, did you know that Robert and Kevin used to be on a similar show in Canada called Dragon’s Den?

Dan Price

Dan Price went from entrepreneur to crusader for income equality. Dan’s message is that it’s a moral imperative of leaders to do the best they can for those they’re leading, and that companies should be purpose-driven vs. profit-driven. He generated a lot of buzz by setting his own company’s minimum wage at $70K. It ate up profits and even his own salary, and many say it’s going to sink the company. He admits that companies in other industries may not be able to do this, and that the publicity has been helpful, but he definitely thinks it was the right thing to do.

Tony Hsieh

The Zappos CEO is focused on his company having the very best customer service. Yes they started with selling shoes, but why not an airline or hotel someday? Tony says that if you get culture right, customer service will follow. Today, he’s focused on the “Downtown Project”—with a goal of transforming downtown Las Vegas into the most community-focused large city in the world. Hsieh moved Zappos’ headquarters to the area and personally invested $200 million into real estate, $50 million into local tech startups, $50 million into arts and education and $50 million into small businesses. Will it save this economically depressed area? Good things are happening and Hsieh will continue to share the progress. Best quote: “A Great Brand is a Story that Never Stops Unfolding.”

Carey Lohrenz

This former Navy Lieutenant and F-14 Fighter Pilot talked about fearless leadership and relentless focus. How can an aircraft carrier with 100% staff turnover every 18 months and an average crew age of 19.5 years old function? Because they have a singular focus on the safe launching and recovery of planes. It’s a complete clarity of purpose that makes the difference, especially when things get scary. She says “Fearless leadership isn’t the absence of fear, but the ability to move decisively and with bold action in the face of it.”

Marcus Lemonis

This entrepreneur and host of CNBC’s The Profit talked about the importance of relationships and how showing your own vulnerability can create connections. He demonstrated that by going around the Inc.5000 audience and asking random people to stand up and “Share something about yourself that nobody knows that would make you vulnerable.” He challenged the audience to go back and get personal with their employees and business partners to foster a stronger connection.

There were many other great speakers as well, and we’ll include some of the key concepts in future Pepper Mill articles. Thanks for reading. Now go out and seize the day!

George Couris
george@peppergroup.com

Double Take: Think Pink!

October has passed along with Halloween, the beginning of football season, and most importantly, Pinkification.

Pinkification refers to the massive push for everyone to wear pink in October to call attention to breast cancer. Bringing attention to this disease is a noble cause, for sure. But is the pink campaign working? Or is it merely manipulative marketing?

Joining regular contributor Joe is guest blogger Allan Woodrow.

YouTubin’: What a Neighbor!

It’s November already! As hard as that is to accept, I was inspired to embrace the theme of Thanksgiving as I considered which video to share with you this month. A teacher friend of mine brought this one to my attention and it made me realize how lucky I was to grow up with Mister Rogers' Neighborhood on my television. Fred Rogers was the epitome of the term role model, and while he was never considered “cool” by my school friends, I think they all secretly watched and were fascinated as he took us behind the scenes of a candy-making factory, or taught us lessons in humanity.

This video clip from Mister Rogers’ 1999 acceptance speech into the TV Hall of Fame is exemplary because it includes footage from a 1981 episode highlighting his compassion, and then shows the joyous reunion with his special guest from that episode, Jeff Erlanger. It’s worth your time to watch!

Thank you Mister Rogers, you certainly made a difference in how I perceive the world!

Got some YouTube videos of your own you’d like to share? Just send them my way!

Todd Underwood
todd@peppergroup.com