Honor Flight Akron-Canton

HFCAK WebsiteSince 2005, the Honor Flight Network (http://www.honorflight.org) has had one simple goal in mind, to safely transport America’s veterans for free to Washington, D.C. to visit those memorials dedicated to honor their service and sacrifices. Priority is given to World War II veterans – who are dying at a rate of 1,000 every day – and then Korean and Vietnam War veterans and so on. HFN presently has 71 hubs in 30 states and by the end of the 2009 flying season in November, it will have transported more than 42,000 veterans of World War II, Korea and Vietnam to see the memorials built to honor their suffering and sacrifice to keep this great nation free and a world leader.

For Honor Flight Akron Canton (http://www.honorflightcak.org), BrandMill created a marketing communications system for this non profit volunteer based organization that consisted of a state-of-the-art plug-and-play Web Site and Blog, email marketing campaigns, online survey, social media marketing via Facebook, YouTube and other channels and various public relations efforts that earned significant media coverage to help honor veterans and assist the hub in reaching its fundraising and volunteerism goals.

BrandMill’s involvement with Honor Flight CAK has led it to founding the first Honor Flight hub in Pennsylvania – Honor Flight of Western Pennsylvania.

Press Coverage

July 2, 2009 – VFW commander lauds Honor Flight experience
June 6, 2009 – Fourth local Honor Flight treats vets to daylong trip
June 5, 2009 – For local World War II Veterans, visit to D.C. was a trip of a lifetime

June 2, 2009 – Selflessness and Sacrifice
June 4, 2009 – Area veterans take trip to nation’s capitol aboard Honor Flight
May 30, 2009 – More than 100 local WWII vets took Honor Flight today
May 28, 2009 – Area veterans to board Honor Flight
May 28, 2009 – Local WWII vets visit memorials in Washington, D.C.


Be an Economic Impact Player

Blog Economy TrendHow do your customers feel about the economy?

A lot of what your customers are thinking can be influenced (up/down) by how you feel about the economy and what you plan to do about competing in it?

Certainly these times are different and challenging, but if you’re more than a “half glass full guy” like me, you’ll be aware of what’s going on, but take the Advisory approach (not a vendor of services) that I take with my clients.  I work to make certain they know I got their back and am working hard to work smarter with less inefficiencies, less waste etc.,

And, with more actionable, ROI-driven, forward thinking, innovative initiatives to help all of us to not only survive, but to gain ground and thrive.  So, when things do turn around, we’ll be in the driver’s seat.

But, then again, aren’t  you always pretty much the driver in your own driver’s seat?

Check out this chart about the Economic Outlook by American Consumers from Experian Simmons DataStream (good firm).

Since January 2009 there is a slight trend upward, but it’s still a bit early to see if the trend will continue be positive or level off.

After the “Obama Bump,” we’re still pretty much in the same space. So, whether you’re Republican, Democrat, pro Obama or not, it all doesn’t matter. What matters is the Agenda you set…the plan you make…how hard you choose to work…NOW.

Always has…always will.

The question for concern remains not far can you fall, but how far can you bounce and what you’re willing to do to make the jump.

My advice:

  1. Watch cash flow
  2. Be observant and respectful of the economy, but follow your own plan
  3. Work on more efficient procedures and systems
  4. Build a process for innovation
  5. Keep moving, stay motivated and stay visible

More to come!


Trend Spotting and Watching

Trend MapI’m a religious man, and I do believe in the power of prayer and even divine intervention, but I also believe in the “free will” God blesses everyone with to act, react and impact. That’s a big reason why I also believe in spotting and watching trends. And, why at an early point in my career I became a big fan of trend authors and futurists like John Naisbitt, Megatrends 2000, Joel Barker, and Future Edge and now TrendWatching.Com where you can register to get free briefings. They report on very cool insightful stuff.

I don’t buy into everything that these folks say, however I do believe they offer some great insights that might help you too.

We can all be impact players  in life – personally and professionally – if we pay attention to the clues around us, take action and heed Thoreau’s sage advice, “I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by conscious endeavor.”

P.S.: The image of a Trend Map for 2009 can be found at NowAndNext.Com along with some other interesting trend reports.


Toms Cause Marketing

BM BLOG toms-logo22One of the best ways to build a brand and do good at the same time is to tie your efforts to a great cause. A great example is Toms Shoes and their “one to one” strategy. It’s simple and perfect. With every pair of shoes you buy from TOMS, they will give a pair of new shoes to a child in need. Love it!

It’s a powerful strategy. It created a movement.  And, it’s selling lots of shoes while helping to do a lot of good at the same time.

American Express’ efforts to restore the Statue of Liberty in the early ’80s is largely credited with the official start of the cause marketing movement. Their strategy was simple and clear. Offer a penny for every AMEX card use and a dollar for every new card issued. The result was two-fold. AMEX raised a ton of money for Lady Liberty and scored double digit transaction increases for their brand.

Is cause marketing part of your marketing plan?

What moves you?  What moves your employees? What moves your customers? What movement can tie into your brand achievements and/or your purpose? What good can you do to appeal to a lot of potential customers?

A 2008 Cause Survey from Barkley found that:

  • 86% of women and moms say it is important for companies to support a cause
  • 69% of moms stated they will try a brand because it supports a cause
  • 58% will pay more for a brand that supports a cause she cares about

Great Brands stand for something and stand up for something too.

What do you stand for? What are you willing to stand up for and create a win/win for you and for others?

When you stand for something and stand up for others you have a good chance of being the last brand standing!

P.S.: Here’s a little bit of what we do.


High Voltage Marketing

BM BLOG chevy_volt_230mpg.03Caught this story on CNN.com this morning about the new Chevy Volt that can get up to 230 mpg! Talk about high voltage marketing!

I’m sure most if not all of you have cut expenses – especially marketing expenses to the bone – but what have you done to make your brand truly remarkable through innovation?

I truly believe in gamechangers like the Chevy Volt! What can you do – rather, what will you do to create a gamechanger for your brand, service, career etc.,?

If you do, you’ll reap dividends for years to come and be able to say with pride, “Recession be damned!”


New Google Checkout Store Gadget

google_checkout_back_to_schoolHere’s a very new and very cool Google Checkout Store Gadget.

And, here’s a link explaining how to set it up using a basic Google Docs spreadsheet. Google says you can set it up in about 5 minutes, which means about 30-60 minutes for me!

In three steps, you can create an online Google powered store with your inventory managed and stored in a Google spreadsheet with three gadget sizes to choose from – tiny, small and large – awesome stuff.

Another great tool that helps level the playing field for small businesses. Thanks G!